TINARIWEN: the Dromedary’s Dance

Well, it is coming back in full force into my corporeal and cellular life, this ‘TINARIWEN’ Band that takes its name from the Ténéré Desert, in the Sahara region.

I had discovered its existence during last September already, when my own unexpected songs for Africa had started pouring into my consciousness. And I had spent an entire afternoon listening to their creations with their sober but irresistible rhythms, immersed as I was in that Touareg inner world which reflects so magnificently the outer world where their nomadic life happens since so many centuries and millennia: the sand dunes of the desert, with for faithful and tireless companions their haughty dromedaries.

 

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One song particularly had moved me to tears: the one that described the gradual disappearance of their freedom and of their survival in the Ténéré, their Ténéré, since the discovery, underground, of potential big profit in the form of petrol and such. Their people, so ancient, the first one in that vast region, finds itself nowadays supposedly belonging to the diverse political countries presently existing, that are reluctantly sharing this vast desert land now ardently coveted.

It is a whole way of life existing in freedom since millennia, that is being destroyed, a whole climatic environment which is invaded, shaken and poisoned by the dreadful pollution coming in with the Big Companies: as always, in their blind avidity, they invade the country without any love or respect for it.

It was through a very beautiful animated little film that this song was illustrated.

I found it again a few days ago, I wont resist the pleasure of introducing you to it, however sad it is in spite of the traces of humor in the animated film itself:

 

This superb, unique Dromedary, itself a living symbol of the Desert, carries on its back all the other symbols of the Touareg daily life… including now those guitars and other modern technical means that, together with the sincere and fervent inspiration of the Band for their country, are the special characteristics explaining the ever-growing worldwide success of this ‘TINARIWEN’ Band for already many years.

As for the invisible driver of the Dromedary, the Desert Man in person, he appears only later, as the fierce and courageous warrior that the Touareg indeed are. With all his strength, standing up high in the sky, he tries to save his people, his culture, his life – but in vain: the fight is too disproportionate, against the monstrous forces that come forward to engulf everything.

How long will the Dromedary still be able to resist, in this hell created by mad men?…

All along the animated film, what is wonderful to see, to contemplate, is to which incredible extent this Dromedary is perfectly integrated into this space, with the eternal, untiring slowness of its pace in the sand, the quiet eternity with which it gazes at everything, and the boat-like movement of its imperturbable progress forward, which  gives to its passenger the feeling that a dromedary is truly ‘the ship of the desert’, swinging, and you along with it, to the right, and to the left, and then to the right again, but with such a peaceful regularity that it brings you soon to the very same inner peace within you… unless of course it’s a race among the humans, and then the dromedaries give the full measure of the speed and power that are also theirs. But what I am speaking of now is their pace in normal circumstances…

And this is what I call the Dromedary’s Dance:

Filled with this unbelievable peace which seems to savor each moment and each step swinging to the right, then to the left, it is a kind of sovereignty that emanates from this tall and haughty creature of the Desert. It is this rhythm that this specific song itself reproduces, and although I savor also all the others, it is what gives to only this one that particular magic it has upon my body, I realized it when I listened again to it this time:

My body finds in it an all natural and spontaneous expression of this Delight of Being, yes, the Ananda of Satchidananda, as lived in the ample, comfortable movement of this so special animal life, which has become as close to the human being as the horse too has (that I do appreciate too, as per exhilarating gallops in the immense plains of my far memories), but while conferring to the human being a little of its rhythm of inner eternity, from which the body itself gets such a wonderful benefit… and the far memory of it awakened in my own body, and made it dance its eternal Delight of Being, to the round and slow rhythm of this song’s Dromedary.

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TINARIWEN: La Danse du Dromadaire

Voilà qu’en ce moment revient en force dans ma vie corporelle et cellulaire le groupe “Tinariwen”, qui tire son nom du Désert du Ténéré, dans la région du Sahara.

J’avais découvert leur existence dès Septembre dernier, lorsque mes propres chansons inattendues pour l’Afrique avaient commencé à se déverser dans ma conscience. Et j’avais passé une après-midi entière à écouter leurs créations aux rythmes sobres mais irrésistibles, immergée dans tout ce monde intérieur Touareg qui reflète si magnifiquement le monde extérieur où se passe leur vie de nomades depuis tant de siècles et millénaires: les dunes de sable du désert, avec pour fidèles et infatigables compagnons leurs altiers dromadaires.

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Une chanson en particulier m’avait touchée aux larmes: celle qui décrivait la disparition progressive de leur liberté et de leur survie dans ce Ténéré, leur Ténéré, depuis qu’on y avait découvert en sous-sol de potentielles richesses genre pétrole etc. Leur peuple, si ancien, le premier dans cette vaste région, se retrouve de nos jours appartenir en théorie aux divers pays politiques présentement existants, qui se partagent tant bien que mal cette terre désertique mais maintenant convoitée. C’est tout un mode millénaire de vie en liberté qui est détruit, tout un milieu climatique qui est envahi, ébranlé et empoisonné par l’effroyable pollution apportée par les grandes compagnies: comme toujours, dans leur avidité aveugle, elles envahissent le pays sans l’aimer ni le respecter.

C’était à travers un très beau dessin animé que cette chanson était illustrée.

Je l’ai retrouvée ces jours derniers, je ne résiste pas au plaisir de vous la faire connaître, toute triste qu’elle soit malgré l’humour parfois du dessin animé:

 

Ce superbe Dromadaire unique, lui-même symbole vivant du Désert, porte sur son dos tous les autres symboles quotidiens de la culture des Touareg,… y compris maintenant ces guitares et autres moyens techniques musicaux modernes qui, en même temps que leur inspiration sincère et fervente pour leur pays, font  l’originalité de ce groupe “Tinariwen” et expliquent le succès mondial toujours croissant qu’il connaît depuis des années déjà.

Quant au conducteur invisible du Dromadaire, l’Homme du Désert en personne, il n’apparaît que plus tard, en guerrier fier et courageux comme le sont en vérité les Touareg. De toutes ses forces, dressé dans le ciel, il essaye de sauver son peuple, sa culture, sa vie – mais en vain: la lutte est trop disproportionnée, contre les forces monstrueuses qui s’avancent pour tout engloutir.

