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32 Laws of Development

May 26, 1999

I.  All Social Evolution is in the Subconscious Collective

Man, as well as the society, lives in two parts, the one on the surface and the other in the depth. We call the surface conscious and the depth subconscious. Human society is the extension of earth while the less evolved extensions are the plant and animal kingdoms.

Earth that is inert is spiritually a live entity, being the involved version of the Being. From the point of view of spirit, earth is alive; while from the point of view of the fully evolved Supramental being, the present human society is almost inert. Even when we compare the society of 5000 years ago to the one of which we are a part now, we may say that that society is subconscious. In that sense our own society can be fully regarded as subconscious compared with a spiritually evolved society of the future.

Whatever it is, society is a collective with the surface consciousness and a subconscious of the depth. The individual in any society, particularly the pioneering individual, is more conscious than the collective mass. Precisely speaking, the social mind is conscious and the social body is the subconscious.

Obviously the surface life of the society - the dress, the fashion, etc. - is ephemeral and does not decide the course of social progress even in the short term. Social evolution is the direction society takes in the long run and that has no impact from the surface life of the society. That evolution is determined by the subconscious urges of the collective.

Mind can reach out to the present or the recent future or past. Its emotions can go to the present work it handles, not to the past history of a few centuries. That is reached as information. Man does not have the emotional amplitude that embraces the distant future; at best it remains a concept. Neither the information of the past stored in the memory nor the concepts of the future in his thinking mind have any energy for accomplishment. His energies of accomplishment are confined to the short range of the present.

Evolution cannot be guided by memory or mental concepts. It requires the emotional energies of the physical, which alone are the most powerful instruments of evolution. They are the subconscious energies of man.

Man learns any skill first physically by doing. When he fully acquires that skill, it is an unconscious possession, not a conscious one. If anyone wants to learn from him, he says, 'I know how to do it, but I do not know how to teach you. You are welcome to see and learn by yourself.' Long after this first conquest of the skill, maybe decades or in some instances centuries, the knowledge in the physical slowly rises through the vital to the mental. It is at this stage he is able to understand the process of his physical skill and is able to formulate a lesson by which another can be taught. This is seen strikingly in social development and much more so in the social and biological evolution.

Man has built cities and nations and a wonderful civilisation of great material comfort. Till now he has not discovered the laws of either the social development or his biological evolution. Surely, they remain in him as subconscious knowledge still.

As in all activities, social evolution demands first and foremost a great amount of energy. Maybe the energy required for this far exceeds the quantity of energies he has handled so far as it is the energy required to move the entire society upward, on a parallel of one lifting himself into the air. In quality too it has to be an energy higher and better than all the energies he has thus far used for any of his social activities.

Where does this energy come from? According to the ancient rishis and Sri Aurobindo, energy is inherent in the original Self-Conscious Being. Matter, of which earth is composed, is the product of involution and is at the opposite end of the movement. Being, thus, changes into Matter. The energy that is originally inherent in Being is spiritual energy. The energy that is hidden in Matter is material energy. It is released horizontally by its movement in small quantities. A higher version of it is released by the evolutionary pressure for the purpose of evolution. When Matter physically moves, it remains as matter. Thus it is a horizontal movement. Energies so released are small in quantity and in quality not so high as the evolutionary energy.

Also life and matter are in the planes of Time and Space. A seed grows into a tree, apparently unaided, as time passes. In the process it takes in a lot of energy and gives out a lot more of energy. For the seed, it is a process of growth. Apparently, it grows by itself creating the trunk, branches, leaves, flower and fruit. Social body which we call society is similarly a live organism which grows non-stop, consuming energies and generating higher energies. Social existence is a process of continuous production of energies. It helps the society proliferate horizontally and evolve vertically to higher types of society capable of a higher lifestyle, higher comprehension and higher complexity all of which offer man higher security, higher comfort and higher enjoyment.

Energy for social evolution is inherent in society and it shows tendencies to ever-increasing multiplication. Society is not inert like a stone. Physically it moves, vitally it moves and moves its parts in directions other than of their choice. As it is in the plane of Time, which is a field of duration and movement, this movement causes the hidden energy.

Physically, energy is created by movement, a movement caused externally. Vitally, the movement is self-impelled. Vital movement generates vital energies, which is greater in quantity and higher in quality. Mental movement is thought. It releases mental energy. When the vital is enamoured of a mental thought, the vital movement is hastened further. The physical has a tendency to accept a mental thought or a vital movement. In that case, the physical unleashes a vaster quantity of its own energies. These are occasions when the physical is enamoured of a mental thought and is willing to subject itself to the directions of such a thought. The greatest of energies are released by such an occurrence. These are the various ways in which the energies demanded by social evolution are released.

Social evolution takes place in all the three planes of the physical vital and mental. It is unconscious while it is confined to the physical plane, becomes first conscious in the vital plane and fully conscious when it reaches the plane of mind. The cycle continues by a descent from the mental to the physical where it is completed. In fact, there is one more plane above the mental called the spiritual plane. As ours is a narrow enquiry of the process, we can for the present ignore the spiritual plane. Should our enquiry enlarge and seek the reality instead of the process, we cannot ignore the spiritual plane. In fact, the spiritual plane has two dimensions, one in the ascent and the other in the descent. These planes become indispensable when we study spiritual evolution. Now that our study is entitled social evolution and in practice embraces economic development, our scope becomes narrow.

The terms 'conscious and unconscious' are distinct terms and are opposite in character. But they have a tendency to shade off into each other, get interchanged when the context changes. For example, we call the surface conscious, the depth unconscious, the mental conscious and the physical unconscious. It is obvious that sometimes the mind can act unconsciously and the body consciously though they are rare occasions. And subconscious decisions can also be made consciously.

It is hard for us to conceive that the individual is a non-existing non-entity. Evolution is the widest possible view one can take even if it is social evolution. For this purpose and in this context the individual is an undefined drop in the ocean though it is through the individual pioneer that the society ultimately moves.

As the parts of the human body are well defined and have a distinct character, but have no individuality of existence outside the body, so the individual who is so special, well-defined and distinct in our view has no separate existence in the view of social evolution.

2. All achievements of the society are collective, not individual.

3. The collective achieves; the individual expresses it on its behalf.

4. The subconscious achievement becoming conscious accomplishment is through the individual pioneer.

5. In a mature society, the pioneer becomes a leader, whereas in an immature society he becomes a rebel.

6. Society destroys a leader if he appears too soon.

7. The collective appreciates its own perfection in the individual, not his.

That the individual's basic survival entirely depends on the social support and service is evident. Today no individual can survive without being served by the society in a hundred different fashions. As the centuries pass, his dependence has become more and more. In the earliest of times, maybe only his physical security depended on the collective.

As there is only one Mind and one Vital, so there is only one Body which is not easy for us to see. But spiritually that is the only truth. No part of the body like the finger can grow endlessly without reference to the whole body. It is the body that determines the growth of each part.

When a crowd of a few thousand people want to express their views it does so through one person or a few persons. The crowd cannot voice it by itself. The Transcendent's first move was to create the universe. The universe is of nature. For it to fulfill itself and return to its origin, the spiritual element in it has to emerge out of its concentration. The universe finds such a concentration beyond its capacity. For the purpose of achieving such a concentration, the universe created manageable units of the individuals so that it may fulfill itself in the individuals. Such is the theoretical origin of the individual. The same argument holds good in society too. This point individualises the universal vibration to create individuality. In the society the individual by himself is non-existent and is a non-entity but it is a point at which he individualises the collective experience. What he individualises is not his own experience but the experience of the collective. To consider an individual's achievement as his own thus is an error.

The individual we speak of is the man who functions through his mind. But he is part of life and is an embodied being. He is conscious in his mind and vital but not in his body which is subconscious. Man is like a peak of a mountain whose base is the very broad foot area. A base of several hundred square miles rises into one peak even as the subconscious body rises to a conscious mind. In proportion, the subconscious is a wide area whereas the conscious is a single point.

Society is the mass. The individual is often a leader. Our own experience is that the society accepts the leader and leadership and adores him. In other cases such a leader is ignored or criticised or opposed. We know of cases where the society crushes the leader as they did Jesus. If the individual only represents the collective why this opposition and violence? Gandhi and Nehru were accepted and adored. Jesus was crucified, Socrates was poisoned. We also know hundreds of cases who were ignored during their lifetime and followed later. This incoherent behaviour needs to be explained.

The facts here are,

  • The collective has a consciousness.
  • The individual has his own consciousness.
  • When they are in tune, each accepts the other.
  • The pioneer having the same consciousness or same level of consciousness in a greater intensity, makes the masses adore him.
  • There are occasions when the level of consciousness of the pioneer is one or more levels higher than that of the collective.
  • In these circumstances the pioneer means nothing to the collective and it ignores him.
  • The question of the pioneer having a lower level of consciousness than that of the collective does not arise.
  • The level of consciousness apart, the collective and the individual have their own egos.
  • The ultimate endeavour of the collective is to shed its ego and become impersonal.
  • Therefore, it results, not in its ego, but in the ego of the individual.
  • A well-marked ego of the pioneer attracts opposition or even attacks on him.
  • An egoless pioneer is rare. Such a person is not opposed at least in the beginning. If he is opposed it is due to the variation in their levels of consciousness.
  • An egoless collective is not possible; an egoless individual is possible.
  • The opposition of the collective to the ego of the pioneer is only a distant recognition of that collective that its own ego has to be dissolved.
  • Within this framework, there being many possible combinations, a pioneer is accepted, adored, ignored, criticized, opposed, attacked or destroyed according to the context in which he rises.
  • Society is not interested in destroying the individual but only his ego.
  • As these two are so fully identified, one appears to be the other.

When we say collective, we mean the entire society that gave birth to the individual. By this we understand the nation, state or the entire community of which he is a part. This is true, but this is only the theory. In practice, the collective is that cross-section of population with which the individual's emotions are identified. A trader in jewels finds other jewellers his collective, sometimes even all the trades. Either for imitation or for opposition, other traders join the jewellers if the pioneering trader's activities touch them too. Psychologically, the collective for one pioneer often means his own family and friends. It even shrinks to a few people or one person such as a partner, wife or a friend who matters to his emotional interests.

The pioneering individual has always some power, technical, social, psychological or monetary. Sometimes he gives it away to the collective. The collective never refuses to share that power, rather would like to receive that power and use it against the pioneer. The key idea is the collective always wants the individual under its control.

Sometimes an individual outgrows the collective by several stages. In such cases, the collective rises in revolt against him in spite of the facts of the pioneer's present usefulness to the community and greater possible service of his in future. The one thing that matters to the individual is his pioneering idea. The one thing that matters to the collective is not his rationality, his being right, his service or his usefulness but the fact that he is different from them and very different at that. The collective can never tolerate that marked difference even as a sheet of water does not allow a depression or a rising wave for long.

The factors mentioned above can be reduced to fixed rules or laws. In that case, the entire history will endorse it without any exception. No country in the world of today can re-enact the lynching during the days of the Roman Empire. The society has outgrown that level of barbaric behaviour. Hitler was able to organise mass murders of Jews. In a democratic country, it would not have been possible even in those days. Today it is unthinkable in any nation. Assassins are still afoot everywhere as it is a vibration we have not yet outgrown. Hooligans offer themselves to kidnap people for payment. As long as such people are available for hiring, kidnapping cannot be abolished.

Jesus was crucified. Many saints were done to death at all times. The British tried to have Sri Aurobindo kidnapped five times. Each time, the ruffians quarrelled among themselves and Sri Aurobindo was safe. Finally the Mayor, the head of the police, was willing to do such a heinous crime. He was shot dead in his own home by a relative. What does this mean from the point of view of the above explanation? In the subtle plane the evil forces have outgrown the capacity to harm a person of Supramental consciousness.

In social life or spiritual life, the very first thing a pioneer needs to accomplish is the physical security for him that would be disturbed by his pioneering activities. He who fails to do so will not accomplish. How then should a pioneer act in order to be successful? He has to act in all the three planes - body, vital and mind. Should he act in the spiritual plane also, his safety is assured.

  • In the physical plane, he must be able to protect himself, his family, and his activities.
  • In the vital plane, he should either assess the forthcoming cooperation or be able to prevent the community from boycotting him or his activities.
  • In the mental plane, he must be able to answer their rational criticism, if not the irrational ones.

During the freedom fight, partition and such events, the country unconsciously passed through these stages. Neither for the linguistic harmony nor for the emergence of prosperity such conducive atmosphere prevailed.

Being of the Becoming

The householder is in the becoming, living a life of success and failure alternatively. The sannyasi shuns life, seeks the Being, the Purusha. In his own quest for the Spirit, the sannyasi will live exactly in the atmosphere of success and failure even as the grahasta is in life. The ordinary human life is too small for the sannyasi. He does not live it. Should there be an occasion for him to act in human life, his superior powers of the spirit will ensure him success all the time.

There is a third status, known as Being of the Becoming. It is the spirit of nature, the seed of godhead in every animate or inanimate thing. Sri Aurobindo says it is the evolving spirit, and calls it the psychic. This evolving spirit is the Being, not only in the Becoming but it is the real ultimate Being which has undertaken the spiritual evolution.

Sri Aurobindo's yoga has the psychic as the centre. It knows no failure. The pioneer can move to the psychic. In that case, the collective will not be able to harm him. If his progress creates a wider gap than the collective will readily permit, the collective may wish to harm him but will not be able to do so.

It does not mean the pioneer must always please the collective. In that case, he will cease to be a pioneer. The pioneer will always be ahead. Only when he is ahead, he is a pioneer. He can serve the collective only when he is ahead. When he is too far ahead, the collective rushes to destroy him. In that case, the pioneer should seek protection on all the three or four planes as described above.

Here we discuss only social evolution, not spiritual service. For those who wish to serve the Truth, it is obvious that the society is full of falsehood and therefore he has to sever himself from the society.

Society exists in several layers, maybe a hundred layers. His own threat comes only from his own layer, not at all from the other layers. The other layers of the society are not related to him by any energy, particularly emotional energy. In the absence of such a relationship, no harm can issue.

All layers of life exist in two halves, one of consciousness above and substance below. The power lies in the substance. Suppose a pioneer has won over the social opposition or resistance at the level of consciousness, that of the substance will be very real and hard. Imagine him to be a candidate for election and after a prolonged campaign he has won over the public. But when he goes to file his nomination the typewriter will not work, the microphone he speaks through will always fail as if the very material substance of the society keeps up the resistance. Mother, perhaps in appreciation of this factor, used to pay attention to the minutest detail of a concrete type. She always asked for Her letters to be registered.

We may recognise two opposite camps, the opposite collective's and ours. As the issue rises in importance, support or opposition does not mind the camps. They cut across party lines. Your own people may be in sympathy with the opposition and those in opposition may sympathise with you. In essential matters, forces interchange sides.

The pioneer may have circumstances when he has to serve the low, the evil, or he may, for his own reasons, opt for it. In that case, the pioneer will, by his service, overcome the capacity of the evil to hurt him.

The pioneer is a citizen who lives as part of the society, shares its ethics, morality, beliefs and sensitivities. The collective can hurt him only through these vulnerable spots.

Morally it is magnanimous to pardon the enemy, spiritually it is compassionate. For a person of a stronger personality to pardon one who is weak not out of ego but out of benevolence, it will be morally elevating. Should there be spiritual compassion, the offender's emotions will be positively changed. There are other occasions where neither is available; the person takes a vain attitude of pardoning the one who hurts him. These are sure cases where it will hurt him. The enemy can ruin you or kill you through your false sympathy. The options range from complete pardoning and complete annihilation depending on the circumstances. One has to be functional, not sentimental.

When a person who is extremely good and positive to the pioneer belongs to the opposite camp, his influence on the pioneer will bear the character of the camp, not his own goodwill.

The opposition is subtle and symbolic. If the pioneer's status rises, it will hit the status symbols. Such opposition transcends friendship, blood relationship, social courtesies, norms of ethics and acts only on the subtle plane of survival.

Gratitude is not an emotion born in the world yet. If it is, it is the youngest of gods, slighted by the older gods that are egoistic. Gratitude is immune to all these negative influences. It gives the pioneer immunity. Anyone who feels the emotion of gratitude towards the pioneer is a safe shield. No harm will come to him through one who is grateful to him.

8. Collective social knowledge moves from experience to knowledge.

9. Knowledge of experience is subconscious knowledge of the physical.

10. Social development can be subconscious from the physical experience or conscious from mental knowledge.

Sri Aurobindo calls the subconscious what the psychologists call the unconscious. In the cosmic view of Sri Aurobindo there is nothing that is unconscious including the inconscient matter. Even that only puts on an appearance of inconscience but is really not. Enormous energy is stored inside it and the movement inside is at high speed. When the movement of subatomic particles is observed, they change their response indicating that there is consciousness.

Our general way of doing things is to learn a work and then do it whether it is typewriting or building a house. We do not invent a wheel from the beginning. There are things we cannot learn from others or books or we do not care to learn from others' experience, as in the case of Indian democracy which is experimenting with parliamentary life for the past 50 years. We may build a house after learning it first, but what do we do when a new disease lands on us? As we have almost lost the habit of doing anything afresh, it is difficult to give any examples for the physical-learning process.

The UN was set up for the purposes of establishing peace and encouraging development. When it is found to be wanting, humanity has not exercised its mind to find an alternative. There is no dominant urge on the horizon, not to speak of a viable alternative in sight. Those who try to devise a new educational scheme like Glenn Doman have made such an effort.

The physical is blind. It has to learn with its senses of touch and hearing. All development in the world so far is arrived at by this fashion. Hundreds and thousands of trials do not ensure success. Sometimes it may secure the knowledge required in the first few attempts. The only guide for the physical is its inner instinct. The inner instinct and the outer senses launch on a long labour of discovery of the environment. It is not like the outer instinct that is handed over from the previous generation. That works readily and fully.

Imagine a child learning to live without the parental guidance or a rustic ignorant villager trying to live in the town all on his own. It is an unenviable labour. When such infinitesimal effort is lead to success, it becomes one piece of information of the hundred that are required. It is a marvel to observe how other information arises and interlinks with each other to form a whole. Often this required information issues out of the interlinking.

In the process of reclaiming  each acre of land for cultivation, on an average three people died. As there are several faculties in us that can act like sheep that fall to death in a pit, we can imagine the length of the learning process.

Information that reaches the mind needs to be coordinated around a centre for it to become useful knowledge. When we read an autobiography or a biography of a blind person we can imagine the labour of the physical to arrive at knowledge.

We are, for our purposes, not considering the learning process of the physical but the process of development that proceeds from mental knowledge to accomplishment in the physical plane.

11. Evolution of Society has its earlier statuses of development, growth and survival.

What we call survival is evolution to the previous stage. When you are in a stage that is mature, the question of survival does not ordinarily arise at any deficiency of energy expressed, not as a threat to survival but as the loss of the gains of that maturity.

Survival, growth, development and evolution are different ways of energy organising for different functions. A pupil in the class can aim at a pass or a second or first class or distinction or rank. But, all through these stages, he remains the very same student of the same class and the lessons also are unchanging. What changes are his various efforts for various levels of achievement.

Survival - Having reached a certain stability of a given social status, energy in surplus is required to maintain the attained levels of existence. When this energy is not forthcoming or sagging in its supply, the gains of that level of existence at the outermost levels find it difficult to sustain the level. It either means he has attained a higher level of social stability than he can sustain with the generation of energy or when such energy is still available he does not pay enough attention to their producing the end results passing through the stages of force, power and skills. It is at such times that we say every inch of progress is attended by a foot of sliding back.The central will of the society or the individual commits itself to restore the level of the energy or the losing organisation. Then survival is achieved.

Growth - When survival is guaranteed by the effectivity of the organisation and the level of energy generation, the will of the society does not stop there. It aims higher still. That results in the generation of greater levels of energy. This energy needs to be utilised. It can either be used to replicate what has been achieved or to create a new level of organisation. By doing the first, what the society has already achieved gets multiplied. The structure remaining the same, there is an expansion in quantity.

