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Aurovillage 26

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

So it seems it's time again for another round of “stating the obvious”: put on display the total insanity of what is going on in Aurovillage. In this episode I do a quick round of three noteworthy updates, since I've been silent for a few weeks. Obviously my main inspiration is what is happening right now, but that will be for a next post as I needed to catch up first. I can already give a hint: what's hot now are the new activities organised by the RA, the Aurovillagers' sandbox in which they create a smokescreen of seemingly acceptable governance that has to cover up the total dysfunctionality of the feudal way they run Auroville. Somehow they seem not to notice that the more they do, the more they expose their incapacity and real motives. It's a frenzy of incoherent activity while desperately pretending that the past three months did not happen, and the mask is dropping off more and more every day. We're witnessing the end of a cult, and I can tell you: it's something to behold. [Disclaimer: you may get the feeling that I am expressing my schadenfreude in this blog. This is not my aim at all. I want to expose what is happening here, from on the ground but also from a perspective that distances itself from the deeply negative over-dramatisation. The atmosphere of a decomposing cult is so toxic that the only remedy is to openly laugh in the face of so much insanity and hostility. It honestly is too absurd and silly to see the people around here try to pretend I am air, look intently to the other side of the road, have a sudden interest in the ground or the sky when they pass me... It is so blatantly the opposite of anything that Auroville is meant to be, and it is so deeply idiotic, that the only thing one can do is laugh with it all. They take themselves way too serious for anyone else to be able to do the same. Someone needs to call out that the emperor has no clothes. Everybody laughed after that, and it was a moment of liberation, out of a web of lies.]

It has been quiet for quite some time, mainly because people wetting their pants is generally a not so noisy affair. The visa-scare is getting a hold of the Aurovillagers, and they now come in three different varieties. First the ones who double down on their astronomical arrogance and keep saying stuff that clearly shows they do not belong in any spiritual endeavour: we're looking to expand our consciousness, not our ego. Then the ones who have extremely reluctantly awakened to the reality that they might not get any visum anymore if they keep talking and acting as the Special Chosen Ones, the Great Exceptions, as superior colonials with zero respect for India and its government. Their fear is greater than their anger, so they begrudgingly shut up. And then there are the least palatable ones: the unavoidable turn-coat opportunists who adapt to the dominant fashion of the moment, and now carefully make sure they say the right thing at the right time to the right person in order to be perceived as “being on the right side”. They'll make sure they keep their actions a bit ambiguous, so that in case the tide would turn tomorrow, they can lay claim to have always been on the then “right side”. (In case you wonder: yes, there is also a rather nasty variety among the non-visa ones. They are the few Indians sprinkled among the Aurovillagers who do not have to fear for their visum, and who are doing the stuff that the Westerners cannot legally do. They are totally going for broke, have no interest in Auroville as Mother's Dream at all, give not a flying beep about Auroville if it is not the place where they can live out their ego-trips and desires, and hence have no issue with doing as much damage as they possibly can before being kicked out of here.)

The first interesting development to talk about is that Auroville is now filled with the most grumpy people imaginable. There's a truckload of people who drive around here with a face as if they just got to know that their partner is cheating on them. The Aurovillagers must be using up so much grumpiness that most places around us will have suddenly turned into very happy environments, purely due to the lack of available grump-ratio. These angry faces prove my point, by expressing that something is being TAKEN FROM them. If they would really be here for Auroville, to be the willing servitors of the Divine Consciousness, they would not have anything to lose: their lives would be filled with immaterial riches that nobody can ever take away. Nobody can take away someone else's relationship with the Divine. Nobody can take away someone else's spiritual progress. Nobody can disturb the path of someone else's soul. All outer circumstances, as the Mother and Sri Aurobindo repeatedly told us, are only tools used by and for the soul, to help us grow into who we are meant to be. They are never “wrong”, they are what is needed for our progress. They are always a gift from the Divine, and people who are on a spiritual path, who are the willing servitors of the Divine, can therefore never 'lose' something when the outer circumstances force themselves upon us. So if these people are scared beepless of losing their visa, their investments, their houses, gardens, projects, the lives they built here, it means that they are fully into ordinary life with its goals of material, emotional and mental comfort. If they get so angry when they might be pushed out of their comfy places, they reveal their strong attachments to their possessions. And Auroville, as the Mother said, is the ideal place for those who want to know the joy and liberation of no longer having any personal possessions. So much for THAT good advice: more than 50 years later, a large group of dominant Westerners here is furious about the prospect of losing their material possessions. They clearly are not here to give themselves for the development of Auroville, they are not here to be the willing servitors of the Divine Consciousness. And therefore they have no right to live in Auroville. Because the first point of the Auroville Charter reads: “Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to Humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville, one needs to be the willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.” They have boasted this line endlessly over the past fifty years, as they were apparently the sole and self-appointed judges of what it means to “be the willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness”. Their present behaviour, now that the brown stuff hits the fan, shows that it was all mere pretence and hypocrisy and that they themselves have not even the least understanding of what it looks like in reality. We eagerly await to see how this plot-line is going to play out!