Combien de temps le Dromadaire pourra-t-il encore tenir dans cet enfer créé par des hommes déments?…

Tout au long du dessin animé, ce qui est merveilleux à voir, à contempler, c’est à quel point ce Dromadaire s’intègre parfaitement dans cet espace, avec l’éternelle lenteur inlassable de son pas dans le sable, le regard d’éternité tranquille qu’il pose sur tout, et le mouvement chaloupé de son imperturbable avancée, qui communique à son passager ce sentiment que le dromadaire est “le vaisseau du désert”, vous portant de droite, puis de gauche, puis encore de droite, mais avec une telle régularité paisible qu’elle vous amène insensiblement à la même paix intérieure… sauf bien sûr losqu’il s’agit d’une course entre les humains, et alors les dromadaires donnent toute la mesure de la vitesse et de la puissance qui sont aussi les leurs. Mais ici je parle de leur allure en temps normal…

Et c’est cela que j’appelle la Danse du Dromadaire:

Pleine de cette incroyable paix qui semble savourer chaque moment et chaque pas de droite puis de gauche, c’est une sorte de souveraineté qui se dégage de cette haute et altière créature du désert. C’est ce rythme-là que reproduit cette chanson précise elle-même, et bien que je me régale aussi de toutes les autres, c’est ce qui confère à celle-là seulement cette magie particulière qu’elle a sur mon corps, je m’en suis rendu compte en la réécoutant:

Il y trouve une expression toute naturelle et spontanée de ce Délice d”ëtre, oui, l’Ananda de Satchitananda, tel que vécu dans l’ample mouvement confortable de cette vie animale si spéciale, devenue aussi proche de l’être humain que l’est également devenu le cheval (que j’apprécie lui aussi, certes, de par les galopades immenses dans d’autres mémoires lointaines) mais en conférant à l’être humain un peu de son rythme d’éternité intérieure, dont notre corps lui-même bénéficie merveilleusement… et le souvenir lointain de cela s’est réveillé dans mon propre corps, et l’a fait danser son éternel Délice d’être, au rythme rond et lent du Dromadaire de cette chanson.

Our LOE-CHU 2O17-18 Report to SAIIER

Our LOE-CHU functions within Auroville under the umbrella of a special Trust regrouping Auroville’s educational and cultural activities: the Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Educational Research (SAIIER).

Here is the report we have recently submitted for this school-year:

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SAIIER Annual Report – Sub-unit ‘Laboratory of Evolution – Centre for Human Unity’ (LOE- CHU), for 2017-18

2/ Executives:

– for the Research: Bhaga

– for the Specialized Library: Kalyani

3/ Report writer for both teams: Bhaga (from the write-ups kindly sent by all members).

4/ Introduction: (A few sentences.  Why does the sub-unit exist, what are its aims?)

The LOE-CHU, founded like SAIIER itself in 1984 on the suggestion of Sri Kireet Joshi, is dedicated to the study of and research about all that can help humanity towards the new step of Evolution as described by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother – that is, including Human Unity, the very goal of Auroville.

– One main aspect of our work is our Specialized Library: a center of Documentation (in all media) for Research in all fields related to Evolution and Human Unity. The Head-Librarian and coordinator of that team is Kalyani, with the help of Olivier, the second pillar of our Library.

– The other main aspect of the LOE-CHU’’s work is of course Research, not only academic, but also through documented direct experience, which in turn enables us to give particularly rich and interesting workshops and seminars to people interested in learning about what Conscious Evolution through the Integral Yoga means in practice. Bhaga, the original Founder of the LOE-CHU as a whole, is the Head-Researcher and coordinator of that other team, the second pillar of which is Namah.

5/ Activities of this year: (In general and/or highlights.  Who, what, when…)

For our Library, the theme of this year was renovation. A new member joined the Library of LOE-CHU (a retired engineer) who dedicates his time to all over maintenance and repairs in the place. Also the official celebration, in February, of Auroville’s 50th birthday, brought about the renovation of our external walls and the landscaping of our immediate surroundings – a most welcome embellishment.

As for the Research team, it has included this year not only Namah besides Bhaga, but also a beloved previous member from many years ago, Egle, now back in Auroville, this time with her husband and three small kids, but keen on joining again our LOE-CHU Research work. Yet another Newcomer, Irena (also with a small family), has chosen the LOE-CHU as the framework in which to do her own Research work in Dance Therapy, mostly through a special Dance technique known as ‘Dance of the 5 Rhythms’. Because of these two new members and also other factors explained below, our report will show an unexpected but wide diversification of our usual activities.

In the case of Egle’s contribution, it has been so specific and interesting in both the two successive forms it took, that the two little reports she wrote about those two experiments have been kept as such, separately, at the end of this overall LOE-CHU Report.

Irena’s write-up will be only for next year, as this year she still had to travel two times in order to complete her qualification as a Teacher for the Dance of the 5 Rhythms; but Bhaga and her have met often and followed up on each other’s work in ways that have already established mutual respect and warm reciprocal appreciation.

Now for Namah’s and Bhaga’s work:

Over the year, several French groups attended Namah’s workshops about Auroville, discovering with her help different subjects of study available in our community. Programs were offered by her on the Integral Yoga, in French, for guests as well as Aurovilians. Namah’s main interest and focus here is to make understandable an Unending Education (as in Auroville’s own Charter by Mother) according to Sri Aurobindo’s integral psychology. Besides these personal activities, every week Namah participated in the regular meetings of the group Lîlâ-CIRHU, this year studying particularly ‘’La Genèse du Surhomme” (by Satprem) and coming up collectively with the conception of a whole Exhibition on the subject, realized from 15th February to 15th of March for Auroville’s 50th birthday, a big event celebrated by that group in that way.

All along this year, Namah was also part of Bhaga’s regular meetings with a small group composed of other Aurovilians (mostly from the Lîlâ-CIRHU Group), sharing among themselves observations about body and cells’ consciousness based on Sri Aurobindo and Mother’s experiences, and Bhaga’s own ongoing researches.

