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Introduction to the University of Human Unity: the first meeting on 25 Nov 2006

Notes from the 1st meeting of UHU 25.11.06

Texts on Spiritual Education

Chronological History of the Idea and Term "University"

About the term "university"

Why is this the time for a university in Auroville?

Seeing Auroville as an international centre of integral education

Discovering an Integral Approach to Knowledge - Summary of Sessions

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

       

Exploration of "What is UHU?"

An exploratory session held at a Saturday UHU session in Fall of 2007

Group 1 report:

First speaker: I see UHU as an open container for the free exploration and development of consciousness through the various faculties and fields of knowledge. Each researcher would have the opportunity to choose rather than following a syllabus. UHU staff and facilitators would provide suggestions and channel resources. Motto: freedom, wisdom, joy. A center for the collaborative sharing of experience with others who come in and who can take their experience out to other environments.

Second speaker: UHU should have a base, and it should be the cradle of something new. It should connect theory and practice. It should have an interest in the big and the small. It should collect what is good in the world and understand it in both a scientific and a spiritual way. It should keep the Mothers vision alive and better it! Let it be a filter, take things in and make them better. Never ending progress build on each stage continuously.

Third speaker: It is good to know but to become is better should be a motto of UHU. The members should cultivate multiple talents and expertise, develop excellence in several fields, such as multi lingual ability. Such plural knowledge could lead to the facilitation of other areas of Aurovilles development and enable people to better appreciate where others are coming from. It should fed back to Auroville and be involved, for example in the education of children. It could encourage multi talented development in schools.

We need a framework in which people can deliver products, a discipline which gives opportunities for peer reviews, presentations, reporting achievements and discoveries, showing concrete results of ones research. If there is no pressure to achieve and preserve, people tend to be lazy. However far you go, it needs to be concretized.

Comment 1: I am cautious about putting expectations; some may stop or deviate and should have that freedom.

Comment 2: I dont feel we can concretize the development of consciousness. I dont want to limit self-discovery by putting goals. We cant evaluate it.


Report on group discussion (Group 2).

Questions:

What would you like UHU to become?

Are there topics related to Auroville which you think UHU should especially concentrate on? What do you conceive its role to be?

The members of this group had different perspectives, and although there was an underlying reference to the questions, there was no clear conclusion that could be drawn from the discussion. Here is a summary of the three speakers statements:

One person felt that UHU should focus on the development of the psychic being in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Once that is done, all other faculties are honed.

The method should be through the Vedic approach of training the faculties.

Another person felt that in order to achieve human unity people need to be free from ill-will and ego. He said that if we go into the essence of traditions and cultures, that people from different backgrounds would be able to be free from ill-will and ego, and there will be human unity. It is the ego that creates the sense of separation, and so being free from it will create a sense of unity.

He also felt that UHU should not be a place for intellectuals who want to boost their egos. He felt that we can get all kinds of education in other universities, but UHU should be different and be accessible to everyone.

A person cannot attain to Buddhahood. A person becomes Buddha.

The third speaker felt that every aspect of life needs to be lived from a higher consciousness. The higher consciousness needs to be made practical. As far as UHU goes, it should also do what normal universities do, but it needs to be infused with Sri Aurobindos theories.

How does intellectual life change when it is infused with the higher consciousness?

In Psychology it is simple. Instead of being based on statistics, it can be based on inner experience. In the field of Architecture, new kinds of spaces would be created in new ways, so that people would feel different.

The facilitator suggested that there needed to be a way to use the theoretical knowledge to solve practical problems. He pointed out that there is often a resistance among intellectuals to relate to practical matters because the mental faculty in man is always considered to be higher than the rest. However, the mental faculties can be used for the organization of matter.

Conclusion: 1) All the faculties need to be developed.

2) Theoretical knowledge, intellectual ideas, and mental skills need to be applied to life and daily issues so that the evolution of consciousness leads to a transformation of life.

UHU could become the platform for the discovery of the Oneness in Spirit, Mind, and Matter, as well as the Individual, Universal, and Transcendental.


Report of Group 4

Our group was composed of :

Shivaya, Mikky, Bhavana, speakers

Aurelio, facilitator

Dominique, reporter

We mainly discuss of UHU, in an atmosphere of openness and richness of ideas. These ideas can be summarized under 3 points.

  • UHU, as a place which is a space

  • Self-reflection laboratory for Auroville. Becoming self-aware, conscious of its own mental processes, Auroville as a collective entity will take an important developmental step (see Bhavana written contribution encl.)

  • Unifying factor for multi-approaches knowledge, multi-systems interaction, multi-focal points of view of any subject. Mental rigidity, which tends to oppose or breaks into parts, should be overcome.

  • Informal platform where interactivity is cultivated, with no bottom/top hierarchy between discipline, but with malleable and light structures.

  • A place of welcoming new ideas and experiments, integrating expertise.

  • UHU as a process

Conceiving, developing this university is in itself a learning process. Actually many processes are involved:

  • Communicating with the whole world about scientific discoveries and breakthroughs. It should work as a wide website (open source, sharing space for expressing views, connecting people together)

  • linking platform on 2 levels :

    • linking Auroville community with a broader world, through events and seminars, invitations of both young seekers and older experts

    • Giving access to the various places of Auroville which generate knowledge (art, music, Savitri Bhavan, CSR,Verit, etc.)

  • Overcoming intellectual level of knowledge: giving space and consciousness to let other levels to emerge: developing the attitude based on Oneness, inviting this divine coming to draw intellect up to higher levels (the runway).

  • Linking mental activity to practicalities and experience, which implies developing new practices, new communication techniques, body and emotions contributions.

It is an organic growth, characterized by an osmose-type process rather than the cause-effect habitual patterns.

  • UHU as a gathering of people

It was stressed that this view of UHU entails a certain profile for the core group members, who ideally should show:

  • attitude of detachment and humility,

  • personally involved on a path of personal transformation, so that they can share this experientially through their presence, not just concepts

  • enthusiastic

  • Readiness to go beyond an intellectual level to higher levels of consciousness.

Report from Bhavana

I see UHU, in the body of Auroville, as the faculty of self-reflection. Becoming self-aware, conscious of its own mental processes, Auroville, as a collective entity, will take a important developmental step. Therefore, some of our intellectuals have been inspired to form UHU, but not as an ordinary degree-producing educational machine for the intellect, but as a "runway" in which the intellect will get itself up to such speed that it can take off, into the higher dimensions. We use the traditional term "university" mainly to indicate two things: one, that it is a place for higher learning, a place where a certain level of mental development is a prerequisite (but not necessarily in the sense of formal qualifications); and two, that it is a place where we welcome people, both young seekers and older experts, of university level capacity to join us in exploring into what is the nature of knowledge/consciousness, and how to approach it/develop it. It will require of its core members that they are devotedly on their own paths of personal transformation of consciousness, so that they can share this experientially through their presence, not just as a concept.

It will provide a platform on which the many sites in Auroville which are generating knowledge (art, music, Savitri Bhavan, CSR, Verite... etc) can be accessed. It can help Auroville approach human unity through developing the attitude based on Oneness which will develop communication techniques and practices which address the current problems facing the planet not on the same level on which they have come into being, but from a new, higher level.