TOWARD FREEDOM THE ATUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU. Publication date PublisherTHE JOHN DAY COMPANY. 92 N Mehru WPL8 Toward freedojj^ the autobiography of Jawaharlal Nehru ** 92 M J>6-lUtl8 Nehru Toward freedom^ the autobiography of. In one of his last letters he did me the honor to suggest that I write a preface for this first American edition of his autobiography. This. I am glad to do, not only to.
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PDF | A concise contemporary overview of a path towards freedom and choice, avoiding jargon wherever possible. That freedom is found by. Toward Freedom The Autobiography Of Jawaharlal Nehru (English).pdf - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. Towards Freedom. A multimedia presentation of the speech the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered at Dartmouth on May 23, As part of the.
This simple fact is generally ignored by the scientific disciplines, because to deal with its consequences fully would mean explaining the basis for thinking in the first place, and its relation to knowledge: i. Epistemology thus provides the foundation for all scientific disciplines: that of cognition itself, which is assumed but unexamined by every other science. Without it, science is impossible — every conclusion or relation formed in our thinking is suspect until thinking itself has a basis.
Yet what is this basis? How can we understand cognition if our understanding can only take place through cognition itself? Yet the scientific method presupposes cognition itself, taking it as an unexamined fundamental principle.
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A proper epistemology is precisely one in which there should be no prior presuppositions about cognition itself, inasmuch as this is possible. These two views hold the extremes on the epistemological scale: the world is purely not-me or is only me.
It must assume precisely that which it tries to deny. Clearly, neither of these views can give us a proper epistemological foundation whether or not their conclusions are ultimately correct. Thinking Towards Freedom 6 whose works and influence span the gamut of philosophy, science, art, medicine, agriculture, education, religion, architecture, drama, dance, and spirituality.
Steiner was able to recognize and formulate a way through the epistemological situation described above, and to utilize the results in practice as the foundations for anthroposophy, a modern spiritual-scientific movement encompassing all aspects of life.
The Roots of Epistemology What then can our starting point for an epistemology be? We cannot, as the previous views, including the one underlying the usual formulations of the scientific method, begin an epistemology on a foundation that already presupposes the act of cognition, for it is just this act that must in fact be explained by the epistemology.
Are we then left in a double-bind, an impossible situation from which there is no exit? Perhaps there is a way out. If an epistemology is to provide the foundation for the whole of knowledge, for an understanding of the nature of knowledge itself, it cannot itself be founded upon any facts already existing within that sphere.
The starting point of an epistemology must itself lie outside of the act of cognition — it must not presuppose it. Instead, the roots of cognition must be found in another soil, in what lies immediately before cognition, so that the very next step leads us to the act of cognition itself.
What is the soil which is not cognition itself but lies just beneath it? Thinking Towards Freedom 7 In fact our epistemology cannot rely upon any distinction whatsoever, as every distinction requires cognition. We see then that we must, in a very real sense, actually dismantle the act of cognition, trace it backwards, and by attempting to eliminate it, see where it leads.
Admittedly, this can only be done as an act of cognition. The point I am attempting to make here is that any abstract definition of cognition cannot be sufficient, no matter how descriptive, as any such definition must already rely upon the activity of cognition.
Cognition can never fully encompass the nature of its own activity in a description. Thus, a major goal of this essay is to point the reader towards an experience of cognition, such that further descriptions of it could later be forthcoming out of a direct experience of its nature.
Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf - T THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF...
What is not meant by cognition is some vague inner state, the content of any particular thought, or emotions. The reader is thus invited to ask seriously the very question: what is cognition? This puts us in an interesting situation: we are looking for what lies immediately before the act of cognition, but cannot rely upon the fruits of cognition — knowledge — to make this realm appear for us.
This given can only be pointed to, but not grasped, by cognition. Every picture formed of it, every thought we may have about it, is already of necessity mediated by the act of cognition, yet our goal is to show how this realm, which is free of all predicates and to which nothing can be ascribed is the substrate upon which cognition rests.
It admits no distinctions whatsoever, no cause and effect, no substance or essence, no material or spiritual, no reality, knowledge, or self. In this sense, the given is similar to a Zen koan in that it brings us to the limits of our own cognition directly. With this understood, let us proceed to push cognition so that it finds its boundary in the given. The reader can perhaps get a sense that we are approaching cognition in a way that is unique — our concepts about cognition cannot be our guide, for until cognition has found its basis, its results cannot be used in this manner.