Development - is the next further stage. Society may choose to employ the greater energy its aspiring will has continuously released to create higher forms of production or distribution or higher institutions or higher levels of culture and values. This happens not only when the social will aspires but when the social mind has outgrown the experience of the present mode of living and is endeavouring to create anew. At that level it is a creative activity, or at least an innovation. This too can be attempted in two ways. Man has changed his mode of production from agriculture to manufacturing, his living from rural to urban, his exercise of power from physical prowess to vital overpowering, his governance from dictatorship to democracy. Changing agriculture production from rainfed cultivation to irrigated cultivation is development of methods, not simple growth. Shifting from agricultural society to commercial living, is development of social structure. Manufacturing overtaking agriculture is development in the mode of production for primary stability. It is for us to classify what is growth, how development is different from growth and where to draw the line between development and evolution while the basic definitions are unambiguous. For our own convenience we assign these terms different portions of the present amorphously continuous whole.

Evolution - The ape changing into man is evolution. We can say the tribes have evolved into sophisticated metropolitan life. As development can be classified under space, type, quantity or quality, evolution too can undergo various classifications. Generally we describe the stages tentatively as:

  • Survival - Preservation of the organisation of present living.
  • Growth - Extending horizontally the present structure.
  • Development - Evolving new and higher forms of social living within the existing pattern of life.
  • Evolution - Creation of new forms of living that are new in structure, content and ethical beliefs to the present one.

For a comprehensive definition - it may not be possible as for our narrow discussion we have arbitrarily divided a unitary process which has all these graded changes in each stage - this classification must be viewed from space, quantity of production, quality of production, structure of social exchange, means of that exchange, type of ethics, work values, in short, every aspect of social living. Then a more or less satisfactory classification for purposes of theorising may arise. The principle in view must be that classification is to facilitate the study and there is really no classification. We may later discover that these four stages are there in each other, further complicating the attempt of classification.

These changes that pass through agriculture, manufacturing, and service also pass in an overlapping fashion through physical, vital, mental, and spiritual stages. Rural agriculture, wealthy commerce, manufacturing capitalism, and socialist equality are further dimensions.

As our theory is mainly concerned with economic development, and a small part of social development, these classifications can be left at some stage satisfactory enough to explain the subject to ourselves.

12. The laws of change in each phase are the same in essence. The only change is the change required for operating in each plane. Laws are essential, operation is variable.

13. Even the laws of death, decay and disappearance are the same but they work in the reverse. A law is true even when reversed.

14. These laws are the same for the individual, organisation and social collectivity. Essential law is the same, the expressions vary.

Law in society is public conscience codified. A material law is the pattern of its behaviour. We speak of law of gravitation, the physical laws or laws of chemistry. Every field has its laws. Most of these laws can be further abstracted to more essential laws which we call fundamental laws.

In His theory of creation He states a few laws. Capacity of the Infinite to put out anything it chooses, Self-limitation and Self-absorption are those laws. The law of evolution is the joy of self-discovery. Our inquiry is limited to the society and its development. Whatever laws govern the development of the society, they apply to all its phases and all its units.

A nation has its own constitution given to it at the time of its founding, as the written expression of its social will. Her parliament enacts laws within that framework. The administration based on these laws, lays down rules for each department. The departments create procedures to be followed for the adherence to the rules. In each department, over the decades, customs and usage develop and sometimes it may vary with the locality.

The constitution lays down that all men are equal before the law. To implement this, the Parliament lays down the law that all incomes are to be taxed. Next, when the tax is to be levied, the rate varies according to the level of income and the nature of income. When all people pay the taxes on their own, the salaried class finds its tax taken away before the salary is paid. Agriculture income is not taxed. Salary undergoes different definitions. Allowances are not taxed, nor is the pension. In actual practice, thousands of smaller fries whose income is eligible for taxation go scot free because that is the custom. But, in essence, tax at all levels maintains the spirit of the constitution.

Survival, growth, development and evolution are the different phases we postulated. Energy becoming force and power to yield results through skills remains the same in all phases. Subconscious by saturation becoming conscious also is the same in all stages. Organisation serving as an instrument and the pioneer representing the collective are the laws that govern all these four phases.

A law is true whether the work it governs succeeds or fails. If 40% of marks gives the pass, those who secure above 40 prove the law by their success while those who secure below 40 prove the law by their failure. The law holds good in either case. Law of gravitation governs objects rolling down as well as objects rising into the sky.

Electricity that becomes light in the bulb, motion in the motor, intelligence in the computer remains electricity everywhere though the expressions vary.

Phase is the field and law decides the motion of the force in that field. Phases vary the field-expressions, not the laws. The law that governs the child learning its first words and that which presides over a 50 year old man learning a foreign language, is the same.

Rules can vary, not the law from which they issue. Traffic rules in India require one to drive on the left while it is on the right in Europe. In both cases, the law is to regulate the traffic.

Memorization, understanding by comprehension, understanding by thinking from the first principles all aim at the mastery of the subject in different ways suited to different intelligences. That which is basic is the law, its localised expressions vary.

Thirukural is hailed as the quintessence of social wisdom and was translated into forty languages even fifty years ago. Its 1330 couplets cover all of life under dharma and wealth, spread over 133 chapters. If examined, we find that some 13 basic laws govern them. Some of these are - about balance and rhythm, that life exists by values, that essentials cannot be missing in accomplishment, and it is better to keep in mind the ultimate requirement.

Looked at this way, our vast civilisation spread over a few millennia is governed by not more than a dozen such original ideas.

Later we speak of the line, the line that divides the low from the high or the weak from the strong. The same law yields opposite results on different sides of the line.

To us, a family, a shop, an office, a company, a unit of the army or a government are vastly different. Laws of social existence or social change all work the same in all these organisations. For example, excess energy helps the organised unit to grow. Excess energy in an unorganised unit helps destroy it. That authority accomplishes is true whether it is in the individual or the family. (In the individual, the authority is self-discipline). The part and the whole fulfil each other.

15. Society is its own determinant and is under no obligation to any external force in its evolution.Social determination is self-determination.

16. Geographical environment, climate, historical past and natural resources appear to be the determinants in the beginning. Ultimately society discovers that it is its own determinant.The only determinism is the inner determinism.

17. At that point transition from external determinism to self-determination, social evolution passes from unconscious to conscious status.Transition from the outer to the inner is from unconscious to the conscious.

18. Social evolution begins not at the conscious or even the inconscient part but at the subconscious because society has its base in the subconscious. Social base is the subconscious; neither the conscious nor the inconscient can serve as that base.

What is self-determination? It means it is a whole and forces beyond it have no role to play in its existence or functioning. When a man is confused about his own affairs and seeks advice, sometimes he finds the advice to his liking and foolishly expects the giver of that advice to decide for him. Bang comes the reply, 'It is your own affair, no one can decide for you. You must do it yourself.' There are other occasions when everyone tries to impose a decision on such a person, and he retorts, 'After all, all your good wishes and advice are pious words to me. It is for me to decide. Unless I myself take a decision, it is not going to be of any value for my life.'

Often errors are committed on this score. Government, administration and political parties are but a part of the society. As long as their decisions are in tune with the will of the society, they get fulfilled. Otherwise, they get rejected or become null and void or have opposite consequences as when the government of India wished to pursue industrialisation in preference to agriculture, when schools were offered to Indian villages and IMF imposed its experience on Russia.

Each part in our body is such a whole and acknowledges that greater whole of the body. Doctors, while treating a part, always take note of this fact. We hear of doctors who smell the disease, who diagnose at first sight and so on. These are men who recognise the truth in this statement.

The part depends on the whole for its energy and its direction, while organisation and skills are its own functions. The government is a part of the society. Its energy comes from the social will. It is the society that directs that energy to it goal. But, it is the government that organises that administration and offers it the skills it should have to convert that social power into results for the individuals.

The external conditions such as geography and history are not external to the society, but external to the individuals. To the society they are live parts.

In self-determination the whole decides the role of the part.

Society is not conscious and therefore relies on other conditions as externals. When it becomes conscious, they are no longer perceived as externals but as its own parts.

There are managers of companies who try to act as owners when the owners are unconscious. The moment the owner becomes conscious of his rights, the manager behaves as the part he really is.

Society is neither inert matter nor conscious of what it is. It is the individual who is conscious and it is earth that is inert. Society is neither but is subconscious. To become conscious and to be organised for action is social development.

When we find oil as useful and use it extensively, the decision to use it primarily depends on the value of use of the oil. In that sense, or in that measure, the decision is external. Such external decisions either hurt or are outlived by some other decision that does not so hurt the society. The Vedic Rishi as well as primitive man, each for his own reason, was able to live in harmony with the environment. The social whole grew with the growth of such living. It never was in conflict with the external or the inner life. Today we are increasingly discovering the greater value of natural food than artificial foodstuff. This we do when after long practice, we see the bad or wrong results. Just now we do not have any faculty inside to discern the true value of any foodstuff which the wild animals have even now. As long as society is unconscious, its method is trial and error. Whether the method is unconscious or conscious, ultimately, society discovers that what lasts is the decision of the inner perception, not the outer understanding.

The scientist is conquering the inert nature and its unconsciousness. He meets with pollution and recoils. The sannyasin is conscious of his spirit and is lost to life. Society overrules both. It ignores the sannyasin and compels the scientist to beat a retreat when he exceeds the bounds.

Society tolerates the unconscious behaviour.

When unconsciousness is pursued as an ideal, it cries a halt.

Before the society becomes conscious as a whole, it compels its cream to be conscious. The subconscious awareness of the society is so powerful that it is capable of compelling its pioneers to be individually conscious.

The insularity of Japan, the command economy of Russia, the intransigence of the petty rulers of India in the last century cannot for long survive the demands of the wider will of the society. An organised part of the society like the communist party of Russia may have power to compel the whole nation to a course not intended by it. But, in the long run, the Chinese Communists and the orthodox Brahmins of insular religious superstition have to give way to the will of humanity for universal education, pre-eminence of Man and equality of its members.

The history of human kind can be read as the history of the organised minority trying to have its way against the unseen, unexpressed subconscious will of the whole which comprises the minority as well as the majority.

19. Readiness of the society emerges at the point of the Individual, not in all society because the emergence must be in organised knowledge or organised action, better still in organised enjoyment, not only as ripe subconscious energy.

Organisation makes for social readiness

What do we mean by readiness? What form of energy is ready for what form of action in expression? What is the role of time here? Readiness means here the ability to display in action the power gathered in conscious awareness. Power is gathered in the subconscious as energy and expressed as result-oriented action consciously.

For the purpose of action in the plane of conscious awareness, the experience of the subconscious is only energy. Energy cannot by itself produce results. From subconscious energy to results in the consciousness, there are various changes.

  • For the subconscious energy to yield results in the conscious, it needs to rise from the depths to the surface.
  • Before the subconscious moves into the conscious, first, in the subconscious plane, the energy must convert itself into force, power and results.
  • The results of the subconscious when they rise to the conscious are found to be energy in the new plane. Again its need to flow through the process of becoming results in this new context.
  • In the subconscious itself one of the changes the energy has to undergo to become results, is to organise itself as subconscious power.
  • It is clear that the subconscious energy before becoming results in the conscious plane, has to undergo organisation twice.
  • As the conscious is a higher plane, the vast energies of the entire collective is enough only to express at one or a few points of the conscious plane. These points are what we call Individuals.
  • The multiple changes in this transition are,

          - Rising to the next plane

         - Primary conversion of energy into results

         - Results of the lower becoming energy of the higher

         - Secondary conversion of energy into higher results

         - Organisation emerging twice

         - Quantity shrinking from an ocean to a single point

In the subconscious as well as the conscious - the depth as well as the surface - this conversion of energy into results has one more expression that subdivides into three planes of physical, vital and mental. For the present we need not consider the spiritual, as development is mainly the physical achieving by the direction of the mental. It is true that what we call depth to the surface, or subconscious to conscious, is itself a movement from the physical to the mental. Whether it is from the body to the mind or within each plane from physical to the mental, the conversion needs to be explained. The organisation is the same where it is. The results are,

  • Skill in the physical
  • Energy for action - attitude - in the vital.
  • Knowledge in the mental.

Skill formation:

In the physical the energy's first action is movement. Capacity for action that is right movement, judgment as to the power of movement, how much to move, the eye's judgement of the distance of the right movement, the hand's measuring out the release of energy, the mind's knowledge of from where to move which article to where. Each of these movements has to be learnt by trial and error. When all are rightly learnt, several sub-skills are to be coordinated two or three at a time and finally organised around a centre when the physical skill is born.

Action in the vital for forming the attitude: The vital aim converts the vital energy into vital force. It passes through the existing vital organisation to become vital power. This power yields results through the vital skills of speech, sight, likes, manners, and so on.

Organisation of knowledge: Mental observation of sense data separates the sense from the data. The facts of the environment come to the mind as send data carried by the sensation. Mind accepts the services of the senses but accepts only the concrete objective facts, shifting them from sensation. When the facts carry the sensation they give an impression not the reality. Collection of data leads to processing of them into usable information. Up to this point thought proper does not come into play. Thought is the organisation of usable information according to the previous training of the mind. This is subjective thought. For it to become objective thought, mind must be capable of the same organisation with respect to the outside object around which it is trying to form a thought. The essence of these thoughts abstracted from the facts that go into them organises itself into an idea. Ideative formation is the organisation of knowledge. This idea has the light of the mind, not the force of it. Force is carried by the will. As knowledge is the organisation of information, will is the organisation of action. In the mind both are separate functions. Mind, in its supreme moments, can fuse the knowledge and will, thus giving birth to the powerful idea, called Real-Idea by Sri Aurobindo.

All these must be decided by physical observation, vital practice and mental training.

The Individual is to do this in his own life on behalf of the collective.

20. In order to organise consciousness into knowledge or action in one individual, the whole society must supply the energy of its subconscious existence.                                              

Sri Aurobindo speaks of the Supramental perfection and says that one man's Supramental perfection can save the whole mental world. We saw earlier how much energy goes into the transition from the collective to the individual and we saw the very long process of observation travelling to knowledge and further to action.

Considering the composition of skill, attitude, knowledge, will, it is possible to assess the huge reservoir of energy that is stored in all these things and the significance of the statement of Sri Aurobindo.

We see in life that one scientist discovers a tool like radio or telephone and in time millions of people who can never know what it is can put them to full use. As the use value is a tiny fraction of the energy that is needed to discover the original tool, it is understandable how one man's discovery can benefit the whole society. This is mechanical invention yielding commercial use value.

In a wider context, the perfection we talk of is the social perfection that is inclusive of several dozen facets of life values. It is clear that therefore this is possible. Let us not consider Supramental perfection here.

Man's mental perfection even if it is one man's perfection is truly enough to fully serve the whole humanity because the difference in the levels between the vital and mental is really great, almost infinite.

Perfection in one man = Fullness of the society.

Therefore the following ideas are significant.

  • Perfectibility of Man
  • The distance between the vital and the mental.
  • Actually we must take into account the distance between the physical and the mental. We are not considering the two further levels of spiritual and Supramental.
  • There are two facets of physical movement rising to mental knowledge and the mental knowledge fusing with the mental will descending to the physical to execute.
  • As the individual is inwardly the collective itself in spirit, this is a spiritual truth and a practical fact we witness in several ways as the one illustration above argues.
  • A whole nation is presided over by one man is what we know for thousands of years. How can one man rule a whole nation if in some way he is not the whole society?

21. Evolution from one plane to another demands conversion of energy on the scale of liquids becoming vapour.Crossing the plane, energy explodes.

22. Social development is the self-conception of the society.

Self-conception is creative

This is a section that properly belongs to efficiency, particularly the efficiency of selfishness.

Development needs a great amount of energy. It is efficiency that converts this energy into end results. That efficiency lies in a greater measure in mind than in matter, in selflessness than in selfishness.

Before acquiring the efficiency of selflessness, man needs to acquire the efficiency of selfishness. He does so by moving from vital selfishness to mental selfishness.

Law 21 is sufficiently explained under 20 and 19. This explains the secret of the great energy required. Once the energy is assured in the quantities required, next we have to consider the following.

  • Now the work is to convert available vast energies into end results.
  • This is done by efficiency.
  • Efficiency increases by several factors. By moving from:

1)Selfishness to selflessness

2)Matter to mind through vital

3)Vital to mind

  • The efficiency of the West is by science and technology
  • Agriculture is primitive science and low technology
  • Manufacture is advanced science and high technology
  • Service sector is science and technology at the service of Man while manufacture is science and technology in the service of money
  • These movements are represented by organisation and modernisation
  • Urbanisation is, theoretically, moving from vital selfishness to mental selfishness
  • India is still in vital selfish efficiency and largely negative
  • Moving from negative vital selfish efficiency to positive mental selfish efficiency is the key to India's development
  • Mexico is more backward as they are still in physical selflessness. They would benefit by moving to vital selfish efficiency
  • This trend is signified by rising expectations and felt need
  • It is brought out by education
  • It is symbolised by information
  • Quick spread of information makes education that can raise the expectations and give the felt need, effective
  • The creativity of self-conception is thus fulfilled by information-speed

23. By social development we mean society accomplishing its work by developing an organisation for it and continuing to improve that organisation.

Development is development of Organisation

This statement raises the question of what is an organisation. When several systems are made part of a whole which coordinates those systems according to its goal, the whole is known to be an organisation. Now we must explain or better still define a system. Several activities following a known sequence in time and space is a system. Having made the activity the unit, it demands a definition. Activity is the motion of energy that ends in a result. We know this energy by the time it produces results converts itself successively as force and power and yields the results through the dexterous handling of skills. Thus:

Organisation is activities settling down to a set pattern

Questions never cease. They start issuing from each successive point which we are trying to make as final. How is energy then released? We know of material energy, vital energy, mental energy, social energy and so on. Matter does not move by itself. It is moved by an external agency. Vital is always in movement. Mind moves in thought. It is thought that inspires mind. The inspired mind thinks using the mental energy created by the thought and created more of mental energy. What moves the vital is desire. Desire is the thought of the vital. Again it is hidden thought that causes the vital movement. As there is the desire in the vital with a seed of thought, the material physical needs of the body - individual as well as social - have the seed of thought in the form of an instinct. In the individual we say it is his will or physical will. In the society it is the social will.

The social will releases the social energies.

Thought is self-conceptive will. The society by its self-conceptive will energises itself and moves it into a chain of energy, activity and organisation. That edge of self-conception is always open and alive. It is there fashion originates and spreads. It is the live line of word of mouth. As in the process of crystallisation, it is the first crystal that leads to the several other crystals forming, this live line acts as the lifeline of the society.

Any movement, energy, activity, organisation that crystallises here - the self-conceptive lifeline - soon takes shape and quickly covers the whole society.

We speak of movement, activity, and organisation. In truth, these are the middle parts of a longer chain. Before movement lie energy and thought; beyond organisation lie institution, culture and values. Maybe we can still extend them to sensitivities - mental, vital, physical sensitivities.

Organisations appear at all levels of society, government, trade, professions, clubs, organisations, family, and group. Some fuller idea can be given by listing the levels in which organisations are born, the rules by which they function, the places where they are located, the various activities they indulge in. These grades are shown to emphasize the above explanations, not to pronounce a one to one correspondence down the columns.

  • Government - central - state - departments - city corporations - municipal councils - panchayats.
  • Parliament - Assembly - Corporation Council - Municipal Council - Panchayat Committee.
  • National capitals - state capitals - major cities - district headquarters - towns - rural towns - villages
  • National festivals like Deepavali - major religious festivals - village temple festivals - family functions - personal birthdays
  • National election - state elections - municipal elections - panchayat elections - school elections.

The essence of organisation in farming, manufacturing and political power is the same. But we know how much these organisations have grown in the horizontal multiplication and vertical development. That organisational growth is what we style development.

