This work is based on a field study in Auroville, a multinational and intentional community in south India, inaugurated in 1968. The community's intentions are based on 'The Dream', of 1954, by a spiritual master called The Mother. In short, her 'Dream' was to create a place of peace and harmony by taking advantages of all the 'best discoveries from The East and The West'. At the time of my fieldwork there were about 1200 residents of the community from about thirty different nations.
This thesis is mainly about the Western Aurovilians and how they dealt with what I have called a quest for coherence between their individual intentions of life and outer environments. There is a notion among the Aurovilians that the 'self' is the most 'natural' and 'authentic' feature of a human being and that every activity is made with the purpose to connect the 'self', the 'inner nature', to the outer world. The Westerners express a constant reflection on how their lives in the community fit with their individuated dreams, and, as such, they can be viewed within the context of what several writers have interpreted as a phenomena of late modernity (Giddens 1991, Heelas 1996).
The Aurovilians related to The Dream, the overall intentions of Auroville, as a frame of reference of which they could pick and chose certain aspects that fit with their individual 'dreams', or intentions for their lives in the community. Rather than being shaped into one 'correct' way of being an Aurovilian, the Aurovilians could express a great deal of complexity, yet adhering to the same discourses. Discourse, then, both as a process of continuously shaping their autobiographies, but also as a subject matter, in that they base the creation of their narration with reference to The Mother's Dream. The Dream can be interpreted in many ways, and the Mother's words can be used for legitimating one's autobiography regardless of the individuals various projects. As long as the individual creates a sense of living one's 'authentic' life or according to one's 'nature', the personal differences do not create severe conflicts for the Aurovilians personal project. And if the personal expressions differ too much, the Aurovilians chose to seek the company of people with whom their notions of life in the community may coexist, by, for instance, changing settlement or the place one works.
Throughout the text I explore how the community members organize the community based on the notion that there is a 'self' that is 'authentic' and 'natural' and by being connected to this 'nature' inside, automatically the 'good' action s will follow. The 'ego' is considered the 'false', and 'unnatural' state within a person and while being 'in the ego' a person is prevented from doing what is right. The community-members therefore constantly adhere to a discourse of morality that penetrates any social domain among and ' within' them.
Throughout the text I explore the basis for, and expression of, this basis understanding of human nature. How they view the relationship between themselves and the place, between themselves and their activities, between each other, and how these relationships are ways to express that they are in touch with the 'natural self'. The Aurovilians thus provide an expression of what a society might look like when organized in terms of the 'authority of the Self', where any action is considered an opportunity to celebrate the 'self' within them.