Sept 22, 2009
Life on earth is one of progressive change. Man presides over that process. Human progress is called civilization. Life and body coming under the enlightened guidance of Mind are so styled. Man’s life was physical in the splendid infancy of our primeval past. He was a mere clod rushed about by the forces of Nature. But he had the sure instinct given to him at birth as the animal gets it. It was estimated that his longevity during those periods was ten years. Maybe he died more of starvation than by any disease in those days. Longevity of the collective is a social possession. It cannot be raised without enhancing the collective security from every point of view, the most important of them being the protection from predators and supply of nourishment. Agriculture is the story of his food production taking over the function of Nature. Long observation of the subconscious resulting in the conscious organised activity of the human individual is agriculture. Sri Aurobindo says the primitive Man enjoyed the intelligence we had. Over his long past Man did not acquire a greater intelligence but has widened his perspective. Perspective is the result of coordinating the observation with the observed. Progress is the changing perspective. Man can produce what Nature has been producing is the changed perspective that gave birth to agriculture.
Sri Aurobindo says it would never strike the arboreal Ape that one day he could evolve into Man. The great evolutionary progress he made was to stand up thus releasing himself from the myopic look, a look confined to the earth. Industrial Revolution started in the late 18th century. In 1848 Karl Marx said capitalism would die its natural death by unorganized production. Its first symptom was in 1825, the worst was in 1929. To know capitalism has no future today, one needs to win a Nobel Prize. Perspectives are perpetually elusive. Man is a victim of the illusion of the obvious.
Imitation and emulation are preeminent faculties of Man, but it does not operate always. For a hundred years before Independence, India had a hundred little things she could have imitated around the world. She did not. Japan who successfully imitated the USA did not do so till the 80s. No caste in India imitates any other caste, however beneficial it is to them. England who deeply studied Indian yoga and philosophy never thought of taking to them in any small measure. The question of Man imitating Nature does not arise. How then did it arise?
By the long subconscious exercise of the Mind invisible, the subconscious was saturated and presented to the surface as a human possibility. Imitation of Nature needed a knowledge and a power. The knowledge was supplied by the maturing subconscious. The power belonged to the organisation of the Mind that was there too in the subconscious. At such transitions, the benefits are plentiful, almost infinite in the subconscious. We now see it in the Internet. Agriculture did produce a plenty unknown to Mankind. Such excess of energy goes to horizontal spread or vertical growth or a little to both. The agricultural plenty directly led to the growth of the population, not to its quality. What Man learnt is agricultural technology and agricultural organisation. We learn society was there for about ten millenniums. Technology is the mentally organised knowledge becoming physically useful productive power. Nowadays, it is done through creating an instrument. In such a case, Mental knowledge organising itself as practically usable form in Matter for a greater release of energy is technology. Mind descending on Matter is technology. The descent produces excess of energy which is organised by the available organisation in the physical plane. In successfully taking to agriculture, Man has to know the seasons, rainfall, see the relationship between moisture and sprouting, must have learned collection of seeds and preserving them. He might not have tilled the land to start with, but must have devised ways and means to protect the crop from cattle and wild animals and other predators. It was a responsibility he never had till then. It was a new power in him to be created by a new emotion. Mental conception of seeds sown produce more is essential, but unless mental conception becomes emotional perception, the body of the Man is not inspired to move to act. Only the physical sensation accomplished it, the sensation of enjoying the benefits of the produce.
Such an exercise obviously must be collective. It does not become a reality unless it is preceded by a collective life of some sort implying collective responsibility to a central authority. The single fact of Man’s agriculture tells us what Man has gone through to accomplish it. Perhaps in it lies the essential history of Man’s existence. Man’s existence today is essentially the same. What is new is the width, the spread, its complexities, the amplitude of its spreading structures, the refinements of organisation that were necessitated by the widening of Man’s existence.
We do not know why Man is on earth or how earth is there in the first place. Obviously they defy our rational process of thinking and understanding. We can certainly raise the question of the mould and conditions of the constituents of the society. What are the strengths they draw from? Or further, how are their weaknesses sustained. One thing is obvious. It is the energy, an overmastering surge of evolutionary energy that pervades the society. Hundreds of thousands of small and great skills, individual and collective are formed out of it. We need to know how the energy becomes the skills. We see the direction to this energy. Its becoming a force is, apparently, with a purpose. Where does the direction come from? Who directs it? For what purpose? Society exhibits power at all points. What is the structure that organises this force into power? This power turns into results by attitude and skills, individual and collective. It is a broad layout, since it is not as if there is aspiration, energy, force, organisation, etc. They themselves are fashioned in the process of social evolution. Not only that, they constantly change and grow. If this is a process, we have started in the middle and stopped further ahead of it refusing to go to the goal.
Man existed before he invented agriculture, but we ignore that earlier past as even this will serve our purpose to arrive at the future goal, whether it is 2100 AD or 3000 AD. Apart from energy and the conversion it undergoes, everywhere in the society we see organisation, from the invisible instinct to massive collectives known as metropolis. Organisation is of all sizes and of all types, serving every known function. We can as well say the history of the society is the history of these organisations. Organisations are operated by skills, capacities, attitudes, values. There are productive organisations, creative organisations, organisations of sensations and emotions as well as beliefs. These organisations are composed of systems, activities, acts, the act being the ultimate unit which itself is a complex micro-organisation. There are outgoing organisations like trade and transport. There are ingoing organisations like the community, family, individual. Among them the pride of place is given to the organisation of culture. Culture is seen as community culture, social and national culture in its outgoing dimension. On the other side where it turns upon itself, there is the family culture, religious culture and the culture of the Individual. Spiritual culture of the Individual is the apex which we may not detail here.
As the growth of the society is horizontal and vertical, no single line of development will suffice. Again it is outgoing and ingoing. The development takes place in several planes of energy, force, organisation, skills, capacities, talents, abilities at the collective and individual levels no single course of development can be successfully pursued. At each level there are many principles to be described and explained. We can follow a broad line of agriculture, trade, urbanization, manufacture, market, government, service, banks, Money, Internet. It will neither be in a regular succession nor will it follow any recognizable pattern, but certainly will aim at a comprehensive study.
At the most physical level, agriculture produced for consumption. At this stage man was vulnerable to erratic seasons and the whole community perished at times of famine or deserted the place of residence. Trade has come and shown the possibility of Man’s producing his maximum and saving his surplus energy for the future through currency. It went a long way to minimize his risks from failure of the monsoon. Trade is a plane of human relationships where Money involved in a transaction travels. Selling one’s produce to another is human contact, a formed human relationship. It is a relationship of understanding and trust giving an occasion to generate values like honour. In agriculture, what produced is mainly the land by human labour and ingenuity. Trade is a plane of human relationship, a non-material plane. No trade can be carried on without the seller and trader knowing each other, trusting each other, forming a relationship of exchange often at fixed times and fixed places. It is worthwhile pointing out that this plane is productive, productive of Money. Land produces grains. Trade produces among other things, Money as profit. Also, by transaction and movement, trade generates Money.
Man knows one seed multiplies. The multiplication is obvious. It may be one grain producing thirty or three hundred grains or one seed of a tree slowly produces thousands of fruits year after year for a long number of years. This much is obvious. For Man to launch agriculture, he should settle down to a single place giving up his nomadic life. It implies a community, often a leader. He has a collective knowledge, a knowledge to grow food. It requires an organisation in the sense people must move about doing the work in coordination, offering implicit cooperation. To offer cooperation, he must place himself under a leader. To coordinate with others, each Man must know all the work i.e., all that everyone knows, and intelligently coordinate in right time and right place. It is a coordination of understanding, of work, the collective, the value of space and meaning of Time. Each should acquire individual skills to generate collective skills of cultivation in tune with the seasons and rains. What is cultivated must be protected till harvest and the harvested grains preserved, beyond which arises distribution where the leader has the authority. At each point of action, the skills can work to give the result only through right attitudes. There are individual attitudes of skills in the work and collective attitudes of responsibility. One reinforces the other. One is ineffective without the other.
In trade, Money comes into play. There is no trade without Money unless it is barter. An amount for which one sells his grains, we know, theoretically travels through several people in time. At each point of transaction a little profit is generated. After a certain number of transactions, the original Money doubles itself by the addition of a small profit at each stage. Of course, loss too is possible. For argument’s sake, I shall discount the losing transactions. As for organised agriculture to yield the end result of grain produce so many human values were to be acquired, in trade too new relationships, new values are to be forged. Trade is a movement. Movement is growth. Apart from the trust and relationships growing, Money grows more than the profits. It is easy to see in normal business quick turnovers multiply Money. Banks do lend more Money than they have. It is not easy to see that trade generates Money besides profits. The principles are the same in retail trade, banking or in primary trade. The little trust created in each transaction converts into Money in time. It arises as credit or transaction without Money. Trust creates Money. Money is social power. Social power is productive. As trade gave the incentive to the farmer to produce a surplus of grains, trade gives the increasing incentive to traders to trade without Money or with little Money, thus generating Money. Money is the only thing that can be quantified and felt but the social power or market power created by trade is social growth. Sometimes it can be measured as Money. It is trade that creates the cities, their entertainment, cultural activities, tourism, active human interrelationships, all of which are Money, measurable or not. Agriculture created the community, trade created the cities, the cradles of civilization. The trust agriculture needs is trust of work skill. The trust trade needs is the trust of quality of goods, trust of its measurement, the trust of Man as a whole and above all, a trust of Money. It is a leap of faith, a leap into the non-existent skies. Money is a creation of imagination, which the farmer does not have or has in minimal quantities. For him to trust another in terms of Money is a new social birth.
Agriculture increases grain production. It is by technology, the result of Man’s Mind in action. It generates leisure, producing all the grains for the year by working in the season. It is a gain over Time. It is a mastery over Space in the sense he need not be travelling all over for his food. At the advent of trade, he is enabled to produce not only for consumption, but as much as his abilities permit, even as the lever draws enormous power from the subtle plane. As Man rises further, this element – increase by technology, by maximum exertion, increase by the subtle plane – of the power of the field expanding continues to multiply as well as expand. This is the invisible part of Man’s progress. As observed earlier, movement is change, change is progress and expansion.
Man choosing agriculture is a mental decision, a decision of the Mind to descend on the physical plane of existence. The gross dark ignorant plane receives the benefit of the light of the Mind. Its immediate result is the quality of the grain is sweeter. The jungle produce is tasteless or of coarse taste. To launch agriculture, Man gives up his nomadic life and takes to stationary life. Such a life demands a leader. A leader belongs to the vital plane. Man learns submission. It is an essential move from an entirely physical life to a somewhat vital life. Vital life is energetic and dynamic. Agriculture requires an organisation. Organisation is the force part of the Mind, essentially differing from the light part of the Mind which conceived the idea that one seed will multiply into many seeds. He takes upon himself the work of Nature, finding the soul of Nature – a spiritual growth. Agriculture even in the initial days involved division of labour. When established, division of labour is fully established. It is a further exercise of the Mind. By such measures the collective gets more and more organised. Organisation to avail of cooperation and coordination invents instructions. Instructions need understanding a whole work in terms of its parts. Instructions need authority for execution. Strength in execution is power. When the leader leads the pack against enemies, strength exercises itself as power. At times of peace when strength is not in action, it becomes authority. Authority is strength not in action, but recognized by the group. Individual members accepting the authority of the leader in a fight exert themselves physically. They are the soldiers that fight. When they accept an instruction, they exercise their Minds and bring their vital and physical to obey the Mind’s understanding. It is to mentalise their bodies and vital. We call it attitude formation. Collective execution of a work requires attitude formation at all levels. It is organisational strategy. To accept such a strategy, to form such an attitude, Man needs a skill he did not have till then.
To conceive of what happened to the eager population that received the PC with gratitude as technology touched Man, how many individual pieces of information he has learnt to perfection will show how Mankind responds to social innovation. The same thing happened when agriculture was born. For each new innovation to be accepted finally with benefit by the user population is social evolution. The wider the reception, the greater the benefit. The more refined the innovation, the greater is the strain to the beneficiary. As we rise in the scale, the factors that enter multiply, the range of their application becomes wider, more of the subtle power enters invisibly. Marx sensed this secret and crystallized his power of understanding as violent possession of the means of production. He thought of violence as he saw both ends and missed the gradual transition which is through the subtle plane sometimes. Today the capitalist seeing the value of the consumer, offers his products cheaper. The more powerful the computer, the cheaper it is. Many services are offered totally free. Still the employer rises in value invisibly because it is partial appreciation. A fuller appreciation will reveal the other side. This process of self-giving enhances the benefits to the giver and the receiver. It is a process only of beneficial growth – Spiritual communism.
Manufacture follows agriculture. Before manufacture came trade. Agriculture, in a sense, is in-looking. Trade is outgoing. Land being the source of production, Man is land-centred, emotionally tied to his land, refuses to leave his village for long or for any essential purpose. Originally there were no intermarriages between two villages, all marriages were within the village. Trade compels Man to go out as far as he can go. It is trade that brought several European nations to India. Trade expanded when barter gave way to cash, coins, Money. Trade involves transport of excess production. The enclosures created in England made sheep rearing profitable, made excess production of wool possible and gave trade a vigorous life, especially the export trade. Her character of being a sea-faring nation made exports possible. For any single activity to become eminently possible, become established and continue to grow, a host of various other circumstances must arise and come to stay.
The change in agriculture policy about enclosures was such a landmark. England had a copious rainfall of over 100”. Enclosures could become profitable in this natural beneficial condition. Already there were coins in circulation. It was a nation, being an island, that lived on the sea. So trade flourished. Beyond these obvious facts in the English trade there are various social landmarks that initially made trade possible, of which Money, language, knowledge of mensuration, transport through pack animals, a surplus of production, a work ethic, some values of Time like punctuality, some cultural values of trade such as honour, capacity to write, add and subtract, etc. were there.
