Reflections on Sri Aurobindo’s “The Reincarnating Soul”

Sri Aurobindo’s The Reincarnating Soul is an attempt to find the proper point from which we should start our discussion of the possibility of reincarnation. He feels that “human thought” for most people has resorted to “a rough and crude acceptance of unexamined ideas.”  This observation holds even truer when the ideas require “subtle thinking” and “precision.” We can manage thought about evident, tangible things, but Sri Aurobindo feels that out of “impatience,” in almost a lazy manner, we are contented with accepting crude ideas.

Reincarnation is one such subject. Sri Aurobindo feels that the idea of reincarnation as popularized by contemporary thought has become popularized in a crude, misleading manner. The popular idea is that of a reincarnating soul, where “the soul is reborn into a new body.” The questions often stop here, with no thought given to the definition of a soul. Is the soul Purusha (Person, or Atman)? Does Purusha simply take up a new body and bring along with it the old personality of the “now discarded physical frame?”

Read More »

Posted in School Papers, Undergrad | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Reflections on John Stewart Mill’s “On Liberty”

John Stewart Mill, an Englishman, lived during the first three quarters of the 19th century. Although not a professional philosopher, he was a well-respected writer of his time, touching on many subjects. His essay On Liberty, is a good example of his ability to work through questions in a reasonable manner. At e center of Mill’s essay is an exploration of the entitlement of governments and society to assert power on the individual—to interfere “with the liberty of action of any of their number.” Mill asserts that the only time our liberty—both individual and collective—should be sacrificed or interfered with, is when not sacrificing our liberty would result in harm to others. Our individual well being is not reason enough for us to exert our power to limit someone else’s liberty. As Mill writes, “The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others.”

Read More »

Posted in School Papers, Undergrad | Tagged , , | 1 Response

Comparative World Religions Midterm Exam

When I went to Korea, China, and Vietnam as part of a study abroad program, one of the courses I took was on different world religions. The teacher gave us an option: take an in-class midterm exam where he would ask us 3 out of a group of some 15 questions (which he would give us in advance) or select 10 of them and treat it as a take-home midterm. I thought the second option seemed easier (and somewhat more interesting).

Read More »

Posted in School Papers, Undergrad | Tagged , , | 1 Response

Disney’s Small World

Introduction

Disneyland. I think that many of us have been there at some point in our lives. The wonderfully entertaining characters from our television screens come to life in front of us. Incredible rides swish us through space, seeming to defy gravity. Cotton candy, hot-dogs, soda pop, music, clothing, family entertainment…. I think that it is almost safe to say that this place has it all.

At least it has always seemed to want it all. As far back as the creation of Disney, there have been parodies concerning Disney’s desire to have it all. Al Capp, in his humorous hillbilly comic strip “Lil Abner,” commented in the early years of Disney’s attempt to do the impossible: bring cartoon characters to life. One of these characters was a homely pig, of which there was only one live one left in existence. In his desperate attempt to maximize his profits by exploiting the pig (“Just think how inexpensive it would be to keep the pig!” says Mr. Yapp, the Walt parody, in one of the panels), Mr. Yapp did all he could to steal the pig from its owners—even if this meant tidily “disposing” of them.

Read More »

Posted in School Papers, Undergrad | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment
This website uses a Hackadelic PlugIn, Hackadelic SEO Table Of Contents 1.7.3.