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A Text Approved by The Mother : Auroville and Education : A compilation of texts of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by Kailas Jhavery

 

AUROVILLE AND EDUCATION

 

A compilation of texts of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

by Kailas Jhavery

 

 

Introduction on the author from Paulette:

 

Kailas Jhavery is an ashramite whom the Mother had appointed as secretary of a section on UNESCO. On March 25 2009, at the Town Hall, Kailas gave a talk focusing on a project for an International University for Human Unity to be established in Auroville with the Mother’s blessings. The project proposal was to be submitted in response to an invitation by UNESCO, the United Nations’ educational agency.

 

In her talk, Kailas quoted extensively from a paper she wrote in 1969 where, weaving together excerpts from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, she outlined the concept of education in Auroville in light of the proposed university. In 1970 her paper was published in “Mother India”, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram’s cultural review, with the Mother’s blessings.

At the beginning of her talk Kailas questioned whether or not, after forty years of existence, the concept of a World University for Human Unity is still relevant to Auroville. As she wrote in her paper, “A university by its very origin and nature is a universal institution, its boundaries conterminous with the boundaries of the universe,” suggesting that, when properly understood, education cannot be confined between the walls of any institution. For, she observed with poetic grace, “there are no boundaries to man’s insatiable thirst for Knowledge, his inexhaustible and ceaseless search after the Truth, his deep seeking for Beauty and Love, his secret aspiration to expand and become one with the universe, to touch, to feel, to experience and to enjoy the Infinite, to meet, to clasp and to possess the Eternal.”

Kailas’s talk, with her lofty language echoing Sri Aurobindo’s vision of the new world and society, stirred something very deep in the audience. A second talk is scheduled with her in order to introduce the concept of the Cultural Pavilions in Auroville’s International Zone. The CD, with the entire talk on the International University for Human Unity, is available on request through Auroville Radio, where the talk was broadcast live.

 

Introduction by the compiler, Kailas Jhavery

(This material, consisting of three parts, is compiled, from the following books of Sri Aurobindo: The Life Divine, The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity, War and Self Determination and The Foundations of Indian Culture. There are also excerpts from the Mother's writings"her messages to the stu­dents and the teachers of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, as well as other works of hers apropos of education and Auroville, including the Auroville Charter. These excerpts are either woven together with the pass­ages from Sri Aurobindo or stand in a body on their own. Some introductory or connective sentences have been added here and there by the compiler to make the whole a running text appropriate to the theme.)

 

BASICALLY, we may say, "Auroville is Education"; for, the educational future of the world is bound up with this growing City of Dawn where a new conscious­ness is to be variously "educed". But, for convenience's sake, we have three sec­tions in the material compiled here. A paper on Auroville and its raison d'être precedes that on Auroville University, and one on Education and Research in Auro­ville succeeds it.

    The first paper shows how Auroville with its ideology and the background of cultural pavilions of all nations of the world offers the right and unique conditions for a free search after the Truth and hence serves as a necessary basis for the fulfilment of the aims and objectives of the kind of university envisaged in the second paper.

    This paper on Auroville University indicates its lines of researches, the vision behind them and the programme; its ideals and aspirations; its aims and objectives; its own unique contribution and its necessity for humanity. It is an attempt to sketch in brief the crisis of our age, the basic issue, the proposed solutions, the reason of their failures to end war and revolutions and to bring about peace, order and unity by systems of international law and control of armaments, education, ideal of brother­hood, religion, etc.; the true solution of all problems and the unique role of Auroville University, which to state very briefly"adapting some words of Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's"is as follows:

    A perfected world cannot be created or composed by men who are themselves imperfect. The conditions under which men live are the results of their state of con­sciousness. ("Wars are made in the minds of men and it is therefore in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed." We go a step further and call for a change of consciousness which alone, we believe, can transform not only the mind, but all the other members of one's being, including the body itself.) To seek to change conditions without changing the consciousness is a vain chimera. For man is not a machine and cannot be changed by any machinery of laws, social, political, economic, religious, or moral. However, a change of consciousness. can only be brought about by a conscious evolutionary process and an attempt at self-finding, self-perfection and self-transformation.

    To be or to transcend and become something or to bring something high and noble into our being is the whole labour of the Force of Nature. Knowledge, thought, action, whether social, political, religious, ethical, economic or utilitarian cannot be the essence or object of life. They are activities of the powers of being or the powers of becoming, the dynamis of the Spirit and its means of discovering what it seeks to be. To be and to be fully is Nature's intention and the necessity in Man. To become complete in being, in consciousness of being, in force of being, in delight being and to live in its integrated completeness is the perfect living. To be fully is to of be universally, to be one with all...

    All this implies that the function of the university in Auroville will not stop with providing conditions and facilities for the development of all the powers of one's being through the study of arts, humanities and sciences and their researches, which are a necessary part of the disciplines of university education. Through them all and above all, the true function of this university will be to bring forth from the inner potentialities of its students a new creation, the creation of a divine race.

   The distinguishing feature of Auroville University will therefore be not only the researches into all that was and even all that exists and their synthesis"synthesis of all knowledge; synthesis of all aspects of the Truth; synthesis of all ideologies; syn­thesis of all realisations of the Past, Present and Future; synthesis of all cultures; syn­thesis of all nations, paving a way for the realisation of human unity in diversity, peace, development and progress in all parts of the world; a bridge between Matter and Spirit or Science and Spirituality; a bridge between man's external realisations and his highest aspirations, etc. The unique contribution of Auroville University will be a new creation with a new culture that will be integral and universal, thus changing the whole life of the earth-consciousness and bringing about a new world order.

    The aim of Auroville University will be always to move forward ceaselessly towards greater and greater perfection by an endless education, constant progress and a youth that never ages.

    We are confident that Auroville will provide the right and necessary conditions to make a full and free enquiry into the glorious future of the human race by a rich and vast synthesis of all our gains on the material and spiritual planes which will ful­fil the highest and most noble aspirations of humanity everywhere.

 

I

AUROVILLE: ITS RAISON D’ETRE

    At present mankind is undergoing an evolutionary crisis in which is concealed a choice of its destiny; for a stage has been reached in which the human mind has achieved in certain directions an enormous development while in others it stands arrested and bewildered and can no longer find its way. A structure of the external life has been raised up by man's ever-active mind and life-will, a structure of an unmanageable hugeness and complexity, for the service of his mental, vital, physical claims and urges, a complex political, social, administrative, economic, cultural machinery, an organised collective means for his intellectual, sensational, aesthetic and material satisfaction. Man has created a system of civilisation which has become too big for his limited mental capacity and understanding and his still more limited spiritual and moral capacity to utilise and manage, a too dangerous servant of his blundering ego and its appetites. For no greater seeing mind, no intuitive soul of knowledge has yet come to his surface of consciousness which could make this basic fullness of life a condition for the free growth of something that exceeded it. This new fullness of the means of life might be, by its power for a release from the inces­sant unsatisfied stress of his economic and physical needs, an opportunity for the full pursuit of other and greater aims surpassing the material existence, for the discovery of a higher truth and good and beauty, for the discovery of a greater and diviner spirit which would intervene and use life for a higher perfection of the being, but it is being used instead for the multiplication of new wants and an aggressive expansion of the collective ego.

    Science has put at his disposal many potencies of the universal Force and has made the life of humanity materially one; but what uses this universal Force is a little human individual or communal ego with nothing universal in its light of knowledge or its movements, no inner sense or power which would create in this physical drawing together of the human world a true life unity, a mental unity or a spiritual oneness. All that is there is a chaos of clashing mental ideas, urges of individual and-collective physical want and need, vital claims and desires, impulses of an ignorant life-push, hungers and calls for life satisfaction of individuals, classes, nations, a rich fungus of political and social and economic nostrums and notions, a hustling medley of slogans and panaceas for which men are ready to oppress and be oppressed, to kill and be killed, to impose them somehow or other by the immense and too formidable means placed at his disposal, in the belief that this is his way out to something ideal. The evolution of human mind and life must necessarily lead towards an increasing uni­versality; but on a basis of ego and segmenting and dividing mind this opening to the universal can only create a vast pullulation of unaccorded ideas and impulses, a surge of enormous powers and desires, a chaotic mass of unassimilated and intermixed mental, vital and physical material of a larger existence which, because it is not taken up by a creative harmonising light of the spirit, must welter in a universalised confusion and discord out of which it is impossible to build a greater harmonic life. Man has harmonised life in the past by organised ideation and limitation; he has created societies based on fixed ideas or fixed customs, a fixed cultural system or an organic life-system, each with its own order; the throwing of all these, into the melting-pot of a more and more intermingling life and a pouring in of ever new ideas and motives and facts and possibilities call for a new, a greater consciousness to meet and master the increasing potentialities of existence and harmonise them.

    Reason and Science can only help by standardising, by fixing everything into an artificially arranged and mechanised unity of material life. A greater whole-being, whole-knowledge, whole-power is needed to weld all into a greater unity of whole-life. A life of unity, mutuality and harmony born of a deeper and wider truth of our being is the only truth of life that can successfully replace the imperfect mental cons­tructions of the past which were a combination of association and regulated conflict, an accommodation of egos and interests grouped or dovetailed into each other to form a society, a consolidation by common general life-motives, a unification by need and the pressure of struggle with outside forces. It is such a change and such a re­shaping of life for which humanity is blindly beginning to seek, now more and more with a sense that its very existence depends upon finding the way. The evolution of mind working upon life has developed an organisation of the activity of mind and use of Matter which can no longer be supported by human capacity without an inner change. An accommodation of the egocentric human individuality separative even in associa­tion, to a system of living which demands unity, perfect mutuality, harmony, is imperative. But because the burden which is being laid on mankind is too great for the present littleness of the human personality and its petty mind and small life-instincts, because it cannot operate the needed change, because it is using this new apparatus and organisation to serve the old infraspiritual and infrarational life-self of humanity, the destiny of the race seems to be heading dangerously, as if impatiently and in spite of itself, under the drive of the vital ego seized by colossal forces which are on the same scale as the huge mechanical organisation of life and scientific knowledge which it has evolved, a scale too large for its reason and will to handle, into a prolonged con­fusion and perilous crisis and darkness of violent shifting incertitude. Even if this turns out to be a passing phase or appearance and a tolerable structural accommodation is found which will enable mankind to proceed less catastrophically on its uncertain journey, this can only be a respite. For the problem is fundamental and in putting it evolutionary Nature in man is confronting herself with a critical choice which must one day be solved in the true sense if the race is to arrive or even to survive. The evolutionary nisus is pushing towards a development of the cosmic Force in terres­trial life which needs a larger mental and vital being to support it, a wider mind, a greater wider more conscious unanimised Life-Soul, Anima, and that again needs an unveiling of the supporting Soul and spiritual Self within to maintain it.

    A rational and scientific formula of the vitalistic and materialistic human being and his life, a search for a perfected economic society and the democratic cultus of the average man are all that the modern mind presents us in this crisis as a light for its solution. Whatever the truth supporting these ideas, this is clearly not enough to meet the need of a humanity which is missioned to evolve beyond itself or, at any rate, if it is to live, must evolve far beyond anything that it at present is. A life-instinct in the race and in the average man himself has felt the inadequacy and has been driving towards a reversal of values or a discovery of new values and a transfer of life to a new foundation. This has taken the form of an attempt to find a simple and ready-made basis of unity, mutuality, harmony for the common life, to enforce it by a suppression of the competitive clash of egos and so to arrive at a life of identity for the community in place of a life of difference. But to realise these desirable ends the means adopted have been the forcible and successful materialisation of a few restricted ideas or slogans enthroned to the exclusion of all other thought, the suppression of the mind of the individual, a mechanised compression of the elements of life, a mechanised unity and drive of the life-force, a coercion of man by the State, the substitution of the communal for the individual ego. The communal ego is idealised as the soul of the nation, the race, the community; but this is a colossal and may turn out to be a fatal error. A forced and imposed unanimity of mind, life, action raised to their highest tension under the drive of something which is thought to be greater, the collective soul, the collective life, is the formula found. But this obscure collective being is not the soul or self of the community; it is a life-force that rises from the subconscient and, if denied the light of guidance by the reason, can be driven only by dark massive forces which are powerful but dangerous for the race because they are alien to the conscious evolution of which man is the trustee and bearer. It is not in this direction that evolutionary Nature has pointed mankind; this is a reversion towards something that she had left behind her.

    Another solution that is attempted reposes still on the materialistic reason and a unified organisation of the economic life of the race; but the method that is being employed is the same, a forced impression and imposed unanimity of mind and life and a mechanical organisation of the communal existence. A unanimity of this kind can only be maintained by a compression of all freedom of thought and life, and that must bring about either the efficient stability of a termite civilisation or a drying up of the springs of life and a swift or slow decadence. It is through the growth of consciousness that the collective soul and its life can become aware of itself and develop; the free play of mind and life is essential for the growth of consciousness; for mind and life are the soul’s only instrumentation until a higher instrumentation develops; they must not be inhibited in their action or rendered rigid, unplastic and unprogressive. The difficulties or disorders engendered by the growth of the individual mind and life cannot be healthily removed by the suppression of the individual; the true cure can only be achieved by his progression to a greater consciousness in which he is fulfilled and perfected.

    An alternative solution is the development of an enlightened reason and will of the normal man consenting to a new socialised life in which he will subordinate his ego for the sake of the right arrangement of the life of the community. If we inquire how this radical change is to be brought about, two agencies seem to be suggested, the agency of a greater and better mental knowledge, right ideas, right information, right training of the social and civic individual and the agency of a new social machinery which will solve everything by the magic of the social machine cutting humanity into a better pattern. But it has not been found in experience, whatever might have once been hoped, that education and intellectual training by itself can change man; it only provides the human individual and collective ego with better information and a more efficient machinery for its self-affirmation, but leaves it the same unchanged human ego. Nor can human mind and life be cut into perfection,"even into what is thought to be perfection, a constructed substitute,"by any kind of social machinery; matter can be so cut, thought can be so cut, but in our human existence matter and thought are only instruments for the soul and the life-force. Machinery cannot form the soul and life-force into standardised shapes; it can at best coerce them, make soul and mind inert and stationary and regulate the life’s outward action; but if this is to be effectively done, coercion and compression of the mind and life are indispensable and that again spells either unprogressive stability or decadence. The reasoning mind with its logical practicality has no other way of getting the better of Nature’s ambiguous and complex movements than a regulation and mechanisation of mind and life. If that is done, the soul of humanity will either have to recover its freedom and growth by a revolt and a destruction of the machine into whose grip it has been cast or escape by a withdrawal into itself and rejection of life. Man’s true way out is to discover his soul and its self-force and instrumentation and replace by it both the mechanisation of mind and the ignorance and disorder of life-nature. But there would be little room and freedom for such a movement of self-discovery and self-effectuation in a closely regulated and mechanised social existence.

    There is the possibility that in the swing back from a mechanistic idea of life and society the human mind may seek refuge in a return to the religious idea and a society governed or sanctioned by religion. But organised religion, though it can provide a means of inner uplift for the individual and preserve in it or behind it a way for his opening to spiritual experience, has not changed human life and society; it could not do so because, in governing society, it had to compromise with the lower parts of life and could not insist on the inner change of the whole being; it could insist only on a credal adherence, a formal acceptance of its ethical standards and a conformity to institution, ceremony and ritual. Religion as conceived can give a religio-ethical colour or surface tinge,"sometimes, if it maintains a strong kernel of inner experience, it can generalise to some extent an incomplete spiritual tendency, but it does not transform the race, it cannot create a new principle of the human existence. A total spiritual direction given to the whole life and the whole nature can alone lift humanity beyond itself. Another possible conception akin to the religious solution is the guidance of society by men of spiritual attainment, the brotherhood or unity of all in the faith or in the discipline, the spiritualisation of life and society by the taking up of the old machinery of life into such a unification or inventing a new machinery. This too has been attempted before without success; it was the original founding idea of more than one religion: but the human ego and vital nature were too strong for a religious idea working on the mind and by the mind to overcome its resistance. It is only the full emergence of the soul, the full descent of the native light and power of the Spirit and the consequent replacement or transformation and uplifting of our insufficient mental and vital nature by a spiritual and supramental supernature that can effect this evolutionary miracle.

