Last year there was a discussion in AVI-Netherlands about a Dutch pavilion. Jan Lohman wondered if it was possible to think about such a pavilion as long as it is not clear what the International Zone should be. Here are some of his musings on the topic.
The Mother said that all countries should be representing features of their country in the International Zone. But as the soul of the country is more important than the actual political unit, she insisted that we have to understand the country's soul.
When I try to find the soul of my country, I discern at least two levels: one, more exterior, that is characteristic of the Dutch mind, and one underlying level that we have in common with surrounding countries. On that deeper level I am aware of being part of a greater cultural zone which I shall call the Western European culture. That culture was formed after the fall of the Roman Empire, after the invasion of all those Germanic people from the Far East : Franks, Alemans, Vandals, Goths and Visigoths, Huns, Longobards etc. All these people had to be bound together into one empire, with one religion, and that religion was Christianity.
These people had one thing in common: they were earthbound, more interested in terrestrial and material things than in spirituality. This disposition has greatly influenced Western Christianity, which has been dubbed the ‘Germanisation of Christendom'. In this they were different from Christians in the Levant from where this religion came, and even more different from other eastern people like the Indians.
Seeing this I began to wonder if it was the intention of the divine spirit in his manifestation to create great cultural blocks, each with its own interest and particularity that it had to work out in order to prepare this world for the divine descent. In other words, as white light, falling on a prism, is broken up into different colors each with its own vibration, so perhaps the divine will to manifest evoked, in the different races around the world, the will to work out one particular facet of the Divine. Thus, in the course of history, blocks of different cultures were created around the globe: there was India , with its emphasis on the development of spirituality, Western Europe with its development of matter, Egypt with its focus on the occult, Greece on the development of mind, etc. It would be interesting to research this in detail and to make a map of the actual divine manifestation. This map would look very different from the political map of the world. For example, the USA and Canada would be part of the Western European culture. If America as a whole were to be represented, then it would be rather by the cultures of the American Indians and the pre-Columbus cultures of the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas.
This map could lead to better understanding and international cooperation as the feeling of being part of a worldwide movement will improve human understanding. This will also encourage those peoples who have lost touch with their original cultures to rediscover it. It is also logical that the International Zone be organized according to this map of the divine manifestation, although what will be represented in the first place will be one's own country, the country by which one is formed. So, national pavilions will continue to be very useful.
Every culture has also its shadow side. This becomes evident as soon as it is separated from the total divine manifestation, but it is also necessary to intensify the concentration on its particularity. India , for example, neglected the material life so much that it came to be regarded as an illusion; Western Europe was so immersed in matter that God, soul and spirit faded from its consciousness and were looked upon as fantasies of the mind.
But even if this regression is an indispensable phase in the preparation for the divine manifestation, in the end the dark side must be healed. The shadow will disappear as soon as the link with the overall view of the divine manifestation has been reestablished. The many will become One again, the ‘White light will be restored'.
This can best be done in Auroville, as it is the place created by the Mother for trying to manifest human unity. While cultures can be studied anywhere in the world, Auroville is the place destined to unite people within a greater context and thus be instrumental in the formation of an actual human unity. This perspective helps us understand those points from Auroville's Charter – ‘Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole' and ‘Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future' – in a more profound way, and helps us recognize that Auroville will truly be the city the earth needs.