Education serving the evolution of consciousness must not just strive for a change in human life, but in human nature itself. Building a sense of interconnectedness and responsibility between all peoples and lifeforms as part of a greater whole, in mind and action.
Exploration of the practice of such an education, called Integral Education, began at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry, and later in Auroville international township, Tamil Nadu, and has now spread across India and the world.
Integral Education is not an alternative education model adjusting within this mindset of mainstream or progressive education, but a completely new way of looking at what education needs to serve to build a better humanity. Research in Integral Education requires us to let go of all that we are conditioned to know as education, and rethink and recreate education from its foundations. For this novel methods, structures and tools need to be created, experimented with, and shared.
Through an Integral Education the development of all the parts of the being is addressed. Education then becomes an opportunity to develop the faculties of human consciousness, supporting the learner to become a leader of their own growth and actions.
By becoming active participants in deepening the awareness of the self, also brings with it a growing understanding of others, and of nature, and the inter-dependence of all things. This is the expansion needed to work towards human unity and sustainable development on our planet, becoming leaders of our own evolution. Integral Education is a gift from Mother India to the World, with this purpose.
So how do we develop our consciousness? This can take endless forms, as each of the instruments of the mind requires different types of work and stimulation to bring them to the forefront of our awareness.
Thinking: What is thinking? How do we become conscious in our thoughts? How do we silence our mind, develop concentration, attention and memory?
Seeing: What is seeing? How do we see? How do we develop physical sight, subtle vision, apprehensive cognition and photographic memory?
Hearing: What is hearing? How do we develop physical hearing, subtle hearing and comprehensive cognition?
Communication: How to speak consciously? How do we develop recognition of intention and context? How do we develop communication skills?
Vital (energy): Cognition of emotions, feelings and sensations. Awareness and discrimination of experiences. Develop dynamism and creativity. Negotiation of stress, fear, anger, lust, greed and desire.
Body: What is body awareness? Work to perfect the body, and develop skills like plasticity, flexibility and endurance. Awareness of how to nourish the body, and negotiation of habits, inertia, desires and illness.
Aurogames kaleidoscope puzzles are not just games, they are educational tools created for this purpose. These educational materials nurture the imaginative mind. Puzzles that can be put together in endless ways in a kaleidoscopic manner. Exploration with the games develops the muscle of the mind to realize how the whole can change endlessly depending on the placement and orientation of its parts. It brings attention to detail, and how this affects the creation of each unique pattern.
Exercising the mind regularly with Aurogames develops: concentration, memory, attention, analytic skills, patience, perseverance, mathematical thinking, cooperation, imagination, plasticity, creativity, visual and spatial perception, acuity, orientation, and flexibility.
Although Aurogames were originally developed for children, we have seen that they are beneficial for people of all ages. For young children they introduce new concepts and expand the mind, for elderly they help keep the mind's agility and support memory. They encourage people to learn in an atmosphere of equality, respect, and harmony. It's yoga for the mind.
Meet the team
We live in the international town of Auroville in South India. The idea of Auroville is to experiment with the possibility of Human Unity, where people from all over the world, with different cultural backgrounds, can grow individually and collectively.
When building a city of the future - a city based on values of peace and sustainability - education has a central place. We work with research to support the emergence of an Integral Education that will empower young people to grow up with values and awareness to manifest change, awakening each individual to his/ her full potential. This is where our passion lies.
The original Aurogame prototypes were created by AuroCulture (Helga Ahy). Her adventure in game creation began in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the 1970's and continued in Auroville where she moved in the 1990's. She worked on inspiration until a game materialized, and created over 40 beautiful handmade game prototypes. AuroCulture's wish was for the games to be shared with the children of the world and of the future. She expressed that her role had been to create the the seeds for this work through the prototypes, but did not have the knowledge or ability of how to take it forward beyond that. For many years she stored the game prototypes in a cupboard, waiting for "the people who will be a part of realizing this project to come together at the right time". In 2015 she put the game prototypes in the care of Maya Shakti, who built a team to start to explore how to take the project forward. After an initial few years of experimenting with the games and trying to understand how to sustain the project, Ishay Botbol joined Aurogames as creative director, to build the strategy needed to share Aurogames with the world. During the past years Maya and Ishay have taken the games far beyond the original prototypes and into the digital world, creating over 500 puzzles and a variety of different functionalities to reach people of all ages, everywhere, as well as schools in India and beyond. AuroCulture followed the work and development with enthusiasm until her passing in 2020.
Maya Shakti - Game development and Aurogames project coordination
Maya has worked in the field of education for more than 25 years and is presently doing research on the practice of Integral Education in Auroville. She also works with teacher training, consulting, game development and design. During 8 years she deepened in Integral Education through applied research and facilitation in The Learning Community, an educational project in Auroville. Prior to her work in Auroville, she worked as a class teacher in public Montessori schools in Sweden. She has a B.Ed. in Science of Education (Mathematics/Sciences, thesis on Freedom in education), a B.Ed. in Pedagogy (Didactics/Learning Study/Montessori, thesis on Integral Education) and an M.S. in Education for Sustainable Development (thesis on Integral Education).
Ishay Botbol - Creative director
Development and project management of Aurogames from physical game prototypes into the revolution of the digital world, Ishay works with digital strategy development that meets the needs of the present without compromising future, user interface, creativity, the visuality of the game, and marketing. He has a B.Ed. F.A. in Digital Media and Photography.
Online game development
By Softnet, https://softnet.auroville.org/
Although AuroCulture's vision was to "share Aurogames with the children of the world", we also want to reach as many children as possible locally. We especially want children who would not otherwise have the opportunity for such play to benefit from Aurogames, and offer game session to children in Auroville and its bioregion, a service fully supported through donations.