It is an essential characteristic of the society that each time an innovation occurs in any field, every other field tries to benefit by it by availing of its services, by adapting the old system to avail of the new innovation, by directly linking itself with the new if possible, by restructuring the old in terms of the new. By cooperation, coordination and integration, the newcomer is welcomed into the existing pattern. This leads to a burst of new activities, rather a new magnitude of activities.

Once this attitude prevails we see old skills, capacities, talents, ablities trying to cast themselves into a new mould or the new mould. And this is an endless process till the next revolution arises. Changes take place in all planes. Hence new attitudes, opinions, motives and values are fashioned.

Recollection of the feudal society and the changes it underwent at the onset of the industrial society in the above context will make the above claim clear.

The present decade is one when a similar shift is being made from the industrial society to its successor, whatever we may choose to call it.

What we call development is the constant further development of this chain, of which organisation is the middle term, with will and sensitivity occupying the other two extremes.

24. All existing forms of behaviour, belief, functioning etc. become obstacles when development begins.

The past and the present are barriers to the future.

This is a well known thought, always carefully, rather religiously disregarded. We have abolished dictatorship but the democratic leader in many places enjoys, virtually the same treatment the dictator received earlier.

Indian churches are like Hindu temples. American Hindu temples look like churches. We give up the tradition, break with the establishment, pride ourselves in being revolutionary. The socialist party is jubilant about the support of a rich man and the hippies exult when one from a top establishment joins them. In spirit we adore the past which we rebel against to break. Learning of Sri Aurobindo's translations of Alwar's poems, we blossom. His essays on the Gita are most widely read. We regret that Bharathi had not acknowledged his inspiration. Communists cherish their past Zamindari life. We are, here, trying to be born anew in spirit, we want our lives to be spiritually reborn but we value the thought, ‘I have always been like that from my childhood.' We value the good reputation we hold among the relatives and friends who we have given up. Indians memorize Savitri.

Globally manufacturing replaced agriculture. The farmers want agriculture to be treated as an industry! The whole world pleads for the dismantling of the military strength. In the same breath we recognise political and economic strengths. The fact is we are shifting from the importance of strength and are pleading for equal opportunities for the strong and the weak. Our meditation centres are steadily becoming temples.

Transformation is not change. Change can be partial but not transformation. A weak man, weak in a few aspects can change into strength in one of those aspects. Transformation demands the weakness to change into strength down to the very roots. When it is not so, transformation does not even begin. At some point or the other, mostly after the initial round, we commonly hear, 'This is too much, it must stop somewhere.' We can give the four freedoms but not guaranteed employment. World Bank should not even have the word 'corruption' in its vocabulary.The Mexican President nominates the incumbent. The UN is an undemocratic body. Let us organise the Truth, says the missionary.

At the level of explanations, no one will object to this theory. Should it be practised, there will be silent resistance or silent non-cooperation. This has two phases. We have discussed the first phase in the Human Choice paper and argued for recognising the human being as the ultimate resource.

There is the second phase. When the world has switched over through a global revolution in thinking, the man speaks of a man-centred economy and the man places his entire reliance on this world opinion about him, least realising that he is essentially going back to the ways of the past.

Why is it difficult to give up the past? How can we ever do it? We know ourselves as a mind in the body. We accept the dictum that there is a sound mind in a sound body. Thus it is our bodies that determine our minds. Disregarding this basic truth, in our enthusiasm for a new idea we accept it mentally, but follow it as of old. To follow the new as the new, requires a basic reversal of the view that mind determines the body, not the other way around. Sri Aurobindo calls this a change of our view which is capable of transforming matter.

Fundamentalists all over have started mini wars when the cold war disappeared. How can he face this reality in the world outside? As the military might that is dismantled will try to hide in another form, we should try to abolish those hide posts in advance. First, let us resolve all military conflicts economically. Global security will heave a sigh of relief then. We must also provide for the new economic gains to create new social and cultural values. There will be no past, then, for us to shed.

International awards or school ranks do not go by merit. They stick to the old values of nobility or the authority of the upper classes in Indian schools. What actually happens is that the new opening gives the neglected people a chance to display their talents. Talents are rewarded by popular appreciation. Then the authorities are either forced to recognise the talents of the commoners or do not want to be left out of the vanguard.

The remedy must tak� two forms. One, the grades such as military, political, economical, social, cultural, religious must be followed to the end in resolving military conflicts politically or economically. The other is the meticulous adherence to Truth in all its expressions. Worked out this way, all the mini wars of the world today can be abolished on paper.

25. Society accepting the Pioneer and following him is Social Development.

Following the pioneer is Development.

We have seen the conscious individual emerging from the subconscious collective. The pioneer is one such, maybe the first or one of the first few. We can safely say pioneers in any field today have a better welcome than thousand or even hundred years ago.

It is said we honour pioneers by crucifying them, starting from the days of Jesus and Socrates down to the days of Copernicus, Leonardo and Mahatma Gandhi. The world has followed the rhythm of ignoring, resisting and finally destroying the pioneers in any field. If for any reason the pioneer succeeds in his lifetime, the social response reverses to superstitious adulation, blind following and slow appreciation. From this experience we can safely say the society's recognition of the pioneer is a measure of its awakening to development. If an index of development is ever constructed, this idea should become an integral part of it.

So, the capacity to follow the pioneer is Development.

Life is not uniformly structured whether it is the terrain of earth or the human appreciation of what it needs. The falling rain collects in the depressions while it runs off in the gradients. Different individuals receive from the same collective different intensities of its gathering consciousness. Some become pioneers truly representing the preparedness of the society while a vast majority of them are unaware of what is happening. The appearance of the pioneer is a phenomenon like the young artists' first attempts. What he is not satisfied with he wipes off or throws away. On the part of the society it is a functional work not meriting ethical value judgment. For the imperfect pioneering individual it is a question of survival.

As the pioneer is of different levels of perfection, the society too is of different levels of receptivity. We cannot say for certain that a right pioneer will be welcomed or one who appears ahead of his time will be exterminated. All varieties of responses are possible. They also have the capacity to combine forces as the circumstances permit or demand.

We said the capacity to develop organisations is a measure of its development. Now we can say the capacity to recognise, receive and be benefited by the pioneer is a measure of social development. We shall now confine ourselves to recognising this capacity and need not go into the more complex phenomenon of whether we can raise that capacity. It is enough we say, as elsewhere, this capacity too lends itself to be increased. Can we go over all other such symptoms?

Starting from the physical skill till we reach the other end - the spiritual values - every aspect can serve as such a measure. As health expresses at all points of the body, development expresses at all points of the social body. We can try to identify at the nine levels of our scale the main symptoms, though at each stage such expressions can multiply immeasurably.

  • At the top of the scale we have sages, yogis, poets, philosophers, original thinkers.
  • Various experts creating viable practical organisations represent the number three slot;
  • Vital alertness at the borders down to its individual expression;
  • Expressions of courage at the individual as well as collective levels;
  • Ethnic identities and their intensities;
  • Physical skills such as craft extending up to its expression in national organisation;
  • Physical emotions as expressed in folklore, local festivals and so on;
  • And at the bottom is the unconscious body. Its awareness too is a measure of development. The importance given to the disposal of the dead body indicates this. Museums represent the social attitude to what it discards.

26. Development is the development of consciousness.

It is in 1947 that Nehru pronounced that development of consciousness is the real development of India. Whether he said so because he was an Indian or because of his Cambridge education is not clear. If the latter is true, it is a tribute to the western system of education. Even the economists do not seem to hold that view, till today.

Nehru's statement shows he was in possession of the ultimate wisdom. Then, his inability to translate this into action brings out very clearly the great significance of methods, the social tools for human accomplishment. Knowledge of the part, then, is as important as the knowledge of the whole since the part is a whole in its own domain. Maybe we can say, knowledge of the whole becomes power by acquiring the knowledge of the parts. Mental knowledge is always a knowledge devoid of power, not the supramental knowledge which is power itself. Man gives power to his knowledge when he moves up from below and that is physical knowledge, skill gathered bit by bit.

Life progresses by consciousness and consciousness advances by organisation. By consciousness, Nehru means the conscious awareness of how one came to be what he is. Self-conscious being that is existence need not be conscious of it. By choice it becomes conscious. In evolution, matter is not conscious but life is. Life becomes conscious by generating energy and letting the energy release a movement of matter. Maybe this is the first appearance of consciousness on earth. Such a movement is conscious of its external environment. It is not given to life to acquire self-consciousness. That appears with the appearance of mind.

The Self has the capacity to be aware of the outside first and itself next. This Self can be mentally conscious, vitally conscious, physically conscious and so on. Whatever it is conscious of, that consciousness gets created. Consciousness is not Ananda. Ananda is the sensation of consciousness in action through power in the fields of Time and Space. What is Ananda from above is psychic from below.

Go back in Mind, enter into it, expand upward to the Superconscient and downward to the subconscient which is double opening. This is evolution.

Nehru knew this, but to rediscover his own knowledge in terms of the masses was beyond human reach. Nehru identified with the emotions of the masses. How could he conceive as the masses conceived, identifying himself with their thinking process? Perhaps one is capable of knowing it.

Because Kamaraj had no education, the behaviour of educated people having an insistent urge for development strikes him as different. For another educated man, this observation is not possible. When one is of an earlier generation and comes from a religious background, it removes expectation from his mental domain. In the postwar period, when he sees people having higher expectation and ready to revolt for it, that holds his interest. Their own personal psychological make up led them to their perceptions as both were trying to think originally.

That is to get the idea. How about practising the idea or making the people practise it to their benefit. Intellectual exercise may hit upon it by a stray chance. For us the theory of creation outlined in the greatest detail has a parallel to every human situation. It is thus we arrive at our solutions guided by His philosophy.

We had occasion to indirectly deal with this topic when we spoke of energy, force, power, skill, capacity, talent, opinion, attitude, motive etc. As all these are components of consciousness, development of any of them is ultimately the development of consciousness.

27. Change of attitude expresses the new consciousness.

New attitude is new consciousness.

Man being a continuous whole made up of the same substance of different intensities, development of any part is likely to show in other parts. Our theme is that development of consciousness is social development. The changes in one's consciousness as development do not remain there in hiding. It seeps through to the other members of his being. To the mind it gives a greater clarity, to the body it can give a new vigour. But it is in one's attitudes that these changes are prominently seen.

The traditional saying sound mind in a sound body reflects this wisdom. It is common knowledge that higher income expresses itself as higher expenditure. There is no law that it should, but the pressure created in one part naturally expresses itself in other parts.

No one misses the difference in the looks of a rustic and the town dweller. It is unmistakable. Rustic rural consciousness and urban consciousness are not only evident in their attitudes but also in their looks. The instinctive shouting of the rustic is a markedly different attitude from the normal speech of a town bird.

All endowments exercise a beneficial influence on the consciousness. They all, without exception, are seen as changing attitudes. Consciousness has a knowledge part and another part of will. Knowledge educates the mind and it stays there as information, opinion or understanding to guide his energies. His energies are vital and need to be guided all the time. What guides the energies is the attitude even as the thought is guided by understanding or opinion. Attitude is described as the direction the vital energies take having accepted the mental understanding.

Mind directing the vital energies by its understanding

gives birth to attitudes.

Attitudes are the vital directions of its energies when

they are guided by mental understanding, particularly

mental opinions.

Attitudes are mentally directed vital propensities.

Any object used by a person reveals the major traits of the user is an axiom Sherlock Holmes used and explained to Watson when the latter asked him to examine a gold watch.

Education, wealth, culture, caste status, spiritual awakening, family tradition, experience, health, wisdom or any major endowment of consciousness never fail to express themselves in the face. Attitudes unfailingly express changes in the consciousness.

Even Arumuga Navalar rose from his seat instinctively when Ramalinga Swamy entered the court hall.

It was a stroke of genius in Kamaraj that declared, "Educate a boy, he will develop himself".

Only when the development of consciousness expresses itself as changed attitudes the intended results issue.

28. All new economic progress begins with this changed attitude to lifestyle.

Changing the attitude, the country progresses.

29. The invisible plane of life is as much a field of production as the factory that manufactures or the land that produces the grain.

Life is productive.

30. In fact, being subtle, this life plane is more powerful and more productive.

More subtle, more powerful.

31. Historically all phases of development have begun only like this.

History confirms productivity of the subtle.

Nehru, Indira and Rajiv have put in their best endeavour, through eight plans to shake India out of its tamas, into action. It is an axiom that no government can by itself improve the life of people, especially through subsidies, free electricity, free education and free transport. In this wide world of ours there is nothing free. Whatever is given free by the government ultimately comes from the taxpayer. Nor is the government in any position to tax one section of people so that another section can enjoy something free. It is very clear that if a nation has to progress, it has to work for it.

What did we see in the Asian Tigers? What social phenomenon surfaced in the Western Europe in the post-war period or in USA or in Japan in recent decades? People did shift from the old attitude to new attitudes. The old attitude was contentment and complacency. The new attitude wanted more comfort, more security, more products.

In the last two decades India is astir in every front. What is it due to? What new factor entered into life on its own or introduced by some agency? No such factor is in evidence. Still we see the growth rate steadily rising. What was the cause?

India became free in 1947. In 1977 we have the population of the age group of 20-30 only composed of those born in the free soil. They knew no slavery, no fear as their previous generations. They were born free. The educational level of this population was markedly higher than those of the previous generations. Freedom and education widen the perspective. They wanted more. They had expectations. It was rising. They could not rebel against something or somebody. They were more determined to achieve what they wanted. Their attitude was changed from the old. It was a result of freedom, education, aspiration, energy and so on which finally shaped into a new attitude, a new determination to achieve.

By their aspiration and attitude the new population has created a new social plane of possibilities. In a community of aspirants each man's aspiration becomes a field for another man to serve even as each agriculture producer's produce becomes the consumption of the other thus creating a field of exchange.

  • Agriculture and manufacture created fields of grain and products.
  • Service creates the field of service where each man can be of use to the other.

The rising expectations of the entire population, spearheaded by the young adults have created a subtle field in which the entire society can produce even as land and factories were fields of production in the earlier centuries.

For the nomad who lived on fruits, the virgin forests were the natural fields of production. When man discovered agriculture, land was an artificial field to him. It was a plane of his own creation and in that sense it was artificial as well as unreal. In that sense the land he tilled was not so concrete as the native forests from which he gathered fruits and hunted game. In that measure land carried the fringe of subtlety to the nomad. It can be easily imagined that the farmer who tilled the land found a machine in a factory non-existent or unreal or even somewhat subtle. In the same way the service sector is invisible, unreal, insubstantial and subtle for us who are used to fields and factories as our venues of productions. From this it is clear that progress that gather subconsciously surfaces as new attitudes in the population ushering in vast social changes.

Changed attitudes in the population is the end link of the chain of thought that is aspiration - energy of the social body released by that thought - activities created by that energy - organisation - institution - culture - values. Attitudes are social values. Having developed new attitudes, man is determined to achieve what he aims at. Hence the nation is stirred into action. We call that action progress.

Nothing can explain to us better that life is productive than the advent of money. Money represents material products, but itself is less material. Money belongs more to life than the gross products it represents. Banks are storehouses of money, not to speak of stock exchanges through which enormous amounts of money pass. Banks handle money, not products. Banks control the factories that produce but, in reality, banks are greater centres of life than centres of work or products. A bank is more a centre of life and money than a centre of work that produces. Needless to say, banks are more productive than any field or factory we know of.

As we move up from land to factory to life, it is obvious that productivity rises. Factory is more productive than land, even as land was more productive than the forest. Money is more productive than the factory. The service sector is an invisible plane of life that serves as a field of greater production than its predecessor, the factory. Hence,

The More Subtle, The More Powerful

  • In moving from forest to land and to factory which leads him to the invisible field of life, we see man moves from his physical to the vital and to the mental.
  • This is a gradation starting from grossness and leading to subtlety.
  • March of civilisation can be said to be man moving from the gross plane to the subtle plane.
  • Obviously, it is a movement to greater productivity.
  • At the bottom of all these lies the changed attitude of man, which is the last link that begins with his aspiration.

32. Even when natural resources and scientific discoveries have initiated a phase of development, it will be seen that they are only instruments and not causes.

Resources and discoveries are only instruments and not causes.

Our assumption is that man, individual or collective, is capable of self-determination. Man is to society what the Absolute is to creation. It is obvious. May be the Absolute and its self-conceptive role is not so obvious. The earth, the world, is the habitat of man. It is he who has created what we know of civilisation, kingdoms, prosperity, culture and its glories. At each stage it is obvious that he relied essentially on land, coal, timber, oil, steel or something we know of as material resource.

He has discovered electricity, the computer and a host of other things. Apparently he became the slave of the discoveries he has made. But, it does not deny the fact that he was their discoverer and user.

We started the laws of development saying that the collective subconscious expresses through the individual consciousness which in turn raises the collective to full consciousness. If we may say so, it is the full cycle of development.

Nowhere in this cycle do we find any initiator or creative agent other than man. He has used many materials as resources, discovered many energies that served him well. He has also discarded many of them after they outlived their use.

No resource or no discovery has outlived Man or his resourcefulness.

Man has utilised not only material resources but he has employed non-material resources like money, organisation, language, symbols etc. Even here he has outlived many of them. Not one of them has ever outlived man.

But man does have the tendency to submit himself to any of these resources or discoveries as if they are primary and he secondary. It is a weakness of human behaviour which we cannot take as final.

The Laws of Social Development can be summed up as:

Man, the self-determining being, determines himself in the collective through the conscious awareness of the individual member to develop his social existence into one of comfort, enjoyment and comprehension, in utter disregard of his material environment and their resources even though, through his discoveries, he plentifully uses them for a time.

II.  Organisation, Institution

An act is isolated at least apparently. Several acts occurring simultaneously will appear chaotic or unrelated. Two or more acts can arrange to synchronise to produce an intended result. That arrangement becomes a system. Various acts or several systems can coordinate to produce a result. If that coordination become a fixed pattern, it may be called an organisation.

As we start with organisation taking an act as a unit, we do not go beyond the act. In fact, if we pursue the analysis the act itself is an organisation, a real miniature of the greater organisation. But we start with an act, move to a chain of activities, consider a system and study how an organisation has come into existence. Beyond that there is the concept of an organism which also will not receive our attention here but we shall follow the maturity of the organisation into institution, culture and social values.

Body is subconscient physical, incapable of movement by itself on its own. It can be moved from outside. The inconscient can only be moved from outside but the subconscient is less so. The vital is energy in movement and will move the body. Its movement has no direction or purpose, much less organisation. Organisation properly belongs to the mind, involves thought, particularly forethought. Thought implies understanding while the movement of energy implies only movement, we can say a thoughtless movement, almost.

To organise means to bring together in a set pattern to produce a foreseen result. It is possible only when the process by which that result is arrived at is foreknown. This is the knowledge part of organisation. To produce a result it is not enough to have the knowledge. One must have the power to direct that knowledge through the energy so that the result issues. Thus organisation needs knowledge and will and a will that can effectuate that knowledge is the mental will. Clearly organisation belongs to the mind and not to the vital or to the body.

Knowledge we speak of comes to us in the shape of thought. Thought itself is mentally organised knowledge even as opinions are. Mind, in this respect, essentially differs from the vital and the body and is the central seat of organisation whether it is knowledge organised into thought, or force into will.

The planes in which this organisation takes place are Time and Space. Organisation implies a sequence. It is a sequence in Time as well as in Space.

Organisation has a two-fold purpose. First it brings about a result. Secondly, the aim is to bring it about with the least energy, effort and in the least time. To organise means to achieve the maximum result with the minimum energy and inputs, in the shortest time. Organisation makes for efficiency. The more organised a work is, the more efficient it is.

The physical is existence. At best it can be moved from outside. The vital is energy, directionless energy without any thought content. Mind is knowledge. Knowledge comes from light which implies it knows its environment, that is, it can give direction. Direction is not only in terms of space, but in terms of the goal. Direction to achieve the goal should have the knowledge of the past, the past process.