    At first sight this insistence on a radical change of nature might seem to put off all the hope of humanity to a distant evolutionary future; for the transcendence of our normal human nature, a transcendence of our mental, vital and physical being, has the appearance of an endeavour too high and difficult and at present, for man as he is, impossible. Even if it were so, it would still remain the sole possibility for the transmutation of life; for to hope for a true change of human life without a change of human nature is an irrational and unspiritual proposition; it is to ask for something unnatural and unreal, an impossible miracle. But what is demanded by this change is not something altogether distant, alien to our existence and radically impossible; for what has to be developed is there in our being and not something outside it: what evolutionary Nature presses for, is an awakening to the knowledge of self, the discovery of self, the manifestation of the self and spirit within us and the release of its self-knowledge, its self-power, its native self-instrumentation. It is, besides, a step for which the whole of evolution has been a preparation and which is brought closer at each crisis of human destiny when the mental and vital evolution of the being touches a point where intellect and vital force reach some acme of tension and there is a need either for them to collapse, to sink back into a torpor of defeat or a repose of unprogressive quiescence or to rend their way through the veil against which they are straining. What is necessary is that there should be a turn in humanity felt by some or many toward the vision of this change, a feeling of its imperative need, the sense of its possibility, the will to make it possible in themselves and to find the way. That trend is not absent and it must increase with the tension of the crisis in human world-destiny; the need of an escape or a solution, the feeling that there is no other solution than the spiritual cannot but grow and become more imperative under the urgency of critical circumstance. To that call in the being there must always be some answer in the Divine Reality and in Nature.

    The conditions under which men live upon earth are the result of their state of consciousness. To seek to change conditions without changing the consciousness is a vain chimera. All who have had the perception of what could be and should be done to improve the situation, in the different domains of human life, economical, political, social, financia1, educational or sanitary are precisely the individuals who have developed their consciousness more or less to an exceptional degree and put themselves in contact with higher planes of consciousness. But their ideas remained on the whole theoretical; or, if an attempt was ever made to realise them practically, it always failed lamentably in the long or short run: for no human organisation can change radically unless human consciousness itself changes. Prophets of a new humanity have followed one another, religions, spiritual or social, have been created, their beginnings were at times full of promise: but, as humanity was not transformed at heart, the old errors arising from human nature itself have reappeared gradually and after a time it was found that one was left almost at the same spot from where one had started with so much hope and enthusiasm. In this effort, however, to improve human conditions there have always been two tendencies, which although apparently contrary to each other should rather be complementary and together work out the progress. One seeks a collective reorganisation, something that would lead towards an effective unity of mankind: the other declares that all progress is made first by the individual and insists that it is the individual who should be given conditions in which he can progress freely. Both are equally true and necessary, and our effort should be directed along both the lines. Collective progress and individual progress are interdependent. Before the individual can take a leap forward, it is necessary that something of an antecedent progress he achieved in the collective life. A way has therefore to be found whereby the twofold progress can go on simultaneously.

    It is in answer to this pressing need that the township of “AUROVILLE” is proposed as a Centre of Universal Education and Culture, so that the élite of humanity may be ready who would be able to work for the progressive unification of the race and who at the same time would be prepared to embody the new force descending upon earth to transform it.

    The unity of the human race can be achieved neither through uniformity nor through domination and subjection. A synthetic organisation of all nations, each one occupying its own place in accordance with its own genius and the role it has to play in the whole, can alone effect a comprehensive and progressive unification which may have some chance of enduring. And if the synthesis is to be a living thing, the grouping should be done around a central idea as high and wide as possible, and in which all tendencies, even the most contradictory, would find their respective places. That idea is to give man the conditions of life necessary for preparing him to manifest the new force that will create the race of tomorrow.  

    All urge of rivalry, all struggle for precedence and domination should disappear giving place to a will for harmonious organisation, for clear-sighted and effective collaboration.

    To make this possible, children from their very early age must be accustomed not merely to the idea but to its practice. The cultures of the different regions of the earth will be represented here in such a way as to be accessible to all, not merely intellectually, in ideas, theories, principles, and languages, but also vitally in habits and customs, in art under all forms"painting, sculpture, music, architecture, decoration and physically too through natural scenery, dress, games, sports, industries and food. A kind of world-exhibition has to be organised in which all the countries will be represented in a concrete and living manner; the ideal is that every nation with a very definite culture would have a pavilion representing that culture, built on a model that most displays the habits of the country: it will exhibit the nation’s most representative products, natural as well as manufactured, products also that best express its intellectual and artistic genius and its spiritual tendencies. Each nation would thus find a practical and concrete interest in cultural synthesis and collaborate in the work by taking over the charge of the pavilion that represents it. A lodging house also could be attached, large or small according to need, where students of the same nationality would be accommodated; they will thus enjoy the very culture of their own motherland, and at the same time receive at the centre the education which will introduce them as well to other cultures existing upon earth. Thus the international education will not be simply theoretical, on the school bench, but practical in all details of existence.

    A general idea of the organisation is only given here: the application in details will be gradually carried out as the Township develops.

    The first aim then will be to help individuals to become conscious of the fundamental genius of the nations to which they belong and at the same time to put them in contact with the modes of living of other nations so that they may know and respect equally the true spirit of all the countries upon earth. For all world organisation to be real and to be able to live, must be based upon mutual respect and understanding between nation and nation as well as between individual and individual. It is only in the collective order and organisation, in a collaboration based upon mutual good-will that lies the possibility of man being lifted out of the painful chaos where he is now. It is with this aim and in this spirit that all human problems will be studied in “AUROVILLE”

 

II

AUROVILLE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY

 

I become what I see in myself.
All that thought suggests to me, I can do.
All that thought reveals in me I can become.

    A university by its very origin and nature is a universal institution, its boundaries conterminous with the boundaries of the universe.

    But there are no boundaries to man’s insatiable thirst for Knowledge, his inexhaustible and ceaseless search after the Truth, his deep seeking for Beauty and Love, his secret aspiration to expand and become one with the universe, to touch, to feel, to experience and to enjoy the Infinite, to meet, to clasp and to possess the Eternal.

 

Progress

 

Towards the ‘Synthesis of Science and Spirituality

 

    Progress is the very heart of the significance of human life, for it means our evolution into a greater and richer being, and this our present age, by insisting on it, by forcing us to recognise it as our aim and our necessity, by making impossible hereafter the attempt to subsist in the dullness or gross beatitude of a stationary self-content, has done a precious service to the earth-life.

    An unbiased view will regard this age of civilisation as an evolutionary stage, an imperfect but important turn of the human advance, where great gains have been made which are of the utmost value to ultimate perfection, even if they have been made at a great price. There is not only a greater generalisation of knowledge and the more thorough use of the intellectual power and activity in multiple fields; there is not only the advance of science and its application to the conquests of our environment, an immense apparatus of means, vast utilisations, endless minute conveniences, an irresistible, machinery, a tireless exploitation of forces; there is, too, a certain development of powerful, if not high-pitched ideals and there is an attempt, however external and therefore imperfect, to bring them to bear upon the working of human society as a whole. Once restored to its true movement, the inner life of man will find that it has gained in materials, in power of plasticity, in a new kind of depth and wideness, a salutary habit of many-sided thoroughness and a sincere endeavour to shape the outer collective life into an adequate image of our highest ideals.

    We, of the coming day, stand at the head of a new age of development which must lead to a new and a large synthesis of all truths everywhere. To entrench ourselves within the bounds of any one ideology or system of thought, to adhere to any one theistic religion or social and political creed would be to limit ourselves and to attempt to create our life out of the being, knowledge and nature of others, instead of building it out of our own being and potentialities. A mass of new material is flowing to us from all sides. The luminous secrets of the Past, long lost to the consciousness of mankind, too, are breaking out again from behind the veil. We have not only to assimilate the influences of the great theistic religions of the world and recover their true meaning, their stuff of permanent truth constantly reshaped and developed in the inner thought and spiritual experience of developing humanity so that they may be of a living importance to mankind, but also we must take full account of the potent revelations of modern knowledge and seeking and equip ourselves with the advantages of science and technology.

 

Towards the Synthesis of Past, Present and Future

 

    The Past is our foundation, the Present our material, and the Future our summit. We should be the children of our glorious Past, possessors of the Present, and creators of the Future. We do not belong to the past dawns, but to the noons of the Future. In Auroville University, it will be our attempt to evaluate the totality of the Past in relation to the potentialities of the Future. All this points to a new, very rich and vast synthesis. A fresh and widely embracing harmonisation of our gains is therefore both an intellectual and a spiritual necessity of the Future. “Taking advantages of all discoveries from within and without,” Auroville aspires “to boldly spring towards future realisations,” thus building a bridge between outer eternal realisations and the highest inner aspirations.

Towards the Synthesis of All Cultures

 

    The aim of Auroville will be to promote research in order to enrich all cultures, and raise the level of spiritual and material life in all parts of the world and create a climate of understanding and appreciation of the values of all cultures and civilisations. But Auroville anticipates a new creation with a new culture that will be synthetic and universal and will therefore include in its study and research at its University all the latest and future possible achievements and experiments of Science and Technology with an equal importance and emphasis on the revelations of spiritual research. And thus combining the two"Science and Spirituality"it will hew a new path for the Future of Peace, Knowledge, Unity and Progress. East and West will meet from two opposite sides and merge into each other and found in the life of a unified humanity a common world culture and a common world order, obeying the law of the Truth.

 

Towards Change and Reconstruction

 

    It is one of those vast critical moments in the life of the race when all is pressing towards change and reconstitution. The ideals of the Future, especially the ideals of freedom, equality, commonalty, unity, are demanding to be brought from their limited field in the spiritual life or the idealism of the few and to be given some beginning of a true soul of action and bodily shape in the life of the race. But banded against any such fulfilment there are powerful obstacles, and the greatest of them come not from outside but from within. For they are the old continued impulsions and obstinate recalcitrance of mankind’s past nature, the almost total subjection of his normal mind to egoistic, vital and material interests and ambitions which make not for union but for strife and discord, the plausibilities of the practical reason which looks at the possibilities of the day and the morrow and shuts its eyes to the consequences of the day after, the habits of pretense and fiction which impel men and nations to pursue and forward their own interests under the camouflage of a specious idealism, a habit made up only partly of the diplomatic hypocrisy of politicians, but much more of a general half-voluntary self-deception and finally, the inrush of blinder unsatisfied forces and crude imperfect idealisms to take advantage of the unrest and dissatisfaction prevalent in such times and lay hold for a while on the life of mankind.

 

Peace

 

    War and violent revolution can be eliminated, if we will, though not without immense difficulty, but on the condition that we get rid of the inner causes of war and injustice of which violent revolutions are the natural reactions. The limitations of armies and armaments, is an illusory remedy. Even if there could be found an effective international means of control, it would cease to operate as soon as the clash of war actually came. The European conflict has shown that in the course of war, a country can be turned into a huge factory of arms and a nation convert its whole peaceful manhood into an army. The development of international law into an effective force which will restrain the egoism of individuals is another solution which still attracts and seems the most practicable to most when they seek to deal with the difficulties of the future. But not even the construction of a stronger international law with a more effective sanction behind it will be an indubitable or a perfect remedy. The real truth, the real cause of the failure is that internationalism is yet, except with some exceptional men, merely an idea; it is not yet a thing near to our vital feelings or otherwise a part of our psychology.

    What the modern spirit has sought for is the economic social ultimate,"an ideal material organisation of civilisation and comfort, the use of reason and science and education for the generalisation of a utilitarian rationality which will make the individual a perfected social being in a perfected economic society... It is hoped that by a radical change brought about through the agency of a greater and better mental knowledge, right ideas, right information, right training of the social and civic individual, he will subordinate his ego for the sake of the right arrangement of the life of the community. But it has not been found in experience, whatever might have once been hoped, that education and intellectual training by itself can change man; it only provides that human individual and collective ego with better information and a more efficient machinery, but leaves it the same unchanged human ego. For the way that humanity deals with an ideal is to be satisfied with it as an aspiration which is for the most part left only as an aspiration, accepted only as a partial influence. The ideal is not allowed to mould the whole life, but only more or less to colour it...

    The idealist, the thinker, the philosopher, the poet and artist, even the moralist, all those who live much in ideas, when they come to grapple at close quarters with practical life seem to find themselves something at a loss and are constantly defeated in their endeavour to govern life by their ideas. But even the man who is capable of governing his life by ideas, who recognises, that is to say, that it ought to express clearly conceived truths and principles of his being or of all beings and tries to find out or to know from others what these are, is not often capable of the highest, the free and disinterested use of his rational mind. As others are subjected to the tyranny of their interests, prejudices, instincts or passions, so he is subjected to the tyranny of ideas. Indeed, he turns his ideas into interests, obscures them with his prejudices and passions, and is unable to think freely about them, unable to distinguish their limits or the relation to them of other different and opposite ideas and the equal right of these also to existence. Ideals and idealists are necessary; ideals are the savour and sap of life, idealists the most powerful diviners and assistants of its purposes. But reduce your idea to a system and it at once begins to fail, ... the ideas themselves are partial and insufficient; not only have they a very partial triumph, but if their success were complete, it would still disappoint, because they are not the whole truth of life and therefore cannot securely govern and perfect life. Life escapes from the formulas and systems which our reason labours to impose on it; it proclaims itself too complex, too full of infinite potentialities to be tyrannised over by the arbitrary intellect of man.

    So long as war does not become psychologically impossible, it will remain or, if banished for a while, return. War itself, it is hoped, will end war; the expense, the horror, the butchery, the disturbance of tranquil life, the whole confused sanguinary madness of the thing has reached or will reach such colossal proportions that the human race will fling the monstrosity behind it in weariness and disgust. But weariness and disgust, horror and pity, even the opening of the eyes to reason by the practical facts of the waste of human life and energy and the harm and extravagance are not permanent factors; they last only while the lesson is fresh. Afterwards, there is forgetfulness; human nature recuperates itself and recovers the instincts that were temporarily dominated. A long peace, even a certain organisation of peace, may conceivably result, but so long as the heart of man remains what it is, the ‘peace will come to an end; the organisation will break down under the stress of human passions.
    We of today have not the excuse of ignorance since we have before us perfectly clear ideals and conditions. Freedom and unity, the self-determination of men and nations in the framework of a life drawn together by co-operation, comradeship, brotherhood if it may be, the acceptance of a close interrelation of the common aims and interests of the race, an increasing oneness of human life in which we cannot deny any longer to others what we claim for ourselves,"are things of which we have formed a definite conception. The acknowledgement of them is there in the human mind, but not as yet any settled will to practise.


     The question now put by evolving Nature to mankind is whether its existing international system, if system it can be called, a sort of provisional order maintained with constant evolutionary or revolutionary changes cannot be replaced by a willed and thought out fixed arrangement, a true system, eventually a real unity"serving all the common interests of the earth’s peoples.

    The hopes, the ideals, the aspirations that are abroad in mankind are themselves so many severe and pregnant questions put to us, not merely to our intelligence but to the spirit of our being and action... and the gain they will bring to humanity depends on the spirit which governs us during the time of their execution. For these ideals stand and they represent the greater aims of the spirit in men which through all denials obstacles and imperfections of his present incomplete nature knows always the perfection towards which it moves and the greatness of which it is capable. Circumstances and force and external necessity and past nature may still be too strong for us, but if the light of the ideal is kept burning in its flame of knowledge and its flame of power it will seize even on these things and create out of their evil its greater inevitable good. At present it may seem only an idea and a word unable to become a living reality, but it is the Idea and the Word expressing what was concealed in the Spirit which preside over the creation. The time will come when they will be able to seize on the Force that works and turn it into the instrument of a greater and fairer creation. The nearness or the distance of the time depends on the fidelity of the mind and will of man to the best that he sees and the insistence of his self-knowledge, unobsessed by subjection to the circumstances he suffers and the machinery he uses, to live out its truth within himself so that his environment may accept it and his outward life be shaped in its image.



Unity

Internationalism

    The idea of humanity as a single race of beings with a common life and a common general interest is among the most characteristic and significant products of modern thought.

