A guest from Spain to Pondicherry: His journal of his visit : July 31

CONTAGIOUS*
Keywords: Inspiration, Honesty, Contagious, Coincidences.

“Honesty is the one true way to start again. Just be good to yourself.”
─ Justin Furstenfeld
Contagious (Trapt): https://youtu.be/0hwjQwhNhW4
The Honesty (Blue October): https://youtu.be/8eTblBKF2RE (music)
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/blueoctober/thehonesty.html (lyrics)

I always find it hard to start writing. I’ve been thinking all week that I want to do it, that I feel like it, that my body is asking me to do it and still, nothing. Once I get started, it’s time to decide where to begin, and what I want to get out of from me.

I have come up with this title and some things that I have been thinking about these days like honesty or inspiration and of course the endless coincidences. Let’s get to it! Alehop!

What a pleasure to feel *inspired*, and how seldom we feel that way! So seldom that we even come to forget that such a state exists. A state in which the body shows a permanent smile, everything around you conspires to make you feel better, by moments. I have a trick: music. When I feel like this, I put on a 22-hour playlist with the complete works of J. Furstenfeld and, of course, it gives me moments that lift me up… they lift me up a lot. But how does this inspiration come about? How do you go from a “normal” state to feeling that generalized well-being that makes you smile?

On this occasion, the key was the face of one of my students in the presentation I gave to the doctoral students on “Research: the elephant in the room”. The presentation was the first time I had given it and I didn’t know how it was going to work, but what I did want to do was to be true to my opinions. To what I think is valid and what is not. To what my inner self told me that this young people needed to hear… and not only what they needed to hear, but how I wanted them to receive the message: trying to put into action everything I like in a presentation, using all the resources I am capable of.

It was clear to me that what I was going to say was not politically correct. It will never be in an academic context. And I ran and will run my risks for being so frank in these assertions, but there is the second ingredient that has emerged: *honesty*. The fact of speaking from contrasted experience and being able to demonstrate the nonsense that the world of academia has become, allows me, once again, to feel aligned with myself, in peace with my self, and that brings me closer to that state of inspiration I was talking about before. More than feeling at peace, I would say it is a state of healing: so many years choosing to have conflicts with me instead of with the outside, always choosing the most efficient, the most “correct” option, the one that leads more quickly to the goal… transforms these moments of self-affirmation, into moments of celebration, of partying, of joy and fuss. Not of peace!

“Projects succeed because there is the night before”. This aphorism that I do not know where I got it from, is something that for some reason usually haunts my mind in this kind of situations and obviously, the night before I usually do not sleep very well… because everything I have been working from reason, conscientious effort and hard work, when the night before arrives and I go to bed unable to sleep because of the nerves of the presentation… it usually seems to me a real mess. And that’s when, what I used to call “crazy mind blowing” but a good friend of mine called “geniuses” appear, and give the real quality point to the presentation. I think those details, those ideas that we bring to us between waking and sleeping, speak of who we really are, provide a key difference between mediocrity and exclusivity, the “uniqueness” and yes, why not … genius!

On this occasion there were 3 ideas that emerged:
1. The phrase with which to start the conference.
2. To raise the central idea by means of a simile confronting Reinhold Messner and Kilian Jornet.
3. Idem but confronting an alpine climb track with the sport climbing tracks.

And yes, I have learned to pay attention to these things and I spent the night improving the session and looking for those images that would help me to expose the similes.

And yes, I also started the workshop with a sentence that I consider devastating: “Is science dead? Or is it just corrupted?” From there, I elaborated and developed the discourse I had been preparing with the invaluable help of several colleagues from the department.

And when you are in that moment, unraveling your work, trying to make sure that what you have spent so many awaking (and sleeping) hours doing is not just another required attendance class. When it’s the real moment of truth, when you have to get the yawns not to appear in front of you… it’s that moment when I was met with wide eyes, a catchy smile, and an energy that is truly endangered. It was Sally.

And this is where the title of this text comes in: *contagious*. When you come across a person who emanates energy wherever goes, it definitely recharges your soul. Obviously at that moment I didn’t even know what her name was and even so, she absolutely captivated me. I was able to maintain the level of the class, which that powerful beginning had imbued and I could not defraud those black eyes and that amazed smile.

Fortunately I was able to get to know Sally a little more in the days that followed and what I could feel at that moment, was confirmed and overpassed. But what I want to emphasize here is the ability to feel from afar a person who emanates that energy. I was delighted to be able to detect it in the distance and then, to have the opportunity to confirm that first impression.

And well, also, as it usually happens to me in recent times, I could not miss the *coincidences* in this experience.

It turns out that the guide I hired for a visit to Puducherry had worked in Auroville. A territory recognized by India and the UN as an independent state or something like that. It is a city created to show the inhabitants of this planet that another world is possible. It turns out that it was a desert when it was created, 50 years ago, and now you have to see it! Venkat also explained to me many of the basics of Hinduism and Buddhism and well… I think it was precisely what I needed. And I met him by chance. So did Prof. Premkumar, the professor who had filled out all the bureaucratic forms at SRM University so that I could go… and it turns out he is also a spiritual person and we had several deep conversations about the basics of religions and the law of attraction (precisely the last book I read; I finished it last week). Well, according to him, it wasn’t exactly the same… but I can’t see the difference. I still have a lot to learn.

The visit to Sri Aurobindo’s Ashram and his legacy, I think it can be a new chance to explore that will allow me to deepen this inner search in which I am immersed. And of course, the similarity that I can see between what I am developing in Benassau with Auroville itself, confirms me once again that what I am doing has to do with me and at some point more and more reasons will emerge that will verify it.

In short, an exciting week, with a lot of learning from the one that at this moment seems to me more interesting and aligned with the path undertaken. Reality never ceases to surprise me and the magnet of good luck and coincidences is still active and I am delighted to let myself be driven by it. Inspiration is returning and I begin to feel it in more places, people and moments. The honesty/authenticity that I have been able to observe from far and near with Sally, helps me to draw a more detailed draft of the path to follow. Finally I would say that, above all, the ability to generate happiness from that contagious and overwhelming energy, is what has marked me the most of this trip.

Thanks Premkumar, thanks Venkat… but most of all, thanks Sally!!!

– David, Management Professer,  A Government University at Spain.

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