The continued, weekly activity of this small Cellular Consciousness Research Group has constituted for Bhaga one main new aspect of her regular Research work this year, made possible now that she has, right at her home in Luminosity, but downstairs

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the little office for Research which our official LOE-CHU space within the Bharat Nivas compound cannot anymore include, as that space is becoming too small even for our Library alone.

In this additional office place she could also receive, during the Winter months, the two regular visitors from France, two ladies both from the medical field, who come since three years to learn and practice ever more about their own cellular consciousness, and the Integral Yoga as a whole. A young French man, a doctor too, has also been coming on his own for the same purpose.

Another very interesting new area of Research in that new little office has been for Bhaga the fact that two young Newcomers, both from the local Tamil villages around Auroville, have asked her to teach them (separately) about the deeper meanings of Auroville, and, in the case of one of them, even about the Integral Yoga and the Conscious Evolution it implies, including at the cellular level of one’s being. Educational principles too were asked about, as both those two young men had small children. This was a very interesting opportunity for Bhaga to find the different approach needed for explaining such things to them, given their cultural background, instead of the approach she uses for Westerners. The new approach she found turned out to be very appreciated and fruitful.

A fourth major new field of experimental research came up for Bhaga when, from September on, new devotional songs came to her, as is the case since 1975, but those ones were on African rhythms, and in celebration of this Africa where Bhaga was born and grew up until teen-age. Together with those songs came a revival of her inner link with Africa, not only in this lifetime but in some ancient previous ones as well. Other inner links that had already revealed themselves through memories of the Psychic Being (the Being of the Soul) were reactivated too in her body-consciousness: France of course, but also ancient Siberia, for example, among many other areas of the world. A sort of widening of the body-consciousness was taking place through the awakening of the very diverse cultural identities buried in it over many lifetimes. This brought about in Bhaga a whole direct understanding from within, of how the various Cultural Pavilions of Auroville’s International Zone can be used by each person towards his or her own Human Unity through Diversity: they can do it even within their individual consciousness, if it integrates present but also ancient cultural memories coming from their body-cells and their Psychic Being.

6/ Outcomes: (What was created; who benefited and how?)

This year our Librarians went through the classification of our books and tried to be sharper in defining each one’s main subject and connection with the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

In the Research field, a compilation on the aspects of the different planes of the being was done by Namah. The research was to classify elements of our life, our psychological aspects and our behavior belonging to each plane, and to find effective practices which could help towards transformation of the whole being. In that way, as many as 40 different inner exercises were prepared and put together by Namah for concentration and relaxation, at the physical, mental and vital levels.

Like Namah’s workshops, the exercises she creates are in French, and so are a real boon especially for the many French speaking people who visit Auroville, often regularly, or live here.

Bhaga can use either French or English for her courses and workshops, and also her songs can be in either or both languages, as the Songs to Africa were. Those songs led to a whole little event during Auroville’s Golden Jubilee Week, in which these songs were sung and danced at the African Pavilion by herself and a few others from that Pavilion, as its special contribution to the general celebrations, and a symbolic inner call for the awakening of Africa itself to the evolutive spirituality of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

This direct contact and collaboration between the LOE-CHU Research and the African Pavilion has been enriching for both sides, and has been beneficial inwardly for many of the guests from everywhere who were at the time staying there, and expressed their gratitude.

Bhaga’s lived insight about the possible use of several Cultural Pavilions by single individuals with multiple cultural identities will help realize in the persons themselves the needed harmony between all the Pavilions in the International Zone.

Not only more Aurovilians are now valuing and practicing Cellular Consciousness, but through the three medical persons also coming regularly to Bhaga for the same purpose, it is the entire medical and scientific world that starts being touched by word of mouth. In the same way, the kind of persons who come for Namah’s workshops spread the word about it among others of the same generally high social milieu, not yet reached often enough by the deeper levels of Yoga beyond the usual (Hatha) Yoga as practiced in the West.

7/ Reflexions: (What was most meaningful this year?  What was challenging and what was learned?)

Regarding our Specialized Library, the feedback of the guests was overwhelmingly positive this year. We have over the years constituted quite a large  collection of rare, very interesting books, which attracts the researchers and often they remark that a lot of those books are not anymore available in their countries.

Our Research work too has been especially appreciated this year, by a growing number of Aurovilians of increasingly diverse origins, as well as by the outsiders, very diverse too, that came in particularly great numbers in this Golden Jubilee Year. That in itself was also a challenge at times, but thanks to the Divine Grace our little team has managed to do nevertheless all that was needed!… In several occasions we were even able to be together for a specific activity or event organized by one of us, and this was especially pleasant for ourselves, as usually we are too busy with our separate lines of work to meet, except at times kept for that purpose, at least among the Research team.

Bhaga’s continued participation once a week in the Library work does indeed help bridge the gap that had existed some years ago between the Library and the Research teams, due to lack of communication and the misunderstandings that are the usual result. More interactions, along with mutual goodwill, have this year created a shared feeling of more cohesion among us, which is a very encouraging sign for our own internal ongoing experiment as the ‘Centre for Human Unity’.

8/ Conclusion: (Any final remarks, and/or intentions for next year).

We will continue to maintain with great care our books, as they are precious and some of them unique. Quite a number of them have been donated by our regular customers, as well as guests.

And we will continue to also maintain with great care our internal relations within the LOE-CHU, including those Aurovilians who at some point have been members of our overall team, and also the new ones who might like to help. In this year of Auroville’s Golden Jubilee, a need is felt, not only to reprint books published long ago, as still very useful and beautiful, but also to take up again and finally bring to fruition some previous projects that had met with a very positive response, and then for various reasons have not been completed. A book about the main aspects and results of the LOE-CHU Research is also long overdue. With the help of Paulina, young student just arrived (April 18th) from Germany as an Intern at the LOE-CHU RESEARCH for the next six months, it will hopefully become possible to materialize such a book, mostly from Bhaga’s ongoing Research Blog started in 2011, ‘Lab of Evolution’ (labofevolution@wordpress.com) and from other relevant documents.

