Georg Stollenwerk

How does a mere intellectual, materialistic and self-assured mind to turn to the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo? And how does the heart of a purely rational government official in the German diplomatic service, enjoying the comforts of a safe and utterly settled life, awaken to the Auroville Ideal? This scenario leaves a certain scope for Divine Creativity and Humour and indeed it took hold of me, as probably with most of us, in the most unexpected circumstances – randomly strolling through the outskirts of Munich on a rainy morning, deadly bored while waiting for my wife to finish her haircut. Devoid of other, more attractive opportunities I reluctantly entered a spiritual bookshop taking my usual dismissive, ironic look at the orange colours, “meaningful” post cards and strange irrational books. My disinterested glance somehow caught the name “Sri Aurobindo”, and I grasped the book, opened a few pages, read some paragraphs.. it was this book, The Secret of the Veda, that about 20 years ago touched and reawakened a past and a truth deeply concealed in my inner being. The arrow hit, the gate opened, a new light and guidance illumined the road.

The rest is about walking and manifesting. My personal interests and inner structure, my more than 28 years in the Diplomatic Service with longer postings to Iraq, Iran and Argentina have more or less naturally drawn me to the social and political field. I was attracted by the ideal of human unity, not in the Christian sense of brotherhood and charity, but in the understanding of a true psychic relation between people, peoples and nations, inspired by the vision and possibility to connect with “my” collective soul, “my” nation soul, to call for it that it may step forward to pervade and transform the country – the collective mind, the emotional being as well as the collective body, our natural habitat – as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo in The Human Cycle, thus contributing to build a society which one day shall pla its true part in a world orchestra based on real harmony and human unity.
Auroville with its ideal and practical approach of experiencing this whole process in a burning glass, of being a laboratory of mankind in all its inner and outer aspects, forms the centre of this aspiration. I truly admire every body who exposes himself to this experience in whatever epression and field of action, bearing the inner and outer pressure of the force, which is driving it ever forward, without delay, without hesitation. Whether consciously or unconsciously perceived, I think it is a heroic journey, a true pioneering in the ” Great Adventure ” as the Mother called it and I feel a deep gratitude to each Aurovilian for whatever way she or he is contributing by just being there… Personally I feel that I can best contribute to this work in my home country, in the Sri aurobindo Center in berlin and through AVI Germany, serving the common ideal by bringing to bear the external skills the Mother has granted me and by doing what has to be done on a dialy basis in the consciousness the state of the Sahdana allows. Thus as a trained civil servant, I try to cover within AVI Germany the fields of administration, finances and material organisation. To discover and establish in this quite narrow and obdurate domain the true “Aurovilian spriti”, to shift from a mental to a more intuitive and psychic approach, to render this area flexible and plastic enough for the new consciousness, to win back money for thhe Mother’s work – this is the challenging ideal. Fortunately it is not up to us to b concerned with the results of our efforts, which is , at times, quite relaxing. And thus there are those beautiful moments when the true foundation of the daily work emerges at the surface: a deep joy of collaboration and the encouraging sense of being part of a unique family that embodies a tremendous creative diversity within a profound and heartfelt unity.

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