On the Need for Ethics (27-10-2007)
Any community, to survive and to thrive, needs the strong binding element of a code of conduct that is adhered to unquestionably; this alone gives its members the sense of belonging and of an active solidarity.
Whether it be an Amish settlement, a Mafia family, a Franciscan monastery, a Maori tribe, a corporation or a nation, whatever its size a community, in order to be firm in identity and purpose, needs the common committing bond of a shared code of conduct.
However, these various codes, in and by themselves, are no guarantee that Truth and Love and Harmony will be served; a seemingly exemplary moral code may lend cohesion to a particular group and yet lead it on the most sinister and disastrous course.
To be of direct service to mankind and the evolution of consciousness, a code of conduct must be derived from an authentic spiritual experience, even while a spiritual or psychic realization, for its transforming power to be effective, must translate into a clear and communicable ethical sense.
On the one hand, the code of human rights as defined by the Western civilization may lack sufficient spiritual force to be truly universal.
On the other hand, the lack of a shared ethical sense allows for abuses and misuses of spiritual truths: here or there, are those who, for their own purposes and reasons, will seek to appear as directly moved by the Divine Will and will unabashedly cite and quote the Scriptures to justify their deeds to an amorphous audience.
There is a view that Auroville, as a community, has often been such an audience; that it has not yet developed its own ethics.
Nonetheless, given its constituent diversity and the central origin of its purpose, Auroville is in a uniquely creative position: while, in order to become what it is meant to be, it must identify and develop its own ethics, these very ethics it must evolve will, of necessity, be universal. And therefore their definition and living expressions will be a tremendous contribution to humanity as a whole.
Why do we not actively try and identify the elements of an ethical code of conduct that would be centrally significant to each of us and release at once a sense of actual solidarity and one of universality?