With so much great work to be realized as soon as possible, it is not yet time for much interaction with other groups in Auroville: a strict focus will have first to be kept on our own LOE-CHU work, if it is to be made more visible and more useful for Auroville and humanity as a whole.

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THE TWO REPORTS BY EGLE (FOR LOE-CHU RESEARCH)

  1. Name of sub-unit:  LOE-CHU Research “Children Activity Garden” – Family Garden in a friendly home environment
  2. 2. Sub-unit executive for this specific activity: Egle
  3. 3. Report writer: Egle
  4. 4. Introduction: (A few sentences. Why does the sub-unit exist, what are its aims?)

This project has been conducted from December 2016 till August 2017. First, it was created out of a necessity, since (at this moment) there were not enough spaces for all kids in existing Auroville Kindergartens. Secondly the project holder together with a few other parents were interested in creating a space, where parents and children can spend time together in a friendly home-environment. Which means that parents could participate in the activities of children or just observe the life of the children or even bring their own work and just be there. But this was not an obligation. Parents had a choice to stay there or to leave the children. Also “Children Activity Garden” was open till 3 pm and not just till lunch (like the other Auroville) KGs, for those families who would have this need.of an extended caring time for their children.

The Educational Guidelines were based on the free-choice harmonious education, taken from Russian educator and yogi, Bokatov. We didn’t strive to create a complete so-called “free-choice” or “just play” environment. The aim was, as also stressed out by Bokatov, to allow children to make their own choices. But choices within a structure, not to choose out of “infinity”, which is overwhelming for a child and many educators have seen that also just free-play doesn’t work. At “Children Activity Garden” we created a schedule offering various subjects and activities for children, leaving them the choice to participate or not.

  1. Activities of the year: (In general and/or highlights.  Who, what, when…)

Activities offered have been: arts & crafts, music and singing, dance, yoga, theatre, swimming, circus, gardening, visiting animals, etc

  1. 6. Outcomes: (What was created; who benefited and how?)

From this experience, mostly this place was beneficial for pre-newcomers, newcomers and guests of Auroville with children. Most of them do not get place for their children in Auroville kindergartens, and some not straight away. Also we had many families from India, not just foreigners. One mother from Pune said that she is coming to Auroville since 6 years and never had a possibility to do any activities which interested her, as she always ended up having to do children activities with her kids. So it was the first year when she could have time for herself.

Newcomer families, who do not get place straight away at AV kindergartens, benefited as well, since the requirements from the Entry Group are very strict concerning the working hours of newcomers – without taking into account the fact that some families have small children and cannot possibly work full time anywhere, as they have to look after their kids also during the day.

Also benefited, those families who have not been happy with existing kindergartens in Auroville and were looking for an alternative.

  1. Reflections: (What was most meaningful this year?  What was challenging and what was learned?)

It was a beautiful year of meeting very interesting and friendly families, where we all became like one big family and got new friends. It was this beautiful home atmosphere and freedom, with the possibility of choices for the parents as well, which made this project so remarkable.

But it has been challenging to organise everything by ourselves, while not being a part of SAIIER (the project was not accepted). For example, it was not possible to get “Play of Painting” classes or transport for outings (we had to pay taxi each time), swimming pool and circus was quite expensive.

So in general, it became clear that it is not so efficient nor pleasant to do something “outside” of the system.

One of the reasons for stopping of the project was, that it was quite tiresome to have these many kids and parents daily at home. A second reason had a financial character: we had quite some expenses, like food, materials, helper for cleaning, and we have been paying maintenance for 2 educators. Those costs we shared among families involved. But sometimes there were periods, when not so many kids were there and we had to pay from our personal money. It was not always the case, but when the main families were guests and newcomers, we didn’t have this feeling of stability that would have been better.

  1. Conclusion: (Any final remarks, and/or intentions for next year.)

Even if we had to close our place for those few reasons, during this year it became very clear that there is really a need for families of Guests, pre-Newcomers and Newcomers of such a place for their children in Auroville. There was so much joy, sharing and thankfulness coming from them all.

So, if someone in Auroville would organise this again, permanently, it would be for sure appreciated. Just, it should a part of some bigger organisation and get some funds and support – hopefully from SAIIER itself.

  1. Links and attachments: Photos (please attach as separate files), links to videos and websites, any other supplementary material that you would like to share).

Website of “Children Activity Garden”, created as a gift to us by one the participating family:

http://activitygartenauroville.esy.es/

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  1. Name of sub-unit: LOE-CHU Research, Brain training and assessment project 
  2. 2. Sub-unit executive: Bhaga
  3. 3. Report writer: Egle
  4. 4. Introduction: (A few sentences. Why does the sub-unit exist, what are its aims?)

Since the very beginning of the LOE-CHU in 1984, it was a dream of Bhaga to work and do some research with Biofeedback devices in general, and particularly the method called Neuro-feedback. This is a modern technological development, which allows a person to receive an immediate feedback of one’s brain activities. Until now these technologies have been very expensive and available only in the hospitals.

We have got the equipment from one interesting and progressive Dutch company, which helps people to understand their brain activities, how these influence their life and how their reality and life can change, if they manage to change the brain patterns.

Mainly neuro-feedback is used very effectively as a therapeutic tool in cases of many psychological problems, such as ADHS, depression, trauma, dementia, etc.

Our aim at LOE-CHU was to see the patterns of the brain, but not only to concentrate on the problems and to heal them. The aim of all these training sessions is in the final stage to learn to reach meditational states of mind (Alpha-Theta brain waves balance) fast and at will.  Since the brain receives an immediate feedback, it sees what happens and learns to reach or change the brain wave patters quite fast. It can be compared with learning to ride a bicycle.

  1. Activities of the year: (In general and/or highlights.  Who, what, when…)

The project has been created for Aurovilians with the aim of training and research. We have made 30 brain waves assessments and quite some brain training sessions with 5 Aurovilians.

