India 2, Auroville

Beside the road somewhere between Chennai and Auroville:

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One first day in Auroville

Knowing that I have time to fill in while being in India, I wrote just all I could think about to offer my project. Couriously I informed myself about Auroville through the web, from which I heard a radio report recently. Utopia, alternative economy, lots of Yoga, also spiritual leaders, well, its India, they are all over, but lets check it out. From all the e mail addresses I could find, some answered me interested. Also the "Outreach-Auroville", a kind of media controle system got in touch with me, forbidding ALL filming, even filming my own artistic product there, though I offered complete transparence of my actions and ambitions, icluding to do it all in dialoque WITH outreach. Well, it made me quite suspicious about the politics there, since even in totalitary countries like Uzbekistan noone told me so, and they knew about filming and the project too.

At Auroville, of cause the lady who invited me and I dont find each other first. She is a very engaged German Lady in Auroville who knows everybody and initiates many projects and activities, like artistic ones and also a whole school.

There she is, with her moped, like everybody seems to use one here, and she rides me and my luggage to her beautiful house in the middle of the woods on a farm.

The state of mind I am in, due to the speed of my last two days of traveling, is creating an enormous difference to the pace Auroville is operating in. Finally this is the welcome I need now, just relax and take my time for everything.


I get the perfect introduction to Auroville. As an inhabitant for many years my host knows all the politics, projects, people, problems and what works well here.

Adminstratively there are a few things to do for me as a guest. We have to go and register me on her address officially at the townhall. I get also a payment card, wich gets charged with money and I can pay with this in most restaurants, etc. . All that plus frequenting several restaurants we do on her small moped. Without a vehicle like that, you can not manage the distances in between the places. Orientation is a drag in the beginning, since there are not much reference points, except trees.

Welcome to India doesnt stop jet this day because it is a big day of celebrations.

Usually all the tools and everything which is used to work with is made ready with the right spirit for one year. In one of the celebratioons I ask if I can put my pocket-multitool with the chisels, saws and all other tools of the wood-workshop lined up nicely on tables. Yes, of cause, it gets the red pigments, like all of them. The oldest person does the ritual with smoke on everything and everybody, everybody gets yellow and red spots on the forehead as well.

Chisels are prepared with a small lemon sticking on it, ready to be cut in half, while chipping off a pice of wood with them at the same time. Some people come forward to do so several times. A huge melon, inside pigmented red, on top a small fire, is carried around inside the building and one time around, before it gets smashed to the ground in front of the entrance next to one of the many chalk paintings.

We eat sweet rice and chickpeas. Now all tools, small or big, each srewdriver and each huge machine, is moved or shaken once. I get my multitool back with the hint to use it now once. ---Hmm, what to do?-

There are some screws to tighten in the door, it looks like. At least I can pretend to do so.

Finally everybody gets a present. I get a bag with more of the delicious rice, chickpeas and two babanas for dinner.

Just one hundred meters further is another workshop of instruments where we go right after. The same ritual happens here, just with the difference that the workers are drumming and dancing really wild through the whole building and around. One more celebration like that I attend the next day on the farm where I stay the first two days. The actual ritual is held at the shrine/temple, which is just a place in between the trees and some statues. The oldest guy refuses to hold the ceremony. Out of an unexplained reason he is pissed off, so that two other woman more or less improvise it. But that doesnt matter, it seems that everybody can hold it. You dont need to be specialised and have had studied theology for many years to activly hold a religious ceremony.

But before my first day in Auroville ends, we go to one School. Young kids recite, somehow bored, traditional Tamil songs and prayers , while some other dance in front of the audience. All looks endlessly learened parrot fashion, not much motion in the words, not much spirit in the dance. But fine, the kids get away with it, everybody applauses. Grown ups have tpo add all the tricks later to make it looking like there is a meaning and sense to it.

Meanwhile it got dark and I dont know anymore where we are and give myself willingly into the hands of Karin. She will get me home somehow on her moped.

We ride to another place where people dance in a circle the traditional Tamil dance.

 When we arrive they just prepare with a few dancers, but within the hour we are there already two circles are needed for the many dancers. Whoever wants can join, just a few Tamil ladies really know how to dance it with ease. One soloist is there as well: a grey haired tall man in white dress, a turban like long schaal and red shoes, improvises frenetically his owns steps and directions with lots of enjoyment and bumps into the other dancers once a while.