Apart from intelligence, Man has imagination which conceives of possibilities. Its great faculty is symbolic imagination. Intelligence understands what is. Imagination creates what is not. What is imagined at one time, as air travel, has the possibility of being realized at another time. Money was the symbol of produce which is the result of human labour. Man’s imagination conceived of his produce in terms of his labour and projected in his symbolic imagination of Money. This is an enormous inner growth. It is original thinking, even original creation. The birth of an imaginative faculty in one Man is a human landmark. For his symbol to be accepted by the community, imagination must be born in the collectivity. For the Individual it is a great step forward; for the collective it is a greater step. The subconscious collective faculty matures in one Individual which the whole collective comes to endorse later. For trade to enter into any stage of effectivity, such an inner progress must be witnessed in many other collectives around. Certainly one requires a strong, rich imagination to see Money as a symbol of a bag of grains. Trade emerges in a collective which is already very advanced in several respects. The birth of language too is symbolic, words symbolizing ideas or facts or even emotions. Spoken language’s maturity creates written language. To convert the symbol of sounds into symbols of forms, to create an alphabet, the collective must have advanced enough. But trade requires not only speech and writing, it requires mensuration, another feat of Mind. The Roman numerals that did duty to adding and subtracting became an obstacle by their cumbersome construction. The Indian numerals, known as Arabic numerals all over the world, as the world got them through Arabia, did a better service, by the decimal system. It survives till today. The double entry created in Italy expanded the scope of trade by being able to calculate the profit of transaction. It was a major breakthrough in accounting and trade. Every sector of human activity has innumerable such breakthroughs. Our task is not to prepare an exhaustive list of them. Till humanity evolves the Spiritual Individual from the time agriculture was invented, there are various such successive landmarks. We are to link them together to see how the Individual is emerging. The outer activity creates an inner core of strength, knowledge, organisation in the Individual. That core leads to a wider outer activity. Thus a normal interchange continues which causes which may not acquire significance in our explanation till a later stage. That apart, both are essentially and intricately related, as if one is the result of the other.
One inescapable character of the inner as well as the outer is complexity. It is not to be mistaken for a complication. When unraveled, it is simplicity itself. That complexity over the millenniums has risen in richness producing outside modern civilization and inside the human personality which eludes the grasp of any culture. For a partial study it will escape. For one who studies the whole of the human personality or the whole of humanity, rather humanity as a single whole, it will be resolving experience. The growth of Man is from physical to Spiritual. In each plane all the four planes are found. Also there are two dimensions of outer and inner. Looked at from such a classified perspective, the complications will turn into complexities. It will be possible for us to discover simplicity, if we concede to each one of them an individuality, a character, a structure and a pure originality.
To understand all the processes undergone by trade, and to fully appreciate it, one has to more fully know the process which made agriculture possible. I have taken it for granted, and refrained from going into it. The field of agriculture is land while the field of trade is human relationship. In agriculture, Man produced what Nature already produced but in far greater quantities. For that purpose, all that he created was a human organisation of production. In trade there was no field of production. Man created it by his thought as well as imagination. Agriculture was confined mainly to where he was. Trade, essentially went out of his locality. The further he went, the greater was his profit. To go out means transport. He could not go out alone. To protect his product on his outward journey and his Money on his return journey, he needed a band of trustworthy colleagues. It was a minor adventure that demanded courage, leadership, boldness and risk. Maybe even for agriculture these were necessary. It may be true, but for trade a far greater amount of imagination that combines these qualities is needed. It is Man being born at a next higher level. For one Man to turn into a trader, the trader in the community must have been saturated subconsciously. It is one thing to be bold, courageous in our own place. It is quite another thing to perform the same thing outside our zone of birth. Often the language is different. To successfully function in a foreign place of another language, is like completing a work that needs a tool, without it. Imagine fighting without a sword or writing without a pen! What capacities Man had in agriculture in the gross field are required in trade in the subtle field. Subtlety distinguishes trade from agriculture that is gross.
The gross field of work can only have a defect or deficiency, not subtle complexity. A subtle field of accomplishment such as trade will have all its main capacities in subtle complexities. Hence his productivity here becomes human creativity. Creation of cities, arts, philosophy, amusements, entertainments is possible because of the subtle creativity of the field. Money is social power. It is a centre of creative power at higher levels. It is a psychological centre. Over time it grows into a centre of power. The presence of Money is greater in trade than in agriculture. Still, we have not gone in detail into the creation of Money or language. We have to consider them deeply later.
Late in the 18th century, manufacture came announcing the Industrial Revolution. It started way back in Man’s creation of utensils, cloth and tools. In manufacture Man does not produce what Nature produces. He produces what is not there in Nature, products created out of his imagination. Thus his conception and imagination become fields of production first becoming creative. Man creates a new world. Civilization enters Man’s life. Factory, raw materials, labour, products, production are new creations in human existence. To all these Man finds a market which entirely sustains all this. The market that trade had, of course, had the character of market, but this market is creative of civilization. Agriculture can survive if trade is not there or its market disappears. In manufacture, the market is all. It is rarely recognized that this market is creative of human welfare and well being. A minor aspect of this market is it creates Money which of course is somewhat perceived in general, but not in its full implication. The market creates infinite wealth, limited only by Man’s capacity to utilize. Over the centuries the creative character of the market has risen so much that even the finite utilization of Man of its resources is revealing strong characteristics of non-ending infinity. The source of this infinite character of the market is not the nature of the market, but the nature of Man which I am at pains to show – Individuality. It is an individuality that includes universality and Transcendentality.
Man, who was walking on earth, never knew until agriculture came into vogue that Mother Earth is a source of infinite plenty. He related to the earth as a base, not a field of produce. But there was no market when he launched on to trade. Even after creation, the market was invisible. In being invisible it was subtle. A subtle field is more powerful because of its subtlety. The market has the society behind it which is, in fact, infinitely more creative. As everything else, the market when it was born was primary, elementary compared with the same market today. As every field has advanced, the market too has advanced. It is many, many times more powerful.
Those who have keenly observed the PC, the Internet, over the last 20 or 30 years know very well every new invention. The user public almost took a new birth to learn to use the new facilities the PC or Internet offers. UNDP said in the last fifty years the world has advanced far more than in the last 500 years. The same thing can be said of the market in the last 30 years. In the beginning, the market was composed essentially of the seller, the buyer, the brokers, etc. Today Bank has entered the market in a big way especially with its credit card. Bank itself is a big institution with the investing public supporting it which means the entire population. Price of commodities in the market is a wide reaching subject which actually depends on every economic activity in the country, rather every activity in the world. Even passing fashion can effectively interfere in the price structure. Earlier Man was simple in his constitution, his main activity being eating. Today Man is a social animal, a psychological creature holding in himself the results of education, family upbringing, personal social opinion, etc. This means Man is a veritable social factor, not a mere buyer or seller. A little thinking will reveal that no organisation in the country is without influence on the market. Market carries three fourths of the social power in it. In any single transaction, simple it may be, the impact of the entire society can be felt. This market is productive of wealth, creative of human welfare, and well being. All this is simple. Only that its immense contribution to social welfare is missed by the public. One thing cannot be missed. As Banks create non-existing Money, market creates Money in infinite abundance by its every wave. This is the least valuable contribution of the market.
It creates in one word all that we are today and all that we enjoy. Comparing life in 2009 and 1909, the comforts, conveniences, stability, security, health, welfare, well being, information, education, unimaginable facilities are immensely greater. They are the creations of the market, being an essential part of the society. It has utilized technology, education, transport, etc. as its means. None of this could exist without the market, but market will exist as before without them. This is the creative power of the society. It delivers its good to us through the market.
Man has taken this wide market, structured it to his convenience. When the structure clashes with the main body, he feels the scarcity, market crash, etc. He tries to cure his ills by better organising his structure. Why America prospered for two or three hundred years while during the same period Europe did not, is because America being new, the market was structureless and the European market was not only structured but lifeless, dry and particularly working against the interest of the population. The present crisis has many reasons. Not comprehending the creativity of the market is one main reason. This is the real truth of the society, but keenly seen in the market. Its creative health can be restored by the society.
That which creates is the market, not technology. When the farmer sells his produce for his benefit, he creates the market. It serves him creatively in the sense it enables him to exhaust his maximum potential. Later when the market comes to stay and is reinforced by other components, it acquires creativity, as land became enormously productive in agriculture. From that time onwards, the simple market becomes a creative Market. It begins to produce very many things Man can enjoy. He created this Market mainly by Money. It begins to create Money by a subtle invisible process. Today Market creates infinite wealth and as a part of it an ever-increasing volume of Money.
The real creative power of this Market comes from the society. To understand the society like this, it earns a capital letter, Society. A Theory of Development is thus born. A theoretical knowledge of social development removes all problems of the society.
There does not seem to be one or an attempt to create one. The ultimate cause of this creativity is the Individual of whom we have taken up a study. The Individual is the conscious spearhead of an unconscious process. Really it is a subconscious process whose saturated maturity the Individual represents. If there is a philosophical bent, we can trace it to the self-conception of the Absolute who chooses to create a world.
Creativity slowing down to productivity and unregulated production becoming an insoluble problem is the process of creating superstition out of a virginally creative moment of freshness. This is the result of self-assertion of social ignorance. Man has risen from physicality to vitality and then to mentality. Even from the mentality he rose to spirituality. As anachronisms become obstacles, if Man’s insists on remaining in the same plane when the plane is ready to develop, the plane proves to be creative of a variety of superstitions. Rural folk have several of them of which will-o-the-wisp and raghukalam are instances. One is a physical superstition and the other vital. Men who witnessed the will-o-the-wisp die, whereas mentally developed Men do not see it or become a victim. So is raghukalam which hurts those who believe in it. A Westerner is not affected by raghukalam even when he is in India. But as so many believe in it here, the atmosphere here has the power to hurt weak-minded Westerners. Westerners used to treated water on coming to India are infected by dysentery or diarrhea if they drink Indian municipal water, which does not affect the Indians. The same Westerner staying in India for long is immune to the water. The market in its growing stages is interfered with in its growth by government interference. In a further stage where its productive capacity overtakes the social capacity of consumption, it needs to be regulated. Presently no thought is given to those phenomena and hence the crisis. Man taking the process into his hands can avoid these catastrophes. Indian Green Revolution is an instance. The evolutionary urge is great as we saw in the European spice trader discovering a sea route to India when the Arab nations stopped him. But that urge in the second phase needs regulation. Only a theory of development can pronounce on it. Theory of Development is Theory of Social Evolution which means a total view of human existence, not a sectoral view. A partial view generates problems in the second phase. A complete view is helpful in the first phase. In the second phase it transforms the potentials of the obstacles into potentials of possibilities.
The Unknowable descends on the universe and the Individual. Society is the universal for Man till he emerges as the Individual. Subconscious saturation of the Society emerges as physical, vital, Mental, Spiritual Individuality. For that, freedom of the widest level is necessary. For the Spiritual Individual to emerge in the world, freedom must become a global phenomenon. For the present, freedom in any considerable measure, uninhibited by social structure is available at the national level only in America. This is far from satisfactory but this is the best. Freedom at the national level is real to the Individual in the measure he enjoys liberty. The author who expressed that view ten years ago has now become an international celebrity revealing the vitality in the theme. There is a long way to go to complete physical Individuality in America because the presence of fundamentalists, the psychological reservation against the Blacks in the elder generations, the gap between the rich and poor, the poor yearning to become rich not realizing its vacuum and all the deficiencies of the earlier societies are still there in great measure.
In the progress of civilization, language plays a far greater role than education that came much later. It is easy to explain the role of education or even Money, but not so easy to get a hold of language. Language is social, but by its origin in the human vital it takes on the look of a biological function. Man’s original emotions were sensations. Hunger, pain, danger produced some sensations in him which he felt as emotions. Man is gregarious. In the earlier millenniums, his communications were instantaneous through sensations. This is true of people separated by a considerable distance. It was the feeling of the pack. There must have been a time when he did want to communicate to others and did so successfully. Maybe it was by unformed sounds. Some of them survive even today. The cooee of the Australian aborigine taken up by the settler to call someone is Ü× (koovu) in our villages, which means call. From the functional primitive sound, Man has forged a full-fledged language of grammar and poetry. In this he acquired a consummate inner capacity. That capacity is enough to found cities, create trade, government, conduct international parleys. Education fully benefited by this development of language. The next best beneficiary is government. Military, trade, banking, commerce drew upon the treasure of language very little. The subconscious strength created by the language in the society was fully availed of by all these fields.
For instance, organised banks came into existence long after Money, but banking and money lending were extensively practiced under social complaisance, not under government control. Organised banking needed a far greater measure of inner social stability. Military protection that offers external security, language development that creates inner stability are assets of the society. Founding of organised banks needed this double stability in great measure. When founded successfully, banks directly created three-fold Money. The excess Money is social strength converted into monetary transactions.
Social experiences are conscious and subconscious. Experiences collect as strength in the inner being of the society. In the surface being of the Society experiences of earlier periods show as explainable knowledge. This knowledge consciously guides the social growth. There is a hierarchy in every field of a dozen levels or more. In the military from the General to the private soldier, the levels of corporal, sergeant, captain, major, colonel, etc. are the grades. Society lays the foundation for itself to exist. Physical protection is an essential part of it. However essential, it is a part. Society collecting its strength lays it down at the bottom. Every sector takes it up to develop it on its own lines. The base is the impersonal collective. Each sector resembling almost the entire society develops its own importance of structure, emotions, attitudes, beliefs, strategies of function. They all have to be modified accordingly to all levels of its hierarchy. This is social culture modified as sectoral culture. Apart from the sectoral collective, the Individuals at every hierarchy create their own individual variations of the structure, emotion, attitude, belief, strategy of function. This has an external part and an internal part. Depending on the sector to which Man belongs, the proportion between the inner and outer varies.
Military, government, trade, education, transport etc. are external institutions. Family is mainly an internal institution, though it has a slight external fringe. The external institutions also foster internal values. But family and caste or class foster most of the inner values. These values are formed in the Mind as beliefs, in the emotions as attitudes, in the body as motives. There is a great traffic of interchange between the inner and outer values in the family and the fields of profession. Man receiving these values in his bodily habits develops a physical emotional solicitude for them. They become a proud national ideal. In a transition, these habits refuse to consider the new idea at all. They long to die for it. Hence all the progress must come from the younger generations. It is not as if these habits will not change. The light in the descent from above can help the habits change if the Individual throws his weight on the side of change.
