“To Thee Homage”: Planetary Intensification
Philip K. Dick remarked that the right series of words could destroy you . It’s also true, I feel, that the right combination of light, sound and vision could recreate you. In the electronic surround of social media, the right link could function as a portal—a virtual hierophany—breaking through slogging clickbait to confront you with an encounter with the bonafide Other. This video, “To Thee Homage,” is one such slipstream. It pulls at you with its felt presence. Perhaps it’s the subject matter, that is the “Matrimandir” or “Universal Mother”; a building that functions as the “soul” of the budding city called Auroville , intended to be a “living laboratory” for the esoteric experiment of Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa. They called their spiritual practice “Integral Yoga” and intended it to be something other than religion as we know it.
So, what is it about this video? I have never visited Auroville, located in Pondicherry, India, but I intuit the sense from this and other images that Matrimandir isn’t just some strange architecture that catches the eye, merely a distraction from the digital mundane, but an interruption from the conception of human culture as we have known it. The philosophical and spiritual message of Sri Aurobindo’s work had been about latency; about unfolding futures and the planetization of human consciousness. Places that explore this future function are “living laboratories”, what William Irwin Thompson called “planetary demes”. Mutational spaces where innovation and social intensification could take place. These demes, according to Thompson, extended beyond Auroville to be bound up with Findhorn, Esalen Institute, the Lindisfarne Association and many others to do the messy, laborious work involved in imagining something beyond civilization. In Darkness and Scattered Light, Thompson refers to these kind of places as meta-industrial villages:
The metaindustrial village is such a deme; it is a place in which the four cultural forces are completely expressed. [The planetization of nations, the decentralization of cities, the miniaturization of technology, the interiorization of consciousness.] The metaindustrial village is a turn on the spiral back toward the preindustrial village, but it is not the preindustrial village; for with electronics, complex informational flow on a global level, and higher states of consciousness from a contemplative education, it is not a return to the “idiocy of rural life.” 
I could argue these mutational wellsprings are needed more than ever in our time. They take on a new form, presently—sublimated into distributed efforts, much like the structure of the web itself. This is an intensification. Most important for this phase of experimental culture building is the necessity to interiorize these ideas and bring them with us into our networks. Into the multitudes that make up the body of a world bursting at the seams and breaking open at the edges of the Anthropocene. Maybe through watching this video—uncanny iconography for our LCD screens— we can take something back into our hearts that just might evoke the spirit of Matrimandir, to allow us to relate to each other differently in our local, global, planetary efforts.
Do you feel it? Does this video pull at something hidden within you?
 See Philip K. Dick, VALIS.
 See “Building Matrimandir, a labor of love”
 See William Irwin Thompson, Darkness and Scattered Light
 Check out the wonderful documentary on Auroville, “Journey to the City of Dawn“