By Lory Martinez
As our time here comes to an end, I think a lot of us are asking ourselves questions about how Auroville has changed us, whether we will translate the environmental consciousness we learned here to our lives din Paris and beyond, but I’d like to add another thought to that…
Will we continue to think about our own self development in the same way?
I’m not talking about Spirituality per se, I do not know enough about The Mother’s teachings to put forth her philosophies, but there is something that happens in Auroville that happens in few other places: self – development, a questioning about our role as humans and what we can do to better ourselves in a transforming world. This role can be anything from documenting bird sounds, to teaching greener waste practices to inspiring healthier eating through permaculture farming and so on.
There are many reasons to come to Auroville, but they all have one thing in common: a development of both the world and the self in one.
In this program we are all at a point in our lives where we wanted to make a change- turn left instead of right and continue our studies to learn more about what we can do as citizens of the world. For those of my peers who wish to go into the field of development, there is a desire to create change on a global scale, but , at the same time achieve a kind of self realization: to ultimately do a job that fulfills you, in any way. And we all feel that way.
This is a place where people have the opportunity to discover what they can do to contribute to a community. It is a place where families have the time to be with their children while still trying to achieve their dreams of more sustainable living. It is a place for self-discovery.
The people I’ve met here come from a number of different backgrounds, but they all do work they love, that they are passionate about, that makes them feel fulfilled.
And yet, many people come and go from Auroville: Guests and Tourists circulate this intentional community regularly. And even Aurovillians leave .
In fact, I’ve spoken to many Aurovillians who have left for many years only to decide, that Auroville is ultimately where they’d like to live. Many leave for the same reasons people everywhere leave small towns: wanting to see more of the world, to discover who they are in a different space etc .
But the difference is, the ones who return to Auroville come back for the same reasons- to find themselves, to discover who they are, whether they have changed for the better over time, whether they have in fact had that moment of self-realization. The difference is, Aurovillians who return understand the spirit of Auroville is not just an example for a better world within the sphere of sustainability, but also an example of the best self we can put forward to a world that needs our help.
And that’s why coming back here, whether it’s a year from now or ten years from now, isn’t such a bad idea. And even if we don’t come back, I’d like to think that we carry that spirit of changing ourselves for the better with us even as we fly back to our lives in Paris this evening.