"What's Paradise for You?" is an ongoing project. Whenever I meet this particular person that has a spark of life and inspiration to share I ask him or her the same six questions, starting with "What's Paradise for you?". The person just speaks and engages in the flow of words and ideas, bringing in his or her unique collage of life.

Every human is just so utterly unique. When we start to recognize this, joy will never find an end.

Auroville, December 2019

Suryan (40) spent much of his childhood in the community of Auroville in Southern India. He also has German roots. Suryan is a Musician, Singer and Guesthouse Manager.

What’s Paradise for you?

It’s a great question. I guess to me what I have come closest to what I feel is paradise is when I have this moment of deep connection what I call presence. I imagine that this is the most beautiful feeling and this is what I associate with God and completeness, presence, eternity, consciousness. So that’s what paradise is to me. It’s an experience. It’s an experience of the Divine, of God. That’s how I perceive it. I imagine I could go much deeper into that and maybe I have not experienced it that much that I can, but what I have experienced is absolutely beautiful and wonderful and truly delightful. And that’s on one level. That’s my experience. But on another level paradise is this planet and this is incredible, paradise, the universe. For us who are adapted to this planet’s conditions. And this is so beautiful. The nature. The seas. The animals. The incredible processes that happen. The chemical processes, you know, on a quantum level. Just existence is paradise. It’s just unbelievable what this is what we are in, you know. The expression of the infinite is just the most incredible mind-blowing perfection – this is how I just feel. That’s that. And on another level you could say just on the human side that this is hopefully still to come. Something that will maybe develop as we become more conscious and more aligned with that Divine consciousness that is our Source. And it’s gonna be beautiful. And to relate that to what I was saying first, that feeling, and I remember I mentioned this to not too long ago about when my most present moments had been when I am laying with someone, with a woman, not having sex, just cuddling, just being in that moment with that person. And feeling the connection, feeling the energies exchange and feeling that healing happening, that soothing, you know, when nothing comes in and nothing is important and everything is beautiful and just energies, you know.

Do you live for yourself or do you live for others?

My instinctive answer was – even after thinking about it for a little while – I think it’s just a mix of both. There is different parts of our beings. Actually there are multiple energies, you know, and impulses and desires and facets of my being that are all searching for their share of the plate. So there is definitely parts of me where it’s not even for myself, I just am. And then there is parts of me that I live for what I call surrender myself to the Divine. So then in that sense I am living for the Divine. And on another sense, there is a part of me that is very egocentric, you know. That is just interested in satisfying its own desires. But I would like to add that I hope to live more and more for that feeling which I have in my heart which seems the most direct feeling or sensation that connects with something transcendent and connects me to my purpose.

Are there values on which your actions are based?

It’s a broad question. My instinct was absolutely. So there is action that just is action. And that’s probably the best, when you’re perfectly connected with Divine and you just are, just being. But there is a lot of values I guess that I developed over time. But I would say these are all on a lower level. But they are still quite enlightened values most human beings would say. But sometimes I don’t act on them either. Which I am not always happy about. I always like to have values, but sometimes I don’t. But certainly I have many values and my actions are often influenced by those values, yeah.

Would you specify some of these values?

First value that came to mind is the good for all. So that’s something that is very present in me most often. That I want to act in a way that benefits everyone included myself. My second value is non-judgement. Live and let live, you know. And also accepting people for how they are. Also encouraging people’s own will. So not imposing any laws or structures or values on them, because I think that can never be real. Everyone has to have these come up in themselves and only then it is something that they have themselves and only then it is something that’s sustainable. Other values… Kindness. I love kindness. That’s really big for me. I think that’s really an essence of truth. Goodness, all these things. I lean away from other great values like courageousness, steadfastness, perseverance – these are also important. But I find them less fine, you know. If anywhere you really offered yourself to these things like goodness, kindness, honesty, then these other will come along anyway. And I would say probably vice versa also, if you dedicated yourself to the other, if you are really sincere, then kindness and all of those things will also develop. What I like about this question is I was thinking a lot now about the Mother’s twelve qualities. So there is the Mother’s symbol and the twelve petals representing each quality. So this was her choice. This was what she brought forth and I have a very strong faith in her that when she chose these that they are probably the twelve most important if you want to live a Divine life – I guess. But I don’t review her in that sense. It’s for me a deep level of love and respect and trust for her, you know. I’m just trying to learn. And I’m just trying to grow, you know. But I value all of them, absolutely, for sure.

How do you act?

At first it seems like a silly question, but it is actually a good question. It’s little bit of a dark question actually in some ways for me. Because I see that there are many masks that I put on. I think one of my biggest struggles is… It’s a sort of pride and even though I think I’m quite humble, I’m quite present and self-aware, yet I still struggle and especially with young people and wanting to retain a form of pride you know to feel respected and you see it’s not like a really perverse one, you know, it’s not like a really strong one. It’s not just at all. I guess I still have this thing in me where I wanna be hip or I wanna be cool or something like that or my ego is not really anchored deep enough in this confidence that I can just be who I am and trust to be gentle and to be… I don’t know, maybe I’m a little confused in this area. But certainly how do I act? I don’t act much. Not as much as most people I think. I think I really had a lot of my life to not act actually and be honest and to open up. I always try to make myself vulnerable. The one area where I struggle being vulnerable is… Again there is different aspects to my being, it’s a little bit like schizophrenic. Because on one hand there is a certain part of my being that is in like this in certain situations… But actually – that I think about that now – there is another part of me that really doesn’t care at all, you know.