To direct energies to a future goal knowing the process of

the past is the work of the mind. It is organisation that relates,

coordinates, directs and controls different energies or different

parts of the energy to produce the desired result.

Thus organisation takes the work from the physical, vital planes to the plane of mind. This gradation is energy of life, the conscious awareness of life energy and organisation. For life that is energy to progress, it must awake to itself, it must become conscious. Energy that knows itself can progress better than unconscious energy. The second stage of progress requires organisation.

It is true that organisation helps consciousness to grow. It is a small truth that the effort to organise awakes unconsciousness to consciousness. To organise means to throw light on.

We said organisation directs energy to result. Those who study such results discover laws by which results are arrived at. What do they discover as laws? Laws then, can be said to be the fixed pattern into which energy is organised to bring about results. Light in the consciousness sinking into the substance, creating the genetic code of action, ends as laws of action.

III.  Opinion: Thoughts organised become a tool of the mind. Thoughts can be organised around earlier vital preferences or mental preferences. They become opinions. Thoughts can also be organised around impersonal understanding. Then they become ideas. These ideas are isolated from the mental force which is will. As thoughts are capable of organising around preferences or impartial ideas, they can also organise around force, the simple force of the mind which we call will. In that case it becomes decision. The same organisation taken to the mental substance, changes into determination. Take it further to the substance of the body or consciousness of the being, it becomes commitment. This is a line where thought, decision, determination and commitment appear.

Thought after organising into an idea, can integrate or organise itself around the will of the force. At a point where the organisation becomes integration, the idea becomes a self-effectuating Real-Idea. That is how mind restores its relation with the supermind.

We see mind is the seat of light and organisation. The organisation proceeds in several directions, we saw one direction above. Another direction is the formation of attitude and motive.

IV.  Attitude: Vital energy is released as water issues out of a spring. Water takes the direction of the gradient. The duty of the vital is to release the energy. That energy has no direction. The vital is incapable of giving any direction. Direction comes from the light that is thrown on the situation and the force that is determined to direct. Neither belongs to the vital. Like the Mexicans it overflows with energy.

The vital energy can come under the influence of the mental opinion or mental understanding. That gives a direction. Such a directed vital energy is attitude.

The energies of the vital organise themselves into an attitude. It can take two further directions both having essential similarities. The physical for most purposes has the character of the whole being. When the physical energies are organised as attitude is organised, motive emerges. The same motive can emerge when the energies of the whole being are organised, as attitude is organised.

The above discussion makes us understand that organisation by implication is conscious. It is partially true. It can be even subconscious or unconscious. Let us not go to those philosophic spiritual planes of quest now. Spiritually the unconscious has a seed of consciousness. Therefore even the unconscious can organise with the help of the conscious seed in it. Hence we see the unconscious organisation.

Organisation of energy results in skill. Though skill exists at all levels, we have chosen to limit skill to the physical. Energy moving towards a result by trial and error slowly moves away from error. Capacity of the energy to desist from error out of experience is skill. When a skill that achieved a result is analysed, it will reveal several sub-skills. Man trying to aim a stone at a mango in the tree finally acquires the skill to bring the mango down. It is not one single skill. The hand that sends the stone judges the energy it has to release to hit the fruit. It is a skill of judgment, judgment of volume of energy. The eye has to fix the direction the stone has to travel. All the other parts of the body have to cooperate in a coordinated symphony. Skills of judgment in releasing the energy, judgment of vision, skill of caution of intruders, in terms of time, space, energy, thought, alertness are involved.

We mentioned organisms earlier. The organisation in the organism is sub-conscious. Its emergence to the conscious surface is organisation.

Thus man's living body contains his universe, in truth, the universe in miniature.

 V.  Efficiency

1. To achieve the maximum result in the minimum time and with a minimum effort is efficiency. Efficiency results when energy is not directly expressed but is expressed through an organisation. Organisation prevents waste of energy, absorbing all of it into action. Efficiency is that which converts energy into results.

2. Efficiency is a general term which is made possible by organising energy into skill, by the vital evincing interest, by extracting capacity from various skills, organising work through systems, and by constantly introducing innovation.

3. Life exists in the planes of Time and Space. Materials are used in these planes by energy to achieve results. Socially these resources are seen as money. Efficiency is attributed to any method that helps save time or space, money or materials. Introduction of systems save time and space by their very structure. The path money travels is tracked by accounting which helps save money. Measurement of work in terms of money is costing which can save a lot more money. Accounts written in such a fashion that help us track the work, better still assess the work, will save all the money that can ever be saved.

4. Interest serves in two ways. It releases a lot more energy. In doing the work, interest helps achieve the goal with less energy. Interest is vital but innovation is mental. To do a thing partly or fully in a new way is innovation. It is always the one method that helps save energy.

5. The above components are directly related to the organisation of work. There are other useful methods to achieve efficiency by exercising common sense. In conceiving of a work, one is focused on the result, not always thinking of efficiency. To use all socially available methods to execute a work is one such way to achieve a higher efficiency. Green Revolution was possible by one such approach.

6. Efficiency is generally not thought of in conceiving of a work. One more method of achieving higher efficiency is to exhaust your interested thought on improvement. This way a vast unexpected result will issue.

7. As long as the parts of the work fit into a functional whole, we move ahead. The way in which parts fit into a whole or the whole receives its parts into itself admits of more efficiency than usual. Therefore, it is worthwhile examining how it fits.

8. The legal constitution, the physical layout of the factory and the social milieu have a great impact on efficiency. Measurements for each activity generally called index or indicators are a spur to overall efficiency. Such indices can be integrated to arrive at a composite index for the whole activity, which is possible, and when instituted will be a powerhouse of efficiency.

VI.  Technology

9. Matter expressing knowledge - a material organisation of knowledge - designed to produce greater results, is technology in expression. A scientific law finding itself designed to define itself in a material instrumentation is a tool and that knowledge is technology. Thus technology is science in matter. Philosophically all forms express forces and are force compressed, evolving through a rhythm and a process. Technology is the scientific form expressing material force.

10. Life is movement producing sensation in inert physical matter. As life lies between matter and mind, it rises to matter offering its sensation for the evaluation of mental thinking. Mind detaches the sensation from the fact and emerges with the pure thought which is far more powerful than the inertia of matter or the sensation of life. As all the three are interlinked and a silent process of integration is going on, the thought returns to matter resulting in its domination of matter. In this process, thought can become a technical idea. Mind dominating matter, taking shape materially is Technology. So, technology is idea in material form.

11. Technology is mental idea expressed in material devices. Matter becomes machine when it expresses an idea designed to work. Matter has infinite energy stored in it and it is in infinite invisible motion. This motion is subconscious to human perception. Vital is energy in motion. Evolutionary progress or progress of national development demands considerable energies now not available. The greatest store of energy is hidden in matter. It is possible to release the energy partially by the movement of life. Greater quantities of it can be released by the mind, if the mind tunes itself with matter through an idea that is designed to move it. Theoretically greater energies of matter can be released if the spirit hidden in matter can emerge. By supramentalisation matter can be transformed to its original status of Being when the unleashed energies are enough to create the Supramental being.

12. Our purpose is limited in scope and small in its measure, being technology. It is to render matter more efficacious in work. So energy for us is matter moved by mind. Our aim successfully releases great vital energy by compelling matter to express a mental idea.

13. Energy is released by a higher plane acting on the lower plane as the idea energises the vital. The release of energy will be greater if the gap between the planes is greater too. Storage of energy is greater in the lower planes and capacity to stimulate them is greater in the higher planes.

14. Resources can be material as the burning capacity of coal or oil. To make drugs or plastic out of coal is not the directly available natural resource of coal. It is a result of human ingenuity. The greater the mental resource in creating a resource, the greater the end result.

15. Design, quantity and number are the qualities that render spiritual substance into material substance. For the mental idea to unleash the material properties, man resorts to design. The mind in man evokes a response from the mind in metal through technology. Ideas are technologies of spirit. Higher technology needs higher organisation.

VII.  Obstacles, Anachronisms

16. All phenomena are of forms. Forms express forces. Forms come into existence, serve for a time, outlive their use and fall into disuse. Such forms become obstacles for further progress and are called anachronisms. Any form or phenomenon that has either outlived its use or does not belong to the scheme of things at the given moment becomes an obstacle for the progress of that period.

a. Forms in disuse are obstacles.

b. Forms of the past are called anachronisms.

17. Growth is of the form as well as of the spirit. Old forms come into direct collision with the new forms and become obstacles offering various kinds of resistance. Mental attachment to the earlier forms in disuse creates sentimental resistance and thus becomes psychological anachronisms. Thus, anachronisms can be material obstacles or invisible inner resistance.

18. As the growth lies in the direction of mental from physical, the outer expressions of the phenomena that have acquired a physical form become obstacles when the stage of progress moves from the physical to the vital or mental. Attachment to the physical forms results in rendering them obstacles.

19. Progress is a movement. Its form itself is flexible. Obstacle is fixed, often being physical. Therefore, obstacles stubbornly resist progress of the present.

20. Flexible progress, rigid obstacle.

21. Man may be aware of the nature of anachronisms and cling to them. Or, he may not be aware of it but he lets it rule his mind. In the earlier case, it is man's conscious preference that issues no struggle as he has chosen it. In the other case the influence is subtle and drains his energies. He is unconscious and would be wondering as to why his work is stalled. Absence of knowledge lies at the root of his unconsciousness.

22. Knowledge transforms unconsciousness into consciousness.

23.  Everything in creation has its innate infinite character. So also the sentiments that cling to anachronisms which can expand in any direction and fortify the hold of anachronism. We are aware of the phenomenon of archaic sentiments. Sentiments themselves have the inherent potential of becoming an anachronism. When it develops around an archaic phenomenon, its innate power emerges. Man always has the tendency to idealise. Idealising what is archaic by his emotions, man creates an impenetrable fortress. No ordinary man can wage a battle against it.

24. Obstacles as well as instruments acquire the character of the plane to which they belong. Lower planes are dense in substance. Higher planes are subtle. Dense physicality is strong in resistance. In fact, the more subtle a substance is, the stronger it is for service or in offering resistance.

a.  Strength of the lower planes is in substance.

b.  Strength of the higher planes is in subtlety.

25. When you need support to survive, property and money offer it more easily and more readily, while ideas and sentiments do not. He who seeks technological innovation, planning strategies and so on, will get them more readily in ideas, rather than in materials or money.

26. Vital obstacles are ferocious in their energies while physical obstacles are silent. Their support is often by their volume.

27.  Voluminous support, ferocious opposition.

28. Mental obstacles are neither ferocious nor voluminous but subtly change the direction of the energies through the instrumentation of the ego. Nature, He says, is in no hurry. She seeks delight deliberately and slowly as she has the entire infinity before her. She is not evolutionary. God involved in Nature is evolutionary and seeks a vertical movement. It is given to man to choose the slow, deliberate delight of Nature or the evolutionary urge of God. God leaves the choice to man.

29. Evolution of Nature is the result of human choice.

30. Evolution itself is the evolution of that choice.

31. Nature herself has the ability to centre herself in the physical or the vital or the mental. Centering herself in the physical, she is slow and offers great silent resistance to change. At the mental level the resistance is less. Nature herself choosing to move to the spiritual centre in her can thus move to the unevolving portions or the evolving portions of the respective psychic beings - the physical, vital, mental and psychic.

32. Man moving to the psychic will enable the advent of the supramental being while Nature will remain as she is. Nature herself moving to the psychic will be Earth calling the Supreme.

VIII.  Accomplishment, Enjoyment

33. Act is the unit of activity, the worldly life and the Universal Existence. A string of movements come to be called an act when something is accomplished. Until something is accomplished, it does not become an act, but remains a movement of energy. When a movement of energy accomplishes, it becomes an act.

34. Act is the unit, accomplishment the stamp.

35. Accomplishment is an aspect of the whole; therefore it is a capacity of the whole. It is the whole that accomplishes. Wholeness and accomplishment go together. Movement of parts does not accomplish; the parts contribute in their own way to the accomplishment of the whole. In an organisation, a department or an individual can contribute to the accomplishment, but cannot accomplish. If they choose to accomplish, they should move to the centre and begin acting from there.

36. Skill, capacity and talent help us understand the role played by the part as well as the whole. Skill is essentially of the part. Capacity is of the whole. When skill is raised by the strength of the overall capacity, it becomes a talent.

37. Skill of the part.

38. Capacity of the whole.

39. Talent is the skill of the capacity.

40. Talent is really a capable skill.

41. Capacity is the essence of skill. Skill is the outward expression. Capacity is the inner, just as much as thought and speech. We can pick out one skill and raise it to talent by expressing all the capacity we have hitherto acquired only when we have acquired all the skills we are capable of.

42. Talent is the essence of all skills expressed in one skill.

43. Talent is the skill of the whole.

44. Ability is essentially that which enables one to transfer the essence of one skill to another, collect the essence into capacity and reinforce a skill with capacity to raise it to a talent.

45. Skill acquires organisation.

46. Capacity collects the essences.

47. Talent is saturated skill.

48. Ability transfers skills.

49. Capacity to transfer skills is talent.

50. Skill and capacity are analogous to behaviour and character.

51. Behaviour like skill.

52. Character like capacity.

53. As personality lies beyond character and is the potential strength that can achieve outside character that recoils from an unknown challenge, accomplishment is the endowment of that central person who holds in essence the strength to bring about the results.

54. Accomplishment is the personality of life.

55. The only difference is that personality surfaces only when challenged by the unfamiliar. Accomplishment meets every work all day long.

56. Accomplishment is the personality of everyday work.

57. When several parts meet to accomplish a whole, each part has a positive sensitivity that must be fully honoured and a negative sensitivity that must be fully avoided.

58. Sensitivity succeeds.

59. Sensitivity is an index of success.

60. Sensitivity succeeds or ruins.

61. Succeeding sensitivity.

62. Ruining sensitivity.

63. Positive sensitivities reward in proportion to our response; negative sensitivities when permitted a little will cancel the whole work.

Positive sensitivity awaits invitation.

Negative sensitivity invites itself.

64. When accomplishment is acquired as a unit or in the unit-whole, it will allow itself to raise itself in proportion to the strength of personality.

Character accomplishes.

Personality improves upon it.

Personality improves even the perfect.

65. Accomplishment is neutral, never permits social, ethical, or conscientious dimensions except to interfere or abridge result.

66. Accomplishment is a law unto itself.

Neutral accomplishment.

67. Social, ethical accomplishments are wholes in a partial plane.

68. Wholes of the part.

69. Opinion, attitude and motive are of mind, vital and being.

Mental opinion.

Vital attitude.

Being's motive.

70. One's accomplishment could be restricted to one of these - opinion, attitude, and motive.

Determinants of accomplishment.

71. Work in a higher plane will be adversely effected by a lower attribute like opinion, etc. being negative to it, while work in a lower plane will remain unaffected by a higher attribute even if it is negative to the work.

The lower affects the higher.

The superfluous higher.

The unaffective higher.

72. When an essential component of the work is not brought in, the result is either postponed till it arrives or stalls at that point - Alavander.

Determining component.

73. Atmosphere of a place carries with it the ability of accomplishment in the areas one is unformed or oblivious.

Accomplishment of the atmosphere.

Accomplishment of the unformed.

Accomplishment of the oblivious.

74. Fresh incursion of energy can raise the level of accomplishment in the areas where the endowment fully exists or rests on experience.

Energy accomplishes through endowment or experience.

75. An attitude essentially required for accomplishment can come to one either positively or negatively.

Neutral attitude that accomplishes.

76. Presence of such an endowment negatively will be largely successful in a negative social atmosphere, but it will be accomplishment pure and simple.

Accomplishment pure and simple.

77. For that to be successful in a positive atmosphere, the attitude should rise above the line.

Positive atmosphere requires attitudes above the line.

78. The maximum one accomplishes is determined by the scope of the atmosphere and the willing organisation of the 'accomplishment' in oneself.

Organisation of accomplishment in oneself.

79. Strong individuals performing within a weak organisation will soon exhaust their possibilities at the point where the strength of organisation is exhausted.

Limits of organisation.

80. Weak individuals that are performing within an organisation that is strong will be able to avail of the strength of the organisation in the measure they subordinate themselves to its authority.

Strong organisation and weak individuals.

81. An accomplishment is determined by the interaction of the several endowments of the individual - skill, capacity, talent, ability, manners, character, behaviour, personality, opinion, attitudes, motive - with the several attributes in the outside atmosphere - organisation, authority, status, power, and so on.

Personal organisational determinants of accomplishments.

82. The initiative cutting across these aspects reaching any goal without being tampered or interfered with by a negative trait, accomplishes itself.

Successful dexterous initiative.

83. Inner approval or appreciation of any goal or a person who has attained that goal, makes one eligible for the same accomplishment. That appreciation reaching a certain fullness - say when it reaches the substance of a layer - readily accomplishes on the strength of that appreciation alone. Suspicion, mistrust, sarcasm expressed or unexpressed have the opposite effect.

Silent sanction for accomplishment.

Silent cancellation of any possible accomplishment.

Subtle power in material life.

The more subtle the attribute is, the more powerful is its effect.

84. Strength of accomplishment is that which operates in a lower plane than its maximum reach. It goes straight to its goal, brushing aside all the dissenters. Often this is the way fallen to the lot of a pioneer. The atmosphere being low, the pioneer is vulnerable all the time as Sherlock Holmes found himself all the time. For him to be a success, he cannot rely on any external support. Grace acting through the society brings to the surface unusual elements that help him. Grace acting through his own personality chooses endowments like courage or compassion. All the time, this is a dangerous game, fit only for those who love danger.

Strength that accomplishes in a weak atmosphere acts through grace, personal or social.

85. Often such people impelled by an inner urge that issues from an excess of energy push themselves to accomplish the maximum. In such cases they obviously become weak and the least move to the contrary will defeat them. Napoleon met with this fate. Sri Aurobindo says Napoleon's divorce of Josephine contributed to his fall.

Strength that accomplishes in spite of weakness becomes weak at a greater pitch.

86. Grace in terms of knowledge, patience, wisdom, and equality offers such a man an unfailing choice and expects him to choose to act within his limits.

The Inner Determinant is the choice.

87. There is an outer determinant too. Here too man finds himself hedged in by the social environment. This too is up to him.

The outer determinant is the social acceptability.

88. As long as he does not set store by it, social acceptability cannot bind him. For great souls this is practically true but for others the truth here is only theoretical. For social evolution, to stumble upon the practical concept of infinity, for every man, this is a practical truth.

89. Objective outer accomplishments can stand only on social structures, while subjective inner accomplishments can stand only on psychological sanctions. Outer or inner, one can accomplish what one chooses at the level of his motives.

90. Levels of accomplishments are essentially determined by the way energies are collected and stored. It is true energies are abundant and are really infinite. Practically, we find them severely limited because each moment has the innumerable possibilities and man branches off quite often. Each point of turning being infinite, available energies for the goal are severely limited. He who casts his smallest activities in the same mould as the final goal will have energies enough to reach the goal. Ordinarily, man's routine and ideal have a cleavage in the standards he sets to reach them. Hence his lower life determines the energies available for his higher goals.

91. Levels of Enjoyment

92. Energy saturating the vital harmoniously is enjoyment.

Enjoyment is harmonious saturated energy.

93. Enjoyment is the human extension of Ananda to our plane. Ananda is the sensation of the Being of its consciousness. Thus, enjoyment is sensation, located in the vital. Though mental and physical sensations are there, we use them only for the vital. Movement of energy creates sensation. It can be harmonious or otherwise. Movements that are not in harmony do not issue joy. Sometimes they create disturbance. Energies in smaller quantities give one depression. Only when they overflow out of saturation can they give us joy. Hence the conditions for enjoyment to arise are energies in abundance that saturate and that are in harmony.