We must experientially direct ourselves towards to the first possible place from which cognition arises — what we have called the given. We have seen that if the given is precisely that which lies before cognition, it must be completely undefined, for all definition takes place through cognition. Yet we can only approach this undefined, this pre-predicated, through what seems to be a purely negative act.
Yet it must be made clear that we are not trying to establish anything in speaking of the given. Rather, we are attempting to direct our attention to the fact that, when cognition sheds from itself all that we experience, all concepts, all knowledge, there is still something left. To get a feel for the membrane between the given and our cognition, we are necessarily restricted in our approach: we can only do so from the side of cognition. Imagine that a fully formed, intelligent human being was suddenly created out of nothing and was placed in the world.
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The very first impressions arising in her through her senses and her thinking would characterize the given. Of course this situation never actually occurs, not even in a new-born child — one never experiences the given itself without the act of cognition already at work.
Similarly in the East we find the Unnamable Tao, which shares many aspects of what is here being described as the given. The point is simply that there is a world available to cognition, which has yet to be cognized, and in this sense is prior to the activity of cognition, which then takes this world as its object through its own activity. The distinction between what cognition brings us as knowledge and what is given to us directly can only be made artificially.
This division can be made at any stage of development, as long as we correctly distinguish what is directly given from what cognition subsequently makes of the given. Thinking Towards Freedom 10 If all of this is part of the given, where then in the given is the basis for cognition itself? If everything were only given, then no cognition would ever arise: we would be mere passive spectators of the given, staring indifferently into the given inner world and the given outer world as if we were blank slates upon which the given could write itself.
We would at most be able to describe phenomena, but never would we be able to understand them. If we want a foundation for knowledge, it must be solid! Knowledge requires that our concepts have more than a purely external relationship to their referents — they must relate inwardly.
If the given were all that existed, we would have no starting point upon which cognition could be based. Yet it has already been shown that if cognition is to have a foundation, it can only be within the given itself. The brain must give rise to cognition.
Yet we must be aware of what lies beneath this statement. In other words, we could say that the concept of the brain is a more accurate assessment of what modern science uses as the foundation of consciousness — but unconsciously. We do not generally recognize our own cognitive activity at work beneath the forming of our definition of the brain itself — we assume it to be wholly external, other, and objective.
But in order for any aspect of the given to become distinct for us, it must be mediated by an act of cognition.
In other words, we cannot get rid of cognition by talking about the brain — it is essential to recognize the actual order of events. If we really try to enter into this as a question, we find that we have no choice but to recognize that cognition is not a result, but rather is the living process out of which all the results fall, like salt precipitating of a saturated solution.
This experience serves as the fundamental foundation for the epistemology — it is not abstract or theoretical. The whole point is to not begin in the middle, but at the beginning. It, along with any other content of our knowledge, cannot form the proper basis for an understanding of epistemology and hence all knowledge , because IF we are to have such a basis it cannot lie in the products of the very process we are trying to explain.
This is why we need to find that which declares cognition actively from within the given as a necessity. The easy problem is that of finding what are known as the neural correlates of consciousness — the physiologically measurable activity occurring in brain processes that correlate in some direct way with the contents of consciousness.
The hard problem is that of explaining why the contents of consciousness have a very specific inner, subjective feeling — qualia — to them: the redness of the red, the hardness of the floor, the sharpness of existential angst. No amount of work on the easy problem will help when we turn our attention to the hard problem.
For we who are trying to discover the foundation for knowledge, this insight leads us to the second element in our epistemology: there must be something which at first appears to be a formal part of the given, but which is not merely passive. Rather, there must be a place within the given which is active, out of which the necessity for cognition naturally arises.
It must be something which declares the necessity for cognition from within itself, out of itself. Only finding such a starting point will allow cognition to have traction in the given, a foundation upon which it can build.
In other words, by insisting on the given as given, we are led to the discovery that not everything is given, but that a part of the given, upon closer scrutiny, shows itself to be something other than given. Thinking Towards Freedom 13 We have already recognized that we can only approach the given through cognition. Because of this, we must be aware that it is only by an act of cognition that we can in the first place determine what characteristics the starting point for cognition must have in the given.
There is nothing else that we can do, other than decree what this starting point for cognition must look like. Remember that our original task to discover what must be the case if knowledge is to be possible. If it is admitted that knowledge is something that arises through the cognitive activity of humankind, then in order to explain knowledge, we must create a foundation for cognition.
Therefore, if knowledge is to be explained, such a foundation must exist — otherwise cognition has no basis and all knowledge is reduced to opinion.