-How long will it last?-

-Maybe all night ... .-

-Ok, I had enough for today, lets go home ... ."

Home, means in thos case a small, nice proper house, in which a Tamil house maid takes care for all inside, and a Tamil gardener for the oputside. Hmm, "good" living here in Auroville for a post colonial European, I think to myself ... .


Bikers Everywhere

Already on the way there on the first day I spotted an old Transalp in front of a house on the farm ground. Around the corner I met the owner. He is living since many years here and immediatly tells me about the pros and cons of Auroville, that in the early times it would have been less bureaucratic, more free, of cause. Now I meet the tall, pigtailed, grey and unidentifiable aged man back, since he tries to rent out his place to me.

-The basic income is not enough, one has to make some more money here.-

One might think behind his halfe closed eye-lids the mind might be far away, but quite clever he tries to find out about my finances. Well, I have instinct enough to sense the intention. Anyway I can not pay rent, the budget is way too tight and I need the support of people wherever I can get it and in whatever form. But we had a nice chat about motorcycling and at the end I offer my help for anything he might need a hand for, like I do with almost everybody I meet, so far unreplied.


Talking about Art, Cows, Hygene and Traffic ones more

My project seems to fall on fertile ground here, people receive it and seem to make a connection with their stile of economic and ethical life here. Sharing and giving is one of the major principles to keep it upright. Many of the ones who have more, seem to give to the ones who need.

As trhe people from the "Auroville Art Service", who I meet to talk about the possibilities of my project, confirm to me, that the gesture of presents is happening e.g. in a form of anonymous gifts one can give to someone in need.

Also I would get all kinds of proposals and ideas from participants what and how to do the presents for someone. I would be surprised, because In Auroville everybody is doing whatever they want.

-Ok ...!-

They think it is the best to publish an announcement in the local newspaper a coll for participation and then see further how we can organise the event.

My comment, that I was forbidden beforehand by the "Auroville outreach", the media controle system there, to take any videos from my own artistic work, stays uncommented by them. It does not help me to dissolve my suspicion about the place. Also that I have not only to explaine the project, but that one of them tries to look down to the bottom of my soul with a suspicious expression which is quite demanding to let happen. But I dont have anything to loose or to hide, so I am accepted while I talk from the bottom of my heart about the ethical reaons of my art practice.


Now, halfway rested and arrived, I write these lines just my fourth evening in India, close to the beach in the house of another host, who gave me my next room for a while. He is a kind of caretaker for a healing-center of Auroville at the sea, also living since many years here, making a few extra Rupies with handcrafted articles from coconuts.

Small bats are flying sometimes their circles through the completly round and open windowed room. I guess it is their droppings I clean up each morning next to the slightly bigger droppings of lizards. All kinds of insects are around of cause as well , luckily no rats so far and not too many mosquitos. I try to keep everything clean as possile and desinfect immediatly all scratches on me, the dishes and the floor. Only one person I talked with about India before coming here, told me that he didnt get heavily sick. Any bacteria, viruses, insects, small animal of all kinds grow like nowhere else in the world. The tap water is of cause undrinkable for me. Most food I dont touch.


The lack of a sense for hygene joins up with the non-education and problematic gender issues in India. As I am told and also can see by myself, not everywhere is something like a toilet, e.g.. While man can shit and pee during daylight almost everywhere, I hear, that the woman have to wait often until it is dark, and then they go a high risk to be raped outside. To keep the urin and shit inside the whole day encreses the numbers of infections of all kind with woman dramatically. Girls are often not send to a school, because there is no toilet for them. Etc., etc. ... .

The spiritual believe system has to provide solutions for all those problems where information and education is missing even on the most basic achivements of civilisation. The other way around, many of the problems, based on the absence of organisation and reason have their root in the mystification of everything worldly. The simple trouth is in most cases not the wanted spiritual transcendence, which oversees the problems in exchange for a higher enlightenment, but it is the excuse for pure lazyness.




The few kilometers distance between the beach and Auroville I ride now with a very small rented moped, not a real motorcycle, but it will do the job. Halfway is a small village with the most necessary: bank, shops, moped rental, shoemaker, and a small supermarked where I can get alkohol-free beer, I have not seen any real one around. In Auroville alcohol is officially banned ... .