    It is founded on a view of things which looks at man in his manhood only and casts away all those physical and social accidents of birth, rank, class, colour, creed, nationality, which have been erected into so many walls and screens behind which man has hidden himself from his fellowmen...

     The height and nobility of the idea is not to be questioned and certainly a mankind which set its life upon this basis would make a better, purer, more peaceful and enlightened race than anything we can hope to have at present. But as the human being is now made, the pure idea, though always a great power, is also afflicted by a general weakness. For man at present lives more in the outward than in the inward, is governed principally by his vital existence, sensations, feelings and customary mentality rather than by his higher thought-mind, and feels himself in this to be really alive, really to exist and be, while the world of Ideas is to him something remote and abstract and, however powerful and interesting in its way, not a living thing; the pure idea seems, until it is embodied in life, something not quite real; in that abstractness and remoteness lies its weakness... Life accepts it as a partial habit, but not completely, not quite sincerely.

    In the crises of life it is the primary vital necessity which tells, while the other and remoter element betrays itself to be a mere idea not yet ready for accomplishment; it can only become powerful when it also becomes either a vital or a psychological necessity. A living sense of human oneness in thought, feeling and life must always remain the injunction of the Spirit within us to human life upon earth. The saving power needed is a new psychological factor which will at once make a united life necessary to humanity and force it to respect the principle of freedom.

 

Possibilities of Unification and their Shortcomings: Ego"the Chief Obstacle

 

    If we consider the possibilities of a unification of the human race on political, admi­nistrative and economic lines, we see that a certain sort of unity or first step towards it appears not only to be possible but to be more or less urgently demanded by an un­derlying spirit and sense of need in the race. This spirit has been created largely by increased mutual knowledge and close communication, partly by the development of wider and freer intellectual ideals and emotional sympathies in the progressive mind of the race... The real strength of this new tendency is in its intellectual, idealistic and emotional parts. Its economic causes are partly permanent and therefore elements of strength and secure fulfilment, partly artificial and temporary and therefore elements of insecurity and weakness. The political incentives are the baser part in the amalgam; their presence may even vitiate the whole result and lead in the end to a necessary dissolution and reversal of whatever unity may be initially accomplished. A common, intellectual, and cultural activity and progress may do much, but need not by themselves be sufficient to bring into being the fully powerful psychological factor that would be required.

     Individual and group harmonies of a comparative and qualified completeness are created, a social cohesion is accomplished; but in the mass, the relations formed are constantly marred by imperfect sympathy, imperfect understanding, gross misunder­standings, strife, discord, unhappiness. It cannot be otherwise so long as there is no true union of consciousness founded upon a nature of self-knowledge, inner mutual knowledge, inner realisation of unity, concord of our inner forces of being and inner forces of life. In our social building we labour to establish some approach to unity, mutuality, harmony, because without these things there can be no perfect social living, but what we build is a constructed unity, an association of interests and egos enforced by law and custom and imposing an artificial, constructed order in which the interests of some prevail over the interests of others and only a half-accepted, half-enforced, half-natural, half-artificial accommodation keeps the social whole in being. Between community and community there is still worse accommodation with a constant recur­rence of the strife of collective ego with collective ego. This is the best that we can do and all our persistent readjustments of the social order can bring us nothing better than an imperfect structure of life.

 

Brotherhood

 

    Brotherhood is the real key to the triple gospel of the ideal of humanity"liber­ty, equality, fraternity. The union of liberty and equality can only be achieved by the power of human brotherhood and it cannot be founded on anything else. But brotherhood exists only in the soul and by the soul; it can exist by nothing else. For this brotherhood is not a matter either of physical kinship or of vital association or of intellectual agreement. Only when man has developed not merely a fellow-feeling with all men, but a dominant sense of unity and commonality, only when he is aware of them not merely as brothers"that is a fragile bond"but as parts of himself, only when he has learned to live, not in his separate personal and communal ego-sense but in a large universal consciousness, can the phenomenon of war, with whatever weapons, pass out of his life without the possibility of return. Meanwhile that he should struggle even by illusions towards that end is an excellent sign; for it shows that the truth behind the illusion is pressing towards the hour when it may be­come manifest as reality.

    Everything depends, first, upon the truth of our vision, secondly, upon the sin­cerity with which we apply it, last and especially, on the inwardness of our realisation. Vain will be the mechanical construction of unity, if unity is not in the heart of the race and if it be made only a means for safeguarding and organising our interests.

 

Change of Consciousness"the Solution

 

    No change of ideas or of the intellectual outlook upon life, no belief in God or Avatar or Prophet, no victorious science or liberating philosophy, no social scheme or system, no sort of machinery internal or external, can really bring about the great desire implanted in the race, true though that desire is in itself and the index of the goal to which we are being led. Because man is himself not a machine nor a device, but a being and a most complex one at that, therefore he cannot be saved by machinery; only by an entire change which shall affect all the members of his being, can he be liberated from his discords and imperfections. Until man in his heart is ready, a profound change of the world conditions cannot come; or it can only be brought about by force, physical force or else force of circumstances and that leaves all the real work to be done. A frame may have then been made, but the soul will have still to grow into that mecha­nical body.

 

Inner Perfection

 

    The one safety for man lies in learning to live from within outward, not depending on institutions and machinery to perfect him, but out of his growing inner perfection avail­ing to shape a more perfect form and frame of life; for by this inwardness we shall best be able both to see the truth of the high things which we now only speak with our lips and form into outward intellectual constructions, and to apply their truth sin­cerely to all our outward living. It is through the growth of consciousness that the collective soul and its life can become aware of itself and develop; the free play of mind and life is essential for the growth of consciousness; for mind and life are the soul's only instrumentation until a higher instrumentation develops; they must not be inhibited in their action or rendered rigid, unplastic and unprogressive. The difficulties or disorders engendered by the growth of the individual mind and life cannot be healthily removed by the suppression of the individual; the true cure can only be achieved by his progression to a greater consciousness in which he is fulfilled and perfected.

    Man's true freedom and perfection will come when the Spirit within bursts through the forms of mind and life and winging above to its own gnostic fiery heights of ether turns upon them from that light and flame to seize them and transform into its own image.

 

Difference between the Methods of Religion and Spirituality

   

    Human society itself never seized on the discovery of the soul as a means for the dis­covery of the law of its own being or on a knowledge of the soul's true nature and need and its fulfilment as the right way of terrestrial perfection. So far as it saw in religion a means of human salvation and perfection, it laid hands upon it at once to mechanise it, to catch the human soul and bind it on the wheels of socio-religious machinery, to impose on it in the place of spiritual freedom an imperious yoke and an iron prison. It saddled upon the religious life of man a Church, a priesthood and a mass of ceremonies and set over it a pack of watchdogs under the name of creeds and dogmas. The supreme truths are neither the rigid conclusions of logical reasoning nor the affirmations of credal statements, but fruits of the soul's inner experience.

    So far as we really succeed in living for others, it is done by an inner spiritual force of love and sympathy; but the power and field of effectuality of this force in us are small, the psychic movement that prompts it is incomplete, its action often igno­rant because there is contact of mind and heart but our being does not embrace the being of others as ourselves. An external unity with others must always be an outward joining and association of external lives with a minor inner result; the mind and the heart attach their movements to this common life and the beings whom we meet there but the common external life remains the foundation," the inward constructed unity, or so much of it as can persist in spite of mutual ignorance and discordant egoism, conflict of mind, conflict of heart, conflict of vital temperaments, conflict of interests, is a partial and insecure superstructure.

    The spiritual consciousness, the spiritual life reverses this principle of building; it bases its action in the collective life upon an inner experience and inclusion of others in our own being, an inner sense and reality of oneness. Spirituality respects the freedom of the human soul, because it is itself fulfilled by freedom; and the deepest meaning of freedom is the power to expand and grow towards perfection by the law of one's nature.

 

Freedom and Mutuality

 

    Man does not actually live as an isolated king, nor can he grow by an isolated freedom. He grows by his relations with others and his freedom must exercise itself in a progressive self-harmonising with the freedom of his fellow-beings. The law of our self-determination has to wed itself to the self-determination of others and to find the way to enact a real union through this mutuality. But its basis can only be found within and not through any mechanical adjustment. It lies in the discovery within by the being in the course of his self-expansion and self-fulfilment that these things at every turn depend on the self-expansion and self-fulfilment of those around us, because we are secretly one being with them and one life. Each being has his own truth of independent self-realisation and his truth of self-realisation in the life of others and should feel, desire, help, participate more and more, as he grows in large­ness and power, in the harmonious and natural growth of all the individual selves and all the collective selves of the one universal being.

    That which we are has expressed itself through the individual, but also through the universality, and though each has to fulfil itself in its own way, neither can succeed independently of the other. The society has no right to crush or efface the individual for its own better development or self-satisfaction; the individual, so long at least as he chooses to live in the world, has no right to disregard for the sake of his own solitary satisfaction and development his fellow-beings and to live at war with them or seek a selfishly isolated good...

    For the only things that we can really call our rights are those conditions which are necessary to our free and sound development, and that again is our right because it is necessary to the development of the world and the fulfilment of the destiny of mankind.

     The law for the individual is to perfect his individuality by free development from within, but to respect and to aid and be aided by the same free development in others. His law is to harmonise his life with the life of the social aggregate and to pour himself out as a force for growth and perfection on humanity. The law for humanity is to pursue its upward evolution towards the finding and expression of its highest aspirations and perfection taking full advantage of the free development and the gains of all individuals and nations and groupings of men, to work towards the day when man­kind may be really and not only ideally one family.

     The social evolution of the human race is necessarily a development of the relations between three constant factors: individuals, communities of various sorts and mankind. Each seeks its own fulfilment and satisfaction but each is compelled to develop them not independently but in relation to the others. The perfect society will be that which most entirely favours the perfection of the individual; the perfection of the individual will be incomplete if it does not help towards the perfect state of the social aggre­gate to which he belongs and eventually to that of the largest possible human aggregate, the whole of a united humanity.

    The object of all society should be, therefore, and must become, as man grows conscious of his real being, nature and destiny and not as now only of a part of it, first to provide the conditions of life and growth by which individual Man,"not isolated men or a class or a privileged race, but all individual men according to their capacity,"and the race through the growth of its individuals may travel towards this perfection. For civilisation can never be perfect or safe so long as, confining the cultered mentality to a small minority, it nourishes in its bosom a tremendous mass of ignorance, a multitude, a proletariat.

 

Towards World Union

 

    Humanity is one, but different peoples are variant soul-forms of the common humanity. When we find the oneness, the principle of variation is not destroyed but finds rather its justification; it is not by abolishing ourselves, our own special temperament and power, that we can get at the living oneness, but by following it out and raising it to its highest possibilities of freedom and action. The nations should therefore become conscious not only of their own but of each other's genius and soul, and learn to respect, to help and to profit, not only economically and intellectually but subjectively and spiritually by each other. For the final end is a common world-culture in which each national cul­ture should be, not merged into or fused with some other culture differing from it in principle or temperament, but evolved to its full power and could then profit to that end by all the others as well as give its gains and influences to them, all serving by their separateness and their interaction the common aim and idea of human perfection.

    The peoples of humanity must be allowed to group themselves according to their free-will and their natural affinities; no constraint or force could be allowed to compel an unwilling nation or distinct grouping of peoples to enter into another system or join itself or remain joined to it for the convenience, aggrandisement or political necessity of another people or even for the general convenience in disregard of its own wishes. Unity would be the largest principle of life, but freedom would be its foundation-stone.

    Man's communities are formed not so much by the instinctive herding together of a number of individuals of the same genus or species as by local association, community of interests, and community of ideas; and these limits tend always to be overcome in the widening of human thoughts and sympathies brought about by the closer intermingling of the races, nations, interests, ideas, cultures. Still, if overcome in their separatism, they are not abolished in their fact, because they repose on an essential principle of Nature,"diversity in unity. And so, a free world union must in its very nature be a complex unity based on diversity and diversity must be based on self-determination.

    A spiritual oneness which would create a psychological oneness not dependent upon any intellectual or outward uniformity and compel a oneness of life not bound up with its mechanical means of unification, but ready always to enrich its secure unity by a free inner variation and a freely varied outer self-expression, this would be the basis for a higher type of human existence.

    Could such a realisation develop rapidly in mankind, we might then solve the problem of unification in a deeper and truer way from the inner truth to the outer forms. Until then, the attempt to bring it about by mechanical means must proceed. But the higher hope of humanity lies in the growing number of men who will realize this truth and seek to develop it in themselves, so that when the mind of man is ready to escape from its mechanical bent,"perhaps when it finds that its mechanical solu­tions are all temporary and disappointing,"the truth of the Spirit may step in and lead humanity to the path of its highest possible happiness and perfection.

    The indwelling deity who presides over the destiny of the race has raised in men's mind and heart the idea, the hope of a new order which will replace the old unsatisfactory order, and substitute for it conditions of the world's life which will in the end have a reasonable chance of establishing permanent peace and well-being. This would for the first time turn into an assured fact the ideal of human unity which, cherished by a few, seemed for so long a noble chimera; then might be created a firm ground of peace and harmony and even a free room for the realisation of the highest human dreams, for the perfectibility of the race, a perfect society, a higher upward evolution of the human soul and human nature. It is for the men of our day and, at the most, of tomorrow to give the answer.

 

 

The Central Aim: New Creation

 

A Race of Gnostic Beings " a Race of Gods

 

    A perfected human world cannot be created by men or composed of men who are them­selves imperfect. Even if all our actions are scrupulously regulated by education or law or social or political machinery, what will be achieved is a regulated pattern of minds, a fabricated pattern of lives, a cultivated pattern of conduct; but a conformity of this kind cannot change, cannot re-create the man within, it cannot carve or cut out a perfect soul or a perfect thinking man or a perfect or growing living being. For soul and mind and life are powers of being and can grow but cannot be cut out or made; an outer process or formation can assist or can express soul and mind and life but cannot create or develop it. One can indeed help the being to grow, not by an attempt at manufacture, but by throwing on it stimulating influences or by lending to it one's forces of soul or mind or life; but even so the growth must still come from within it, determining from there what shall be made of these influences and forces, and not from outside. This is the first truth that our creative zeal and aspiration have to learn, otherwise all our human endeavour is foredoomed to turn in a futile circle and can end only in a success that is a specious failure.

 

Self-transcendence and Self-fulfilment

 

    To be or become something, to bring something into being is the whole labour of the force of Nature; to know, feel, do are subordinate energies that have a value be­cause they help the being in its partial self-realisation to express what it is and help it too in its urge to express the still more not yet realised that it has to be. But knowledge, thought, action,"whether religious, ethical, political, social, economic, utilitarian or hedonistic, whether a mental, vital or physical form or construction of existence,"cannot be the essence or object of life; they are only activities of the powers of being or the powers of its becoming, dynamic symbols of itself, creations of the embodied spirit, its means of discovering or formulating what it seeks to be. The tendency of man's physical mind is to see otherwise and to turn the true method of things upside down, because it takes as essential or fundamental the surface forces or appearances of Nature; it accepts her creation by a visible or exterior process as the essence of her action and does not see that it is only a secondary appearance and covers a greater secret process.

    To become ourselves is the one thing to be done; but the true ourselves is that which is within us, and to exceed our outer self of body, life and mind is the condition for this highest being, which is our true and divine being, to become self-revealed and active.

    To be and to be fully is Nature's aim in us; but to be fully is to be wholly conscious of one's being: unconsciousness, half consciousness or deficient consciousness is a state of being not in possession of itself; it is existence, but not fullness of being. To be aware wholly and integrally of oneself and of all the truth of one's being is the neces­sary condition of true possession of existence. This self-awareness is what is meant by spiritual knowledge: the essence of spiritual knowledge is an intrinsic self-existent consciousness; all its action of knowledge, indeed all its action of any kind, must be that consciousness formulating itself. All other knowledge is consciousness oblivious of itself and striving to return to its own awareness of itself and its contents; it is self-ignorance labouring to transform itself back into self-knowledge.

