On Offerings and Maintenance (20-12-2008)
Ruthless is the focus brought to bear, by such physical, ‘natural’ events as have recently occurred and are occurring with increasing frequency all over the earth, on where we stand in relation to the material reality in whose bosom we exist.
As complex individualized beings at once blessed and cursed to fulfill our destinies as co-rulers and co-creators, we generally tend to want, almost at any cost, to preserve whatever we have acquired in terms of physical independence and enjoyment. And we generally tend to willfully ignore the abuse we commit and the destruction we cause as long as we manage to remain insulated from their consequences.
One terrible factor in the equation of the present shift upon earth is that the great majority of us human beings cannot possibly continue to exist physically without, in practical terms, directly or indirectly, contributing to further damage.
In Auroville, we can do extremely little about it all, or so it would seem.
But we do have a little leeway, which most others do not have, or are as yet barred from having. For one thing, we are supposed to be somewhat united to the freedom of the conscious inner being and therefore endowed with a certain amount of detachment which, in turn, is supposed to provide us with a greater ability to choose more significant directions and courses of action.
And we do have clear aims. One of these aims is to reach a self-sustaining equilibrium with all forces at play, at the service of greater truth, greater harmony and a progressive and egoless incarnation of the delight of existence.
But we also have problems and issues, quite a range of them. One of these issues is how we maintain what we create – which of course partly results of what we create and how we create it…!
Our natural environment is not altogether favorable to lasting creations, what with the various companies of insects, rodents, worms and fungi, with rots and droughts and ubiquitous roots and tendrils, with scorching winds and lashing rains, all to be expected in a classic roll of seasons.
But Nisha the Cyclone, whose abode is the Bay of Bengal, has in its latest expansive outing further underlined the fact that, where maintenance is concerned, we have so far opted for a solution which is hardly innovative: to rely on the power of the money to make others subservient to our needs.
Since we have lost the knack of handling the broom, the shovel and the axe and have made room for a second class which must perforce take advantage of our diminished presence and awareness in the physical domain, we have effectively crippled our collective body and undermined its capacity of healthy response.
It is doubtful that we have the excuse, generally again, of being so engrossed in selfless inner work that our absorption would spontaneously elicit in others the willingness to serve and tidy up for us…!
Besides, as only those of us who can somehow lay their hands on sufficient funds to hire sufficient help can have sufficient repairs done, the sense of proprietorship is reinforced and the ideals of Auroville recede further into ‘a vain chimera’ – but perhaps we secretly neither want to change the world nor ourselves!
The thing is that, in the social manifestation of Auroville, a class divide based on mutual exploitation is a contradiction in terms with the spirit of integrality, fraternity and genuine collaboration which we have come to serve and may further disqualify us from assisting, in however modest a measure, the re-alignment that is so urgently wanted.
Why not, instead of this compliance with human habit, explore ways to all participate directly – and there are ways, certainly – in the care and maintenance of the creations we offer to the spirit of Auroville, so that we grow rather more aware of their condition and more united with the offering!