If you know India a bit, you know also that garbage, dogs, goats and cows are everywhere. The particular cow next to the supermarket looking for food where is only junk, tried how far she can go to try to eat my shoppings. How far can I go with the holy animal to chase her away? She seems to know that I am a stupid foreigner and insists on her right to eat my belongings, but I manage to get the moped always in between her and the shopping bag until I finally push the huge animal away and start the machine. Probably it givs me bad Karma for the next 20 years. But a friend told me once, there is always a counter magic to balance any magic out.

On the road there is nothing else to trust, but being certainly involved in an accident sooner or later. The biggest has the way of right, whatever side or direction that vehicle is on. The hierarchy from the top seems to be: bus, truck, big car, small car, motorcycle, moped/scooter, bicycle, man, woman, boys, girls, goats, dogs, cats, rats. Individual variations are only made in the lower section. Problems seem to occur only, when the followorder is differently interpreted. All vehicles make extensive use of the horn. Chasing others off the road or just giving the signal that you are behind and ready to take over. Or, warning anyone coming out an alley or road into your way. There are of cause endless reasons and techniques to blow the horn. Sometimes it seems to be pure exitement of the ride or halluzinations.



Personality and character seems to be uninteresting for Aurovillians in the way it is traditionally understood. But underneath the mostly superficial smile the old fears are present. I feel it, I see it, you cant fool me.

Noone is interested what someone might have to say, if it is not the "official"-correct propaganda. Once a while I notice the eyes making the typical movements which reveil thoughts behind, but never a transparent dialoque about these thoughts develops.

Noone wants to talk about any "issues" with me or wants to explain anything.

Publicly there is no culture of discussion, opinion, or differenciation of philosophies happening. Only the "Mother" and "Aurobindo" himself are present through their books, huge posters and small images everywhere, in public buildings and at home. Nothing and noone else, except old Yoga-Star Iyengar himself is allowed in one of the studios where his form of the science is practiced. Also in the Tibetian Pavillion the Dalai Lama has a same size poster at one wall, which is not occupied by the super-human couple.

Class society is the normal. Many have cheap house maids in their small, but comparative luxury houses. A class difference is also made between newcomers, real inhabitants and guests like me. Also in the Yoga studios you find classes of cause, but usually the more advanced ones are not for guests.




Creditable is the practice of making the ideas working on the dayly human level, instead of transcending onself only with meditations and religious practice reaching upwards and forgetting about the earth. Also there is a very low crime rate, some solar power, biological food and it seems to be a paradise for kids. No garbage laying around and therefor more healthy cows and rarely ratholes.

But since everybody and everything is inspirited with the doctrine of Aurobindo and "the Mother", noone and nothing can be criticised or discussed without comissioning blasphemy. Public discussions or the presence of different opinions about the system are simply not found.

The architecture, circles of zones around the most holy Matrimandir (sankrit for: temple of mother, which is even designed on a plan by herself)  and the personification of those spiritual leaders, Aurobindo and "Mother", present through photos EVERYWHERE, are suggesting to that it is a religiously based system of society. Many do use a more than simplified religious practice, which is rarely found in civilized and developed societies, like the society in Auroville claims to be. The word "Mother" is used often for any unclear thoughts, although there are precise words existing to describe it. Such mystification of rational processes seem to fit better for many to avoid thinking and therefor disagreement or in consequence finding solutions in their communications.

What a village-behaviour this is!

Many woman are of cause exited about the fact that a female person is offered as the one to worship, the one who is in the center of it all. Female indifference in the perception of one world without rational abstraction is producing an unclear cloud of the good sensation. Good sensation because one "feels" "right", "good". From here everything is observed, analysed, judged, put in relation and in dependencies. Because one "feels" "right" something else is judged "wrong". Huaghhhh.  Please leave me out of this. I have one mother, a real biological one, she told me already as a kid all I need to know about nature, god and the human beings, and thats enough.


"But then, you know, "the Mother" came to me, you now?"

No, I dont know, and I dont want to know. You just could have said: "I thought, knew, intuitively got, guessed, saw, felt, ..., it is probably better to ask a doctor what to do after the monkey bit me, even it is a smal bite with just two little holes in my arm." It is obvious for anyone that it is probably not so good to be bitten by a wild animal. "Mother" or not.

