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Outline for Book on Development: Human Choice


June 19, 1999 

             Development as we have conceived is a natural process of the society. That which develops is the society. It is developed by its own social will, which releases social energy. Energy given direction becomes force, force directed by organization turns into power, power expressed through skills generates results.

            The collective subconscious is the greater reality, while the conscious individual is the visible reality. The main aim of this BOOK is to impress upon people the value of the theory. It is an age-old idea but needs to be emphasized in this context. Once it is conceded, the theory we attempt must not be partial covering one age or one sector or one activity. It is obvious it should be a Comprehensive THEORY of entire Social Development that is capable of being applied to any period, any sector or any process with full relevance and complete effectivity. At this stage, it is not necessary to dwell on the tools of development or the various strategies that have been empirically valid in the world experience. The theory deals with and describes the basic fundamental process of social constitution, structure, energy, movement and progress. For the present, this book does not purport to go beyond to the minor aspects of development that are often presented as theory.

            As this is comprehensive, so it is integral. Its integrality makes it possible for this theory to be presented in terms of any one of its various aspects, i.e. energy, organisation, collective, individual, etc. Under each of these heads we can find interesting sub heads. We have chosen for our presentation the role of the individual and his capacity to choose his destiny and through that determine the course of the collective in future.

The following is an attempt to list all essential ideas, major and minor, for this theme:

1) The role of theory in human existence.

2) The theory raises human progress from the physical, vital planes to the plane of mind.

3) In the normal course, a theory is to be evolved out of practice. Those who have accomplished social development are then qualified to conceive such a theory.

4) In practice, accomplishment of social development empowers society at large to frame the theory, not necessarily the nations or individuals that have practically accomplished.

5) When the universities create scientific knowledge, often we see the practical application emerges for their discoveries takes place outside the universities.

6) Even this phenomenon can be theoretically explained. Those who are most receptive to the impacts of social accomplishment, whether they are from that field or other fields, will respond with the effort of conception. It was the non-industrialized Russia that responded to Marx's socialism, not the industrialised Britain. The whole capitalist world made socialist welfare policies far more effective than USSR, which had officially adopted it. The results depend upon the ability to execute, rather than the willingness to accept.

7) Social accomplishment is a total process embracing aspects that our eyes miss. The base of the society is subtle and particularly spiritual. No wonder that a comprehensive theory finds its basis in the process of creation, which is subtle and spiritual. Our task here is to apply that process to social development and to justify it by appropriate explanations. The base is spiritual, the functioning is on the social surface.

8) A sphere poised on the floor has no particular fulcrum or every point on its surface can serve as the fulcrum. Social theory for our purposes is such a sphere.

9) The genetic code is the end result of a long labor of Nature. Once the code is formed, it rules. Human choice in every action is such a genetic code.

10) In the paper on Human choice we traced its development from the society to the individual.

11) There is the second half or second phase where the individual must accept the significance of the social choice of MAN as the central element in development and rise to the occasion. [The individual must consciously and constructively choose to exercise the choice which society has delegated to him, not just to conform and imitate but eventually to develop and express real individuality.]

12) It is obvious that this book cannot be exhaustive but can only be indicative.

13) So, our object here is to trace as fully as possible the journey of society from physical resources such as land to the human resources in search for its ultimate clue.

14) It is MAN who decides.

15) He decides as social man or individual man.

16) He can decide as the individual man who represents the society.

17) That makes him a leader, at least a pioneer.

18) Questions arise: What is the CHOICE? Why does it exist? How does it act? What is its significance for us here?

19) Choice declares multiple possibilities in the universe.

20) To pick one from the multiples presented is the duty of the individual.

21) He can exercise that choice for survival, conformity, individuality, leadership or to be a pioneer.

22) Human choice is not from two options or even several options. Literally any moment presents infinite choices. We narrow them down to a few or assume, for practical purposes, there are two options from which Man consciously goes for one.

23) Choice being the human prerogative, the variables through which that choice is to be exercised are many, almost endless.

24) The nature or the basic character of the choice remaining the same, its expressions or results differ in different contexts.

25) These variables can be grouped under several heads.

Physical, vital, mental, spiritual.

Energy, force, power, results.

Skill, capacity, talent, ability.

Survival, growth, development, evolution.

Act, activities, systems, organisation, institution, culture, values.

Physical skill, vital attitude, mental opinion, spiritual values.

26) Obviously each of these 27 variables can be subdivided into grades and each of them can combine with any other to produce a particular result.

27) The possible results are endless, but the basic type or process of producing the result the same.

28) Human choice decides (his own outcome and) the social result.

29) At an earlier stage of development, the social choice decides the human outcome.

30) Trying to present a theory through one aspect that has a potential of comprehensiveness, we end up with a comprehensive presentation.

31) Let me repeat that every aspect of development has that potential.

32) Man is choosing all the time. His choices are capable of deciding whether it is survival or development; energy or power; organisation or institution; vital or mental.

33) In the first phase the collective moves along these lines and finally arrives at MAN as its center.

34) In the second phase, MAN again begins from the beginning and finally arrives at his life as the real center.

35) The first phase is enough to usher the world into Prosperity.

36) The second phase moves man from welfare to well being and in its later stages endows him with yogic capacities.

37) About 100 points can be culled out and used in the book that illustrate the above from history, biography, current events, literature, personal experience, clinical experience of therapists, the inside stories of individuals and organisations, a perceptive penetration of one's own family life.


Illustrations for the outline of a BOOK on Development --
through the two phases of human development

The second phase of the book focuses on the awakening of the individual to the power of human choice in his own life. It should indicate the progression of stages man moves through as he shifts from dependence on the external environment as the determinant of his choices to increasing reliance on his own inner standards (from physical/biological to vital, then mental and finally spiritual determinants).