The last 100 years because of the two world wars, the confrontation between the two blocks, the development of selfless public service that the Internet demands, the advent of electronics, conversion of education to the audio-visual medium, and the global reach of many activities become important in our study. The two or three hundred years of American development assumes great significance for two reasons, 1) the emergence of Individuality, 2) extensive recorded documents in minute detail and their statistical classifications. A review of a few hundred cases of ordinary Men as well as outstanding personalities will take us through the course of the emerging Individual marking every landmark with a collective and individual stamp.
Sri Aurobindo says by his best aspiration Man can become the Supramental Being. My question is, is there a human equivalent of it that can be achieved now? Has Man always endeavoured at his best? If not, what is it that he has aspired for? Have there been forces that denied him his due? Man loves to be successful. Success means wealth, status, respectability, reliability and adoration.
In India, the caste system has come to stay to such an extent that even when people embrace a different religion, they carry their caste habits of food, rituals in marriage, funeral, etc. It only means that what they refuse to give up is important for them, more important than the religion they gave up. One fact carries its weight all over the world: economic affluence to a large extent neutralizes any other deficiencies, if not fully. The non-existent America has come to be respected when she became wealthy. Wealth does not always give all the status it would enjoy in other circumstances. Wealth is material; status is social. Respectability is psychological, reliability that deserves adoration is spiritual. In a caste or class ridden society, Man is not free to seek the wealth his capacity deserves. Only exceptional cases succeed. In the absence of social freedom in such communities, capacity itself cannot develop in the normal course. Development of capacity requires opportunity, freedom and initiative. The American continent offered it. It resulted in unprecedented prosperity. The instinctive aversion of the successful American to education conflicted with his urge for respectability. Surely education gives respectability, if not the respectability of culture and birth. Sensing this truth, America rushed for education at all levels. Beyond respectability lies reliability which is adored. Religion does not give that respectability. In that case the clergyman would have had it by right. Being a gentleman earns that respectability. To be a gentleman one needs to have a keen conscience. For that to be an enlightened conscience valid for all times, one’s soul has to awaken. Working from below, if every circumstance favours, one needs several generations to reach this goal. Working from above, the time can be shortened, if our effort rises from the physical vital to mental spiritual.
Truth is directly of the spirit. Truth is strength of the spirit in objective conditions. Truth that acquires knowledge is goodness. Good will offers one’s Truth to another in social interaction. Should it accompany joy that is cheerful, all that one aspires for is there. Money earned in truthful exercise of cheerful pleasantness carries wealth of status. Respectability and reliability are inbuilt in them. The Britisher was adored in India for his utter reliability. A person or a community found to be unreliable is avoided, not persecuted. Persecution comes when it is engineered by fanatics or when the unreliable Man’s aim is to deprive others of their legitimate rights. Fanaticism organised and fanned does not take root in a population except when a political benefit is aimed at. Economic deprivation and stark realities of poverty and plenty juxtaposed do give fanaticism life, but it is only incidental.
In following Truth and offering good will to others, the ordinary Man faces infinite difficulties of endless variations. Man realizes his practical realities are difficulties. From Man’s point of view, he is understandable. From the higher point of view all his difficulties sum up as one with endless variations. The one is an attitude of human choice. The endless variations are expressing that one attitude in various situations appropriately. Human choice must be one of Truth, the appropriate application is the dexterity of common sense. The choice needs strength, the dexterity needs patience. Truth is of the soul. Patience is the soul of action in life. Choice of Truth needs, apart from strength, courage. The courage of the American settler in leaving his home and hearth, selling them all to find the cost of passage and landing in a no man’s land to live all by himself is more than commendable. Many cannot exhibit similar courage if not the same today. Patience is not something one acquires by a mental decision. Patience at the level of work is a skill to be acquired in doing work according to varying inner poises. It is a virtue to be collected inside in terms of organising his consciousness. Patience is the human version of spiritual equality. Equality is the consciousness of the infinite. One who seeks patience as an inner virtue endeavours to get equality. Functioning at the level of infinity, one cannot hurry at all. He is obliged to be patient. Mental awareness of infinity and equality inside enables one working in life conditions to acquire patience by a discipline.
The March of civilization is evolution of the Spirit. This is not a yoga where the result is seen at the end only. It can be seen now, here. One may not get the final result now, but he will see a result hundreds of times greater than now. Periods of transition are periods when infinite plenty reveals itself at all levels in various measures. Each Man will see a great result which is infinity for him. Democracy opens up the opportunity to everyone to become the head of the nation. Various people enjoy it at various levels. The last Man gets the vote. The transition we have in Mind is the finite will become infinite. We see glimpses of it at all levels, physically in agriculture, vitally in trade and Money, mentally in education. Agriculture is in land, trade is in the vital, education is in the Mind. The next is in Spirit. We would like to discover that Spirit in the Individual.
Man was a member of a pack. When organised on human lines he became a soldier who would fight when called. When a kingdom was founded, he became a loyal serf. Democracy made him a citizen. The physical Man submits, the vital Man cooperates. The Mental Man thinks. The Spiritual Man is the Individual. In this journey Man’s efficiency rises. Physical efficiency is seen in primitive agriculture. Vital efficiency is seen in trade. Mental efficiency is seen in the modern metropolis, in the universities and banks, particularly in the Market that is buoyant and creative. Spirit releases the infinite everywhere. Spirit releasing the infinite in Man, he becomes the Spiritual Individual.
Agriculture was a field in which 80 or even 90% of the population was engaged. In all the developed nations, it came down to 10% or less. Many nations give the figures of 3% or 4%. It has gone down to 2% and that 2% of people not only produces for 100% of the population but exports. It simply means Man’s productivity has risen infinitely. At the other end the Internet seems to be a field of infinity in every respect, not only in quantity but in quality. The relative is the Absolute, the finite is infinite are our premises. Man sees the infinity in any field he chooses to see. Infinity is not outside. It is inside, in his look. An infinite inside discovers the infinite outside. Man functions through his senses. He also functions through his thinking Mind. Mind functions in Time and Space, rather Mind functions in Time and senses function in space. Our objective life is under the control of Time. Our subjective life can control Time. Our Minds can go beyond Time and then be entirely outside its control. It means Time is under Man’s control. Crossing Time, Man enters infinity. Crossing Time, Man sees the Purusha, Man is the Purusha who is infinite. Man who has access to the Purusha has access to the infinity inside. Space is finite. Spacelessness is infinite. Man who has inwardly crossed Time, in his functioning outside, he has to function in the outer infinity, is the theory.
One way of Man’s reaching inner or outer infinity is to shed his ego which makes him universal. Shedding ego for Man is giving up selfishness. Man readily welcomes the selflessness of others which delivers to him better products for cheaper prices, even some services free. Companies reach the market widely, offering several non-egoistic services. Other companies reach the society to a great warm welcome even when they offer selfish services. Companies respond to the various levels of public receptivity. They act compelled by the outer circumstances. Inner urge will respond to the inner receptivity of the public of which they are still not aware. Acting from outside is to do the minimum. To accomplish the maximum one has to act from inside. Only an Individual can act from the inside. Columbus, Copernicus, Napoleon, Gandhiji, Churchill, Tom Peters, the hippies, FDR, Einstein all have acted from the inside. Had Leonardo acted from the outside, we may not have known him. Karl Marx acted from inside while John Maynard Keynes acted from outside. The outside has its own infinity that ruled for over a hundred years.
When technology produces infinite plenty, we must understand that it is Man who acts through technology. Without Man, there is no technology or life or anything. We cannot lose sight of Man who is the centre and be thinking of Money or technology which are his creations. Man has a way of becoming a slave to his creations in all fields. It was a cardinal sin, almost resembling original sin. Surely we must keep clear of that error. Religion is not spirit, Money is not wealth, degree is not education, marriage is not love or romance. Man is the factor we cannot lose sight of.
Man understands himself in terms of practical life. He knows in his life what is possible for whom. He has no illusion about it. His own practical common sense, the limits to his desire and ambition. When he wants to secure what his common sense tells is not possible, he is miserable. What he conceives within his limits he does achieve within his capacity. The sannyasi, tapasvi, Rishi knows what is possible in his spiritual life. He goes up to Sachchidananda. As far as spiritual accomplishment is concerned, the Rishi acts like Man in his social life. God knows both. He knows the higher possibility in life by the descent of spirit. God is in Man, if he wants to realize.
The Absolute is a self-existing Infinite, an infinite of infinities. It has come down to the universe and the Individual. The society is the universe for Man. What is there in the society is subconscious. On its saturated maturity it appears in Man at his physical level if as a nation, better still, as a total of humanity, he is free, enjoying freedom in every sense. When the opening in the nation is partial, the descent is partial. Instead of the spirit, Mind descends. The first happened in America in the previous centuries and the second happened in Europe prior to that. We see Mental Individuality of thought born in Europe among the aristocrats and partially in the population 500 years ago. The same in America in the extended opportunities became physical Individuality of action. Europe gave birth to theoretical Science, America went in for technology. Still the entire humanity is not free. We only see the descent of Mind, not the Spirit yet, apart from its first birth in India.
The emergence of the collective in the Individual takes place at the physical to spiritual depending upon the readiness of the nation as well as the Individual. Mind descended on Europe 500 years ago as Greece had earlier prepared the way. Greece could discover Mind, not spirit. The freedom existing in America is greater than in the Western world. All humanity must enjoy that freedom which is a horizontal expansion. Freedom the nation offers becomes real to the Individual by the measure of liberty he enjoys by the implementation of the laws of the land. Man discovering the Mind or Spirit from below is different from Mind or Spirit descending upon him. The infinity of the Absolute that descends as Spirit is abridged when it reaches the society or Man. In earth it is endless infinite potential at the material level. In the Society it is again an infinite abundance in the vital plane. It is there as social plenty in potential. Agriculture draws upon the plenty of the earth. Trade resorts to social power in the collective primarily as Money, secondarily as all types of social power – culture, language, education, entertainment, amusement, etc.
Man constantly creates fresh new wants. It started with clothes. Now there are thousands of needs. Some are luxuries. Others that were luxuries once, now have become essentials. The luxuries becoming essentials is a measure of material civilization. Credit, self-giving were absent at the dawn of civilization. Man, essentially a selfish being resorted to self-giving for selfish benefit. Now credit has come to stay. Self-giving is inbuilt into credit. Education was confined to royalty, spread to aristocracy. Universal education was unthinkable once. Today not to have universal compulsory education in any country is unthinkable. Children were disciplined and beaten to follow the discipline. Oxford and Cambridge had feeder schools like Harrow and Eton. Spanking was the rule there. Today corporeal punishment has disappeared from schools, home and even the army. Destitution was the rule in a family if the earning member passes away. It was understood as karma in India. It is inevitable, one has to live with that was the popular belief. Every married Man in England of the 19th century was to insure his life before marriage. Independence to women and children, treatment of equality to all, absence of corporal punishment and destitution are today a measure of civilization. It is trade that was at the bottom of it. Today life has travelled a long way and offers Man many hundreds of facilities, conveniences, rights, comforts which were unheard of long ago. From where have these come?
Man’s Mind is creative in the Individual. Society is creative in the collective. Earth is creative in the material. Life is creative in the intangible invisibility. Absolute is creative at the Origin. We see Spiritual creativity, Mental creativity, Vital creativity, material creativity. We see the power of Market as the power of Money. As time passes, Money is seen as Power by itself. Today governments are very powerful. The Indian government for the past ten years has given lakhs of crores of rupees as farm credit and wiped it off. Today it has laid out an equally great amount of Money to finance guaranteed employment. The US government is bailing out huge corporations with billions of dollars. Where does the Money come from? It is rarely realized that as the Market has become creative of all social powers, Society in its various sectors has become infinitely powerful. It is understood only in Money, not in other aspects. The power of the Society is ultimately the power of Man, the Individual, as society is composed of Individuals. The Individual realizing himself as one can sense in himself all these powers and can wield them fully, with right, in the measure he realizes the inner and outer meaning of that Individuality.
Social existence has infinite sides. They are always at work. We see them only when we are touched by that issue. Today criminals enter politics. Politicians organise corruption and claim to be above law. Markets crash. We know these to be recent developments. All this has always been there in smaller measures or in different guises. Creation has always been a March. Man sees it at different times, from different views. His view changes. The Lord has always been enjoying His creation. Should one acquire the right view, history and literature will fully reveal to him as a Marvel at all times.
It is not as if the world has moved away from darkness to light which in one sense is true. Darkness makes greater enjoyment possible. Only it depends upon where you place yourself and what is your view. In the American Civil War, the South lost because it ran out of currency. Even the Northern currency was used in the South. In the widest perspective slavery was a bygone institution. The South represented landed aristocracy. America was founded to abolish aristocracy. Nature is making a unique experiment in America to unite various ethnic populations. As a European union could not be attempted, Nature has shifted her venue to America to unite all the States. The very foundation on which America was raised was freedom. The ideal of the South was slavery. It is a rule of Nature that when the greatest victory is shaping, the worst of ideals will rear its head in strength fully organised. The South representing aristocracy, slavery, fought for secession. The North represented the ideal of the world of 2050. The South was not fighting for the slaves or itself. It was fighting on behalf of the reactionary forces of the entire world. Whatever the situation, the central support of the Society will be withdrawn from the reactionary side. Money represents its social power. Money was scarce means it was the symbolic expression of humanity withdrawing its support to the cause of the South. Here we see the power of Money negatively.
After the World War, the Marshall Plan came to Europe. Stalin refused it. He soon revived USSR to be a Super Power. All the nations that accepted the Marshall Plan lost all their vitality, Individuality and became non-entities, satellites of America. Money is national power. One cannot accept Aid and keep his self-respect. Even the mighty Britain and great France became mere rubber stamps to America. Suppose the entire Europe had decided as Russia had chosen, they all would have won a greater victory than in the war. Every state today would have been as strong as America. The truth was America needed to maintain her vastly increased war production. Marshall Plan helped American economy survive at the expense of the sovereignty of Western Europe. Had they refused the help of America, America was not going to be bankrupt. She would have activated her local market and become an economic giant. Or, she would have offered economic aid without taking the political liberty of Europe. In that case, the political strength of Europe and that of the world would have risen. Now the economic empire is built at the expense of political freedom of Europe. Europe and America would have become equal economic partners and no one would have lost their political liberty. When that was not possible, Europe rose to a greater height by creating the EU, becoming a mighty economic competitor to America. No wonder the Euro is stronger than the dollar now.
