Research as Realization Science, Spirituality and Harmony
Look Inside

Research as Realization Science, Spirituality and Harmony

FREE Delivery
Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: NAT889
Author: Ananta Kumar Giri
Publisher: Primus Books, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9789386552150
Pages: 354
Other Details: 10.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 620 gm
About the Book

Can research contribute to the realization of reality as well as its potential? Can science and spirituality dance together to reveal the hidden and awaiting harmony in life, and manifest it in self, culture, society and the world? Research as Realization: Science, Spirituality and Harmony explores these neglected and repressed questions of modernity and presents trans-modern possibilities and neo-human futures based upon multiple traditions of humanity—European, Indian, Latin American, Islamic, and others. It encourages wholeness in this world of fragmentation and invites the reader to realize the poetic and spiritual dimension of reality where realization is not so much an end but a process. The book brings together a diverse range of creative thinkers and offers a festival of dialogues and co- realizations in the fragile world of the present. Third in the trilogy of Creative Research, together with the earlier two volumes, Pathways of Creative Research: Towards a Festival of Dialogues and Cultivating Pathways of Creative Research: New Horizons of Transformative Practice and Collaborative Imagination, this is not only a pioneering but also a monumental effort in rethinking and regenerating research, life and the human condition. This book speaks to and vibrates with a wide readership, not only in the academy but also beyond it.

About the author

Professor Ananta Kumar Giri is on the faculty of the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India. He has taught and done research in many universities in India and abroad, including Aalborg University (Denmark); Maison des sciences de l'homme, Paris (France); the University of Kentucky (USA); University of Freiburg & Humboldt University (Germany); and Jagiellonian University (Poland). He has an abiding interest in social movements and cultural change, criticism, creativity and contemporary dialectics of transformation, theories of self, culture and society, and creative streams in education, philosophy and literature. Dr Giri has written and edited around two dozen books in Odia and English, including Conversations and Transformations: Toward a New Ethics of Self and Society (2002); Mochi o Darshanika (The Cobbler and the Philosopher, 2009); The Modern Prince and the Modern Sage: Transforming Power and Freedom (editor, 2009); Sociology and Beyond: Windows and Horizons (2012); Philosophy and Anthropology: Border Crossing and Transformation (co-editor, 2013); Knowledge and Human Liberation: Towards Planetary Realizations (2013); Beyond Cosmopolitanism: Towards Planetary Transformations (editor, 2017); Pathways of Creative Research: Towards a Festival of Dialogues (editor, 2017) and Cultivating Pathways of Creative Research: New Horizons of Transformative Practice and Collaborative Imagination (editor, 2017).


To open the typical social science methodology text is usually to subject oneself to a dull (if often necessary) experience. Far from the notion that research should be ‘creative’, the usual practice is to subordinate, or to suppress entirely, such imaginative ‘excesses’ in favour of the notions that we are all familiar with : ‘rigour’, ‘proof’, evidence, facts, replication. In so many cases research is seen not as genuine exploration—for in exploring one usually hopes to find new, and unexpected, things, things indeed that may fall quite outside of the categories of established knowledge and opinion—but as more or less identical with methodology. Even what is known as ‘theory’ in the social sciences—which should in principle provide a space for free-ranging inquiry—is largely subordinated to the pervasive positivism of conventional thought. But it might well be argued that many of the current and massive problems now confronting our planet stem from exactly this kind of thinking, of what can be thought of as positivism-out- of-place. Within its legitimate zones, such methodologies have their legitimacy and evidently much science, and the technology that it has given rise to, could not exist without it. But once a particular and hegemonic approach begins to colonize other life-spaces its utility must be called into question. Indeed, there are not only technical, but also ethical issues at stake here. When creeping managerialism begins to invade areas such as ecology, we should be alert. I personally cringe at such ideas as ‘environmental management’ as a new ‘professional’ field, when in fact we still know so little about the complexity and depth of the web of life that our ‘managing’ of it is likely to do far more harm than good, despite its (no doubt) noble intentions and the fact that it is a response to the mess that we have ourselves already made of our natural environment.

