Last updated: 29 Feb, 2024

The Passage, on decision making in Auroville

That's Roy
This is an article by Roy, an Aurovilian who has seen Auroville unfolding over many decades. Here are some interesting perspectives from Roy.

"To the senses it is always true that the sun moves round the earth; this is false to the reason. To the reason it is always true that the earth moves round the sun; this is false to the supreme vision. Neither earth moves nor sun; there is only a change in the relation of sun-consciousness & earth-consciousness."

Sri Aurobindo


A friend once remarked, while observing the way Aurovilians seem to stretch the process of decision making to great extremes, that there are high schools in America with a larger population than Auroville, and asked "why is it so hard for them to reach a decision"? Indeed, this is a good question and the answer goes a long way in uncovering the rather profound approach that comprises an 'Auroville decision'. When Aurovilians are asked to make a decision one may feel as if one is lost in a mirage of contradictions yet it is in the midst of these varying perceptions that we are compelled to unmask ourselves, to untangle the enigmatic puzzle of what we are and most importantly, push aside the obstacles that bar our entrance to the promise of Auroville's fulfillment. The dominant impetus behind this process of decision making itself, is the forging of the foundations of a 'human unity' in Auroville. Using the above quote from Sri Aurobindo metaphorically, Aurovilians continually juggle these three perspectives simultaneously, when approaching what, one day, might become a kind of decision. The problems arising in reaching a decision, within the context of this triple view of things and multiplied by 1500 Aurovilians can be, to say the least, a most exasperating of experiences, yet our seeking is indomitable.

An overwhelmingly potent and complex experience

There are so many complex elements to our living experience in Auroville which lay, beneath the surface appearances, subterfuge to our best intentions, that often strain our collective decision making process that are difficult to put into words. How, for example, can one explain to those who do not live in Auroville, or in India for that matter, what it means to live in Auroville through the months of April, May and June, when the Sun rises, full blast, as if some one had opened a furnace portal, the air itself so hot that one breaks into a sweat simply by writing on one's computer, the effort to move one's fingers can be that strenuous. Or the kind of 'actualities' we contend with, may very well be defined by which side of the Financial Service desk you may be sitting. It is foolish to try and describe the full breath of the overwhelmingly potent experience it is to live in Auroville as it is to try and define exactly what goes into, what may seem, as a 'simple' decision. The fact is nothing in Auroville is resolved superficially.

Auroville Consciousness & Aurovilian consciousness

But beyond these kinds of considerations there is the even wider range of perspectives, what Sri Aurobindo refers to as the 'Supreme Vision', which despite its abstract definition is a perception available to every Aurovilian's inner sense. Perhaps it would be simpler to say, that we are not making a decision as such, but rather we are going through a process in which we change the relationship between Auroville Consciousness and Aurovilian consciousness.

One feels at times, that a decision could be reached more effectively by simply going to the Chamber and quieting oneself, and in the most profound sense of the word, merge in Silence. Often we are pressed to acknowledge that as Aurovilians we are asked to purge ourselves of our limitations, purifying our intentions, becoming transparent and profoundly reflective and then only can we touch upon the truth that lays behind decisions we are asked to make.

The very integrity of what it means to be an Aurovilian

It is almost as if we are walking on an imperceptibly delicate path along a journey that in the end will lead to Auroville itself, and it is not so much about this or that decision that is being sought after but rather how we reach our destination that is most important. One thing is certain, nothing that is meaningful can be obtained casually, and the journey we have accepted to follow is a most extraordinary passage one may embark upon and this places demands upon the very integrity of what it means to be an Aurovilian.

Roy (Aurodam)