What actions do you take?

Presently I don’t take much action. I used to take more. Like I used to get involved in eco-service, waste management. Now I feel that probably my energies will be best employed in some sort of governing or management grow because I feel like I have skills there. I have a little bit of an issue around that because I feel I am not sure I have the presence at the moment, the stability to really tackle and go into the frame of Auroville, because there is so much confusion and if you really want to bring in any presence I feel like I need to be more present. So that’s my wish actually that maybe I can help in that way, because I would like to think that some clarity that I could bring could maybe help. I’m sort of surrendering that more and more now. Although the impulse is still there. So the way I act now is… I just want to find more presence in myself, you know. And as I find more presence and balance, that this will then affect everything I do. The issue is on an energetic level, you know, on this planet. It’s on a conscious level. And often when we try to change things – of course it’s also valid – on a physical plane, if we don’t do it with the right spirit or the right way, often we are actually just perpetuating certain energies. So the way I act is I want to stay present in myself. I want to be kind. I want to smile. I want to be decent. Just to bring light. Just to bring more light in today. Which is not always so easy, because I am not so light all the time, I’m not always centred. But I may add that this is really what I think is probably the most valuable thing of all: To be true to who you are and try to share positive energy, you know. But having said that, I have to admit that often I am so rushed in my egoic pattern that not much of that comes through actually. And I think now I am really on a journey again to rediscover who I am, who I was even in parts of this life. But the problem is then you get all this fear piling up and all these habits and all this stuff, you know. Anyway, we’ll see what happens. 

The meaning of nature for you?

To me I wouldn’t describe nature as having a meaning. Or you mean the meaning of creation? Well I mean that’s actually probably the better way to go, because to me nature is creation. And we are nature and we are creation and the meaning of creation is I would say… It’s an expression. It’s an artistic delighted expression and so as an extension of that that’s kind of what nature is. And then you could say the meaning of nature in regard to us – what does nature mean to us? Nature is the pinnacle of that artistic expression life. It is just incredible. And then when I say it is an artistic expression, it is also more than that. It has more meaning than that. It means everything. It has an indescribable meaning.

Your ideal of society?

I like that question. Because it is very relevant to Auroville. Because in a sense Auroville is supposed to become an ideal or at least an inspired society, or a new society, an enlightened society. First of all for a more ideal society, let’s say the most significant step from what I see where we are now is obviously conscious people. People that are connected with source, that have that connection, are inspired and have transcended the mind, you know the veil of our consciousness that is superior to the mental and have that as their defining perception. And what that then starts to create is… I would use this concept from the mother of the Divine Anarchy, where all beings are aligned with the Divine Consciousness and always acting out of the impulse from the Divine, which is the perfect playing field for truth and action to actually play itself out. Because what we have now in the mental is all these systems that we try to impose to organise society, which in itself are always flawed, because they are not fluid enough, they are not adapted enough to contain the truth of the divine consciousness, whilst if we are all units and all inherently moved by that, then we can go away with systems and we can step into a more, yeah a divine anarchy. So that’s the conceptual thing of that. And what does this mean to us? Yeah, it just means a lot of really happy people doing a lot of really happy things and then I guess as one steps more into that one will see where to go from that. And I guess there will always be newer and further steps of evolution for us humans. There is the Yoga of the transformation of the cells. Transforming the very physical nature that allows us to be here, be more subtle and receptive physical mass that is more appliable and is more open to the light, to divine consciousness and I don’t know where to go from there – things like light bodies… So societal ideal is kind of on a very beginner level so to say a combination of democracy and socialism. And so allowing people the freedom to be, to create, to express themselves to develop, whilst at the same time having a state in place that is actually considered to all and trying to uplift everyone to a standard of living and education and that allows for the happiness of everyone.

So it relates to me in terms of Auroville, because Auroville wants to achieve in terms of Unity, whatever that is. It is a bit of a vague term. For me it is that we are all connected with in our hearts, rightt, in our beings to something more light than what we know now. Meaning getting to a point where we basically can disidentify from our thoughts and reconnect into our psychic beings. In order to do that we need to become more conscious. We need to anchor deeper and deeper into that awareness. Now we have in Auroville a lot of people that try to create systems. They are trying to create a system. They are trying to create structures that facilitate a society, right. Which is fine. But from here people are still true on a mental level and they are not inspired, enlightened enough to be able to create the fluid systems that are really needed for something new. So what they are doing now is they just are trying to create one still rigid structure after another and pile it on top of each other and try to create something. But actually it’s kind of like the difference between normal physics and quantum physics. The society has to grow from within each person. And actually the focus should not be so much on the structures we create but on helping each other individually to evolve and get to that place of connection with presence. You know that place beyond opinion. And structures is fine, but let’s say I don’t need a structure myself to act correctly. To do well. To act in a way that helps anyone. To be considered. I want to be considered. I want to listen. I want to see what’s best. It goes like this:“What do you think? Oh, that’s cool. Ok let’s adapt to that! What helps this guy, what helps that guy?”, you know? And it’s not about me. But it is also about me. The problem with systems is that it takes away our humanity. We’ve always seen this. Going back to the SS of the Nazis. Maybe the individual people were not such bad people, but the system made them bad. But if they were present enough in themselves to know the system is wrong than they won’t act on that. And that’s what’s important. To retain the humanity, the fluidity, the connection to the heart, that we don’t get sucked into wrong action by being imposed upon us.

Thank you for letting me speak.