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Theory of Social Development

Full Outline of the Theory in Brief

N. Asokan


Table of Contents

Chapter I    Introduction

Chapter II    Infrastructure

Chapter III    Levels of Comprehension, Enjoyment, Values, Attitudes and Motives

Chapter IV   Model of Nine Levels of Growth

Chapter V   Conclusion

Chapter I


For the scholar, development is a particular activity of society seen in certain periods. For the social being it is an ever-present, non-stop activity whose intensity varies with periods and circumstances. This is true of survival, growth, development and evolution. These are all the same activity at root with varying degrees of energy, intensity, organisation, result and aims. That is why we say that these four phenomena exist in each of them. Evolution can be termed as fast moving survival and survival is evolution at its slowest pace.

Development begins as a physical activity. The energy released by the physical is always the lowest and the conscious awareness of the being is also at the lowest in the physical and highest in the mind. The true centre of energy is vital. It is the vital that energizes the body as well as the mind. Still, the physical work releases the energy in low volumes. Mind, by lending its comprehension to the vital, is capable of energising it several-fold. As the development experience started with the physical and essentially remains in that plane, development is necessarily slow and unconscious.

Man, having started his life in the body and not in the mind, experiences work and life. Body is not conscious and is subconscious. It learns by doing. Learning succeeds doing. This is also so because existence and survival compel man to act and to do. He has to eat, drink and sleep. His act of eating over the centuries makes him learn how to gather food more efficiently. The compelling need of thirst sets him in quest of water. He cannot wait to learn about food and drink. Long practical experience leads to knowledge of the process. That is true till now. The cities man has built, the religion he soared to, the science he has discovered and all he has achieved today are achievements in experience, not experiences that issued out of knowledge.

A few thousand years of man’s existence which is studded with rich experiences have not led him to know the knowledge-basis of those experiences. Medical theory is of recent origin. No theory of history is yet born. Science is striving its best to found itself on a theory. As for social development, we do not have any indications of thinkers trying to evolve a theory. Hundreds of theories have been discovered and have gained social acceptance, but they are of partial phenomena, rather a particular phenomenon. There seems to be no theory or even an attempt at it.

As man starts his experiences in the physical plane and moves to the vital and mental planes later, a theory can emerge only when his activities reach the mental plane. They have not yet reached that elevated, exalted plane. What has happened is the physical plane is getting saturated with physical experiences. Saturation leads to maturity and maturity will lead to moving to the higher planes. A theory can only emerge when the experiences reach the mental plane.

The world’s developmental experience has not only saturated the physical plane in several countries but also has saturated the vital plane. As both planes are nearing saturation, the mind can act. Perhaps only when the whole of humanity is essentially covered by physical experience will the mind sail into action.

As the experiences of the physical and vital planes are exhausted, saturated and the planes are mature with experience, it is time to evolve a theory. Also, in the past man has never attempted development as a conscious effort. The hundreds of developmental failures are an indication that no conscious attempt has been resorted to. This again is an indication that the time has come for conceptualisation.

What the body is forced to do, it experiences as movement. The vital chooses to do what the body feels compelled to do. The vital experiences in energy what the body experiences in matter. At the next stage the same is experienced by the mind as comprehension.

Theory is the mind in its comprehension codifying what the body experiences in physical substance - matter.

The twentieth century seems to be the watershed between developmental experience and a theory of development. Two or three events of importance stand out. One is the backlash of expanding development in the form of pollution which indicates that in some fashion the development effort cannot go further. For humanity to accept development as a full time vocation, it must have assured peace. War, as known by this century, has been abolished for all intents and purposes. The nervous energy of mankind engaged in the tension of the cold war has now been released. Assured peace and the stalling of the further spread of development augur well for the emergence of a theory.

At least from two highly placed persons the idea was mooted. One was chief of the UNDP advisory board and the other the UN chief. The latter described the evolution of a theory of development as an intellectual challenge of this century. People placed at the helm of world affairs looking for a theoretical framework for the guidance of their main activities is certainly a symptom that the mind of humanity may be ready for that conceptualisation.

Great national events have shaken the world decade after decade. Several of them were successfully tackled and a catastrophe averted, but several others had their sway. The Great Depression, the two World Wars, the Green Revolution, emergence of Japan, the demise of empires, and the spread of education were there. Wherever tragedies were averted, they were not done so consciously. Without exception all human victories of the Green Revolution type have been unconscious.

Theoretical knowledge validates past practical experience. If that validation is logically perfect, theoretically it enables one to project the theory into the future for purposes of prediction. Logically perfect theories, like that of Marx, may lead to practical disaster. But when a logical theory has the advantage of being tested against past experience, it is validated in theory and practice, thus enabling it to be a future instrument of development. In this way theory can accelerate future development. It is the process of an unconscious equipment becoming a conscious instrument. The unconscious element in our equipment leaves several chinks in our armour, making us vulnerable to the environment and future forces, physical and non-physical. Becoming conscious means the body is guided by the mind or mind uses the power of the body. Naturally it becomes more powerful by the mind sharing the power of the body, and speedier by the body using the speed of the vital and mind. Nations, corporations, and organisations can plan with a knowledge they do not have now. That planning cannot go astray because it is comprehensive. Without being conscious one cannot be comprehensive.

Economists the world over talk of development as the development of wealth, infrastructure, comforts, conveniences, technology, and resources possessed. They see land, oil, natural resources, buildings, roads, airport, education etc. as development. But these are the results of development, not development. Again, community development, national extension service, hybrid seeds, fertilizers, and liberalisation are spoken of as development. These are strategies, programmes and projects. They are the means to development but not development itself. A social energy helps develop. A certain will of the society releases that energy. Sometimes that energy is directed to become a social force. That direction is given by the social attitude and social goals. An organisation in the society converts that force into social power. The available social skills convert that social power into the social results mentioned above. The process by which the social energy is converted into social results is a social process. It is this process that is called development.

Development is a process and not a programme or a policy. Will, energy, direction, force, organisation, power, and skill all go to accomplish development. All together they make up the development organisation which incidentally includes a part known as organisation too. It is this that serves as the lynch pin for development. In a sense this developmental organisation is the backbone or social structure that enables the process of development to complete itself.

Over long centuries society developed the million fingers of this central organisation by an unconscious process of slow trial and error. Without any knowledge of the goal or process, it seeks to be consciously organised at a centre. The organisation itself does not seem to be aware of its whole existence or its centre or the relationship of the centre to its terminal fingers. Only the ends are visible to man, and perhaps also to the self-awareness of the organisation only the ends are revealed, not the whole.

Physical work generates vital energy and gives rise to subconscious knowledge i.e., knowledge in the physical. Being subconscious and physical it does not confine itself to one individual but is spread all over the collective. The collective physical existence by exertion collects a little subconscious knowledge. At the point of saturation it shows in one pioneering individual who is conscious. Thus the collective subconscious knowledge becomes individual conscious knowledge. Its next stage is the conversion of the knowledge into effective work through external means. That external means is the social organisation we described above.

Organisation is the collective subconscious knowledge becoming a social instrument of work through the pioneering conscious individual.

Organisation is the mind’s comprehension systematising the physical experience into an instrument of social action.

That ORGANISATION continues to grow.

The growth of that organisation is development.

That organisation is composed of systems and subsystems which are truly the skills of the organisation. For its functioning it needs what are called infrastructures that enable the organisation to achieve its goals. Infrastructures exist as physical components, vital attitudes crystalising into institutions, and mental beliefs that guide the mass of men as rules, laws, customs and usages.

As the society grows it sheds lower skills and acquires higher skills. By skills of the society we mean the organisation and its systems. As in the path of every progress, achievements of the past, however glorious, have a way of becoming obstacles for future progress. Neither the shining monarchies of the past, nor the wisdom of Socrates, nor even the findings of Newton can hold forever with the same aura. Developmental effort proceeding unconsciously has the painful necessity of breaking down the obstacles to make the transition complete. Conscious development, guided by a theory has the option of transforming the past obstacles into future opportunities.


Chapter II


Section A

Levels of Infrastructure

Infrastructure is the support for the main structure of development in physical, social, mental, and psychological forms. It is a part, sometimes subordinate, sometimes that which makes the structure meaningful. It is known as infrastructure as it underlies the main structure. This being a widely known term, we would like to accept it as it is and define it as it is meant among the scholars of development. To go into the origin of the word and make it theoretically precise is not possible, because occasionally the sum total of infrastructures act as the cumulative structure without any structure being there, as in education. The field of education is filled with the physical buildings of schools and colleges, the vital component of students and teachers, the mental part of the school organisation, the syllabus, the lessons, etc. and the psychological values of discipline, pursuit of knowledge, and dedication to learning. All these are physical, vital, mental, and psychological infrastructures of education which when removed leave no structure by itself. We may consider the UGC, the department of education, and the university as the structure at the core and the rest as infrastructure. It may be a matter of convenience, not a principle that can be defined precisely.

Our subject is development of society or social development. It may be proper to define society as the structure and everything which supports society as the infrastructure. By extension we can say the departments of society like economics, education, defence, administration etc. are the structures that hold society together while dozens of infrastructures support the main structures. The imprecision arises from the insufficiency of the language as well as a lack of clear demarcations in the process of development. For the present let us settle for what is available and define it well enough to serve our purpose of presenting our principles in a coherent fashion.

The field of education provides enough examples of what we mean by infrastructure. If it is to be made comprehensive, an example from each of the fields of commerce, defence, administration, social existence, finance, and corporate life should be given.

Infrastructure is needed to make the activity possible. Without a building for the school, or students or teachers there will be no education. Education of children being the activity and children being the vital infrastructure of education, an overlapping of thought occurs adding to the obstacle of creating precise definitions. Education is the process of knowledge transmitted to the children by the teachers. Teachers and children are part of the vital infrastructure. Infrastructure makes the activity possible, is essential for the activity to be completed and is often part of the activity. To think of transport without roads, warfare without communication, administration without rules, schools without a syllabus or timetable is not possible.

The infrastructure is spread out horizontally or arranged in vertical grades or ordered to appear in succession or made to act in unison with another infrastructure or two. They underlie the structure or cumulatively act as the structure. Horizontal, vertical, sequential, and clustered placements of infrastructure are possible. Infrastructure takes the field to a wider area in space, helps extend the activity in time, relates each activity with the other, renders the results possible, delivers the results to the beneficiary, makes the effectivity of the activity greater, and helps expand the field in inherent value. 

Section B

Four Levels of Infrastructure Explained

We need to distinguish the infrastructure from the component or input. Even here the same confusion sometimes arises since the infrastructure is the component or input itself.

Society has four levels of existence and therefore the infrastructure of its development process also lies on four levels. So also any work exists on the same four levels. Society, work, development and man who develops the society exist at four levels and that is the rationale of infrastructures coming in four levels.

As communities, ideas, and activities relate among themselves often generating unforeseen good, infrastructures too relate among themselves. This is a fertile field of creative development. Libraries are mostly unused in Indian universities. Even in an advanced nation like USA, only 50% of the knowledge generated in the laboratories reaches the field. The interrelation is useful, productive, dynamic, and creative.

