Friday, 29 January 2021

#1: Introductory Issue

Dear friends,

In January this year, about a hundred of us came together in Auroville to collectively reimagine wealth and economics in our personal lives, our organisations and communities, our country and the world. We enquired on 
How do we expand our idea of wealth to include its multiple forms?
How do we rebuild our economy based on relationships and trust? 
What is the worldview that can help us heal from the false notions of scarcity and move us to experiencing abundance? 
How do we redefine ownership as trusteeship? 
Here is the link to the detailed report of the gathering.

So much has happened since then. COVID has flagged off a new era which is seeing more and more individuals, organisations and communities coming together seeking to understand what went wrong with our conception of the machine-like social and economic structures we have created and inhabit, and how we can reimagine and transform them. 

Through this newsletter, we attempt to weave together the many conversations and news about the different initiatives and experiments that are aspiring to build back the real economy. Real economy because what we now have is an illusionary one based on false notions of scarcity, of infinite natural capacities and of wealth. A real economy will restore its rightful place as a subsystem of and in service of Ecology and Society. 

We also aspire to weave together the personal with the political, the organizational with the systemic, for we believe that Change needs to be integral for it to shift paradigm and to sustain.

This being the week of Gandhi Jayanthi, we launch this news portal seeking the  blessings of Gandhiji who articulated among the most powerful, comprehensive and compelling visions for how to organize our economy so that we may live peacefully and harmoniously with each other and with the Earth. 

We invite you to contemplate and journey with us in all the creative ways that you can!

Team Mahua

Issue #2: Alivelihoods

Flipbook Format    PDF Format

Dear friends,

One thing that the pandemic has clearly exposed is the dehumanizing machine economy which churns out and runs on ‘deadlihoods’, which convert and commoditise all aspects of life into money. It lays waste our inner and outer landscapes creating what Gijs Spoor calls the great ‘ecological, social and spiritual divides’ where we have separated ourselves from nature, community and our own inner selves. (Also read Ashish Kothari’s ‘From Livelihoods to Deadlihoods’)

As a community that dreams of a more beautiful world, we feel often overwhelmed by the enormity of this economy, which has made its subscribers unable and unwilling to see their unique light and purpose in life. According to the narrative crafted by this machine economy, in order to be ‘successful’ one needs to serve as a cog in the larger wheel running it. We often wonder ‘Where do we begin to stop this vandalizing machine which energises what we erroneously call ‘progress’?

As we realise that the situation and challenge at hand are complex, and our approach needs to be multi-pronged, one thing gives hope. That the cogs are human beings with hearts. That when the human spirit wakes up to this collective amnesia about its own light and destiny, it can overcome the machine. While we need systemic changes like new policies that enable and reward localisation, new forms of governance that enable shared decision-making, one definite way to get started is to appeal to the individual cogs, to see if they can wake up to their true nature. One alivelihood at a time transforming the cog into a beautiful flower, a healing herb, a life-giving tree, or a pollinating bee; transforming the machine into the garden that it is meant to be.

And the good news is that there are already so many out there who have begun and are well into their journeys of discovering their real calling, making it into an offering that is being recognized and valued by society. These alivelihoods are restoring Nature and communities, making knowledge and the bounties of Nature freely accessible, bringing down inequalities, facilitating deep questioning and enquiry, healing the disconnected self and the wounded spirit, helping people experience real love and joy, all of which is dismantling the machine economy cog by cog. 

From October 14th – 18th, a 5-day long online mela was held for youth and mid-career professionals. Sixteen alivelihoods-walkers shared their journeys, what inspired them to start them, the kinds of support they receive(d) and challenges they face(d) along the way, and their vision going forward. There were also workshops to help participants think through their first steps of their journey. The 300+ registrations from across India and 100+ participants each day showed us how ready the world is for this transition. 

You can read more at The Alivelihood Podcast series has also been steadily evolving with more inspiring stories. Through this issue, we are happy to share with you some of our harvest from the mela and the podcast series. 

You are warmly invited to journey with us in energizing the garden economy!

Team Mahua