It is with refreshing relief that one can turn to this book and its companions, where without apology, an entirely alternative approach is being set out and shown to work. What are the elements of such an approach? I would suggest they may be found in the move from ‘deconstruction’ in the social sciences to reconstruction; from ‘holism’ as a methodological goal to wholeness in a much more inclusive sense; from Euro-centrism to a genuinely comparative approach to research that draws on the deep wells of wisdom embodied in Asian, African and Latin American thought and experience; and which overcomes the unnecessary and limiting distinction between the ‘social sciences’ and the ‘humanities’, both being but different avenues of approach to the fundamental existential problems and delights of being human. For, in the last analysis, the question must be asked (but rarely is) ‘what is research for?’ It is just to know more things? While more knowledge is undoubtedly a good thing, in a universe of infinite facts and interpretations, such a goal in itself is also endless and perhaps therefore pointless. But this book suggests an alternative goal: of research as realization, as a path of discovery which is not only teleological, but is like many paths; like the Tao of Chinese philosophy, it is also the journey itself. ‘Realization’ is then not so much an end as a process. As one perceptive writer on meditation and paths to enlightenment has rightly put it: "After the ecstasy, the laundry’.To see creativity as somehow the preserve of the arts is to deny both the natural and the social sciences the possibilities of asking truly new questions and of developing appropriate methods for pursuing answers to them, and to assume that research which is visual, poetic or spiritual falls outside of the realm of the ‘real’ or ‘serious’. This is odd when we recognize that our deepest insights into the human condition rarely come from statistics, but precisely from those areas of inquiry banished from the realm of the ‘scientific’.

The notion of an ‘applied’ social science probably calls to mind something mechanical, policy-related and ‘practical’ in a somewhat materialistic sense. But it need not mean this at all: in the light of what Martin Heidegger called the ‘nihilism’ of modern society—its underlying managerialism, scientism and banishment of Being in favour of technique (and technology)—stemming the tide of this metaphysics that we now recognize lies at the basis of many of our current global problems, but which nevertheless, rushes on to what may well be self-destruction, is a vital aspect of what, thinking primarily of environmental issues, the ecotheologian Thomas Berry has rightly called the ‘Great Work’ of our generation. This process must involve creativity certainly, but also a sense of genuine dialogue rather than closure—a certain humility that takes us beyond the need for certainty into the realm of mystery. That is perhaps one way of defining spirituality, another term banished from conventional social science methodology, but here in this volume used unashamedly, as it should be.

The possible outcomes of the activity—intellectual, spiritual and methodological—embodied in this volume are exciting and potentially revolutionary. Anthropologists and some development studies specialists have, in the past decade, re-discovered the notion of indigenous knowledge. Important as this is, it is by its nature in many ways backward-looking: the task is also to create new knowledge, relevant to the crisis-ridden twenty- first century, but also liberatory in the fullest sense, not only in political ways. What is involved is both the physical future of the Earth, and the essence of humanity. Reductionist and purely deconstructive approaches to society and human culture can never fully address these issues. All species, including ours, evolve. However, without hubris it might be rightly said that, of all the species which inhabit the planet, ours is the only one with the ability to decide, at least in part, the direction of that evolution. The essays in this book provide sketches of how that direction might be pointed in ways that suggest both (and they are closely related) the fullness of being for humans—the achievement of genuine humanity—and the preservation, enhancement and enjoyment of our unique and beautiful planetary home.


There will be new unexpected departures of science or at least of research, since to such a turn in its most fruitful seeking the orthodox still deny the name of science.


.. | hope you will not have taken offense when I spoke of ascending to Nature instead of ascending away from it. For however the tensions eventually play out between our opposing worldviews, however science and religion wax and wane in the minds of men, there remain the earthborn, yet transcendental obligation we are both mortally bound to share.

—E.O. WILSON (2006), Creation: An Appeal to Save the Earth, p. 108.

Have you heard Infinity singing In a woman’s glance?

——ANURAG MATHUR (2005), A Life Lived Later, p. 31.

A human action, howsoever efficient, voluntary and goal attaining it may be cannot be called truly human unless it reveals man’s authentic identity or self ...and this authentic human self refers to a higher consciousness of equipoise (perfect peace), ‘choice-less awareness’ and ‘creative passivity’. Such a state, in fact, as usually construed is not ‘otherworldliness’ but a state of ‘coincendtia oppositorium’ classically represented by the symbol zero—a symbol of ‘creative passivity’ where, to use Scheler’s terminology, empirical reality is ‘de-realized’ at the level of altered consciousness adding a third dimension of ‘centrovertedness’ to one’s personality—a dimension of egoless self more creative than the self with pronounced ego and its myopic perceptions.