The examples below are intended to illustrate some of the stages of that transition. The book can provide a roadmap for individuals awakening to discover the power of the inner determinant, the pitfalls and errors made along the way, as well as what society can do to facilitate that self-discovery.

Since this process is being discussed in the context of human development, we can show how the inner shift corresponds with the opening up of wider opportunities and higher levels of accomplishment in society.

A sociological comparison of human choices between a more and less developed society will clearly show how the energy flows in different directions and accomplishes different results in each society. Then a psychological analysis of choices in the more and less advanced countries can show how the same differences exist within societies, between more and less formed individuals, between the pioneers and the conforming followers, between achievers and those that preserve the status quo. The whole theory can be expounded as an expression of individual human choices, even though this is only one perspective from which it can be explained.

 1. The choice is made in the physical by authority, in the vital by enjoyment, in the mental by understanding, in the spiritual by values and in the supramental by the law of cause and effect through surrender.

Gang members follow the leadership of one who is strong enough to beat them up - Physical.

Many men in positions of authority yield to illicit temptations for pleasure or gain - Vital.

We avoid sugar when diabetes sets in based on an understanding - Mental.

Muslims do not collect interest as it is their spiritual value.

2. In all these cases it is the Authority of power, attractive sensations, ideas or values that prevails. In the earlier phases authority is external and in the latter phases it is internal. But, in both cases it is the authority of something.

3. When the society moves from one era to another, as it moved to manufacturing from agriculture, human responses are for the new, for avoiding the new in favor of security, for conformity, for laziness or for the value of loyalty to the status quo.

4. The Indian family that decides to invest in gold jewelry for dowry rather than in a business to generate further wealth chooses to uphold the social norms and keep physically secure what they have saved rather than choose the path of development, which is fraught with risks and social approbation.

5. The American woman who chooses pursuit of a career over a socially approved marriage is guided by the authority of her mental conception of self and accepted ideas about accomplishment in today's society.

6. Some parents have trained their children not to discuss politics, religion or money with others. Children follow their training to the end, except when their own nature or compelling circumstances arise. The choice of non-interference in the personal views of others arises from their training.

7. The boy who steals does so on the strength of his ignorance of the social consequences to his career. At the moment of stealing he gives way to his impulse. The choice is made by the overpowering authority of his impulse.

8. From level No.9 (where he is moved only by the physical compulsions of need and external pressure) man has moved to No.1 (where he is capable of being moved to action by pure ideas). At each level, energy, organisation, skill, and knowledge act to determine the outcome. To collect examples for each of these from history, biography etc. will fill up any book.

9. The circus woman in ‘The Veiled Lady' decides to kill her vicious husband by letting the lion loose on him. She was hurt in the end. On what basis was her choice made? It was made by her understanding and desire to escape the husband's tyranny. Suppose she was religious or had scruples, she would not have done it.

10. Hamlet's father, the dead king, chooses to demand revenge against his brother who murdered him and seduced his queen, not against his wife whose weak, unfaithful character made the plot possible. Why? It is a clear choice. Biologically man adores even the woman who betrays him, until the intensity of love turns into physical hate and destruction.

11. Man may not take a wrong initiative of his own, but when another's initiative draws him into action, he gives in like a student who is introduced to drugs. Here the choice is made by the externals and he is determined by his environment.

12. Man chooses something that is convenient now, not knowing the future. This is a choice based on ignorance. Man chooses something now even though he knows it will have bad consequences later. This is a choice based on weakness. In a similar manner, every other known trait can compel man to a choice. There are about a hundred or two hundred such traits. Each one of them can be subdivided on the basis of its strength or intensity. Also each trait can be expressed either positively or negatively. (One can refrain positively due to ones values or negatively due to one's fear).

13. Current situations will generate the clearest illustrations for the reader. The hippie movement which was an expression of the basic urge for social freedom from the establishment broke out with a vengeance, subsided after a decade or two, returned to the very same establishment they earlier opposed, got reabsorbed into it, performing according to their strength or ideals.

14. Listen to a teenager in 1968 how he arrived at his first decision and listen to all his decisions, we will have a fairly complete picture of the human tendencies.

He echoes the social aspiration of his age group as an unformed (conforming) individual. He wears long hair and jeans as a symbol of rebellion against the establishment but as an act of conformity with his peers.

He does so as a formed individual. He accepts the idea of freedom and higher values that has spurred the rebellion and makes that real in his own mind, emotions and values, rather than merely echoing the accepted views of his peers.

He finds his strength limited against the mammoth weight and pressure of society.

He compromises his stand to a great extent in order to pursue a career, be accepted in wider circles, inherit wealth.

He sticks to his ideals in some essential ways.

He rediscovers the end result as a compromise between his ideal and his revolt.

What prevails is his composite personality.

At each stage he did CHOOSE, did make a choice.

Any man, hippie or otherwise, rebel or conformist, if he traces his whole life minutely, will find all the above choices in one fashion or another in his own life. That may be better material for book. (The microcosm represents the macrocosm.)

15. When a man proposes to a woman, chooses a college course, settles on a job, or receives promotions, he comes face to face with LIFE. There are innumerable moments he chooses. For one single individual all those choices are of the same type.

16. Property, woman, ideal, spiritual belief impact on man fully. Their interaction demands a choice each time. That is of value for our book as illustrating material.

The idea, as mentioned earlier, is to travel with the society and the individual man either from prehistoric periods till now or from childhood to old age and see the picturesque landmarks marked by psychological decisions determined by clear CHOICES. It can also be a pilgrimage that sums up the comprehensive theory of social evolution.

story | by Dr. Radut