Archive for March, 2009

Peter Heehs’s Betrayal and an Ashram in Upheaval – Two Sides of the Same Mistake

Award-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz recently wrote an article on the factors leading to the current economic crisis for Vanity Fair entitled ‘Capitalist Fools’ which begins, ‘What were the critical decisions that led to the crisis? Mistakes were made at every fork in the road – we had what engineers call a “system failure,” when not a single decision but a cascade of decisions produce a tragic result.’ Stiglitz proceeds to discuss five specific mistakes that led towards the current morass of the U.S. economy. Each faulty choice was based on the same central flaw – the same faulty idea, world view and philosophy that dictated U.S. financial policy since 1987, when Alan Greenspan was put in charge of the Federal Reserve. He closes the article with the following conclusion and a confession by Greenspan:

‘The truth is most of the individual mistakes boil down to just one: a belief that markets are self-adjusting and that the role of government should be minimal. Looking back at that belief during hearings this fall on Capitol Hill, Alan Greenspan said out loud, “I have found a flaw.” Congressman Henry Waxman pushed him, responding, “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right; it was not working.” “Absolutely, precisely,” Greenspan said. The embrace by America—and much of the rest of the world—of this flawed economic philosophy made it inevitable that we would eventually arrive at the place we are today.’

After reading the article I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be a godsend if those whose will it has been to protect the yoga and legacy of Sri Aurodindo and the Mother would make such a sincere and public inquiry into the question of what central flaw and subsequent series of mistakes have led to longtime ashramite, Peter Heehs’s betrayal of their cause and to the crisis this betrayal has created in the Integral Yoga community? Would any be willing to recognize and admit that such a flaw exists and inevitably marches them towards collapse from the inside out?’ Continue reading ‘Peter Heehs’s Betrayal and an Ashram in Upheaval – Two Sides of the Same Mistake’

A Calendar that Unifies – Questions and answers on reforming the Hindu Calendar

Q. I have before me a letter written by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1953 to the Calendar Reform Committee. He wrote, ‘Now that we have attained independence, it is obviously desirable that there should be a certain uniformity in the calendar for our civic, social and other purposes and this should be based on a scientific approach to the problem…’ It’s been many years since this message was written, nothing has happened. What is your interest in bringing up this issue again?
A. It is not exactly that nothing happened. That Committee did indeed agree on a calendar for the nation; but in what concerns ‘other purposes’ the result was unfortunate. In the same letter Pandit Nehru remarks that there are some 30 calendars in use and that this causes a certain confusion. It was made worse confounded by the fact that there is no agreement on the actual starting point of the calendar year among Hindus, unlike for civic purposes with the government having adopted the calendar in use throughout the world. Continue reading ‘A Calendar that Unifies – Questions and answers on reforming the Hindu Calendar’