FAQs on Circles
When the 'Circles Experiment' was introduced in January 2000, information regarding its functioning could be obtained from various public places in the township. Simultaneously, the following paper was distributed among the residents answering some of the questions raised:
Q: What is the larger vision? What are the details?
The materialisation of the Mother's Dream, including
an economy in which there is no circulation of money. This is rather
difficult to envisage as we have still to create it.
Q: Why are small circles being proposed?
In July 1999, during the seminar on the Auroville
Economy hosted by our International Advisory Council, a suggestion was
made to encourage the formation of various groups of 10 or 20 or 30
Aurovilians to try experimental approaches to dealing with money, perhaps
as a way of coming up with new models and approaches to living a life
with no circulation of money in Auroville.
Q: What will be the first visible signs of a change?
The first sign for those who join a circle will
be that 'their' income, be it maintenance from the Central Fund, from
a commercial unit or a project grant or self-generated, will not appear
on their individual account. Only the expenses will show.
Q: What would it imply if I would want to start tomorrow?
Initially, participants will put in their entire maintenance, or an amount corresponding to their monthly living expenses in Auroville. For the rest, it means a commitment to remain alert, active and aware that we are all connected.
Q: What if we need some cash for things not available in Auroville, or to pay wages?
Cash may be drawn as long as there is a need.
Q: When can we start?
You can join any time by giving your name to the
Q: How does it work for those who depend entirely on maintenance and cannot cover basic expenses? Can the Central Fund cover the minus?
To begin with, everyone has to be responsible for their own life-style and not 'go into minus'. However, we know that a few people do not have enough and it is hoped that this situation will improve rapidly if we can create a different relationship among us. The aim is to provide the basic needs for all Aurovilians. If there is a critical mass of people living in this new and different way, really doing something different, other possibilities for fund-raising may open up. It is necessary to find new ways to generate much needed income for Auroville.
We have to make it work. This implies that everyone is involved.
Q: How are the circles connected?
The circles are connected by the vision, through daily life in Auroville and with the buffer fund. The circles are an experiment in how to organise the larger whole. It is felt that they will lead to easier responses to change, to more possibilities for growth. And, the circles offer different levels of experience, simultaneously.
Q: How will the buffer for the circles work?
There will be one main buffer under the responsibility of the Central Fund. The total amounts for the income and expenditure for each circle will flow in and out of the buffer fund.
Q: What are some of the special situations of different
Aurovilians? For example: Children and adolescents.
The elderly. Those who are unwell. Pregnant and nursing mothers. Aurovilians
with close family ties in the surrounding villages, etc.
Q: What are the parameters (what are the requirements)?
The parameters have not yet been set. We need to agree on what expenses for personal needs are accepted. This is one of the most important tasks for the circle coordinators to work on in connection with the Economy Group.
Q: How are we going to implement the code of conduct within the circles? Is Auroville ready to provide work for everyone? Where?
Again, more deep listening and looking into each situation will have to take place. Several key people will be needed to take up the focus for different issues. No ready solutions are available. Suggestions are welcome.
Our Job Service needs to be expanded to include training possibilities and a wider range of work opportunities.
Most importantly, our attitude towards work has to change. There is a call to work with a spirit of joy. When you are not engaged, you are not connected with the force that stabilises you. If there are some who are not giving their energy to Auroville in the form of work there is a need to discover why.
Q: Where can we find all the basic things?
Much can already be found within Auroville and with a bit of reorganisation of our present services and units more possibilities will emerge. Suggestions are welcome. Some people are needed to take up and carry on with new responsibilities.
Q: What if I want to put in all my money?
You can. There are a number of ways to explore how personal money can work for Auroville: by specifying, through deposits, by bringing in money that is outside Auroville, etc. Best to see your situation in detail with the coordinator of your circle or a member of the Economy Group.
Q: What is the role of the children?
They are to be at the centre of Auroville. Materially, there is already a base for them: education, nutrition, health care, etc. But this base must be strengthened and enlarged. More opportunities and possibilities need to be opened up for our adolescents. At 14 children are ready to make important choices. Several key people will be needed to take up the focus to see what needs improvement and how this can be done.
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