Laying the foundation for cognition in the brain will not suffice for reasons discussed above. In fact, there is no specific content within the given that can serve in this respect. The question is, rather, where within the given do we find something that is not passively given, but is given only to the extent that it is actively being produced in the act of cognition?
We cannot rely upon the given inasmuch as it is given through our sense impressions, because we cannot know directly the extent to which our sense impressions are free from our own activity — this can only be discovered later through examination of the physical and physiological aspects of our being.
The only place within the given about which we can be directly sure that it only arises through our own activity is in our ideas and concepts. Every other aspect of the given has the characteristic that it must be given in order for us to experience it.
Only in our ideas and concepts is there a place where this situation is reversed: it is only through the act of cognition that our ideas and concepts arise and come to us as a part of the given.
We must produce them if they are to be experience for us — every other aspect of the given can arise in our experience passively, as given. Thinking Towards Freedom 14 Thus, what at first was merely a part of the given is shown to be a part of the given only by means of cognition itself.
No specific idea or sense impression can thus serve as a basis for discovering where cognition meets the given — only through the cognitive act of cognition recognizing the source of itself beneath the given qua concept, can cognition awaken to itself, to its foundation.
This must be the first act of cognition in founding a science of knowledge.
The Fruits of Epistemology With this basis in mind, we can proceed to elaborate results of this epistemology, and how it explains and provides a secure foundation for knowledge. We have used cognition to arbitrarily separate something out of the given world picture — the sphere of ideas and concepts. This was found to be the most suitable starting place because no other aspect of the given has the characteristics deemed necessary for cognition to take hold.
Where then does knowledge arise? Not out of what has already been discussed, which only provides the barest formal beginning for epistemology. What was once a unity — the given — has been torn apart through cognition.
Yet we must recognize that what has been thus separated from the given still maintains an essential connection to it, regardless of how we arrived at just this part in particular. Knowledge, then, can only consist of the restoration of the unity of the given in thinking. By thinking about the world as given, we bring about an actual union of the two parts of the given which had previously been separated: the part which exists at the liminal boundary of our cognition and that part which must be produced in the act of cognition before it can become a part of the given.
The act of cognition is a synthesis of these two elements. It is an essential characteristic of the act of cognition that one part of it — the idea — is only produced within the Thinking Towards Freedom 15 act itself, and would never otherwise arise. Yet the result of this act is that the idea itself becomes a part of the given. Our epistemology is only properly founded because at its starting point it recognizes that the whole realm of ideas and concepts appears as given initially, and then seeks to discover how cognition arises.
Having done this, we can see how knowledge can only arise when thinking approaches the given world content through its own activity. When we think about the given, something new is produced: an idea, a content which is then added to the given.
Cognition is only a problem in the first place because the entire content of the given is not created by us. If we created the content of the world solipsism , then cognition would not exist. It would be impossible to even need an epistemology in the first place if the whole content of the world were our creation — it is only because something is given to us which we do not create that we encounter the need to explain it, to find its basis.
Just before calling me Nixon had discussed the idea with Rev. Abernathy also felt a bus boycott was our best course of action. So for thirty or forty minutes the three of us telephoned back and forth concerning plans and strategy. Nixon suggested that we call a meeting of all the ministers and civic leaders the same evening in order to get their thinking on the proposal, and I offered my church as the meeting place.
The three of us got busy immediately. With the sanction of Rev. Since most of the Methodist ministers were attending a denominational meeting in one of the local churches that afternoon, it was possible for Abernathy to get the announcement to all of them simultaneously. Nixon reached Mrs. West—the widow of a prominent dentist—and enlisted her assistance in getting word to the civic leaders.
By early afternoon the arrest of Mrs. Parks was becoming public knowledge. Word of it spread around the community like uncontrolled fire.
Telephones began to ring in almost rhythmic succession. As the hour for the evening meeting arrived, I approached the doors of the church with some apprehension, wondering how many of the leaders would respond to our call. Fortunately, it was one of those pleasant winter nights of unseasonable warmth, and to our relief, almost everybody who had been invited was on hand.
More than forty people, from every segment of Negro life, were crowded into the large church meeting room.
I saw physicians, schoolteachers, lawyers, businessmen, postal workers, union leaders, and clergymen. Virtually every organization of the Negro community was represented.
The largest number there was from the Christian ministry. Having left so many civic meetings in the past sadly disappointed by the dearth of ministers participating, I was filled with joy when I entered the church and found so many of them there; for then I knew that something unusual was about to happen.
Had E. Nixon been present, he would probably have been automatically selected to preside, but he had had to leave town earlier in the afternoon for his regular run on the railroad. In his absence, we concluded that Rev.
