Terms like ‘conscious evolution' and ‘co-creation' may appear vague. Yet, those are the terms which best illustrate the common thread connecting a group of 18 Americans who visited Auroville in October. For most, it was their first visit. A link with Auroville had been established through the internet course ‘Gateway to Conscious Evolution', which encompasses the seminal work of the American futurist and author Barbara Marx Hubbard, friend and colleague of many in the group. They came here to meet Aurovilians for an exchange of ideas and mutual learning. And to hold a workshop based on the tools and ideas of ‘The Co-Creator's Handbook', co-authored by two of them, Katherine Roske and Carolyn Anderson.
These tools and ideas are applied in the ‘intentional community' (a community whose residents are committed to learning deeply from each other on all levels) of Hummingbird in New Mexico , where some of the visitors live. Hummingbird shares with Auroville the vision of the spiritualization of matter. “But Auroville is a much more ambitious project” says John Zwerver. “Coming here, I really see how important it is for people to share values that cross ethnical and cultural borders.” Katherine, Carolyn, and John each have a couple of decades of experience in working with groups, to help them discover new ways of living and co-creating together, making decisions, and solving conflicts. Due to the heterogeneity and complexity of Auroville, however, they all agree that co-creation in Auroville is a vaster challenge than in any other group they have worked with.
Twenty Aurovilians attended the workshop, which was based on a facilitated dialogue where everybody was sharing their experiences from community living and group process. This was complemented by a few concrete exercises. Residents from Adventure and Verite, in particular, found that tools like ‘the Co-Creator's Agreements' resonated naturally with the intentional communitarian life they live. The participants in general felt that the approaches of the workshop, such as ‘whole system decision-making', could be of value to some of the Auroville working groups in which a recent shift, allowing for a calmer, more listening process, has taken place. The great interest of the participants inspired another workshop one week later.
Did the Aurovilians who attended the first workshop leave it with a more concrete idea of what the terms ‘co-creation' and ‘conscious evolution' stand for? Perhaps the best answer is to be found in the silence and sense of ‘heart space' in the circle formed in the end. For in that circle, the words of ‘The Co-Creator's Handbook' were almost tangible: “Whole systems decision-making is a practice through which we apprentice our awareness, in a group context, to the aspects of the Divine which choreographs the dance of life.”