As a concrete example of this sort of critical work on subjectivity and the present, he refers to Baudelaire's consciousness of modernity as "the ephemeral, the fleeting, and the contingent." In Foucault's view, Baudelaire's modernity is both a form of relationship to the present and a mode of relationship that one has to establish with oneself. To be modern in the Baudelairean sense is not to accept oneself as one is in the flux of passing moments. What it demands instead is a certain asceticism and active aesthetic self-shaping. As Foucault points out, it is this taking of oneself as an object of complex and difficult elaboration that Baudelaire, in the spirit of his day, called "dandyism."
"It is up to us all to choose how we would like our future to be. In making that choice, it helps to know, understand and accept ourselves, our purpose, our passions, our talents, and how we want these to manifest. A book that I highly recommend for anyone who wants to step into their Self/ Highest Potential is "Kriya Yoga: Insights Along The Path”, by Marshall Govindan and Jan Ahlund. The book is a powerful companion for aspirants, practitioners or teachers alike, who are on a path towards expanded awareness, self realisation and personal mastery. In most parts, its power is in the vast topics it covers in simple clear sincere and non-jargon and objective style. I particularly found nectar in Chapters 11 on Kaivalyadham and 12 on Sadhana of Life which encapsulated for me the questions of - Why Yoga? Why Kriya Yoga? Why be / know WHO I AM? Once you have read it, you will know how valuable it is as an aid towards remembering Who I AM, and letting go of what I am not!"
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So conceived, the female subject is allowed to have a unique relation not only to feminist politics but also to the body, pleasure and sexuality. As a result, many feminists have ceased searching for universally valid feminine aesthetics and emphasize instead the multiple possibilities embedded in one's being a woman - or, perhaps better, in the aesthetic creating of each female self and sexuality. Instead of speaking of specific feminine sexuality and aesthetics, a discourse through which thinkers such as Luce Irigaray and Hélène Cixous have tried to effect changes in power relations, many contemporary feminist intellectuals offer a plurality of pleasures that often transgress the supposition in the "heterosexual matrix" that female desire is grounded on the biological woman's desire for the opposite sex (man), and vice versa. In the words of Judith Halberstam:
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Like her illustrious forebearer, the Siddha Thiruvallavar, whose influence on Tamil culture and values, through his magnus opus Thiru Kural, is universally acknowledged, Avvai was also a Siddha Yogi. While Thiruvallavar was a disciple of Agastyar, and brother disciple of Babaji Nagaraj, the originator of Kriya Yoga, Avvai claims that her Guru was the sound of Aum, the Pranava itself, personified in the form of Ganesha, who taught her Kundalini Yoga. Her poetry invokes the presence of the Guru, and then ignites within the reader the flame of spiritual consciousness. It also points to the esoteric practice of Kundalini Yoga as the path which leads to enlightenment and God realization. Her's is a wonderful example of arrupadai, the Siddha's ideal of showing the path to others. If the purpose of human knowledge is to alleviate human suffering, then that knowledge or wisdom which eliminates suffering completely is the most valuable. Like all of the Siddhas, she shared her wisdom with this purpose. Their teachings are universal, non-sectarian, and very much needed in today's suffering world.
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Avvai is considered to be one of the most influential sages among the Tamil speaking people of south India. Her poems and literary works, dating from the first millenium of the modern era are recited by millions of Tamil speaking school children in south Asia to this day. A huge statue of her stands along Marina Beach Drive, in Chennai, along the shore of the Indian ocean. The values and wisdom which her poems convey however, has a source. It is this source which the present volume, "The Siddha Yoga Tradition of Avvai and Her Literary Work: Vinayakar Akaval," sheds much new light upon. The author takes us on a literary, historical and spiritual tour of ancient Indian culture, and in so doing, helps us to understand her origins and greatness.