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University for Human Unity and Aurovilian Research

Author: Wolfgang and Soleil

Last Updated: July 14, 2011

University for Human Unity and Aurovilian Research
Proposal for an all-parties IZ event in Feb/March 2012               

Submitted by Wolfgang and Soleil, July 2011

Presently in AV there are diverse and partly competing scenarios for the development of the International Zone.
Basically they are all referring either to the idea of national pavilions or to the plan for an Aurovilian University.
Both projects are part of Mother´s vision for the IZ. What seems to be needed  is a bridge to combine and to integrate these two parts into a coherent draft.

A recently developed conceptional and experiential workshop on  “Soul of Nations” adds a new educational dimen-sion to the vision of pavilions of national souls. This upgraded definition helps to make this part of Mother´s vision better applicable to her parallel idea of an International Aurovilian University on the premises of the IZ.

Wolfgang and Soleil are prepared to commit their “Soul of Nation” material (workshop curriculum and presentation) to the IZ group, AVI, CIRCHU, L´Avenir, University Group, Pavilion groups and other interested parties and individuals in AV. This could happen in terms of a training unit in AV in February/March 2012.   

Particularly they would like to propose helping to facilitate a forum for all interested parties at that time. The goal would be to arrive at a collective vision based on a harmonious integration of the core underlying principles that Mother has given importance to with regards to the IZ: Pavilions revealing the reality of national souls and an international university as a teaching and exchange center of Auroville's expertise.
Both principles could be combined via the foundation of an
University for Human Unity and Aurovilian Research .

1)  Vision of the IZ, Part I
     National soul pavilions as initiating experience of Human (Soul) Unity

The evolution and mission of nations are an important theme in Sri Aurobindo´s and Mothers work. Sri Aurobindo  wrote several books and made many comments on this topic. He refers to the soul or psychic being of nations as their inner and mostly hidden impulse. All nations, including each one of us, are invited to evolve in the present Subjective Age and to transform into spiritual societies.
Mother dedicated a whole quarter of Auroville to the exploration of the genius of nations, which can be seen as the creative expression of their national soul. For this research countries are supposed to build national pavilions, however not with the aim of creating a conventional world exhibition.  In the light of Mother´s and Sri Aurobindo´s teachings it becomes clear that the IZ and the pavilions are meant as a special learning field. Form and function of the pavilions are supposed to reveal the reality of an evolving soul element within nations.
According to Sri Aurobindo the bringing to awareness of this level is the only way to reach a sustainable international understanding and true Human Unity.

Some of  the IZ and  L´Avenir members  hold on to the idea of national pavilions as it was worded originally by Mother and architectural translated by Roger Anger.  This view implies an ensemble of national pavilions in continental groupings and in different geometrical pattern for each continent. “Each pavilion will conduct research on different aspects of the nation in the light of the evolution of consciousness. Cultural and educational activities of the pavilion will express the results of these studies”.

CIRHU focuses on an University of Human Unity in connection with the IZ. “CIRHU's main areas of focus will include the study of human transformation and the exploration of conditions that are favourable for an evolution in consciousness and the realization of a fundamental human unity. CIRHU wishes to be a kind of think tank and exchange-point for people around the world who are concerned with these themes - to experiment, discuss, exchange and contribute to the growing global understanding of what it means to create and live in a truly spiritualised society.”

 2) Aligning your individual Soul with the Soul of your Nation

    A new conceptional and experiential workshop

Mother and Sri Aurobindo did not leave us a description or “manual” to fully understand the evolution of national souls and to experience them from inside. Therefore the “Soul of Nation” workshop starts with expanded definitions of social evolution, nation and national soul. These drafts imply Sri Aurobindo´s and Mother´s statements and confirm and complement them with new findings in integral and academic psycho-sociology.

The workshop gives its participants deep experiences. Each individual member of a nation can become aware of the specific soul qualities of his/her nation and their connection with his individual soul. Based on this connection the participants can learn to discern the soul qualities from the shadow or ego aspects of their nations. One can learn how to integrate the former and to deal with the latter. This discerning process has an healing and releasing effect both for the participant and, in a homoeopathic manner, for the subtle field of the nation. In this way the individual becomes a forerunner and catalyst for the transformation of the collective towards a spiritualized society.

The Soul of Nation workshop, with its conceptional and experiential parts, was first held in March 2011 in  AV. Members of the IZ group and other interested Aurovilians expressed  their enthusiastic response afterwards (see AV Today May 2011). The workshop has been successfully offered in three continents so far, and will be offered in Canada in August. Presently there are first talks with an European government to officially endorse the workshop .