    But also, since consciousness carries in itself the force of existence, to be fully is to have the intrinsic and integral force of one's being; it is to come into possession of all one's force of self and of all its use. To be merely, without possessing the force of one's being or with a half-force or deficient force of it, is a mutilated or diminished exis­tence; it is to exist, but it is not fullness of being. ...Power of self is the sign of the divinity of self.

    Lastly, to be fully is to have the full delight of being. Being without delight of being, without an entire delight of itself and all things is something neutral or dimi­nished; it is existence, but it is not fullness of being. This delight too must be intrin­sic, self-existent, automatic; it cannot be dependent on things outside itself: what­ever it delights in, it makes part of itself, has the joy of it as part of its universality. All undelight, all pain and suffering are a sign of imperfection, of incompleteness; they arise from a division of being, an incompleteness of consciousness of being, an in­completeness of the force of being. To become complete in being, in consciousness of being, in force of being, in delight of being and to live in this integrated complete­ness is the divine living.

    But again, to be fully is to be universally. To be in the limitations of a small restric­ted ego is to exist, but it is an imperfect existence: in its very nature it is to live in an incomplete consciousness, an incomplete force and delight of existence. It is to be less than oneself and it brings an inevitable subjection to ignorance, weakness and suffering: or even if by some divine composition of the nature it could exclude these things, it would be to live in a limited scope of existence, a limited consciousness and power and joy of existence. All being is one and to be fully is to be all that is. To be in the being of all and to include all in one's being, to be conscious of the consciousness of all, to be integrated in force with the universal force, to carry all action and experience in oneself and feel it as one's own action and experience, to feel all selves as one's own self, to feel all delight of being as one's awn delight  of being is a necessary condition of the inte­gral divine living.

    But thus to be universally in the fullness and freedom of one's universality, one must be also transcendentally. The spiritual fullness of the being is eternity; if one has not the consciousness of timeless eternal being, if one is dependent on body or embodied mind or embodied life, or dependent on this world or that world or on this condition of being or that condition of being, that is not the reality of self, not the full­ness of our spiritual existence... But one must transcend not only the individual formula but the formula of the universe, for only so can either the individual or the universal existence find its own true being and a perfect harmonisation... Otherwise the individual may remain subject to the cosmic movement and its reactions and limi­tations and miss his entire spiritual freedom. He must enter into the supreme divine Reality, feel his oneness with it, live in it, be its self-creation: all his mind, life, physicality must be converted into terms of its Supernature; all his thought, feelings, actions must be determined by it and be it, its self-formation. All this can become complete in him only when he has evolved out of the Ignorance into the Knowledge and through the Knowledge into the supreme delight of existence; but some essen­tiality of these things and their sufficient instrumentation can come with the first spiri­tual change and culminate in the life of the gnostic supernature.

 

Adventure of Consciousness and Living

 

    Education in Auroville will not be a mere acquisition of knowledge, of inert ideas and information, nor only the knowledge of the why and wherefore of the facts surrounding and pertinent to life, but an art of utilisation of knowledge, a living experience and an art of becoming. And so, at Auroville University, life will be studied, experienced and experimented upon too, in its multifarious activities and its possibilities of infinite relationships. Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant pro­gress and a youth that never ages.

    To know, possess and be the divine being in an animal and egoistic consciousness, to convert our twilight or obscure physical mentality into the plenary supramental illumination, to build peace and a self-existent bliss where there is only a stress of transitory satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering, to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself as a group of mechanical neces­sities, to discover and realise the immortal life in a body subjected to death and constant mutation,"this is offered to us as the manifestation of God in Matter and the goal of Nature in her terrestrial evolution. To the ordinary material intellect which takes its present organisation of consciousness for the limit of its possibilities, the direct con­tradiction of the unrealised ideals with the realised fact is a final argument against their validity. But if we take a more deliberate view of the world's workings, that direct opposition appears rather as part of Nature's profoundest method and the seal of her completest sanction.

    For all problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony. They arise from the perception of an unsolved discord and the instinct of an undiscovered agreement or unity. To rest content with an unsolved discord is possible for the practical and more animal part of man, but impossible for his fully awakened mind, and usually, even his practical parts only escape from the general necessity either by shutting out the problem or by accepting a rough, utilitarian and unillumined compromise. For essentially, all Nature seeks a harmony, life and matter in their own sphere as much as mind in the arrangement of its perceptions. The greater the apparent disorder of the materials offered or the apparent disparateness, even to irreconcilable opposition of the elements that have to be utilised, the stronger is the spur, and it drives towards a more subtle and puissant order than can normally be the result of a less difficult endeavour.

    Science itself begins to dream of the physical conquest of death, expresses an insatiable thirst for knowledge, is working out something like a terrestrial omnipotence for humanity. Space and Time are contracting to the vanishing-point in its works, and it strives in a hundred ways to make man the master of circumstance and so lighten the fetters of causality. The idea of limit, of the impossible begins to grow a little shadowy and it appears instead that whatever man constantly wills, he must in the end be able to do; for the consciousness in the race eventually finds the means.

    Education is life in pursuit of the Truth in all its manifold aspects and a constant research for the harmonisation of these aspects, however disparate, opposite, contradictory or contrary. And life is an endless adventure of consciousness unto the Unknown, probing into its mysteries to constantly renew and enrich itself.

    The Unknown is not the Unknowable; it need not remain the unknown for us, unless we choose ignorance or persist in our first limitations. For to all things that are not unknowable, all things in the universe, there correspond in that universe faculties which can take cognisance of them, and in man, the microcosm, these faculties are always existent and at a certain stage capable of development. We may choose not to develop them; where they are partially developed, we may discourage and impose on them a kind of atrophy. But, fundamentally, all possible knowledge is knowledge within the power of humanity.

 

Evolution

 

Supramental Consciousness and New Faculties

 

    There is an ascending evolution in Nature which goes from the stone to the plant, from the plant to the animal, from the animal to man. Evolution continues and Man will be surpassed. For man is a transitional being living in a mental consciousness, but having the possibility of acquiring a new consciousness, the Truth-consciousness, and capable of living a life perfectly harmonious, good and beautiful, happy and fully conscious.

    One of the most important researches in Auroville will be regarding the principle and the process of evolution, which will be scientifically studied and will be used to expedite the next step of the evolution of the human race, to bring forth the latent faculties of Man and a change of consciousness. For the future of humanity depends upon this change of consciousness. In this connection, the psychological discipline of the Yoga as developed and perfected by Sri Aurobindo will be studied as one of the primary and essential methods for a conscious evolution and a change of human consciousness, transcending the present limited and divisive, ego-centric mental consciousness of man. The new consciousness, which Sri Aurobindo terms the supramental con­sciousness or the Truth-consciousness, is consciousness creatrix of the world, a state of Knowledge and Will at once, with a clear vision of the totality and Power to effectuate its vision. It is the unifying consciousness because it views all things in a multiple unity.

    To see things steadily and see them as a whole is not possible to the mind, but it is the very nature of the transcendent Supermind. The mind sees only a given time and space and views many possibilities pell-mell as all more or less realisable in that time and space; the Supermind sees the whole extension of Time and Space and can embrace all the mind's possibilities and many more not visible to the mind, but without any error, groping or confusion; for it perceives each potentiality in its proper force, essential necessity, right relation to the others and the time, place and circumstance, both of its gradual and its ultimate realisation. There is a spontaneous harmony and unity of all knowledge and truths in this consciousness, because it is the Truth-consciousness with an inherent and self-existent Knowledge and Power to realise its vision.

    Since the primary aim of Auroville is to establish the supreme harmony every­where,"within the individual, in his relation with his fellow-beings, and his surround­ings, the community, the nation and the world, between all aspects of the Truth, between Man, Nature and God, between the two poles of existence, Spirit and Matter,"and to bring about a new creation and a new world order with a new culture, changing the whole life of the earth-consciousness, this study and the possibility of the conscious advent of the new consciousness, its application to all problems of life, and its mani­festation in all the activities and the manifold relationships of life, will be the most crucial research and the salient contribution of Auroville University.

 

III


EDUCATION AND RESEARCH IN AUROVILLE

 

    The education of a child in Auroville will begin with the education of his mother. For the nature of the child depends very much upon the mother, her aspiration and will and upon the material surroundings in which she lives. In order to be able to educate the child, the first thing to do is to educate oneself, to be master of oneself, and to be oneself what one wants the child to be. One must always be very patient, and never be arbitrary, despotic or ill-tempered. The part of education that the mother has to go through is to see that her thoughts are always beautiful and pure, her feelings always noble and fine, her material surroundings as harmonious as possible.

    In his formative years, the child in Auroville will grow through all sorts of work in play and play in work in an environment of love, understanding, freedom and flexibi­lity, and through all. that may interest him he will be guided i) to observe, to concen­trate, to question and to experience; ii) to master a few languages which he can speak, read and understand with ease, including classical and international languages; iii) to develop the capacity to learn and to use the documentation. What is most important at this stage is for the child to develop the power of concentration and iden­tification, self-confidence and readiness to learn more and more, the qualities of en­durance, self-poise and persistence against difficulties and obstacles, truthfulness and courage, goodwill, generosity and nobility, sensitivity, right attitude and response to the light of the Truth.

    He will not be stuffed therefore with academic courses and factual knowledge which he can always acquire later according to his aspiration and needs. As he grows, he will find for himself"or with the assistance of an adult who will be more of a friend than a teacher"what are his natural aptitudes and interests and what are the possibi­lities of widening the vistas of his knowledge and consciousness. He will develop the ability to reflect, to seek and discover for himself the truths by which he will live, and he will be helped to grow in him a tireless capacity for experimentation and innovation. He will also be aided by spiritually awakened persons who may, more by their exam­ple and living than by instructions, awaken him to the existence of the Divine Reality within him, his soul, to whom he can refer for true guidance in dealing with the prob­lems of life. For ultimately, it is the soul which is the true teacher and Guide.

    All efforts will therefore be directed to help the individual to become conscious of this true Guide within so that he may learn to follow as he grows an inner discipline proper to the aspirations of his soul, and not the discipline of others imposed on him by the conventions of the ordinary institutes and the society. The only indispensable quality required of a student as well as of a teacher"and of all Aurovilians"is the constant aspiration and the will to learn and to progress endlessly without fatigue towards a greater and greater perfection with a spontaneous joy in the effort for pro­gress, not for obtaining a result, but for the love of the effort. This joy is realised and the energy for such an endless effort is obtained only when the soul is made the leader of the march. For the soul is ever in contact with the inexhaustible energy and the splendours of the Superconscient from which it derives its origin. All that one needs to do is to sincerely aspire and to open oneself to its influence in faith and with sincerity and confidence.

    The centre of all education, of all teaching and training, of all learning, is Man, Man in all his glory, in his divinity. It must be the aim of education to make him the master of his destiny and the lord of his universe. All that is vital to the glorious Fu­ture of Man, he will learn in Auroville so that he may become Man the god, from Man the animal and Man the thinker.

    Each human being has in him something divine, something his own and unique, a chance of perfection and strength in however small a sphere. But it is only when man rises at the summit of his ascent into a spiritual being that he can realise his divine manhood and manifest the Divine in all its glory of Love, Knowledge, Power and Perfection"the highest that he can dream of"whatever be his field of action. So, the fundamental aim of education in Auroville will be to put the individual in contact with his soul and then help him to find, in the light of his soul, his own indispensable place in the orchestra of the whole. Auroville hopes to provide the right conditions and environment as well as the full facilities to help the individual to bring out all that is best in him and to make it perfect for a noble use so that he may fulfil his unique role and his mission on earth.

    The primary discipline necessary for this is for the individual to observe and be­come conscious of himself, conscious of all the instruments of his being"physical, vital, mental, psychic and spiritual"and their workings, to develop, transform and organise them around the divine centre of his being. It is through the psychic presence that the individual comes into contact with the truth of his being. In most cases this presence acts, so to say, from behind the veil, unrecognised and unknown. However, it is only when it comes forward and takes the lead that the individual goes through life with an assurance and a certitude all his own and becomes the master of his destiny. This is the psychological discipline of the integral Yoga, which is absolu­tely indispensable if one wants to know and express the highest truth of one's being, and if one aspires that all one's actions, thoughts and feelings, even the very sensations and impulsions may manifest the supreme beauty and splendours which one so often receives in one's awakened thoughts and visions when one opens oneself to the light of the Superconscient.

    The education in Auroville will be therefore integral, aiming at the development, transformation and perfection of all the parts of one's being so as to build an all-round personality which is beautiful, harmonious, sensitive, supple, luminous and powerful in all its movements of mind, life and body, and selfless, heroic and noble in its actions. For this an individual may be required to go through the study of all arts, aesthetics, humanities and sciences which each can choose according to his capacities and needs of self-perfection, self-expression and self-fulfilment.

    It is evident that there will be no fixed courses or curricula, nor tests, degrees and diplomas which have value only if one wants to earn money or a good name and position according to the standard and values set by the conventions of the ordinary world. In Auroville which aspires to build a new world of the Future, individual value and sincerity of the person would have a greater importance than the worldly cleverness or material wealth and social position.  Since Auroville aspires to be the place of eternal youth, of an endless education and constant progress, degrees and diplomas, giving a false sense of satisfaction of having completed one's education will have no value and will be naturally out of place. Education in Auroville will be for the joy of knowledge and for the joy of becoming, for the joy of self-perfection and self ­transcendence, for the joy of self-fulfillment and world-fulfillment.

    The chief aim of education in Auroville will be to help each man to seek for and to manifest the Divine in every way of his being, and to so find it and live in it that no matter how"even in all kinds of ways"he lives and acts, he shall live and act in the Divine, in the Spirit, in the eternal Reality of his being, manifesting its truth and its law; and to discover the truth behind the veil of forces in the universe, to disengage the divine Reality behind everything and to work for its full manifestation.

    Some of the programmes and projects of research and education in Auroville will be: to know the secrets of Nature and of life; to know oneself and to be the mas­ter of oneself, of life, of Nature; to seek after the Truth and perfection; to surmount within oneself all weaknesses, incapacities and the falsehoods of Ignorance; to conquer the causes of sufferings, illnesses, war and miseries; to vindicate the rights and the dignity of Man by helping him to transcend his half-lit humanity and fumbling mental-ethical consciousness and its conflicting laws; to eradicate Ignorance and the divisions of the egocentric consciousness by a change of Consciousness which is the inevitable further step in human evolution; to enrich the existing faculties and bring forth new ones; to triumph over one's limitations, narrowness, rigidity of views and prejudices by constantly widening one's horizon of comprehension in the light of the Truth-Consciousness; to harmonise all the parts of one's being, integrate the persona­lity and to be the whole Man of the Future, embodying the new consciousness, which transcends the limited and divisive consciousness of the present Man; to perfect and transform all the instruments of one's being into powers of the spirit so as to mani­fest the divine Reality within; to perfect and synthetise knowledge in each field and to integrate all fields of knowledge; to perfect each culture and to unify all cultures; to discover the particular genius and the role of each nation in the comity of all nations and to integrate the human race; to develop and use the resources, experiments and benefits of science and technology for the amelioration of mankind; to march unto the Unknown by constantly searching and making new discoveries on the spiri­tual and material planes so as to find new ways of enriching life; and thus to progress always towards ever more perfection and a more noble and truer life, the higher and vaster life of the Future, the life of Truth, Knowledge and Power, of Love, Unity and Bliss, making the whole life of the earth beautiful, divine.

    All of Auroville in its entirety and in its details of all activities and organisation will engage itself in this educational process and will be a laboratory for this experi­ment, where no problem of life and its manifold relationships on all levels of action will escape the scrutiny and the study of its citizens. Auroville, being dedicated to the whole of humanity, will naturally seek all ways and means for the fulfilment of its highest aspirations, and will be a training institute for the whole of humanity, a fully equipped, intellectually alive and spiritually inspiring home for all men, women and children, who will learn together to live in oneness and who will live together to learn all the time, at each moment of their life. Education in Auroville being  a conscious experiment of living and an adventure of consciousness, the scope of its research being as wide as the universe, its aim being an advent of a new race of gnostic beings, it will naturally embrace the Infinite in its infinite aspects and move towards a progressive universal harmony. The cultural pavilions of all nations of the world will not only provide a right setting for this purpose, but also afford the unique opportunity and the facilities for its manifold researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity.

