Dialogic Orientalism: This is constituted by the awareness among those within the West who perceive the origin of the Other within their own culture, who believe that spirituality is part of the definition of the Human, which has been suppressed and neglected in the development of the progressive “logocentric” discourse of the Enlightenment. This anthropological deformation needs to be corrected. Engagement in dialogue with the living potential of that in non-western cultures can transform and enrich the world, and create a new future.
Rich Carlsson has written a very interesting article on the perversion of Sri Aurobindo’s integral approach by Hindu nationalism, do read the whole article here. It’s larger significance for non-experts is the approach to a dialogue between East and West.
“Sri Aurobindo is a complex figure. In India he is often remembered as both a maha-guru and a charged symbol of its independence movement. In the cultural memory of some Hindu ultranationalist his writings and speeches are often deployed as an emotional declarations of resentment toward the legacy of occupation and militancy toward the partition of the subcontinent into a Hindu and Islamic State. A close reading however, of how he is portrayed in ultranationalist rhetoric reveals that Aurobindo’s words are often historically de-contextualized, his sentences cut up into snippets to form slogans of nationalism that invite quite the opposite of the intended meaning. These sectarian readings of Aurobindo collapse his cosmopolitan vision of a pluralist India into a chauvinist ideology that suit the narrow communal interest of political Hindu Nationalism. This introductory article, as do those that follow presents Indian Nationalism through the biography and works of Sri Aurobindo.”