Document Type

Audio File

Publication Date



This talk will explain and recommend the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and Haridas Chaudhuri based on the Bhagavad Gita (knowledge, action, love, meditation) and their addition of the yoga of the evolution of consciousness; it will then trace the place of these yogas in the history of CIIS from its founding to the present.


Robert McDermott, PhD, is president emeritus of the California Institute of Integral Studies (1990-99), and chair of CIIS Program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He studied classics at Queens College, CUNY (B.A., 1962), and philosophy at Emory University (M.A., 1965) and Boston University (Ph.D., 1969). He taught philosophy at Manhattanville College (1964-71). At Baruch College, CUNY, he was professor of philosophy (1971-90), assistant provost (1982-84), and for 12 years chair of the department of philosophy and of the program in religion. He received two Fulbright grants (summer 1966 and 1975-76) and a National Endowment for the Humanities grant (1978-80).

He served as president and chair of the board of many institutions, including: Secretary, American Academy of Religion (1969-72); Secretary treasurer of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy (1972-76); President of the Rudolf Steiner Institute (1983-94); board member, San Francisco Zen Center (1994-96) and International Transpersonal Association (1995-97); and founding chair of the board, Sophia Project for Mothers and Children at Risk of Homelessness in west Oakland (1999–present).

His publications include: Radhakrishnan (1970), The Essential Aurobindo (1974; 1987), co-editor, The Spirit of Modern India (1974; 2009), Six Pillars: Introductions to the Major Works of Sri Aurobindo (1974; 2012),The Essential Steiner (1984), The Bhagavad Gita and the West (2009),The New Essential Steiner (2009), and many essays on philosophy, spirituality, and American thought. He is currently writing Unique Not Alone—Steiner and Others.