Monthly Archives: July 2011

Sri Aurobindo’s interaction with an American soldier during World War II

One night, holed up in a trench in France during World War II, Sgt. John Kelly of the US Army (Easy Company, 276th Infantry Regiment, 70th Infantry) began  having spectacular visions of two beings of Light whom he called ‘Great Sir’ and ‘Heaven Lady’.  Their continuing guidance through visions and voices saved him from enemy fire a few times.  After the war, John found a copy of Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine in a library, and then came across a photograph of the Mother Mirra Alfassa.  At this point, he realized that the two Beings who had guided him during the war were Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Mirra Alfassa.  He visited the Ashram in Pondicherry in 1966 and met the Mother.  In this article, he recounts his experiences from the war.  This article first appeared in the Spring/summer 1984 issue of the Collaboration journal.

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On absent-mindedness, instinctive and willful actions

In our daily life, we perform many actions without complete cognitive control.  You may drive the car while lost deep in thought and later exclaim that you can’t recall the route you traveled.  Or you have the nagging feeling that you have forgotten to lock the door but after checking you discover that you had indeed locked it.  The German mathematician David Hilbert(1862-1943) was so absent-minded that once he went to the bedroom to change clothes for an evening dinner, but instead ended up going directly to sleep.  This article examines the basis of such phenomena from the standpoint of cognitive psychology, neuroscience and integral psychology.

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Why do we forget our vivid dreams?

In the May 2011 issue of the Scientific American Mind magazine, a reader asked the question “Why do memories of vivid dreams disappear soon after waking up?”.  According to current science, clarity of dreams depends on neurochemical conditions in the brain.  Dreams are forgotten due to deficiencies in the hormone norepinephrine in the cerebral cortex, and more generally, due to the fact that dreams are not highly conscious activities in the brain.  Check the link given above to read the entire answer.   In this article, we will examine this question based on the Integral Psychology of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

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How to choose the right life partner

A disciple, Dilip Kumar Roy, wrote a letter in 1924 to Sri Aurobindo asking certain questions regarding marriage.  The answer depends on many factors, as Sri Aurobindo indicates in the following text.  He outlines the three kinds of bonds which usually form in a marital union: (a) vital or physical, (b) psychic and (c) spiritual.  His insights must be read with the understanding that no cut and dried answers can be given to such intricate questions.

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