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Auroville is a Utopian society... or not

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posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 12:03 AM

(Auroville is located in South India, 150 kilometers from Chennai in Madras.)

Auroville is a Utopian society... or not

After spending so much cash at Christmas, I decided to look up a life without money. And to my utter amazement, there is a city in India that runs without money, religion, or government.. seems like a Utopian dream, no?

These are the ideals Auroville was founded upon:

Inscribed on a lotus urn next to the Matrimandir, Auroville’s Charter states the original vision, the original dream:

* Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville, one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.
* Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
* Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realizations.
* Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity.

Also, they were/are supposed to be a cashless society. But digging deeper, it seems like they do use money. They have tourism, government funding, shops that sell things. the residents have to buy their homes (donation)

There is something called a unity fund and a Auroville fund that controls the flow of money for the city:

Auroville Fund is a unit under the Auroville Foundation located in the Financial Service office at the Town Hall, which receives - through the Auroville Unity Fund -, disburses and accounts for donations and grants (both foreign and Indian) for a wide variety of projects and activities, including purchase of land, the construction of houses and public buildings, the maintenance of forests and farms, and some educational, cultural and publication activities. The Fund also administers the collection and payment of House Tax.

From what I've read, many residents leave the city to go make money for a few months then come back to live.. some gone up to 6 months at a time. But this is not how the city was supposed to work. The residents and all the businesses and such were supposed to be a self sustaining, cashless society. They also have the same crime problems as regular cities do... murder, theft, rape and such.

Where did they go wrong? How did they lose their way? I've always dreamt that humans would somehow, in the future, find a way to value other things than cash...maybe a cashless society is a pipe dream, I dunno. But if we are ever going to get to that point (or close), looking at the people who've already tried and understanding where they failed will be an important part of moving forward towards that goal.

Whatever your stance on money, it is an interesting read for anyone.

Thanks for reading,

edit on 26-12-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 12:09 AM
a reply to: blend57

The answer is quite easy. Whenever someone can live at the expense of another, you will always have "takers" move in to live off of "producers". If you are a producer, you tend to stop producing if you get less in return for your labor and time.

It never fails, whenever you have something good going, there will always be people lining up to get something for free from someone else's labor.

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 02:33 AM
Very good sumary! when you have nothing to give you become a profesional taker. Not only that you hypnotise yourself in to believing you are getting the hardside of the deal. a reply to: infolurker

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 03:47 AM
I guess belonging to the community in Auroville has not been made attractive enough while also making profiting from the system as a free rider almost impossible. Lets say free housing and a share in produce if you do 2 hours of community work a day, no participation, you pay market price for everything to support the rest of the community.

This Michael Tellinger UFO guy had something similar going on on a smaller scale, here.

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 05:40 AM
thank you for this is interesting to ponder about. A long time ago i also wished to go there but after doing some research i have discovered that it has strayed of a lot from the intentions of the founders. The founders were very spiritual people and had a lot of wisdom in my opinion but unfortunately people after them who were left have tried there best for sure, but any way it seems there is corruption in there and value of money has increased since its birth...which should decrease, so in a way they went into direction which the founders not had intended, in my opinion.

I don't mean to throw blame on anyone as i am sure in their position i would probably do tons of mistakes and wrong decisions also and who knows how it would go...or if it would even still be around haha

i will just say my very naive view...there is always a middle path, taking best from both worlds: modern society vs natural society...using everything to live in harmony with people and nature.

which means i would observe the nature and transfer principles onto the society to try and build something harmonious with everything else as much as i could. I would try to keep things simple as much as possible. Nature is simple for the most part after all, at least in my view...which is coming from spiritual side and four basic elements.

For instance in nature there are sun and moon, they have power and some authority over our lives...but their power is a different kind, they simply direct the flow. It is not power in absolute sense. But more as a pushing power ... if that makes sense, that would be role of a "government"

yes, some kind of authority would be present, with the power like that of sun and moon. Authority should be always most wise or even in Buddhas or Bodhisattvas type of people.

Money..yes we are in need of money, and to just forgive and forget it is not possible...probably. But i think that money after time should be forgotten because it is the main obstacle against equality. For starters i would implement some kind of monthly basic income as it is already in Switzerland. So every adult can afford the basic needs for self and family...and focus more on their own happiness and talents..

But the main goal of such society would be self sustainability as in auroville...that would mean that we should figure our own mindset and learn to discover why we are living the present life and develop our talents and grow and mature. Totally spontaneous and everyone could do what they wished as long as they are not hurting...animals or plants included.