The second super captivating story-line in the Aurovillage soap was one that I wanted to write about already a month ago: the Auroville Festival 2022. That was also something anthropologists and psychologists would have feasted on.

What was that festival, you ask? Let me fill you in. At a seriously late moment, it was decided that we would have a festival during the “Birthday Week”. This is the week between the Mother's birthday (21 February) and Auroville's birthday (28 February). Generally it's a special week in Auroville, but this year there was way more happening than normal, about as much as during the 50th anniversary week I think. It's not a yearly tradition (yet) to have a lot of programs and activities. This year we're celebrating Sri Aurobindo's 150th birthday, and for this occasion (and to counter the Aurovillagers' gloom-and-doom attitude), there was a wish to make the Birthday Week a bit more special than normal. [A small side-note: Sri Aurobindo's 150th anniversary is a huge thing in India, the government has taken it as a very special occasion to put full focus on Sri Aurobindo and his writings. He was a front-runner in the fight for India's freedom, after all. Someone here also discovered that this is the year of a special prediction of the Mother: she said 50 years ago (at the occasion of Sri Aurobindo's centenary) that “in 50 years”, many people in the world would be “absorbed” in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy.]

It was very late notice, but a few very courageous Aurovilians took it upon themselves to start organising. They got some volunteers on board, and in a few weeks put together a very packed program of activities and cultural events. Obviously, the grumpy Aurovillagers were not pleased. How dare we have celebrations while they are struggling with the existential threat of having their delusion bubble blown to smithereens! So yes, the predictable happened: the volunteer who is involved with Auroville's Art Service (deserving of an episode all by itself, the whole thing is so exemplary of Aurovillage's mafia set-up), got a phone call from his mentor (person “guiding” a Newcomer through their Newcomer process, and based on whose feedback the Entry Board decides if the person is worthy of becoming part of Aurovillage) – who also happens to be the executive of the Art Service –, and he was very harmoniously, caringly, lovingly and non-violently coaxed into dropping out of the festival organisation – it just might reflect negatively on his Newcomer process, you see? Because this is Aurovillage and not Auroville, and spirituality is only a word and not an action here. And obviously, because the Entry Board is infiltrated by the Aurovillagers. With him, most of the volunteers AND the whole art-scene of Auroville dropped out of the festival as they all got a gentle nudge from the same executive. All artists of Auroville have to register under the Art Service if they want to “work” as an artist in Auroville. (And we have way more of them than is good for a population of only 3,300: Auroville is totally top-heavy with artists and therapists and foresters, and lacking in all kinds of urgently needed practical things like farmers and plumbers and engineers and electricians and masons and IT specialists and administrative personnel: most of those jobs are done by non-Aurovilians – whatever that status means.) So, suddenly, in order to spite the Secretary and the Auroville Foundation with whom they are at war, the whole planned schedule of activities fell apart, and the Aurovillagers took to boycotting the festival. I suppose it's their way of expressing Unity in Diversity. The theme of the festival was “Unity”, which also is apparently trade-marked by them: “If WE do not agree or participate, YOU have no unity! Duh!” Rather impressive logic from these highly spiritual and peaceful beings, no?