Compiled by KAILAS JHAVERI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                               

 

AUROVILLE AND EDUCATION

 

A compilation of texts of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

by Kailas Jhavery

 

 

Introduction on the author from Paulette:

 

Kailas Jhavery is an ashramite whom the Mother had appointed as secretary of a section on UNESCO. On March 25 2009, at the Town Hall, Kailas gave a talk focusing on a project for an International University for Human Unity to be established in Auroville with the Mother’s blessings. The project proposal was to be submitted in response to an invitation by UNESCO, the United Nations’ educational agency.

 

In her talk, Kailas quoted extensively from a paper she wrote in 1969 where, weaving together excerpts from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, she outlined the concept of education in Auroville in light of the proposed university. In 1970 her paper was published in “Mother India”, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram’s cultural review, with the Mother’s blessings.

At the beginning of her talk Kailas questioned whether or not, after forty years of existence, the concept of a World University for Human Unity is still relevant to Auroville. As she wrote in her paper, “A university by its very origin and nature is a universal institution, its boundaries conterminous with the boundaries of the universe,” suggesting that, when properly understood, education cannot be confined between the walls of any institution. For, she observed with poetic grace, “there are no boundaries to man’s insatiable thirst for Knowledge, his inexhaustible and ceaseless search after the Truth, his deep seeking for Beauty and Love, his secret aspiration to expand and become one with the universe, to touch, to feel, to experience and to enjoy the Infinite, to meet, to clasp and to possess the Eternal.”

Kailas’s talk, with her lofty language echoing Sri Aurobindo’s vision of the new world and society, stirred something very deep in the audience. A second talk is scheduled with her in order to introduce the concept of the Cultural Pavilions in Auroville’s International Zone. The CD, with the entire talk on the International University for Human Unity, is available on request through Auroville Radio, where the talk was broadcast live.

 

Introduction by the compiler, Kailas Jhavery

(This material, consisting of three parts, is compiled, from the following books of Sri Aurobindo: The Life Divine, The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity, War and Self Determination and The Foundations of Indian Culture. There are also excerpts from the Mother's writings"her messages to the stu­dents and the teachers of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, as well as other works of hers apropos of education and Auroville, including the Auroville Charter. These excerpts are either woven together with the pass­ages from Sri Aurobindo or stand in a body on their own. Some introductory or connective sentences have been added here and there by the compiler to make the whole a running text appropriate to the theme.)

 

BASICALLY, we may say, "Auroville is Education"; for, the educational future of the world is bound up with this growing City of Dawn where a new conscious­ness is to be variously "educed". But, for convenience's sake, we have three sec­tions in the material compiled here. A paper on Auroville and its raison d'être precedes that on Auroville University, and one on Education and Research in Auro­ville succeeds it.

    The first paper shows how Auroville with its ideology and the background of cultural pavilions of all nations of the world offers the right and unique conditions for a free search after the Truth and hence serves as a necessary basis for the fulfilment of the aims and objectives of the kind of university envisaged in the second paper.

    This paper on Auroville University indicates its lines of researches, the vision behind them and the programme; its ideals and aspirations; its aims and objectives; its own unique contribution and its necessity for humanity. It is an attempt to sketch in brief the crisis of our age, the basic issue, the proposed solutions, the reason of their failures to end war and revolutions and to bring about peace, order and unity by systems of international law and control of armaments, education, ideal of brother­hood, religion, etc.; the true solution of all problems and the unique role of Auroville University, which to state very briefly"adapting some words of Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother's"is as follows:

    A perfected world cannot be created or composed by men who are themselves imperfect. The conditions under which men live are the results of their state of con­sciousness. ("Wars are made in the minds of men and it is therefore in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed." We go a step further and call for a change of consciousness which alone, we believe, can transform not only the mind, but all the other members of one's being, including the body itself.) To seek to change conditions without changing the consciousness is a vain chimera. For man is not a machine and cannot be changed by any machinery of laws, social, political, economic, religious, or moral. However, a change of consciousness. can only be brought about by a conscious evolutionary process and an attempt at self-finding, self-perfection and self-transformation.

    To be or to transcend and become something or to bring something high and noble into our being is the whole labour of the Force of Nature. Knowledge, thought, action, whether social, political, religious, ethical, economic or utilitarian cannot be the essence or object of life. They are activities of the powers of being or the powers of becoming, the dynamis of the Spirit and its means of discovering what it seeks to be. To be and to be fully is Nature's intention and the necessity in Man. To become complete in being, in consciousness of being, in force of being, in delight being and to live in its integrated completeness is the perfect living. To be fully is to of be universally, to be one with all...

    All this implies that the function of the university in Auroville will not stop with providing conditions and facilities for the development of all the powers of one's being through the study of arts, humanities and sciences and their researches, which are a necessary part of the disciplines of university education. Through them all and above all, the true function of this university will be to bring forth from the inner potentialities of its students a new creation, the creation of a divine race.

   The distinguishing feature of Auroville University will therefore be not only the researches into all that was and even all that exists and their synthesis"synthesis of all knowledge; synthesis of all aspects of the Truth; synthesis of all ideologies; syn­thesis of all realisations of the Past, Present and Future; synthesis of all cultures; syn­thesis of all nations, paving a way for the realisation of human unity in diversity, peace, development and progress in all parts of the world; a bridge between Matter and Spirit or Science and Spirituality; a bridge between man's external realisations and his highest aspirations, etc. The unique contribution of Auroville University will be a new creation with a new culture that will be integral and universal, thus changing the whole life of the earth-consciousness and bringing about a new world order.

    The aim of Auroville University will be always to move forward ceaselessly towards greater and greater perfection by an endless education, constant progress and a youth that never ages.

    We are confident that Auroville will provide the right and necessary conditions to make a full and free enquiry into the glorious future of the human race by a rich and vast synthesis of all our gains on the material and spiritual planes which will ful­fil the highest and most noble aspirations of humanity everywhere.

 

I

AUROVILLE: ITS RAISON D’ETRE

    At present mankind is undergoing an evolutionary crisis in which is concealed a choice of its destiny; for a stage has been reached in which the human mind has achieved in certain directions an enormous development while in others it stands arrested and bewildered and can no longer find its way. A structure of the external life has been raised up by man's ever-active mind and life-will, a structure of an unmanageable hugeness and complexity, for the service of his mental, vital, physical claims and urges, a complex political, social, administrative, economic, cultural machinery, an organised collective means for his intellectual, sensational, aesthetic and material satisfaction. Man has created a system of civilisation which has become too big for his limited mental capacity and understanding and his still more limited spiritual and moral capacity to utilise and manage, a too dangerous servant of his blundering ego and its appetites. For no greater seeing mind, no intuitive soul of knowledge has yet come to his surface of consciousness which could make this basic fullness of life a condition for the free growth of something that exceeded it. This new fullness of the means of life might be, by its power for a release from the inces­sant unsatisfied stress of his economic and physical needs, an opportunity for the full pursuit of other and greater aims surpassing the material existence, for the discovery of a higher truth and good and beauty, for the discovery of a greater and diviner spirit which would intervene and use life for a higher perfection of the being, but it is being used instead for the multiplication of new wants and an aggressive expansion of the collective ego.

    Science has put at his disposal many potencies of the universal Force and has made the life of humanity materially one; but what uses this universal Force is a little human individual or communal ego with nothing universal in its light of knowledge or its movements, no inner sense or power which would create in this physical drawing together of the human world a true life unity, a mental unity or a spiritual oneness. All that is there is a chaos of clashing mental ideas, urges of individual and-collective physical want and need, vital claims and desires, impulses of an ignorant life-push, hungers and calls for life satisfaction of individuals, classes, nations, a rich fungus of political and social and economic nostrums and notions, a hustling medley of slogans and panaceas for which men are ready to oppress and be oppressed, to kill and be killed, to impose them somehow or other by the immense and too formidable means placed at his disposal, in the belief that this is his way out to something ideal. The evolution of human mind and life must necessarily lead towards an increasing uni­versality; but on a basis of ego and segmenting and dividing mind this opening to the universal can only create a vast pullulation of unaccorded ideas and impulses, a surge of enormous powers and desires, a chaotic mass of unassimilated and intermixed mental, vital and physical material of a larger existence which, because it is not taken up by a creative harmonising light of the spirit, must welter in a universalised confusion and discord out of which it is impossible to build a greater harmonic life. Man has harmonised life in the past by organised ideation and limitation; he has created societies based on fixed ideas or fixed customs, a fixed cultural system or an organic life-system, each with its own order; the throwing of all these, into the melting-pot of a more and more intermingling life and a pouring in of ever new ideas and motives and facts and possibilities call for a new, a greater consciousness to meet and master the increasing potentialities of existence and harmonise them.

    Reason and Science can only help by standardising, by fixing everything into an artificially arranged and mechanised unity of material life. A greater whole-being, whole-knowledge, whole-power is needed to weld all into a greater unity of whole-life. A life of unity, mutuality and harmony born of a deeper and wider truth of our being is the only truth of life that can successfully replace the imperfect mental cons­tructions of the past which were a combination of association and regulated conflict, an accommodation of egos and interests grouped or dovetailed into each other to form a society, a consolidation by common general life-motives, a unification by need and the pressure of struggle with outside forces. It is such a change and such a re­shaping of life for which humanity is blindly beginning to seek, now more and more with a sense that its very existence depends upon finding the way. The evolution of mind working upon life has developed an organisation of the activity of mind and use of Matter which can no longer be supported by human capacity without an inner change. An accommodation of the egocentric human individuality separative even in associa­tion, to a system of living which demands unity, perfect mutuality, harmony, is imperative. But because the burden which is being laid on mankind is too great for the present littleness of the human personality and its petty mind and small life-instincts, because it cannot operate the needed change, because it is using this new apparatus and organisation to serve the old infraspiritual and infrarational life-self of humanity, the destiny of the race seems to be heading dangerously, as if impatiently and in spite of itself, under the drive of the vital ego seized by colossal forces which are on the same scale as the huge mechanical organisation of life and scientific knowledge which it has evolved, a scale too large for its reason and will to handle, into a prolonged con­fusion and perilous crisis and darkness of violent shifting incertitude. Even if this turns out to be a passing phase or appearance and a tolerable structural accommodation is found which will enable mankind to proceed less catastrophically on its uncertain journey, this can only be a respite. For the problem is fundamental and in putting it evolutionary Nature in man is confronting herself with a critical choice which must one day be solved in the true sense if the race is to arrive or even to survive. The evolutionary nisus is pushing towards a development of the cosmic Force in terres­trial life which needs a larger mental and vital being to support it, a wider mind, a greater wider more conscious unanimised Life-Soul, Anima, and that again needs an unveiling of the supporting Soul and spiritual Self within to maintain it.

    A rational and scientific formula of the vitalistic and materialistic human being and his life, a search for a perfected economic society and the democratic cultus of the average man are all that the modern mind presents us in this crisis as a light for its solution. Whatever the truth supporting these ideas, this is clearly not enough to meet the need of a humanity which is missioned to evolve beyond itself or, at any rate, if it is to live, must evolve far beyond anything that it at present is. A life-instinct in the race and in the average man himself has felt the inadequacy and has been driving towards a reversal of values or a discovery of new values and a transfer of life to a new foundation. This has taken the form of an attempt to find a simple and ready-made basis of unity, mutuality, harmony for the common life, to enforce it by a suppression of the competitive clash of egos and so to arrive at a life of identity for the community in place of a life of difference. But to realise these desirable ends the means adopted have been the forcible and successful materialisation of a few restricted ideas or slogans enthroned to the exclusion of all other thought, the suppression of the mind of the individual, a mechanised compression of the elements of life, a mechanised unity and drive of the life-force, a coercion of man by the State, the substitution of the communal for the individual ego. The communal ego is idealised as the soul of the nation, the race, the community; but this is a colossal and may turn out to be a fatal error. A forced and imposed unanimity of mind, life, action raised to their highest tension under the drive of something which is thought to be greater, the collective soul, the collective life, is the formula found. But this obscure collective being is not the soul or self of the community; it is a life-force that rises from the subconscient and, if denied the light of guidance by the reason, can be driven only by dark massive forces which are powerful but dangerous for the race because they are alien to the conscious evolution of which man is the trustee and bearer. It is not in this direction that evolutionary Nature has pointed mankind; this is a reversion towards something that she had left behind her.

    Another solution that is attempted reposes still on the materialistic reason and a unified organisation of the economic life of the race; but the method that is being employed is the same, a forced impression and imposed unanimity of mind and life and a mechanical organisation of the communal existence. A unanimity of this kind can only be maintained by a compression of all freedom of thought and life, and that must bring about either the efficient stability of a termite civilisation or a drying up of the springs of life and a swift or slow decadence. It is through the growth of consciousness that the collective soul and its life can become aware of itself and develop; the free play of mind and life is essential for the growth of consciousness; for mind and life are the soul’s only instrumentation until a higher instrumentation develops; they must not be inhibited in their action or rendered rigid, unplastic and unprogressive. The difficulties or disorders engendered by the growth of the individual mind and life cannot be healthily removed by the suppression of the individual; the true cure can only be achieved by his progression to a greater consciousness in which he is fulfilled and perfected.

    An alternative solution is the development of an enlightened reason and will of the normal man consenting to a new socialised life in which he will subordinate his ego for the sake of the right arrangement of the life of the community. If we inquire how this radical change is to be brought about, two agencies seem to be suggested, the agency of a greater and better mental knowledge, right ideas, right information, right training of the social and civic individual and the agency of a new social machinery which will solve everything by the magic of the social machine cutting humanity into a better pattern. But it has not been found in experience, whatever might have once been hoped, that education and intellectual training by itself can change man; it only provides the human individual and collective ego with better information and a more efficient machinery for its self-affirmation, but leaves it the same unchanged human ego. Nor can human mind and life be cut into perfection,"even into what is thought to be perfection, a constructed substitute,"by any kind of social machinery; matter can be so cut, thought can be so cut, but in our human existence matter and thought are only instruments for the soul and the life-force. Machinery cannot form the soul and life-force into standardised shapes; it can at best coerce them, make soul and mind inert and stationary and regulate the life’s outward action; but if this is to be effectively done, coercion and compression of the mind and life are indispensable and that again spells either unprogressive stability or decadence. The reasoning mind with its logical practicality has no other way of getting the better of Nature’s ambiguous and complex movements than a regulation and mechanisation of mind and life. If that is done, the soul of humanity will either have to recover its freedom and growth by a revolt and a destruction of the machine into whose grip it has been cast or escape by a withdrawal into itself and rejection of life. Man’s true way out is to discover his soul and its self-force and instrumentation and replace by it both the mechanisation of mind and the ignorance and disorder of life-nature. But there would be little room and freedom for such a movement of self-discovery and self-effectuation in a closely regulated and mechanised social existence.

    There is the possibility that in the swing back from a mechanistic idea of life and society the human mind may seek refuge in a return to the religious idea and a society governed or sanctioned by religion. But organised religion, though it can provide a means of inner uplift for the individual and preserve in it or behind it a way for his opening to spiritual experience, has not changed human life and society; it could not do so because, in governing society, it had to compromise with the lower parts of life and could not insist on the inner change of the whole being; it could insist only on a credal adherence, a formal acceptance of its ethical standards and a conformity to institution, ceremony and ritual. Religion as conceived can give a religio-ethical colour or surface tinge,"sometimes, if it maintains a strong kernel of inner experience, it can generalise to some extent an incomplete spiritual tendency, but it does not transform the race, it cannot create a new principle of the human existence. A total spiritual direction given to the whole life and the whole nature can alone lift humanity beyond itself. Another possible conception akin to the religious solution is the guidance of society by men of spiritual attainment, the brotherhood or unity of all in the faith or in the discipline, the spiritualisation of life and society by the taking up of the old machinery of life into such a unification or inventing a new machinery. This too has been attempted before without success; it was the original founding idea of more than one religion: but the human ego and vital nature were too strong for a religious idea working on the mind and by the mind to overcome its resistance. It is only the full emergence of the soul, the full descent of the native light and power of the Spirit and the consequent replacement or transformation and uplifting of our insufficient mental and vital nature by a spiritual and supramental supernature that can effect this evolutionary miracle.

