Social Alchemy

THE ART OF SOCIAL EVOLUTION

Before we embraces the idea of Social Alchemy, more basic concepts should be reviewed.

These are the questions that underlines the concept of social alchemy and this website. The notion underlining social alchemy is that social forces, human self identity, and self determination are interrelated.  They move and evolve beyond the the realm or a nationalism, religious ideology, or ethnic isolationism, these things are symptoms, but not the final deciding reason why we are here.

There are social forces that can mold our perception life, when one exist within the range of such powers.  Awareness of such power is one of the first steps in human self determination and trying to exist with some control over how such manipulation impacts one's life.

If social alchemy is the molding of social structure and behavior, what is the intent of such an intrapersonal and interpersonal art form? 

Social Alchemy and Intent:     

The manipulation of living things is done usually with some kind of intent. A gardener's intent when he cares plants is to see them grow. Often he wants them to grow a certain way. The Gardner’s intent caring for plants is based on his perception of the ecosphere and his own perceived personal identity.

Does the philosopher like the gardener see himself, as a part of the natural environment, thus accepts the notion of a interdependence of all living things? Then again, he may see plants as lower forms of life, just tools to be used for his own needs such as food or a commodity of trade.

It is the social philosopher, who tries to make sense of how/why people interact on groups and how such interaction can possible be influenced. Such thoughts are part of the makeup of social rule and structure. Different cultures have addressed this concept of social philosophy in various ways, within the context of their time in history, geographic location, but perhaps more importantly with their scope or range of perception. As we will see: the manipulation and engineering of social group can reach far beyond the notion of dualistic enterprise. It is only limited by the creative vision of Alchemist, and their influences, least of which is health, environment, and their own social history.

Our endowment to change must first come from within. We must develop the ability of self-reflection, without becoming overwhelmed with self-doubt, only then can positive social change occur. Fear not the past for it helps makes up who we are today and how well we are ready for the future.

 

· The Greek

Plato is one of the key political philosophers in ancient Greece. He was a student of Socrates.  He was interested in some of the following notions. 

1. What is human personality?
2. What is justice?
3. What is the best political structure?
4. What is the meaning of knowledge?

All these thinkers are products of ancient Rome and Greece. This was a time of the great city states, of metal and experiments in centralized goverments. Greece was a place where few had personal choice by the nature of their social structure. This structure focused around oppression of the masses in educational, economics and physically by way of harsh cultural stratification and military force. It was thought only those of certain social classes had the mental ability to understand the nature world, human nature and how to organize or in their perception rule society.

These narrow peception influnced what these thinkers thought and wrote, as can be see in some of the ideas of Plato on justice or Aristoles notions of ethics or virtues. Both thinker tried to maked sense of the events of their times. This was a time of great wars, political conquest, and social change in Greece. Social control was not a matter of understanding the true nature of the human existance. Goverments sought to maintain social order of large groups of people. Perhaps the strenght of Rome was not in its conquest of other nations. but in its high value for the attainment of knowledge and its respect for political theories that enchanced the poltical power or cultural of scope of the nation, even in this time of oppression of the non ruling classes.

There is an assumption, as there is often today, that the uneducated or under classed must be kept far away from issues of the state. Plato's focus on the ruling class learning philosophy and virtue did not seem to extend to the economic lower class. The notion that social class influences what and how much one should learn of the elements of social and personnel power, can be found in other parts of the world like Asia.

Countries like India and China both have social philosophies in some ways compare to the western notions of social structure.


Types of Hinduism:
Vaishnava, Shakti, Saiva, Smarta (Jnana) path

Notes on Smarta(Jnana) path:
Adhikara: aptitude
Stages:
1. Shravana: scriptural study
2. Manana:  reflection
3. Nidid-hyasana or Dhyana: sustained meditation, merging with Siva

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THREE GENERAL SCHOOLS OF VEDANTA:  
They are divided by ways of perception.
1. Advaita: non-dualistic
2. Visishtadvaita: qualified non-dualistic
3. Dvaita:  dualistic
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Organs of Action
Karma-Indryas:
speech, hands, feet, organ of regeneration, anus

Gnanam: Knowledge

Vasana: ones individualistic nature

Swadharma:  activity that helps you grow/evolve in life.

Paradharma:  activity that doesn't help you grow/evolve in life.





Students of Upanishads should develop:
Humility
Self control
Inner serenity
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Elements of Being

Vasyam: to be covered.
Nama: name
Rapa: form
Kriya: action
Guna: quality
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Superimposed upon ATMA

Concepts of Self Knowledge
1. Viveka: discrimination of that which is real and unreal.
2. Vairagya: renunciation
3. Shatsampatti (Six treasures): the six ethical practices needed to attain and maintain the self knowledge which is part of a spiritual life.


Organs of Knowledge

Jnana-Indriyas
eyes, ears, skin, tongue, nose


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Ignorance
Ignorance has three elements:
lack of knowledge, experience, and understanding.  

It is the barrier between mental slavery and self-determination.
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Mind
Shama:  serenity of mind

Dama:  rational control of the senses

Uparati:  turning away from sensual enjoyment.

Philosophy emphasizes Reason

Religion insists on Faith

Emotional

Attachment is a pervertion of love.
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Desire

Elements/Stages of Desire
kama: attachment
krodha: anger
moha:  delusion
mada:  arrogance
matsarya:  envy
lobha: greed
bhaya:  fear

Desire can be like bacteria if not tamed.


ref;
www.himalayanacademy.com
www.siddhayoga.org

footnotes:   vedanta treatise by A. Parthasarathy  vakil & Sons vmkils house 18 Ballard-estate, bombay 400. 038, india

 

 

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