94. Enjoyment is emotional comprehension maturing in an act.

Act of mature emotional comprehension.

95. An act is our basis. The physical moves, for the best part exists. The vital energises or enjoys, the mental comprehends. Comprehension is the act belonging to a higher plane of mind. An act of a higher plane executed in the lower plane demands higher energies, higher effort and higher organisation. These are aspects that can saturate and harmonise the process thus indirectly leading to higher enjoyment.

96. Accomplishment issues enjoyment. Accomplishment and enjoyment are synonymous.

Accomplishment is enjoyment.

Accomplishing enjoyment.

Enjoying accomplishment.

97. Man struggles upward. It is work. He works without understanding. It is effort. He works to acquire skill. It is drudgery. He acquires several skills to come by capacity. It is experience. He labours for years to develop a talent. It is a gruelling training. When he succeeds in the end, he enjoys. It is accomplishment. He expresses his accomplishment in great joy. He enjoys looking at his own accomplishment from various angles. For this he awaits opportunities. Man's endeavour to accomplish leads him to enjoyment. It is equally true that his seeking enjoyment leads him to accomplish.

98. Therefore enjoyment can be a measure or index of accomplishment.

Enjoyment and accomplishment are measures of each other.

99. Comprehension, enjoyment, accomplishment each can serve as an index for the other two as each includes the other two.

Co-existing correlations serve as an index of each other.

100. Enjoyment can be seen at all the 9 levels.

Ubiquitous enjoyment.

101. Spiritually, no object exists without the spirit. All are created by ananda, live by ananda and return to ananda. How then, can there be an activity that is bereft of enjoyment?

102. Mind enjoys comprehension, comprehending the emotion of the situation. Comprehension too can be enjoyed. Comprehension is knowledge emerging out of Ignorance. The Lila is created for this self-discovery. In the mind, self-discovery occurs by compression. Mind's basic faculty is understanding, not enjoyment, but Level 2 is the seat of mental enjoyment.

103. Poetry is mind's emotional comprehension of life's intensities as realities.

Comprehension of emotion is poetry.

104. The poet is placed higher than the philosopher and below the yogi. His works become immortal when his thoughts reach the subtle plane. There, they are universalised and have universal appeal. It is all in the emotional layer of mind 2. The philosopher lends his knowledge to 2 which elevates him to be a poet. The higher knowledge of one of the philosopher enriches the understanding of the poet. He is able to appreciate the higher realities of life with the intensity of emotion that is fully informed of knowledge.

Poet elevates. Philosopher instructs.

105. Enjoyment expresses itself in quantity as well as quality. Quality belongs to the consciousness while quantity belongs to the substance.

Two-dimensional enjoyment.

106. That which you enjoy will not hurt you as enjoyment is integral. Integrality, accomplishment, etc. are wholes. Generally they do not hurt.

Integral enjoyment.

107. Without integrality, neither accomplishment nor enjoyment issues. It is not an absolute rule that enjoyment would not hurt. Enjoyment that is dissipation will certainly hurt in the long run. With that exception and perverse enjoyment excepted, all other enjoyments are progressive. They do not as a rule hurt.

108. Enjoyment belongs to the vital and precisely to 5. Level 5 is the seat of enjoyment.

109. Eight is the first point where emotion of any description in the shape of movement was felt. Two is the seat of the poet. Five is the place of the warrior as well as the devotee who has given himself over to the Divine. Mira, the Alwars, the Saiva saints who sang the devotional songs all belong to five by its intensity.

110. Enjoyment can be found in taking or giving, mastering or submitting or in any activity.

All-pervasive enjoyment.

111. It is easy to see that receiving leads to enjoyment and not so to see it, when we say giving yields enjoyment. What gives enjoyment is not the activity but the attitude. He who enjoys giving will certainly enjoy in the act of giving.

112. Enjoyment does not depend upon the activity but upon the harmony and intensity of the energies involved.

Intensity of harmony is enjoyment.

113. Level 9 enjoys non-moving stability. Stability too is enjoyable. Level 1 enjoys detaching from decision as well as emotion into pure idea. Each level enjoys going to the next higher level.

Progress is enjoyment.

114. Enjoyment in the descent is far greater than the enjoyment in the ascent.

The higher the plane, the greater the enjoyment.

115. It is for joy that the Absolute came out of its unmanifest condition. Naturally its joy must be greater, the farther it travels. Hence the greater enjoyment in the ascent.

116. There is an expansiveness, intensity and harmony that make for enjoyment.

Expansiveness is enjoyment.

117. Joy is Ananda reflected in the nerves. Ananda is received by the mind as beauty, the nerves as joy, the soul as love. As the mind sees the form, it sees the beauty, the nerves feel the sensation, it is felt there as joy. Soul can only know the sensation of love.

118. Joy is a sensation as being is a status and consciousness is a knowledge. Being moves not. Only becoming moves. Therefore, being can only be a status. To be conscious is to know. Hence consciousness is knowledge.

119. An individual or a family or a nation can be evaluated by the level of their enjoyment.

Enjoyment is an indent of prosperity.

120. Man struggles for survival, tries to move when survival is assured. He defends himself against adverse forces and feels secure when he can so defend himself. As long as the physical survival and security are in question, he can scarcely think of enjoyment of any type. Also, the level of one's enjoyment will indicate the level of their prosperity, comprehension and culture.

121. Austerity is the enjoyment of the denial. Enjoying the capacity to deny. The opposite of enjoyment is suffering. One suffers when one is denied something. Austerity is self-denial. Sometimes one can think high of himself when he can deny himself something which others seek. That self-esteem will lead to enjoyment of sorts.

122. Tyranny is the enjoyment of negative intensity.

Tyranny is the intensely enjoyable negative intensity.

123. The tyrant enjoys a perverse joy. Sri Aurobindo says that the victim of tyranny enjoys in the subliminal what his surface abhors. In fact, He adds, the victim's subliminal calls for it.

124. Progress issues out of either enjoyment or its denial.

Progress of enjoyment. Progress of denial.

125. The wider the field of enjoyment reaches, the greater is its quality when perfected.

The wider, the better.

IX.  The Line

126. In society there are above-average people and below-average persons. If we can imagine a dividing line and make that conception universal, it can be said of every human endowment. For intelligence, clarity, values, goodness, personal strength, health, etc. we can posit such a line. There is no walk of life that cannot be so divided by a line into two halves, one above and the other below. In our theory of social development, such a line is of significance.

127. A rule works in opposite directions above and below the line.

128. The ever present line.

129. The line divides heaven and hell (light and darkness, good and bad, and so on)

130. That which separates heaven and hell is a line.

131. Cross the line, hell changes into heaven.

132. Society has the amazing power to adore a rich person for acting in a particular way, while for the same act, a poor man is driven out of the town. In their eyes, the rich man is above the line and the poor man is below it. Without their being aware of it, their emotions of warm approval of an act in one person, instinctively changes into bitter condemnation in the other. In fact, people at large feel quite righteous about it and even describe it as the highest reason. Not only are people emotional and their emotions are irrational, but life, its forces, values, standards, and laws that govern its rewards and punishment impersonally act as the people with respect to the poor and rich.

133. A line represents the parting between the higher and lower hemispheres of creation in individual events.

134. Golden lid in every life and in every event.

135. The line exists even for events in the sense of an event being well organised and in the other occasion of its being ill-organised. The same initiative with this event in each case will yield opposite results.

136. We can take the concept of this line farther, if we wish. As a line horizontally separates the higher and the lower, a division exists between the positive and negative sides of an issue. It is easier to conceive of a positive side than to imagine the original line.

137. Horizontal line, vertical division.

138. Decisions that are taken above the line and on the positive side always give positive results.

139. The first quarter is the best quarter.









- +


+ +



- ¾


+ -









140. Life can be conceived as existing in these four quadrants which means that man's mind exists there. Decisions taken from these states of mind have their character.

141. Decisions taken from the I quadrant never fail - unfailing success.

142. Decisions taken from the II quadrant begin as failure and end as success.

143. Decisions taken from the III quadrant are non-starters and always fail.

144. Decisions taken from the IV quadrant begin as success and end as failure.

145. One who seeks unfailing success can always have it if his mind is positive to the issue and, in taking the decision, he keeps his mind above the line. Such a decision being positive on both scores has no chance of meeting with a failure.

146. Begins as failure and ends as success.

147. Quarter that always fails.

148. Failure begins as success.

149. A weak man taking a strong decision always is below the line.

150. Strong decisions are not for the weak.

151. A strong man taking a decision weakly places himself voluntarily below the line.

152. Courting failure.

153. One's position with respect to the line can alter his natural conditions.

154. Position changes personality.

155. One's position with respect to the line can change rationality into its opposite.

156. Choice makes the rational irrational.

157. In gaining life-knowledge, the discrimination described above is essential. Most of the errors, wrong decisions, confusions that arise, arise out of the ignorance of this rule. A clear grasp of this description has the potential to lead one to what is now not available in human life, that is, unfailing success.

 X.  Authority

158. Power and security are the two words that can partially express what authority stands for. Authority is the power or right to enforce obedience. It helps to begin with if it is seen as different from power or security.

159. Society, government, family, employer, public bodies or those who wield the authority being delegated to them or a book considered sacred or an expert in a field enjoys authority. This power is different from power that can beat or tyrannise or security that organisations offer in various forms.

160. Movement, act, activities, etc. differ essentially from accomplishment. Accomplishment is either an act or a series of acts leading to a result. When we evaluate such an accomplishment, we realise that it is authority that enables us to accomplish.

161. Authority is the ultimate determinant of accomplishment.

Authority accomplishes; authority alone accomplishes.

162. Authority can be from outside or issue from inside by values or self-discipline. Social authority, organisational authority, spiritual authority, mental authority, vital authority, and physical authority are the several types of authorities we know of.

163. Spiritual authority is unseen. It achieves silently. If a man desires to abuse another at a spiritually holy gathering, he finds the circumstances stand in the way of his doing so. Sometimes even when the circumstances do not prevent it, the man has different thoughts and ceases to abuse him. Later meeting his rival in another place, he explains, "I was furious at you at the meditation meeting, but for some reason, I changed my mind." He is not aware of the spiritual force in the place exercising its authority silently and preventing abuse from expressing itself in the atmosphere.

The higher the authority, the less it is seen.

164. Mental authority has no direct force that can act. It clarifies the mind and directs it. The authority here does not address the person or the act. It addresses the mind. It aims at the mental understanding and tries to convince it. Once the mind is convinced, it acts as the authority on the direction of the act.

Mind directs.

165. Vital authority reaches the vital. The role of this authority is to reach the vital and energise it directly. That energy goes and accomplishes.

Vital energises.

166. Physical authority enforces its discipline by corporeal punishment. In earlier times it was by capital punishment and death. As days advanced, the punishment was held in the background as a threat and its higher versions of security, comfort and convenience were offered as an incentive and often as blandishment. If the civilised versions fail the dire punishment from behind emerges to enforce authority.

The physical enforces authority either in civilised or naked forms.

167. Authority moves inside when freedom enters the field of action. Authority is a form of power to enforce compliance. As the form becomes more civilised, it moves from the physical to the mental, from outside to the inside. At its widest limits the form disappears into formlessness and authority becomes freedom. He who acted and accomplished by outer or inner authority has now to accomplish in freedom. At that point the joy that can issue becomes bliss and the knowledge that directs becomes pure consciousness.

Freedom and authority combine inside to produce the greatest result.

168. Self-discipline is the inner authority. One who is self-aware and understands from what point of view the outer authority is exercised, converts that knowledge into a discipline which acquires the force of inner authority.

When the self is disciplined, inner authority is born.

The inner rules, when the self submits.

169. Self-discipline itself can disappear when consciousness acquires the necessary poise. A student learns by memorising to sit for the examination. As years pass, he begins to understand the subject and the need to memorise disappears. Now he knows the subject. There is no need to memorise. Poise of consciousness relieves the self from discipline. External discipline matures into inner discipline and later gives rise to poise of consciousness.

170. Authority exercised in utter freedom is that of energising godhead. God exercises authority in freedom. Physical authority evokes obedience, vital authority releases enthusiastic energy, mental authority evokes understanding, spiritual authority gives rise to values and inner poise. There is still a higher authority, called Supramental authority which offers freedom inside and outside. That freedom allows the hidden godhead to emerge.

XI.  Ascent and Descent; Unconscious and Conscious Development

171. Planning is conscious development.

172. Planning makes development conscious.

173. Descending planning, ascending growth.

174. Man works, accomplishes and moves on to the next accomplishment. He goes on working accumulating results. Today's civilisation is such a work of man. He always looks ahead, never back. As man speaks to another, the purpose of speech is accomplished. It is never recorded. No one can go back to read what was said. Only in companies such records exist. Imagine a company of the present transacting orally, not entering anything into a register. A company that has arrived at $100 million now, if it had transacted only orally, it would have touched the level of $10 million and remained there. In the absence of records, you may not know what has happened. What you hear orally, you may not rely on. If you rely on them and initiate action, more facts that surface will render the facts you rely on false or fictitious. Because records were kept, one could look back, plan and develop the company to this level of $100 millions. Planning will help one to reach higher results. For planning to be possible, one needs to understand what happened and how it happened. The knowledge of the process of what happened leads our thinking to find out how it happened. It is the theory of the process.

175. All development till man comes to planning is unconscious development.

176. Conscious planning, unconscious development.

177. So far, in all walks of life, man developed mostly unconsciously. Only where he had clear experience and he wanted to repeat, planning was resorted to, in that limited fashion.

178. Ascent is unconscious. Man works his way up from 9 to 1, but in development it begins in 7 and rises to 3. This is ascent in knowledge. For him to secure this knowledge, he needs a lot of experience and he should wait for his mind to be saturated with the subconscious knowledge. So far he has been progressing mostly unconsciously and does not know what he is doing.

179Unconscious ascent.

180. Descent is conscious. As far as social and economic development is concerned, the descent of knowledge has not taken place yet as even the formulation of that knowledge - theory, has not yet been attempted. What has happened has happened in part in localised areas where it is not so much due to knowledge descending to action and accomplishment as man repeating what he has learnt.

181. Conscious descent.

182. Marshall Plan can be called an exception, but that too is not planning in the sense of conscious descent, as it was rebuilding what was already there and destroyed. Only the physical structures were put in, not the psychological ability created for the first time by what is known as planning.

183. The order of superiority reverses when the ascent changes into descent.

184. Ascent changing into descent, order of values reverses.

185. Mind that is higher than the body in the ascent, becomes lower in the descent.

186. Superior mind in the ascent.

187. Superlative body in the descent.

188. As the descent in social evolution is not a pre-eminent theme of the world, it is difficult to explain it through numerous examples. It can only be explained theoretically. The stages of ascent and descent can be easily stated.

189. Work by trial and error accomplishes.

190. Mind tries to understand what is accomplished enough to repeat it elsewhere. This is called practical experience.

191. Using the practical experience man multiplies his endeavour and spreads his earlier success.

192. Mind understands not only the result but the process by which that result was achieved. This is to create a theory of development.

193. World accepts this theory as valid and understands the significance of it.

194. World agrees to plan hereafter according to this theory.

195. The first three stages are now covered. Man is yet to move to the fourth stage. So far, even the idea of creating the theory has not gained currency in the elite thinking of the world. The benefits of such a descent will be enormous, for example, it may bring 3000 AD to 2000 AD. Such a conception is still not there anywhere.

196. The Descent that follows the Ascent touches the highest levels of development.

197. Ascent first, Descent next.

198. In creation the descent that follows the ascent touches the highest levels.

199. Descent completes the Ascent.

200. Development also has a third phase as in creation, where social organisations begin to mature into social institutions. Neither the ascent, nor the descent is final. There is the third phase. There is a beyond. There is always a beyond.

201. Culture takes over the civilised organisations in the descent.

202. Growth, planning and culture.

203. Growth ends in culture.

204. Culture begins as growth.

205. Planning is between growth and culture.

206. Social development starts as an act and goes through the stages of activities, organisation, institution, culture and personal social values.

XII.  Stages 1 to 9

Level 1

We have subdivided the mental, vital, and physical planes into three subdivisions each representing mental, vital and physical parts of that plane. Subdivisions can be endless. For example, level 1 itself can be subdivided into its own three parts which will render the 9 parts into 27 subdivisions. Suppose we take the positive and negative parts of each such sub-divided 27 parts, we come up with 54 parts. We propose for this paper not to extend the divisions to 54 or 108 subparts but to limit them to 9 only, thus making the discussion and description easy and clear.

Three parts of the being; three subdivisions in each.

Actually, the study should begin at level 9 and proceed to level 1. We consider it from 1 to 9 as it is development and not evolution.

Evolution from below, development from above.

Level One is called by Mother the speculative mind and by Sri Aurobindo Pure mind, the pure thinker. The emotions of the mind are in level 2. The sensations that reach the mind from 4, 5 and 6 generally centre in level 3 and do not cross over to level 2 or level 1. Level 3 sifts the sense impressions from the facts to organise it into an idea or a thought or opinion. If sense impressions reach the mind, they do not travel beyond 3. When they reach 2, if they ever reach there, it is not as sensations but as emotions, rather emotion of sentiments. Therefore, mental sensations and sentiments do not reach level 1. Pure facts alone reach there for the pure mind to organise them into pure ideas or concepts. Thoughts belong to level 3 and if they reach level 1 they do not reach there as thoughts that are based on sense impressions, but as pure thoughts without the sensational colouring. Thoughts thus made pure lend themselves to be turned into ideas.

One, the thinker.

It is here that the concepts are formed and understanding rises to its purity. Mother refers to it as speculative mind, the seat of mental light.

Pure understanding is the concept.

Conceptual understanding is pure.

Concept is organised understanding.

Speculative mind - Seat of light.

It is necessary for us to gain a clearer view of the concepts pure understanding, understanding, organised understanding and speculation in the mind. Mind does not function by itself, though under conditions of yogic silence it can. It is the sensation of life that brings the mind the ocular, auditory, and tactile sensations. Facts of life, objects or events come to the mind as subjective sense impressions. As it is, they are not pure nor are they pure facts. To the mind, all knowledge is subjective. Mind is incapable of objective knowledge. Science endeavours to approach objectivity through empiricism, but it is not given to the mind to be entirely objective. Its subjective knowledge itself is vitiated in two ways. From outside what comes is sense impression. They are grossly distorted in all possible ways. Philosophy by its objectivity and science by its tools of measurement try to eliminate the errors of subjectivity created by sense impressions. Mind constituted as it is functions through several of its faculties such as memory, judgment, opinion, preference, construction and habit, all of which are purely subjective. It is only by a severe mental discipline one can endeavour to minimise the errors issuing from each of them.

Purity of thought implies purity of sense distortion as well as subjectivity. To organise facts into thoughts, thoughts into ideas a long serious mental training is called for. Concept formation is given to the philosophic minds of the born thinker, not to all. Facts when pure of sense impressions become mental facts. But these will be coloured by the subjective mental faculties. Cleansed of these warpings, mental facts become eligible as conceptual facts that can go to organise ideas. At the point ideas are pure, they approach light. Hence the speculative mind is called a mind capable of light - seat of light. Thus, One represents the philosopher.

Philosopher's pedestal.

One can carry the sentiment of the Two or the decisiveness of Three. Giving up these accretions, One becomes most powerful. The essential faculty of One is organisation, the organisation of ideas.

Mother calls One the speculative mind.

One coordinates thinking.

Ideas need non-sensational facts.

One is pure mind.

One is pure thinking.

One can go to the Absolute.

One is the example of consciousness rising by organisation.

Thinking arises when mind considers two or more facts together in its own context. That is how thought emanates in the mind. Sri Aurobindo says intellectuality seeks oneness and the thought seeks the Absolute. Intellectuality, He says, is an account to oneself whereas thought leads to light and knowledge, that is of the consciousness and being, which touches the Absolute.