Roy Bennett—as president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance—was the logical person to take the chair. He agreed and was seated, his tall, erect figure dominating the room. The meeting opened around seven-thirty with H. Hubbard leading a brief devotional period. Then Bennett moved into action, explaining the purpose of the gathering.
With excited gestures he reported on Mrs. Madan ed. Oxford University Press, ]. True to the scope covered by the term, it is obvious that dharma refers to an elaborate set of individual and social functions and responsibilities. Dharma is also presented as obligatory set of rules of life. Often, it is the complete determinative power of cultural beliefs that ensures social cohesion. As I have argued elsewhere, where, [C]ultural and social conformity is seen as a virtue, cultures develop mechanisms to penalize non-conformity with social ostracisms.
In order to prevent the dishonour to the family within the larger village community that is dictated by shame calculus as a result of children marrying outside their caste conines, often the family members themselves undertake honour-killings of their own children.
Dharma has the potential to become a spectrum of things that can be used, legitimately or otherwise, as an instrument to regulate social conformity. In short, the dharmic self, for it to correct itself from the excesses of communitarian thinking, would have to emerge on the far end of deliberations about the unassailable value assigned to every human being and personal freedom of the individual. Pickwick, , However, it would be quite unproductive or even erroneous to leave it unqualiied.
First, one needs to factor how dominant traditions tend to largely dictate terms among all the available internal variations. Any cursory survey of caste-based treatment of people groups illustrates this point. Intolerance of dissent within the political, religious, and educational spheres has reached a high point as never before ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party BJP came to power in However, such an argument tends to remain disconnected from reality.
Sen understates the controlling tendencies of the dominant traditions by merely pointing to the availability of variant internal theological doctrines. In a truly Indian style, Sen enlists every critique as an internal variation and thus subordinates it to the dominant pantheistic interpretation by subsuming the anti-thesis as a part of the Hindu narrative precluding any possibility of correction.
Thus Sen writes, Indian traditions are often taken to be intimately associated with religion, and indeed in many ways they are, and yet Sanskrit and Pali have a larger atheistic and agnostic literature than any other classical language: Greek or Roman or Hebrew or Arabic.
When a doctrinal Sen, Identity and Violence, As a mark of protest against the government, which they felt was either a mute spectator or tacitly supported these acts of intolerance several artists and writers returned their awards.
A more fundamental reason for why Sanskrit and Pali tolerate contradictory doctrines pertains to dharmic religions being structurally different from Semitic religions. The essential difference lies in the fact that Semitic religions, particularly Christianity, is creedal precisely because of its focus on teachings and doctrinal purity, whereas dharmic religions as non-creedal, focus essentially on traditions and ritual purity. This does not mean that emphasis of doctrinal teachings and rituals are mutually exclusive.
Rather, it is a question of priority between doctrine and ritual practice, which can be surfaced by identifying the non-negotiable element within the dharmic and Semitic traditions.
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In short, what would each tradition seek to preserve if they were to be stripped of everything else? Toleration of diverse doctrines may be better understood as a case of unintentional religious condition rather than as a deliberate celebration of diversity of beliefs.
It is a natural condition that entails the absence of creed formulation. In such contexts, social cohesion is brought about not by a uniied theological doctrine at the ideological level, but rather by imposition of social norms that take the shape of rituals and social practices at cultural level. While it is true that polytheism allows plurality at the conceptual and doctrinal level, it need not translate as acceptance of plurality at the practical level.
For greater social cohesion, the elasticity in thinking about God at the conceptual level, precisely for that reason, could Sen, Identity and Violence, Religion and Ethics compensate by imposing rigidity in religio-social expressions at the practical level.
Polytheism by its very nature cares little about what is believed but cares a great deal about what is practiced. As Christian thinkers, how may we seek to balance the value of both the individual and the community?
Does Christian theology provide a way forward in thinking through this polarity? In what follows, I shall briely argue that the Christian theological framework provides matrix in which the freedoms of the individual could be balanced with a communitarian ethos.
Christian Faith and Freedom of Conscience We have noticed that both autonomous and communitarian identities in themselves can become problematic for societies. Freedom of conscience as an essential part of what it means to be a human cannot be actualised within cultures unless religious and theological doctrines, as core-belief providers for individuals, inluence the culture. Social structures are often derivatives of theological doctrines that are operative within a culture.
In particular, it could be argued that the Trinitarian doctrine, which at once emphasises both individuality of each member of the Trinity and unity within Trinitarian community, There is a popular myth that polytheistic religions are tolerant and monotheistic religions are intolerant. It follows a similar reasoning that Sen adopts and misunderstands presence of variant theological doctrines itself as tolerance.
