Most of us in Auroville have a distrust of authority. Coming here was partly to escape the world of authority, politics etc. And so when confronted with a form of, or a projection of, authority, many rebelled against it, by default as it were: it was an emotional compulsive decision.
Authority in Auroville lies in the Charter, the Divine Life, and as a first layer of execution means Leadership: the 3 bodies of governance called The Foundation, and it consists of Governing Board, Residents Assembly and the International Advisory Council. They are represented by a secretary and bring direction, decisions to be made. It is also there to protect us from power group’s tendencies that are obstructing development and creativity. Enabling us to…get on with it. Especially building the City and the major projects.
We have always had authorities in Auroville. These took the form of bureaucracy and groups of interest of different kinds……and extensions thereof, for example: reaching into the AVI’s and networks for fundraising, land purchase etc. Also people feeling entitled to the patch of land they had developed and not allowing others to build.
There exist forms of aristocracy for example, groups of interest. Little islands of authorities: even like country clubs as it were. Or the Entry group process holding power over one’s livelihood and making their demands: often crippling people’s chances of settling here.
Are all these not also forms of authority? They are almost invisible, like hidden networks that won’t budge.
The seeking of power and keeping it has always been there. In many ways these formations would hinder activities, block the development of the City, show favouritism concerning fundraising etc. The whole notion of freedom and collective process was a bit of a farce, drowning in these groups of interest: stifling our chances of developing on a collective level. Even the Residents Assembly of late tried to be the only authority and stop people from doing their work. Making a decision and then using the RA to stop it again because it was not to the liking of a few.
We have a lack of authority also. Anybody could come along and kick you out of your own project. Our working groups have never really had power behind decisions being taken. We could not move much, especially collectively. Very frustrating for those giving their time and energy often for nothing.
Now, when there are many people always commenting on the master plan, even on Mother, such things like ‘oh, it’s the past’, what are we to do: have no authority, no protection at all? Just be overrun by people who in their arrogance believe they know better?
We wish to refocus those energies to the one and only authority: Auroville, the Divine Mother. And we need leadership to do this, to get anything done.
Maybe leadership helps us not to be a victim of Authority.
Leadership can be better than fixed rules and regulations. It is not here to fix everything once and for all. It is a management to help redirect the boat towards the collective vision.
Yes it is especially towards building the City and its major elements.The Mother gave a detailed design and concept, through Roger, a great man and loving person. Why can we not also show love to this, and align and work in simplicity and under leadership… . The authority is The Divine, Auroville itself. We need not rebel or go against it, nor submit to the idea we have of it. Rather, to learn and rise to a third perspective and towards a society governed by sages and intuitive intelligence. Individual and collective research, effort, life. Freedom of expression, generating creative energy.
The freedom we are longing for then can begin to develop. And the authority of the RA can grow more true. And love can grow amongst people creating this vision.