One is the seat of mental ego deriving its strength from the organisation. Sri Aurobindo says while the root of the ego is in the thinking mind, its knot is there in the subtle heart.

Root of mental ego.

Sri Aurobindo describes ego as the coordinating intelligence and also says it is reason. Intelligence, to him, is the response of the mind involved in matter, to outside touches. It is mind that creates life and matter. Ego begins in matter as the atomic existence, as individual viewpoint in the mind and life point of view in the vital. As matter itself is created by the mind, the root of the ego of matter, life and mind cannot move. It is the emotion that combines the knowledge of the mind and the power of matter. Therefore the knot of ego lies in the heart. The subtle heart, being the stronger, the knot of ego lies there.

It is interesting to see that Sri Aurobindo describes the ego as the coordinating intelligence. Also, He says, ego lies on the surface in Time and Mind as a finite product of Ignorance. Ego begins when the One becomes the Many and in its longevity survives till the gates of the Cosmic Self. Ignorance, He says, is the highest product of Consciousness, higher than Knowledge and all great actions originate on the surface. If we consider His other statement that ego has done cardinal service to evolution it is clear we cannot treat ego or the thought centre it is as lightly as some are prone to consider it. One helps us understand thought, mind, ego as well as their relations to Satchidananda and the Absolute.

One can be understood only when we understand ego, time and mind. Ideas arise from the body, He says. The body's motions that become skill energised by vital attitudes, having decided in one fashion and developing sentiments for it, finally let go the essence of these exercises as Ideas which find their proper seat in One. In the process of development, One conceives and 2 to 9 execute.

Conceptual One.

The knowledge of the process of external social development being really the knowledge of the process that moves from 9 to 1, One is capable of acquiring it.

One of essential experience.

One of creative thought.

Mind creates matter and therefore mind is subconscious in matter. That is why ideas originate in the body. Their essence naturally collects at the highest point, One. Experience starts as movement, expands into five sensations, carries facts to the mind through the sensations, sheds the sensations to become ideas for action, that is, decisions, acquires emotion to become sentiment and finally shedding those too, emerges as pure ideas or thoughts. Diverting its bodily and sensational accretions, thought comes into its own. In its own domain, thought, as any other vibration, is creative. At 3, thought creates decisions that lead act. At 2 thought creates poetry through sentiment. At 1, thought has neither the need to act in the physical plane nor to be poetic in the life plane but emerges as Thought, pure and simple. Now its inherent nature of creativity makes thought creative. One creates original thoughts. Thus thought moves to its origin, light. Light has brilliance, not energy, not even the mental energy or mental power, but it has energy and power of thought.

One, the light.

Mind itself has no power of concrete accomplishment, except the mental power of decisions in the consciousness and determination in the substance.

Powerless light.

Powerful decision.

Decisive power.

One has the power in the measure other parts willingly accept One.

Gets power by consent.

Intrinsically, One has the power over all the parts of 2 to 9 if its clarity, organisation, strength of idea attain the required perfection.

Power of clarity.

As One is connected with four and seven, One can dominate seven, since in truth, One is the extracted essence of seven. 1,4,7;  2,5,8 and 3,6,9 are the triple trios.

One moving seven is Mind dominating Matter whereas in practice it is Matter that dominates Mind.

Ideal mind, Practical matter.

The subconscious substance of seven can be moved by One if the spirit in One is awake and reaches the spirit in seven.

Mind over Matter. How One reaches seven.

All conscious social development is One directing and dominating the parts of 2 to 9.

One's mastery of 2 to 9 is social development.

Level 2

Level 2 is the vital of the mental plane. It lies between One the conception and 3, the decision maker.

Mental vital.

As concept and Idea belong to the consciousness and substance of One, feeling and sentiment belong to Two.

Two, the poet.

Poetry is of the emotions of thought. As mere thought belongs to philosophy and mere emotions to life, thoughts that are emotionalised is poetry or emotions that are mentalised. Poetry belongs to the sphere of ideas that are idolised and it is Two that does it.

As One deprives the idea of sentiment to become pure idea, Three refuses to mature into sentiment which will prevent its decision from being effective. But Two overcomes the practicality of decision and before maturing into pure idea, creates poetry.

Two is in direct relation with 5 & 8.

2, 5, 8.

Eight produces the rustic folklore.

Rustics of eight.

Five produces the hero, the artist and the vital poetry whose thought content is not rich. Maybe the bard of ballads comes out of 5.

Ballads and lyrics of 5.

Idea before becoming the action matures into sentiment.

Energising sentiment.

Decisive action before becoming essential idea acquires the feeling and sentiment.

Purifying sentiment.

The language of decision and determination is matter of fact.

Matter of fact decision.

The language of the concept is precise, well-defined leaving no room for sentiment.

Precise concept.

Physical action before becoming mental idea stops at the destination of poetry.

Poetry stops short of action.

Not only poetry, but idealism belongs to the seat of Two.

Idealistic sentiment.

An idea becomes an ideal when emotions espouse it.

Emotional ideal.

Philosophers are doctrinaire, men of action act, do not speak. Idealists who exhort the population cannot resort to doctrines nor will mere action inspire the people. Emotion of patriotism, metaphor of poetry, inspiration of music, and passion for the goal belong to Two.

Idealistic Two.

Passion without ideas or energy is that of a worker who prides himself on his servility to the master.

Passion can be servile.

Servile passion.

Passion with energy is unidealistic ambition for wealth or status.

Greed, the energetic passion.

Passion informed of an ideal or led by an ideal is no longer passion but can become devotion to an ideal or dedication to a cause.

Idealistic passion is dedication.

Level 3

Mind is seated in the brain. Mind is the functioning of brain. Brain is the centre of the central nervous system. Nerves as well as brain are bodily matter made subtle to carry sensations and thoughts. Body is muscles and flesh. The flesh of the brain is softer and grey, maybe because it is thinking flesh. Bone is hard. Muscles are tough. Nerves are sensitive. Brain is more than sensitive, it can think. Level Three is the physical mind seated in the substance of brain, receiving sense impressions from the vital and feeding the mind with facts sifted away from sensations. The mind uses the facts, coordinates them to create thoughts which are the basic raw material for poetry and philosophy in 2 and 1 and decisions and determinations in 3. What is decision at the level of consciousness becomes determination at the level of substance when the decision is endorsed by the very physical matter of the brain.

Organiser of sensational facts.

Being physical, 3 is in direct relation with 6 & 9. Being mind, it is in relation with 4 & 7. Juxtaposed between 2 & 4, both influence it. The influence of 6 is nervous physicality, that of 9 is pure inertia, while 4 feeds 3 with ideas of sensation and level 7 informs it with its own skill formation.

3, 6 & 9.

Level 3 is the organiser in man. All the civilised ways have been built up only by 3. Not only the cities we have built, but the science as well as culture of today is the achievement of Level 3. Three organises, preserves, steadies, systematizes, makes thought free from sensation, plans, decides, determines and executes all. Essentially when we say Man, we mean Level 3.

The civiliser.

Level 7 organises physical movements. One organises pure ideas and Three organises thought, the sensational facts that interpret themselves in the brain as thought.

Organisers go together.

Its organisation consists in action to create systems by coordination. The facts fed by the 5 senses are converted here into thought and then coordinated. That coordination is thinking. To create a system out of those thoughts is intellectuality.

Intellectuality is thought organised.

For this reason it rarely fails as its facts are empirical, not hypothetical. For the same reason, it cannot be creative as One.

Practically effective 3.

Non-creative 3.

Four offers emotionally charged 'facts' to Three. Level 3 accepts the facts and rejects the emotional colouring. Action - decision for action - is born when emotion is shed. At a further stage emotion can energise action.

Unemotional action.

Seven organises physical movements. Three organises thought movements, first separating them from sensations. Nine is physical existence or awareness. Similarly Level 3 is the existence of thought or mental awareness. It offers the physical basis for the poet and the philosopher. It is unemotional. As Level 7 generates skill out of movements, 3 creates thoughts out of sensational facts.

Origin of thought.

Seat of sensational facts.

Great administrators belong to Three as it has the ability to organise thoughts and on its basis takes decisions and execute them with determination. He says Ford had the pragmatic intelligence. Three is its seat.

Seat of pragmatic intelligence.

Administrators and executives need to be informed, unemotional about their decisions, determined about their action, capable of an organised approach to work, develop systematic ideas of action, all of which 3 is capable.

Executive of Level 3.

It loses its effectivity when sentiment colours it. 3 is made sensational by 4 which means it cannot see the facts but only impressions. 2 receives facts from  3 to build its patterns of sentiments. For that purpose, 3 cannot be factual. Its feeding 2 must have a bias towards its sentimentality.

Discolouring sentiments.

Thought is the product of sensation in the physical mind. We speak of separating sensation from facts. We cannot afford to forget that thought itself is a sensation of the mind or brain. This being a basic truth, we can only aim at minimising the sensation, not eliminating it altogether.

Thought is a mental sensation.

It is said mind is the function of brain. The function of the brain directly produces not mind, but only thought. Mind is not just the function of brain. Mind is the instrument in the subtle plane created by the mental consciousness for its own effectivity.

4 is cunning. Level 3 takes its feed without the cunning.

Cunning vital.

It is the seat of action as it moves 7 which acts.

The organiser.

Level 4

Every part of the body has in it every other part. The cells have a mind of their own, says Mother and She calls it the cellular mind. She goes further and speaks of the corporeal mind, material mind, and so on. So, there is no wonder the vital plane has a mind of its own which we call Level 4.

Earlier we mentioned that each of these 9 levels can be subdivided into mental, vital, physical, thus having 27 parts instead of 9. The 27 can be similarly divided into 81 parts. As even 9 seems to be a minute division, we dare not propose such things.

Sri Aurobindo calls 4 the Vital Mind. At this stage of the vital, organisation does not emerge into significance or clarity, though wherever mind is there, in that measure, organisation exists.

Mind acts by thought, body acts by movement that is slow. The Vital acts by forceful fast movement. Therefore it is most efficient and effective. Animals, foresters, primitives, and tribals act in this fashion.

Efficiency of energy.

Vital mind is dynamic, resourceful, cunning and alert. This is 4. Three is the organised mind above. It thinks. 4 which is lower in the scale can often easily upset 3's thinking by a cunning penetration. Organisation is far higher than the unorganised vital as it belongs to the mind. Power of organisation too is formidable but when there are cracks or chinks in it, it becomes vulnerable. 4 is cunning, crafty, penetrative, alert and always plays the role of testing 3.

That is why the thinker and organiser, however great he is, is weak before the cunning shrewd master scoundrel.

Acid test for organisation.

Vital mind accepts nothing short of victory and seeks it at all costs. Therefore it is not moral. Often it is amoral. It never shrinks from being immoral, if that suits its purpose.

Amoral success. Success without compunction.

Famous generals, whether Alexander or Chengis Khan belong to 4. In recent centuries they came under civilian authority. Their courage is from 5 and strategies from 4. They never condone the ways of their civilian masters though they obey them. To them, their civilian masters are ignorant, even foolish.

Historically great generals.

Shivaji was a vibhuthi. He had no compunction to kill his opponent by a fraternal embrace where the standards of warfare were set by the Avatar Rama.

Ends, not means.

Five is vital proper, vital in the consciousness and vital in the substance. At 6 the substance tends to become physical and at 4 mental. Five is vital above, vital below and is at the centre of the vital plane. Hence it is vital through and through.

For any pure emotion such as love, loyalty, courage, devotion, 5 is the centre. For example, attachment has a physical base. Its proper seat is 6. Attention has a mental element. For affection issuing from attention, 4 is the right seat, whereas 5 belongs to the warrior, lover, the slave and the devotee.

Moving from 5 pure courage acquires the mental element of thinking. There it gets refined into cunning.

Level 4 is courage refined into cunning.

Affection is upgraded here into thoughtful attention.

Emotion of loyalty enriches itself into intelligent service.

The devotee's devotion pours forth into enlightening lyrics.

The lover's passion and dedication formulates exquisite expressions.

4 despises the organiser of 3 and his systems of action because 4 knows 3's systems can have chinks, while its own insights are flawless. Perfection at a lower level can be more powerful than imperfection at a higher level when the types of efficiency differ, whereas in the same type of efficiency, the higher one is, the better he is, irrespective of imperfection. A more talented junior in an office is always subordinated to a less talented senior officer in matters of power as both belong to the same office.

A graduate who has not finished his course in matters of employment is less effective than an employable manual worker.

Ridiculer of planning.

The philosopher of evanescent conceptions whose ideas are of no avail in the daily market life draws the derisive laughter of 4 whose ready strategies draw instant results.

Philosopher of strategies.

4 is in direct relationship with 1 above and 7 below as they too are mental parts.

Mind goes with mind in all the other planes.

Sandwiched between 3 and 5, it is the prerogative of 4 to process the emotions of 5 into emotional thought of 4 and feed it to 3. Also the decisions and determinations of 3 are to be emotionalised by 4 before they are passed on to 5 for releasing emotional energy. It acts vertically to this way between 7 and 1 and 1 and 7. The skills of 7 reach 1 as essence through the emotional interest of 4. The concepts of 1 percolate down to 7 similarly emotionalised by 4.

Sensational thought.

Emotional implementation of decisions.

Conceptualising skills.

Enriching concepts by the experience of skills.

Foresters, rustic community leaders, mafia chieftains, smugglers are of this mould, type, cut or cult.

Penetrating insight into crisis.

Four is the seat of superstitions when the person lacks courage. Absence of courage brings down the emotional energy and emotional comprehension and there it quickly degenerates into superstitions. As it is emotional mind and is capable of only emotional comprehension and not mental comprehension, belief without understanding or energy becomes a survival and its needs a faith - superstition.

Superstition is courage without thought.

Four is the preserver of social security, fashions and social norms, lays down rules of public conduct and plays the role of social conscience. Conscience is governed by ethics. Social conscience is ruled by social ethics which is the approval of society. Conscience itself, in spite of being mental, is governed by the ethics of self-righteousness. Sri Aurobindo poses the question to it, 'Is it ethics that does not govern the life of one who judges the other person?', the rule of 'who will throw the first stone?' which is the rule of physical might that goes for ethics in all walks of life today. Social ethics approves of the socially just which means the prevailing life-style, fashions and norms of the social elite. 4 is the carrier of word of mouth propaganda or the hero of gossip.

Social conscience.

In times of social degradations, the strength of 4 determines the length of psychological social survival. Keeping up with the Joneses is a powerful urge. When the neighbour's children are better dressed, it is not easy to persuade our children to keep quiet. When neighbours move up, everything in us is in an urge, an uncontrollable urge to move up. When they move down, no one can withhold a derisive smile. Not many will come forward to keep up the old warm relationships. When all in the neighbourhood relax a certain valuable discipline, say choosing not to return a bank loan, how many can be conscientious enough to pay? Will they not be ridiculed as cowards? Man moves with the society up or down, never choosing to stand on his own.

Psychological social survival.

In the subtle mental planes, if one is observant, he will find ideas and urges entering into his head and forcing him to act involuntarily. Later, he will find these ideas, though not evident on the surface of his own community, were entering into him from outside his own place, but from folks of similar disposition. Sri Rama was known all over the land without visible means of communication. In our own time, Gandhiji's popularity was on this plane. Social conditioning goes on, visible as well as invisible.

Visible, invisible social conditioning.

Shrewdness, insight, penetration, alertness, resourcefulness are the native endowments of 4.

Penetrating intuitive sight.

Athletes, public figures, film artists, commercial executives, if endowed with 4's insights, will quickly move from success to success successively. All these people live in live circumstances that demand quick, short-term decisions. They have no use for long term view or theoretical clarity. They need practical decisions. 4 enables them to take such right decisions.

Successive success.

Public speakers with linguistic facility become public leaders if 4 is strong. Fluent speaking gives a hold over the masses. If that is matched with an insight, leadership can emerge.

Leadership through language.

Strong 4 makes fiction writers popular in the beginning because of a penchant for sensationalism. They degenerate into obscure writers as fiction does not thrive on sensationalism.

Obscure sensationalism.

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

Tyrannical master (mentor).

A weak 4 will make the person a victim of all circumstances. The victimisation will be intensified by his own imagined fears without number. Independence, especially to those born after 1947, has given that freedom. Prior to that it was pathetic to see the population fear forever. Bharathi's portrayal of it was magnificent.


It is not for 4 to be ethical. In case it espouses any ethic, that will be followed scrupulously like Gandhiji's goat milk.

Idealism of fads.

Four is the monitor of attitudes and motives in consciousness and substance.

Seat of attitudes.

The Gita advocated the surrender of motives to reach Satchidananda and the Supreme, as those were the days of the vital man.

Moksha for the partial man.

Level 5

Five is the pure vital, the vital of the vital plane even as 1 is the pure mind, the mind of the mental plane and 9 is the pure physical, the physical of the physical plane.

Pristine pure vital.

Being vital it is in touch with 2 and 8. An office in one factory is naturally in touch with the office in another organisation. The sports section in a school is easily in touch with the physical education department of a university or even monastery.

2, 5, 8.

Located between 4 and 6, it is in touch with them. This is not due to affinity of type or character, but proximity. If your house is next door to a bookshop, even if you are illiterate, the proximity brings you in touch with their lives.

Affinity through proximity.

Five is the seat of courage of the heroic warrior, the artist, the poet of the second level or the middle level, the pure emotion untouched by the minds of either the vital plane or the mental plane. Heroism, poetry or art is adorable. It makes very ordinary people extremely popular. The hero does endeavour to keep his courage untouched by the lower physicality or the higher mentality. Touched by the lower, he is pulled down, his energy becomes inertia, the hero slides down to be a soldier. Touched by the mind, the glory of the warrior becomes the strategy of the leader and he moves towards becoming a general. In the process, the pristine purity of his courage is informed of the cunning of 4, the organisation of 3 and the meteoric rise of courageous emotion subsides into the cautious thought of the captain. Similar changes in the artist and poet can be seen.

Warrior, artist.

Five is ahead of 6 and therefore carries more energies of the vital. As 5 is untouched by the mind of 4, 6 is untouched by the energies of 5. Six is more of the physical in the vital and therefore passionate. It gets easily attached. If the occasion requires, 5 can supply its energies to six as every adjacent faculty always can influence. The rule of psychology is based on the rule of physiology. Each physiological activity is at once supported by the utter readiness of all other such activities. Not only can 5 energise 6 in times of need, but all from 1 to 9 can rise to the occasion of any member of the chain if called for. The ardent devotee of God or a cause draws his energies from 5 even as the skill of 7 supports him from below.

Energiser of devotion.

Five is sensation in consciousness and sensitivity in substance. The same vibration in 2 because of the admixture of the mental element becomes what we call sensibility. What is vital sensitivity in 5 depends in physical sensation and sensitivity in the consciousness and substance of 8. Physical sensitivity is the cultural value of the collective.

Sensation, sensitivity.

Sensation is an organisation of responses of the five senses co-ordinated. All the five senses always co-ordinate. Before the coordination is functional, the responses are at random or peremptorily determined by the combination of forces at the moment. Once they are coordinated, they fall into a pattern much as the school student is fashioned by the discipline of schooling as against the dropout whose responses are unconditioned.

Sensation makes for alertness, sensitivity gives stability or culture while sensibility offers steadiness of polished manners.

Coordinated senses.

Sensation has energy but no power. Sensitivity has the power of substance. Sensibility has the light of direction but neither energy nor power. 2, 5 and 8 are their respective seats. At each of these points these subdivisions can be seen. Thus we can have the sensation and sensitivity even in 2. This is the further subdivision we spoke of earlier. Also we mentioned that each of these subdivisions can be bifurcated as right and wrong or high and low or dark and bright. Here it can be seen that sensation can be either right or wrong. A ready response to good can be right and the other wrong.

Energetic sensation, powerful sensitivity.