Individuals, events, organisations and existence have the same structural composition. The structures rise from below or descend from above. Man, understanding an activity and creating it from his own thought, starts in the mind and provides the vital energy and physical base. In that case the structures of the mental thought create the energy structures of attitudes that rest on the physical basis of work. A new work, new to humanity, starts at the physical level, energises with enthusiasm and finally is capped with an understanding. In either case the structures contain mental ideas, vital attitudes and physical skills. Whether organised or unorganised, individual or collective, the structure is composed of these three components.

It is true infrastructures make the activity possible. Often they are the vehicles of spreading the activity. In commerce, it is the retailers who help complete the cycle of distribution and it is through the retailers the product spreads far and wide. It is not so in the school that serves a similar function.

It is obvious that the physical infrastructure cannot be so energetic as the vital infrastructure. Changes in the higher levels of infrastructure can have greater impact on the process and the result. A school having new buildings will offer greater facilities but will not affect the results of the school. A change for the better in the discipline and dedication of the pupils and teachers will certainly have a commendable effect on the results. In the 50’s population was apathetic but the same population is now dynamic. The changed attitude of the population is an important cause for India’s great dynamic progress now. In the 50’s ports were built, road transport and education were emphasised and a host of other things very desirable in themselves were done, but the country was not astir because they were improvements in the physical infrastructure, while what is witnessed now is a change in the mental and vital infrastructure.

The importance of the infrastructure depends on the importance of the plane in which it is.

It is necessary to draw the distinction between an infrastructure, a system, a component and an input. Land is infrastructure whereas fertiliser is an input; the bunds and boundaries are components of land; the method of cultivation is a system. As we said earlier, there are occasions where a system can function as an infrastructure. A system is an arrangement of work for better execution, serving as a miniature organisation and thus is self-contained. We have the system of distribution in sales, the system of gathering a stock of food grains to build up a buffer stock. The godowns that hold the food grains are the physical infrastructure; the retailers and wholesalers belong to the vital infrastructure. The system is an arrangement based on an idea different from the godowns or the distributors.

Taking the Planning Commission, the Plan, the funds, and the administration that implements the plan, the following will emerge.

Physical infrastructure The offices of the various governments that implement the plan.

Vital infrastructure The staff members of the govt who administer it.

Mental infrastructure The Plan.

Psychological infrastructure Administrative efficiency, priority drive, etc.

Funds and statistical data Input.

Systems The idea of National Extension Service, community development, etc.

At each level the results have determinants. The physical level’s efficiency is determined by the funds available. The determinant of the vital level is the discipline the society has in general. Education and information determine the efficacy of the mental infrastructure. The cultural heights of the society determine the psychological infrastructures.

Funds determining the size and quality of the buildings is a known fact. Punctuality in the West is an article of faith whereas with us punctuality is a known concept, but not so well known as a practised concept. Whether it is sports or a national function or election or school, the general level of social adherence to punctuality is a determinant of their efficiency. The final results of a Planning Commission or Panchayat administration are determined by the educational attainments of that society.

Development is a whole of which infrastructures are a part. Their interdependence is inherent. As is the infrastructure, so is the development. As the part decides the whole, the whole decides the part. A very efficient, high level tourist hotel serving as an infrastructure of tourism in a backward country whose general development is low cannot flourish. The country’s stage of development determines the success of the hotel.

There are times when a part outshines the whole, especially when new-fangled methods are introduced. The introduction of computers in offices now puts the existence of the entire office in the shade. People forget that, after all, computers are only office machines.

The distinction between essential and non-essential components based on their determining value of the final result applies to this also.

Infrastructures are only parts, but occasionally by their inherent value or their value to the final outcome they become as important as the whole or outshine the whole. A cultural event in a conference by its inherent value behaves like that. Modern machines in a factory have the character of making the people forget the company and mistake the new machines for the whole of the company. Especially in the days when machines were invented, the character of those machines carried this stamp. Ford’s assembly line became very important and dominated the entire industry for a decade and we all easily forgot that it is one part by itself of a great whole.

Section C

Measurement of Infrastructure by Itself and in Terms of the Whole

Measuring is numerical understanding. All progress has as its foundation energy and understanding. Work done by energy and understanding leads to progress, because progress is change for the better. If we examine the point of history at which measurement arose, it will reveal itself as a point of progress. Measurement is there in a variety of fields, maybe in every field. Primarily, it is a measure of numbers. Areas, volumes and weights are also measured. Quality also lends itself to measurement. Often the quality of a thing can be reduced to a number and measured like the body temperature and blood pressure. Measurement presupposes a scale of measurement and often a device for the purpose. At bottom, measurement is a kind of organisation. Therefore, it is an instrument of conception and further, an instrument of progress.

Measurement starts with length, area, weight, quantity, size, extent, duration, number, amount and extends to all conceivable things. The science of statistics has these measurements as one of its bases. Imagine if today such measurements are no longer there or are not possible, all scientific studies and work based on them will come to a halt. Roads are measured in length and graded in quality. Population is a head count and permits its own classification. Money goes with number and number is the domain proper for money. Literacy too has its levels and numbers at each level. Natural resources like coal, oil, metals, water, forest wealth and a host of other things lend themselves to measurement of deposits or quantity when converted into refined end products, and even the period over which they will be available before coming to a point of exhaustion. The length of rivers has been measured over the ages. The quantity of flow over the differing seasons, its depth and breadth are measured too. Measurement has become a science by itself. The amount of oxygen consumed by a brain cell as well as the amount of time required for a rocket to go to the moon and return are within the reach of measurement. Alongside, measuring devices refining their previous capacity have made themselves available in the hundreds and thousands. In an age of computer, measurement rules high.

Numerical representation of time, space, volume, quantity, quality, design, and property is one of the first steps in fully grasping the entire process of development finally. The Indian development effort so far has not lent itself to such a measurement. The country's development can take further great strides if that one thing is accomplished. In a country like India where personal progress does not mainly issue out of the individual's effort, his own income is an insufficient index of his development. As the government exerts itself more in the domain of public welfare which results in individual betterment, existing statistics cannot and do not fully reflect the true state of affairs. Fresh thought must go into it and fresh scales must evolve before the development effort can have a measurable basis, if not a scientific foundation. This is true all over the world in a variety of ways. The per capita income does serve as a good measurement of the individual's economic status. This was precisely so till the components of individual progress were such that they could be measured in terms of their monetary value.

Human attitudes, and much more so, human opinions are greater determinants of one's development than human resources measurable in terms of money. Further lie values. They do not have so much relevance now as we conceive of development only as material objects and their availability. It is not an easy task. But a far better measuring scale can be evolved than is available at present in the world, if development is defined in all the terms that it comprises of and every component that goes into it is listed without fail. Fifty years ago one's development of landed property and its income entirely depended on one's own resources which meant that until he came to that point of qualifying, he could not move. And it was a crucial point in one's life. Today the lending policy of public institutions goes out of its way to bring the whole population into its net of support. It does make an enormous difference when we set about measuring one's development. Measurement is a science by itself.

A part of any system is the registers. We know cases where systems were introduced at the top level and work at the bottom remained where it was. The introduction of systems requires several graded steps of implementation, of which maintenance of registers is an essential part. After the large-scale introduction of computers, we witness dozens of cases of computer systems inoperative for want of data being put in. No system can yield its expected results if the registers are not filled in regularly.

Drucker's forecast fell on deaf ears except for two clients whose marked progress made everyone open their eyes. Numbers, measurements, relating them to numbers in other areas, projecting them according to a pattern have now come to stay as a part of planning.

Life has several departments. Its departments are powerfully related to one another. Some relationships are on the surface for all to see as the amount of liquor consumed and crimes committed. Many are not there on the surface, such as the level of employable skills that are determined by education. It took a World Bank study to discover that in agriculture even primary education has a good indirect effect. How can we see that there exists a relationship between consumption of sugar and the spread of media. When each of these fields is reduced to numbers, someone can examine if numbers in two columns bear any relationship at all and when they do whether it is sustained.

Development in any field can be seen fully reflected in numbers. It can also be seen that numbers -- quantifying -- have made further development in these fields possible. The field of medical science is one instance. A man's health is measured in terms of temperature, blood pressure, level of hemoglobin and a dozen other classifications, all in numbers.

In the absence of measurement, we have to use grades like small, medium, or big in describing the audience of a speaker. 20, 200, and 25,000 if described as small, medium and big will fit very well, but will not be explanatory to the listener, since 2000 and 25,000 come under the category of big as against 20 and 200. Measurement makes precise what is otherwise vague.

Measurements are numerical, unidimensional, multidimensional and can extend to areas, volumes, duration, and extension. Anything can be measured if appropriate conceptions are developed and are reduced to figurative representation. Measurement is a means where quantity reveals quality just as quality changes as quantity differs. Whether in learning or earning, as the quantity rises, the quality of the person does change.

Measurement has a maximum use value which often leads to a very precise understanding of the situation. As the normal sugar level is 130, when we measure a person's sugar level as 462, it sends a precise message to the doctor of how the treatment should be given. At its lowest, measurement shows a trend, a direction, if not more.

Absolute measurement reveals the quantitative extent of a part. It can be seen relatively as the measurement of the whole since the part, often, is a determinant of the whole.

The percentage of literacy or graduates in a population can indirectly determine the wealth of the country and can even say whether it is a dictatorship or democracy.

To make a part a symbol of the whole is a very effective way of measurement and issues from a comprehensive knowledge.

To measure the part by the whole is not always possible. When it is possible, the knowledge always becomes integral.

Section D

Distinction between Institution and Organisation

Learning is a process that begins with the mind and ends in the body travelling through the vital. It is always the mind that learns, at best the mind in each part of the body. There is a mental part in the vital and a mental part in the physical. The process of learning goes through several stages. We can locate at least three stages of it. The three stages can be described as skill, capacity and talent. Any activity is first learnt as a skill. When the skill fully matures, it becomes capacity. In fact, the learning of several skills leaves a residual essence in man which becomes capacity and shows behind an individual skill as capacity. Skill reinforced by capacity becomes a talent in the area of that skill.

Organisation is the skill of a society while Institution is the capacity of the same collectivity. Rising still further, when a society reaches the level of talent with respect to that organisation, the Institution matures into the tradition of that society. We call it culture. This happens when the social acceptance is total.

An organisation has to be maintained by external human agencies. They could even be social agencies. As systems are called the skills of organisation, organisation is the skill of a society. An institution is self-existent, as no one operates it. It functions by itself. That is why it is said "institutionalise values" so that values will be self-operative.

An organisation such as an office functions through systems and individuals appointed by a central authority and it is run by rules. We cannot think of an office without an officer, staff, rules, etc. But we know that festivals and religious functions like Krishna Jayanthi are not organised by anyone. People celebrate these festivals themselves. Surely when Krishna Jayanthi was instituted, there was an organisation monitoring it. It is no longer so. Customs and usages have taken over. Individuals honour those customs. There is no central authority here. The central authority is replaced by the social tradition. The weight of people’s belief constitutes the social tradition.

As values are spiritual or psychological skills, we may say an institution is the system of social tradition run by the weight of beliefs. An organisation is more physical and material whereas an institution is more invisible, intangible, and psychological.

Social habits start physically and mature into psychological responses. Arranged marriages giving place to love marriages is an instance. Religious worship in its early days began as an organised activity of the community. Later the individual followed it without the society having to monitor it.