But irst I shall reiterate an important connection between Protestant faith and liberal democracy that has been established in the sociological research undertaken by Robert Woodberry. These innovations fostered conditions that made stable representative democracy more likely—regardless of whether many people converted to Protestantism.
May Religion and Ethics Moreover, religious beliefs motivated most of these transformations. The key factors that could be listed as necessary conditions for representative democracy, such as, sense of liberty, individual rights, tolerance, education, social and political awareness, holding governments accountable, legal protection and more seem to coexist with the practice of Christian doctrine.
This heightened sense of volition, which gives a huge emphasis to religious liberty is a pivotal part of Protestant theological imagination. Consequently, this sense of volition is also transmitted through their missionary activity, especially since conversion as an act presupposes and reinforces freedom of conscience.
This suggests that beyond merely presupposing freedom of conscience as an antecedent doctrine for religious conversion, the conversionary Protestantism sought to empower individuals with capacities for proper social relection and democratic participation.
Liturgies that Shape Sociology We ind that the way individual autonomies are actualised within liberal democratic societies has its own challenges to facilitate human lourishing, given that it tends to exclude everyone other than the self.
On the other hand the communitarian calculus either tends to deny the individual rights or still functions within a structural framework of exclusion by virtue of wealth, gender, caste, or language. Human lourishing necessitates thinking of both the individual and the group — a principle to love oneself and also love the neighbour.
Laws enshrined in the Constitution can only do so much. Beyond the letter of the law, every culture needs a sentiment or a mood that inherently afirms the spirit of the law. Where laws are adopted by the state without the background culture in some way providing a foundational theological basis for it, laws remain powerless. Legislations clearly have their place, but legislations are merely aimed at violators. However, inluencing the culture to inculcate the spirit of the law inluences the soul of a culture and is much harder to accomplish as they are aimed at transforming cultural habits.
One of the ways to address this question is to recognise that human behaviour is closely connected with what they love and worship. Our objects of love and worship tend to shape and, to a large extent, deine our behaviour. There is then a need for creating, in the Indian context, narratives that inform the soul of the culture. Religion and Ethics To properly navigate between individual freedom and the community a society needs a comprehensive doctrine that afirms both at once.
Liturgies are the most loaded forms of ritual practice because they are after nothing less than our hearts, our most fundamental motivations. They want to determine what we love ultimately. Our ultimate love is what deines us, what makes us the kind of people we are. In short, it is what we worship. Also, every worldview or worshipview creates. Religion in Contemporary Society New York: New York University Press, , While gradual appropriation of the Trinitarian doctrine has facilitated the Christian imaginations to move from totalising monarchies towards greater democratisation, the Unitarian theology continues to predominantly inform Islamic social and political imaginations.
Biblical narratives reinforce the value of each individual. Yet, Paul encourages the Corinthians with the metaphor of one body—many parts, where every member bears an incomparable value and yet is united with other members—all illustrate the balance between the individual and the community. How can the doctrine of Trinity shape our societies toward inding that crucial balance? It does so by afirming, at once, oneness and plurality, unity and diversity, where individuality of each person, co-equal with the other is also one community.
Individuality and community within Trinity uniquely has the power to shape social imaginations where unity and diversity are both afirmed. The doctrine of imago dei informs that we ought to relect God in the manner we shape our lives and societies.
Unity in diversity uniquely becomes a possibility within the Christian theological framework precisely because the God that is worshipped illustrates that reality. After all, only an object of worship has the power to shape our personal and social realities. Greene J. Guinness, Os. Intervarsity Press, John, Aruthuckal Varughese. Possibilities and Obstacles for Religion, Church, and Theology.
Pickwick, Does Christian theology provide a way forward in thinking through this polarity? Sen understates the controlling tendencies of the dominant traditions by merely pointing to the availability of variant internal theological doctrines.
It may thus fairly be said to determine the felt balance of desires in the situation of moral temptation. But Mrs.
It admits no distinctions whatsoever, no cause and effect, no substance or essence, no material or spiritual, no reality, knowledge, or self. The ever-increasing intolerance of any form of dissent within the current political disposition and orchestration of communal identity that demonises minority groups may be seen as a manifestation albeit, an extreme version of the communitarian calculus. How would the people be transported to and from their jobs?
We shall see that this conclusion is as unfounded as the assumption it is based upon. Cultural Exegesis as the Calling of an Asian Theologian: