Some thoughts that appeared after reading “To be a true Aurovilian”, a text given by The Mother.
1) They say, “Good things come to those who wait”. In Auroville (or any spiritual community) the right thing comes along as soon as there is a need for it. A typical example would be the balance created by the flow of goods and services within a gift circle, where the gift tends to go where the most urgent need is, so that everyone’s needs get met.
The sense of possession distracts the trust in that “mechanism”. Instead of asking, “What can I give? How can I make your life more wonderful?” the possessive mind focusses on, “How can I get the most? What is in there for me? How can I preserve my stuff?” and thereby nourishes greed, building up severe imbalances of wealth and power.
2) Material life, along with personal identity, is like clothing. It is covering the surface of the actual body. We can pretend that there is nothing beneath the fancy surface and then even forget that we pretend, but the psychic body, as well as the physical one, has needs that ought to be met. If we don’t satisfy our hunger, the body will get weaker, become ill, and eventually die.
3) There is a difference between needs and desires. Needs are asking for the most basic elements that keep us alive. We can live without satisfying desires, the stuff we wish for, but we cannot last long with our needs unmet. Desires are like addictions. Sometimes they feel like urgent needs, but actually they just distract our mind by keeping us in constant movement in pursuit of excitement.
4) There is another difference, between desires and aspiration.
How do you know that the thing you wish for is coming from a higher consciousness, your true inner self, and is therefore sincerely aspired; or when is it merely a desire of the ego?
If your ego desires something you will hardly be able to let go of it. You cannot accept a “no”. When your desire gets satisfied new desires arise shortly after. If it does not get satisfied, you cannot give up the idea without feeling pity, frustration, grief, anger, and/or victimization.
The one who aspires is not dependent on specific results. There is no attachment to a certain outcome to an effort. He does not force others into accordance. He is not frustrated in case of failure; aspiration means acceptance of, and surrender to, the supreme reality (or fate, or the ways of the Universe, or God’s will, if you wish. One of my fellow newcomers called it Divine Conspiracy.)
Although the powers of the Universe sometimes seem to plot against your plans, like the gods of ancient Greece, in the end it always turns out that the right thing did happen when you failed. We must fail in order to understand what works not. We must fail in order to learn how to accept failures. We must fail in order to realize we cannot possibly go against the will of the Divine Consciousness (or the laws of nature, or God’s plan, if you wish) and hope to succeed in that. The Supreme has its ways, and we better trust in its general benevolence.
As an example, after having heard of Auroville I was quite on fire. At last a place where I would be free, where I would fit in, where I could put in my energy and my efforts for the benefit of mankind. It finally turned out to be the right decision to come here, very well in line with the plans of the Highest Consciousness; but looking back from today’s point of view it started primarily as one of my ego’s desires. By the teachings of Adyashanti, and also during my first stay here, as a guest, I learned that life in general, and this place especially, is not about me, my liberation, and my development in the first place, but about serving a higher truth. Only along with the sincere aspiration for the realization of that truth comes my liberation as an individual. I had to develop trust into the idea that everything will turn out as it is supposed to be, and the Aurovilians, creating the welcoming atmosphere in this township, helped a lot with that. It actually worked out for me, not only as a concept, but in various experiences.
Still the question remained, “Am I enforcing some self-centered mental idea, or am I supposed to be here?”
So, is it desire or aspiration that makes me want to join Auroville? Now that you know the difference you can imagine what I went through since my discovery of the place. I was looking for ways to be absolutely sure. I didn’t want to fool myself. How could I tell that my motivation was sincerely based in the realm beyond rationality, beyond the ego? How could I ensure I was not deluding myself?
Not to be attached to become a citizen was the ultimate test I could take, and when I realized that, I several times tried again to get in touch with a friend who recently seemed to refuse talking to me. By word of mouth I had the impression that he was not too well off now. A few years ago he helped me financially, so this was both an opportunity to bring back the non-abusive part of our former relationship and find out if I was ready to give up Auroville in case my friend needed the money more urgently than I did.
After four previously failed meeting appointments, another three attempts to re-establish contact were unsuccessful – completely. It was disappointing that a chance for reconciliation has been turned down, but I had to accept that. At least there were no more doubts about sincerety, and at the same time my path to Auroville has been confirmed.
The observation of the movements of mind and body during that period of time raised awareness of similar situations when the ego pretends to have a “need” that “must” be met under any circumstances. It is so much easier now to identify the diversion and counter it by taking a step back. Suddenly there is openness towards the results of my attempts to achieve my goals. What are my petty ideas compared to the work of a higher truth? Suddenly the pressure and the frustration dissolute. And life becomes beautiful in each and every moment.