An organisation exists by the work of men; an institution exists by the beliefs of the society. At the time of organising a human settlement -- a village, cleaning the streets was organised by the village and enforced. As time passed, every household took upon themselves the job of cleaning the streets before their houses.

It is not as if organisations and institutions are two different sets of entities. They go together, organisation forming the foundation and institutions existing at their top. Organisational charts are the heart of an organisation. No such chart can be drawn for institutions.

An administration can introduce an organisation, not an institution. We can think of the government starting a school in a town. Can we imagine someone introducing good manners or punctuality?

The best example of an institution is society while government is an organisation. As organisations mature into institutions, institutions can give birth to organisation at the next higher level. The world does not give thought to this potentiality or phenomenon. Society which is an institution gave birth to government which is an organisation. The government through its existence has given rise to a host of social behaviours as in traffic rules, tax payment, law abiding habits, etc. The existence of the police department generates good behaviour in the population. Religion is an institution. How many organisations like the church it has generated. The capacity of each institution to generate organisations at the next higher level is a potential power of development.

Work is organised; values are institutionalised. When organisations lose life or energy, they become rigid. Institutions in similar situations do not become rigid but their traditions get more entrenched.

Organisation - institutions - organism - social vibration of culture are the stages of development.

Section E

Errors relating to Infrastructure Coming to Stay as Permanent Obstacles

Excavations in mines create deep holes and they continue to remain as holes. If life must resume there, these holes will make it impossible. People who served in the active services retain to the end the discipline the army has given them. Habits once acquired die hard. We often hear "Once a soldier, a soldier forever." This is true not only of positive endowments, but also of errors. Errors relating to infrastructure have a way of coming to stay forever. They turn into obstacles and remain as obstacles.

Any instrument of civilisation, government, society, family or individual which was once created as a help, turns in the next phase into an obstacle. This the history of change and progress. The procedures the government of India created originally as instruments of progress and change settled down in history as red tape. They have have prevented retired IAS officers, chief engineers, and sitting governors from receiving their pensions before three or four years! The most classic example is the Englishman coming from cold UK to hot South India who found the necessity to be dressed in a shirt, suit, necktie and hat. This was a dress necessary at a temperature of 10 F and not at 104 F. He could not bring himself to think that he could work as an officer without wearing those woollen clothes.

Under ideal conditions, all instruments of progress must undergo the appropriate changes when the basic society that created the instruments of progress is changing. Neither life nor society functions like that. In practice, instruments once created perpetuate themselves. The greenbench is a classical example. The sacred thread of the Brahmin, the tuft and all the household rituals created once to meet the requirements of the day survived the passing centuries and changing customs. It is said the dog that sleeps on a mat goes round three times before he lies down. This is a habit the dog acquired in the forest to clear the sleeping space, but it still lingers.

The human being exists in his body, by his nervous emotions and in his mind. Organisations have their counterparts. The rules laid down by the mind are different from the emotional enthusiasm with which the members work. The registers they keep are the physical part while the rules are their mental creations. Of these three things, the physical part of the organisation resists change the most, the mental rules the least. The organisations that were collecting fees in the shape of currency will not readily accept if the currency notes are replaced by cheques. It demands a change in their physical habit and the office will refuse to accept the new form of cash. Even when the physical forms part of the mental rule, it will have a way of being rigid.

In Pondicherry in the French judicial system, cases were presented by the lawyers in written form, not in the spoken form as in the British system. The French system almost made the courts silent dispensing with 95% of the spoken part of the case. After the merger, the Union Territory took to the British system. The most efficient lawyers in the previous system found themselves inefficient under the new system which eased them out. After all, we may say, what is the difficulty for the lawyer who previously wrote down the case in speaking it out to the judge? The physical habit refuses to change, even as auditors stuck to their adding habits after the arrival of the calculator.

Our idea of progress is vertical growth; but life admits of horizontal expansion that needs no psychological effort. The physical being incapable of psychological effort prefers not to change. Cooks who were used to firewood ovens shunned the gas ones when the change was coming about. At the turn of the century when the Indian took to wearing the shirt in place of his towel, he could not part with the towel and added it on to the shirt. Even over the coat he put on his towel. He could not part with it. Neither the British crown nor the Indian Rashtrapathi switched over to the motorcade from the cavalcade. It goes in the name of tradition. Truly it is not tradition that resists, but the physical habit. It is an error in the infrastructure in one form or another. The itinerary of the Prime Minister is not under his control but under the officer in charge of bandobust. When Nehru defied this protocol to go to Conjeevaram instead of Madras, the Collector stopped him on his way and requested him to go back which Nehru, true to his mettle, refused to do!

For social progress to be real, the old order should yield place to the new. That which yields place does not disappear but changes into an obstacle. The new cola was refused by the customers. Presently religious fundamentalists all over the world are a standing example of this principle.

Democracy grew out of monarchy where the king was worshipped as the divine representative. His word was law, his wish was authority. Democracy outgrew monarchy, eschewed the theory of divine right. That is social evolution. The leader was elected. Having elected the leader, those who had elected him treated him as the uncrowned king. Instead of asking him to represent their wishes, they echoed his will, worshipped him, adored him, obeyed him as if he were king. The errors of the earlier system they had revolted against were made into tradition and revered.

The Negro was the slave. He was granted freedom a hundred years ago. His freedom remained on the statute book. He retained the slavish mentality in one form or another. Instead of slaving for the master, he became the slave of his lower propensities such as laziness and dissipation. A few centuries have not given him any commendable progress.

In the earlier decades the farmer was fond of dumping his fields with cow dung and garbage. Later concentrated fertiliser replaced cow dung. Today he continues to retain the tendency of dumping the fields with fertiliser. The land soon becomes uncultivable.

The Vedas were esoteric doctrines. No one knew their meaning. People were asked to memorise the text. The Brahmin hails from the tradition. Now he does not read the Vedas but reads astrophysics and organic chemistry. He needs to understand them, but continues to memorise them. Radhakrishnan memorised his own speeches. V.S. Srinivasa Sastri memorised the dictionary! Memorisation remains, and remains an obstacle. It prevented Radhakrishnan from thinking. He could not bloom into a thinker because he could not outgrow the tendency to memorise whatever he read.

India ushered in development banking. The purpose was to create assets in the clients who were without assets. Banking is a field of money lending. They asked the clients for security. Programmes that are development-oriented are being implemented by an attitude that is security-oriented.

When life was physical, disputes were settled by physical fights in a duel or street brawl. Rationality evolved discussion and created Parliament as its crowning body. The street brawl lingers in the Parliament. IMF is the apex body of development banks. Its founding principle is to help create the ability to earn money. It is trying to implement that policy by money value which has become an anachronism. USSR which banned the Communist party and abolished state tyranny is now implementing democracy as dictatorship. A small businessman who prospered by thrift and secrecy is unable to part with them even after becoming the chairman of a Public Limited Company. Late arrival, a habit developed when one travelled in his own cart, is carried into air travel. Flights are missed as a result.

Feudal habits are retained in modern business ruining them. The greatest obstacles to development today are the errors that related to infrastructures in earlier times.

Chapter III

Levels of Comprehension, Enjoyment, Values, Attitudes and Motives

Section A

Levels of Comprehension

In a situation that is witnessed by several people, comprehension of different people varies according to their apperceptive mass which serves as their mental background. The situation itself has several dimensions and that too influences the comprehension of the individuals. The words comprehension and understanding are used as synonyms. Still understanding is to get at the core of a thing as our mind sees it, while comprehension is to know the thing as fully as possible.

When Visweswarayya passed away at the age of 104, a poor, starving man exclaimed, "He had enough to eat." That is the view of the empty stomach. As he was a brahmachari or a grass widower, many understood his long life from that point of view.

In a situation when something is lost, the first response of a guilty person is that he should prove his innocence. He understands from his point of view.

Comprehension is a mental identification with an external fact or situation or a concept. The fact, situation or concept may be in his own mind. As all knowledge is knowledge by identity in one form or another, comprehension is one such identification.

What makes for comprehension is mental energy; when organised, that energy takes the forms of understanding, idea, thought, opinion, preference, construction or habit. Fresh organisation of mental energy results in understanding. That understanding becomes an idea when it is closer to knowledge and a thought when it is closer to fact. Energy that is organised around a thought or fact becomes a thought whereas when organised around the essence of a thought. it becomes an idea. That is why we say, "I think I should move to that house. The idea is I should live within my means." Moving to a house is a thought. Living in a house whose rent is affordable is an idea.

Senses feed the comprehension. Also mind feeds itself with its own ideas as facts. Senses are the instruments of ego and its creation. Ego feels the mind with the facts gathered by senses. Thoughts that are the results really originate in the emotions, ultimately in the body. Those who try to control thoughts feel it imperative to still the bodily movements. Brain is the apex of the body or the rarefied part of the body. Therefore the higher thoughts originate from the brain. Body is external to the mind. In the stillness of mind, a yogi who tries to silence his thoughts sees in the subtle plane that thoughts enter the mind from outside. They enter from outside through the body and its senses.

Three main characteristics of comprehension are organisation, clarity and strength. The volume of mental energy and its intensity determines the strength; the previous thought structure that receives the incoming energy determines its organisation. Thought turns into idea and finally into knowledge and light. Clarity expresses this process.

Mind seeks light but receives only facts. It tries to convert facts into light by first converting them into thought and idea. Fact is external and gross. Thought is a mental fact. Thought losing its grossness and turning into its own essence is idea. As the fabric of thoughts is composed of facts, the fabric of ideas is composed of thoughts, rather their essence. The soul in the mind holds the light; mind itself possesses knowledge. Thought is held by memory. Idea is in the domain of imagination.

Body, vital, mind, and spirit are parts of the embodied being. Each of these planes is capable of its own accomplishment. Mind accomplishes when it comprehends; the vital’s accomplishment is enjoyment. Body accomplishes in the act. The instrument of mind for its accomplishment is thought; for the vital it is the nervous sensation. Body does it through physical sensation.

Mind, vital and physical each have comprehension, enjoyment and accomplishment as their sub-parts. Thinking leads to comprehension, interest to enjoyment, sensation to accomplishment. Mature mental interest generates mental enjoyment when saturated. Similarly saturated mental sensation creates mental accomplishment that is comprehension.

Comprehension at the point of saturation centres itself in the physical mind. It begins as decision and finishes as determination. All parts of the being subdivide themselves as consciousness above and substance below. Mental consciousness is centred in the thinking part of the mind while brain, the expression of substance, keeps decision to itself. The substance of the vital is nerves, of the physical is the body.

It is noteworthy that the emotion is in the middle between thought and action. Emotion expresses as energy. Thought to crystallise into action or action to elevate itself into thought needs to pass through the medium of energy in the emotion. Action evolves energy of emotion and culminates as thought when mind organises it in its own plane as comprehension.

Action of the body leads to energy of the emotion and ends in comprehension of the mind. When comprehension of the mind is generated originally as comprehension, it has in it all the essence of power to accomplish in the body when saturated. As the mind is a superior plane, comprehension of the mind and the work it aims at will be more powerful than the action of the body.

Primitive men worked with the body and their mental parts understood it. Over the centuries man evolved, and the body’s comprehension rose to the mind as mental knowledge. Man today, while starting at this mental knowledge, can accomplish a thousand times more than the primitive man. Hence development from above is far more swift than evolution from below.

