Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
The attached document is an essay by Rajiv Malhotra on the role of Vivekananda's ideas in "two revolutions in Western thought." In it, he offers a critique of Wilber's thought (and claims Wilber uses Vivekananda's ideas without acknowledging their source). I have found a number of Malhotra's writings and ideas interesting, and this essay has its good points, but overall I think it's a pretty weak (and uninformed) critique of Wilber's integral work. What do you think?
Vivekananda's Ideas and the Two Revolutions in Western Thought by Rajiv Malhotra
Malhotra is resonantly aligned with several facets of the Dionysian Cultural Revolution. He is sensitive to many of the components of Metatheory and their implicit alliance with developmental spirituality. So he is "on the team". And I even commend him upon his attempt (probably doomed) to expand Vivekananda as the convergent-generic form of MetaTheory.
His weaknesses lie specifically in two points which we might even racistly think of as Indian or Vedic tendencies:
1. He thinks corporately. He envisions the situation as one in which Wilber is trying to "trademark" and take credit in the marketplace for the intellectual "property" of a true Indian original. This is a reactive, unnecessary and largely counterproductive or self-limiting way to hold the situation. Above and beyond the obvious fact that Wilber (or any comprehensive metatheorist) draws from a large variety of resonant sources, we must not operate in the mode of the reactive claimant but rather, at minimum, in the mode which embraces and undermines the notion of property claims in this field.
2. His obvious sympathy for Vedic "cycles of time" theories indicate a linger metaphysical dampness which may need to dry out further.
Still, he is a brother on the Wave...
Hi, yes, I think Malhotra is a kindred spirit to some of our endeavors, here on this forum and in your own work as well. I have shared a few of his videos here in the past. In this particular paper -- and in some interactions I've heard about with local Hindu sanghas which have been open to the influx of Western and "Integral" thought -- he has exhibited an unfortunate degree of reactivity or paranoia in regards to Western thinking, or "Western" engagement with "Indian" sources (possessively framed, in his communications), but in other ways (such as his book, Being Different) I think he is making some important and interesting contributions.
Since there is a utility to the convergent pole of MetaTheorizing we do have to wager on an MOA-2 test site -- but I have suggested that (a) trans-genre popularity (b) the dionysian mood (c) comprehensiveness are necessary criteria. Yet people come out of diverse backgrounds and we have much to learn from the inter-cultural skirmishes among those who are attempting to simultaneously enfold their reality and synchronize it with other depth-enfoldments.
The degree of reactivity against colonizing encroachments and "mis-presentations" from the West is a similar kind of threshold to that one which creates a gullible pro-Western evaluation of international politics among many integralites.
In re-editing and shifting my harangues onto the wordpress.blog I recently worked with "Frenemy Mine" -- a look at the need to embrace and assimilate the antagonism at interpersonal, interpersonal and intercultural boundaries. Love thy enemy depends upon having enemies. So these friction lines -- no matter the interpretive distortion or grounding in historical or bio-emotional pathology -- are something which we must find a way to affirm.
Although we wish to clarify and summarize, we must develop a vision of the integrative/dionysian cultural revolution that does not wait upon people's successful harmonization and affirmation of all elements but rather finds a way to harmonize and affirm them in all the phases and facets which are gravitating toward a common telos.
I'm wondering if Malhotra would think that Wilber's attempted IOS is Aurobindo's supra mental?
I've been meaning to read Rajiv Malhotra's Being Different. I haven't gotten to it yet, but came across this review (and critique) of the book today. I share it here because a number of the topics discussed in the review are relevant to the themes explored in this forum (and integral spirituality in general).