Some people after getting the test results said that they could observe some changes in their lives and behaviour, even without undergoing the training. Alone the awareness and knowledge of one’s brain activities already gave to those people a tool to work upon their difficulties and to strengthen the positive ways of their brain.

Also it was interesting to observe, that when people concentrated on special chakras or meditated, the test results changed immediately. So, the participants knew, that if they concentrated or just closed their eyes, that could change the brain activity, which in turn changes the mental and psychological condition.

  1. 6. Outcomes: (What was created; who benefited and how?)

We have started a long-term project, because to change some brain patterns, which one can have after traumatic experience or even since childhood, takes a long time. It could take a 6 month weekly training. And, as the creators of the equipment suggest, only then it is possible to work on meditational states and reaching them at will. As they say, in meditational state “we can do more, while doing less”. Because in meditational state brain works most efficiently and without loosing too much energy. This goes of course in alignment with the practice of yoga.

  1. Reflections: (What was most meaningful this year? What was challenging and what was learned?)

It was very interesting to see in retrospective, once knowing the brain patterns of a person, how is one’s personality, character, attitudes, etc. It is an interesting psychological research subject. Everything is connected and the influence goes both ways. Change the mood and the brain patterns change. Change the brain patterns, and the mood will change.

It was also evident, that each brain is very individual, though some similarities have been observed among very long term Aurovilians.

Although all this is very interesting and there were lots of requests from Aurovilians to have at least the test, even if not continuing with the training, the experiment was challenging. The biggest challenge was related to the equipment itself: the equipment always stresses out the “difficulties” of the brain and not the beauty, the authenticity, etc. This is the limitation of this technology and, of course, it was mainly created as a therapeutic tool.

So, to continue with the research in meditational states of mind, we probably would be able todo it once people underwent the training.

For example, one test person had great mental capacity, fast working brain and at the same time was able to go into meditational trance state (theta-delta) within minutes. But the equipment was not able “to see” the advantages of this brain, and stressed out the unbalances here and there, etc.

  1. Conclusion: (Any final remarks, and/or intentions for next year).

It was quite a challenge practically too, since only one person knew how to work with this equipment, while there were plenty of interested people to have the test and to proceed with the training. It is a very personal work, so time wise it is simply not possible to work with all wiling people. We would need a few more machines and more people to conduct the test and the training.

  1. Links and attachments: Photos (please attach as separate files), links to videos and websites, any other supplementary material that you would like to share).

This is the website of the scientists and researchers who have created this equipment for an affordable price, and there is a lot of information about neuro-feedback and its benefits: https://brain-trainer.com/

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Feminism in our New Evolutive Step

From the Sunday Express Magazine of May 27, 2018, here in India, a comic strip that says it all about how most men are now completely confused:

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Yes, dear visitors here who happen to be men in this lifetime, but who are somehow progressists, and so are honestly trying, like the man above, in spite of your naturally male mentality, to nevertheless understand what women mean by “FEMINISM”,  I do agree with his – and your – bewilderment!…

It is true that it can all be quite confusing, if the word “FEMINISM” is taken only as it usually is: a social equality to be reached between the two genders, at last giving women access to the same advantages as men, like for example… well, all the things enumerated by the brave man trying to understand his wife in the comic strip above; all the things that this Meghan Markle, now of Royal Wedding fame, had on her own already conquered for herself in her social life, and that she indeed had to give up in order to marry Prince Harry, a member of the British Royal Family.

THAT, the loss of such social advantages, must be what his wife is tearing up about, the man reasons in earnest, and then expresses to her with real compassion…

But to the utter surprise and dismay of this poor husband of good will, his guess is totally wrong, and his well intended words only make his wife furious: with his stupid comments bringing up such unimportant, materialistic details, he is destroying… what exactly?… Well, the only thing that really matters, deep down in any woman: that wonderful feeling that Love, yes, LOVE, can accomplish anything, even the normally most socially impossible marriage!…

Just like in Fairy-Tales: the one truly magic ingredient in Fairy-Tales is actually LOVE. It is that miraculous feeling of all-conquering LOVE, blissfully shared (thanks to the TV) with the happy newly-weds in London, that his wife was really all tearing up about, a soft little cushion pressed against her heart!

Now all this apparently just mushy stuff would be all right in women magazines, but what place does it have here, in this Research Blog about Conscious Evolution ???

Some of you may wonder if my being myself a woman in this lifetime is perhaps obscuring my judgement, making me indulge in my feminity and include into this Blog mushy topics like this one, that have nothing to do with the real, utterly serious subject that Conscious Evolution is.

Please be reassured that it is not at all the case. It is on the contrary very consciously and deliberately that I am including all this here, as my entire research work of forty-five long years in Sri Aurobindo and Mother’s writings have shown me without the slightest doubt how supremely important True LOVE is, for All That Is:

LOVE is quite simply the eternal and constantly most important single divine Power for achieving, little by little but irresistibly, this huge, immense Process of Reunion that Evolution actually is, between all the numberless fragments of the Divine, within the One Divine Being Who Is – that One whose eternal divine nature is so wonderfully described in India as ‘Satchitananda’: ‘ExistenceConsciousnessBliss’.

In Satchitananda all potentialities are there, manifesting themselves first as all the Pairs, the Dualities, those apparent Opposites that are in fact Complementaries and must re-join each other in the True Reality to be achieved also here. Those Dualities are all aspects of the main Duality, the one called Yin-Yang in Chinese Wisdom, that can be said to be the Masculine and the Feminine, but never fully exclusive of each other, as is shown in th Yin-Yang Symbol.

It so happens that this Power of Love, in its inherent Sweetness, is more part of the  Feminine Aspect of the Divine, while Love’s also inherent Strength is more part of the Masculine Aspect of the Divine. Separated, neither of them is True Love. Only put together again in the right balance do they express again authentic LOVE.

There has been until now a heavy unbalance towards the expression of the Masculine, leading to most of the violence of all kinds we are witnessing in our human world, including the violence and cruelty towards the other beings upon this planet, and against the planet itself.

