On Centralization (16-06-2007)
In Auroville at present, one dominating trend is of centralization.
There seems to be a relentless determination to bring every power and capacity of action to one single central location, under one single central entity, obeying a single central formulation and program of action.
Considering the extraordinary advantages and privileges Auroville has been given so as to boldly hew and discover the ways and forms of a future more harmonious and more conscious upon earth, this is very odd indeed.
It is known and proven throughout history and across the earth that centralization is the least progressive configuration in the long term for any human society.
And Auroville is so richly endowed with diversity that this drive for centralization seems all the more absurd and counterproductive in terms of research and becoming.
Of course there are numerous good ordinary reasons to recommend centralization, but all of them, good reasons, are directly proportional to the lack or absence of discipline, of dharma; they all aim at control as a prevention of egoistic anarchy, misuse of opportunities and dishonesty.
Yet, and this too is abundantly documented, centralization usually ends up being itself ridden with corruption and deceit.
In an ordinary society, centralization eventually kills: by diminishing the spontaneity of life, by stifling the spirit of initiative and reducing the sense of responsibility and commitment, it either leads to torpor or to revolt.
Besides, it creates vulnerability: as all means of control are gathered together, they are easier to seize in one sweep.
In Auroville, centralization contradicts the essential terms of its intents and purposes.
It is from the very movement of a life at once individual and collective being gradually enlightened and made aware and conscious and united, that the forms, motives, orientations and functioning of a new society are to be discovered.
It is through the persistent exercise of mutuality that a genuine and authentic hierarchy is to be identified.
This viewpoint, although it is often verbally professed, is not in actual facts appreciated.
Just as the drive and greed for the fabled ‘decision-making power’ tends to replace the aspiration for the capacity of choice and the strength to serve, so the demand for control and mental coherence and quick results does tend to overwhelm the aspiration for a meaningful existence and an increase of awareness.
The problem with viewpoints such as this is that they are not, by nature, vehement. They therefore can easily be ignored; yet their strength is enduring and quiet and they surely one day be heard!
The pattern continued: no formal feedback, but a couple of genuine thanks, unplanned and spontaneous.