 3)   Vision of the IZ, Part II
       International University for Aurovilian Research

Another part of Mother´s vision of the IZ is the project of an International University. In AV and AVI several groups and individuals are working to manifest this goal.

The University Group is envisioning a campus with a new didactical style and an integral curriculum. “Mother told Roger that she would like the four dimensions – the physical, vital mental and spiritual – to be studied  in the university, as in a laboratory... There are many ways of learning. While some focus on the intellect, others deal more with the emotional level or with action. We should take all these forms of knowledge and learning into consideration if we are to succeed.”

There are also independent proponents of an Aurovilian University who put the substantial experience of the community in practical fields like urban ecology and rural development in the forefront of a future curriculum. 
B.V. Doshi,  member of the Governing Board of the AV Foundation:
Auroville has the responsibility to share whatever it has achieved and  to put it at the disposal of the world, and in return, receive what is needed to build the city and develop our society. ... There is expertise in so many fields in Auroville; the capacity to establish a university would be a step forward ...Developing a university would fall in line with the Auroville Charter and the Auroville spirit.”

Some AVI members and long-term Aurovilians like Gilles Guigan expressed their enthusiastic support for this University for Aurovilian research. Gilles published a paper with the title Auroville Now Needs An  International University; It  Was Always Part Of Its Program And Its  Campus Can Only Be In Its International Zone.

4)  The integrating body
     University for Human Unity and Aurovilian Research

A possible integration both of the different parts of Mother´s vision of the International Zone and of the various Aurovilian scenarios for their implementation could be an University for Human Unity and Aurovilian Research
on the IZ premises. It could consist of -

a) a growing number of  Pavilions of National Souls, following a rather free flow and the case-to-case decisions of different initiatives and groups, partly gathering around plazas and continents, leaving space for later developments. 

This organic and flexible process of building national pavilions in the IZ mirrors the ongoing complex and unpredictable nation-building processes with their various and multifaceted stages (“The most important idea is that the unity of the human race can be achieved neither by uniformity nor by domination aud subjection”, quotation from the IZ website).

The national pavilions could provide unique learning facilities for the outer expression and the inner experience of the soul of the nations. They could host conceptional and educational tools like the present Soul of Nation workshop (adapted to the specific nations) as first modules. They also could form a professional and educational platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise between Auroville and these nations.

b) Central Human Unity and University Buildings like the existing Unity Pavilion and later the CIRCU complex. In especially the latter could become the main University building. These central buildings could be supplemented by additional workshop and research buildings and facilities.

The key purpose of the buildings would be to form an interface between Aurovilian expertise and skills and the contributions of international students, scholars, professionals and practitioners.
An additional function of the central buildings could be to serve as a platform for national (soul) research which has not found its own pavilion expression yet.
The central buildings could also host conferences and international meetings in regard to integral research both of nations and national societies and of Aurovilian experiences in different fields .

5) Transfer of the workshop material to AV
Wolfgang and Soleil are prepared to commit the “Soul of Nation” material (workshop curriculum and presentation) to the IZ group, AVI, CIRCHU, L´Avenir, University Group, Pavilion groups and other interested parties and individuals in AV. This could happen in terms of a training unit in AV in February/March 2012.  This handing over would be a service to the community, only flight tickets and lodging in AV need to be funded by interested parties. 

The workshop could be offered in context of an Aurovilian conference or gathering with the topic (working title)
International Zone 2012University for Human Unity and Aurovilian Research .

Wolfgang served as AVI chairman and as chairman for AVI Germany for many years. Presently he is working on a book project: “Evolution of our national identity”, based on Sri Aurobindo´s social evolutionary vision.
Soleil is founder of the “Hladina Method”, a spiritual evolutionary healing technique based on Sri Aurobindo´s and Mother´s work and successfully applied in Auroville since several years.
Wolfgang Schmidt-Reinecke, MA :     Soleil Lithman, MA ;

6) Conclusion

This draft wants to combine Mother´s original vision and Auroville´s needs of today. Its aim is to outline a new kind of Integral University which could be seen as signpost of an evolving consciousness in the educational field. The project would imply and integrate two unique and valuable features:

a) Structured research for the inner (soul) dimension and the transformational potential of national societies. This upgrading of national identity is matching a demand in the contemporary discourse on the way of nations becoming holons of supranational entities (example European Union).

b) The sharing of unique and exceptional Aurovilian experience and findings in the process of ecologization both of rural traditional and of multicultural urban environments.

Auroville´s Charter and Auroville´s Soul are fulfilled and realized by (re)search and education
both in the inner and in the outer realm.