Articles

Reflections on Communication in Auroville   (17-04-2007)

Greetings to all.

In the previous issue of the ‘News and Notes’ there was a very decent and sensible statement issued by the present ‘Selection Committee’, to the effect that the only lasting and sure guarantee of a fruitful communication amongst us all, is a self-discipline, practiced by each of us, to abstain from any sort of defamation, unfounded accusation, malignant insinuation, trading of rumors, and to express exclusively what one is fairly certain of.

Our past and present excesses in this regard, and our continued self-indulgence, are directly responsible for the sad necessity of censorship being exercised on the written word, whether in this vehicle – the ‘News and Notes’ – or on the Intranet. This particular activity has worked untold damage and destruction in Auroville.

When, a few years ago, under the previous Chairman’s pressure, a clamp was put on the ‘Auroville News’, an attempt was made to turn this censorship into a sort of collective spiritual rebirth, in the form of a commitment to ‘Harmony, good-will, discipline and truth’.

Perhaps not everyone is aware that these words were extracted from a written message the Mother had sent many years ago to the Matrimandir Workers: ‘Harmony, Good-will, Discipline, Truth. I can work with you only if you do not say a lie and are at the service of Truth. Blessings. Mother.’

I bring this up because it seems to me that the second, ‘forgotten’ part of the message is perhaps more important than the first, in a very practical sense.
Simply, if the Mother is indeed the incarnation of the Consciousness-Force that alone can transform our nature and lead it to the Real, to Oneness and Unity, it follows that this condition laid by Her is crucial to our experience.
This is for each of us to reflect and meditate upon.
As our path here is at once individual and collective, necessarily and indissolubly, non-observance of this basic condition has terrible consequences, not the least of which is the erosion of trust.
Another is the tendency to withdraw one’s active and willing participation. This, in turn, leaves the field open for a sort of indeterminate ‘establishment’ which will eventually dictate, as various viewpoints and approaches absent themselves (out of lassitude, cynicism, even fear), what is ‘correct’ and what is not.

Thus today in Auroville, we have both censorships operating, the one laid on the written word in public fora, and the one exercised by the many individual withdrawals, and this results in an impoverishment and a total loss of meaning.
I have several times in the recent past considered, and I am sure at least a few others have too, attempting to start a kind of underground publication, so that one could air and share observations, reflections, viewpoints, approaches, notations of experiences and explorations, allowing us to regain confidence in the relevance of our experience here and access the riches which are now being held in.
But this somehow would constitute an admission that, as societies go, we have become quite ordinary and the vehicles we have collectively evolved are terminally corrupt or sclerosed.

In the ‘News and Notes’, since many years I think, appears a short chronicle, signed by Boris, which is a sweet breath of good-will and has quality.
Why not try to open another ‘chronicle’ which would be a channel and a means of expression for a variety of approaches and viewpoints that are presently unshared in any open forum?
One could certainly manage to do this without aggressiveness, and without fear either, and free those expressions from the tension of conflict and judgmental posturing that tend to prevail.

There are numerous ‘topics’ one could broach right away in that fashion. But I shall now wait for feed-back.

Thank you,
Divakar


I received no feed-back, but for one person who stopped me on the road to thank me and said she was happy I was expressing myself again.