I am not joking, I had that conversation with someone indeed. Someone who studied, was reading high-end literature, who was politically and socially engaged for many years and had a responsible job in a social organization. But that person gave up its own mind in excahange with someone elses mind, "Mother", as if they all didnt have or still have a biological mother ... .

Religious practice goes along with scientific thinking very well, they dont exclude each other at all. One good example is the medival Thomas of Aquino, one of the greatest thinkers in the European hemisphere so far, who joined Christian theology with Aristotelic thinking. He wasnt great in all things, for example, if at all, he was only into men, and didnt have any idea about woman. Thats why he wrote unfair things about them. Also he didnt get along with the Jewish community, which was a general confrontation at his time. But he could think constructively WITH religious aspects.

And very very rarely it is denied by any of the top scientists of the world in any century or discipline, that religion has its place in society one way or another, and the existence of something like a god cant be either proven or disproven, it is a matter of believe. Most of the serious scientists, still today, seem to be quite religious to me, since most of them admit, that they have no clue about WHAT they exactly work with.


Many who live here in Auroville who frequent this place have a sense for humanistic values but do not have the cognitive tools (anymore?) to differentiate those values in verbal articulations. The esoteric "good" is used and also often misused for anything, which is too difficult to describe with words, though these appropriate words exist and are understood by everyone. But doing so would bring up suspicion by the others. And nothing is more fearful than the look of the others. Perfect controle. The price for the security to be part and hold in such a society is the individual freedom to observe and free mind to think and articulate any observation, whether it is within or out of the range of official correct behavior and opinion. On top of that comes the fear to be just somply kicked out of the country when any trouble might occure, since all the foreignors are only living there on a visa base. One participant of my project told me so, that she actually HAS that fear, and that she knows about people who were kicked out throughj the simple fact of not been given another visa.

This kind of selfcontrol of a sociological system I met only in other spiritually orientated sects, or in countries where the general opinion of society controls itself through the defensemechanism against everything what is different. The stabilisation of the own system is here not gained through a transparancy of steering processes, but differenciation against the outside - the actual geographical and cultural outside and the internal difference of cultures and thoughts. The main criteria is not based on an analysis of the historical facts or factual analysis of thoughts, but is just based on the fact of obvious, superficial difference itself. In a system of good and bad differenciation, the other can be only the bad one, since the own system is unquestioned declared as the good one.

This mechanism is used in political systems, which let the society control itself in a manner of: "You are with us, or you are against us."

Installed fear is the factor to trigger reactions for which the recognizable responsables have the solution. Usually this is a short feedback cycle to the propagated values of that system.

Unreflected religions and similar mythodological arrangements are easy bait for the misuse by political power and are often installed and "tolarated" excactely for that sense.

The weak want to be part of the majority.


Here we can see the value of philosophies, which are able to understand difference as a creative and therefor positive potential. The implementation into reality can be done by building institutions and favoring processes of inclusion of the difference instead of inclusion only in the case of giving up ones own, different, identity. Or even worse, if the pure exclusion of what and who is different is applied. The model favored by the author can, of cause, only work out, if all differences agree about the basic value of this model. But variations and even the favorisation of fundamentally different systems help the entire development, if the reason for discussion is transparent and a common aim is agreed to, while this aim and methods are tested over and over again.




The whole place runs economically only because of the huge difference of economic values in India and the richer countries, from where lots of money comes in the form of pensions of the older Aurovillians who worked abroad, donations and selling, renting pricy articles and housing to visitors and so called guests like me who consumes each day for about 500 -1000 Rs, as well as even receiving money to have official helpers helping with all kinds of work. Every guest has to pay a dayly fee as well.


The town is too big by now, that all inhabitants can make the relevant decisions on consense basis only. A political system would be necessary to devide the power to make decisions, also FOR the others, and not necessarily WITH everybody who doesnt understand anything about the issue.

Also they seem to know by now, that, to organise all this, procedures which are in fact the same as they are applied "outside" would be necessary. Many of these procedures are already applied, more than people like to know. Looking down to the facts, it is running as artificial as any other installed program elswhere in the world with the same problems elsewhere. To keep it succsessfully running, many protective barreriers make the whole system difficult to understand from the outside on one hand, on the other hand practical barriers, like the declared classifications of human beings, make it difficult to enter.