In the end, it was probably a blessing. The Aurovillagers decided to call for a “silence festival”, which meant they spared us their very grumpy presences. It gave the festival a very beautiful atmosphere. Of course, having a boycott and a last-minute withdrawal of so many participants was totally disheartening for the organisers. They suddenly and at an extremely late stage had to start planning from scratch. But somehow, and I take my hat off for their perseverance and courage, they got over the disappointment quickly, took the attack on the festival as an extra inspiring challenge, and delivered something really remarkable. The fact that everything got a bit of an “ad-hoc” tinge made it all even more special. It was really something to experience. Since the vast majority of the Westerners in Auroville are dominated by the Aurovillagers, Auroville was suddenly no longer full of white people, walking around proudly and claiming ownership of the place. For the first time since its inauguration, Auroville was in India again. Indians where everywhere in the festival: they performed, gave talks, organised, watched. It felt much more authentic than Auroville has ever felt. And the odd Aurovillager that passed by seemed lost, and out of place. A bit like decolonisation must have looked. There were so many interesting events. The series of webinars about Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's teachings, the meaning of the Galaxy, the raison d'être of Auroville were all so inspiring, with a great speech of our Governing Board's Chairman. Finally we got a glimpse of what Mother envisioned, of what Auroville is soon going to be. The most remarkable part of the festival, however, and greatly adding to this atmosphere, were the daily programs with all the villages in and around Auroville. Every day, the panchayat (local government) of one village was invited along with whomever of their village they wanted to bring. The meetings were held in Tamil and it was a vow of the brotherhood and close bond that Auroville is meant to have with the local population, whom the Mother called “the First Aurovilians”. I have never seen such a large-scale invitation of our neighbours, who we should consider as our brothers and sisters in the creation of Auroville. The fact that our Secretary is originally from Tamil Nadu of course helps greatly: there is no language barrier between her and the First Aurovilians. Auroville's Village Action was nowhere to be found – this trust is run by Westerners conditioned to practice old-style “charity”: white people helping poor brown sods crave the superior"values" and "achievements" of Western society. The trustees do not speak Tamil in spite of living here since decades. Unsurprisingly, the Aurovillagers have reacted with discomfort to these meet-ups with “the locals” / “the bio-region”, as they are labelled to make very clear they are not “us”. They claim their issue is only about one particular person that was invited in one event, but I have been there: I know what it feels like to be confronted with Tamil culture as a Westerner with a xenophobic indoctrination. The only thing we can hope is that these encounters will continue regularly now, as we need to create Auroville here together with our Tamil hosts, otherwise we are only a colony: a freak show in an unwanted and disliked environment.

The third talking-point that is being parroted all over the place right now, is the claim from the Aurovillagers that they are crucial to Auroville: without them, Auroville is no longer Auroville. As if it is THEIR project instead of the Mother's. And also flagrantly contradicting the fact that “Auroville belongs to Humanity as a whole”, which they have only recently started shouting in order to deny that the material and immaterial assets legally belong to the Auroville Foundation. Cognitive dissonance is daily practice for cult members, so that's not an issue here. Their hypocrisy is now shown more and more openly, as they are losing the plot at lightning speed and have nothing else left but to throw ANYTHING at us, no matter how ridiculous. They will try to convince the world that Auroville has died in December of 2021, while in fact, it has only taken a big step at cleaning up the dirty mess, leaving the old corrupted Aurovillage version behind, and starting afresh with renewed sincerity. Their Aurovillage certainly died in 2021, but it had nothing to do with Mother's project. “A Dream Hijacked” is still the best way to describe what has happened here in the past 50 years. And we can only be grateful that the hijacking has been ended. To close this episode of the Aurovillage soap series, here is an answer to someone who tried to slander Vikram Ram. Vikram became a Friend of Auroville many years ago, and accidentally discovered the dark reality of Auroville while trying to figure out who the legal owner of the place he was renting was. That simple question catapulted him into a rabbit hole that he is still exploring, and some years ago he filed a case against several Aurovillagers based on the many documents he had received. The submitted proofs were examined by a commission that concluded that there was quite a lot in the dossier that warranted a serious investigation. This investigation is still ongoing as far as I understand, and has been stalled by the attempts of several Aurovillagers with connections in Delhi. (Delhi is a popular destination again for some leading Aurovillagers, just as it was 45 years ago.) Needless to say that Vikram Ram is as much loved as toxic waste in Aurovillage. He has gotten a truckload of nastiness from the Aurovillagers, compared to which I am merely being thrown flowers, I guess. So here's my reply to the umpteenth smear-post on Auronet: The most common reaction when people are accused of crimes they cannot disprove is a personal attack on the accuser. It's OVER. Whether or not you like it is irrelevant. A new Auroville is here. And all of us can see that instead of doing what Mother asks us to do: move forward into the future, you guys are so vicious that you cannot stand the idea that Auroville will exist without you. Just like how Mother described how the Asura of Falsehood will go down, the lot of you want to do as much damage to Auroville as possible while you are being dethroned. Try all you might, your efforts are futile. Because you have no power and never had. The light is shining on the darkness that was the basis of Aurovillage, and all of your personal attacks only help to put it on display, clear for all to see. We're moving on into a new phase. One in which development is allowed, in which energy can be spent on communal REALISATIONS instead of only on communal TALK. We're building the City: the Galaxy was meant to be ready before any Aurovilians arrived to live in it. Auroville will now finally become that physical reality and it will therefore attract very different people. People who do not need large properties and comfort zones and settled old routines. People who come to live together instead of far away from their neighbours. People who have no problem with their neighbours having different lifestyles. People who want to grow and change their deepest conditionings, people who want to MOVE ON and WELCOME others to Auroville. Feel free to join if you still have some flexibility left. To HELP. Not to BLOCK and complain and be grumpy. Only to be part in the joyful adventure of building Mother's Dream.

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