I love Auroville. I fall in love again every day.
OK, not every day, but most days. Because at the innermost delicate layer of meaning, Auroville is an immensely accelerated karmic wheel with such an ooouuuummpppphhhhh of power that it shakes and tumbles you all over the place with no way out than through it. Yes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Although, however tough we think we are, time and time again, in Auroville and elsewhere, there is something that happens when a group of well-intentioned people get together to explore and solve triggering issues and topics. Emotions roll, we lose control and the sense of ourselves, we enter into reactionary mode, our vital being overrides the psychic, and we result in some forms of chaos, blame, fear, mistrust, frustration and division.
Needless to say, this doesn’t always happen, and our governance is so multi-faceted that I can’t even begin to describe it. But, reactive emotions are the trend in the face of particularly challenging situations, and also in our magical Auroville. When something meaningful emerges in our exchanges, we are functioning at our best, but at times we also leave gatherings with a feeling of collective disappointment. And we lose a bit of the sense of hope and trust in each other. We grumble. It’s tough. And hot. And we want better. We always want better. We are not satisfied with our quorum. We may forget how often we exercise it.
For me, the hardest part of being in a quasi-functional organizational and governance structure is that however centred I feel in the face of difficult situations and confrontations, I can sometimes feel let down by the collective consciousness, and get triggered by the disharmony that ensues. As a result, I find myself seeking refuge inside, or with like-minded people, or horses, even to the extent of avoiding the collective, in some ways. But then, I am always reminded of just how much we care about Auroville, and how the magic takes place in everyday life, in all spheres, in the endless ocean of opportunity and in the efforts of our community. Unequivocally, the magic that happens when we get together as a community in times of daily work, sharing, discussions, or reading the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother’s transformative guidance is not the magic that happens when we discuss our organization, mandates, selection processes, guidelines, and issues that we face as a community.
I find myself wondering; why not? We are not managing to perfectly carry over our highest aspirations as individual beings into the realm of our collective. We all feel this disappointment at one time or another, be it in general meetings, working groups, or on our communication platforms. In the context of our selection process, this is a major stumbling block and one of the things that holds people back from participating. Also, if the way we speak, give “feedback”, and behave with each other is a reflection of our current state of consciousness, then I can understand why the level of participation is low. Who, exactly, wants to face this reflection?
Changing the outer world by inner means is the challenge. The step in between? Bringing forward the inner wisdom. But, engaging in opinion aggregation without extracting meaning does not lead to collaborative decision-making. Why does a group of conscious people with an inner fire that burns for Auroville and who dedicate their life to integral yoga, struggle to translate their inner wisdoms into group wisdom? We surmount indescribable challenges as individuals: from the deepest wounds, we nobly raise ourselves into the sphere of Love and Oneness. The work of dedicated friends in places such as Auroville Council, Koodam and Restorative Circles helps us tremendously with this. Can we look inwards and find an answer to how we can achieve this? And next, why we stumble to bring it to the collective? What tools do we need here? I believe answering this question is the single-most (r)evolutionary thing we can manifest today in Auroville, and doing this would unleash the full potential that Auroville holds, as an anchor for the accelerated evolution of mankind.
We are only as strong together as we respect, learn from and with, admire, and hold each other, in all our excruciatingly wonderful differences and individualities. We have to be nothing less than pioneers, heroes and historical figures in how we relate to and learn from the other souls with whom we share this evolutionary journey. We can only rise by raising each other. Is there a way for the emergence of an integral, real-time and adaptive learning model, system or network, that could support and connect all Aurovilians and their working groups, and serve to translate each individual’s inner wisdom into a meaningful lesson and can contribute to the collective growth of Auroville? Can we retrieve the essence of the methods of our inner work for individual growth, bring it to the surface, and then apply it to the growth of the collective? Then we learn to talk with each other in harmony and beauty, without the ego, and focus together on the task at hand, in our Yoga of Transformation. How to apply the inner dialogue with oneself, to an outer dialogue of speaking with someone, and let go of the archaic semantics of speaking to each other?
In an effort to nudge this laboratory of evolution forward, if enough people are open to this question, perhaps something will bubble to the surface of our proverbial fish bowl. Perhaps even a swimming lesson could be fashioned that can help our transformation, moving away from the auto-immune disease of obsolete patterns, and towards unison similar to the body’s trillion cells that function in harmony for our body’s health and growth, to yield beautifully vibrant Psychic beings before the Divine Consciousness.”