    At first sight this insistence on a radical change of nature might seem to put off all the hope of humanity to a distant evolutionary future; for the transcendence of our normal human nature, a transcendence of our mental, vital and physical being, has the appearance of an endeavour too high and difficult and at present, for man as he is, impossible. Even if it were so, it would still remain the sole possibility for the transmutation of life; for to hope for a true change of human life without a change of human nature is an irrational and unspiritual proposition; it is to ask for something unnatural and unreal, an impossible miracle. But what is demanded by this change is not something altogether distant, alien to our existence and radically impossible; for what has to be developed is there in our being and not something outside it: what evolutionary Nature presses for, is an awakening to the knowledge of self, the discovery of self, the manifestation of the self and spirit within us and the release of its self-knowledge, its self-power, its native self-instrumentation. It is, besides, a step for which the whole of evolution has been a preparation and which is brought closer at each crisis of human destiny when the mental and vital evolution of the being touches a point where intellect and vital force reach some acme of tension and there is a need either for them to collapse, to sink back into a torpor of defeat or a repose of unprogressive quiescence or to rend their way through the veil against which they are straining. What is necessary is that there should be a turn in humanity felt by some or many toward the vision of this change, a feeling of its imperative need, the sense of its possibility, the will to make it possible in themselves and to find the way. That trend is not absent and it must increase with the tension of the crisis in human world-destiny; the need of an escape or a solution, the feeling that there is no other solution than the spiritual cannot but grow and become more imperative under the urgency of critical circumstance. To that call in the being there must always be some answer in the Divine Reality and in Nature.

    The conditions under which men live upon earth are the result of their state of consciousness. To seek to change conditions without changing the consciousness is a vain chimera. All who have had the perception of what could be and should be done to improve the situation, in the different domains of human life, economical, political, social, financia1, educational or sanitary are precisely the individuals who have developed their consciousness more or less to an exceptional degree and put themselves in contact with higher planes of consciousness. But their ideas remained on the whole theoretical; or, if an attempt was ever made to realise them practically, it always failed lamentably in the long or short run: for no human organisation can change radically unless human consciousness itself changes. Prophets of a new humanity have followed one another, religions, spiritual or social, have been created, their beginnings were at times full of promise: but, as humanity was not transformed at heart, the old errors arising from human nature itself have reappeared gradually and after a time it was found that one was left almost at the same spot from where one had started with so much hope and enthusiasm. In this effort, however, to improve human conditions there have always been two tendencies, which although apparently contrary to each other should rather be complementary and together work out the progress. One seeks a collective reorganisation, something that would lead towards an effective unity of mankind: the other declares that all progress is made first by the individual and insists that it is the individual who should be given conditions in which he can progress freely. Both are equally true and necessary, and our effort should be directed along both the lines. Collective progress and individual progress are interdependent. Before the individual can take a leap forward, it is necessary that something of an antecedent progress he achieved in the collective life. A way has therefore to be found whereby the twofold progress can go on simultaneously.

    It is in answer to this pressing need that the township of “AUROVILLE” is proposed as a Centre of Universal Education and Culture, so that the élite of humanity may be ready who would be able to work for the progressive unification of the race and who at the same time would be prepared to embody the new force descending upon earth to transform it.

    The unity of the human race can be achieved neither through uniformity nor through domination and subjection. A synthetic organisation of all nations, each one occupying its own place in accordance with its own genius and the role it has to play in the whole, can alone effect a comprehensive and progressive unification which may have some chance of enduring. And if the synthesis is to be a living thing, the grouping should be done around a central idea as high and wide as possible, and in which all tendencies, even the most contradictory, would find their respective places. That idea is to give man the conditions of life necessary for preparing him to manifest the new force that will create the race of tomorrow.  

    All urge of rivalry, all struggle for precedence and domination should disappear giving place to a will for harmonious organisation, for clear-sighted and effective collaboration.

    To make this possible, children from their very early age must be accustomed not merely to the idea but to its practice. The cultures of the different regions of the earth will be represented here in such a way as to be accessible to all, not merely intellectually, in ideas, theories, principles, and languages, but also vitally in habits and customs, in art under all forms"painting, sculpture, music, architecture, decoration and physically too through natural scenery, dress, games, sports, industries and food. A kind of world-exhibition has to be organised in which all the countries will be represented in a concrete and living manner; the ideal is that every nation with a very definite culture would have a pavilion representing that culture, built on a model that most displays the habits of the country: it will exhibit the nation’s most representative products, natural as well as manufactured, products also that best express its intellectual and artistic genius and its spiritual tendencies. Each nation would thus find a practical and concrete interest in cultural synthesis and collaborate in the work by taking over the charge of the pavilion that represents it. A lodging house also could be attached, large or small according to need, where students of the same nationality would be accommodated; they will thus enjoy the very culture of their own motherland, and at the same time receive at the centre the education which will introduce them as well to other cultures existing upon earth. Thus the international education will not be simply theoretical, on the school bench, but practical in all details of existence.

    A general idea of the organisation is only given here: the application in details will be gradually carried out as the Township develops.

    The first aim then will be to help individuals to become conscious of the fundamental genius of the nations to which they belong and at the same time to put them in contact with the modes of living of other nations so that they may know and respect equally the true spirit of all the countries upon earth. For all world organisation to be real and to be able to live, must be based upon mutual respect and understanding between nation and nation as well as between individual and individual. It is only in the collective order and organisation, in a collaboration based upon mutual good-will that lies the possibility of man being lifted out of the painful chaos where he is now. It is with this aim and in this spirit that all human problems will be studied in “AUROVILLE”

 

II

AUROVILLE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY

 

I become what I see in myself.
All that thought suggests to me, I can do.
All that thought reveals in me I can become.

    A university by its very origin and nature is a universal institution, its boundaries conterminous with the boundaries of the universe.

    But there are no boundaries to man’s insatiable thirst for Knowledge, his inexhaustible and ceaseless search after the Truth, his deep seeking for Beauty and Love, his secret aspiration to expand and become one with the universe, to touch, to feel, to experience and to enjoy the Infinite, to meet, to clasp and to possess the Eternal.

 

Progress

 

Towards the ‘Synthesis of Science and Spirituality

 

    Progress is the very heart of the significance of human life, for it means our evolution into a greater and richer being, and this our present age, by insisting on it, by forcing us to recognise it as our aim and our necessity, by making impossible hereafter the attempt to subsist in the dullness or gross beatitude of a stationary self-content, has done a precious service to the earth-life.

    An unbiased view will regard this age of civilisation as an evolutionary stage, an imperfect but important turn of the human advance, where great gains have been made which are of the utmost value to ultimate perfection, even if they have been made at a great price. There is not only a greater generalisation of knowledge and the more thorough use of the intellectual power and activity in multiple fields; there is not only the advance of science and its application to the conquests of our environment, an immense apparatus of means, vast utilisations, endless minute conveniences, an irresistible, machinery, a tireless exploitation of forces; there is, too, a certain development of powerful, if not high-pitched ideals and there is an attempt, however external and therefore imperfect, to bring them to bear upon the working of human society as a whole. Once restored to its true movement, the inner life of man will find that it has gained in materials, in power of plasticity, in a new kind of depth and wideness, a salutary habit of many-sided thoroughness and a sincere endeavour to shape the outer collective life into an adequate image of our highest ideals.

    We, of the coming day, stand at the head of a new age of development which must lead to a new and a large synthesis of all truths everywhere. To entrench ourselves within the bounds of any one ideology or system of thought, to adhere to any one theistic religion or social and political creed would be to limit ourselves and to attempt to create our life out of the being, knowledge and nature of others, instead of building it out of our own being and potentialities. A mass of new material is flowing to us from all sides. The luminous secrets of the Past, long lost to the consciousness of mankind, too, are breaking out again from behind the veil. We have not only to assimilate the influences of the great theistic religions of the world and recover their true meaning, their stuff of permanent truth constantly reshaped and developed in the inner thought and spiritual experience of developing humanity so that they may be of a living importance to mankind, but also we must take full account of the potent revelations of modern knowledge and seeking and equip ourselves with the advantages of science and technology.

 

Towards the Synthesis of Past, Present and Future

 

    The Past is our foundation, the Present our material, and the Future our summit. We should be the children of our glorious Past, possessors of the Present, and creators of the Future. We do not belong to the past dawns, but to the noons of the Future. In Auroville University, it will be our attempt to evaluate the totality of the Past in relation to the potentialities of the Future. All this points to a new, very rich and vast synthesis. A fresh and widely embracing harmonisation of our gains is therefore both an intellectual and a spiritual necessity of the Future. “Taking advantages of all discoveries from within and without,” Auroville aspires “to boldly spring towards future realisations,” thus building a bridge between outer eternal realisations and the highest inner aspirations.

Towards the Synthesis of All Cultures

 

    The aim of Auroville will be to promote research in order to enrich all cultures, and raise the level of spiritual and material life in all parts of the world and create a climate of understanding and appreciation of the values of all cultures and civilisations. But Auroville anticipates a new creation with a new culture that will be synthetic and universal and will therefore include in its study and research at its University all the latest and future possible achievements and experiments of Science and Technology with an equal importance and emphasis on the revelations of spiritual research. And thus combining the two"Science and Spirituality"it will hew a new path for the Future of Peace, Knowledge, Unity and Progress. East and West will meet from two opposite sides and merge into each other and found in the life of a unified humanity a common world culture and a common world order, obeying the law of the Truth.

 

Towards Change and Reconstruction

 

    It is one of those vast critical moments in the life of the race when all is pressing towards change and reconstitution. The ideals of the Future, especially the ideals of freedom, equality, commonalty, unity, are demanding to be brought from their limited field in the spiritual life or the idealism of the few and to be given some beginning of a true soul of action and bodily shape in the life of the race. But banded against any such fulfilment there are powerful obstacles, and the greatest of them come not from outside but from within. For they are the old continued impulsions and obstinate recalcitrance of mankind’s past nature, the almost total subjection of his normal mind to egoistic, vital and material interests and ambitions which make not for union but for strife and discord, the plausibilities of the practical reason which looks at the possibilities of the day and the morrow and shuts its eyes to the consequences of the day after, the habits of pretense and fiction which impel men and nations to pursue and forward their own interests under the camouflage of a specious idealism, a habit made up only partly of the diplomatic hypocrisy of politicians, but much more of a general half-voluntary self-deception and finally, the inrush of blinder unsatisfied forces and crude imperfect idealisms to take advantage of the unrest and dissatisfaction prevalent in such times and lay hold for a while on the life of mankind.

 

Peace

 

    War and violent revolution can be eliminated, if we will, though not without immense difficulty, but on the condition that we get rid of the inner causes of war and injustice of which violent revolutions are the natural reactions. The limitations of armies and armaments, is an illusory remedy. Even if there could be found an effective international means of control, it would cease to operate as soon as the clash of war actually came. The European conflict has shown that in the course of war, a country can be turned into a huge factory of arms and a nation convert its whole peaceful manhood into an army. The development of international law into an effective force which will restrain the egoism of individuals is another solution which still attracts and seems the most practicable to most when they seek to deal with the difficulties of the future. But not even the construction of a stronger international law with a more effective sanction behind it will be an indubitable or a perfect remedy. The real truth, the real cause of the failure is that internationalism is yet, except with some exceptional men, merely an idea; it is not yet a thing near to our vital feelings or otherwise a part of our psychology.

    What the modern spirit has sought for is the economic social ultimate,"an ideal material organisation of civilisation and comfort, the use of reason and science and education for the generalisation of a utilitarian rationality which will make the individual a perfected social being in a perfected economic society... It is hoped that by a radical change brought about through the agency of a greater and better mental knowledge, right ideas, right information, right training of the social and civic individual, he will subordinate his ego for the sake of the right arrangement of the life of the community. But it has not been found in experience, whatever might have once been hoped, that education and intellectual training by itself can change man; it only provides that human individual and collective ego with better information and a more efficient machinery, but leaves it the same unchanged human ego. For the way that humanity deals with an ideal is to be satisfied with it as an aspiration which is for the most part left only as an aspiration, accepted only as a partial influence. The ideal is not allowed to mould the whole life, but only more or less to colour it...

    The idealist, the thinker, the philosopher, the poet and artist, even the moralist, all those who live much in ideas, when they come to grapple at close quarters with practical life seem to find themselves something at a loss and are constantly defeated in their endeavour to govern life by their ideas. But even the man who is capable of governing his life by ideas, who recognises, that is to say, that it ought to express clearly conceived truths and principles of his being or of all beings and tries to find out or to know from others what these are, is not often capable of the highest, the free and disinterested use of his rational mind. As others are subjected to the tyranny of their interests, prejudices, instincts or passions, so he is subjected to the tyranny of ideas. Indeed, he turns his ideas into interests, obscures them with his prejudices and passions, and is unable to think freely about them, unable to distinguish their limits or the relation to them of other different and opposite ideas and the equal right of these also to existence. Ideals and idealists are necessary; ideals are the savour and sap of life, idealists the most powerful diviners and assistants of its purposes. But reduce your idea to a system and it at once begins to fail, ... the ideas themselves are partial and insufficient; not only have they a very partial triumph, but if their success were complete, it would still disappoint, because they are not the whole truth of life and therefore cannot securely govern and perfect life. Life escapes from the formulas and systems which our reason labours to impose on it; it proclaims itself too complex, too full of infinite potentialities to be tyrannised over by the arbitrary intellect of man.

    So long as war does not become psychologically impossible, it will remain or, if banished for a while, return. War itself, it is hoped, will end war; the expense, the horror, the butchery, the disturbance of tranquil life, the whole confused sanguinary madness of the thing has reached or will reach such colossal proportions that the human race will fling the monstrosity behind it in weariness and disgust. But weariness and disgust, horror and pity, even the opening of the eyes to reason by the practical facts of the waste of human life and energy and the harm and extravagance are not permanent factors; they last only while the lesson is fresh. Afterwards, there is forgetfulness; human nature recuperates itself and recovers the instincts that were temporarily dominated. A long peace, even a certain organisation of peace, may conceivably result, but so long as the heart of man remains what it is, the ‘peace will come to an end; the organisation will break down under the stress of human passions.
    We of today have not the excuse of ignorance since we have before us perfectly clear ideals and conditions. Freedom and unity, the self-determination of men and nations in the framework of a life drawn together by co-operation, comradeship, brotherhood if it may be, the acceptance of a close interrelation of the common aims and interests of the race, an increasing oneness of human life in which we cannot deny any longer to others what we claim for ourselves,"are things of which we have formed a definite conception. The acknowledgement of them is there in the human mind, but not as yet any settled will to practise.


     The question now put by evolving Nature to mankind is whether its existing international system, if system it can be called, a sort of provisional order maintained with constant evolutionary or revolutionary changes cannot be replaced by a willed and thought out fixed arrangement, a true system, eventually a real unity"serving all the common interests of the earth’s peoples.

    The hopes, the ideals, the aspirations that are abroad in mankind are themselves so many severe and pregnant questions put to us, not merely to our intelligence but to the spirit of our being and action... and the gain they will bring to humanity depends on the spirit which governs us during the time of their execution. For these ideals stand and they represent the greater aims of the spirit in men which through all denials obstacles and imperfections of his present incomplete nature knows always the perfection towards which it moves and the greatness of which it is capable. Circumstances and force and external necessity and past nature may still be too strong for us, but if the light of the ideal is kept burning in its flame of knowledge and its flame of power it will seize even on these things and create out of their evil its greater inevitable good. At present it may seem only an idea and a word unable to become a living reality, but it is the Idea and the Word expressing what was concealed in the Spirit which preside over the creation. The time will come when they will be able to seize on the Force that works and turn it into the instrument of a greater and fairer creation. The nearness or the distance of the time depends on the fidelity of the mind and will of man to the best that he sees and the insistence of his self-knowledge, unobsessed by subjection to the circumstances he suffers and the machinery he uses, to live out its truth within himself so that his environment may accept it and his outward life be shaped in its image.



Unity

Internationalism

    The idea of humanity as a single race of beings with a common life and a common general interest is among the most characteristic and significant products of modern thought.