Japan was a politically backward cultural giant before the war. The American occupation gave birth to democracy. Japan came forward to draw upon her cultural strength. As the military was ruled out and politics was her vulnerable point, she turned to industrial innovation, imitating the market. The strength of Japan when not permitted to express in politics or military, expressed in another field. It is significant that Japan in the last 60 years produced no dynamic leader. So also with Germany. It is a universal phenomenon all over the world. Maybe no more political leaders will arise anywhere in the world. It is time such a phenomenon must occur in the field of spirituality. The spiritual Individual may not play the role of a political leader or a leader. He will represent the spiritual capacity of the Individual to serve the next goal of humanity, viz. the establishment of world government. Politically the goal is world government. At other planes he will accomplish enormously more than the individual we now know.
The birth of Mind in Europe that created Mental Individuality of thought, I said, resulted in Individuality of action at the level of production in the USA. The reason was the newborn Mind was confined to aristocracy for original thinking, while the masses awoke to it for appreciation of ideas others gave. The masses awakening to original creative thought requires the whole population being so inspired. What happened in the USA is a national awakening to individual action. Its horizontal expansion must cover the whole globe before the two aspects of the next stage show themselves. One is vertical, the birth of the vital Individuality. The other is the next stage in the horizontal expansion. The productivity of the USA has been increasing on the basis of energy released by the will of Individuality, its resourcefulness and thoughtfulness. Such productive organisation can, even at the level of productivity, become creative of production, on a parallel to education, by memory shifting to one of understanding and later thinking. Of course, there is a further stage also of education by silence, which may not insistently concern us now.
The Indian graduate, a product of the memory system, ends up at best as a salaried employee. One who is educated in American ends up in any field at its top. In politics, he enters the central Cabinet, in industry he becomes an enterprising entrepreneur like Narayanamurthy. One cannot say it is an accomplishment of ten-fold or even a hundred-fold. It is more, maybe even a thousand-fold, if there is a realistic scale of measurement. When the ordinary citizen arrives at being an Individual even at the minimum, his effectivity will reach this high. The great achievement is possible because, this sense of Individuality takes Man to the next higher plane which by theory is infinitely greater.
The greatest minds we have so far seen in the world are geniuses in their field. From Socrates to Einstein, it is a long list in a shining galaxy. They all belong to the plane of Mind. We are bringing up the rear at the physical level and are grappling with examples in the vital field of leadership. A French savant dreamed of 37 million Newtons, 37 million Molieres, etc. Maybe he had a glimpse of the future Individual. The birth of Mind in Europe, even in a small minority gave a rich crop of thinkers in all fields. While in America, as the freedom extended to the whole population, every citizen became an Individual of action led by thought. Profundity of thought, even thought that compels inspiration to act, is profound only when it can be put in terms of simplicity. Technology follows this principle towards new scientific discoveries. Only what can reach the common Man as a product of utility can explain the value of science to him. Individuality may be a great philosophical thought. Only when it reaches the masses as a usable strategy the philosophic value justifies itself. We see that happened abundantly in the US at the level of work at all levels of the population. From agriculture production to administrative productivity, the American implemented his approach extensively. With a population one third in size to India, USA had 800 universities as against India’s 27 in 1950. With 3% of the world’s population, USA produced 35% of her production. On the average, it is ten-fold. In any such case the difference between the minimum and maximum will always exceed a multiple of 100. Man becoming an Individual moves from the minimum to the maximum as a minimum as this maximum is still in the same plane, while formation of Individuality is in the next higher plane. My perception is the world is more than ready to create such an Individual since 1956. All the psychological potential is there. Luther emerged as a rebelling individual announcing Protestantism. The advent of the printing press implemented his ideal technologically. In 150 years, half of Europe became Protestant. It was about 30 million, 3% of the world’s population.
Modern media and Internet will dwarf the printing press and will accomplish that work of 150 years in as many months or even as many days. It will be an interesting world where 3% of the population is capable of claiming vital Individuality. It must be enough to establish a world government. His productivity being so high, neither production nor distribution will be an issue to engage his thoughts. Nor will the problems of today survive when he emerges. The case of JP Morgan lends itself to illustrate the principles of this paper as well as the type of power that can be handled by one single individual. Morgan was not the Individual I speak of nor were any of the great Minds that walked on earth so far. Morgan’s personality contained aspects of the Individuality I have in Mind, but his capacity was personal. The vast illimitable power of the Individual issues from its impersonality, as it is the power of the entire plane. As even freedom in the physical plane has not yet covered the globe, there is no question of the vital plane throwing up an Individual already.
The world knows extraordinary performances in exploration, mountain climbing, voyage, battle, leadership, feats of Mind, philosophy, yoga, etc. All these are performances of the individual made possible by his own curiosity, initiative, motive, interest, energy, etc. This too is the maturing of the social subconscious maturing in the conscious Individual expressing as leader, pioneer, entrepreneur, genius, etc. They are isolated occurrences repeated at long intervals. As this is the subconscious phase of evolution, we start from what we can call conscious evolution. The rules of both phases of evolution are the same. We have a galaxy of about one thousand great names in history from Socrates, Chengis Khan to today’s rich men like Ambani. Of this a dozen stand out. An analysis of these personalities will reveal most of the aspects of Individuality in a stilted, stray measure, unformed and unorganized. They won’t help us to arrive at all the rules of Individuality in a categorical manner that can be called scientific or precise. We will be sufficiently introduced to their constitution and power.
The dozen names we take up are not all in the same bracket or equal in some way, but they are what will serve our purpose. Socrates, FDR, Churchill, Morgan, Galileo, Copernicus, Darwin, Einstein are some people whom we can consider. Napoleon, Shankara, Ramanujam, Leonardo, and Socrates were those who received from above. Others worked from below like Morgan. Tom Peters had neither skill nor capacity for what he advocated. He was a vehicle for an evolutionary principle, Freedom. He approached freedom negatively, by destroying the structures that were obstacles. Galileo, Copernicus, Marx, Socrates, Ramanujam, Darwin, Leonardo were mental. Morgan was vital. Napoleon and Shankara were spiritual in the vital and purely spiritual. Gandhiji was vital. Human beings are an odd mixture of various parts, but still allow themselves to be classified after a fashion.
The panic of 1907, the role of Morgan in it, shows what one Man can do in his non-official capacity. In the words of Rockefeller, owner of $200 million, Morgan was not a rich Man as he had only $80 million. The government or market had implicit trust in Morgan, the Man – the Individual. October of 1907 was one of the crises months in the stock market. One Friday evening they apprehended a collapse on Monday. Bank presidents and leading financiers gathered in Morgan’s library in the hope that he could save the situation. The government sent its Man with $25 million asking Morgan what he could do. He was not in any official position. He called his accountants and the leading company heads. Also he summoned the bankers. On his instructions, his accountants examined the books of these companies, reported to Morgan which were the ones that would survive with help. Morgan advised the bankers to espouse their cause. Monday the feared crash did not precipitate, and the market regained its stability, not at once, but a little later. In one such weekend sitting in his library, Morgan received news that six or seven brokerage firms would shut up in the next fifteen minutes unless $25 million was raised. He appealed to those present. In the next ten or twelve minutes a subscription of $23.6 million turned up. This news steadied the market. In another twenty minutes Morgan got the rest of the money.
Where does this power come from? Market is an active plane of social existence and financial activities. Market handles Money, even creates Money by its movements that are productive activities. Money in our shelf has Money power. Money moving fast in the market is social power that is productive by its movement and creative by its dynamic use. Man is a repository of social energy dormant while he exists. His movement creates power. His movement that relates to various segments of society sets in small motion the organisational power of the society. Mostly Money represents this movement. Money integrates itself with every existing social organisation. Its integration with any organisation increases its power. The modern market is a vortex of most of the social organisations of significance, thus carrying all their power. It readily responds to capacity exercised by knowledge. It fully responds to one of such capacity if he is also of integrity. Morgan was such a man. All his life he enjoyed that reputation. His being at the centre of social power exhibited by the market enabled him to evoke that response.
Power has different planes. Power is the will or force part of consciousness. It is the form of consciousness or the value of the being. If that is the definition of power, we must know its field. Its field is the already acquired knowledge of will. Consciousness splits into knowledge and will. The knowledge of the will is its power. It constantly acquires more knowledge. When all the knowledge is fully acquired by the will, the will and knowledge are fully united making it Real-Idea. Idea becomes Real-Idea, Mind becomes Supermind. The field of this power is its field of knowledge already possessed. It does not cover the whole of Mind. Obviously it does not extend to emotions or body or Spirit. That is in the vertical plane. In the horizontal plane beyond himself there is family, organisation, community, society and finally the world. Beyond the world there is the universe. Will is, essentially, of the Mind. Its power rises both ways as the Psychic’s power. The vital will is more powerful and comprehensive than the Mental will. It becomes complete in the will of the body. In the other direction, the power of the will rises with the Psychic rising through the spiritualized Mind. They consummate and meet in the body below and Supermind above. The growth of the Mental will into Supramental will is expressed horizontally till it ends in the universe.
In the human Mind, the will becomes more effective by its experience when its knowledge increases by habit and experience. The power of Morgan’s will was the power of human will saturated with knowledge by experience of three generations. It was a human eminence, not a spiritual endowment. The endowments of Shankara and Napoleon were from the descent of the Spirit from above. FDR, Gandhiji, Churchill got it from the previous generations. The strength of the will increases when the knowledge widens shedding its limits. Experience of generations does it from below. Descent of Spirit can do it from above. In India, the Spirit rose to the maximum height reached by Man. It was during the Upanishads, earlier during the Vedas. They recognized the existence of evil which requires violence in life for eradication as in Ramayana and Mahabharata. Buddha advocated non-violence and achieved pre-eminence. It is a partial solution which rules in India. The Muslims of India were the Arabic rulers and their descendents. They forcefully converted the population for a time. The untouchable in India attracted by the equality of Islam voluntarily embraced Islam and constitutes a third of Indian Muslims. Their demanding Pakistan was demanding the abolition of the caste system.
The caste system according to Him is the result of the final refusal of the Brahmin. To overcome the resistance of the Muslims is to reverse the violence of the origin of the caste system. Marx saw the truth of production that it belonged to the entire community. The capitalist cannot appropriate it. It cannot be taken away from him without violence. The Brahmin by a mental violence appropriated the national endowment of knowledge for his offspring as the king did with power. The kings lost their power and their heads. For Gandhiji to overcome the hatred of the Indian Muslims, he must overcome it by the spiritual power in himself. He did a great job of it and reached the penultimate stage of it.
Non-violence is a secondary cause. It cannot fully solve the problem. It can approach the goal inch by inch. Gandhiji’s success in Naokali was monumental. He could appeal to the ruffian in the common Man, not in the organisation or its leader. The very fact his ideal became a fad announced its failure. Jinnah was from Gujarat, his Islam carried till today Hindu rituals of yore. It appeared as an old feud between two Gujarati groups. Gandhiji was a great leader. He was a born leader. Leadership is vital, is not spiritual. Spiritual tradition does not offer mass leadership. It offers pre-eminence of knowledge. Indian spirituality has developed strength to eschew life, not overcome the evil in life. Evil and violence are deeper than life or deeper than the body. It goes to the inconscient. Gandhiji was saintly, was not a Saint. And no saint has ever developed the spiritual strength to overcome violence by non-violence. Hence his failure. Napoleon and Shankara are vibhutis. But to establish equality, ego is to be shed. Napoleon was megalomaniacal. He went back to the empire. Shankara did not make the abolition of ego his goal. He felt ego was the condition of universal existence. Napoleon was defeated after twenty years but his Code Napoleon survives. Shankara ruled for over a thousand years. Still, they did not meet the problem of evil and solve it. They were great, but the problem of the universe is greater still. Secondary causes can achieve very great victories approaching the goal but can never reach the goal or cross the borderline.
A work can be accomplished in several ways, but there is one right method of doing it. A retired soldier in Maharashtra was appalled by the poverty of his village which became enamoured of illicit arrack distillation. The lands there were rainfed. His military career gave him the knowledge from an experience of check dams raising the level of the water table. He succeeded in inspiring his people to build a check dam. It did raise the water table in the village making it possible for them to dig borewells. The village was ushered into prosperity. It was a laudable public service rendered by a sole individual on the strength of his inspired knowledge. It cannot release a multiplier effect as it did not. The service Tata did to India by accepting the suggestion of the government to found a steel mill was great. Outside the USA his mill was the biggest in the world. His product was of the highest quality. It was consumed by the British railways. However commendable, being a private individual effort, it could not multiply. Nor did it further the industrialization of India. It would be different if the soldier and Tata were in the cabinet and were acting in the capacity of cabinet ministers. In that case, their actions would have benefitted the whole of India. First of all, it would mean the nation was aspiring for industrialization. He would have the power to extend it all over India. The nation would gratefully respond, as he would be acting as their representative.
So far all the great Men in the world who have acted beneficially acted in their individual capacities, in one field which is a tiny branch of a wider field, based not on a great knowledge, but the narrow sure knowledge of a localized experience. The Spiritual Individual will represent the whole world, in all fields and would be expressing the universal knowledge that would have entered him. As the Prime Minister has all the portfolios at his disposal, he will have the entire work of the world at his disposal. Asoka and Gandhiji are two unique examples in history. Having won a bloody war and having established a vast empire, Asoka voluntarily gave up the violence of the war. To profess non-violence without conquering violence will be a toothless tiger taking to vegetarianism. To disband his army and to proclaim non-violence would have been an act of folly that invited chaos. No king has ever thought of it in history. Gandhiji was a political leader who had won total power. Never before have we heard in history of a political leader practising self-abnegation in the matter of power. Power, Money and sex are the greatest attractions to the human ego. The background of spiritual renunciation of the nation enabled him. Lord Krishna won the war but did not enjoy power. He is a God. Gandhiji and Asoka were human beings. Both were in the centre of power. As a king, Asoka did not act merely as an Individual. He exercised the power of the state. Gandhiji abdicated power long before he won it. He was the Asoka in politics. Still, neither will qualify for the Spiritual Individual I am describing. Theirs was the Individuality representing only themselves. It is not the Individuality that represented the universality of humanity.