With the activation here at last of the Supramental Consciousness-Force, brought down by Sri Aurobindo,, those two Polarities are presently re-balancing themselves, allowing the Feminine, with the Sweetness of its Love, to heal the wounds caused for so long by the Strength that became Violence, precisely because of its lacking the Sweetness needed to temper it. Not that the Masculine must be eliminated or reduced to too little: that would only be the Pendulum swinging to the other extreme, with no better results.

Now men just as women must become balanced within their own being, both genders allowing themselves to express the qualities of both the Masculine and the Feminine aspects of their secret divine nature, which in this way will manifest fully, for the benefit not only of themselves but also of this whole world.

This is why LOVE is so important a topic nowadays, for all of us – and why FEMINISM, understood in that vaster, evolutive way, must become something that not only women, but men too, insist on determinedly for the happy Future of the Earth:

It is in all of us, whatever the external gender, that the Reunion of the Two Aspects must happen, so that the FEMINISM can stop having to be a battle of the women against the men – a self-defeating situation in itself, obviously, for it forces the women to diminish the natural feminity in themselves and use too much of their own masculine strength, in order simply to overcome the resistance of the men, when the latter remain obstinately and blindly bent on preserving the claimed superiority of their supposedly exclusive masculinity.

Well, I hope this distinctly FEMINIST write-up, explained in this clearly evolutive way, will help all men of good will – including the one in the comic strip above!… – to stop being confused, and to resolutely and gladly join their wife and other women in the Re-Balancing Feminism now needed from all of us… and that will result in more True LOVE between all of us!

With my smiling thanks to Arun Ramkumar for his so funny but so true visual rendition of both points of view, the Masculine and the Feminine, when the Masculine doesn’t yet understand what true FEMINISM is all about, nor why he too could join in…

The Wedding of Meghan the Feminist

I want to add to the appreciation I have already expressed here about the very recent Royal Wedding in London (https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/the-royal-wedding-and-me/), but this time I’ll be focusing especially upon Meghan, and the remarkable feminist statement she has been somehow led – by the Divine, I would say – to make, through the way her wedding with Prince Harry actually went.

I have myself been, since my youth, a woman priding herself of her own feminist convictions and decisions, such as refusing to ever officially marry any of the companions who have shared my life. But we were all ordinary ‘commoners’, as the British would say, so that wasn’t so difficult or bold to do – especially as most of my life has been in Auroville, where marriage as a social or religious thing is not an obligation at all – rather the contrary, as to the Mother’s guidance on this topic for the spiritual township she had founded (https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/sexuality-in-our-lives-now-in-our-evolutive-future/).

But in the position of Meghan, there was no choice but marrying Prince Harry if they wanted to live together. And to get married into the strictest Royal Family in Europe was a most difficult affair by itself. How do you possibly show any feminist choices in such an already risky context?

And not only that, but a last minute disaster happened a few days only before the ceremony, potentially putting the entire thing in a pretty bad light for all to see:

Meghan’s father, at first unwilling to come because of previous very bad experiences with the media, had finally, for the sake of his daughter, reconciled himself with having to face once again the photographers and other paparazzi; so everything seemed to be all right and she was counting on him for doing the usual duty required from the father of the bride: leading the said bride (in that case, herself) all the way to the altar to meet the groom waiting there.

But all of a sudden the news came from her father that he couldn’t come, it was physically impossible for him to come: his heart was giving him trouble, he had to be admitted at a hospital in the US for urgent surgery in the next few days and so would have to miss entirely the event in London.

Frankly, I wouldn’t have liked to be in Meghan’s shoes when these news arrived.

What an excruciatingly embarrassing situation did this new catastrophe mean for her!.. The whole ceremony had been already difficult enough to arrange, in a precarious balance between the usual British Royal Etiquette (or is it downright Formalism?…) and  the freer ways both she and Prince Harry were more used to as individuals!…

The perspective of having now to walk all the way along the aisle conspicuously alone,  without the required escort, must have been at first dreadful, even for a strong woman like Meghan. But her inner strength somehow managed to do the needed somersault, and suddenly the right idea was there, and Meghan was miraculously landing upright on her two feet with this illuminating new perspective on the situation:

Alone to walk the aisle?… So what?!… But of course!… Alone is actually how any woman SHOULD go to the altar and meet there her groom! Isn’t that obvious?!

It is the very situation she found herself suddenly in, when her father finally couldn’t come, that somehow forced her to go, like sudden challenges can sometimes make you go, still one level higher than usual in her consciousness as a woman. And from that new height she was able to see what I myself had never noticed before either:

The whole social ritual, woven right into the religious ceremony as well, is still actually showing the bride as the mere possession of her father (remember, in many cases one still has even to ask the father before if he will give you the hand of his daughter…!) ; and in the same way the father must be the one who leads the daughter to that other male, the husband-to-be, just as if she herself had no say in the matter, and was just an object being passed on from one male owner to the other, without any real existence or rights of her own.

Well, all that has been squarely done with by Meghan, bless her!… She realized she didn’t need anyone to ‘give her away’, as they say, to the one she loved and who loved her too.

 

This bold new perspective freeing her from the last shackles that she may have seen then had still been around her ankles before, Meghan was now able to visualize who could, if not escort her, at least accompany her on her long way to the altar:

The kids carrying her very long train were a must, of course, for coming up the steps to the gate of the Chapel; they would be welcomed there by one of the Members of the Clergy who would later conduct the Ceremony, so he probably could lead them all further in as well; then, why not have the Prince Charles of Wales, her future father-in-law, accompany her for some distance after that , from the next few steps on towards the altar?… But the last meters to meet her beloved waiting there, she would walk alone indeed, as the independent and adult woman she was!!!

