Joël – a newcomer working for unity

Joël, a newcomer working for unity.pdf

Auroville has been a wonderful new home for me for the last 3 years, a place where practically everything seems possible – and I’m going for it! I ran my own IT company for 18 years in Antwerp, Belgium (management, sales, marketing, HR, purchasing, data storage systems solution design and implementation, tech support) so I came here with a wide tool-kit of skills. A can-do person, I see challenges, look for solutions and do my best to get them implemented.

My life in Auroville characterises my approach to life in general. When people ask me “What do you do in Auroville?” like many Aurovilians, I answer in terms of my ‘mission’. I really feel that we all came here to make a difference towards unity and the development of unity. And I see my work and mission in terms of what gets us closer to this shared goal. For me, collaborating and trying out new things or new ways together is fun! I continually ask “Are we getting done what we agreed on?” It may concern even small things… but as long as we follow the vision and actually get things finished, they get us closer to the greater goal.

I don’t care if “someone already tried that”.  Let’s try it again, or differently.

Seeking agreement and unity is a big motivating force for me. So, I love constructive discussions where we focus on the positive way ahead: seek common ground, make the different visions come together and get worked out, and then move on towards more unity. That we’re all learning together is how I see it. My role here has always been, and will always be, to find areas of agreement and try to get things done.

And since the joy of creativity is a big part of who I am, Auroville is “my place”! Here’s the range of projects I currently spend my energy on:

– Since my arrival in 2016 I’ve been studying Sanskrit with Vladimir and have now started tutoring others
– I co-manage activities around the Integral Paradigm of Knowledge (IPK) which aims at recovering and developing the faculties of consciousness based on the ancient Vedic knowledge (guided by Vladimir) and I just started up a project to link the theory of IPK to everyday practice
– I’m writing an “integral management course” based on the Gita to be implemented this year
– In my community, Sanjana, I have taken up the shared responsibility for our gardening and grow perma- culture vegetables

– I teach swimming to the youngest kids for The Learning Company (TLC) where Integral Learning and IPK are brought into practice
– For Pour Tous (PTDC) – my favourite “shop-that-isn’t-a-shop” – I procured bamboo toothbrushes and continue working on favorable and just pricing via alliances with other big consumers and units in Auroville
– I’m part of the Human Resource initiative to bring greater transparency to how we all work together
– I also like to do limited-time projects such as helping at events and ‘conscious’ dancing

And I recently joined the team of Acres for Auroville – collaborating on communication, growing our outreach to get funds for the still-missing land, and handling the IT work for the www.land.auroville website.

As you can see, Auroville gives us immense scope for contributing, self-expression, and self-fulfillment.

And there’s the satisfaction of being part of a community. But it’s not just any community!

In Auroville, we have an overarching goal. And we have the immense privilege of working to
make “the great dream” dynamic, creative, concrete and real!
So, like I said, I’m going for it!