We see such Individuality only in Europe and America. Until freedom spreads all over the globe, the American Individuality of action will remain a national version. Politics belongs to the vital plane that succeeds the physical plane. So I am talking of a future period that succeeds the birth of Individuality in the primary plane of action that is economic production. People write the problem of production is solved. Production is completed by distribution or consumption. The truth is the problem of production is not solved till it is consumed. Partial solutions are generative of problems. The birth of the Individual in that plane, will solve the problem of distribution as he represents the whole plane. A book written is completed when it is published. Food prepared completes its life cycle when it is eaten. There is no solution halfway through.
In a vast country, the power lies in the capital. But in stray pockets it is scattered all over the country. What every Man gets by virtue of his being a citizen is very little, but it is a hundred times more than what he can get if there were no organised society. Organised society is power. Everyone gets his part by the simple fact that society is organised. The very first things come to him by law and order. No one takes away his own things as it is a civilized society where police rules. One reason for the great prosperity of America was for centuries it was not an organised society. There was no army, no police. The mob ruled and Man took care of himself wielding a gun. To rise, one should sink low is the rule. For the American nation to rise in prosperity above other nations, she sank deeper down than organised societies elsewhere. Imagine Man having transport before a government was formed. There was no transport, no communication, no education, no medical help. As against the Man in an unorganised society before the birth of a government, today the least of Men gets inconceivable benefits. It is about a thousand times more. We are not conscious of it.
By virtue of being an organised society, society offers the Individual a vast inconceivable benefit whose best expression is the increasing longevity from ten years to 70 years. It was ten years in primitive life. Now it is 70 years in modern comforts, and rights.
In today’s society the political, commercial, cultural capital may be in the same place or be scattered. In the metropolis it is concentrated. In the distant rural parts it is least available. We can say in terms of measurable quantity, the distance the primitive Man has travelled in recorded history is a parallel to the distance between the rural parts and the modern political commercial capital. All get from the society their minimum without exception. A few at the political, commercial, cultural top get the maximum. I speak of the legitimate path. There are an equal number of people who get as much by questionable ways. That is a fact of life, but I am not reviewing it for our purposes. By enjoyment of power I mean what Man gets beyond the minimum. This he gets by capacity, education and organisation in various measures. To avail of the nationally available benefit Man needs to have individual capacity and education. His being organised in his own life or belonging to social organisations entitles him to get more. Simply that difference means what we see between a non-entity and a leading industrialist.
Politically there is the process of election for one to rise. Commercially the market is open for anyone to enter and benefit. So also with the other fields. Each field helps the other. One who is aware, dynamic, thoughtful, resourceful rises like Ambani. The other who is none of these tills the land or drives a rickshaw. I talked of the organised society offering Man vast benefits. So also the organised Man can get equally vast benefits on top of what the society offers. The Individual I speak of is one who is organising himself as the representative of the already organised SOCIETY. This is the process of Man rising from below on his own labour. There is another minor process of major benefits of rising by virtue of a descent from above. Education, family status, party support, organisational assistance offer Man an unseen help otherwise impossible for him. All the celebrities we know are Men and women who came up not necessarily from below, but with some help of the organised sectors of the society, organised already. The Spiritual knowledge has the essence of all this. Spiritual knowledge expressed in life has all the power of this higher knowledge. It exists as values of life. Anyone who is organised in his personal life as the representative of the society willing to acquire all the spiritual values in his work will rise in the society as no one has risen so far. So far no one has answered to this description. It can be put in another way. One who can acquire all that the society offers so as to exhaust his energies will rise so in the society. Man can do so from below or from above. In practice, he combines both as his personality permits. This is an explanation of the unknowable formulating to human consciousness and withdrawing. It simply means Man overcoming his ego and surrendering his nature to the Divine Nature.
One can do the maximum from where he is without his taking initiative to change is an old spiritual principle – the butcher and the housewife, ¦¸¡ì¦¸ýÚ ¿¢¨Éò¾¡§Â¡ ¦¸¡í¸½Å¡. The principal is the Infinite is there in the finite. The previous spiritual goal was moksha. The spiritual culture of India accepted the Rishis’ principle of renunciation of life as renunciation of desire. Its acme was in the dutiful wife who attained moksha. A chaste wife conquers Time – Nalayini. Duty and chastity can also permit a soul to rise endlessly to conquer the petulant ego of the gods. It is a power of loyalty raising the power of duty and chastity – Anusuya. One act of consecration at the deepest level of one’s personality offers moksha – Lalitha Raghunathan. Each time we easily rise by the grace of the atmosphere it is better to remember that there is a second phase of decline if the ego or habit asserts – Kalimark, Lalitha Raghunathan. To be able to locate a line in Savitri for each of our experiences is to understand Savitri at the first level of reversal. Night as the process of eternal light, Death as an incentive of immortality may be at the 7th or 8th reversal. The first level of human personality can be compared to a fine transparent clear Indian muslin. The second will be a thick bedsheet not so pure as the muslin. The third will be a layer of woolen blanket thicker and dirty. The fourth will be the personification of dirt as the slush at the bottom of a tank. These four can repeat in the next 5, 6, 7, and 8 layers in harder material ending in granite. The wonder of the human personality is the complexity where all these are insistently present as an inevitable mixture at all 8 levels. Finding a line in Savitri we see the truth of what Mother said – the whole future is encapsulated in the poetry of Savitri. In the measure one is awake, all this comes to us as tokens.
Anyone can attempt the maximum where he is – Perfection in imperfect conditions is the first beginning of Perfect Perfection. He spoke of the massiveness of Sanskrit, the intuitive value of the root meaning. He could not use Sanskrit for His writings. He used an ill-developed vernacular that is eminently unfit for spiritual concepts. Its first visible result is English has become international. Still the truth of the mother tongue which alone has the subconscious richness and maturity remains – the Tamil prose of some writers of today speaks for it. It is true He said India has lost the power of thinking. It is equally true we see that power at a higher level in non-academic engineering graduates, particularly the ladies. This is knowledge lost and regained. The acme of talents is seen in a corrupt cooperative President, an organised robber of a farm supervisor or the selfish organisation of a debauchee whose one endowment is the qualification of the mother tongue. We see richness, fullness, capacity, talents but our goal will be reached only by values. As one value organises, we see it is at the expense of another value that is essential – Farm Manager.
My eternal theme is Indian Freedom. The moves of Britain in 1919 and 1935 are the greatest positive sides unprecedented in history. Bengal famine, in spite of His birth in Bengal and Bengali sadhaks here is the other side of ego’s oblivion. Nature spoke through Jalllianwallah Bagh of the indispensable violence in life. It is in the same year when Montague made a monumental move. One who has come to Her can recollect how every event of his past and present life expresses the action of Grace through the matrix of personality. Its fullness can be received only in Silence – â÷Å ¦ƒýÁ »¡Éõ, knowledge of past lives. Silence is only the next step. It is followed by Light, Intuition and knowledge. The ancients had them without the possibility of the Psychic. We can have them with or without the Psychic. It is all revealed in the subtle planes of Mind, life and body. A sadhak even a devotee can discern in his experience the Superconscient joining the subconscient in his subliminal. It reveals as universality – new laws. More so when Mother wants to act in a field where the scope is limited, She new-creates – Food Prize. She anticipates the devotees creating new opportunities for later availability. As long as the devotee is in earnest, Her one rule is, failure leads to higher especially wider action with success in the subtle plane.
The opposition we meet distinctly reveals to higher spiritual discrimination that it is the fresh basis SHE is creating for the devotee to complete his mission in a wider way. His phrasing in The Life Divine speaks of the strengths life’s weakness is drawing upon. The mould and condition of existence He points out faces us everywhere. What He spoke of Matter applies in a small measure to our organised selfishness as an iron wall. It is the resistance of habit, taste of ignorance. Not to take initiative, to overcome the impulses of basic urges is to enter into cosmic consciousness. There is still a beyond. The wall around the Mind does not allow us to demolish it, rather it has a dynamism to organise itself at a higher level. It is ego that acts as a spearhead here. All belongs to the first level of the surface.
A nation follows their elite implicitly. Whether it is religion or science or business, the whole nation in its deepest attitude takes after the elite in whichever sector it is. Europe is religious, but as its elite thinks scientifically, every subject is organised after the thinking of her leading scientists, Newton and Darwin. Even her religion is influenced along these lines. America is led by her business. Her professors talk of selling their ideas. Her farmers treat their income as share certificates. The sannyasi shunned life in India, but the householder took after the sannyasi in his domestic life. Women are the horror of one who sits in tapas. But women in their deepest attitudes follow renunciation and win moksha.
It is obvious that the maximum in the given imperfect conditions is to release the Psychic. The spiritual evolution of Sri Aurobindo has its course charted out. Its great wonder is it can change course at any point of choice, it is not necessary to wait for the course to be completed. He says no stage can be skipped, but any stage can be abridged. So, Man is invited to wake up and complete the evolution from where he is. We see the world as a dozen or more well marked pockets with varying degrees of development. It is common sense that each sector should progress in areas where it is deficient. In the case of awakening, it does not appear to be the case. Awakening abridges the future. Development of one part can readily spread to the other parts in the case of awakening, as awakening offers avenues of assimilation of other aspects of development. In some measure, particularly in technology, it is being witnessed. Gun powder, silk, printing, paper, scientific ideas, mathematical inventions have not respected national boundaries. It is true in all other aspects, though it has not happened in that degree. Hence the importance of education and prosperity. Recently we see the same importance for communication after the advent of the cell phone. The vast progress of Europe and America is because of the awakening of Mind and the consequent importance of Man’s capacity to think for himself. Even an ordinary Man like a carpenter when presented with an issue thinks, says Sri Aurobindo. Such thinking made him an Individual whose primary value is what he thinks of himself. This is mental individuality. In Europe it is for thinking and in America it is for action in the physical.
The Spiritual Individual of my theme is the Supramental Being who in his Individuality includes universality and transcendence. As the Mind descended on the physical for action, it can descend on the vital for global human relationship. The Spiritual Individual is the Supermind descending on the body’s consciousness and substance. Prior to it, the vital can receive the descent of the Spirit. Even there, there is a further stage of descent into the body. The final stage is Supermind descending into Mind – Mind of Light – vital and body. That would complete the spiritual evolution of giving birth to the Supramental Being. Sri Aurobindo’s third ideal is world union. It can be achieved when the Mind descends on the vital. Should the Spirit descend on the vital, it will certainly be accomplished. Our present enquiry is to know how far the past history as well as His yogic theory throw light on this possibility. Though we will consider all stray expressions of spiritual power, our ideal is to define or delineate the birth of vital Individuality by the descent of Spirit. It will be helpful to know all the experiences and rules that govern these experiences as far as this theme goes. An exhaustive enumeration may require a full volume. An indicative list can be of a page. Our endeavour is to be yogic-theoretical as well as historical–practical.
1) Stopping in the middle, as the Indian sages did, led to the final refusal of the Brahmin that resulted in the caste system.
A partial instrument – Mind – will not help in reaching the end. Mind can inflict its limitations on the limitless.
2) To reach the goal, ego and Nature are to be overcome.
Moksha can be reached even without shedding the ego.
Moksha can be reached even without overcoming the defects of Nature.
3) The whole can be seen as parts. Parts can be mistaken for the whole.
4) An overpowering experience such as that of Self draws Man away from the rest.
5) Dissolving the ego can generate the dissolution of the Self.
6) Mind is not the end, consciousness is. Even there, there is one more level.
7) Any great accomplishment can be partial. We must seek the unity of the parts. (The Life Divine, p. 24)
8) What is shunned as evil is the reverse result of a richer delight.
9) Life has three dimensions – Individual, universal and transcendental.
10) Reason can lead us to the Transcendent.
11) Reason becomes intuition giving up sense impressions.
12) It is wisdom to know the relationship between Being and Becoming.
13) Force is conscious; it is the power of Being.
14) A partial dharma cannot be realistically applied to the whole.
15) The truth of the universe is not ethics, but static delight becoming active delight.
16) Man seeks in vain the objects into which Sachchidananda expresses its delight.
17) Pain, pleasure and indifference can be transformed into delight.
18) Maya converts all in all into each in all and all in each.
19) Creation is not by Mind, but by Supermind.
20) The comprehending Supermind creates in itself by unequal concentration.
21) The apprehending Supermind creates the first division. It creates Mind.
22) The Divine Soul has three Supramental existences.
23) Mind creates ignorance by forgetting Supermind.
24) Life takes the bodily sensation to Mind to control the body by thought.
Desire transforms itself into love
In the fourth stage, Life ascends.
Force and consciousness must rise to Supermind and unite.
25) The Psychic is the evolving Soul.
26) Matter is delight of Being.
27) The four above reversed themselves into the four below.
28) One principle evolves while all the other seven principles are dormant.
29) To go above, one has to go in.
30) We are the determinant.
31) The six – Brahman, Maya, etc. – are one.
32) The Individual is Eternal.
33) There is nothing undivine.
34) There is no illusion. There is ignorance.
35) Dream and hallucination are real, not illusions.
36) Ignorance is knowledge modified.
37) Self-experience of Self-consciousness in Ignorance is Ego.
38) Knowledge by identity, intuitive knowledge, subliminal knowledge and egoistic separate knowledge are the four types of knowledge.
39) Ignorance is of seven types.
40) The origin of ignorance is the forgetting of Supermind.
41) Ignorance is a greater power than knowledge.
42) Overcoming ego and nature dissolves Evil.
43) Neither the One nor the Many are the ultimate, but the Absolute that includes both.
44) Synthetic life is acceptable.
45) The subconscious and the Superconscious must meet in Man.
46) Having met, it must ascend.
47) The seven-fold ignorance changes into seven-fold knowledge.
48) Rebirth is not essential to other schools but is essential to integral yoga.
49) There are other orders of worlds.
50) The body evolving with the evolving Soul is the evolution of Man.
51) Man becoming universal can help others.
52) Transformation is three-fold.
53) Ascent to Supermind is through the Spiritual range of Mind.
54) The aim is to be.
55) The truth of Man is not Mind but Supermind.