As the same term is used in ascent and descent, care must be bestowed in distinguishing one from the other as the results are far different.

Comprehension, enjoyment, accomplishment are a two way process, one evolutionary and the other developmental. Each subdivides into all three, thus complicating an already complex process. Rightly understood, the complexity remains dissolving complications. The more complex it is, the richer it becomes.

To know the complication as simply complexity is knowledge.

To be able to see the complexity as it weaves itself into a whole is power of accomplishment.

What we call DEVELOPMENT is to trace the evolution of physical accomplishment into mental comprehension and re-enact it as physical accomplishment, thus abridging it into a thousandth part of time.

Development is initiating the work at the mental level to be executed at the physical plane.

Section B

Levels of Enjoyment

Before energy is released there is no movement. Energy moves. Insufficient energy does not accomplish, nor does it work. Enough energy works. Energy in saturation can lead to enjoyment if there is no disharmony. Matter does not enjoy the saturated harmonious joy of Energy, Sri Aurobindo says.

An act is energy turning substance into result through its organisation known as skill. Result or accomplishment has two other attributes, namely, comprehension and enjoyment. Accomplishment at any level will have built into it these two other aspects. Hence enjoyment is emotional comprehension maturing in an act.

Accomplishment issues enjoyment.

Accomplishment issues comprehension.

Comprehension that enjoys accomplishes.

Enjoyment that comprehends accomplishes.

Therefore enjoyment can be a measure or index of accomplishment. Comprehension too can be a measure of accomplishment. Accomplishment can be a measure of enjoyment as well as comprehension. Accomplishment belongs to the physical, rather the substance, enjoyment to the vital, comprehension to the mental and each can be a measure or index of the other. This is so because all the three co-exist on all the planes.

We have subdivided MAN into nine parts. Enjoyment belongs to all the nine levels. Mind enjoys comprehension, comprehending the emotion of the situation or event. Poetry is mind's emotional comprehension of life's intensities as realities. In the scale of human values, the poet is placed higher than the philosopher but lower than the yogi. When the conceptual knowledge of the philosopher enriches the sentiments of man whose knowledge of life realities extends to universal scale, the Poet is born.

Enjoyment belongs to the planes of quantity as well as quality. The rule is, quantity meets the needs, while quality enriches and therefore issues enjoyment. But when the quantity increases, enjoyment issues as if the quality has changed. Man earning money or acquiring power would seek to rise to knowledge to enjoy. But when man's wealth increases or power net widens, he begins to enjoy.

Enjoyment is integral, not partial. Partial conditions do not generate enjoyment. Because it is integral, it cannot hurt a part. All parts or each part falls into its place harmoniously. The question of one hurting the other does not arise.

Though enjoyment belongs to all nine levels, its proper seat is the emotional vital, level No.5. We understand enjoyment is possible in expanding. True. But there can be enjoyment in giving or taking, or for that matter in any act. It does not depend on the activity but the intensity and harmony of energies in the act.

At No. 9, especially at the level of substance, there is no movement. It enjoys non-moving stability. No. 1's idea becomes a pure concept when it detaches itself from the decision of the physical mind and the sentiment of the vital mind. Each level enjoys going to the next higher level.

Ascent is the primary movement that lays the foundation. Descent is the secondary movement that completes. Ascent can be likened to the discovery in the lab; descent to the commercialisation of the product. The latter is a further movement of evolution and therefore every element there will be richer. Enjoyment in the descent is richer than in the ascent. There is an expansiveness, intensity and harmony that make for enjoyment. The Ananda splits into three aspects of Love, Beauty and Joy. Ananda received by the nerves is Joy, by the mind is Beauty, by the soul is Love.

Joy is a sensation even as being is a status and consciousness is knowledge. An individual, family, organisation or nation can be culturally evaluated by the quality of its enjoyment.

Austerity is enjoyment by denial. Tyranny is the enjoyment of negative intensity. Progress issues out of either experiencing enjoyment or denying it. The wider the field enjoyment reaches, the greater is its quality.

Section C

Levels of Values

Comprehension, enjoyment, values, attitudes and motives are attributes of Accomplishment. Accomplishment itself is an attribute of Accomplishment in the sense that comprehension of the physical is accomplishment. Accomplishment at the physical level is a partial accomplishment of Man’s total accomplishment even as comprehension is the mental accomplishment and enjoyment is vital accomplishment. For purposes of distinction, we may call the physical faculty achievement so that it may be distinguished from the total Accomplishment.

The theme of this chapter is -- Man, the full man, accomplishes. His parts of being have partial accomplishment. Each uses a different faculty. The physical uses achievement, vital enjoyment, mental comprehension and the spiritual values. The total accomplishment carries all these as parts and there is an interplay or interaction.

A strategy that can be extracted from these is when one learns to do a thing from a higher plane, his effectivity is greater. To solve problems this knowledge can be very effectively used as an ACT is constituted as mechanically or methodically as a machine.

It is common experience that as society advances people espouse higher values and employ higher skills and enjoy at a higher level. In any given society, the lower strata and the higher strata differ only in the fact that they chose different values.

Social organisations and institutions are born when higher comprehension arises in the society. Their effectivity depends upon the extent to which the population honours values.

One basic work value is punctuality. The West has developed it and follows it as an article of faith. Their civilisation has risen high. In India neither work nor punctuality is developed. Life is low. Now that India has borrowed the Western ways at random at many levels, introduction of punctuality can raise the level of accomplishment very high. To introduce such a value or to be benefitted by such a value, a comprehensive knowledge of all these attributes and their interrelations needs to be known. This chapter is an attempt to deal with that subject. So also for systems. Cultural values can play a similar beneficial role in the West.

Introduction of punctuality without such a knowledge of all other similar attributes will be difficult, and if one succeeds it will be painful. When achieved, it will yield the practical result with a dry human personality as the product. The best way to introduce punctuality is to start with the society. It requires social planning. Punctuality as a discipline must be introduced at the level of family, small establishments, schools, etc. and be encouraged. Without accomplishment on the agenda, introduction of a value will again be dry or mechanical. Higher production in the fields and factories introduced as an aim will give the context of encouragement so that the value of punctuality is more fully accomplished.

In a school where the result is 40%, if a target is to be fixed, it must take into account the potentials of pupils, teachers, the school and the community that serves it. Normally it will be realistic to aim at 50% from 40%. Bt when all the potentials are studied and the aim of full exploitation of the potentials is set, and for that purpose one work value or operational value like punctuality is seriously followed, the result will be more than 90% because at any time society taps only 5% of its potentials in an unorganised fashion. The present effort is an attempt at partial organisation. During such an effort, a host of opportunities and problems will arise. The ideas of this chapter will then be of maximum use.

Punctuality is understood in a school as punctual opening at the given hour. Then it becomes a one-time method, not a value. The school should be opened, closed, and the periods begun punctually. The lessons, the homework, the examinations, the valuation of papers etc. must be punctual in their operation. It is an overall endeavour which releases more energy of the community. Energy so released must be organised into skills at all levels. Otherwise it will be dissipated and the momentum lost. The handwriting is to be improved, manners are to be upgraded, cleanliness is to be raised, orderliness introduced as long as the energy is available.

In a practical experiment like that, each one of these 25 ideas will find ample scope for use. These ideas will help not to overdo a certain discipline or neglect a potential. The accomplishment taken at the level of the whole school will yield a very desirable result. When the unit of accomplishment is narrowed to class and then to the individual, not only results will be phenomenal but also we will know how to draw upon the potentials, to convert them into different stages of accomplishment. Incidentally, all the errors of the development policies of the nation can be seen at the level of school in full evidence.

A school cannot embark on introducing punctuality without the individual class being motivated to achieve more, the handwriting of pupils improved, the silence of the teaching hour honoured.

Teachers who bring in the social attitudes that backward caste pupils cannot perform well are a bar to the school’s progress. They simply cannot be told to shed that attitude. In a minor way similar attitudes in the teachers that one cannot pass an exam at an advanced age can be countered by organising self-improvement schemes for teachers. The results of such a scheme will remove the emotional foundation for the disbelief about backward castes.

In stray cases where pupils are truthful, honest, etc. they can be shown how the energy of these values can be drawn into academic results. As the energy is true, the incentive real, the strategy has a 100% chance of becoming successful.

Cleanliness and orderliness coupled with punctuality can be linked with academic results, individual as well as class. This will create a very healthy atmosphere of competition and is likely to have a chain reaction.

Opinion can be a bar or help. Recognising this, one can take up in a school dozens of opinions, e.g., geometry cannot be taught, only memorisation will help; punctuality is not possible in this town; no standards can ever be achieved in a school like ours. Gathering all these opinions, one can study them and show generally where they are invalid and why. The occasion can be taken to create new right opinions. One can witness a minor miracle that these changed opinions change a school at the 141st rank in the district to the 3rd or even the 1st rank.

Development is a science. Planning will enhance the result not by a percentage but will raise the level of performance. To introduce planning one has to know the process of development thoroughly. This chapter on values contributes its mite to that whole effort.

Within its own realm, each idea here will turn into a very powerful strategy inconceivable in their isolation.

Section D

Levels of Attitudes

Accomplishment is a final physical result in concrete material terms that is usable, such as food cooked, book printed, house built, a game played, an idea understood, etc. Into this goes physical work, vital energy and mental comprehension. They are the primary elements of the basic planes of life. They shape into secondary tools when energy gets organised into skills, comprehension into opinion, energy gets directed by likes. These instruments have a way of further improving themselves into various fashions of the same intensity or higher organisation and greater intensity. Comprehension is the basic endowment of mind. It shapes into opinion, preference, construction, habit, thought, idea. Energy when organised, we know, takes the further forms of skill, capacity, ability, and talent.

Also energy of one plane is acted upon by another plane. Energy is organised into skill by knowledge in the physical plane. In the vital plane when the energy is acted upon by the knowledge of the mental plane, Attitude is born. Likes, dislikes, are energy directed by vital attraction primarily, though an element of the mind may often enter into its composition. Attraction, charm, affection are energies of higher intensity flowing towards another object by virtue of its vital strength, not so much directed by a mental idea. Whereas the vital energies, when endorsed and given a direction by a mental idea, channel into a given direction. And that direction is known as attitude.

In individual or social development accomplishment is a landmark to which we strive and it serves as a tool of measurement of our level of development. Considering it in both ways as a result and a measuring tool, we have to consider the various ingredients that go into its making. In a basic sense an accomplishment, being a miniature of human existence, contains all the endowments man has. In another sense, an accomplishment is traced back to its origin as a process and we study it as a result brought about by the ingredients at play in the previous stage of that succession of processes.

We have now taken up, in this section, consideration of the result as brought about by its component attitude. We define attitude as the combination of mental idea and vital energy. Our theme is attitude is a determinant of result. We further say the result can be upgraded or monitored by choosing the appropriate attitude.

As we go down the line from mind to the body, we see the phenomenon of emotion of each plane shaping the knowledge of that plane and further, the knowledge of a higher plane impinging on the emotion of the lower plane. Thus, opinion arises in the mental plane, attitude in the vital and motives in the physical. Mind gives the direction, energy the force and the body the organisation. Direction from the mind, force from the vital help the physical accomplish through its organisation. Mind expresses through opinion, vital through attitudes and the physical through motives. Opinion has no energy whereas attitude is full of energy. Motive has the organisation that can shape the energy into result. In the mental plane itself mental emotion converts the mental knowledge into mental opinion. Mental organisation converts that opinion into mental decision of the mental consciousness which becomes mental determination at the level of mental substance, the brain.