Luckily there are all these different people who see it from different angles and importancies. One thing important to understand is, that Auroville is a very diverse system with some meaningful intentions and even some projects which make total sense like open schools and education projects for the children there, ecological farming and research, etc..

But they all have to "unite", one of the few keywords, which is often used, to describe the process of consense-decisions and the process giving up ones individuality of mind for the sake of the village, the tribe, the better world. Conformity of the mind and cooptation of society are the effect and they are needed for such selfcontroled smoothness.


Or are there also other reasons behind the sheep like mass behavior? As mentioned before, usually those described self-control mechanisms are installed usually in states and groups to avoid the discussion about what really stears and controles that system.

There is roumor outside the system but close enough, always pointing to "lots of money", "someone is making cash there", "where is all the money going?"

I dont have enough figures to make an exact calculation about the economy of Auroville. It is hard to imagine that it really happens in a way that a group of people or even a single one is behind it all to take the money out, since too many official organisations are taking part in it, but scandals are happening everywhere, even where they were unthinkable. Red Cross, Caritas, Vatikan, all states anway, are the ones, which cross my mind immediatly. ,




The relative stability of it, think about all the utopian projects which gave up sooner or later, comes from the support of the Indian government, the UNO, lots of work of engaged people frpom allover the world and lots of money from relativ rich people from abroad compared to the poor indian salaries. Many have other work or buisinesses outside.

But many would say the stability comes from the spiritual nature of this project. And I must admit: the undefined structure and unspoken rules give for the inhabitants an athmosphere as if all would be allright, and on the other side for outsiders, that it is too crazy and unimportant to be too much involved. But that the writings and words of Mother and Aurobindo would offer a lot of insights and philosophical ideas and structures to work along, I can not assert. Their doctrins seem more to be the placeholder for all which can not or should not be articulated clearly and definetly dont offer rational means for constructive communications.

So the project went through many ups and downs, struggels and growth, even the original plan of 20.000 inhabitants did not reach much more than 2.000 by now, if I remember the figures right.

Now they get down to face with the very normal problems amongst each other, which all human beings have to solve: territorial behavior, class-society, the need to educate themselves with more then just one doctrine, the need to understand the difference of esoterism, spirituality, religion, theology, philosophy and sociology, and the difference of sensation, feeling, emotion, affection and love. And maybe most important the difference of right/wrong and good/bad. If someone doesnt make a difference of reasonalble right and morally good, then quickly the others have to be the wrong and bad ones.

Maybe good that there is still this kind of "human resistance" in form of human imperfction against the big plan of "The Mother" to build this utopian city where everything is "good", where people are not complete humans with their incompleteness anymore, since the only official startegy seems to be to ignore the existing problems. Now it seems more, that this incapability to follow her big pan, is the biggest factor of stabilization of her child.



One more house to stay, but I didnt like to be told each day what to do when and how or what to do or not to do, so it lasted only 4 nights. Now I am in a nice place for myself, the smallest house one can imagine, a warning of rats was given, but I didnt see any so far.

One meeting with potential participants went quite well, and tomorrow is another with some more participants, hopefully.

I know that it is partly my own lack of communication with people. The mood of fear to comission blasphemy didnt encourage me like the friendly, but determined reactions to be very busy with whatever did as well.


The kitchen I share with two German helpers, who are here through the "Welt-wärts" (world-wards) organisation, paying them some pocketmoney to be anywhere on the planet to work in an recognized organisation, and paying that organisation 50€ per month as well.

The two are nice guys who want to do something in the world before studying, They share my observations about Auroville and know as well, that they will not stay there forever.

That kitchen was in a bad state when I arrived. As one of the generation to live in occupied houses in the 80ths and 90ths, I have seen a lot. The worst was the kitchen in an Amsterdam house, where one of my housemates thought it would be allright if her two dogs are shitting on newspaper inside of the kitchen. At least once a while, all two to three days, somone cleaned up all the mess of 10 people and three dogs. But it was a reason for me to leave that house, amongst the noise each night from the same lady with the shitting dogs.

Here, in the kitchen on the farm, noone cleaned up since months. Shit of all kind o small animals you dont want to see inside on the floor and on the shelves plus one small rat nagging the bricks through the wall. Accompanied was the mess with old mildewed pillows and a matress, diverse left overs of former "Welt-wärts" helpers from which the only usable items were the many, quite diverse books they left.