56) A goal can be achieved by opposite methods.
57) Secondary causes can never cross the border.
58) The insignificant is significant.
59) The unregenerate vital does not like to be under an obligation.
60) In a conflict, Grace descending is refused by the beneficiary but is received by the rival to the benefit of the refractory beneficiary.
61) The descending Grace received by the ego has a reverse side of downfall.
62) A goal can be achieved by the instrumentation of its enemy.
63) An idea of one plane received in another plane will render a Real-Idea into information.
64) A goal can sometimes be reached even by not achieving the first step.
65) The unregenerate vital’s unwillingness to be obliged.
66) The precision of the physical constants.
67) The great mental illumination, in the absence of Spiritual aspiration, can die in one hundred years.
68) It is the will of self-discipline that converts the knowledge into power of Law that founds a vast empire for centuries.
69) Mind that was born in a single individual, after a lapse of two thousand years, can be born in all over the continent.
70) Mind in its plane is creative original thought.
71) Mind descending to the body is thought in action.
72) Spirit denied to the community becomes dead ritual in the wrongful possessors but is alive as light in the body, gives the same goal –moksha – to the whole population.
73) The might of the Spirit eschews the violence of war – Asoka.
74) Blessings to a good Man who was indifferent realizes itself ten years later.
75) Mother’s consciousness gives to administrative experience, inheritance, and the party experience of the low caste the same high reward.
76) Physical work done with perfect inspiration can reach national eminence at once.
77) Unreceptive Darshan activated after ten years can raise the recipient to the top at once—T. Govindarajan.
78) There must be grace to do the right thing for the bringer of grace.
79) Prosperity of expanding life of the spiritual Presence is inescapable.
80) Attention to Mother Earth brings water resources to a desert.
81) Action of a devotee has national repercussions.
82) Good turn done to low consciousness on one’s initiative will have opposite results.
83) Sincerity of low consciousness is suspicion of insincerity.
84) Unawareness is unimpaired receptivity.
85) Purified sewage water will carry low consciousness of impurity.
86) Spirit can only give, cannot receive anything but service.
87) Good will of low consciousness is ill will.
88) Receiving low consciousness readily offends.
89) Act repeats.
90) Scandal is the emotion of receiving low consciousness.
91) Gratitude is spiritual memory.
92) Mind cannot remember what it has not understood in spite of hearing it innumerable times.
93) Sincerity is a spiritual realization.
94) Low consciousness ruins by good will as well as service.
95) It is a virtue to be pleased or to please outside conventions.
96) Honour the conventions in the measure conscience honours it.
97) One-sided transformation offers all the progress to him who is transformed.
98) No one who borrows ever thinks of returning it.
99) To know Mother is a universal institution is to have universal power.
100)Unegoistic good will to the Many is universalisation – shedding the ego.
101)Relating to the One is to rise to transcendence – rising above Nature.
102) Neutral indifference to the offender may be morally good; only positive joy about him is spiritually fulfilling.
103) Unidealistic indulgence of an idealist will take viswarupam.
104) The Mahabharatha war was won by the devotion of Draupadi.
105) A grave problem like famine threat to India in 1965, if solved with the spirit of higher consciousness can turn into a great boon.
106) A selfish Man ruins everyone he comes into contact with.
107) Shamelessness explains selfishness.
108) No man can do to us what we have not done to others.
109) Even after yogic transformation, it is better to honour the sensitivities as the substance will remain untouched. One is safe after the substance is transformed into its opposite.
110) Procedure is an important as capacity and creativity.
111) Clever negativity exploits the value of negative procedure to totally neutralize strong positive endowment unaware of the negative procedure.
112) A nation needs territorial unity before she can be aware of her mission.
113) Nature is unfailing. She does everything at the same time, has no waste in her. Her efficiency is total, as it is integral.
114) Professionals remember the case, not the party. Mind effects the division. Man knows the result, not the cause of results. Pemberley was divided from Darcy. Her response to Wickham was total, to Darcy was divided. Affection can be intense and real divided from status and responsibility. Man’s response is total to falsehood, to Truth he divides his response. Academia uses Mind, divides Money from the economy. In reading Savitri, dividing the Poem from the Symbol yields no knowledge. Symbol Dawn is one with the Poem, its poetic garb. In reading The Life Divine the arguments are one with the process of creation. One separated from the other by Mind is lifeless. The woman knows this when any woman comes near her husband for any work. Her instinct has become famous as her approach is undivided. The Individual is an integral part of human existence. Selfishness, though divided from others, is integral with its needs. It is unfailing and dynamic within those limits. Marshall Plan, by its selfish vision, shifted the political centre from USA to Europe. Britain who had done a sterling service to the world in the war, lost her supremacy because world empire could not have the imperial foundation. Had she helped USSR and India, her commonwealth could have become the first world government. The USA had the basis of production and stole a march over her. In the other alternative, British empire’s production would have overtaken the production of USA. She won as her basis was freedom.
The Greeks lacked the spiritual aim and became rigid in Sparta and dissipated as Epicureans. The Roman Empire lacked knowledge to avail of the economic strength to fortify her political victory. Spirit in life is neither rituals nor religion, it is spiritual values in life. The strength of the Individual is spiritual values of life on the basis of prosperity, a prosperity earned by the spiritual values of life. Guaranteeing employment is one such value and in a democracy can more than offset the ocean of political corruption, as the social spiritual values are intact and the power of thinking seems to be reviving. India failed to pray for help to fight the Bengal famine. It was not overcome by higher production, but strong administrative measures of Wavell, the Viceroy, a forerunner of the Green Revolution. The initial value of Green Revolution is food production. Its hidden higher value is rural prosperity and the subtle awakening of the Individual to his value, because of the atmosphere of freedom. To be able to see in Green Revolution the seeds of Guaranteed Employment is political vision. It shows the direction of social evolution in the sphere of prosperity. It can lead to the evolutionary vision in political evolution. Her initiative in nuclear disarmament shows that possibility. Now that two major world problems – disarmament, employment – are being addressed – one can turn his attention to solve pollution from Man’s point of view. The first two can address terrorism. There is no greater evolutionary issue in the plane of Mind as getting rid of superstitious thinking.
Superstition is ignorance from the view of knowledge. It can be fought against. Superstition becomes organised at deeper levels if the centre is selfishness. To fight against that becomes possible if Truth is available at that level. As darkness absorbs light, all Truth is absorbed by its opposite. Sincerity there is evolutionary aspiration at the Dawn of Earth. The capacity to understand Savitri – A Symbol and a Vision – is a positive seed that can serve as a beginning. One is called to the adventure of consciousness. Savitri is no mere character but an emanation with whom we can relate. The common criminal in the society, by the advent of political freedom, becoming a political criminal is history all over the world. Civilisation began with the robber barons. Before even robber barons arose everywhere, Asoka established an empire and eschewed violence. Today from there criminals enter politics. As it is the second round, the problem does not require basic handling. Man can be educated out of it by excessive prosperity. Abundant prosperity rescued America from political corruption as the prosperity was extended to everyone in the nation.
One desires to be the first or the only one in a programme. It is not permissible as it is egoistic. Every accomplishment in Man has several distant precedents however insignificant they are. Also, as social evolution is the subconscious maturing into consciousness by saturation of the previous level, there is no scope at all to being the first. In our village scheme, there was no single defaulter. It indicates efficiency in the ordinary sense, but in a wider sense it shows the saturation in the plane of work. That saturation had two results. One horizontally all over India, the programme was extended. Vertically the programme matured into a scheme of well digging. In spite of the rude interference of falsehood and consequent suspension of the scheme, the vitality of the scheme proved to be self-sustaining. What cancelled a Bank’s scheme was revived as a farmers’ scheme, a success at a deeper level. After an interval of ten years, the scheme matured into banana growing and spread to forty villages ushering in unprecedented prosperity to the village. It had a direct impact on national prosperity.
115) An idea that becomes a scheme, having the spiritual seed to start with, cannot be crushed. If crushed at the spot, it will sprout everywhere horizontally and rise to vertical growth in any fashion circumstances permit. The ideas in the Upanishads are such ones. Capitalist nations joined together to crush the USSR in 1914. The result was the whole world became socialist in its ideal. Capitalism, in the spirit of crushing socialism, fulfilled the socialist goals a hundred times more fully in its sphere. Ford, a worker, turned capitalist, raised the wages and reduced the price to usher in the prosperity through the principle of distributing to the community the gains of technology. All gains are social gains, must go back to the society. If held back, they will choke the holder to death. Neither the knowledge of the Brahmin, nor the power of the General, nor the profits of the capitalist can be denied to the population at large. In the final reckoning, it belongs to all. The lion’s share is jungle law, not one that belongs to civilisation. Capitalism thrives because the worker yearns to become a capitalist.
116) Mother receives devotees from both extremes of human personality. The Freedom Movement received the cream of the society as volunteers. Such a cream cannot serve the Mother as the formed capacity is a bar for evolution. Occasionally those who have received the essence of such formed capacity come to take up Her work. Here for any purpose those of opposite constitution arrive. Progress here is not by acquiring strength, but by transformation. All devotees do undergo the first level of transformation. Beyond that transformation is rare. If one transforms himself, others around benefit as Darcy’s transformation was received by Elizabeth.
Man can level off at any point. He who has leveled off can return to Mother at any time, but it is rare.
Mother punishes no one. Those who actively work against Her are punished by their intention. They too are not punished by the Mother.
117) The Spiritual Individual is integrally creative of transcendence in the universe and the Individual.
Man’s progress is from body to Mind and Spirit. As one moves up, one’s productivity gradually, sometimes suddenly, becomes creative. What is a labour becomes a creative enjoyment. Incidentally it is a method of solving problems. Salaried employment is productive, laborious while self-employment is creative. While advance of technology can abolish or abridge salaried employment, it cannot hurt self-employment likewise. Any work can change from a productive labour to creative enjoyment by a change of attitude or change of focus or plane. It is so when a higher plane descends on the lower plane. Marriage becomes romance when one shifts from oneself to the other. Cooking changes likewise, changing from work to working for another. A game aimed at winning shifting to learning better skills shows that change. A game can be played for the opponent to learn. The several grades of learning make it possible in education. A politician becoming a statesman sees it in his experience. Employment that is a job can decrease. Employment that is enjoyment can only increase. At no level can one fail to see such possibilities of conversion. Agriculture, the most primitive of occupations was the result of Mind descending on Matter and introducing organisation. Mind descended on the work of food gathering and created agriculture. Mind or Spirit awakening in the earth, the soil will become richer by cultivation. Modern miracles are made possible by converting electricity into electronics. Electricity itself was a wonder in 1920. California proved it. Internet shows the miracle of electronics. Electricity is a physical force, a wonder. Mind descending on electricity, it became electronics. Internet is a double field for electronics and self-giving. Man finds the world as a field of problems. It was created as a field of delight. No problem can resist longer if we try to move away from our conventional attitude towards the evolutionary course. As man does not need to labour for his progress, a machine comes to relieve him. Presently scarcity of labour does it. In the USA it is unwillingness of the youth to drudge. Unemployment as a problem will cease to exist when the world understands the direction in which it moves and is willing to acquire the attitude appropriate to it. Democracy arose because Man moved from power to right, from an Individual to the collective, from domination to cooperation. Socialism was conceived when the human Mind moved from exploitation to distribution. Protestantism was a move from instruction to self-aware enlightenment. Education moved from arts to professional so as to make it oriented to employment. It can still move towards creative self-engagement. American progress is because of social political freedom to live. Psychological freedom from the collective, its conventions, its self-imposed compunctions that are socially organised superstitions can remove more than one problem of the world. Awakening the spirit in the soil will be a miraculous wonder apart from solving the problem of applying fertilizer and pesticides. Man’s labour for production changing into enjoyment in creative engagement will be a step in creating the Individual. An exhaustive study of the historical trends so far in all fields will set us firmly on the path. Solutions or accomplishments along these lines are instantaneous. As resistances increase, we can be sure of greater, richer, wider rewards.
118) The character of transitions:
They open a higher field multiplying the direct and indirect prospects immensely – from a few times higher wages at the low end to an immense multiplicity of benefits at the top.
Transitions enable the lowest person to rise to the highest position.
Talents fashioned not in the family or school, but in the wide expanse of direct experience achieve as much as the field opens. One who is fashioned in the family or school will achieve with respect to his acquired capacities and values. Transitions throw up talents fashioned in the crucible of life. They achieve as much as the field offers. It is such a phenomenon that made the GDP of the nations rise steeply after the Industrial Revolution. Now the Internet opens up cyber space and the entire globe as a market or field. One characteristic of transitions is the youth achieve in larger numbers. Physical, psychological age limits are widened or abolished. All such characteristics will express in the Individual in a far greater measure.
Before the war, no high level post in the government was meant for anyone below 60, in England, but two Prime Ministers were 24 or so. It is an exception. Now the Internet companies are owned by teenagers. As life changes, individual income rises, his admission to the society is possible at a younger age.
What is transition and what are its characteristics?
A society that is so structured as to permit positive growth all the time raising its values is a creatively dynamic society. In a sense all periods are periods of imperceptible transition. As the society changes her institutions, organisations, values, Individuals change. Each influences the other. To see how changes in one sector affect changes in another sector is a theoretical study. The atmosphere of freedom the American settlers felt took a few centuries for its results to be appreciated by the world. It was in 1947 that India became free. Not until 1987 was the sense of freedom felt by the population. For it to translate into visible prosperity, it took another decade. Freedom, rights, values, are gradually secured. After that, for those values to change into institutional organisational values and yield results is a much slower process. Almost it is a culture the social fabric has to cultivate.