This is how I imagine the internal dialogue of Meghan to have been, and I may of course be totally wrong; but the visible, indisputable end result of whatever inner struggle she may have gone through, was seen by all present there, when starting from down the steps outside the Chapel, she made her eagerly awaited entrance into the Chapel itself:

It was a not only beautiful, but radiant, perfectly at ease and self-confident bride who appeared at the gate, gazed briefly and smilingly at the crowd inside. To a soaring soprano solo chosen by her (a cantata by Händel for Queen Anne in 1714). under the bright beams of sunlight she began following quietly but proudly for a while the welcoming Minister; at the few steps midway, as he turned away for his next duties, then Prince Charles waiting there came to her side in a totally natural move, and they went on walking together and smiling at each other as if anytime they would start chatting together like good friends; until they came near where the groom was standing, waiting… then Prince Charles left her discretely to go and sit at his own place just to the right.

And then Meghan the Bride went on all alone to meet her Groom, Prince Harry, a few meters further. Together at last, near the Altar and the Priest, they exchanged sweet looks and smiles, and Prince Harry said a few sweet compliments to his beautiful bride, before and again after lifting her veil and literally dis-covering her radiant face under the delicate sparkling diamond tiara lent to her by the Queen herself.

And the actual Ceremony could then begin, but the whole Wedding event had already been started in a masterful way, changing what had once been a potentially shocking and humiliating situation, into an utterly strong and yet perfectly authentic statement of the deepest and purest feminism I know of:

 Meghan walks down the aisle in St George's Chapel.

 

And do you know what? She also noticed that in the vows both the groom and the bride have to pronounce to each other, only the bride has an additional thing to vow: to obey the husband!… Well, Meghan never pronounced that specific vow!!!… That too has been gleefully done with! By Harry too, of course, but has he been the one to notice first that such an archaic vow was still in there?… It could well be that Meghan again did…

Whatever be the case, my sincerest congratulations go to her, from a woman to another brave woman:

Well done, dear Meghan, well done!…

 

 

 

 

‘MAI 68’, seen by Mother in the ‘Agenda’

There are at the moment in France, since more than a month, and supposedly for a total of three months, big rotational strikes of the transports companies, for syndicalist and political reasons, complicating greatly the life of the rest of the population.

What a pity that those strikes of now, with their source and inspiration very humanly ordinary, do not therefore have at all the characteristics and atmosphere of joy and collective festival full of love as during that famous period of time called since then ‘MAI 68’, of which this year 2018 is in fact the Fiftieth Anniversary, but a Fiftieth Anniversary that isn’t much celebrated in France, where powerful influences are on the contrary trying to discredit and muddy even its memory!… Still, that MAI 68 hasbeen, for myself as for so many other French people of my generation, a blessed moment, almost miraculous at times, filled with wonder for the unbelievable Brotherhood which suddenly revealed itself as possible among all of us. (see my older articles https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/mai-68-le-printemps-de-paris-et-maintenant/ et https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/passage-manquant-dans-mai-68-paris/).
Image result for Mai 68

What a surprise and a joy, many years later, in Auroville, to find the description of it, done ‘from within’ of course, by Mother herself in her ‘Agenda’ – that Diary of sorts, the record by her disciple and confidant Satprem, of their bi-weekly conversations about the progresses of the Supramental Manifestation upon Earth!…

This day itself, on May 22nd, in 1968, Satprem (who was also French) put to Mother a few questions (in italics) concerning the events happening then in France since the beginning of May. Here is the text of what Mother answered to him:

————————————————————————-

May 22, 1968

 

Mother, and what’s now happening in France, what does it mean? (51)
It’s clearly the future which is awakening and trying to drive away the past.
Have you read the letters of S.’s children? They’re over there. For instance, all the students and the whole working class have joined forces. Naturally, on the mental level there’s a whole mixture of all kinds of ideas, but the Force behind… For example, the students want to completely change the method of education: they violently demand the elimination of all examinations. And they themselves are unaware of it, but they are driven by a force that wants the manifestation of a truer truth.
They themselves would rather have no violence – it seems it’s not the students who started the violence, but the police. And that’s very interesting, because the police stand for the defense of the past. When I read those children’s letters, and when later I was given the news, then there came in me (it was said very, very clearly, a very clear vision): the future. It’s the higher Power COMPELLING people to do what they must do. Between now and that (which is a long way ahead), there must be the power of an IMMOBILE number. And the vision was very clear: if millions – not thousands, millions – of people assemble together and occupy the place absolutely peacefully (simply assemble and occupy the place, naturally with representatives who will say what they want), then it will have power. But there must be no violence; as soon as one indulges in violence, it’s the return to the past and the open door to all conflicts…. At the time, I didn’t know it was the police that had started the violence; I didn’t know, I wasn’t aware of the details of the events. But it was a very clear vision: an occupation by the mass, but a mass all-powerful in its immobility, imposing its will through sheer numbers, with intellectual representatives for negotiations.
I don’t know…. De Gaulle (52) is open to something more than the purely material force. Is he capable? I don’t know. At any rate, he is among the best instruments.
It’s clearly (not in the detail of it, but in the direction of the movement), clearly a will to have done with the past and to open the door to the future.
It’s like a sort of revulsion with stagnation. That’s it. A thirst for something which is ahead and appears more luminous, better. And indeed there IS something – it’s not just imagination: there IS something. That’s the beauty of it, it’s that there is something. There IS a Response. There IS a Force that wants… to express itself.
France is in a privileged situation: India first and France afterwards, for reasons of… simply of receptivity. France has always tried to be ahead – which in fact is why this body was born there.
(silence)
The newspapers speak of a strike by several million people there (that’s what those children wrote). It doesn’t look like a strike at all, it looks like a revolution.
I know that. I don’t know if I have ever told you, but there has been – there has always been – an identification of this body’s consciousness with all revolutionary movements. I have always known and guided them even before news of them came out: in Russia, in Italy, in Spain and elsewhere – always, everywhere. And essentially, it was always the same Force seeking to hasten the coming of the future – always – but having to adapt its means of action to the state of the mass.

And now, the state of the earth would seem to be precisely such that what is at the very least being prepared (if it’s not yet actually like that) is the manifestation of the mass in a kind of silent and immobile will…. And that’s an intermediate period to reach the condition in which this mass will be held under the control and directly driven by the Power from above.
That’s where we are heading.
————————
51
A sort of general strike by some eight million people, which began with a student revolt and the occupation of the Sorbonne University in Paris.
52
France’s president at the time.

