USENET: 3rd RFD: soc.culture.tibet (moderated)

Michael J. Wilson aa793 at FREENET.CARLETON.CA
Wed Sep 22 14:20:30 UTC 1993

Michael Everson
School of Architecture, UCD; Richview, Clonskeagh; Dublin 14; E/ire
Phone: +353 1 706-2745  Fax: +353 1 283-8908  Home: +353 1 478-2597
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
    ================= Begin forwarded message =================
    From: jan at BAGEND.ATL.GA.US (Jan Isley)
    To: TIBET-L at IUBVM.BITNET (Multiple recipients of list TIBET-L)
    Subject:      3rd RFD: soc.culture.tibet (moderated)
    Date: Tue, 21 Sep
    This is a Request For Discussion for a usenet newsgroup,
    soc.culture.tibet.  All discussion on this should take place in
    news.groups.  A Call For Votes on this group will be posted soon.
    Third Request For Discussion: soc.culture.tibet (moderated)
    Soc.culture.tibet will be a forum for all aspects of Tibetan culture.
    Cultural discussion includes the topics of Tibetan history, language,
    arts, religion, geography, politics, people, and current events.
    Anyone with an interest in Tibetan culture is invited to participate.
    The Tibetan culture developed over many centuries in near total isolation.
    The geographic inaccessibility and a formidable language barrier kept
    authentic information about the Tibetan society and culture from reaching
    the West throughout most of its history.  Many people have embraced the
    study of Tibetan culture since Tibetans began emigrating recently.
    Moderation policy:
    Discussion of all aspects of Tibetan culture from all viewpoints is
    welcome.  The intent of moderation is to ensure that postings are topical.
    Moderators, at their discretion, may request a submission be restated,
    or may refuse a submission, if the content of the submission fits any
    of the following conditions:
    a) The content does not directly fit the description given in the Charter.
    b) The content is a duplication of material recently presented.
    c) The content is obviously abusive, incoherent or slanderous.
    Cross-posting between this group and others is discouraged.
    The moderator responsibilities will be shared by:
         Michael J. Wilson   aa793 at
         Nima Dorjee         amnesty at
         Jan Isley           jan at
    The moderators will follow recommendations agreed upon by an advisory
    group.  Moderators or advisors may be replaced by a 2/3 majority vote
    of the advisors.  The advisory group consists of the following people:
         Sonam Dhargay       sdhargay at
         Nima Dorjee         amnesty at
         Jesse M. Golub      golubjm at
         Jan Isley           jan at
         Jim Katz            jsk at
         David Schlesinger   lefty at
         Gary S. Trujillo    gst at
         Michael J. Wilson   aa793 at
    Administrative details:
    This RFD will be posted to the Canada Tibet Newsletter, the
    TIBET-L mailing list and the following newsgroups:
    rec.backcountry      rec.climbing             sci.anthropology
    soc.culture.china    soc.culture.hongkong     soc.culture.indian
    soc.culture.japan    soc.culture.korean       soc.culture.misc
    soc.culture.native   soc.culture.nepal        soc.culture.taiwan
    soc.culture.thai     soc.culture.vietnamese   soc.religion.eastern
    soc.rights.human     talk.environment
    Jan Isley                   Be a light unto yourself
    jan at        -- Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha
michael j wilson aa793 at     ottawa ontario canada
michael.wilson at

> From mehta at 22 1993 Sep U 09:49:45
Date: 22 Sep 1993 09:49:45 U
From: "Mehta, Shailendra" <mehta at>
Subject: RE: British philosophers in India

To: Stephen Clark

I was delighted to your account of third Indo-British Convivium. There were two
reasons for this. I know the Indian philosophers that you mentioned. And I have
myself grappled with many of the philosophical issues that you mention, though
as a bit of an outsider, since my professional training is not in philosophy
but in economics. For this reason I am particularly interested in a broader
account of some of the discussions. 

Let me mention one in particular which I would like to hear more about. This is
"the connection between
professional philosophy and the philosophical life as understood in 
Western and Indian tradition". 

You see, I have come into casual contact with many well-known Western
philosophers, and into close contact with a few of them. What struck me was the
fact that their "conduct" was no more exalted than that of ordinary, less
reflective mortals. If anything, on account of a facility of expression, their
capacity for inflicting pain on others was often greater. Further, I was struck
by the passion with which they took certain positions in their published work
which they utterly seemed to ignore in personal life. I have in mind such
transparent inconsistencies of the sort that William James found in Rousseau,
who argued passionately that mothers ought to breast feed their babies
personally, and then willingly allowed his baby to be farmed  out to a wet

I do not wish to argue of course, that Indian philosophers do not suffer from
the same tendencies. The arrogance of many of them has been legendary. However,
there is a difference. With models like Aurobindo, Vivekanada and Radhakrishnan
practically as living presences, there is a strong pressure to conform to the
ideal typified by that over used, but none the less telling phrase, "simple
living and high thinking". Further, it is much less easy to separate Indian
philosophy from practice, so there is a constant pressure to unify the two.
Such a pressure is almost entirely absent from the Western milieu.

These are surely important issues, and I not sure that my observations above,
are entirely correct. But if some discussion along these lines took place, I
would love to hear a more detailed account.

I end with a question on a personal note. Jaipur, is *my* city. (I identify
with it more than any other city in India, except perhaps Jodhpur.) If this was
your first trip to the city, what were your impressions ? (In a future note I
plan to add a little comment on the Western fascination with that sandy tract
of land that I love so much.)  

Shailendra Raj Mehta
mehta at


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