The best of human traits is to help others selflessly –À§Ã¡À¸¡Ãõ . As Man is an ego, it becomes an egoistic initiative, yogically impermissible. Especially within the family or among close friends À§Ã¡À¸¡Ãõ selfless help becomes a duty. All scriptures are clear and categorical about it, particularly the Gita. Man does not go by scriptures, but by what prevails in the society, among the social elite. What obtains there is directly inimical to us who would like to evolve as an Individual. Ego’s negative or wrong expressions anyone can easily avoid or understand them to be avoided. Man has a bad habit of dividing ego’s acts into positive and negative which is unreal. Ego is negative. All actions of the ego are negative. There is no positive action for the ego. For the layman it is difficult, but cannot be so for one who has taken to spiritual discipline. Nature acts through ego. For one who is serious about the discipline, to know the distinction between Nature and ego is not difficult. In practice, the distinction may not be as clear. It is because of the illusion of selfless help À§Ã¡À¸¡Ãõ. The teaching of Sri Aurobindo about the unregenerate vital is a capital warning. His own natural urges that are good are not good in ego. It is the danger zone. In yoga what is permissible is the consecrated act. An urge will defy consecration. When one feels it is mastered it will get the better of the devotee by the impulses of the urge.
Clarity in these areas is hardly won. For one who has clarity in these areas, his own life will be entangled in another’s temperament or life requirements. If in one’s relationship with another the devotee finds his own discipline very much depends on the requirements of another’s life or his temperament, he is hamstrung. He may be practically helpless. Let Thy Will be done, not my will, is consecration of the highest type. It is the best help. To say that with sincerity, one has to withdraw his will. His own will will be a mental desire or emotional desire. The latter is more difficult to withdraw. Beyond that too, the atavism of the desire will linger as if without the activation of thought or energy of emotion. Though lifeless in these senses, it will have life to spoil consecration. First it yields as an oral expression. Mental articulation will remain. Even after losing force, it will linger in some faint form. That has the power to revive the unfavourable circumstances. Elizabeth arrived at that point of mental clarity. To transform them to their positive opposites is to surprise creation. It is the safest of safe measures when it is horizontally extended and the general level of consciousness is established at this higher level. It means what was done by prayer or consecration must now be done without such an effort. One who succeeds even in this will be surprised to know his Nature has very many layers and his Herculean efforts have covered only the surface layer, the first layer of the Indian muslin. It is here the phenomenon of the eight layers is found in a mixture and a small positive act can have great significance has a great role to play.
Life is in concentric circles. Rules that govern the first circle are the same in the last circle, but components change character as we move out of one circle to the other. What was helpful at one stage becomes a hindrance at the next stage. Also what could not harm you at an early stage can very much harm you in the final stages. Each circle has its ego. Each member of every circle has an ego. They are not activated when the action is nonessential in that circle. As soon as the action moves into his circle, he who was not activated till then strangely gets activated. He who was powerless earlier becomes very powerful now, as the role of the citizen changes from monarchy to democracy. The citizen’s character changes when the right to information is introduced as law. Corporal punishment becoming punishable by law, the docile wife and dumb child get a new vigourous life. As one moves ahead in the concentric circles, his past actions acquire greater power to determine the results of his work. Ego that served Napoleon in the beginning, becomes a grave digger in the end. Non-violence that heralded a new era in politics in the ‘20s, raises the inherent violence of human nature in the ‘40s. Draupadi’s innocent help to a sannyasi in the river to save him from shame came to her help when she was disrobed. Sri Aurobindo who was immune from the hostile forces became vulnerable as the war came near. The wider is our sphere, the greater is the power of a small finite, as in the computer of greater capacity and perfection. As you progress ahead, your own power rises. Each small exertion can have a very wide repercussion. So also the power to hurt too can rise. Moving towards your goal, the finite and the infinite lose the distinctions.
Withdrawing from outer events and persons, one becomes immune from the outside. Similarly he must withdraw from himself. Elizabeth’s copious abuse of Darcy initially did not hurt her. It served her purpose. When she met Darcy at Pemberley her guarded socially appropriate answers made her miss the great opportunity to escape the elopement. Now a formal answer hurt her grievously. Rajaji’s meeting Kennedy led to the postponement of the test and led to the test-ban treaty. The friendliness of Mountbatten with the Indian leaders and the Indian people might appear an idiosyncrasy. Nehru called the Viceroy Dicky. In the transition from the Raj to Free India, the role it played was very significant. Particularly that of Edwina. Much more so the exemplary courage she exhibited in dangerous situations with the refugees. Her acts, apparently insignificant, brought the Himalayan status of the Viceroy down to the dangerous spots of the riot to quell them. Violence was quelled by love. She broke all social bounds of etiquette. What emerged was the finite power of the head of the nation in a transformed character to win the hearts of the people making the population realize the sincerity of the government to withdraw. Mountbatten drew larger crowds than Gandhiji. What is a mere clue in the first circle, becomes the life, power and all in the last cycle.
Man acquiring a policy of using the insignificantly small, to accomplish the significantly large, moves him from earlier stages to later stages of progress. As he uses this strategy, he is immune from its negative expression. (The small can cancel the big).
Before we consider the psychological requirements in the society as well as the Individual for the birth of the Spiritual Individual, we must list the basic requirements:
120)One known useful rule of progress is to be periodically converting our maximum as our subsequent minimum. The range of a minimum and maximum is an energy rhythm of Nature. Should we break it, we bring Nature under Mind, if not Spirit. Society has some sectors organised under Mind’s direction and left others to their own course – Nature. Education, railways, post office are some organised sectors. In the West even religion is organised. Market, tourism, traffic are some spheres of life under Nature’s control. Insurance interferes with the havocs of Nature and lifts Man out of Nature’s cruel hand, ensuring the response of regular life. In the unmanaged government schools we see a range of performance from 0 to 60 or 70. Making the minimum maximum is not impossible and is being done in some sectors of life. It only means Man moves from the vital to the Mental. Our aim is to allow the birth of the vital Individual not by labour from below but by the descent from above. The aim is the Spirit should descend on the vital. Let us move to the Mental so as to attract the descent from above – the Spirit.
What happened in America is two mental elements – Education and Organisation – descended on the physical activities. The present abundance is the result of exhausting the physical energies with the blessings of those two descents. The live threat from Japan to the American market was overcome by the Americans. Japan’s strength was imitation. America was always original. Originality challenged by imitation responds with greater dynamism of originality in its known ways. No energy of imitation can stand the renewed deeper challenge of originality. We see a similar phenomenon in politics. Cultured Europe was in fragments, war ridden for centuries. The 20th century saw its climax in two world wars in the European theatre. She was reduced to shambles, shambles in about forty fragments. The same challenge had reared its head in the previous century as civil war in America. To overcome the political fragmentation of Europe that had no scope for freedom, Nature opened up the New World. As the states were being formed, aristocracy, absence of freedom along with the demand for separate existence reared its head in the South. The South was predominantly agricultural. The war was ostensibly fought for slavery and its abolition. But Lincoln made it clear that his aim was union. According to our Theory, it is natural when Man is establishing himself in freedom in every sense of the word, the old dark forces should in direct opposition organise themselves so that they might fight their last fight for survival. It is noteworthy that the initiative was from the South. Again it is a principle of the Theory that a dying force often, if not always, takes the offensive. Hitler did so. Capitalism waged a war on Socialism uncalled for in 1914. It was Japan that attacked Pearl Harbour. America advanced politically over Europe after the Civil War. The Marshall Plan traversed the reverse path. The culture of Europe, like the originality of the USA against Japan, recently asserted itself by forming the European Union. It can be a powerful political centre of the future world if Russia joins her. America need not miss the leadership if she shifts from Money to Man.
Mother says America is like a chick coming out of its shell. She wants to know. Europe was the ideal for America as England was the Indian ideal. It is now shifted to America. Maharishi was accepted in India after he became popular in America. America is the ideal, is the standard. Indians understand life and its great values not by itself or as her ancients lived, but as how Americans live. It is upside down. It is a pity. Europe, her culture, and art were the ideal for the Americans. Even now it is so. Culture should be the ideal, but not conveyed by dead institutions. Europe overcame Catholicism but retained much of her rituals. Ceremonies are scintillating. They give life to lifeless Man. No ceremony can ever revive a lifeless Man. Ceremonies are lifeless. It is life that energises the ceremonies and gives form to them. Indians, Europeans, Americans, in the large majority, are after lifelessness as vast populations in Russia today adore Stalin. Man must awaken to the Being behind Nature. In that measure there is a possibility for the Individual to be born. Savitri explains that stage in Aswapathi.
Sri Aurobindo speaks of the Indians losing the power of thinking. The above phenomenon tells us Man’s longing for the outer form. The Civil War, the caste system, serfdom, the symbol of royalty, the present scientific superstition, unemployment, monetary crisis, fundamentalism, terrorism all represent that mentality. Fundamentalism in America and everywhere is the psychological feeder for terrorism in the Muslim countries. As the younger generations alone would respond to the new vibrations, the oppressed alone will realize the need to respond to the essentials. Hence Obama is the President. The rationale behind the widespread corruption pervading the society is the oppressed asserting. Their way of assertion is to prostitute the earlier sacred institutions and values. The scientists’ way of doing the same thing is to abolish the Spirit and enthrone Matter in her place. The computer is the Spirit of Matter. It strikes at the root of ego – secrecy and possessiveness. It brings one and all under the same platform ensuring equality. Those who cannot concede equality in their emotions may not be able to use the computer’s full value. Institutions, values, machines are repositories of the very opposite values of the vanishing societies. No orthodox Brahmin can avail of the services of a hotel and retain the sacredness of the caste. The caste system is deeply undermined in India at its base by overseas travel and residence there. Its earliest expression is marriage outside the caste for love. Power always cemented itself by intermarriage. It is high time the cream of humanity voluntarily decide on mature consideration about the true real values of the society shedding the dead forms of every description. It is my pet theme that one of the renowned universities should come forward to close itself as a symbol of abolishing organised education, as it is narrow, lifeless and superstitious. Organisation kills the spirit. All values generated by the organisation must go lock, stock and barrel.
Of the two steps in yoga, Sri Aurobindo in Savitri, dismisses the first in one line as if it is of no consequence. For Man to overcome ego is more difficult than reaching moksha. Buddhism set its goal to dissolve ego. As a result, the religion itself was dissolved at its place of origin. Sri Aurobindo dismissing the dissolution of ego so simply and devoting the entire poem to the overcoming of Nature, shows the formidable nature of that accomplishment. We are not here so much occupied by the yogic norms as it affects humanity.
Expressions of Nature in several nations are in several ways. After the monumental conquest of moksha, the Rishis decided to possess it for their own posterity and created the caste system. It is ego on top, Nature below. We know of the superiority of the caste. That belongs to the ego part of it. There is another part about the caste. Each caste looks upon the other caste as low. The upper caste boys or girls are not condoned in marrying lower caste members. Caste is sacred. Going out of it is sacrilegious. That attitude belongs to Nature. We may term it as the ego of Nature. That is the prestige part of it. Nature means Mind, Life and Matter. In matter Nature turns into evil and falsehood. In a nation like America where there is an abundance of freedom, the dark side of it also gets freedom to grow uninhibited. China whose civilisation is ancient is given to tyranny and cruelty. Mind is developed there to its acme. The Nature of Mind is tyranny and cruelty in other social circumstances. Japan has developed culture, not Mind or Spirit. In their culture honour is valued, not human life. A whole village destroyed in some natural calamity evokes no sympathy in them. Death, individual or collective, does not affect the Japanese psyche. Some truths of nature more than that of the ego deserve our attention.
n What is called karma or understood as destiny or fate in the West is a version of Nature dominating Man.
n Nature’s rule prevails in the physical, prevails as habits of the physical Mind, not easy to change. Fundamentalists thrive on them.
n Ego in its early stages cannot tolerate another’s benefit even when it is a condition for its own benefit.
n In later stages, it can be rational or generous only for its benefit.
n People who worked hard cannot part with their Money for any reason right or wrong. Miserliness is an end in itself. It gives delight. It is a by-product of industry.
n In an affluent atmosphere, aristocracy grows in nobility.
n In a decadent circumstance, the aristocrat of landed property, religious aristocracy or aristocracy of any other type as government service degenerates into cruel exploitation, loses all their values. As their respect is still maintained as in India, the entire population becomes unreliable and lying becomes universal. It can be neutralized only when those who are now oppressed rise to power and status and practice the same shameless tyranny on them.
n These are social versions. Tyranny, cruelty, pure evil are below them. They won’t surface in ordinary times. In periods of transition, they will nakedly appear.
n Man cannot overcome it. Only the future generations can do so. So we say the time has to come.
n Any nation eminently qualified for world leadership can rise to the occasion by voluntarily overcoming these defects.
The birth of the Individual is a concept unknown to the world as the prosperity of India. India became free in 1947. The one preoccupation of the leadership was prosperity. The population by their own efforts, helped by circumstances, has become prosperous. Only in the USSR an experiment in that line was taken up after the Russian Revolution. It was possible because she was a dictatorship. They had a philosophy to inspire and guide. America became prosperous by the individual effort of every settler before he became a citizen. Neither of those conditions obtained in India which had taken to democracy. There was no precedent. Nor was there any thinking in the world as to how to make a nation prosper. The world leaders Nehru consulted advised science and technology. India today is no conducive soil for science or even technology. It was unthinkable in 1947. The population at large was oblivious. Those were partial unrealistic leftist urges unheard of by the masses.
After sixty years, looking back at what happened and the glimpse of initial prosperity in the decades of the 80s and 90s, certain fundamental truths emerge:
Levels of Evolution:
Most Men evolve compelled by the social circumstances. A few avail of the positive social circumstances and socially evolve. The rare few avail of all the helpful circumstances and allow them to create fresh opportunities so as to evolve as the social vanguards. These are Men who make the Time come in the social plane. The social plane is the vital plane. It holds good for psychological Time as well as Spiritual Time. Availing of Mother’s consciousness at its best brings in Time in the spiritual plane. According to the readiness of the human soul, different Times present to him. The advent of Mother’s Consciousness presents the maximum opportunity. Vertically the birth of Mind as in Europe, horizontally the grant of freedom as in America offer greater opportunities than the prevailing one. The birth of the vital plane itself was such a one.
The poem Savitri tells us how the Hour of God came to her and how she exercised her choice. Human choice is the final freedom in the Spiritual plane given us by the Absolute. As there is a choice for the individual Man, societies too have a choice. We may call them social choices. There is another evolutionary choice. He came to us to announce the Hour of God. It is a phenomenon every family offers its children, every society offers its members. God too has that privilege. The educational system can be called the system that creates the Hour of God in the society to all those who join it. In each plane there are two ways of existence. One is to follow the procedure of that plane and progress at the speed intended. The other is to collect the essences of that plane and proceed quickly. Collection of the essences of a plane is a long tedious effort. God did it in His plane and when the Hour came He came down to tell us. Mother converted it into consciousness. The descent of the Supermind offers that consciousness in the subtle plane so that the subtle opulence can be received by us. If awake, now is the time for the last Man in the society to become the first Man. Society has devised jealousy, competition, gossip, cooperation, treachery, etc. as social ways by which Man can rise positively or negatively.