MAI 68, vu par Mère dans l’Agenda

Il y a en ce moment en France, depuis plus d’un mois, et devant durer trois mois, des grèves tournantes des transports, à buts syndicaux et politiques, qui compliquent considérablement la vie du reste de la population.

Quel dommage que ces grèves présentes, de source et inspiration très humainement ordinaires, n’aient donc aucunement le même caractère, la même atmosphère de joie et de fête collective pleine d’amour que pendant cette fameuse période, appelée depuis “MAI 68”, dont cette année 2018 est en fait le Cinquantenaire, mais un Cinquantenaire qui n’est guère célébré en France, où de puissantes influences s’efforcent au contraire d’en discréditer et salir jusqu’à la mémoire!… Ce MAI 68 a pourtant été, pour moi comme pour tant de Français de ma génération, une période bénie, quasi miraculeuse par moments, remplie d’émerveillement pour l’incroyable Fraternité qui soudain se révélait possible parmi nous tous (voir mes anciens articles https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/mai-68-le-printemps-de-paris-et-maintenant/ et https://labofevolution.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/passage-manquant-dans-mai-68-paris/).

 
Image result for Mai 68

Quelle n’ont pas été ma surprise et ma joie, des années plus tard, à Auroville, d’en découvrir la description, faite “de l’intérieur” bien sûr, par Mère elle-même dans son “Agenda”, ce Journal en quelque sorte, enregistré par son disciple et confident Satprem, de leurs conversations bi-hedomadaires sur les progrès de la Manifestation Supramentale sur la Terre!…

Ce jour-même, le 22 mai, en 1968, Satprem (lui aussi Français) a posé à Mère quelques questions (en italiques) concernant les évènements se déroulant alors en France depuis début mai. Voici le texte de ce que Mère lui a répondu:

———————————————————–

Extrait de l’AGENDA de MÈRE, 22 mai 1968

“Douce Mère, et ce qui se passe en France en ce moment, qu’est-ce que cela veut dire?4

C’est clairement l’avenir qui s’éveille et qui veut chasser le passé.

Tu as lu les lettres des enfants de S? Ils sont là-bas. Par exemple, tous les étudiants et toute la classe ouvrière se sont unis. Il y a naturellement, mentalement, tout le mélange de toutes sortes d’idées, mais la Force derrière… Par exemple, les étudiants veulent changer complètement le mode d’instruction: ils réclament violemment la suppression de tous les examens. Et ils ne le savent pas eux-mêmes, mais ils sont poussés par une force qui veut la manifestation d’une vérité plus vraie.

Eux-mêmes ne voudraient pas de violence – il paraît que ce ne sont pas eux qui ont commencé la violence, mais la police. Et ça, c’est très intéressant, parce que la police représente la défense du passé. Et quand j’ai lu les lettres de ces enfants, puis que l’on m’a donné les nouvelles, alors est venu en moi (cela a été dit très-très clairement, une vision très claire): l’avenir. C’est la Puissance supérieure qui contraint les gens à faire ce qu’ils doivent faire. Entre maintenant et ça (qui est très en avant), ce doit être la puissance d’un nombre immobile. Et alors la vision était claire: si des millions – pas des milliers: des millions – de gens s’assemblent, occupent, absolument pacifiques (simplement s’assemblent et occupent, avec des représentants naturellement qui diront ce qu’ils veulent), alors ça aura le pouvoir. Mais il ne faut pas de violence; dès que l’on se laisse aller à la violence, c’est le retour au passé, c’est l’ouverture à tous les conflits… À ce moment-là, je ne savais pas que c’était la police qui avait commencé la violence; je ne savais pas, je ne connaissais pas les détails de l’histoire. Mais c’était une vision très claire: une occupation par la masse, mais une masse toute-puissante dans son immobilité, qui impose sa volonté par le nombre, avec des représentants intellectuels pour les négociations.

Je ne sais pas… De Gaulle est ouvert à quelque chose de plus que la force purement matérielle. Est-il de taille? Je ne sais pas. Mais en tout cas, il est parmi les meilleurs instruments.

C’est clairement (pas dans le détail, mais dans la direction du mouvement), c’est clairement la volonté d’en avoir fini du passé, de laisser la porte ouverte à l’avenir.

C’est comme une sorte d’écœurement de la stagnation. Voilà. Soif de quelque chose qui est en avant, qui paraît plus lumineux et meilleur. Et en effet, il Y A quelque chose – ce n’est pas seulement une imagination: il Y A quelque chose. C’est cela, la beauté, c’est qu’IL Y A quelque chose. I l Y A une Réponse. I l Y A une Force qui veut… qui veut s’exprimer.

La France est dans une situation privilégiée: l’Inde d’abord, la France après, pour des raisons… simplement de réceptivité. La France a toujours essayé d’être en avant – c’est d’ailleurs pour cela que ce corps est né là.

(silence)

Les journaux parlent d’une grève de plusieurs millions là-bas (ces enfants ont écrit). Ça n’a pas du tout le caractère d’une grève, ça a le caractère d’une révolution.

Je connais cela. Je ne sais pas si je te l’ai jamais dit, mais il y a eu – il y a toujours eu – identification de la conscience de ce corps avec tous les mouvements de révolution. Je les ai toujours connus et guidés avant même que les nouvelles ne viennent: en Russie, en Italie, en Espagne et ailleurs – toujours, partout –, et c’était essentiellement, toujours, cette même Force qui veut hâter la venue de l’avenir – toujours –, mais qui est obligée d’adapter ses moyens d’action suivant l’état dans lequel se trouve la masse.

Et maintenant, justement, il semblerait que l’état de la terre soit tel que tout au moins se prépare (si ce n’est pas encore comme cela), se prépare la manifestation de la masse dans une espèce de volonté silencieuse et immobile… Et ça, c’est une période intermédiaire pour arriver à l’état où cette masse sera tenue sous contrôle et mise en mouvement directement par la Puissance d’en haut.

C’est vers cela que l’on marche.”

 

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