We are now considering only the external results as our topic is social development. We are not discussing the inner results which belong to the domain of psychology. So our context is external, social, the situation outside man, in his circumstance or environment. That environment is like a pyramid with horizontal layers of different variety and vertical layers of different intensity. As man is a unique product down to his fingertips, where the finger print stands out as unique, so the social situations in this pyramid of myriad expressions are composed of millions of individual events each of which is unique, not to speak of the equally innumerable inner stands man can take. His response to each of the outer situations gives rise to an attitude. If the outer situations are described as facts, each fact is capable of creating an attitude in man. There are as many attitudes as there are social situations or social facts.

Attitudes are the final outcome of external social situations. Therefore attitudes can be used as instruments of accomplishment. Each of the nine levels if split into three further levels of mental, vital, physical, will create 27 separate planes. Subdividing them into consciousness and substance they become 54. As a conscious movement is internal and the unconscious man is externally moved, by dividing these 54 levels into conscious and unconscious or internal and external, we land on 108 levels totally. This can be extended ad infinitum by selfish x unselfish, right x wrong, high x low, bright x darkness, if we choose. Each of these levels can have an attitude of its own.

Attitude is of the vital and therefore properly belong to 4,5, & 6 only. But, in theory emotion is there in all 108 levels even as knowledge and physicality are. We may confine our discussions to 4, 5 & 6.

In the unconscious process the external circumstances give us the attitude. In the conscious growth one acquires an attitude and determines the result. Attitudes, conscious or unconscious, decide the available energy to produce the result. It is obvious that one’s opinion determines the scope of one’s opportunity, action and accomplishment. In that sense, opinion, attitudes, skills are limiting factors when the available energy is abundant, while they are positive, helpful instruments where the available energy is not abundant. An opinion of a higher order compels the man to raise his otherwise sagging energies for action. In a person of overwhelmingly abundant actionable energy, a smaller narrow opinion is inhibiting.

In the light of the fact that knowledge has no energy and energy has no direction, we can say opinions and knowledge are factors that bring into our ken opportunities. Attitudes are the springs that unleash the energies and energise the opportunities and organisation (skill) is the instrument that brings about the result. In this view, right attitude helps opportunity take shape and appropriate skill converts the possibilities into actualities.

To draw a complete list of attitudes or their main representations and examine their capacity to determine accomplishment will cover the full scope of social development. All that is said here will apply to opinion in a lesser way and motive in a fuller way.

Motive is a deep-seated centre of determination. Attitude directs energies. Motives direct accomplishment. Opinions give direction to knowledge. The physical by its constitution is a kind of the ‘whole’ man which is really his embodied being. The motive of the being which includes all the four parts is the real MOTIVE, but for purposes of a narrow field of social development, the attitude of the physical can be called the motive which determines the ultimate accomplishment.

Section E

Levels of Motives

Nature is Energy in motion. Of all the animate objects she has created, Man is the supreme being. Already he has a mind, a vital and a physical. Energy moving through these planes creates. Also it creates instruments in each of these planes. In the mind the moving energy creates ideas, in the vital it creates relationships, and in the body results are achieved. Further, the Energy creates an instrument in mind to create ideas and that instrument is opinion. Similarly, the instruments of attitudes and motives are created in the vital and physical.

Being a new subject, not having a developed terminology as yet, confusions may arise as to what is comprehension and sensation. For the present, let us use a terminology that is clear to us. Mind is the plane, comprehension is the faculty, opinion is the instrument. So also let us assume attitude and motives are the instruments of vital and physical.

In this section our purpose is to consider motive as an instrument. Further, to consider motive as an instrument of development is our aim. As we proceed from mind to body we move from conscious to subconscious. Hence motive is subconscious. As it is subconscious, it is carried by the physical cells from the parent to child. No man is endowed with the capacity to know his motive as, by definition, it is subconscious. He has to resort to subtle symptoms to decipher it. The whole process of civilisation is a process of becoming more conscious of our subconscious knowledge and achievement. The greatest achievements of civilisation came about when the collective had acquired a motive.

Motive properly belongs to the being, but in view of the fact that the physical, in one sense, is as comprehensive as being, we use the term motive for the physical urge. When one is subconscious he does not move by thought that is conscious but by an inner urge like hunger. So, motive is an internal force and for that reason very powerful.

Mind gives direction, vital energises but the physical achieves a result by its organisation. All motives have an inbuilt organisation in them. The effectivity of the physical comes from its organisation. For the very same reason, the physical does not understand till it is able to do a thing because its understanding is organisation. Also the moment the physical understands, it cannot wait for action because organisation has an inherent dynamism. A motor either runs or not. It cannot be started and NOT run. When the organisation is energised by the electric current, it comes alive, it runs. We can as well say, the motor ‘understands’ when it runs.

The hierarchy of opinion, attitude, motive is interlinked and each determines the other. In their formative stage, they are determined by others. After they are formed, they determine the others. Normally each of them is formed on its own. In such a situation conflict ensues. Each aspect is inclusive of the other and in that measure they are harmonious. An attitude includes an opinion. Motive includes attitudes, i.e. opinion too, indirectly. At the level of Being, the motive is most harmonious. Still, individual exclusive formation is possible which generates disharmony and conflict. One who has his own motive on his side is sure of success.

As motives are subconscious, the collective motive rarely conflicts with the individual motive. An individual motive can clash with another individual’s. Such clashes are most powerful.

Motives continue to grow in successive generations. When the cycle is complete, it changes, often into its very opposite. A generous man’s children and grandchildren are more and more generous and at one point, the next generation becomes miserly.

Motives exist in grades. They grow horizontally and vertically. The level of motives is fixed by the level of personality. The same person can have different motives of different intensities. By extension, we can speak of mental, vital motives. An urge becomes a motive when it is irresistible or consciously effective. That is the deepest psychological force of man.

Beyond the realm of social development lies the domain of psychological growth and spiritual evolution. The world is split into mystic Asia and material Europe. No one has indicated why it is so. Beyond saying it is God’s will, it is difficult to assign reasons. As the highest mountain is in Asia, one may tend to think its symbolism is a clue. Mountains are, HE said, the earth’s aspiration for heaven. Whatever the truth there, the fact remains that Asia and Europe have taken on themselves opposite goals. The goals have been made possible by the motives of the populations. Material goal being the motive, it was possible for Europe to achieve it, because it was within reach. Spiritual goal being lofty, it defies achievement. Hence Asia’s spiritual motive, while it is alive underneath, is covered by a life that has failed to achieve material plenty.

The argument for social development in Asia is that it will surely succeed in an overwhelming measure as its deeper base is alive and strong. Only that it should awaken to its own needs.

In the individuals in whom the spiritual motive is well formed, personal development of prosperity will take on wings if they choose to exercise themselves in that direction. For that, they should appreciate the primacy of Spirit over matter.

Chapter IV

Model of Nine Levels of Growth

Section A

Level 1

When the spirit embodied itself, it assumed a body which later developed a vital and then a mind. It may be logical that the spirit should first assume a mind and acquire the body finally. It is not so in practice.

From the other end, it is logical that Mother Earth while creating would create the body first. Without going further deep into the spiritual truths of it, let us spread out our enquiry with a view to serving the theory of social development. Social development as a possible idea arose when mind knew that it could make the body work better under its hegemony. Therefore, instead of starting the study at level 9, I start at One.

Man’s physical, vital, mental planes are further subdivided into mental, vital, physical in each plane, thus creating nine levels of functioning.

Number One is pure mind, the pure thinker, the seat of the philosopher. Though it evolved out of the 8 previous levels, in its own perfection it stands aloof, not related to any other centre effectively. Number 2 and Number 3 are in touch with number 5 and 7 and in that measure will be influenced by them. One too is similarly in touch with 4 & 7 and is influenced as such. But One has an aloofness at the end of the cycle of evolution even as 9 has an aloofness at the beginning. Nine lives all by itself outside the reach of the rest of the centres that are yet to be developed. We cannot say the same thing about One since it issued out of the progress the other 8 levels made. Still its character of evolving out of the previous bases enables it to stand really aloof uninfluenced by any other previous levels.

Concepts are formed in One which is the seat of the philosopher. Thought at 3 is facts or is factual, i.e. related to a fact, not self-existent. At 2 they are coloured by the emotion and acquire the garb of a sentiment. Thought shedding its factual nature and weaning itself from the sentiment becomes pure thought. Pure thought seeks to be logical and rational. Thought acquires rationality when it is organised according to logic. Thus, thought acquires a structure of organised base. Its capacity to be organised leads to its growth. Systems of thought develop. Man endowed with that capacity is a thinker. Evolving from 9 he becomes a thinker traveling through the stages of work, vitality, and scholarship. Work generates energy and energy, ideas based on facts and events. One endowed with those details is the scholar. The scholar matures into thinker or philosopher. An original thinker is one whose raw materials are not work or energy or event acts. Using thoughts as his own raw material, he builds systems of thought to become an original thinker. If his thinking creates something new to the world of ideas, he becomes a creative thinker. The mind that is capable of generating ideas not based on experience in the world but based on other original ideas is a creative mind.

One, apart from being a thinker, serves as a seat of ego where ego can strike its roots deep. Ego is called the coordinating intelligence. HE also calls it reason. Sri Aurobindo equates ego and reason. Reason organises ideas around a centre. That centre is usurped by ego. One is a centre of thought, not force. But through thought, ego tries to reach the depths of one’s being to draw upon its power. Ego reaching that depth through the physical will be tenacious by virtue of its physicality, but will not have the power of penetration given by the organised idea. Nor does the vital yield powers of that dimension.

Sri Aurobindo says ideas arise from the body. It is known that there are ideas of the mind, ideas of the heart and ideas of the body. When the movements of the body are energised, they seek direction for their action. That direction is the knowledge of the body. Having originated there, it reaches the mind after certain refinements. The origin of ideas is body, rather, the movements of the body.

Social development is conceived of by One and is executed by the remaining parts. The process of the social development and the process of the individual’s development from 9 to 1 and further from 1 to 9 are the same. Hence One is capable of conceiving social development as an idea.

Being mind, One does not have energy or power but has only light. The only power of mind is the power of organising the ideas into a decision for action or a determination to execute. One has no power over the rest (2 to 9) except in the measure they are willing to obey.

Intrinsically One has the power to dominate all the rest as it is drawn from them, but that power accrues only when the clarity, organisation and strength of One reaches the very depth of 9. The Mind can dominate Matter if the Mind comes into its own. Presently it is Matter that dominates Mind as the Light in the Mind is not fully emerged.

Section B

Level 2

The vital in the mind is called Two, represented by feeling and sentiment in consciousness above and substance below. Sensations begin in the body, move to vital and emotion, and in the end reach mind. They are known as physical sensation, vital sensation, emotional sensation and mental sensation. Burning, itching, thirst, hunger are physical; anger, attraction, urge, impulse are vital; affection, kindness, sympathy are emotional; curiosity, memory, imagination are of the mind. The emotional sensation is fortified or organised as a thought enters it when it becomes a feeling. Sentiment is a stronger version of it when the feeling of consciousness is accepted by the mental substance. Sensitivities arise from the sentiments.