    It is founded on a view of things which looks at man in his manhood only and casts away all those physical and social accidents of birth, rank, class, colour, creed, nationality, which have been erected into so many walls and screens behind which man has hidden himself from his fellowmen...

     The height and nobility of the idea is not to be questioned and certainly a mankind which set its life upon this basis would make a better, purer, more peaceful and enlightened race than anything we can hope to have at present. But as the human being is now made, the pure idea, though always a great power, is also afflicted by a general weakness. For man at present lives more in the outward than in the inward, is governed principally by his vital existence, sensations, feelings and customary mentality rather than by his higher thought-mind, and feels himself in this to be really alive, really to exist and be, while the world of Ideas is to him something remote and abstract and, however powerful and interesting in its way, not a living thing; the pure idea seems, until it is embodied in life, something not quite real; in that abstractness and remoteness lies its weakness... Life accepts it as a partial habit, but not completely, not quite sincerely.

    In the crises of life it is the primary vital necessity which tells, while the other and remoter element betrays itself to be a mere idea not yet ready for accomplishment; it can only become powerful when it also becomes either a vital or a psychological necessity. A living sense of human oneness in thought, feeling and life must always remain the injunction of the Spirit within us to human life upon earth. The saving power needed is a new psychological factor which will at once make a united life necessary to humanity and force it to respect the principle of freedom.

 

Possibilities of Unification and their Shortcomings: Ego"the Chief Obstacle

 

    If we consider the possibilities of a unification of the human race on political, admi­nistrative and economic lines, we see that a certain sort of unity or first step towards it appears not only to be possible but to be more or less urgently demanded by an un­derlying spirit and sense of need in the race. This spirit has been created largely by increased mutual knowledge and close communication, partly by the development of wider and freer intellectual ideals and emotional sympathies in the progressive mind of the race... The real strength of this new tendency is in its intellectual, idealistic and emotional parts. Its economic causes are partly permanent and therefore elements of strength and secure fulfilment, partly artificial and temporary and therefore elements of insecurity and weakness. The political incentives are the baser part in the amalgam; their presence may even vitiate the whole result and lead in the end to a necessary dissolution and reversal of whatever unity may be initially accomplished. A common, intellectual, and cultural activity and progress may do much, but need not by themselves be sufficient to bring into being the fully powerful psychological factor that would be required.

     Individual and group harmonies of a comparative and qualified completeness are created, a social cohesion is accomplished; but in the mass, the relations formed are constantly marred by imperfect sympathy, imperfect understanding, gross misunder­standings, strife, discord, unhappiness. It cannot be otherwise so long as there is no true union of consciousness founded upon a nature of self-knowledge, inner mutual knowledge, inner realisation of unity, concord of our inner forces of being and inner forces of life. In our social building we labour to establish some approach to unity, mutuality, harmony, because without these things there can be no perfect social living, but what we build is a constructed unity, an association of interests and egos enforced by law and custom and imposing an artificial, constructed order in which the interests of some prevail over the interests of others and only a half-accepted, half-enforced, half-natural, half-artificial accommodation keeps the social whole in being. Between community and community there is still worse accommodation with a constant recur­rence of the strife of collective ego with collective ego. This is the best that we can do and all our persistent readjustments of the social order can bring us nothing better than an imperfect structure of life.

 

Brotherhood

 

    Brotherhood is the real key to the triple gospel of the ideal of humanity"liber­ty, equality, fraternity. The union of liberty and equality can only be achieved by the power of human brotherhood and it cannot be founded on anything else. But brotherhood exists only in the soul and by the soul; it can exist by nothing else. For this brotherhood is not a matter either of physical kinship or of vital association or of intellectual agreement. Only when man has developed not merely a fellow-feeling with all men, but a dominant sense of unity and commonality, only when he is aware of them not merely as brothers"that is a fragile bond"but as parts of himself, only when he has learned to live, not in his separate personal and communal ego-sense but in a large universal consciousness, can the phenomenon of war, with whatever weapons, pass out of his life without the possibility of return. Meanwhile that he should struggle even by illusions towards that end is an excellent sign; for it shows that the truth behind the illusion is pressing towards the hour when it may be­come manifest as reality.

    Everything depends, first, upon the truth of our vision, secondly, upon the sin­cerity with which we apply it, last and especially, on the inwardness of our realisation. Vain will be the mechanical construction of unity, if unity is not in the heart of the race and if it be made only a means for safeguarding and organising our interests.

 

Change of Consciousness"the Solution

 

    No change of ideas or of the intellectual outlook upon life, no belief in God or Avatar or Prophet, no victorious science or liberating philosophy, no social scheme or system, no sort of machinery internal or external, can really bring about the great desire implanted in the race, true though that desire is in itself and the index of the goal to which we are being led. Because man is himself not a machine nor a device, but a being and a most complex one at that, therefore he cannot be saved by machinery; only by an entire change which shall affect all the members of his being, can he be liberated from his discords and imperfections. Until man in his heart is ready, a profound change of the world conditions cannot come; or it can only be brought about by force, physical force or else force of circumstances and that leaves all the real work to be done. A frame may have then been made, but the soul will have still to grow into that mecha­nical body.

 

Inner Perfection

 

    The one safety for man lies in learning to live from within outward, not depending on institutions and machinery to perfect him, but out of his growing inner perfection avail­ing to shape a more perfect form and frame of life; for by this inwardness we shall best be able both to see the truth of the high things which we now only speak with our lips and form into outward intellectual constructions, and to apply their truth sin­cerely to all our outward living. It is through the growth of consciousness that the collective soul and its life can become aware of itself and develop; the free play of mind and life is essential for the growth of consciousness; for mind and life are the soul's only instrumentation until a higher instrumentation develops; they must not be inhibited in their action or rendered rigid, unplastic and unprogressive. The difficulties or disorders engendered by the growth of the individual mind and life cannot be healthily removed by the suppression of the individual; the true cure can only be achieved by his progression to a greater consciousness in which he is fulfilled and perfected.

    Man's true freedom and perfection will come when the Spirit within bursts through the forms of mind and life and winging above to its own gnostic fiery heights of ether turns upon them from that light and flame to seize them and transform into its own image.

 

Difference between the Methods of Religion and Spirituality

   

    Human society itself never seized on the discovery of the soul as a means for the dis­covery of the law of its own being or on a knowledge of the soul's true nature and need and its fulfilment as the right way of terrestrial perfection. So far as it saw in religion a means of human salvation and perfection, it laid hands upon it at once to mechanise it, to catch the human soul and bind it on the wheels of socio-religious machinery, to impose on it in the place of spiritual freedom an imperious yoke and an iron prison. It saddled upon the religious life of man a Church, a priesthood and a mass of ceremonies and set over it a pack of watchdogs under the name of creeds and dogmas. The supreme truths are neither the rigid conclusions of logical reasoning nor the affirmations of credal statements, but fruits of the soul's inner experience.

    So far as we really succeed in living for others, it is done by an inner spiritual force of love and sympathy; but the power and field of effectuality of this force in us are small, the psychic movement that prompts it is incomplete, its action often igno­rant because there is contact of mind and heart but our being does not embrace the being of others as ourselves. An external unity with others must always be an outward joining and association of external lives with a minor inner result; the mind and the heart attach their movements to this common life and the beings whom we meet there but the common external life remains the foundation," the inward constructed unity, or so much of it as can persist in spite of mutual ignorance and discordant egoism, conflict of mind, conflict of heart, conflict of vital temperaments, conflict of interests, is a partial and insecure superstructure.

    The spiritual consciousness, the spiritual life reverses this principle of building; it bases its action in the collective life upon an inner experience and inclusion of others in our own being, an inner sense and reality of oneness. Spirituality respects the freedom of the human soul, because it is itself fulfilled by freedom; and the deepest meaning of freedom is the power to expand and grow towards perfection by the law of one's nature.

 

Freedom and Mutuality

 

    Man does not actually live as an isolated king, nor can he grow by an isolated freedom. He grows by his relations with others and his freedom must exercise itself in a progressive self-harmonising with the freedom of his fellow-beings. The law of our self-determination has to wed itself to the self-determination of others and to find the way to enact a real union through this mutuality. But its basis can only be found within and not through any mechanical adjustment. It lies in the discovery within by the being in the course of his self-expansion and self-fulfilment that these things at every turn depend on the self-expansion and self-fulfilment of those around us, because we are secretly one being with them and one life. Each being has his own truth of independent self-realisation and his truth of self-realisation in the life of others and should feel, desire, help, participate more and more, as he grows in large­ness and power, in the harmonious and natural growth of all the individual selves and all the collective selves of the one universal being.

    That which we are has expressed itself through the individual, but also through the universality, and though each has to fulfil itself in its own way, neither can succeed independently of the other. The society has no right to crush or efface the individual for its own better development or self-satisfaction; the individual, so long at least as he chooses to live in the world, has no right to disregard for the sake of his own solitary satisfaction and development his fellow-beings and to live at war with them or seek a selfishly isolated good...

    For the only things that we can really call our rights are those conditions which are necessary to our free and sound development, and that again is our right because it is necessary to the development of the world and the fulfilment of the destiny of mankind.

     The law for the individual is to perfect his individuality by free development from within, but to respect and to aid and be aided by the same free development in others. His law is to harmonise his life with the life of the social aggregate and to pour himself out as a force for growth and perfection on humanity. The law for humanity is to pursue its upward evolution towards the finding and expression of its highest aspirations and perfection taking full advantage of the free development and the gains of all individuals and nations and groupings of men, to work towards the day when man­kind may be really and not only ideally one family.

     The social evolution of the human race is necessarily a development of the relations between three constant factors: individuals, communities of various sorts and mankind. Each seeks its own fulfilment and satisfaction but each is compelled to develop them not independently but in relation to the others. The perfect society will be that which most entirely favours the perfection of the individual; the perfection of the individual will be incomplete if it does not help towards the perfect state of the social aggre­gate to which he belongs and eventually to that of the largest possible human aggregate, the whole of a united humanity.

    The object of all society should be, therefore, and must become, as man grows conscious of his real being, nature and destiny and not as now only of a part of it, first to provide the conditions of life and growth by which individual Man,"not isolated men or a class or a privileged race, but all individual men according to their capacity,"and the race through the growth of its individuals may travel towards this perfection. For civilisation can never be perfect or safe so long as, confining the cultered mentality to a small minority, it nourishes in its bosom a tremendous mass of ignorance, a multitude, a proletariat.

 

Towards World Union

 

    Humanity is one, but different peoples are variant soul-forms of the common humanity. When we find the oneness, the principle of variation is not destroyed but finds rather its justification; it is not by abolishing ourselves, our own special temperament and power, that we can get at the living oneness, but by following it out and raising it to its highest possibilities of freedom and action. The nations should therefore become conscious not only of their own but of each other's genius and soul, and learn to respect, to help and to profit, not only economically and intellectually but subjectively and spiritually by each other. For the final end is a common world-culture in which each national cul­ture should be, not merged into or fused with some other culture differing from it in principle or temperament, but evolved to its full power and could then profit to that end by all the others as well as give its gains and influences to them, all serving by their separateness and their interaction the common aim and idea of human perfection.

    The peoples of humanity must be allowed to group themselves according to their free-will and their natural affinities; no constraint or force could be allowed to compel an unwilling nation or distinct grouping of peoples to enter into another system or join itself or remain joined to it for the convenience, aggrandisement or political necessity of another people or even for the general convenience in disregard of its own wishes. Unity would be the largest principle of life, but freedom would be its foundation-stone.

    Man's communities are formed not so much by the instinctive herding together of a number of individuals of the same genus or species as by local association, community of interests, and community of ideas; and these limits tend always to be overcome in the widening of human thoughts and sympathies brought about by the closer intermingling of the races, nations, interests, ideas, cultures. Still, if overcome in their separatism, they are not abolished in their fact, because they repose on an essential principle of Nature,"diversity in unity. And so, a free world union must in its very nature be a complex unity based on diversity and diversity must be based on self-determination.

    A spiritual oneness which would create a psychological oneness not dependent upon any intellectual or outward uniformity and compel a oneness of life not bound up with its mechanical means of unification, but ready always to enrich its secure unity by a free inner variation and a freely varied outer self-expression, this would be the basis for a higher type of human existence.

    Could such a realisation develop rapidly in mankind, we might then solve the problem of unification in a deeper and truer way from the inner truth to the outer forms. Until then, the attempt to bring it about by mechanical means must proceed. But the higher hope of humanity lies in the growing number of men who will realize this truth and seek to develop it in themselves, so that when the mind of man is ready to escape from its mechanical bent,"perhaps when it finds that its mechanical solu­tions are all temporary and disappointing,"the truth of the Spirit may step in and lead humanity to the path of its highest possible happiness and perfection.

    The indwelling deity who presides over the destiny of the race has raised in men's mind and heart the idea, the hope of a new order which will replace the old unsatisfactory order, and substitute for it conditions of the world's life which will in the end have a reasonable chance of establishing permanent peace and well-being. This would for the first time turn into an assured fact the ideal of human unity which, cherished by a few, seemed for so long a noble chimera; then might be created a firm ground of peace and harmony and even a free room for the realisation of the highest human dreams, for the perfectibility of the race, a perfect society, a higher upward evolution of the human soul and human nature. It is for the men of our day and, at the most, of tomorrow to give the answer.

 

 

The Central Aim: New Creation

 

A Race of Gnostic Beings " a Race of Gods

 

    A perfected human world cannot be created by men or composed of men who are them­selves imperfect. Even if all our actions are scrupulously regulated by education or law or social or political machinery, what will be achieved is a regulated pattern of minds, a fabricated pattern of lives, a cultivated pattern of conduct; but a conformity of this kind cannot change, cannot re-create the man within, it cannot carve or cut out a perfect soul or a perfect thinking man or a perfect or growing living being. For soul and mind and life are powers of being and can grow but cannot be cut out or made; an outer process or formation can assist or can express soul and mind and life but cannot create or develop it. One can indeed help the being to grow, not by an attempt at manufacture, but by throwing on it stimulating influences or by lending to it one's forces of soul or mind or life; but even so the growth must still come from within it, determining from there what shall be made of these influences and forces, and not from outside. This is the first truth that our creative zeal and aspiration have to learn, otherwise all our human endeavour is foredoomed to turn in a futile circle and can end only in a success that is a specious failure.

 

Self-transcendence and Self-fulfilment

 

    To be or become something, to bring something into being is the whole labour of the force of Nature; to know, feel, do are subordinate energies that have a value be­cause they help the being in its partial self-realisation to express what it is and help it too in its urge to express the still more not yet realised that it has to be. But knowledge, thought, action,"whether religious, ethical, political, social, economic, utilitarian or hedonistic, whether a mental, vital or physical form or construction of existence,"cannot be the essence or object of life; they are only activities of the powers of being or the powers of its becoming, dynamic symbols of itself, creations of the embodied spirit, its means of discovering or formulating what it seeks to be. The tendency of man's physical mind is to see otherwise and to turn the true method of things upside down, because it takes as essential or fundamental the surface forces or appearances of Nature; it accepts her creation by a visible or exterior process as the essence of her action and does not see that it is only a secondary appearance and covers a greater secret process.

    To become ourselves is the one thing to be done; but the true ourselves is that which is within us, and to exceed our outer self of body, life and mind is the condition for this highest being, which is our true and divine being, to become self-revealed and active.

    To be and to be fully is Nature's aim in us; but to be fully is to be wholly conscious of one's being: unconsciousness, half consciousness or deficient consciousness is a state of being not in possession of itself; it is existence, but not fullness of being. To be aware wholly and integrally of oneself and of all the truth of one's being is the neces­sary condition of true possession of existence. This self-awareness is what is meant by spiritual knowledge: the essence of spiritual knowledge is an intrinsic self-existent consciousness; all its action of knowledge, indeed all its action of any kind, must be that consciousness formulating itself. All other knowledge is consciousness oblivious of itself and striving to return to its own awareness of itself and its contents; it is self-ignorance labouring to transform itself back into self-knowledge.

    But also, since consciousness carries in itself the force of existence, to be fully is to have the intrinsic and integral force of one's being; it is to come into possession of all one's force of self and of all its use. To be merely, without possessing the force of one's being or with a half-force or deficient force of it, is a mutilated or diminished exis­tence; it is to exist, but it is not fullness of being. ...Power of self is the sign of the divinity of self.