This also means we would educate kids towards that goal as kids are the future and next generation must take over things and make them even better with the knowledge and wisdom they have gained from parents and teachers....just like plants and seeds. We would have to start educating kids in a different way as modern school or education sucks for the most part in my opinion.

Then some form of "police" would have to be present...but like water and fire; fire is like natural purification mechanism as everything after burning is pure, but for the most part water just nourishes everything and let it grow on their own...
which means that police would try would purify/punish them and nourish them somehow so they learn about their mistakes and grow.

and earth element is a symbol of allowing things to simply be on their own but with spirit of the main point of society would be total freedom of choice and compassion.

i don't know about air element. Maybe the potential in every individual to experience lightness of life when we are spontaneous and happy. Which means that rules and regulations are not set in stone but they develop and adapt...which means that each crime or good deed should be reworded/punished on its the connected party and probably counsel of wise authority.

basically by observing the nature; animals and plants i would try to somehow in harmony develop the society. The main point would be to try and keep things simple...and from simple things develop into something complex...start with relative small groups of forests and trees.

No countries or borders, or any kind of separation as we can present our (group) individuality and uniqueness in much better ways ...and another main point would be that everything which is available is not for you only but it is for use and do whatever you like but with the mind and best intentions for the whole.

power of love instead of love for power would be my forest/country banner!

okey...this is my opinion about why and hows and sorry if i went off topic as i rambled on about my childish vision ...
but to go back to the thread question about where did they go wrong? it is a multi layered question...but first for everything to work we need strong and wise authority and council which directs the flow and everything else will follow naturally as people in general are basically good natured and compassionate and wish to do love and spread love, but only when they have total freedom at least in my opinion and experience.

i wonder how old kingdoms were in reality, where kings were wise and spiritual, like for instance the indian king Ashoka after his transformation or king Solomon...or even older ancient king Rama or shambala kings...or others who are mentioned in legends and are a symbol of love and wisdom even today by some...

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 07:27 AM

You are right about the takers in this world. It seems like the original founders knew that that could happen as well. One of the rules needed to live there is you have to work 5 hours for the community each day, then the rest of the time is yours to do so as you please. I see a problem with having this or any rules though..that being they have no government nor anyone else to police them. So, maybe it is as you said and they eventually got over run with "takers".

Also, the city accepts money each year from the government.. and also private donations. A cashless society can't be built upon cash. Maybe the initial investment to buy the land and such .. but I wouldn't think you could have it constantly flowing in on a yearly basis.(which they do) That would attract the very people you speak of as well.


I read through the link you provided and while I was doing so, I kept waiting for him to offer me beachfront property in the desert.. or the famous "buy my book" line. I don't think you can establish this type of a community by asking for money..while shunning money..I never did find the "click here to purchase" button.. but the feel of the whole write up made me search for it..thanks for the link.

I don't know where to begin..such a detailed and well though out response. Monthly income, finding balance between society and nature.. I think one thing they did wrong was set it up for themselves and not the future. What I mean by that is that they thought about what they would do and how they would live...and believed that everyone after them would do/think the same way.

Thinking ,or possibly I should say believing in their vision so much that they never imagined anyone would veer from it...but people did. There are no detailed guidelines to follow that I have found..and what little they did establish can be freely interpreted in many different ways.

Also, there is no religion .. yet they have a religious "dome" that is used for self reflection. And many people seem to believe in Buddhism or brought with them some other form of religion to practice. It seems that maybe all the things we have in the monetary world today are just so ingrained in us that maybe we can't simply just let them go.

From what I can see, a few of the mistakes are accepting money, not establishing more detailed guidelines for people to follow (forward thinking), and not enforcing the 5 hours a day to live there. They've also introduced security police... as well as have committees and councils, so a form of government is starting to be established a bit as well.

Who knows if we'll ever get there.. a society without money.. maybe it is as you said.. we have to start out living in both worlds and eventually move our way to a cashless society..maybe we will never be able to break free from it at all... who knows?

Thanks to all who responded..


edit on 26-12-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 07:49 AM

originally posted by: infolurker
a reply to: blend57

The answer is quite easy. Whenever someone can live at the expense of another, you will always have "takers" move in to live off of "producers". If you are a producer, you tend to stop producing if you get less in return for your labor and time.

It never fails, whenever you have something good going, there will always be people lining up to get something for free from someone else's labor.

I think it's even simpler than that... no resources. "Utopia" won't work on a small scale without reverting back to horse drawn carriages, working the fields, and communicating via smoke signals.

