Voluntary Guinea-pigs cum Researchers

The Mother at her balcony

To live in Auroville means to be a voluntary guinea-pig (!), and at the same time a researcher, in that ‘living laboratory’ that Auroville is for humanity as a whole. The experiment is conducted by the divine Evolutive Force also at work of course all over the planet, but here, in this place dedicated to conscious evolution on a collective scale, well, it is going on all the harder!…
Yet not all the Aurovilians are aware to the same degree of the need for all of us to change, not only in our individual consciousness, but also in our collective ways of doing things. The necessity of constant self-observation and of inner work in order to change, has not become yet obvious to all who participate in the experiment, as many of us start out with just goodwill (the only thing truly indispensable…) but very little knowledge or intuitive understanding of what could be done to hasten the process of establishing a ‘concrete unity’ among us, which is one of the primary goals of Auroville as per its Charter. To the role of a ‘guinea-pig’ being gradually and passively enlightened and transformed by the Evolutive Force, one should add the role of a ‘researcher’ too, so as to become more aware of how to consciously help that process to happen. The Mother, founder of Auroville and, together with Sri Aurobindo, its inspirational source, did say that it would be quiite useful to become researchers in that way, and she invited everybody to do so, but it is not something people generally know about and are interested in doing.
So one way I am trying to bring more awareness of all this is to write from time to time a short article for our internal little Newsletter, the “News & Notes” about one such topic or the other.
The most recent one I have published is focusing on the power of our thoughts, a most important fact I myself have not been paying enough attention to until about two years ago, but which I am since then growing increasingly aware of and trying my best to master in myself first of all. So, this is also what I now seek to attract the attention of others to, so that this new awareness of mine spreads to the collective level as well, hopefully faster than happened with me as an individual… Here is that latest article I published, on April 12th:

‘LET’S BEWARE OF OUR THOUGHTS TOWARDS EACH OTHER FOR THEY ARE ACTIONS… (by Bhaga)

One potentially very important part of what we could do collectively, would be to create together a more nurturing and encouraging overall atmosphere within Auroville. We all have our shortcomings, no doubt; there are so many small or big things we can (and do!…) reproach to each other all the time, no doubt. All those imperfections are our present reality, we have to recognize that; but we all need to be very careful not to project this present reality into the future as well, by the thoughts we constantly have of each other as being this way or that way for ever, irremediably so, as it were. In a place like Auroville no one is supposed to be perfect from the start, but everyone is definitely supposed to aspire for a progressive perfection. To put it squarely, we are all here to change, with the help of the Divine Grace. This is what Conscious Evolution is all about. Granted, it is no easy task; but at least let’s not make the necessary changes even more difficult for each other by harbouring a fixed, negative image of each other. Let’s grumble and complain about each other as much as our own still too human reactions compel us to, but please, please, let’s never give up on each other.
The power of our expectations, whether conscious or unconscious, is much more than we realize; if those expectations are negative, they’ll make things considerably more difficult for the person concerned: even someone as strong inwardly as Mother felt constantly weighed down by all the negative thoughts of most of the people in the Ashram and Auroville, that she was old, that her health was failing, that her body was falling apart, that her mind was no good any more, that the transformation process was but an illusion, etc, etc, all those stray thoughts people constantly had about her, sometimes right in front of her, usually without so much as noticing what they were thinking. For her body-cells who had already so many other difficulties to face, this additional one seemed particularly heavy to bear because it was totally avoidable, if only people knew what they were doing: Mother’s body-consciousness had constantly to ward off those surrounding negative thoughts as one would a cloud of flies that keeps perpetually reforming again.
This is what we usually also do to each other without being aware of it. What a collective mess, and what a waste of energy in the sending as well as in the warding off of all those negative thoughts in our collective atmosphere. If we want to change this self-defeating situation, to start becoming more aware of our thoughts is the obvious first step; and then, why not start to deliberately and insistantly change the contents of our thoughts – of our expectations – from negative to positive? Then we will be actually helping each other to achieve the needed changes in our personality and behaviour! From working groups to individuals, everyone would benefit from breathing in this lighter, sunnier air, and who knows, perhaps we would find ourselves one fine day smiling again even to those we had stopped since years to consider as our friends?…’