Let us consider what is the shortest route to evolve as an Individual. The world as it is has no theory or knowledge of how the individual has been evolving. They do not seem to know even the appearances. They are not like the six blind Men with the elephant. There is no elephant the intellectuals are trying to know. Now that He has given us the Theory of creation, its application to the society can reveal how the Individual is so far evolving. Should we construct it in all detail without missing a step, all that we have to do is to implement it in our lives. One has to discover the path and stages in which his own life has been progressing. No stage can be missed. He must know at what pace he is changing and decide to change at the highest speed on his own effort. His decision matters, not his study or understanding. Study will give clarity, understanding will offer fuller appreciation of that clarity not to act. The nature of clarity and understanding is, as every other thing, itself satisfaction. Decision matters. It must travel from Mind to the body for fuller effectivity. Clarity of understanding becomes decision of the Mind by the emotional energy of the Mind. The energy of the vital emotion and physical emotion can take the Mental decision to the body and make it its decision. The body cannot wait when it understands.
At the end of The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo says Man is not availing of the higher consciousness because of Taste of Ignorance. Mother calls Man lazy. We know the security of superstition over the ages. Luther broke one powerful one. The modern Mind is under a different kind of superstition. Laziness is the cosy feeling of physical comfort. As it becomes a habit, Man has not learnt to break it. He knows how to cherish it and be proud of it. Superstition offers a vital security that is collective. Mental laziness misses the tenth Man. Vital superstition sees the sun going round the earth. Taste of Ignorance becomes a creative emotion in the Mind to which the Mind feels the privilege of clinging.
It takes positive forms of pride as in Darcy, sentimental adoration of royalty and aristocracy in England, hypocritical adherence as in genteel poverty where the wigs, robes, ceremonies, rituals, titles, blood acquire a new empty reality as in Trollope novels. Before we discover the path of the Individual, let us collect all this psychological garbage and make a bonfire of it. Our personality is too full of it. Since coming to Mother, we may have shed much of it. The most powerful of them is the possessive power of Money. When Mind knows all about it, the physical consciousness will hold on to it tightly. The body consciousness must awake to the higher knowledge that Money is not a thing, it is a tool to be used in the society as an instrument of exchange for social existence.
The Growth of Individuality: In all the Western countries, prosperity, advance in civilisation, and progress towards democracy were due to the birth of Mental Individuality. Except in America, such a growth has been partial due to the presence of class barriers, religious discrimination, persecution of minorities, and token presence of royalty. America from 1500 or 1600 was blissfully free from all this. The founding of America itself was, in a way, due to the spirit of exploration personified in Columbus. It can be viewed as an expression of Individuality as it was by his personal initiative that it became possible. The first hundred years were the fertile soil of study during which the spirit of adventure was in great demand. It was a venture where the immediate alternative was loss of life, as scholars have calculated in the reclamation of land. Individuality was in clear evidence when Man risked his life. In the later periods he risked his success, security, reputation or profit. Initially it was a total risk.
The spirit of such an action continues today at the social as well as individual fronts. Presently there is one more field – organisation. Sloan was a great creative example of organisation. Ford was an outstanding example of socialistic tendency in production. These and such others are socially creative. Once such a breakthrough occurs, even for the masses to plentifully follow these pioneers, well-marked Individuality at a smaller level is demanded in great measure. We see such an advance in every walk of life without fail. One Man writes a pamphlet for circulation. Unexpectedly its circulation rises to 100,000. It shows the social readiness in writing, printing, circulation and reading. Such fields of action are endless. Between 1873 and 1913 the annual average increase in manufacturing production in the UK, Germany and USA was 1.8, 3.9 and 4.8 percent. Such statistics in a comparable fashion are available for many periods, for many countries and in many fields.
The growth of Individuality directly impacts production, consumption, levels of education, travel, money circulation, women’s freedom, equality of labour, church attendance – positively as well as negatively – new patents entered, discoveries, innovations, corruption, law abiding nature, law-breaking tendency, etc. About ten fields studied will show the national growth of each field as a graph. The factors that positively encourage Individuality and those that stifle it are equally as many. Law, custom, tradition, procedure, punishment, attitude of church, encouragement to start school, facilities to print and circulate, social odium toward such vocations as compared to some selected nations in the same period will give us a crop of statistics done as graphs. There is scope even to subdivide a sector – education – into various aspects such as distance, income, discrimination, etc. That will be a formidable study that can illustrate our theme – the growth of the nation is the growth of Man’s Individuality for action.
Such progress can be consolidated into one graph of national growth and another one for the growth of Individuality. The parallel will be unmistakable. Similar studies for other nations for the same periods based on the same parameters will reveal more of the value of this aspect of Individuality. In other countries, various other factors due to long tradition, will certainly distort the value of the study. Still, the emerging findings will be clear. Such a study for the whole world for a hundred or two hundred years will speak volumes, if the study is capable of sifting the relevant from the irrelevant. In India in the post war period, in the period of initial decades of freedom when a host of laws were enacted, attitudes changed in almost every field. Here, as there was no tradition of formed Individuality, the study will be examining the formation of Individuality or the creation of the potentials of Individuality. This will be complex in view of the fact that Indians have lost the power of thinking. Still, major aspects of Individuality will emerge.
Growing organisations develop society:
Ascent and Descent
Society is like the sea, vast, deep, creative, calm, turbulent on the surface, brooding, imponderable, alive. It is essentially subconscious and conscious only in the individual. Spiritually, his conscious awareness is unconscious, as he is not aware of the Spirit which alone is conscious. Man’s primary awareness is the family moving away from his animal biological existence. Even the collective fighting is the animality of the biological existence. Father, husband are the first semblances of civilisation in the individual. Even at that stage, the explorer in him survived. The pioneer was always there in him imperceptibly. Genius too could have certainly been there. I ignore his existence prior to the advent of agriculture. In that sense, the entrepreneur reared his head only when trade appeared. His existence prior to that was theoretical for our examination.
Collective subconscious on its maturity by saturation becomes conscious individuality. Its early symptoms are the husband and the father making the family the very first of social organisations and its representative unit. This process of maturity and saturation begins with energy and travels on the scale ending in ability. What starts with the society has its impact on the individual. The social aggregates extend horizontally in the territory branching off in various functions of trade, language, coin, amusement, culture, etc. Such aggregates are social units of collectivity in diverse social existences. The vertical growth is in content and quality. This is a process from below. What descends from above created Joan of Arc, Jesus, Buddha, Shankara, Leonardo, Napoleon, while FDR, Gandhiji, and Churchill were still from below. The horizontal expansion will end when freedom embraces all of humanity. Now it is significantly present without saturation only in America. She started with physical freedom, created plenty and individuality of action. Now she is grappling with the opposite tendencies. The Civil War was its symbol and crux. The opposition to freedom will be organised in strength in America as she was the pioneer. We see its silly symbol crystalised in academic intellectuality divorced from life.
Europe represented by the post war Germany shows one right symptom of live understanding in distributing the technological gains as reduced working hours. America clings to profits, her doom, as Gandhiji’s non-violence. Unemployment rose 5% in USA while during the same period in Germany it was ½%. America is to make her evolutionary choice as she did in the Civil War and Japanese competition. The readiness of the atmosphere in the world to enter the path of social evolution is seen in the readiness of national leadership to act – Indicators, Green Revolution, extension of Ramapuram, the villagers’ daring in well digging and planting banana, and 100 million jobs. Life too is ready to act as we see in the Berlin wall and demise of the Cold War. We see the phenomena of the Russian Revolution, victory of the USSR, refusal of the Marshall Plan, expansionism of communism, and its demise. In the process, Russia was industrialized, guaranteed employment was offered for seven decades though at the expense of the individual. In Russia there was no individual to be destroyed. Only that his emergence could not be helped by the systems of the government. It was a failure to organise human life on a collective basis, before the natural leadership emerged. As every society passed through massive monetary corruption for one or two centuries, violence is political corruption in Russia. Other societies have fully passed through that violence in other forms. Italy experienced it as Mafia, France as religious persecution, England as the snobbery of the masses before the hypocritical aristocracy. Violence, falsehood, corruption are as much instruments of social evolution as Peace, integrity and truth. The former are the first stages of the latter. Societies that were cultured in the earlier centuries feel the fall. Otherwise it is a normal process.
Point of Transition
Society, like Man, utilizes only an infinitesimal part of its energy, power, and resources. As it grows to greater heights, the resources grow enormously, making the unutilized part of it immense. The growth of the GDP by the industrial revolution, the great spurt in population growth, the enormous amount of Money in today’s economy are some examples while the rule, the rule of increasing abundance, is universal. Its incidence could be always seen if we stop and think. The ascent meets the descent at some point when the portion of unutilized resources changes character as utilizable resources. In the ascent the unutilized energies are partly unutilizable, the rest are invisible to the unconscious eye of the Man unconscious. Even the descent can be overwhelmed by the power of the ascent as in the cases of Joan of Arc and Napoleon.
The transition is best seen in Nehru. It is the Psychic that brings about the change. Left to himself, Nehru would have retired as a reputed lawyer of the Supreme Court. Gandhiji took to him, asked him to give up law and serve the nation where his Psychic could flower. He ruled India as long as he lived, became a leader of the Third World, and his family ruled India for two more generations. Palanisami Kounder was a deputy Collector who opted for public service in the cooperative sector. He rose in eminence considerably. Kurien was the finest example of a salaried employee opting for public service achieving international fame in milk production. Growth from below is like the evolution of the Ape taking centuries or millenniums. Descent from above yields instantaneous results. Transition from one to the other that brings about miraculous results combines the process of both, offers a great opportunity to all who are willing to make the right human choice.
All methods of life are lifeless, dead, rigid, anachronistic obstacles. No spiritual inspiration is made possible by organised religion. Original ideas rarely come from the universities. How many of the 19th century inventions came from inside the structured society? The structure stifles. One must opt to come out of the structure of education, structure of the profession, the structure of the society for one to avail of the infinite resources of the society. Presently those resources are negative, unutilizable, unreachable. Once Man shifts to the creative part of the society, the resources turn positive, visible, utilizable, making themselves available in their fullness. Giving up salaried employment in favour of self-employment is presently the most significant strategy. Acquiring spiritual values in work and personality is the general principle. Facilitating the descent of Mind and Spirit on matter and vital speeds up the process of the formation of the Individual. The growing population raises the concern of land’s productivity to meet the future food needs. Evoking the Mind buried in the soil will make the soil infinitely productive – the more it grows the greater will be its fertility. It is the same principle of technology – expressing Mind in matter. The conversion of electricity into electronics is a variation of this principle of evoking the Mind of Matter.
Symbol that is Power
Money became the symbol of power and is fully appreciated as it is. Knowledge is such a symbol which is not fully appreciated. How does the Internet work? It gives you access to knowledge effortlessly. It takes you to the door of knowledge which will take a very long time otherwise. It is for you to acquire the knowledge and its power. Language is such a symbol which gives you access to power, if not power itself. Objects of one plane are symbols of the lower plane. In the reverse too they are symbols of power of destruction. Mahabharatha speaks of all such destructive symbols. It knows of the positive symbols, but does not take an occasion often to mention them. Thirteen days is one such which was not utilized.
Savitri is a symbol of the Supramental plane which fully gives all that power, not merely brings you to the doorstep. Democracy is a symbol of political power which yields the power in various measures of utilization. Credit is a symbol that has all the power of Money as long as you honour it. Administration is an executive power of the political structure and its power is all over it. Mantra is a spiritual symbol that carries the power of tapas of a Guru to millions of his sishyas. How something becomes a symbol, what is the process, what is the secret of that power are fascinating subjects. A throne is a symbol of royal power. So also is a crown. We can say today symbols rule our life more than their reality.
Coin and currency are symbols of Money. At the level of coins it represents more the exchange value. As a currency it acquires the power of trade and all that progress represents. The power of a symbol depends upon the extent to which the source of power concedes and the extent to which the public accords recognition to that power. A symbol, in extreme circumstances, can become the ultimate determinant, in spite of being an infinitesimal non-entity. A husband who has had total power over his wife depends on her psychologically. Through that access, every wife has the ultimate say in her husband’s affairs. Some proudly say they are not so dependent, but through a devious route, he ends up with the majority. Courage becoming the symbol of patriotism won the world war. Salt thus won Indian independence. The symbols of cross, idols, ¾¡Ä¢ thali, wedding rings are expressive.
Symbols often abridge the infinite into the finite. In the ultimate integration, the significant small equals the significant All. There is a subtle power behind most of these symbols. The caste mark is a symbol of spiritual knowledge put on the forehead, the seat of knowledge. The tilak ¦À¡ðÎ of the ladies that appears an ornament is on the ajna chakra, the subtle centre of mental thought, the seat of the Purusha. The Unknowable having descended on the universe and the Individual, has made the Individual a symbol of the universe and itself. Man who has that spiritual knowledge of his status in the universe, recognizing where he really is socially, acquires the power of the universe to be exercised on the society through his instrumentation. He who does so becomes a millionaire in one generation, rises from the log cabin to the White House, moves from the courts of law to the courts of power.
As long as one is a social individual, a member of the society, the society is his universe. The limits of his safe horizon are his security. His Mind sees his whole universe and emotionally develops a sentiment for it. He is safe in his superstition like the rustic in rural parts or the Catholic who worships the Pope. To him, Luther’s world is non-existent, an anathema. Emerging out of his cocoon, his vision extends to the ends of the real universe. To him it is a new birth. He becomes Man, the thinker, the explorer of the fields of thought.
The Joy of Self-discovery
1 Act ……………………tradition
2 Energy …………….results
3 Physical …………. Spiritual
4 Vertical, horizontal and a combination of both.
5 Mind and Spirit descending into the lower members.
6 Violent selfishness …………….expansive self-giving.