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 08:55 AM
a reply to: blend57Nice picture of the inner city. Now show the city in it's entirety. you know the outside bits where the "slums" are. you know the place where the lower castes live, the place where the # shovelers live. the ones that do all their dirty work that the privileged few wont do.
Where are the farms that produce their food, the farms where the peons have to live and work.
Yes, it's easy to say all the well off are good and the not well off are only scrounging off them.
If people want their own city of Utopian civilization then they should be made to do it on an island, away from other civilizations. THEN and only then you say"your society the rest of us want nothing off you (that takes care of the "scroungers) but by the same token you will get nothing of us". We will see then how long their city lasts without any outside "help".
I imagine it wont take long.
Listen, we live on a whole planet that's mostly dependent on each other and it does not bode well when a few privileged elites section themselves off in "elite cities".

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 09:14 AM

I just used the pic from the websites..there were ones with road signs and another of a house..but I thought these two were more of the city itself.

I'm not for or against this city..I do wish for a cashless society, but.. I'm not sure if that will ever happen. When I was reading about the place, I kept thinking how/why did they fail, as it is obvious to me that they did not reach the Utopia they desired..which is what the thread was based on (sorry if I didn't make that clear, it was late when I wrote it out.)

I believe it was established in 1968, on or about that time anyways. Since then it seems to have drifted a bit back to the normalcy of a regular city. Which is why I wondered if there was simply no way of rejecting the societal norm of today. Maybe it is just too deep a mindset in our cultures now.

Anyhow, maybe you are right..maybe they should've started on an island and rejected any or all of the conventional society ways.. I read about a group of scientists that did just that..yet, I don't believe that they ever grew into a community, just a few like minded individuals. That could quite possibly be the only way to do something like this seems as though once you get too populated.. that's when things get lost..lots of "maybes" .. sorry about i have never experienced such a thing as a cashless society or Utopian world..all I can do is imagine why, there are no actual answers I can give..

Thanks for your response,
edit on 26-12-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 09:59 AM

originally posted by: crayzeed

If people want their own city of Utopian civilization then they should be made to do it on an island, away from other civilizations.

My idea of "Utopia" would be to wake up in the morning and go sit out on my back deck watching the little robots cut my grass while my kitchen cooks breakfast for me and the kids... where the hardest decision I have to make that morning is which amusement park or adventure I'm going to take them on that day.

I can't see that ever happening on a little island, but I can see it happening in a country with more coastline and energy resources than any other in the world. I can see it happening in a country with vast amounts of farmland and forests and room to build houses and all the raw materials we'll ever need to build them.

If only we could find such a country with just the right blend of like-minded people...

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:21 AM
a reply to: Bone75
And who would make your little grass cutter, who would make your breakfast cooker and maintain them while you sit idly by. You'd be classed as a taker, a user. Ah, you would pay for someone to do it for you so you wouldn't be classed as a taker.
If so, then you could have your Utopia now. Pay for a gardener, pay for a cook. Easy ain't it.
Even in Utopia you have to have someone to do the bad jobs no one wants to do so in the end you have to force someone to do them. Now that can be in a couple of ways. Either slavery, you force them to do it through mental or physical violence or you have an "under" class that you control by keeping them poor so they HAVE to come through you for food and shelter.
Ain't Utopia a real nice place?

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 10:49 AM

originally posted by: crayzeed
a reply to: Bone75
And who would make your little grass cutter, who would make your breakfast cooker and maintain them while you sit idly by.

Would you agree to make my little grass cutters until we build a totally automated factory for them in exchange for the lifestyle I just described? Without ever having to worry about money?

posted on Dec, 26 2016 @ 12:15 PM
My idea of Utopia is when people stop worrying about what others do and don't have to the extend that if someone else has more, it becomes a source of anxiety.

What people need to be able to do is recognize what is enough for themselves so that they know when they have more of it, and to be content with what they have so long as they have enough. Then because they recognize enough and are content, they can also see when those around them don't have enough, and they are capable to freely sharing what they have so long as they still have enough for themselves.

It is self-driven and autonomous redistribution, and unfortunately, due to human nature, it is mostly impossible because we don't know enough. We only recognize "enough" and everyone's "enough" is different. We also have the unfortunate tendency of being more preoccupied with whether or not our neighbors have "enough" and that is usually defined more by whether or not we think they have more than we do, not whether or not either we or they actually do have the true enough.

That's why Utopia is just that - No Place.

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