Looking Back: Dr. Debashish Banerji’s October Keynote



UPR’s faculty member, Dr. Debashish Banerji, has his keynote from October’s 43rd Annual Gebser Conference available for a thorough read on the Posthuman Destinies (Science, Culture & Integral Yoga) website. Professor Banerji’s expertise in integral yoga, existential philosophy and the intricacies of art history and practice allows for a genuinely in-depth analysis of Jean Gebser’s “Integral Consciousness” alongside a concurrent urgency in comprehension of our postmodern, temporal position.

By cross comparing the philosophies of Gebser and Sri Aurobindo, Dr. Banerji meticulously lays out two nearly parallel pursuits of the integral, both spurred from the onset of modernism.  In doing so, he logically draws out a thoughtful examination of our current postmodern perspective.  He gives us an illuminating look back upon modernism as a pivotal moment in the evolution of consciousness and situates us within an ever-accelerating propulsion into the future and the continuing pursuit of the integral.

An excerpt from his keynote:

…Today, Modernism is periodized and relativized as an era of heroics, when the creative individual believed that s/he could change the world, but failed.

The causes of this failure lie mostly in the hubris of Modernism itself, its emulation of modenity’s sense of rupture from the past, in thinking of a perpetual revolution taking us into ever new dimensions of experience by the magus like power of the creative agent. But such a rupture remains alienated from the mass of humanity, subject to the mundane forces of techno-capitalism; and the modernist magi have rarely if ever, demonstrated a power of personal life that gives evidence of a higher than ordinary consciousness. Postmodernism has moved into a historical revaluation and a new subjective objectivity. And as Michel Foucault has pointed out in his late works, the need of our times is not the production of valorized artworks to be speculated over in the art market by the likes of collectors, museums, art journals and art critics, but the application of a micropolitical creativity to one’s own life, the demonstration of a power of integrity that challenges conditioning factors but is attentive to its own soul-making as a relational project, something he calls subjectivation.

Visit the Posthuman Destinies site: http://www.sciy.org/?p=9062 to give it a full read, you don’t want to miss what else he has to say.


Debashish Banerji, author of book on Abanindranath TagoreDr. Debashish Banerji will also be presenting in Febrary 2014 Beyond the human conference (“Beyond Man: Monsters, Mutants and Lonely Machines”) at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.  This international conference, will investigate the acceleration of technology since the rupture of Global Modernity.  Stay tuned for more details on the conference developments.  To learn more, visit the Beyond the human website:  http://beyondthehuman.com/.


An expert in the realms of Hindu philosophy and Art History, Dr. Banerji is also teaching REL 522 (The Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita) this Fall Quarter at UPR.