Bias in Indology?

Bijoy Misra bmisra at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Thu Oct 26 23:24:58 UTC 2000

One of the analytic critical comments I have
seen in this forum.  Good food for discusion
and insight.  congratulations..


On Thu, 26 Oct 2000, Bob Peck wrote:

> C.R.Selvakumar evidences a more fundamental problem in understanding other
> cultures or times in stating that Tamil writings only include the brain as
> the center of being.
> This countering statement to mine of separate centers may be based upon
> differences in experiencing the identity of the �self� with the brain. In
> the States the separation of mind and brain was rejected by many who
> insisted that the mind and brain were one and the same. The discovery of
> memory and action centers in other organs has diminished this school of
> thought however, as well as the failure of the computer to replace many
> mental functions. Modern psychology likewise generally ignores the mind
> aspect of thought and has generally thrown out the concept of the earlier
> accepted term of conation that was similar to many Indian views of thought.
> As I read original religious documents, one common theme seems to be to
> teach the methods for finding the separation of mind and brain. In the
> States, many individuals are introduced to what is called �yoga and
> meditation� wherein many classes introduce the idea of tat tvam asi.
> Supposedly the practices offered by the class will assist the student in
> �feeling� the truth of the expression.
> It is interesting to observe that many original Christian writings seem also
> to point to the separation of mind and brain although the majority of modern
> Christian churches seem to stress only the brain.
> Perhaps my concern can be stated as two questions. How can a culture be
> understood with a bias based upon a different conditioned religious or
> experiential relationship of the self and world. How can Indology be truly
> objective without religious or spiritual (and scientific) considerations?
> Another concern of mine is the seemingly difference in the inner vital
> forces of early writings and modern interpretation.
> Regards
> Bob Peck

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