Starting a very fundamnetal cleaning the next morning of my arrival made the others feeling somewhat guilty, searching for excuses, like the one the people before left all the mess, but finally everybody helped and with some pride we are cooking and eating in the kitchen now without aunts in the food and ratshit sticking to the feet. But Jesus, help me and others, how quick do people "get used" to conditions and accept an unhealthy surrounding.



The Escape

"Thomas, do you know that they bring the water at the Solar-Kitchen in motion before you drink it?" one of my kitchen mates askes one day.

"Ah, no, but yes, if you move the water it makes it cleaner and active, more oxygene is in it and less germs have a chance, dont you know?"

"Well, maybe ... , but do you know that they also treat it with music? ... Music with texts of "The Mother", in her own original voice!"

Ostentatiously I dropped the fork.

Already that day I was thinking how much longer I could take this peculiar athmosphere of "we are the good people", excluding everybody who doesnt carry the good being selfconciously in front of him all the times, not to get into misunderstandings with the others that someone else could think you are not part of the "good ones".

Of cause, water carries the information of its sourrounding. Think of this: if a stripe of magnetoferric tape can store and give back a whole orchestra recording, or, for the people which grew up only with digital media, a chip does this as well with mathematical formulas based only on 0 and 1, why should water not be able to absorb sounds and carry their information? Of cause it does. Some artists made prints with the molecule structure of such differently treated waters. And if you build the right testing method, you probably can SEE the difference of water which is treated with music of the "Ramones" or with a J.S Bach Cantata.

That Auroville does it with the wisdoms of "The Mother" without warning, I interpreted as an attack on my sub-molecular physical integrity.

So far I have no confirmation if this is really true, but even if someone invented it, it fits to the influencial athmosphere there.


The moment I dropped the fork ostentatiously my decision was made: not one more day I will stay. I had to tolerate already too many unwanted attacks on my concious intelligent, rational thinking and experience based integrity, which enabled me so far to make my own observations, relate them with the obvious historical and recent facts and the people, and draw then my theoretical and practical conclusions, which were so far not the worst.

But here, no questions about the source and the theory behind it all could be answered, moreover these were understood as possible critique and blasphemy. So before such question you already sense the blockage, which will come.

""The Mother" said this and that", is too often the only answer without any other explanations.

In such environment people can not think and discuss important issues. That is one of the reasons they are stuck in some problems of the big plan. The single projects are doing usually fine in their own village structure, but have problems with the communication with the others.

No wonder, if in the center of it all, there is the "Matrimandir" (sanscrit for: the house of mother), a place for meditation and a very well managed tourist attraction, but not a market place, e.g., or something else which provides the possibility for communication and discussion.

I can not help myself, but thinking that life, communication and thinking itself is very controled there, since most of the people there are saying something about freedom compared to the outside, when confronted with any issue about Auroville itself, or, as mentioned before, that "the Mother"/Aurobindo said this and that without giving further detailed analysis.

Helplessly lost souls, or is there still hope for anyone?


The Project

I tried, and they tried. After it took quite a while until we had people for my project together, we started to rehearse. probably it would have been better not to make this public call for participation, which took too long and I never got rid of the impression some people were talked into it, but actually didnt have the time or interest.

Everybody chose a person to make the present for, and I had to overhear some ideas of making a present for "The Mother", which were asked(!) into the round, looking for confirmation of the others. But since everybody is very sensitive there, they must have picked up, that this idea would be not the most elaborated one in my mind. It took another while until anyone would react to what I gave as hints about the presentees and what might be able to do with them. I never told anyone directly what to do, just gave suggestions or asked questions, more carefully as I ever did before, because all I said was listened to very carefully and anxiously, as if I would want to trap anyone into something. Normally I dont even give suggestions, but nothing would move on, so I had to be exemplary.

All upcoming ideas they chose had to be for the welldoingand appreciation of Auroville and its inhabitants, of cause. Noone else from the outside was chosen.


People dont make their own observation anymore, because it is controlled which direction the mind should develop. "The Unity", again without any further explanation, is the articulated aim. What does that mean? That all human beings think the same? And - are not all human beings from the beginning seen as one community? Probably not in the mind of Auroville, because it is a class society, in some aspects worse than "outside".

