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015. Wisdom of the World

Robert McNamara, former Chairman of the World Bank, reviewing a book of Harlan Cleveland said the French Prime Minister, who had been complaining about the lack of thinkers should meet this author. Professor Harlan Cleveland is the author of 12 books, was an Ambassador of the USA at NATO, was the President of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences besides holding distinguished academic as well as administrative posts. In a small pamphlet on 'Seven Collisions of Life', the professor sums up the key secrets of life in five formulas. He starts saying life is not for the timid and goes on to declare that projects will be completed in spite of the wisdom of experts to the contrary. Life, he says, has in it more than meets the eye. Really it is the quintessence of life, as all men who have accomplished widely know.

The US nation had the experience of telescoping 2000 years of European history into two or three centuries. In that process, apart from releasing endless socially creative energies, she has distinguished herself in creating organisations of practical efficiency. Harlan's formulas are the gist of these long, painstaking, practical experiences. Man thus has arrived at the secrets of life starting from below in physical work. All prosperous nations arrive at this point, but not necessarily from the same starting point.

The Indians had realised the Spirit in their souls long ago. Their cultural and social organisations were powerful and efficient. That was the cause of the prosperity in earlier centuries. Mostly it was derived from the inner spiritual experience. Today one can see the presence of that wisdom in the elders in any village or even in towns in men who accomplish. The wisdom of Harlan Cleveland, a peak expression in US life, is found widespread across India in rural parts.  When these people act on their own organising any work, that work is flawless. They become inefficient when they have to re-orient themselves to other systems imported from the government. The pity is this is a fact little known in our country. Worse still, those who possess this wealth of organisation in their blood as an inheritance would not believe it, as life today looks up to the town.

In a thin sense, this can be called our spiritual wealth ready to be cashed in as a high profile instrument of vast prosperity.

Should India wake up and take a good look at her borrowed administration and be innovative enough to create a new one to fully draw upon this potential, she can straightaway move into the bracket of high income countries, skipping the middle stage. This is for the planners.

Here, I am addressing individuals, especially those young men who enter life, to give a deep consideration to this valuable inheritance of theirs. If any convincing is needed, think of anyone who has recently shot up in the scale of social achievements, and there you will find this element of MANAGEMENT predominant. Those are people who commission the Spirit of their innate efficiency. As I said earlier, very few of these star young men may know where their strength comes from.

  • When I speak of invoking the Spirit to solve a problem in a factory, I mean one strand of this emerges from the Spirit and performs a transitory miracle.
  •  Anyone who has a problem to solve and is successfully solving it invoking the Spirit will find himself far more efficacious, when he has this knowledge.