Letter to the GB chairman, a spontaneous collaboration

Nov 16, 2022 | Governing Board, Processes by-passed, Statements by the RA and the Working groups

Another letter sent to the chairman of the Governing Board following the meeting of Nov. 7th [read the event]

Auroville, 11 November 2022

To: The Chairman of the Auroville Foundation, Shri R. N. Ravi

Respected Sir,

After the speech you gave us on the 7th of November, I would like to share with you my deep concerns about the present state of things in Auroville.

First of all, I appreciate very much your dedication to promote the ideals of Auroville as we all came here for the Mother’s Dream. But if we wish at all to build Auroville in all the various aspects of its life, not only the city but also its society, the very first need is to find some sense of mutual trust and mutual respect. This is the only way to bring back some sort of peace and harmony, peace and harmony without which nothing can really be done in the spirit of Auroville.

When the Mother declared that “the true Spirit of Auroville is Collaboration and must be more and more so, true collaboration paves the way to divinity”, she obviously didn’t mean a collaboration which would be imposed by a section of the community upon another, but a spontaneous, genuine and joyful collaboration where each one of us could naturally find its place in the manifestation of Auroville. And that is why if we truly, sincerely, wish to work for our ideals there could be no other way than to, first of all, come to some common ground and a COMMON VISION.

Today, what is really dividing us is not at all the reluctance of some to live according to the Mother’s vision and go their own egoistic way (although we do not deny that we have some problems to solve) — no, it is just the way we INTERPRET this vision.

As an example, when it is said that we need to follow the 2010 Master Plan because it has been gazetted we wonder why this Master Plan is showing 12 radials when in the last drawing approved by the Mother there were only 7 complete radials plus 2 incomplete. Why this change? And why is there is no room for discussion when we pretend to be willing to implement the Mother’s Dream? And there could be many more example similar to this one.

Also why was all the work done by the Dreamweavers was suddenly put aside when it was supported by such a large portion of the community? There was so much hope at that time that this would be the way out and suddenly, without explanation, the whole experience got trashed. We cannot build mutual respect and mutual trust in that way. That will never work.

Today, I believe it is urgent that a real debate happens in this community. We cannot afford to go on that way forever, and we DO NEED to come back to our ideals. But this cannot happen in the present climate of fear, threats, and insecurity. Something drastic needs to change.

And the very first thing, the only prerequisite would be that there is a general will to become more FLEXIBLE in order not only to listen to each others but have the courage to challenge or be challenged so that some clarity could emerge at last. Then only will we be able to find a common ground, define what the Mother’s vision really was and how we could all together work to manifest it in a peaceful, creative, beautiful and happy way.

In that perspective, an open debate could be organized in a safe space, a debate were we could all share in a peaceful way our concerns, perspectives, expertise and aspirations for the future of Mother’s Dream without forgetting that beyond all our preferences, opinions and perspectives what really matters is not what we think or wish but what the Mother’s WILL IS, not ours, and TODAY, not 50 or 60 years ago.

As Sri Aurobindo wrote in The Synthesis of Yoga:

“The Gita itself thus declares that the Yogin in his progress must pass beyond the written Truth, beyond all that he has heard and all that he has yet to hear. For he is not the sadhaka of a book or of many books; he is a sadhaka of the Infinite.”

Sri Aurobindo

Thanks for your attention.

Olivier Barot