Tagore: The Indian Teilhardian

Tagore: The Indian Teilhardian

Dear Team:

I want to congragulate my friend Weecheng from Singapore who has just concluded a year long global journey covering 44 countries, 29 for the first time. Weecheng has been to over 100 countries and his newsletter has been a source of on the ground news for me for more than a year.

Weecheng worked for a London bank and was layed off last year and now has arrived back home to his country of birth. He will shortly start looking for work. I wish him luck!

With the year rapidly coming to an end I would like to write a few last letters that have been brewing in my mind as a final holiday offering. These letters were once written for the translation team exclusively, but now many Americans are starting to look at them as a prelude for a wider global audience.

I'm happy that this translation project inspired this new development and it is my greatest wish that the financial situation will be resolved sometime soon in 2003 even as war and economic reccesion continue to be a serious problem for the planet at large.

My home is everywhere,

I am in search of it.

My country is in all countries,

I will struggle to attain it.

Rabindranath Tagore was one of the Indian giants of the 20th century and one of the big stars of 2-ss. Tagore was India's Shakespeare. An Indian writer who won the Nobel prize in 1913 and who saw the deeper meaning of the clash between east and west. Tagore felt that the west had lost its soul in the name of technological effeciency. He saw a global civilization emerging badly in need of a spiritual center. He was the founder of Shantiniketen University in Bengal. A university created for the study of the human spirit. I visited Shantiniketen in 1997 and felt Tagore's message quite accutely in the local museum which once was his home.

What was Tagore really pondering? He asked many deep questions. Could the planet realize its soul and transcend its physical boundaries? Tagore felt India was the model for the future and that the soul of India like that of the planet's was capable of radiating a magninimty that could powerfully illuminate the cosmos. But not if all of it was withdrawn into a narrow barrier of obscurity, into this misery of pride, of exclusiveness, into this poverty of mind that dumbly revolved around itself in an unmeaning repetition of a past that had lost its sight and had no message for the pilgrim of the future. Wholeness and unity versus division and perverse multiplicity.

Tagore was a Hindu Teilhardian. He felt that today's modern civilization robbed the world of its mystery and taught us to believe that what could be seen, touched, and measured physically alone was real. The universe was no longer seen as a field of divine purpose. Now it appeared as a blind locomotive with seemingly no divine spirit informing or inspiring the universe. Yet, the universe was always more than the sum of all that could be seen to exist.

The vision of 2-ss is basically about a unified planet in both mind and spirit without basic needs not going unfulfilled, yet with inner challenges still rife and yet being dealt with by a tolerant form of psychic diversity.

To Tagore knowledge had no limit, but mystery also had no end. Dissatisfaction with the actual and a yearning for the beyond were the keynote of all the religions. Humans struggled to attain perfection always and to fail to achieve it was never a disgrace. But to lack the desire for it was indeed a misfortune. Every human was struggling for spiritual freedom.

Perfect freedom lay in the harmony of relationship which was realized not through knowing, but in being. Objects and knowledge maintained an infinite distance from us when we were simply the knowers. For knowledge was not union. We could only attain the world of freedom through perfect sympathy.

Tagore in a vision once described how the invisible screen of the commonplace had been removed from all things and the fragments of their unmeaning had then lost their individual isolation.The unity of vision then filled him uniting these fragments into an ever-widening individuality which was a spirited work of art. This vision to Tagore was of course based on experience. Not just knowledge. One had to expand one's mental horizons and see that all was spiritually alive. That the world was not alien to us. Every object had something ineffible about it.

The religion of the poet had no place for any fixed doctrine. Religion if it was true was an endless adventure of one's entire being pushed towards a truth which was revealed in this very quest. No one had exclusive possession of the truth for the one truth had many faces. Its variations were determined by the accidents of history and geography. Unity in diversity versus a standard uniformity was the core of the Indian outlook. The U.S. needed this badly. So did the rest of the world.

Tagore felt it was like touching both extremes at once. Humans were born to love and to be loved. Humans were like this. The power of the world lay in its movement--not its boundaries. Ego extinction and self-control were the way to fulfillment. Channels of light and power were instruments of the divine. One needed to work in the world, but without being effected by it was absolutely crucial. One could not really become too immune to change.By living in the spirit this liberated us from the mechanism of compulsion. Inspiration then led us to worthy goals. It was liberation from the compulsions of nature and the restraints of history.

Tagore felt that the present trends towards the extinction of the individual as human beings were mobilized in both war and peace as mere instruments for the will of a ruling clique not only dehumanized both men and women. But also injured and cramped life in general. The best people in all countries found their affinity with one another. A reversal of spiritual values was now critical. Creative individuals usually worked with energy in a very patient manner. It was important to let the emerging global civilization become a great channel of communication for all races. It was a mighty regeneration brought on through love and suffering.

All contents of this site copyright by Michael Arthur Finberg