Six vitalises the physical energy of the person while 5 vitalises the energy of 6. Energies differ. Physical energy, vital energy, mental energy and spiritual energies are known. The energy that comes from 5 to 6 is vital energy while that which issues from 6 to 5 is physical energy, though both are situated in the vital plane. 6 is more physical than vital and therefore its energy is more physical.

Vital energy; physical energy.

The force of 5 and its power come from its being pure energy. Energy primarily belongs to the vital and 5 is the pure vital. Hence its energy is pure energy. One can be explained to have pure thought and 9 can be described, similarly, as pure physicality.

Pure energy.

As it is untouched by mind, so it is untouched by the faculties of mind such as memory, judgment, or even imagination. If memory is there, it will be emotional memory not in any way resembling the mental memory.

Untouched by mind or its faculties.

One is oblivious of the entire surroundings while at 5, because the surroundings come to one through observation or its memory. We can say 5 is in its elements while it is oblivious. The overflowing energy rises like a flame and overwhelms 5 and renders it oblivious when it is performing. That is its normal way of functioning. Otherwise it simply exists. People whose personality is centred at 5 are a flame of energy.

Flame of energy.

Senses do not think through memory or observe through mind; they only sense. Though there is mental sensation and physical sensation, we have reserved the word sensation for the vital plane.

Senses only sense.

When 5 was at its height in man, he was in complete tune with nature. Poetic effusion, being one in nature, readiness to give up egoistic attitudes as in the Vedic period are the characteristics of Level 5.

One with Nature.

Man's faculties at that time were the faculties of senses, that is, pugnacity, gregariousness, survival, self-preservation, and so on. There was no mental development and therefore activities of the mind would not be in evidence during this period. Physical was saturated and would be safe. Vital was born and would be in blossom. Hence this was a period for humanity for the qualities of courage and devotion to be saturated. Great poets were produced. But it did permit the spirit of the vital to emerge, even if growth into mind was not meant for this period.

Gregarious survival.

The movement from the physical plane to the vital plane is vastly expansive in energy. A further movement of greater expansiveness is that of 5 over 6. Hence the greatest power of man is at 5, made possible by the expansiveness of two levels. Rising from one point to another (For example, 3 to 2 or 6 to 5 or even 9 to 8) is epoch making. It is like the society changing from agriculture to industry or monarchy to democracy. When the body grows into adulthood from adolescence we know of the vast physical energies that go into it. Also, as his mind grows in comprehension, observation, width and amplitude, equally enormous mental energies are required, Here at 5 we perceive that man has just changed from the physical plane to the vital plane and at once initiated a further change from 6 to 5. Hence the double expansiveness demands a great deal of energy. Such a change is again witnessed when he moves from 3 to 2.

Double expansiveness.

Music is an elegant form of sound. Painting is the beautiful form of lines and colour. Courage is the force of form of pure energy in action. Hence 5 is the seat of,

Force of form.

Five energises 2 from below. Two elevates it from above. It gets energised from 8 below. From below it gets force, from above it gets direction. Negatively 5 is the seat of fear, phobia, possession, especially obsessive possession, total lack of understanding, energy of superstition.

Seat of superstition.

Sensations of 5 energise the natural physiological functions with energy, such as running in fear.

Energiser of emergencies.

Level 6

We have limited our stages to mental above and do not go to spiritual. Beyond the spiritual, there is the psychic part. Including the spiritual in the scheme, each plane will have four parts and there will be four planes thus giving us 16 parts in all. That will bring in Annamaya Purusha, Pranamaya purusha, Manomaya purusha and Jivatma. National development may not need a consideration of these levels. A fuller consideration needs to include the psychic parts, which are, the physical, psychic, vital psychic, mental psychic and the central psychic beings.

In discussing 6 which will be the physical part of the vital plane, if we don't include the spiritual, psychic parts, we will not be able to refer to the power of 6 fully. It is the Pranamaya Purusha when it energises 6 which creates a Kannappan from out of this part. The world may not yet have seen a saint whose psychic has activated Level 6. Surely Andal's devotion was psychic and may have touched 6. Mira's body was immune to poison which means the spirit in the body should have absorbed the poison. We cannot speak of these for certain, but Mira was not seeking transformation. She sought loving communion with Krishna. The absence of effect of the poison indicates the spiritualisation of the body in Mira.

Six is the Physical part of the Vital.

Vital physical.

Level 3 is the physical part of the mental plane, seated in the brain.

Physical mind; mental physical.

9 is the physical part of the physical seated in the body, the pure physical.

Pure physicality.

3, 6, and 9 are in direct touch with each other being the physical parts of various planes.

3, 6, 9.

Also, 6 is in touch with 5 above and 7 below. Six is the nerves, the central nervous system even as 3 is the brain and 9 the whole of the body.

Physical seat of the nerves.

Six is the point at which the physical plane emerges into the vital plane. That we know releases enormous energy but is still of the physical character.

Door to the vital.

Ideas and opinions lodged here in 6 cannot be removed by the mental effort. It may succeed to some extent even at 4, since 4 is a mental part. It rarely passes on to 5, never to 6, as there is nothing of the mind of the vital plane that can respond or receive.

Immune to thought.

At times of riots, flood havoc, and such calamities, man puts aside his mind for all intents and purposes. At such times he acts mostly from 6.

The subconscious person.

Emotion and devotion are seated here in the consciousness and substance.

Emotion and devotion.

Devotion is strongest vitally at 5, but physically devotion reaches its maximum power only here.

Saturated devotion.

Emotion at 4 will be coloured by emotional knowledge but here will be pure untouched by mind of any description.

Physical emotion.

The Tamil saint Kannappan dug out his eyes to replace the bleeding eyes of Siva Lingam because he was one who belonged to 6. Kannappan was moved beyond measure by the Lingam bleeding. A devotee of 1 would think about what he could do while one from 8 or 9 would faint. Personalities at different grades respond differently. Why should one think of plucking out his own eyes to administer a cure? Because Kannapan is physical and can only think of a physical cure. Also, to give his own eyes satisfies his own physical emotions.

Jean Valjean with his emotional sense of duty to his sister's kids lived centred there. As he is of 6, emotion is physical, courage is physical, idea is physical.

As 6 is the point at which the physical enters the vital plane and the only mental touch it so far has seen is the mental ability of 7 to learn the primary skills for existence, 6 remains pristine pure unspoiled by the crooked mind. In the descent, 6 is to offer physical stability to the vital power of 5.

Physical foundation of the vital.

The warrior who is thus supported, feels like a rock as it is the support of the physical.

Pedestal for the fighter.

All the powers of organisation of 3, in spite of its relationship with 6, does not reach 6 essentially as it knows not what organisation is.

Dissolves organisation.

It is open to the raw physical influence of 9 as it is of its type. It is here the vital sensation and physical sensation interchange in the descent and ascent.

Junction of the vital and the physical.

Level 7

Man is born as a body - 9 - grows a little emotions and moves round. The first appearance of mind in human life made him qualify as a man. They were the primitive skills or primary skills man acquires. By then he had all the subconscious skills needed for his survival as a member of the species. Beyond that point, he acquires the skills for individual or social survival. It is 7 that organises those skills. 9 exists. 8 moves or generates movement. Movements create life. For the man to reach water and drink, climb a tree and gain fruits, innumerable skills are needed, though all of them are rudimentary.

The mind in 7 is located in the physical. It is the physical mind. It tries to get results. It is by trial and error. Trial is a directed movement. Error is failure. Trial may result in success. Then we get the result. Just because a result issues for a trial, the body is incapable of knowing how it came about. The process is not disclosed by success. For 100 or 1000 years we have built empires, markets, universities and a million other things but we do not yet know the Process of having built them. Seven, the mind of the physical, takes time to learn the process by which the results came. It needs to avoid the process of failure too. Now 7 can repeat an operation in such a way that the result is arrived at. Any skill formation implies many other sub-skills. Fruit gathering and hunting are such skills, which comprise other skills like running, chasing, hiding, climbing, catching a prey, and so on.

Seven is the mental part of the physical.

This is the first appearance of mind in man.

Primitive Man

Seven is the conscious mental part even though it is situated in the subconscious. Here is a subtle distinction between the conscious and the subconscious. Our writing is subconscious even as our walking and talking. Our digestion is subconscious fully. But writing is consciously learnt and possessed subconsciously. 7 is subconscious for the best part. But many of its skills are consciously learnt and used subconsciously.

Conscious of the subconscious.

The subconscious has its mental part in what Mother calls Material mind, which is the mental part of 9 when it is subdivided into mental, vital and physical parts. It is this mind that controls our involuntary organs and reflex action.

Material Mind

The material mind emerges into conscious existence in 7. Material mind, cellular mind, corporeal mind, physical mind are the terms Mother uses to denote 3,  7,  9 and even below that. What is buried in matter when it emerges into conscious activity at least for the purposes of learning is seen here as Level 7.

Conscious Material Mind

Thus 7 is the seat of all our conscious learning of our physical plane such as walking, talking, eating, and so on.

Subconscious skill

It is about this mind that Mother says it starts acting the moment it understands. It cannot start acting till it fully understands. It cannot prevent itself from acting if it knows. The lecturer in the Tamil class was explaining ajanubahu and said his hand will reach his knees. A boy stood up and saw if his hands reached his knees and made the class roar with laughter. He had acted without restraint. The subconscious has no such restraint. Those who act so are those whose conscious personality has not acquired cultural values. Their values are still subconscious skill.

Acts on understanding.

Can't wait to act if it knows.

Its efficiency is thus total and for the same reason does not start acting till it understands.

Perfect efficiency

Mind means turning sensations into ideas and organising them. 7 receives physical sensations from physical movements. Skill emerges when the sensation is separated from the movement and understood. 7 forms physical skills in that fashion.

Trainer of Senses

Seven turns the physical sensations of 8 into physical ideas of skills of acting.

Primary action centre

The mere undirected movements of 9 become skilled movements in 7 through the sensations of 8. Nine is capable of existence, not movements. Energy generated by 8 gives the movements to 9. When it moves, its movement has no direction. The mere body of 9 moving by the urge of 8 is a progress for 9. Its aim is not any goal or skill. Its triumph is that it moves. In which direction it moves matters not, but that it moves is progress for 9. Sensations can not only move but can direct the movement. A certain sensation of pain can prevent the movement in one direction while a sensation of attraction can draw the movement to that direction. For that to become skill is a further step.

Movement - Sensation - Action

Seven is vitally reinforced by 4, conceptually educated by 1. Seven being the mental centre of the physical plane, it is in touch with the other mental centres of 4 and 7. Four can give 7 vital energy and 1 offers it a conceptual capacity.

1, 4, 7

Seven is in touch with 3 and gets the benefits of its organisation, decision and determination. Decisions and determinations belong to 3. Seven has skill, but for its implementation looks to the decision from above.

Decisionless skill

There is no emotion of any kind in 7, nor is there any thought. Body and vital have sensations. Higher vital has feelings which when enriched become emotions. Formed around a thought, they become the sentiments of 2. Mind of 7 is incapable of thought in the sense we know of. The mental faculty of seven is capable of sifting the physical sensation from its movement and can know the direction it takes. The farthest mental capacity of 7 is to know the direction of the movement in its relation to result. Observation of that movement is primary, thinking in terms of that movement with respect to the result is thinking. We define thinking as the capacity to relate two facts in a particular context.

Seven is the Thinker of formation of Skills.

Formation of skills needs to know the direction of the movement in terms of the result. This knowledge enables it to reproduce that movement which is skill. Surely this is not thought as we generally understand. Two or more mental facts related to each other in a given context produce a formation of the mind which for us is thought. There is no possibility of emotion here as they originate only in the higher vital seated in the heart.

Pure skill of the physical.

Seven is the foundation for 3 directly.  3 is physical of the mental plane. 7 is the mental of the physical plane. The inference is they would be related. 7 being physical and located lower in the scale, naturally serves as a foundation for 3. In the actual structure of the brain whether it is all (3 and 7) located in the brain itself or in two different locations - the brain and the body - is beyond what we can now imagine.

Rule of relationship

Physical mental relates to the mental physical.

Skill and capacity are seated here in the consciousness and substance. Our general division of consciousness above in the subtle part of the given part such as mind or vital and substance below in the material part is also assumed here. The rule here is that skill collects in the consciousness above and its essence of capacity in the substance below.

Skill, capacity

Consciousness and substance

Subtle consciousness, material substance

This is the raw human individual which rises in times of utter crisis to act as a beast, like the sailors in the stranded ship ate human flesh before they perished. The raw man is in the physical. When that strength comes out, it is convulsive. Yoga needs freshness for Mother's Force to enter the being. This raw condition is a crude version of that divine freshness. Its greatest function is the formation of skills and extraction of their essence into capacity to be stored into its substance.

Skill former

Skill formation is a process where each unit is to be originally fashioned and coordinated by an original effort of trial and error. As bricks are to be moulded one by one and laid one by one to erect a wall, skills need their psychological bricks of movements brought under an order. The writer writes each letter, not each word separately to form a word which forms a sentence. Skill formation is a basic fundamental biological process.

Skill formation is done one at a time.

It is done successively, not simultaneously.

The trials and errors have given a resultant knowledge to 7 which it has arrived at on its own. That is its mental functioning. The physical memory of acts repeats those skills ad infinitum. The capacity of the physical is to learn slowly, but steadily. When it learns, it learns once but keeps that knowledge forever to repeat. Metal moulded into a stamp, stamp all their life the same words.

Slow learner.

Can only learn completely, not partially.

It acts the moment it learns.

Learns only once.

Remembers it forever.

What 7 does with primary physical movements, 3 does with primary thought movements. Thought in 3 is gross, in 1 it is subtle. The seven lives in 3 as the physical part of the mind and is seated there in the brain. 3 in 7 functions as subtle knowledge and exists in consciousness.

7 in 3, 3 in 7.

We can say 7 is the mind emerging from the physical, while 3 is the physical base that helps the thought to emerge.

Mind from Matter.

In 3 the physical organises itself as a suitable right basis for thought mind to emerge. For thought to organise itself in 3, the matter cannot just be fleshy. It has to be cultured even as the chip is made ready to store instructions. The muscle or flesh changes into grey matter.

Thought of sensational facts.

In the relationship between 3 and 7, one supports the other from below while the other supports from above. In the government the head office receives reports from the branch office while the branch office is paid by the head office. It is true the government departments are in touch with other departments on occasions, but their main reliance is on the office under them. Levels 1 to 9 are in touch with one another if it is required but their main relations are as described earlier with their corresponding parts in the other planes and their adjacent ones. This is again a figurative way of speaking since in another sense all exist together, all in one. Each cell contains thoughts, feelings and energy for movements. Our scale is constructed to help comprehension but it does not exist anywhere in our system as we have visualised.

Bridge between mind and body.

Thought in 3 becomes coarse by the physicality of 7 while that in 7 becomes subtle and bright because of 3 and its light. Cabinet ministers after they leave office accept smaller posts which take on a new lease of life because of the aura of a former minister. Occasionally such posts are held by ministers in office. One can imagine the fillip the lower office receives and vice versa. As soon as the Soviet revolution succeeded, labourers donned high offices and sat at dinner putting tooth picks to all unmannerly uses. The president of Rumania stole all the valuables in Buckingham Palace while he was a state guest there!

Mind thinks in the body.

Thought in 7 is a physical movement which the scientist is trying to measure and track.

Physical movement of thought.

The physical movement in 3 is a thought. It is the function of the brain.

Physical moves to think.

Level 7 does not respond to vital sensations and rejects them. As our ear does not hear sounds above or below a range of vibrations, each of these parts is capable of acting only within a range. The vital vibration is outside the range of 7 because of its physicality.

Incapable of vitality.

A concept of 1 does not reach 7, but when it reaches it, it rejects it. This is the basic truth of all these 9 parts. We know the mind cannot reach the Absolute but the Absolute reveals itself as Satchidananda to mind. The objects are captured by a photo print in two dimensions, not in its true 3 dimensions. How does the concept of 1 touch 7 at all, if it ever does? We can say a concept is to thought what skill is to movements. It is 1 in 7 that enables 7 to form skills.

Incapable of conception.

Skill is concept of movements.

Level 7 is the seat of physical psychic as it is the mental part of the physical. Our scheme is 1 to 9. It can be, as said earlier, expanded to 1 to 16 or 1 to 25. Psychic dwells in the spirit which finds itself seated in the mind.

Seat of the psychic.

Level 8

Now we are going to the very origin of man's appearance on earth. Level 8 is the second stage of his coming into existence and the first stage of the birth of the vital. How is the vital born? Existence can either be in repose or in movement. While in repose, it is the status. While in movement, it is energy. Whether to be in status or in movement is man's self-choice.

Origin of vital.

This is the first stage where a part is absolutely untouched by the mind. As the spirit and psychic are buried in all the 9 parts, there is no wonder it is absent here too.

Non-mental physical vital.

Eight is the vital, but being the vital of the physical plane, its characteristic of energy is not seen. A wedding in the poorest homes will be a wedding, but none of its characteristic expressions will be in evidence. The only thing in evidence will be the movement. Village bards, as the one who broke out into a song at the bank function in Ramapuram, are in this seat.

Vital without its stamp.

Vitality here is the energy not fully converted into sensation. If any sensation is there, it is physical sensation. Men at this point respond more to food and corporal punishment. What does not touch them physically they are incapable of responding to.

Physical sensation.

Level 8 is new to sensations. As the neo-literate is excited by the learning sensation, 8 will respond even to the physical sensation. As existence is born in 9, skill is born in 7, here sensation is born for the first time. Such first births occur at 6 with emotions, and thought is born for the first time in 3.

Birth of sensations.

This is also the first seat where physicality turns into vitality. The sense of wonder of the first recipient will characterise this conversion. At 8 the vital is evolving.

Evolving vital.

What it receives from 5 and 2 is significant for us. It is on a parallel to the effect on the population at the bottom by what the cream receives. It may be negligible, but it is significant. All developing countries that uplift the bottom segment and the developed countries that pamper the top segment may take note of this.

2, 5, 8 original sensation.

There is a prevalent opinion that to develop the bottom segment, the top needs to be neglected. I shall not examine any element of truth in it. At best it is a popular belief in the sense, that no attempt is made to reconcile any inherent contradictions that may be there. The top needs to be neglected to support the bottom when the opportunities are limited. As long as the bottom as well as the society need to psychologically satisfy themselves, this is necessary. This is a truth, but a lower truth.

  •  The higher truth is the bottom needs to be uplifted for the top to progress.
  •  The top needs to progress for the bottom to rise.
  •  These two are necessary to create wider opportunities.
  •  The top and the bottom need to overcome the psychological reverse compensations - of dominating, of revenging - for the society to flower at higher levels.

Evolution in truth and goodness instead of in darkness and lowness.

A study of these patterns is of great importance but we do not enter into those branches of expression here. Poetry at 8 is very appealing and, if only it is encouraged as the old man in our village bank meeting, the nation's poetry will receive an evolutionary lease of life.

Rustic poet.

In the life of the warrior and the poet of Level 5, either in the previous generation or previous life, one can witness the base of 8 without fail.

Social base of the warrior, the poet.

Level 8 is in indirect touch with 2 and 5 and with 7 and 9 it is in direct touch. Man at 8 is the unskilled, physically energetic bull worker.

No collar work.

Collarless worker.

Worker that is work.

The only endowment he has is the primitive physical energy which does not condemn him as a bulk of dead flesh.

Bulk of living flesh.

Superstition will be his religion. Superstitious possession is his way of life as he is not evolved to the extent of questioning his superstition or fears to lose it. What he has is his possession. To him, emotions are objects, concepts are invisible.

Emotional objects.

Invisible concepts.

Even to be mercenary, he may not have faculties.


Skills, emotions, ideas pass him as objects without his noticing.

Unconscious sensations.

Their sleep is unconscious, their dreams are of the subconscious. Even tree climbing is a skill that defies him.

Unconscious sleep.

Level 9

Man is in the body. It is physical existence. There was a time when he was without the least trace of emotions, not to speak of mentality. He was just a clod, a bundle of flesh.