The work itself was the most slow and difficult process so far in the whole project. And it was not the actual reason fo me to leave it. It was the constant add-up of unsatisfying encounters in an mindcontroled athmosphere.


Pack up ...

I do escape indeed, and succeed. The plan is to pack and get everything ready to leave without meeting anyone anymore. Would it be more honest to go to them and face a face to face goodby? Yes, but I would need to be aggressive to make them understand that I dont have a problem. Everthing else would be absorbed in their good-being-feeling and interpreted as the problem is on my side. I never was good in giving others this kind of fake triumph of being unquestioned right, which is just their failure of critical self-observation. And besides that, I think I dont have to give reasons where talking about something is not possible.

I just leave a note and dont see unfortunately the farmers anymore with who I had some nice practical encounters, like rolling the cow into position to get her up again, or bringing the herd back behind fence after they escaped for the fresh grass.

Also my kitchem mates are somwhere off working, and just can get a letter: Good Luck Boys! Take care of the kitchen!


Before I finally leave, I have to go to the financial service office, where I get the rest of the money back, which is still on my Auroville money-card which you charge and pay in most places with.

And for the last time I have to face the oversized portrait of "The Mother" hanging right in front of me beside the counter, and for the first time I notice the two different eyes of her in that photo which is present all over. The left eye is deep inside, receiving and connected to her inside, the right one is looking sharp down on me in a mixture of challenging, demanding, provoking and even criticising way. Underneeth the eyes the mouth makes a wide smile with thin lips from one side to the other across the whole face. The three components seem to try to tell me: are you sure you want to leave? But not as a polite question, respecting my own will, more as an order which is hard to overcome for some people: either you are with us or against us.

No, not with me, I think. Screw yourself!, is all I can I tell that kind of picture.


Just out of the door, Sharan stands in front of me. He is working in Auroville radio and made an interview with me. Before we met for inspiring talks and he was the only intellectual chatting partner I could meet, thoght he speaks only in quotes of thousands of books and poems he read oer wrote by himself.

"I have to leave!" "When?" "Now, and its not because of you." "I understand." "Sorry." "I am with you, brother." "Thanks, lets stay in touch!" "Yes!"

He was the one I wanted to read a text on stage as a present, and think about a performative action with him on stage as well. He still got the text from me and wanted to read it in the show, but the other participants didnt like that. They were deciding not to have him present while they do the show without me.


With the little moped I am hightailing out of the village hoping not to meet anyone of the inspirited people anymore. Well, if so, let the problem of the confrontation of my leaving be on their side, I think to myself. This helps and I start to enjoy my last ride there.

Yeah, riding again! Even on a small moped, overloaded with all my luggage, it feels so good!




But what is my point? Why do I bother at all, why am I so wind up with it and why dont I leave it alone as I was asking them to do with me as well?

Well, I will let them alone, but before I have to say my last statement about Auroville:

If someone writes on ones flag those issues of "better world", "spiritual development", "human values", "togetherness", etc., not only there is usually something else behind it, but it doesnt relieve from the responsability in communication with the "world outside". Not to do so is an insult to the people who work practically in projects with humanistic, environmental, educational intentions. It is also contraproductive, when it is not done with the necessary transparence and tolerance towards ALL people. To make out: we are the good ones, excludes others and makes them the "bad" ones. I thougt we have had enough of that already, so, there would be no reason to create the "bad" over and over again.

If there is only one way to understand the world, the unreflected Aurovillian way, if first I have to be part of you to be able to talk to you and to be accepted, if it is only yes or no, then it has to be a NO from my side.

Thanks to all the people with good intentions to invite me, but your place is definetly not made for me.

And for all who didnt get it jet: fear to be the outsider, the bad one, fear to make ones own observations, fear that these observations dont fit to the officially accepted ones, fear of the look of the others, that is the controle mechanism they try to keep us always contained with.

I have no films, sorry, because already before I came there, it was forbidden to me by "Outreach- Auroville", the media control system of Auroville, to make any filming about my own artistic project. Thanks Idiots! You just added to the intransparent public relations strategy, which makes the thinking world around you suspicious and critical towards you and the important issues dealt with in Auroville, but not only there. Are you scared about something? Contraproductive!

Here some photos:

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Contact:                                                                              © Thomas Lehmen 2013