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jules
    May 16, 2011 @ 19:22:18

    I keep coming back to your blog to read and learn, unfortunately i can’t comment much as alot of it is still all so new to me and i’m trying (and getting there bit by bit) to understand it properly. I do so like this post and it is definately something i need to keep reminding myself about alot, my thoughts towards other people. Unfortunately i think it’s a pattern we get into before we even realise it and remembering to change can be hard but persistence pays off🙂. I hope you had good positive feedback to your newsletter…

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  2. Bhaga
    May 17, 2011 @ 03:43:34

    I’m glad you find this interesting and useful, dear Jules!
    It’s true that most of the contents of my blog is still usually unheard of, and does take a while to get used to… Even when one sees at once that it all makes perfect sense, still the tremendously important implications, to be envisioned fully, do require quite a widening of our mind’s habitual scope. I remember at the beginning I was so enthralled, discovering all these new, unheard of possibilities, but I was also so stunned!… That was in my case forty years ago, and soon it became for me the entirely normal ‘big picture’, but I understand how you and other people new to it may feel at first, so you have all my (amused…!) compassion!😀
    Within Auroville there isn’t much communication among us about such things, so I rarely get any feedback at all about what I write from time to time in those Auroville News & Notes. It’s more like, I’m doing my shopping one day in our internal groceries etc shop, I meet someone I know personally, we chat a little, and then suddenly the person says ‘Oh, by the way, I wanted to tell you, I liked very much what you wrote last time, thank you for it!’
    So from time to time like that I get some reassurance that I am not writing to a void, and that a number of people in fact usually like what I write…

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  3. jules
    May 19, 2011 @ 01:39:27

    thank you for the compassion even though it is ‘amused compassion’ lol and i look forward to learning more🙂

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  4. Bhaga
    May 22, 2011 @ 23:39:06

    A friend who prefers to remain anonymous allows me to quote here his comment:

    “Reading your blog i was reminded of this that I’d written some sangha friends.

    20/20 vision
    Last night listening to a CD of Werner Erhart, he had the audience do an exercise which showed up something along the lines of “many peoples relationships are lived in the context of complaint. And how would relationships look if we lived them in the context of satisfaction”. “The way the relationship is now without changing anything is satisfactory.” Now this is an incomplete thought in regards to where Werner was going with it, but it triggered a train of thought that I’d had a few weeks earlier which I’d had wanted to write about, but hadn’t been able to get going. This idea of the context of satisfaction gives me that handle for getting it going now.

    I’d been thinking how most of us, including me, seem to have 20/20 vision on what’s wrong with everybody and everything, this includes me who’s become an expert lately on what’s wrong with India. So we’re all experts on what’s wrong with whomever or whatever. But do we also have that same 20/20 vision on what’s right especially with one another in the sangha? How much time do I spend in my mind complaining and listing what’s wrong with so and so as compared to the amount of time and energy I spend on noting the strong points and assets of whomever I’ve got a story going on about. When I’m in a situation and flustered do I try to remember that this person, all human beings really, have the same possibility of loving and caring as I do and everyone does and that what I’m getting is a ‘bound up’ expression of that absolute capacity for love that everyone has? I know that sounds nice but it’s an unrealistic and un-doable way of seeing. And that’s true if you never try it.

    I seem to remember, and this may be an imagined or wished for memory, that at some time in the community, somewhere briefly, probably a teaching committee meeting, the idea came up to actively see what’s right about the person we’re having a reaction to and story about. What a great thing this would be to practice. I think they have some form of this in Christian monastic orders. Actually I just ran across it in a book as a principle for mitigating faults by cultivating their opposite virtue. It’s a doable way of antidoting negative habits.

    Perhaps the heart breath that we do is a kind of big shotgun application of this, and is turning the great ship of our unconscious. And practically I believe that in our daily interactions some further more specific form of this is still needed and useful.

    I’ve tried remembering an individual’s strong suit, positive qualities and specific helpful actions they’ve done. Concrete recollections seem easier for me. There is also seeing/remembering that any individual’s basic nature is as good and loving as … (fill in the blank with your ishata devata, sacred worshiped ideal or image).”

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