    Lastly, to be fully is to have the full delight of being. Being without delight of being, without an entire delight of itself and all things is something neutral or dimi­nished; it is existence, but it is not fullness of being. This delight too must be intrin­sic, self-existent, automatic; it cannot be dependent on things outside itself: what­ever it delights in, it makes part of itself, has the joy of it as part of its universality. All undelight, all pain and suffering are a sign of imperfection, of incompleteness; they arise from a division of being, an incompleteness of consciousness of being, an in­completeness of the force of being. To become complete in being, in consciousness of being, in force of being, in delight of being and to live in this integrated complete­ness is the divine living.

    But again, to be fully is to be universally. To be in the limitations of a small restric­ted ego is to exist, but it is an imperfect existence: in its very nature it is to live in an incomplete consciousness, an incomplete force and delight of existence. It is to be less than oneself and it brings an inevitable subjection to ignorance, weakness and suffering: or even if by some divine composition of the nature it could exclude these things, it would be to live in a limited scope of existence, a limited consciousness and power and joy of existence. All being is one and to be fully is to be all that is. To be in the being of all and to include all in one's being, to be conscious of the consciousness of all, to be integrated in force with the universal force, to carry all action and experience in oneself and feel it as one's own action and experience, to feel all selves as one's own self, to feel all delight of being as one's awn delight  of being is a necessary condition of the inte­gral divine living.

    But thus to be universally in the fullness and freedom of one's universality, one must be also transcendentally. The spiritual fullness of the being is eternity; if one has not the consciousness of timeless eternal being, if one is dependent on body or embodied mind or embodied life, or dependent on this world or that world or on this condition of being or that condition of being, that is not the reality of self, not the full­ness of our spiritual existence... But one must transcend not only the individual formula but the formula of the universe, for only so can either the individual or the universal existence find its own true being and a perfect harmonisation... Otherwise the individual may remain subject to the cosmic movement and its reactions and limi­tations and miss his entire spiritual freedom. He must enter into the supreme divine Reality, feel his oneness with it, live in it, be its self-creation: all his mind, life, physicality must be converted into terms of its Supernature; all his thought, feelings, actions must be determined by it and be it, its self-formation. All this can become complete in him only when he has evolved out of the Ignorance into the Knowledge and through the Knowledge into the supreme delight of existence; but some essen­tiality of these things and their sufficient instrumentation can come with the first spiri­tual change and culminate in the life of the gnostic supernature.

 

Adventure of Consciousness and Living

 

    Education in Auroville will not be a mere acquisition of knowledge, of inert ideas and information, nor only the knowledge of the why and wherefore of the facts surrounding and pertinent to life, but an art of utilisation of knowledge, a living experience and an art of becoming. And so, at Auroville University, life will be studied, experienced and experimented upon too, in its multifarious activities and its possibilities of infinite relationships. Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant pro­gress and a youth that never ages.

    To know, possess and be the divine being in an animal and egoistic consciousness, to convert our twilight or obscure physical mentality into the plenary supramental illumination, to build peace and a self-existent bliss where there is only a stress of transitory satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering, to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself as a group of mechanical neces­sities, to discover and realise the immortal life in a body subjected to death and constant mutation,"this is offered to us as the manifestation of God in Matter and the goal of Nature in her terrestrial evolution. To the ordinary material intellect which takes its present organisation of consciousness for the limit of its possibilities, the direct con­tradiction of the unrealised ideals with the realised fact is a final argument against their validity. But if we take a more deliberate view of the world's workings, that direct opposition appears rather as part of Nature's profoundest method and the seal of her completest sanction.

    For all problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony. They arise from the perception of an unsolved discord and the instinct of an undiscovered agreement or unity. To rest content with an unsolved discord is possible for the practical and more animal part of man, but impossible for his fully awakened mind, and usually, even his practical parts only escape from the general necessity either by shutting out the problem or by accepting a rough, utilitarian and unillumined compromise. For essentially, all Nature seeks a harmony, life and matter in their own sphere as much as mind in the arrangement of its perceptions. The greater the apparent disorder of the materials offered or the apparent disparateness, even to irreconcilable opposition of the elements that have to be utilised, the stronger is the spur, and it drives towards a more subtle and puissant order than can normally be the result of a less difficult endeavour.

    Science itself begins to dream of the physical conquest of death, expresses an insatiable thirst for knowledge, is working out something like a terrestrial omnipotence for humanity. Space and Time are contracting to the vanishing-point in its works, and it strives in a hundred ways to make man the master of circumstance and so lighten the fetters of causality. The idea of limit, of the impossible begins to grow a little shadowy and it appears instead that whatever man constantly wills, he must in the end be able to do; for the consciousness in the race eventually finds the means.

    Education is life in pursuit of the Truth in all its manifold aspects and a constant research for the harmonisation of these aspects, however disparate, opposite, contradictory or contrary. And life is an endless adventure of consciousness unto the Unknown, probing into its mysteries to constantly renew and enrich itself.

    The Unknown is not the Unknowable; it need not remain the unknown for us, unless we choose ignorance or persist in our first limitations. For to all things that are not unknowable, all things in the universe, there correspond in that universe faculties which can take cognisance of them, and in man, the microcosm, these faculties are always existent and at a certain stage capable of development. We may choose not to develop them; where they are partially developed, we may discourage and impose on them a kind of atrophy. But, fundamentally, all possible knowledge is knowledge within the power of humanity.

 

Evolution

 

Supramental Consciousness and New Faculties

 

    There is an ascending evolution in Nature which goes from the stone to the plant, from the plant to the animal, from the animal to man. Evolution continues and Man will be surpassed. For man is a transitional being living in a mental consciousness, but having the possibility of acquiring a new consciousness, the Truth-consciousness, and capable of living a life perfectly harmonious, good and beautiful, happy and fully conscious.

    One of the most important researches in Auroville will be regarding the principle and the process of evolution, which will be scientifically studied and will be used to expedite the next step of the evolution of the human race, to bring forth the latent faculties of Man and a change of consciousness. For the future of humanity depends upon this change of consciousness. In this connection, the psychological discipline of the Yoga as developed and perfected by Sri Aurobindo will be studied as one of the primary and essential methods for a conscious evolution and a change of human consciousness, transcending the present limited and divisive, ego-centric mental consciousness of man. The new consciousness, which Sri Aurobindo terms the supramental con­sciousness or the Truth-consciousness, is consciousness creatrix of the world, a state of Knowledge and Will at once, with a clear vision of the totality and Power to effectuate its vision. It is the unifying consciousness because it views all things in a multiple unity.

    To see things steadily and see them as a whole is not possible to the mind, but it is the very nature of the transcendent Supermind. The mind sees only a given time and space and views many possibilities pell-mell as all more or less realisable in that time and space; the Supermind sees the whole extension of Time and Space and can embrace all the mind's possibilities and many more not visible to the mind, but without any error, groping or confusion; for it perceives each potentiality in its proper force, essential necessity, right relation to the others and the time, place and circumstance, both of its gradual and its ultimate realisation. There is a spontaneous harmony and unity of all knowledge and truths in this consciousness, because it is the Truth-consciousness with an inherent and self-existent Knowledge and Power to realise its vision.

    Since the primary aim of Auroville is to establish the supreme harmony every­where,"within the individual, in his relation with his fellow-beings, and his surround­ings, the community, the nation and the world, between all aspects of the Truth, between Man, Nature and God, between the two poles of existence, Spirit and Matter,"and to bring about a new creation and a new world order with a new culture, changing the whole life of the earth-consciousness, this study and the possibility of the conscious advent of the new consciousness, its application to all problems of life, and its mani­festation in all the activities and the manifold relationships of life, will be the most crucial research and the salient contribution of Auroville University.

 

III


EDUCATION AND RESEARCH IN AUROVILLE

 

    The education of a child in Auroville will begin with the education of his mother. For the nature of the child depends very much upon the mother, her aspiration and will and upon the material surroundings in which she lives. In order to be able to educate the child, the first thing to do is to educate oneself, to be master of oneself, and to be oneself what one wants the child to be. One must always be very patient, and never be arbitrary, despotic or ill-tempered. The part of education that the mother has to go through is to see that her thoughts are always beautiful and pure, her feelings always noble and fine, her material surroundings as harmonious as possible.

    In his formative years, the child in Auroville will grow through all sorts of work in play and play in work in an environment of love, understanding, freedom and flexibi­lity, and through all. that may interest him he will be guided i) to observe, to concen­trate, to question and to experience; ii) to master a few languages which he can speak, read and understand with ease, including classical and international languages; iii) to develop the capacity to learn and to use the documentation. What is most important at this stage is for the child to develop the power of concentration and iden­tification, self-confidence and readiness to learn more and more, the qualities of en­durance, self-poise and persistence against difficulties and obstacles, truthfulness and courage, goodwill, generosity and nobility, sensitivity, right attitude and response to the light of the Truth.

    He will not be stuffed therefore with academic courses and factual knowledge which he can always acquire later according to his aspiration and needs. As he grows, he will find for himself"or with the assistance of an adult who will be more of a friend than a teacher"what are his natural aptitudes and interests and what are the possibi­lities of widening the vistas of his knowledge and consciousness. He will develop the ability to reflect, to seek and discover for himself the truths by which he will live, and he will be helped to grow in him a tireless capacity for experimentation and innovation. He will also be aided by spiritually awakened persons who may, more by their exam­ple and living than by instructions, awaken him to the existence of the Divine Reality within him, his soul, to whom he can refer for true guidance in dealing with the prob­lems of life. For ultimately, it is the soul which is the true teacher and Guide.

    All efforts will therefore be directed to help the individual to become conscious of this true Guide within so that he may learn to follow as he grows an inner discipline proper to the aspirations of his soul, and not the discipline of others imposed on him by the conventions of the ordinary institutes and the society. The only indispensable quality required of a student as well as of a teacher"and of all Aurovilians"is the constant aspiration and the will to learn and to progress endlessly without fatigue towards a greater and greater perfection with a spontaneous joy in the effort for pro­gress, not for obtaining a result, but for the love of the effort. This joy is realised and the energy for such an endless effort is obtained only when the soul is made the leader of the march. For the soul is ever in contact with the inexhaustible energy and the splendours of the Superconscient from which it derives its origin. All that one needs to do is to sincerely aspire and to open oneself to its influence in faith and with sincerity and confidence.

    The centre of all education, of all teaching and training, of all learning, is Man, Man in all his glory, in his divinity. It must be the aim of education to make him the master of his destiny and the lord of his universe. All that is vital to the glorious Fu­ture of Man, he will learn in Auroville so that he may become Man the god, from Man the animal and Man the thinker.

    Each human being has in him something divine, something his own and unique, a chance of perfection and strength in however small a sphere. But it is only when man rises at the summit of his ascent into a spiritual being that he can realise his divine manhood and manifest the Divine in all its glory of Love, Knowledge, Power and Perfection"the highest that he can dream of"whatever be his field of action. So, the fundamental aim of education in Auroville will be to put the individual in contact with his soul and then help him to find, in the light of his soul, his own indispensable place in the orchestra of the whole. Auroville hopes to provide the right conditions and environment as well as the full facilities to help the individual to bring out all that is best in him and to make it perfect for a noble use so that he may fulfil his unique role and his mission on earth.

    The primary discipline necessary for this is for the individual to observe and be­come conscious of himself, conscious of all the instruments of his being"physical, vital, mental, psychic and spiritual"and their workings, to develop, transform and organise them around the divine centre of his being. It is through the psychic presence that the individual comes into contact with the truth of his being. In most cases this presence acts, so to say, from behind the veil, unrecognised and unknown. However, it is only when it comes forward and takes the lead that the individual goes through life with an assurance and a certitude all his own and becomes the master of his destiny. This is the psychological discipline of the integral Yoga, which is absolu­tely indispensable if one wants to know and express the highest truth of one's being, and if one aspires that all one's actions, thoughts and feelings, even the very sensations and impulsions may manifest the supreme beauty and splendours which one so often receives in one's awakened thoughts and visions when one opens oneself to the light of the Superconscient.

    The education in Auroville will be therefore integral, aiming at the development, transformation and perfection of all the parts of one's being so as to build an all-round personality which is beautiful, harmonious, sensitive, supple, luminous and powerful in all its movements of mind, life and body, and selfless, heroic and noble in its actions. For this an individual may be required to go through the study of all arts, aesthetics, humanities and sciences which each can choose according to his capacities and needs of self-perfection, self-expression and self-fulfilment.

    It is evident that there will be no fixed courses or curricula, nor tests, degrees and diplomas which have value only if one wants to earn money or a good name and position according to the standard and values set by the conventions of the ordinary world. In Auroville which aspires to build a new world of the Future, individual value and sincerity of the person would have a greater importance than the worldly cleverness or material wealth and social position.  Since Auroville aspires to be the place of eternal youth, of an endless education and constant progress, degrees and diplomas, giving a false sense of satisfaction of having completed one's education will have no value and will be naturally out of place. Education in Auroville will be for the joy of knowledge and for the joy of becoming, for the joy of self-perfection and self ­transcendence, for the joy of self-fulfillment and world-fulfillment.

    The chief aim of education in Auroville will be to help each man to seek for and to manifest the Divine in every way of his being, and to so find it and live in it that no matter how"even in all kinds of ways"he lives and acts, he shall live and act in the Divine, in the Spirit, in the eternal Reality of his being, manifesting its truth and its law; and to discover the truth behind the veil of forces in the universe, to disengage the divine Reality behind everything and to work for its full manifestation.

    Some of the programmes and projects of research and education in Auroville will be: to know the secrets of Nature and of life; to know oneself and to be the mas­ter of oneself, of life, of Nature; to seek after the Truth and perfection; to surmount within oneself all weaknesses, incapacities and the falsehoods of Ignorance; to conquer the causes of sufferings, illnesses, war and miseries; to vindicate the rights and the dignity of Man by helping him to transcend his half-lit humanity and fumbling mental-ethical consciousness and its conflicting laws; to eradicate Ignorance and the divisions of the egocentric consciousness by a change of Consciousness which is the inevitable further step in human evolution; to enrich the existing faculties and bring forth new ones; to triumph over one's limitations, narrowness, rigidity of views and prejudices by constantly widening one's horizon of comprehension in the light of the Truth-Consciousness; to harmonise all the parts of one's being, integrate the persona­lity and to be the whole Man of the Future, embodying the new consciousness, which transcends the limited and divisive consciousness of the present Man; to perfect and transform all the instruments of one's being into powers of the spirit so as to mani­fest the divine Reality within; to perfect and synthetise knowledge in each field and to integrate all fields of knowledge; to perfect each culture and to unify all cultures; to discover the particular genius and the role of each nation in the comity of all nations and to integrate the human race; to develop and use the resources, experiments and benefits of science and technology for the amelioration of mankind; to march unto the Unknown by constantly searching and making new discoveries on the spiri­tual and material planes so as to find new ways of enriching life; and thus to progress always towards ever more perfection and a more noble and truer life, the higher and vaster life of the Future, the life of Truth, Knowledge and Power, of Love, Unity and Bliss, making the whole life of the earth beautiful, divine.

    All of Auroville in its entirety and in its details of all activities and organisation will engage itself in this educational process and will be a laboratory for this experi­ment, where no problem of life and its manifold relationships on all levels of action will escape the scrutiny and the study of its citizens. Auroville, being dedicated to the whole of humanity, will naturally seek all ways and means for the fulfilment of its highest aspirations, and will be a training institute for the whole of humanity, a fully equipped, intellectually alive and spiritually inspiring home for all men, women and children, who will learn together to live in oneness and who will live together to learn all the time, at each moment of their life. Education in Auroville being  a conscious experiment of living and an adventure of consciousness, the scope of its research being as wide as the universe, its aim being an advent of a new race of gnostic beings, it will naturally embrace the Infinite in its infinite aspects and move towards a progressive universal harmony. The cultural pavilions of all nations of the world will not only provide a right setting for this purpose, but also afford the unique opportunity and the facilities for its manifold researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity.

Compiled by KAILAS JHAVERI