Skip to Content

542. Fixed Behaviours

Man functions by his behaviour. Behavioural Science has come to stay as a standard method of discovering MAN.  Behaviour tends to be fixed; in some people it is fixed rigidly. It is said that revolutions break out when the rigid behaviour of the minority becomes a stable obstacle. Nature resorts to war when nations will not change for the better on their own. That is why after each war, a great flood of progress rolls out.  Heraclitus, the Greek scholar recognised this. UNDP says in the fifty years since the war, the world has made a progress greater than in the past 500 years. Wars and revolutions begin with behaviour becoming fixed. Fixed behaviour degenerates into orthodoxy and finally into incorrigible superstition.

We may laugh at the principle of fixed behaviour or at such behaviour in others. How easily can we switch over to tea from coffee? Is it easy for all? When the naiya paisa came to replace anna, how easy did the nation feel? After switching over to the Euro, all the nations are doing their calculations in their own currencies - mark, guilder, lira, etc. Habits die hard. Is it the last word? The Indian Puranas talk of pralayas. When Nature goes into a mould and is unable to continue to progress, God resorts to pralaya so that a fresh beginning can be made. In human life, death appears when the body is unable to evolve to the same level of soul. The soul abandons this body and chooses a fresh one conducive to its own evolutionary growth. The Spirit in the body can come forward and help the body evolve so that the soul may continue its evolution in this body itself. By this phenomenon, says Sri Aurobindo, MAN evolves, dispensing with rebirth. On this theme, He has one full chapter.

Fixed behaviour is natural, but not inevitable. The body cannot change by itself, but mind has a natural tendency to change. All progress of man is by his mental choice for growth without waiting to be pounded on his head and crushed. He who shows enough readiness to change on his own without being compelled by the government or society will make a greater progress than others. In the name of tradition, England is cherishing RIGIDITY. Before the war, the House of Commons building was 55 feet by 33 feet and had a seating capacity of 325, while the strength was 625. It was demolished in the war. Very readily and characteristically, the tradition-loving British rebuilt it to the old dimensions. That is rigidity, not tradition. The values of the past are to be conserved, not the size of the building.

story | by Dr. Radut