Mind is a plane of understanding, observation, comprehension, decision, imagination, conception, sympathy. Thought, emotion and action interact in each of the 3 planes of mind, vital and physical. In each plane, the action is different. In law and order problems, the action of the authorities varies from bursting tear gas shells, to firing. They move over the scale of cane charge, lathi charge, opening fire, calling in reserve police and finally the army. Each level of deterrence is meted out by a different level of officer. The same action, gaining in intensity, demands a higher officer to execute. Thought acts differently in the physical from the mind. So also emotions act in the mind very differently from the plane of body. But it retains the character of emotion in all the planes.

Viewed in this context, Sentiment and Feeling give us more views to consider. Movement of energy is both ways, from 1 to 2 and from 3 to 2. The decision of 3 is decisive as long as sympathy does not enter into its fabric. The strength of decision is watered down by the touch of emotion. Here the strength arises from its being crude. The clarity of concept loses its precision when it admits into its fold feeling or sentiment. Moving downwards from 1, sentiment is a weakening agent, weakening of a thought. Moving upwards, sentiment weakens the crudity of a decision. Sentiment is sandwiched between the refined thought and crude decision.

Action emotionalised refines the sensational thought into pure idea, re-organising it around the mental sense instead of sensational thought. Conceptual clarity is diluted by feeling to be ready to act in the medium of life. Here it loses its refined organisation for pure thinking in favour of crude organisation necessary for action.

Action issuing out of the decision of 3 will not have the benefit of ethics of feeling and will be limited to the emotions of the vital energy which belongs to society. Social emotions to be upgraded into ethical ideals need the office of feeling and sentiment.

The process of refined ideas becoming feeling is accomplished by the emotional energy in the mental plane. Its further development to decision in the descent is achieved by the energy of feeling turning into energy of action. We witness in all the planes horizontally the movements of energy of comprehension towards energy of action via energy of emotion. Vertically too, from the body to mind and vice versa, this movement retains the same character.

Personality of man is stationed or centred only at one point. To understand a man, one has to understand all his actions from this point of reference. As the 9 or 108 levels concentrate for purposes of existence of an individual and collect at one point of his most integrated centre to make it his personality, we need to discard the general discussion in favour of a given situation. This helps us evaluate his action and enables us to advise him on self-improvement.

General consideration of an individual or an individual evaluation of a general situation opens the possibilities of discussion on all sides which is the strategy by which confusion is organised.

Passion, ambition, devotion, dedication, sensibility, sensitivity, ideal, etc. emerge into clearer foci by this classification.

Two is the seat of poet as 1 is the seat of philosopher. 3 is the arsenal of the organiser. Language serves each of them differently. It supplies matter of fact phrases to the organiser, metaphor to the poet and well-defined, precise words devoid of sentiments to the scholar. Emphasizing their own version of language, the philosopher can degenerate into the doctrinaire professor, the poet into an idealist and the organiser can raise his actions to the level that demands worship or obedience.

As the descent is more powerful than the plodding ascent, we should carefully sift them out before any serious consideration.

Section C

Level 3

The mind that is seated in the brain and known to be the physical mind is 3 in our scale. This is the centre of intellectuality, decision and determination. What is decision in consciousness becomes determination in the substance. The physical substance sensitised is nerves. Its capacity to think evolves to the level of brain in the head. The physical moves and is not capable of anything other than the movement except the physical sensation. The physical movements organised by 7 become skill of a primary level. The moving physicality releases energy and generates the plane of vitality. The vital sensation going to the mind turns into thought to come back to the body to direct and dominate it. Four is the mind of the vital which gives 3 the sensational facts. Three receives the facts but not the sensation. Sensational facts when separated from the senses become pure facts. Facts are coordinated by 3 to generate thoughts. Such thoughts are organised into a system to become a decision for action. What acts in 3 is not senses but the mental sense which is the essence of senses.

This can be more fully appreciated when we consider what happens in the formation of concepts and ideas. Here it is not the mental sense that acts but the faculty of discrimination. Sense is removed from the fact so that it becomes a pure fact. Pure facts are uninfluenced even by the mental sense and lend themselves to form an idea or concept.

My friend helps me to learn the work is a sensational fact which is a rider to the work of learning. The non-sensational fact is, I am learning the work. Learning the work is a fact for the mental senses. Shorn of the mental sense, it becomes PURE when we see an unskilled part becomes skilled by the higher organised energy relating to the unorganised faculty. This is a concept, an idea.

Basically, physical moves; it creates movement and thereby generates energy. The physical movements are organised by 7 as primary skill of organised physical movements. The vital organises energy to act forcefully in a given direction. Mind organises sensational facts into decision and pure facts into ideas.

Number 3 is the organiser and every little thing achieved by civilisation so far is achieved only by 3.

Three is in direct relation with 6 & 9 that are physical too. Juxtaposed between 4 and 2, naturally it is in touch with them.

The physical mind, 3, is in direct relation to 7, the mind of the physical. Three is practical and receives only empirical facts. For this reason it can never fail. For the very same reason it cannot be creative because creativity requires imagination and must function in non-physical contexts.

No. 4 is the mind of the vital which thinks guided by the intensity of the energy and its effectivity. Psychologically it is selfish. Non-psychologically it is the thought of the energy, rather high energy. Therefore it is non-moral, cunning, shrewd, often unfailing. Morals issue out of ethics and belong to the plane of mind, not the mind of the vital. 3 receives the feed of 4 but sheds its sensation before it processes it. Shedding the sensation, 3 is enabled to decide on an issue while sensations will weaken the decision. At a further stage, the decision that is weakened by the sensation of 4, will be strengthened by the higher sensation of 2.

As 9 is the physical existence or awareness, 3 is mental existence or mental awareness. But 3 as it is not yet touched by 2 remains unemotional. Great administrators belong to 3. HE says Ford has pragmatic intelligence whose home is 3. Those in whom 3 is well developed will be successful executives.

No. 3’s objectivity is less when sentiment of No. 2 colours it, but if the sentiment is one that is intense with the decision of 3, the decision is fortified.

Thought is the product of sensation in the physical part of the mind. The function of brain produces thought, one faculty of mind, contrary to the belief that mind is the result of the functioning of brain.

3 is the seat of action because it moves 7 which is the primary actor.

Section D

Level 4

The vital plane matures when it evolves the mental element in it. It is what HE calls vital mind and we have assigned 4 to it in our scale. Any plane begins with the physical, develops the vital and ends by developing mind. That is true of the mental plane too.

The development of any plane is in two dimensions. One is from physical to mental. The other is substance to consciousness. In the vital plane at 6 a beginning is made. So 6 is physical vital substance. The mere body evolving life energy evolves it as substance of life. From there horizontally 6 develops towards 4, vertically the substance develops into consciousness. Here it is the vital consciousness. The hard, inert substance releasing vital energy becomes slowly conscious of its own vitality. That is the vital consciousness. From 9 to 1 at each level substance in its upward movement towards 1 evolves consciousness, while in the downward movement consciousness develops into matter or substance. This happens at all levels. As water expands 1700 times in becoming vapour, the upward movement is expansive in volume, while the downward movement shrinks and becomes hard. The vital power issues from this expanding volume.

If we do not consider the organisation of mind, the most efficient part of man is 4. The organisation raises the level of efficiency. As the man who has moved to 3 is not yet fully effective, No. 4 often excels him even as the graduate’s earning is less than the uneducated shopkeeper. The superiority of 3 is not in question at all but till 3 comes into its own, 4 can always steal a march over him. Also, 3 being mental and rational, it is not so subtle as 4 which is entirely vital and subtle. Therefore 4 has always a penetrative insight into the weaknesses of 3 till it is fully organised. Hence the apparent superiority of 4.

3 is hampered by several aspects till it is perfectly organised when it is invulnerable. First of all, 3 is physical while 4 is mental. Therefore subtlety is greater at 4. Having come into the mental plane, 3 becomes ethical or moral while 4 is totally free of that inhibition. 4 seeks after victory at all costs while 3 is more concerned with its organisation and rightness. Victory, as anything else, pursued for its own sake, irrespective of other considerations, will certainly be more powerful and effective than result pursued under certain conditions such as ethics and systems.

Democracy made non-military civil leaders the head of a nation putting the general under them. Till then the military leader was the ruler. They were of 4. The enormous courage of 5 makes them leaders who go to victory. When that courage turns into thought, it is extremely resourceful. Sri Aurobindo says Shivaji is a vibhuti but he had no compunction to kill his opponent in a fraternal embrace, a heinous crime for a moral man. Shivaji had no moral compunctions as he was seated in No. 4.

The philosopher of 1 and the organiser of 3 are objects of ridicule for men of 4. For him, philosophy is insubstantial and the organiser is too slow and too dull-witted.

As No. 7 and No. 1 are minds too, No. 4 is in direct relationship with them. No. 7 is subconscious and No. 1 is fully conscious. The thoroughness of 7 cannot be there in 4 even as the clarity of 1 is missing. Without being thorough or clear, 4 is dynamic, fast, reaches its goal unfailingly, unfettered by ideals, ethics, sentiments.

Foresters, rustic community leaders, smugglers, mafia chieftains are of 4. They are shrewd, penetrating, disciplined and therefore unfailing. There is only one punishment among them for lack of loyalty, viz. death. Obedience and adherence are total for this reason.

In the individual who lacks courage, 4 gives superstition. His superstition arises not from outside but from his own fears and intense imagination. The intensity that creates insight in the strong creates intense fears in the weak.

4 is the seat of social security acting as social conscience. It is 4 that sets the fashions, lays down social norms, norms of public conduct, approved manners. In the ascent it processes the emotions of 5 into emotional thought. In the descent it receives the decision and determination of 3 and infuses emotional commitment to them.

In times of social degeneration, the strength of 4 determines the length of social, psychological survival. In times of social upward movement, society moves up only to the extent 4 approves. Shrewdness, insight, penetration, alertness, resourcefulness are its endowments.

Strong 4 in the head of the family will make the family a victim of tyranny, but the family will become a success though enveloped in fear and suffused by tension.

4 is the monitor of motives in consciousness and substance.

Section E

Level 5

The vital of the vital plane is pure vital even as 1 is pure mind and 9 is pure physical. In our scale it is assigned to 5. This is the seat of the warrior, the artist and all those whose emotion rises to the peak before being touched even by the mental of the vital plane 4.

The movement from below is accompanied by the phenomenon of enormous expansion of energy at the first level of physical to the vital. As energy is subtle emerging from the dense material plane, its volume expands vastly issuing power of the greatest magnitude. 5 is the peak along that path as it combines the conversion of the physical plane into the vital plane as well as No.6 into No. 5, again a conversion of the physical in the vital plane into pure vital. Next it goes to 4 when the energy becomes sensational knowledge. This conversion entails a loss of power of the vital but generates the efficacy of thought. Thought in 4 is not of the mental plane where its characteristic is ethic, logic and rationality. But it has the knowing character of thought. Knowledge unencumbered by ethical restraint, necessity of logical conversion or rational structure both of which involve considerable energy, is mercilessly powerful. Possessors of this faculty are ruthless tyrants unfailingly successful in their operations as long as their acts are in the realms outside ethics.