—ANAND KASHYAP (2001), Sociological Concerns: Issues in Cognitive and Developmental Anthropology, pp. vii-viii.

Research as Realization: Science, Spirituality and Harmony is the third in our trilogy of Pathways of Creative Research and in many traditions the third, as evident in the symbol and realization of Trinity in Christian tradition, Trimurty in Hindu tradition and thirdness in the semiotics of Charles Sander Pierce, has a spiritual significance. It invites us to realize the spiritual dimension of our co-present and co-constitutive reality as an unfolding journey. The present volume undertakes this journey and explores manifold dimensions of science, spirituality and harmony, especially in their transformative contours, as they embrace and challenge us in our vision and practices of creative research. It explores how research needs to base upon transformations of science and spirituality as we know which can help us not only realization of potential of reality that we are studying but also of our own self.

This journey of ours is dedicated to five savants of humanity—Roy Bhaskar, U.R. Ananthamurthy, J.N. Mohanty, Ramashroy Roy and Boaventuara de Sousa Santos. Roy Bhaskar (1944-2014) explored new horizons of philosophical thinking and practice and inspired the movement of critical realism which has transformed our understanding of science, spirituality and reality. U.R. Anathamurthy (1932-2014) was an epic quest in creativity and criticism and he always challenged us to go beyond conventional canons and challenged sociology to go beyond a narrow sociological logic. The literary constituted a moment and space of beyond for him.! J.N. Mohanty is an enriching philosopher of our times who continues to inspire us with his deep explorations about philosophy, science, spirituality and new horizons of phenomenological method and awakening. Mohanty critiques the taken-for-granted view of the spiritual and Indian tradition. His Self and Other: Philosophical Essays, as his many works, has been a great source of inspiration to me as well as to many seeking souls around the world (see Mohanty 2000). Ramashray Roy has continuously explored new horizons of spirituality and methods in his works as he draws upon the Vedas, Gandhi and many springs of wisdom. His work, Beyond Ego’s Domain: Being and Order in the Vedas, is a deep invitation for us to realize the spiritual in our manifold strivings in self, polity and society (see Roy 1999). Boaventuara de Sousa Santos is a friend of the world as he collaborates with many seeking souls and social movements for a new world to come. His works on alternative knowledge is a deep invitation for us to explore new methods in social sciences and to strive to realize an integration between science and spirituality (see Santos 2014). Santos urges us to realize ecology of knowledges in our present-day world going beyond the epistemicide of modern scientific knowledge where modern scientific knowledge annihilates other kinds of knowledges such as spiritual knowledge." Santos also calls for a new art of translation as a part of a new hermeneutics of dialogue what he calls diatopical hermeneutics building upon the seminal work of Raimundo Panikkar which is a crucial requirement of the global age in which we live and with which this book is concerned. It has been a blessing for me to converse and walk a few steps together with these great seekers of life. In dedicating this book to them I not only express my personal gratitude but of many like-minded friends and communities around the world.

This book has been long in making. I thank my fellow contributors for their kindness, patience and trust. 1 am grateful to my dear friends Professors John Clammer and Piet Strydom for their foreword and afterword. Strydom invites us to the book in his Afterword: This anthology is strikingly timely in the context of the rather ambivalent conditions of the day — that is, of the hesitant emergence of a world society amidst intensifying intercultural communication and a cosmopolitan culture, yet disintegrative global economic exploitation, global political incompetence and corruption, global social disarray and impoverishment, unprecedented degrees of destitution and hunger, an unparalleled refugee and immigration problem and, perhaps most serious of all, threatening ecological disaster. In fact, this book is a monument to the intercultural communication that has been stimulated by the involuntary formation of a global community of fate in the face of a dark and risky future for both humanity and nature.

Finally, I hope this book reaches all concerned souls and help us in our much needed epochal journey of relating to reality in a transformative way undertaking tasks of integration of science, spirituality and harmony.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy