File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2003/bhaskar.0309, message 15

Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2003 09:35:22 +0100
Subject: Re: BHA: Re: Re: Re: FWD: Job Opportunity: Agent-Publicist-Fundra	iser and Business Manager for Philosopher and Spiritual Teacher Ram Roy B	haskar

I support Jamie's general position, and offer a few additional comments
(in a personal capacity, not as JCR editor etc.)

1. There are arguably positive as well as negative strands within New
Age, which speak to human needs, are congruent with critical realism and
modern science, and aspire to help articulate a new paradigm which can
take the species beyond instrumental rationality etc. William Blake,
whose devotees have included marxists of the calibre of E. P. Thompson,
was a participant in an earlier New Age pulse. Like Blake, Bhaskar is an
antinomian who has no truck with institutionalized religion, so if there
is a 'theocratic overtone' it's synonymous with 'self-rule'.
Constructive critique of the New Age dimensions of Bhaskar's later work
would seem more appropriate than knee-jerk denunciation.

2. Daniel contrasts 'spiritual awareness, enlightenment, etc' with a
'materialist stance in the social sciences', as if the one excluded the
other. This I would say is the attitude of the *bourgeois* enlightenment
which Bhaskar precisely seeks to move beyond, drawing (like Marx) on the
older tradition of dialectical and spiritual enlightenment. (It's time,
surely? The split is nowhere more glaring than in Bush and Blair...).
Further, contra Daniel, there has in fact been a strong normative
impulse in CR from the outset (explanatory and emancipatory critique)
which is fully compatible with epistemological, practical, historical
and, in the broad sense in which the early Bhaskar defines it,
metaphysical materialism.

3.  The traditional attitude of the left to 'making' money has I think
been somewhat precious if not downright stupid. One can't do anything
under capitalism without the stuff. The important issue seems to be not
whether we should try to make money, but what to do with it if we
succeed. I don't think we should prejudge Bhaskar's intentions in this
respect. As I understand it, he now believes his system to be pretty
well complete, and wants to devote the remainder of his life to trying
to popularize it, i.e.outside of academia as well as within it. From a
philosopher of emancipation, this seems nothing if not consistent, and
however you look at it, it requires dosh---which, not having had a
conventional academic career, he at present doesn't have.


 Gareth_James-AT-WHITNEY.ORG writes
> Hmmmm ... gotta say I thought it might even be a crank e-shot to stir a
>little trouble on the list when I first saw it. I'm still kind of holding
>out hope that if it isn't that, then perhaps it is more a case of
>publicist-speak: would be interesting to know if Bhaskar approved the
>language. As has been said, all very well for those kinds of ideas of love
>to be in there since it does preoccupy much of this thoughts lately, but
>what is more disturbing is the whiff of evangeliprofitism. I'm a big fan of
>infommercials but normally for Woks and knives and so on.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Mark Methven
>To: bhaskar-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
>Sent: 9/15/03 8:25 AM
>Subject: Re: BHA: Re: Re: Re: FWD: Job Opportunity:
>Agent-Publicist-Fundraiser and Business Manager for Philosopher and
>Spiritual Teacher Ram Roy Bhaskar
>I completely agree with Daniel's sentiments (and
>--- Daniel Pineu <> wrote:
>> Sorry Jamie (and listers). There's absolutely
>> nothing wrong with love, peace and harmony. I had
>> just
>> genuinely never realized that at the heart of the
>> critical realist programme, at least in Bhaskar's
>> contemporary position, was the teaching of spiritual
>> awareness, enlightenment, etc - in fact, if
>> anything, I thought it was a profoundly materialist
>> stance within the social sciences. Nor was i
>> ever aware of a normative dimension to it.
>> And yes, you're quite right, I disliked the language
>> and the theocratic overtone (very nicely put).
>> It striked me as something halfway between a nascent
>> cult of personality, and the wishy-washy
>> discourses of Hollywood star-gurus of the day. (I am
>> sure Roy is charismatic enough not to need his
>> charisma to be pointed out). And I guess you and I,
>> and most of the listers, would agree that Roy's
>> work is at a much higher level than that, and the
>> critical realist project within (social) science
>> deserves a much better image for itself than that.
>> So, forgive me for the sarcasm's form, if it
>> conveyed the wrong image, but I stand by the core
>> critique which motivated it.
>> All the best,
>> Daniel
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Jamie Morgan" <>
>> To: <bhaskar-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU>
>> Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2003 8:13 PM
>> Subject: BHA: Re: Re: FWD: Job Opportunity:
>> Agent-Publicist-Fundraiser and Business Manager for
>> Philosopher and Spiritual Teacher Ram Roy Bhaskar
>> > You maynotlike the language and the thecratic
>> overtones but what is wrong
>> > with love peace and harmony, would you prefer hate
>> war and dischord?
>> >
>> > ----- Original Message -----
>> > From: "Daniel Pineu" <>
>> > To: <bhaskar-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU>
>> > Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2003 6:44 PM
>> > Subject: BHA: Re: FWD: Job Opportunity:
>> Agent-Publicist-Fundraiser and
>> > Business Manager for Philosopher and Spiritual
>> Teacher Ram Roy Bhaskar
>> >
>> >
>> > > *gulp*
>> > >
>> > > Wow, and i thought what we were doing was
>> philosophy of (social) science,
>> > and that that was Bhaskar
>> > > was all about...  When in fact, we should
>> apparently be spreading peace,
>> > love and harmony, and heal
>> > > the world through enlightenment. Whew, I'm glad
>> i got the heads up, I only
>> > hope i can see the light
>> > > too. Hail to the great mentor, live long and
>> prosperous,
>> > >
>> > > Daniel ;-)
>>      --- from list
>> ---
>     --- from list ---
>     --- from list ---

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