2, 5, and 8 are the vital parts of the various planes. Similar parts of different planes are in touch with each other. The higher inspires the lower, the lower supports the functioning of the higher. Faculties and capacities collect in each part, but will not yield results till they are saturated. When a similar part of a lower plane begins to function, the unsaturated capacities of the higher part come to its rescue. What happens in 3 cannot but influence 7 and 4 as they are similar. It is true every part influences every other part, but the mutual influence of similar parts is greater. These influences are naturally positive and negative, positive from above and negative from below. 3 is physical but mind, while 4 and 7 are mental parts. 1 directly influences 4 and 7 but 3 will influence 4 and 7 if the particular work connects them both. Such relations are a topic by themselves wide enough. 3 is mainly the organiser that organises thoughts into decision. An activity of either 4 or 7 containing an element of organisation of decision will put it in touch with 3. Suppose 8 has received a shock of fear from a fall, the great surge of courage taking place in 5 will be hampered by the resurrecting memory of 8 as it is in direct touch with it. Apart from that, as in other parts, 5 is in direct relation by sequence with 4 and 6.

In our scheme of consciousness and substance for each part we have assigned sensation and sensitivity to 5. The role of the vital is to influence the physical by bringing the mental power to bear on it. The vital organises the energies into sensations which, when reaching the mind, create thought. The body always is a docile servant to mind more than to the vital.

The five senses respond to events with their sensational energies and get coordinated as SENSATION. Mind has its own sense, better called as mental sense, which is other than the vital sensation. Mind’s sense emerges when the mind separates the reports to itself from its sensational part. Power really belongs to the physical, energy to the vital, clarity to the mind. But energy too enjoys power of energy even as ideas have the mental power. Still, when the sensation seeps down to the vital substance it turns into sensitivity which has far more power than sensation. Its power comes from the fact that it goes to the substance of the vital. Really the substance in any plane is the physical of that plane. So, truly power at last comes from the physical.

Five is the pure hero, the great artist, the lover who kills himself, the patriot who sacrifices everything for his country. As 5 is untouched by mind, it has the capacity to be oblivious of the environment, consequences, commitments and will go to the target straight like an arrow.

Man was in tune with nature when 5 was the height of his evolution. At that time his faculties were pugnacity, gregariousness, survival, self-preservation, abandon of self-forgetful joy, etc.

Music is the form of sound, painting is the form of colour and lines, courage is the form of force. Hence their natural seat is 5.

Negatively 5 is the seat of fear, obsession, phobia, force of superstition.

Sensation of 5 energises the natural physiological functions with energy such as running in fear.

Great warriors like Shivaji, Alexander are of 5. Napoleon does not belong to 5 as he is pre-eminently the law giver, the organiser, but 5 was his most effective faculty while on the battlefield with bullets whizzing past him.

Section F

Level 6

Six is the physical part of the vital plane and is seated in the central nervous system, even as 3 is seated in the brain. The physical parts of the planes have a physical organ as the seat, 3 in brain, 6 in the nerves, 9 in the body. At 6, the human personality emerge into the vital plane which means the physical movements generate vital energies. Therefore the greatest energies are witnessed at this stage. In civilisation, this is marked by the urban commercial life from rural agricultural life. Individually the blue collar worker taking to education is at 6. Any single activity can find itself at 6, for that matter at any level, irrespective of the fact that the individual is far advanced at 1 or 2 or primitive at 9 or 8. He will find himself meeting the characteristics of 6 with respect to any one activity if it is there.

An advanced thinker not used to crafts can find himself at 6 if he ever takes to it. A dud for some reason may be evolved and find himself at 6 in shooting. As faculties and parts of man have an independent existence in exceptional cases, this state of affairs is always possible. While 6 is the point where the being enters the vital plane, 5 is the point where a further expansion of 6 into 5 -- physical into vital in the vital plane -- is added. This is the reason for finding people of greatest vital power at 5. It is true growth in one part or growth of a faculty is generally accompanied by growth of other parts or faculties. But that growth is only in potential, not in actualities.

It is natural that 6 is in touch with 3 and 9 as they are physical parts and with 5 and 7 which are adjacent parts. The developments of 3 indirectly influence the growth of 6, while the strength or weakness of 9 lend their support to 6 and its existence. The topic of the adjacent parts and similar parts and their influence on each part is a wide one into which I do not go here.

March of civilisation finds its journey in man from 9 to 1 and from 1 to 9. Ideas, opinions, sensitivities, preferences etc. often get lodged in any part. Such opinions, etc. of the 6 cannot be removed by mental effort as there is nothing of mind in 6. Fundamentalists belong to 6. If they are to be educated, it must be vital education, not mental education. The vital is educated by sensations such as fear, attraction, not argument or explanation or reasoning. The physical cannot be educated even by sensation. It can be educated by doing a thing by itself, i.e. by direct experience only, not by other means, since it has no mind to listen to explanations nor sense centres to respond to sensations. The scientists of the world and even other social scientists have espoused the ideal of empiricism in spite of having a faculty to think and comprehend. To make a dent in their beliefs, one has to achieve in fact contrary to their beliefs. Even then, they may accept that particular achievement but in all their other fields, they will be physical with pride. The history of democracy is a standing proof of this phenomenon. After the monarch is disposed, the leader of the democracy is treated as the monarch and that attitude seeps down to the very bottom. That is the tenacity of the physical phenomenon.

During periods of calamities, man moves down to a low point. No longer the mind holds its own nor the vital. He moves down to 6 and acts only from there or from 7.

Emotion and devotion belong to consciousness and substance of 6. Devotion properly belongs to 5 but its strength and intensity reach their height only at 6.

Emotion at 4 can be coloured by some knowledge, but at 6 the scope for any tinge of knowledge is nil. Kannapan could dig out his eyes because he was a 6. Jean Valjean’s emotional sense of duty to his sister rises from his being at 6. The life of a galley slave, the criminal mind, his fine emotions to Cossette all arise similarly. 6 can slave. It has no moral, ethical sense and finds it natural to be a criminal or to be a saint. To a 6, there is no difference between sainthood or a criminal life. It is simply a way of life.

6 is the point at which vital and physical sensations meet and emerge into each other in the ascent and descent. 6 is open to raw physical influence as 9 is, because it is of that type. All the power of 3 in organisation does not touch 6 because it has no idea of what it is.

Section G

Level 7

In our classification of Man into physical, vital and mental, though we have nine levels, in reality the levels are innumerable and never-ending. In each small act of ours like swallowing a mouthful of food or taking the most important decision of life, there exist strands of mental, physical, and vital intertwined. Only a general idea is attempted here, not a very minute analysis.

From such a view, 7 is the mental part of the physical which puts the physical and vital movements into an organisation that can be identified as skill. To our perception, these skills are subconscious as we are not aware of them. A subconscious skill is one that one cannot be aware of however much he tries, such as the functioning of blood circulation; but the skills acquired by 7 can be seen when we turn our attention towards them. Only they are not in our conscious perception, not so much because it cannot be known as that we do not care to take note of them. Such a subconscious skill resides in 9. When 9 is split into three parts, its mental part is subconscious which controls our involuntary organs.

Bone, flesh, nerves, tissues, ligaments, cartilage are all of different composition. Their composition varies according to their strength. Brain falls under a special category. Brain is the flesh that thinks. By thinking the flesh becomes soft, perhaps softest in the body. It is mellowed by thought. The thinking faculty of Man is carried on not only in the brain but is extended to the seat of reflexes in the spine and ends up in the cells which have a mind of their own, called by Mother "cellular mind."

For our purposes, 7 is the seat of the primary mental activity which mentalises the movements of 9 and the energies of 8. It is in touch with 4 and 1 as they too are of mind, but refuses to respond to the emotion of 4 or the ideas of 1 since it has no faculty of that description. It is just below 3, offering a constant support as foundation. Here too, the organisation, decision and determination of 3 when descending on it leaves it untouched and unmoved. As its own organisation is rudimentary, the highly complex organisation of 3 leaves it baffled. As elsewhere, 7 serves as the foundation to 3, rather offers foundational support.

The mental part turns the energies of sensation into ideas and organises them so that the idea will go back to the body to dominate it. In 7 the energies it receives are energies of physical sensation. So, the maximum possibility here is its conversion into physical ideas. Physically an idea about movement is the process of skill formation. Individual skills inside each elementary act are many. Walking, talking, drinking, driving a nail are such activities. Into any of these rudimentary acts go dozens of physical movements. For instance, in walking hundreds of muscles should learn to coordinate themselves so that the feet are firm on the ground. Walking is a willed movement. A will, a volition should arise. It is a mental movement. The body should enter locomotion if the feet are to move in steps. Blood circulation, breathing, etc. should conform to the requirements of greater energy demanded by walking. Eyes should commission themselves into seeing at a distance for clearance. A simple act of walking, before it evolved into its final shape, fashioned hundreds of individual skills as described above and then submitted them to coordination. All these are organised by 7. The organisation is there, skill formation is also there, but it is the physical skill and organisation of physical skills fashioned out of physical movements. There is no trace of thought or mind here except it is the mind of the body.

Sri Aurobindo speaks of a physical organisation that governs the world. Its organisation, the organisation of 7 and of 3 as well as the organisation of ideas into concepts at 1 have in common AN ORGANISATION. That is a physical organisation at 7 and mental organisation at 1. Sri Aurobindo speaks of discovering a higher organisation than this physical organisation to cure the disorders of Life and Mind.

Skill and capacity are its attributes in consciousness and substance. Skill converts energy by organisation into a usable tool. The essence of the effort is the process of skill formation. A great many skills forming at one level or at one point let their essences collect at that point as capacity. Skill is the process of the individual act yielding results. Capacity is the strength of their essence collected in the substance as foundation. Such a capacity can be drawn into one single skill to fortify it. That makes any skill a talent. The faculty that turns capacity to a skill for it to become a talent is ability.

The principles of formation of skills, capacity, talent, ability, etc. are the same at all levels of personality, be it physical or spiritual. The values at each point that serve as a medium are different in different planes. Coordination as in a gear plate is a physical value while fidelity to facts is a mental value at 3 where it is arriving at a decision.

Section H

Level 8

8 is the vital of the physical plane. This is the earliest of points where vitality enters human personality. Also this is the first point that is untouched by mentality. Though it is vitality, its vitality will not bear any sign of energy man knows of vitality but will be of the character of the physical, even as the mental effort of the neo-literate is education for him.

Energy and Force find their seats here in consciousness and substance. The only liveliness, freshness that can be witnessed here is the ‘enormous’ amount of physical energy into which the merest existence of 9 converts itself here. Movements generating energy are seen here for the first time as a phenomenon.

7 is a poor mentality and is feebly influenced by the great cunning of 4 and the brilliant ideas of 1. On a parallel, 8 is thus related to 5 and 2. Men at 8 can rise to poetry moved by the physical intensity of the occasion. At the thanksgiving function at Mother Estates, an old man moved by the emotions of the function, burst into a song that spontaneously welled up in him on the theme of the forest changing into cultivable lands. Thoughts of no description touch 8 even though primary emotion can blossom into poetry here.

