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Beyond the Human Species: The Life and Work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother (Omega Books) Hardcover – July 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-1557787668 ISBN-10: 1557787662 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Omega Books
  • Hardcover: 548 pages
  • Publisher: Paragon House; 1st edition (July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557787662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557787668
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,128,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is a fitting ode to one of the greatest spiritual thinkers of our times. What makes it extremely valuable is the fact that it assembles documents which have never been presented before as a whole by other authors.
'Short takes', in Sunday, India

This book has gripped and deeply moved me from the first to the last page ... Van Vrekhem ... tries in ordinary language to bring a complex whole of experiences within the reach of the reader ... 'Beyond Man' is an important, encouraging book which stimulates and activates the reader ...
Lambert de Kwant, in Tattwa Bulletin, The Netherlands

A splendid book, richly documented and beautifully presented.
-- Marcel Messing, in Prana, The Netherlands

 ... The inclusion of interesting historical, philosophical and spiritual vistas drawn from other sources has resulted in a richly embroidered tapestry as a background to the exceptional life of the Two-in-One, 'the double-poled Avatar of the Supermind' as Van Vrekhem calls Sri Aurobindo and the Mother ...
Carel Thieme, in Mother India, India

... the book is based on documents never before presented as a whole and shows the history of this century in a new light ... Van Vrekhem does not recoil from interpreting developments in recent history and discoveries in the field of quantum mechanics, significative of great changes on the Earth ...
Simon Vinkenoog, in Bres, The Netherlands

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Dutch

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Georges van Vrekhem's long awaited book, "Beyond the Human Species" is an exquisite exegesis of the internal lives of Sri Aurobindo Ghose and Mirra Alfassa (La Mere/The Mother), arguably the most important spiritual figures of the 20th century. The "Two who were One," left an enormous literary wake, describing their development and experiences, and their lives were recorded in their letters, talks and the reminiscences of their disciples. However, until now, their integral spiritual history has not been systematically presented in a single volume. "Beyond the Human Species" addresses the most amazing journey our species has ever embarked on. Sri Aurobindo and The Mother "went forth and ploughed in other fields," to use an expression from the Rg Veda. Never before has the Divine emergence been documented so closely, so literally, as in the words, works and lives of this extraordinary Man and Woman. Georges van Vrekhem's book is an absolutely fascinating reading experience, culled from massive amounts of material, as well as the author's personal relationship with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville. To use the words of The Mother, "Come Truth, Manifest," and the truth has manifested in this book. For those who are aware of the Integral Yoga, this book comes as a friend, a partner along the way. For those who may never have heard of the Life Divine, this book will be a beginning, and an entrance into Satyam, Rtam, Brhat, "the Truth, the Right, the Vast." This is a blessed book.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beyond the Human Species is quite amazing to say the least, even if only 1/10 of it were true. If it's all true, then this information is something we should all know about. Fortunately, at least for me, it reads like a spiritual thriller. I just kept being amazed and, of course, it raises all kinds of questions about who we really are (individually and as a species) and where we're going. One suggestive aspect of the book has to do with the amount of sheer pain that Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in particular had to bear in their lives, in their sadana (spiritual work). I believe at one point they called pain the "hammer of the gods". In any case, for them it was part of what they had to bear for the transformation, and I wonder if this is possibly not the case for many of us. Is it possible, that there is a deeper meaning to the suffering so many of us feel, beyond the exigencies of our material circumstances. Certainly this was the case for these two amazing spiritual explorers. Scientific materialism, as extraordinary as it is in its own domain, would have us deny all this, but the possibility is there that there is just so very, very much more. For a clear vision of the "so much more" this book is a revelation.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thinking on February 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A very exciting book indeed. But does it really need to be so? I do understand that the author must have put in a great deal of time into researching the material for this book. I do believe that that it was written with much sincerity. And for those who already know of the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, this book could serve as an inspiration. But frankly, as far as introducing someone else to their way of thought, I think it might actually be doing some harm.

The book is a "thriller". A very great portion of the book focuses on the role played by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in World War II. In fact, there is the suggestion that Hitler made his wrong decisions because he was misled by the Mother. I am not sure if the author realizes how disturbing such a claim might be to a critical outsider. There are thousands of "spiritual gurus" with such fantastic claims. And such a story seems to put Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in their ranks. But that is NOT what they were. Sri Aurobindo never made public statements about his "miracles". In fact, most of such stories seem to have sprouted from rumours circulating among his disciples. I am NOT suggesting that they are lies. Maybe there is some truth to them. Maybe Sri Aurobindo and the Mother did influence the course of history a great deal during that period. But that is not what we need to know about. There is perhaps a reason why they did not make public statements about their role in such things. It was because they did not want to establish a new religion or a cult. They did not want to attract people by such things.

Whether the practice of Yoga has any value at all is for each individual to find out. But if I were to do so, such stories of miracles are the last thing I would choose to think about.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on September 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Beyond the human species" is a book about Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa (known as The Mother). The author, Georges van Vrekhem, is a devotee of both. Originally from Belgium, he now lives in the experimental township Auroville in India (see further below).

Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was a militant Indian revolutionary who eventually became a spiritual teacher, based in the then-French territory of Pondicherry in southern India. His closest associate Mirra Alfassa (1878-1973) was a French national and former occultist. After the death of Aurobindo, Alfassa succeeded him as the leader of their rapidly growing spiritual community in Pondicherry. In 1968, The Mother - as she was known to the devotees - founded the town of Auroville, which still exists and functions as the main centre of this particular new religious movement.

"Beyond the human species" is both a biography of Aurobindo and The Mother, and an exposition of their main ideas. Despite their Hindu-derived terminology, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother seem to have been heavily indebted to Theosophy, with its evolutionary perspective on the cosmos. The legend of Atlantis makes a brief guest appearance. Interestingly, Aurobindo was a modernist and liberal democrat, who opposed both Nazism and Communism (or at least Stalinism) in the name of a future liberal-democratic world federation. The Theosophists were also progressive, but perhaps in a more "alternative" fashion. The author never mentions the Theosophists, but Alfassa worked with two occultists based in Algeria, Max and Alma Théon, before she departed for India and met Aurobindo.

A large part of George van Vrekhem's book contains miracle stories about Aurobindo and The Mother. These are *very* hard to believe.
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