Physical existence.

This part is exclusively pure physical, even as 1 is purely mental. One becomes pure mind by extricating itself from vitality and physicality.  Nine is physical prior to vitality or mentality being born.

Pure Physicality.

9 is untouched by vitality or mentality in the least.

Exclusively physical.

It is in direct touch with 8 and in indirect touch with 3 and 6. Already we have mentioned the fact that all physical parts, 3, 6 and 9 are in touch with one another even as 2, 5 and 8 are and 1, 4 and 7 are. Sleep and movement are its statures in substance and consciousness. It is interesting to note that what is movement in consciousness changes into sleep when moved into substance. We have seen a similar phenomenon in decision and determination; skill and capacity; thought and idea; emotion and devotion, and so on.

Sleepy movement.

Consciousness permits the organisation of knowledge but substance organises its power.

Consciousness and substance.

What appears to us as a clod from the point of view of the developed man is really the culmination of animal evolution into man. The animal vitality having developed into human mentality is born as Man at Level 9.

The animal maximum is the human minimum.

The animal is characterized by vitality and the absence of mentality. Man at 9 is capable of only movement. There is enough vitality to move, not to act or to coordinate his limbs. Mentality is not there. If it is there, it is there only in potential at 9. Of course, all the mentality the animal is capable of, Man at 9 has, not more. It is not known as mentality. It is the potential for the mind to emerge.

Potential man.

Sri Aurobindo says the atomic scientists and primitive men are of equal intelligence. His capacity to fashion tools out of stones needed the same level of intelligence as was required to split the atom.

Potential greatness.

For that intelligence to flower and reach either 3 or even 1, it has to evolve emotions and sensations. Intelligence is potential, buried in the physical, though of the highest order. For it to reach the mind, it has to cross the vital plane, first evolving emotions.

Sensations and emotions render movement into intelligence.

In the chapter on ˜Life', Sri Aurobindo says the vital takes the physical movements as sensations to the mind which converts them into thought, so that thought may dominate over the physical. This is the way the mind rules matter.

Man at 9 is one who is in a dazed condition of the mind, if it could be called 'mind' by any stretch of imagination.

Comatose torpor.

The only thing he is really capable of is torpor. Life and thoughts are only physical movements for him. In the absence of those inherent movements, he lapses into sleep. Life is a waking sleep for such a man. As the newborn babe, he represents the nascent condition of the newly evolved member of the species. It is pristine pure physical embodiment. Level 9 can be compared with Level 1 with respect to the higher mental Silence. The conditions of 9 with respect to man are the same as 1 with respect to the Higher Mind that understands through Silence.

Understands by movement.

9 is to the physical as 6 is to the vital and 3 is to the mental. 3 is empirical and organises its facts into a decision but is at sea faced with the concepts of 1. So does 9 feel with respect to 7.

Thought immobilizes.

6 is the first member of the vital and is similarly placed with respect to 4. The one asset of 9 is movement and that is all the source of its energy and later intelligence.

Evolution by movement.

The purity of 9 as pure physical is so complete that it permits evolution of vitality by its movements.

The Supramental being will be born if 9 is supramentalised in consciousness and substance. That is its Supramental base. As its freshness permits vitality to evolve, so its pristine pure physicality, when deconditioned to its original status, permits supramentalisation.

By the time it is ready to be mentalised, the very flesh turns grey in the brain. Brain becomes the knowledge of the muscle.

The influence of 1 penetrates to 9, to its substance. It is descent, the knowledge of the substance.

XIII.  The Role of Family, School, Society and Individual

Family is the social unit in biological life. It is found not in all species, but only in the higher species. The higher the species, the longer is the weaning period for the young ones. Biological families consist of the mother and the young ones. Human families included the father and other members. The wider families of the past were expressions of a higher social development. Family is the finest institution created by our species. In its own role of protecting the young ones and educating them in the means of survival, family is of unrivalled excellence. There were times when the 'family' concept extended almost to the entire tribe, making the entire society the family. As the young ones are thus protected by the family, it is able to protect even the weaker members of the society. There were societies and periods when the weak members were allowed to perish as in Sparta, but the trend is now reversed.

Family is the unit of the society and its first school, rather its best school. In several senses, society acts as the family while at other times family acts as the society. Society takes upon itself the duty of educating its members and for that purpose has evolved the system of education. While all life is one of continuing education, education itself splits into several parts: academic education, cultural training, skills of survival and education of the personality. Schools give the first while the family gives the second and third. The individual acquires the last himself.

The accumulated knowledge of the society is collected as information and is given to the pupils through schools. Colleges give the same as ideas and create in the student the capacity to think. Cultural values of social survival, ethical values of religion are given to the child as habits of the society. All known violence in societies is from children of broken families who have missed these cultural values. Though they are given as habits, and we pick them up as unthinking habits, they mould the character and prevent society from degenerating into a field of violence. Families produce children that conform.

Education helps produce thinking citizens. The leaders, the pioneers, the original thinkers, and leading lights lie beyond. Personality is born when the child forgets the details of school education, the trappings of the cultural training. Only then the essence of education comes to the surface. This is the foundation for personality. Man, during his career, rediscovers the ideas learnt from the school and values taught in the family, and makes them his own or discards them in favour of new ones. Only such members of the society offer leadership of any description, the rest are the followers, the crowd.

Leadership is of several levels as well as several types. In one sense a great majority of the population offers one type of leadership or another at one level or another. Leadership at the top sustains itself on the leadership at all these levels below arranged in a hierarchy. Society has not yet exhausted the usefulness of its schools and the necessity of the family. The single parent family and the extended education outside the campus and on the Internet are the first signs of society trying to outgrow the need for the family and a formal system of education. Though they are very disturbing symptoms in today's society, they are the best developments in the society today.

Family and society precede and succeed school to offer institutionalized cultural education that is not yet fully organised.

Family precedes, society succeeds.

 The individual is created by the society, but it submits to the individual whom it has created. It is a dictum. The judge is more bound by the law than the criminal. Sri Aurobindo says that the society and the individual fulfil each other. The leader following the masses, child leading the father, leadership in submission are known phenomena. In creation there is no individual. There is only the Eternal. The eternal becomes the individual to fulfill itself at a higher level. After that, the individual returns to the Eternal. The Eternal too returns to its origin. In the society too the same phenomenon occurs. The individual rises as a transitory fulfilling aspect. During the period the society projects the individual, it submits to him. As the society cannot act as an entity, it chooses to act through the individual. In that respect, the individual represents the society. Therefore, the society which makes the individual its representative, has to obey him.

It is obvious the society exists only in the individuals and has no existence apart from them. In that sense, the growth of the society is after all the growth of its various individual members. Therefore, the final aim of the individual is the growth of every individual in the society. For this purpose, the pioneering individual creates all the conducive conditions wherein every individual will find freedom to grow. This is how the individual fulfils himself in the society.

Knowledge is given to the individual in the family, the school and finally by the wide society. Family does so by affection and attention and the school by its discipline. The society does so by two methods, by one of which it compels the individual to comply and the other which offers him opportunities to grow. The first is law, custom, usage, culture, tradition and so on, which,  the individual has to obey, without which the society punishes him. The second is a boon. Society offers its own opportunities for those who care to avail of them. Compliance makes him a fit social individual while availing of the growth helps him to grow to the maximum of his own and the society's capacity. This is a learning experience and an opportunity for growth.

The first is a physical experience and the next is a mental experience in the physical plane.

Inside the society kids learn to obey as they are young and the adult authority is total. As the child grows, it perceives the authority of the society permeating through the family andfinds it  inescapable. At school, it is only the discipline of the organisation for the purposes of its functioning and there is not much of coercion for any extraneous purpose. Society acts in two ways. Its laws are to be obeyed on pain of punishment; its opportunities can be availed of in the measure one is capable of.

In his growth, the individual moves from the physically inherited habits to opinion and attitude and finally to his own motives. Family gives him the habits, education, opinions and attitudes; society throws him on the resources of his own motives. Opinions are one's own, attitudes are of the family, motives are of the character. Opinion is of the mind, attitude is of the vital while motives belong to the being.

Society fulfils itself when it discovers the wisdom which it developed in the individual. In the pioneering leading individual, society perceives the climax to which its own wisdom can rise and aspires for its collective possession.

XIV. Money

When society moved to the vital stage from the physical, it also moved from agriculture to trade and commerce. This was made possible by the birth of money. All the organisations man creates in the society are there in him subconsciously. Money is a vital organisation that enables him to exchange his energies with others in such a fashion that the exchange results in an organisation.

Money is an institution unrivalled in scope, power, precision, speed, capacity to adjust to newly coming discoveries till today. It started as barter, was represented by many things like shells, leather, and so on and finally by gold and silver. Now it is paper. Even that is disappearing slowly or is it quickly?

Money is comprehensive, all-pervading.

Comprehensive, all-pervading money.

Ubiquitous money, omnipresent money.

Money is primarily an organisation. It represents the energy flow of the society. It is a medium for human exchange. It helps preserve excess energy. It is a symbol representing energy, activity, relationship, raising short-lived physicality and vitality to long-lived mentality. Philosophically it helps man overcome Time and Space. Being an organisation, it admits of constant improvement. As every organisation does, it integrates with every new organisation. Of the three powerful attractions to the human ego, money is one. Essentially it is a vital organisation. It is a powerful medium to make a mental being of man. It has constantly changed forms. Presently it is on the verge of being formless.

Money is a symbol of power. It helps enhance the power of any other attribute, for example, price or relationship - if used as a medium. Though perceived as a scarce commodity, money by virtue of reflecting the infinite faculty of human trust, is potentially capable of becoming abundant. As it has lent itself to be quantified, it renders human actions precise or precisely measurable. Its value can be raised by trust, skill, speed, attention and every other component of itself.

Instrument of release from labour.

Vital money, physical prosperity, mental organisation.

Money - human trust in action.

Symbol of formed human collectivity.

Symbolic power.

Self-multiplying symbolic power.

Time and Space abridged in society.

Instrument of precision.

Three dimensional power.

Trikala instrument.

That which expands life.

Scaffold of institutions.

Mortar of organisations.

Reinforces all existence.

Self-multiplies its value.

Self-multiplier of its own value.

XV. Superstition

Superstition is the integral ignorance that enlivens itself to act on that ignorance as if it is consummate wisdom. Superstition is the inability to know as well as know its wrong information right. To those who possess it, it is a shield and strength. As knowledge increases, superstition does not dissolve, but reorganizes itself at a newer or higher level where it acquires a more acceptable form. At this stage man is proud of this new superstition as scientific knowledge and comes to look down upon people who are in his earlier frame of mind.

Wisdom of the ignorant.

Superstition is not only wisdom of the ignorant but also its strength. Within its own sphere, superstition offers strength that brings success. All the achievements of the past are achievements of these periods, that is, the achievements of the superstition of that period. What we now know as superstition of those centuries, helped them achieve.

The sun going around the earth is what we now know to be false. Hundreds of generations believed it. Their poetry, myths, religion and even science were based on it. The astronomy of those days accurately predicted the eclipses. Astrology based on that superstitious belief was largely accurate. The Nadi palm leaf astrology that predicted accurate daily details was based on it. It is not as if they smelted metals in spite of their superstition. It is noteworthy that their very superstitious beliefs yielded great useful results. How is that so?

Superstition is the science and technology of the Ignorant.

It is worthwhile knowing several such beliefs of ours today.

Roman Catholic religion and Christianity believe in hell which is now known to be superstition. Their religions are great, their influence is worldwide. Who would not wonder at the galaxy of the canonized saints these religions produced? Sri Aurobindo says neither the sun nor the earth go round the other. They are stationary. The movements we feel are those of our consciousness. Buddha had a worldwide influence. Shankara proved it was on a false belief. Shankara had an unfailing victory over Buddhism, but can his Maya be defended today? The truth is, superstition is a force and can achieve on a grand scale within its territory.

The achievements of science today are great. They are all based on the belief that consciousness evolves out of inert matter, rather matter creates consciousness. What is the truth here? The truth is superstition is powerful; it is powerfully creative within its own realm. What creates is not superstition, but society. Society can create out of right beliefs and even wrong beliefs. Belief and faith are creative. Society is originally creative. Superstition is an instrument of society. Today superstition similarly serves Science. We must recognise it and get out of it.

Science constantly crosses the frontier it has created. But its earlier achievements hold good. Sri Aurobindo says that the human mind can have two consciousnesses but acts on one of them even when the two are opposed to each other. He quotes the modern astrologer in his support. That is why Gita gives us the injunction not to disrupt the beliefs of the ignorant.

Age does not wither, nor custom stale, its infinite newer varieties.

Superstition gives way only when knowledge gets integral. Even intuition is not spared by the invasion of superstition. No one is free, not even intuition.

Superstitious intuition. Intuitive superstition.

Man cannot organise knowledge in all segments of his understanding. He can do so only in one segment at a time. So, the energies are drawn away to that segment. Also the organised knowledge in one segment needs to be protected from the intrusion of energies from others. The focus on one segment leaves the other segments energyless. Energyless parts of the mind are unable to organise themselves and therefore settle down to a confusion. Confused state of mind is a fertile soil for superstition to grow. The other segments remain foolish. Man has to defend and protect that foolishness as they are himself. The strange thing about man is that he values his unorganised part as much as his organised part, that is, he values his superstition. Man sees power not only in his organised part, but values the 'power' of the unorganised part. For man, all parts are valuable in as much as they are his own parts.

Protection of the foolish. Knowledge of the ignorant. Power of the uninformed.

Construction of theories and extension of comprehension beyond one's limits generate superstition. Sri Aurobindo says that when a man sees a partial truth, there is nothing wrong in his valuing what he saw. Instead, man proceeds on the basis of what he saw, to deny the partial truths others saw. That leads to falsehoods, says He. In India we see such efforts have led to denial of God, denial of the world and led Shankara to bend Isa Upanishad to his Maya. Belief in heaven need not create hell. It is neither a logical necessity nor a practical truth. But it was done all over the world. When mind goes beyond its limits, it produces falsehood.

Knowledge beyond its ken.

The same is true about mastery. It is great that one gets mastery in any field. As usual, it leads to considering the mastery final. Considering one's own mastery final can lead to disastrous results. One of them is superstition.

The greater the mastery, the greater is the superstition.

When one functions from the mind, superstition is inevitable as mind acts on parts only one at a time. Superstition will keep us company till we reach integral knowledge of the Supermind.

Mind is the inevitable origin of superstition.

Life is manifold and our attention is demanded by many things at once. We are not able to pay that attention and neglect those areas that are not immediately necessary. We take several things for granted without paying the attention it deserves. This directly leads to the formation of superstition.

Assumptions generate superstition.

When some things are strange, we refuse to reflect on them. At best we consider them wrong. It never occurs to us that, in spite of its being strange, it can be true. The capacity of not seeing the truth is the same capacity that can see a falsehood that is not existent.

Making the unfamiliar the familiar.

We don't observe all the facts that are before us. When we see we do not see the correspondence between them. These are grounds on which superstition can grow.

Superstition is unidimensional finality.

XVI. Strategy

A nation's agriculture is governed by the agricultural policy of its government. The principle here is a nation should feed itself. The truth of that principle is any nation, when it tries hard can produce its own food from its own soil. Barring exceptions man has created, the soil of a nation does not produce a greater population than it can feed. The process of producing that food is the population applying itself diligently to the land the various resources at its disposal. For this purpose it may choose a programme. A strategy is a device that will make that programme a success. Thus at the end of the chain of policy, principle, truth, process and programme appears strategy.

To demonstrate a higher yield, the right strategy is to hold it on the farmer's land. To put a child in the mother's lap for him to have his hair cut by the barber is the strategy. A strategy to raise the levels of learning is to shift from teaching to learning out of the child's curiosity. To let a rival agree to a rational idea, the strategy is silent will. To give children vast property safely, the strategy is first to give them the capacity and character to manage them.

Right strategy makes the impossible possible. There are unsafe places where property or produce is to be safeguarded. It is to be done by a watchman. A single watchman can always be overwhelmed by a few ruffians. It is no solution to appoint several watchmen as any number can be overwhelmed. Too many watchmen will not be economical. Are we to abandon the produce? What would be the right strategy here? To look at the problem from the watchman's point of view will be the right strategy. It will lead to a solution. A small sum paid on certain conditions, may make the watchman muster courage to face the situation. The principle of this strategy is to widen your perspective.

Opens fresh possibilities.

Link between possibility and impossibility.

Strategy is short cut.

Link between beginning and end.

Strategy is the method to reach the goal quicker and surer. Work is of the physical plane. Strategy is of the mental plane. Force of higher plane yielding higher results in a lower plane is understandable. When a salesman in the head office has to visit an outstation often, the head office can pass orders to that effect. It may work partially. If you ask him to station his family in that outstation and work in the head office, his sales visit will take care of themselves.

Mind in life.

The highest in the lowest plane.

Knowledge of the whole programme and its theoretical explanation will help fashion the right strategy. People buy a house attracted by the cheap price, not knowing that it is in a low-lying area. A good property had fallen into bad ways and came to be neglected for years. Creditors have refused to accept the property for a quarter of its market value. An auction brought no bidders. A man came forward to purchase it for its market value. Everyone, including the seller, thought the buyer was under a delusion. The buyer argued with himself that the property was once a shining jewel which means the obstacles now faced are not real. They may be real for the faint-hearted. His wider understanding proved to be right. Again it became a jewel. Rajaji's abolishing the ration in 1954 and not arresting Periyar during the anti-Hindi campaign were right strategies that issued out of wider understanding of the situation.

Experience and knowledge made into a method.

Strategies can be physical, vital or mental. Savitri asking Yama for a boon of children is a stratagem. Krishna making Karna part with his protection was another. In the First World War the French lost heart when the invading German army entered Paris and gave up all hopes of defending the city. They simply withdrew into their own barracks. Finding no resistance in sight, the Germans felt that a master strategy was afoot and withdrew! This was Mother's strategy to defend Paris. A mental strategy against a rival may be to shift your faith to a higher level than conventional ideas. When people ask inconvenient foolish questions, a good strategy may be to make him think. Two brothers partitioned the property. The elder, who wanted the better half volunteered it to his younger brother who asked him to keep it himself. This is a vital strategy.

Strategy, development and theory are of the same type.

Strategy is a device to save time, money, material, space and energy. Doing successive things simultaneously wherever possible saves time. Buying our needs under a plan saves money. Saving time, material, energy, and so on also saves money. Better technology saves material. Cars of today use less material than ten or twenty years ago. The timetable in the schools and colleges is a good example of saving the time of staff and using space in the best way. Better maintenance of machinery saves energy.

The wireless of planning.

It is a satellite in the process.

Strategies and systems are correlatives. What started originally as strategies, in time settles down as systems in organisations.

Correlations reduced to systems.

Systematized correlations.

Strategies enable us sometimes to accomplish even when an essential is missing or an entirely new situation arises. The doctor who burnt the protruding foot of the child outside the womb with his cigarette end used one. An irrational demand of a bank client to his dishonest banker had an instantaneous effect after three years of failure.

Replaces the irreplaceable.

Greater courage that permits one to be bold may achieve one's ends against a robber even when one finds his bullets missing. In a low character it can degenerate into a trick or ploy in a mean character. With Mother, it always works, if the person is devoted. Students write exams without hall tickets, bank customers get their loans without paying the margin money, crops are harvested when the pump breaks down.

Strategy above, trick below.

In extreme circumstances great strategies will assume the appearance of great folly. Many great initiatives have been condemned like that while more than half of them have not only turned out to be a success but excelled the mark. The doctor who brought a burning billet to the mouth that remained open was successful.

Makes a fool of oneself.

Nature is the greatest of strategists. She accomplishes many things in one stroke. What is waste to us is a supreme strategy of economy. He calls Nature's way miserly spendthrift economy. It may be the highest wisdom to know the ways of Nature.

story | by Dr. Radut