Men of this type will give themselves to superstition and will not be able to question its validity. Loyalty to master, family, property, crew are too sophisticated for them. He who feels is the master, what serves is property, those who are around are kith and kin. Crew is one who happens to be around. Their emotions are still at the level of energy lacking definition of any description. Ideas of no description find an echo in them, not even mercenary gains appeal to their non-existent thoughts. Survival is right and it is their ethic. Organisation is not a concept they can identify, much less follow. Even systems do not evoke their recognition. They will find themselves identified with the plants they plant and the animals they tend. Their own families are for them extended plant and animal life. They love their soil as part of themselves and aspire to be buried where they were born.

Skills of no description can be acquired at this level, even tree climbing. As 7 is not yet born, acquiring any skill, however primary, is out of the question. Sleep is unconscious, dreams are subconscious for them. Skill in another, emotions exhibited pass them without their noticing them, as they do not have faculties to respond to them. The only endowment he has is the primary physical energy that prevents him from being condemned as a human bulk.

8 is in direct touch with 7 and 9 and in indirect touch with 2 and 5. The lives of the warrior or the poet will have in their previous generations men of 8. It receives from 5 and 2. It will be parallel to what the cream receives but will characterise the bottom.

Vitality here is still energy and no sensation. Any sensation here will be physical sensation. What does not create a physical sensation, a man in 8 will not be able to respond to. Loudspeaker, drum beating, blowing the trumpet, etc. are for men of 8. Aldous Huxley says the African drum beating and the Indian chanting will help one lose his intellectuality. "Intellectuals of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your brains" is his description of chanting and drum beating. Chanting silences the mind, drum beating brings mind to its original physical sensations, one from above and the other from below devastatingly affecting the intellectual prowess of the brain.

Section I

Level 9

Level Nine is the pristine, pure physical, even as No. 1 is pure Mind. This is the evolutionary point at which the animal emerges into manhood. What is the bottom most point of manhood is the peak for the animal.

At this point the species has emerged into humanity but has not acquired any capacity as yet that truly belongs to man. It is just there awake. That waking state enables it to move, thus making movement possible. It is not just movement as in the stone or plant, a movement that generates outside. The animal too moves, moves by its vitality. This movement is human movement, movement of the humanised matter. In that sense, it is the greatest achievement of Nature, the evolution of Man. Its parallel now will be the appearance of the Supramental Being on earth. His own movement will not be by thought or will. It would be a self-willed movement uninitiated by thought or unexecuted by human will.

At Nine, movement and sleep are the statuses of consciousness and substance. While on the surface and awake it moves. Withdrawn into itself, the substance is in its response like a newborn baby in the womb of the mother, maybe a newly formed baby. Supramentalisation for the purpose of physical transformation takes place here at the plane of consciousness, for the purpose of the birth of Supramental being in the plane of substance.

Nine has the whole man fully in it, but in unevolved potential, not unformed potential. Nine is not in the least touched by mentality or vitality.

The physical parts of No. 3 and No. 6 are in direct touch with Nine, while it can be in direct touch only with No. 8. Nine thus is the point in man which generates vitality, the vital energies and vital sensations. For that purpose it is the first focus. The freshness of physical matter yet untainted by consciously acquired habits of even physical sensation belongs to Nine.

IN the descent, the influence of all parts from levels 1 to 8 penetrates downwards and reaches Nine too. It is really mentalised only at level 3 where even the flesh becomes sophisticated into the grey matter of the brain.

In the evolutionary scheme of things, when a species emerges, its form is fixed. It does not change later. Its maximum intelligence is given to its members at the very emergence of the species. Nine holds in full potential the maximum intelligence to which man has ever reached and its first exhibition was in the primitive man's fashioning his tools out of stone.

Except at Nine, man is conditioned by sensations of the physical and vital and thought of the mind. For purposes of further evolution, man has to decondition his parts of all the acquired habits even as 9 is fresh without those conditionings.

Supramentalisation and transformation require that unconditioned purity of the being in all parts down to this level 9.

Mother's vision of a seal had that character. SHE describes how that animal was pure, innocent, untouched by the possible perversions of the human mentality that is crooked. Buddhists, whose beliefs and training do not permit them to organise the ego have this character. When talking to them, you feel like talking to one untouched by any influence of this world of ours. Their flesh is soft to touch, carrying the softeness of unspoiled purity. The nearest version of this seen in life is the artless, guileless person incapable of shrewdness or insight. Should it be strong, it will represent the highest culture man can ever attain by purity that is strong. In such a condition, increase of purity leads to increase of strength. Maybe there, strength and purity are synonyms.

To know man in his nine parts is to know him fully. To trace his growth from level 9 to level 1 and back again from 1 to 9 is a knowledge which can hold in it in sum the entire history of man on earth.

Chapter V


We know of the mental evolution by which man evolved, but we do not consider that society has a mental evolution too. In theory, not only man and society but every act, event, organisation, institution, form of life does undergo the different stages of evolution of which the mental evolution is the culmination. This is the hour when the process of Social Development has reached its point of mental evolution. Social Development which has been going on so far under the direction of vital energy and physical experience has now come under the direction of mental comprehension. What man has been doing so far without thinking must hereafter be done by conscious thought. Social Development is entering the conscious phase from its unconscious past. In that sense it is a historical moment or even an evolutionary juncture. Only Ghali has voiced the need for a theory of social development. Among the foremost of economists, the need is not perceived. In their view it is beyond the ken of human thinking. This confirms the old experience that the present establishment in any field serves more as an unthinking obstacle than a perceptive pioneer. It is striking that the recognition should come from outside the academics. What Indira Gandhi was so anxious to know of, all the senior administrators under her considered as of no significance. Social Development, thus, belongs to the political field rather than the field of economics or the practising economists.

A field lends itself to theory when the experience there saturates the different branches of it. During the past few centuries society was at great pains to conquer nature, discover ways to surmount the obstacles to peaceful living, devising instruments that make living convenient and comfortable. In that endeavour he has largely succeeded and that success has spread over a quarter of the globe. It can be considered that the developmental effort has reached a point of saturation. Mental theorising is possible only when the previous planes of vital and physical are saturated with experience.

A theory, especially one that is comprehensive, will not only embrace all areas of the subject, but will be capable of explaining every phenomenon in the field. If that is so, our theory must satisfactorily explain every stage of development society has so far passed through and every project that succeeded. In fact, a theory must be able to explain every failure so far. In that case, it will be a tool in the hands of every government, particularly governments of the developing world, for national planning. That may be considered the greatest contribution of the theory. But that will be the least valuable service the theory will be able to render.

Its highest service will be elsewhere. When an unorganised field gets organised, its power and effectivity do not rise five or ten-fold, but more than a hundred-fold is a repeated social experience as witnessed in the birth of the state, the creation of banks, the advent of money, commerce, trade routes, warfare and so on. Its minor versions are the improvements in technology such as we meet with in computer. The spread is phenomenal. Before getting organised, the mind must come to grips with the underlying process of a successful activity carried on without the precise mental comprehension directing it. A theory does it. Theorising is to understand mentally what we have been doing successfully all these years without knowing how or why. At this point the unconscious activity becomes conscious. This is a process that converts the finite resources into infinite usefulness, the fixed value of the parts and tools into unlimited value.

Mankind which has been developing so far facing constraints of all types of resources will suddenly realise its resources are infinite and the environment and circumstances that decided its course till now are determined by it. The knowledge of this theory will give man a mental freedom over the life circumstances that have presided over him so far, unparalleled in human history. He would discover that the only constraint he faces is the constraint of his comprehension.

This theory will give the world a view that every event has an infinite creative potential in it. It is very perceptive of Harlan to have seen it. It is a world view and a view of the infinite.

When framed, this theory must mentalise the process that has so far been physical. Presently there are developmental policies, strategies, programmes, approaches, etc. and there is a fertile confusion that mistakes the one for the other. The theory will codify each of them, grade them, put them all in their places and above all bring them all under one unifying umbrella of theory. Thereafter, no confusion is possible. As they fall into their allotted places, each can function with a greater vigour it was not capable of so far. The mere presence of this theory will render the policies, strategies, and programmes more effective. No doubt it will serve as a powerful tool in the hands of planners all over the world.

The field of economics has collected enough superstitions and they are all now ruling the roost. Inflation, unemployment, budget deficit, recession are the main ghosts that haunt the field. Once a theory has come into its own, it has to spell out its views on them. These superstitious positions have to describe themselves in the light of the theory which is being increasingly accepted by the world. The one result will be all these illusions will die their natural death and quickly too.

As this theory will put development on a scientific basis, scientific thinking of every other subject will rise. There is a hope of economics becoming a subject in its own right and that influence may spread to physics and botany. Presently subjects are there on the strength of the information available in the field. Some of them are governed by laws that are partial, but no subject is organised as a department of study in its own right under an outline that can be styled complete or full.

One other direct result will be that the theory will put the crime of the West and poverty of the South in their own perspective. Now that material resources are discovered in abundance and social potentials in greater abundance, poverty and crime stand no chance of survival.

Money now enjoys a prime place in the effort of development. It is in short supply in several quarters and over supply in other places. Both hurt. In areas of short supply, the theory will enable the societies to create real money ten-fold by the newfound knowledge. In areas of over supply, innovative uses of money not for generation of more money, but for the generation of higher social good can be found in great number. As the theory will be in existence by then, no one will be able to raise superstitious opinions to counter them.

Humanity, which is now in a few thousand ethnic pockets dreaming of their own uniqueness and generating local tensions will then be able to conceive of the fact that aspirations all over the globe are the same. Such an attitude will form the basis of one world.

The theory will be able to show war in its implications in the past as well as future. Now that there is no cold war, war’s effect can be more fully understood across the world and help to abolish wars of all descriptions.

Infrastructures will emerge into their right significance and therefore their power can multiply. More can be done with less in the future with the knowledge of infrastructures.

Social development is only a broader version of individual development, only that the application is in a wider field. The individual of every plane can emerge with this knowledge. The political individual arose by the institution of democracy. Guaranteed employment can create economic individuality. Freedom from subservience to society creates the psychological individual. Theoretical comprehension of society is the basis for the birth of the mental individual.

This theory brings in a mental freedom to all aspects of society, especially its forces of development. That freedom enhances the effectivity of the existing tools and enables us to fashion new tools such as the indicators.

Man is presently confronted with thousands of obstacles to his development or his efforts to develop the society. Every institution that served the cause of development so far will turn into an obstacle hereafter. The government administration is the primary one. At least in India the social forces such as village unity which were initially a help have now turned into a hindrance. People joined together to defeat the very purpose of any scheme. Opinions, social customs, deep-seated beliefs, institutions social as well as organisational will rear their heads as insurmountable obstacles when the society wants to forge ahead.

This theory will offer the necessary social awareness to all levels of population and anachronisms of all description will be wiped out in one stroke.

I would consider this hour in human history as comparable to that day when Man realised he had a mind to use and began using it.

Great scientists dream of a final theory but grope about with facts that can only lead them away from any theory. No social scientist is able to dream of such a theory for the social sciences. Though it is a theory of social development as we present it, in truth this theory contains the whole basis of a final theory, not only for science, but for all knowledge.

Science is knowledge. Knowledge compartmentalised as knowledge of science and knowledge of economics is no knowledge. Knowledge knows no bounds. And this theory presents to the world that KNOWLEDGE.


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