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Theory of Development and its Significance

June 27, 1999

            Human life has been progressing. It has never been stagnant. Perhaps, the same can be said of all life. At least about the social life of man with respect to his security, comfort, enjoyment, understanding, values, service and idealism, we can safely say there is marked progress. We have called it social development.

            Humankind has been seeking more development and often achieves it in considerable measure. In the beginning much of it, perhaps all of it, was accomplished by experience initiated as trials. Later it was by energy. Finally man has found the value of knowledge in social advancement.

            The trials man undertakes lead to error. When he emerges out of errors, he meets with desirable results, whether it is to dig for water or to construct a house. This is during the physical phase of existence. We can say man was looking for immediate results and he was able to achieve them when he had learnt to avoid errors. His physical life advanced by his exertions that led to results he was looking for.

            At the vital phase, he pursued the same physical results with the greater energy and vitality accompanied by a marked enjoyment in the doing of it. Neither the physical nor the vital phases were guided by knowledge, except the physical knowledge of doing or vital knowledge of enjoying. As his activities multiplied his security was threatened. It was essential for him to ensure his physical security while enlarging his scope of activities. The element of knowledge in these phases was minimal.

            Man enters the next phase of mental existence, which has widened his comprehension of his environment, the possibilities, the process of what he was doing. While the physical worked with the practical knowledge acquired and the vital enjoyed releasing vast energies, the mental began to perceive the utility, process and sometimes the essence of what he was doing. Knowledge of utility enabled man to put a  great many objects to newer uses to make his life more comfortable. His mind awakened to the realities of the environment and went on discovering in objects newer and newer uses for his life. Such an exercise of mind awakened it to perceive the process by which he had earlier accomplished many things. What we know as science today is the knowledge of process of accomplishing things. This had a double fold effect. The first was efficiency. The next was of vast significance to society, since through that man was able to hand over to the future generations all the knowledge he had accumulated till then. We know this as education.

            Science as we know is the knowledge of processes of what we accomplish. Knowledge of process of things equips man with an immense social power. The social progress with which we are now surrounded is primarily made possible because we have begun to acquire this knowledge of process of work or things.

            There is a greater power than this. It is the power of mind that can know the rationale by which things have come into existence. This power, when gained, will enable mind to direct the physical more efficiently and vital to release greater energies. We call this Theory of Development.

Result: When man achieves by trial and error a positive useful result, it does not mean he will accept it and use it forever. Though it is a positive result he has come by, unless it suits his larger interests, he is not likely to retain it. Not only his personal authority must sanction it, but the authority of his own collective of which he is a part, must sanction the use of it. Once such sanctions are there, the activity becomes part of his social existence.

Process: Once a certain result has been achieved, it is possible for him to repeat it. But that repetition is slow. Practically that repetition is made possible only by compelling circumstances. Such repetitions await till such compelling circumstances arise. Man sometimes uses his mind and comes to understand the PROCESS of an activity, urged by the curiosity of mind to know which is essentially an act of mind. The knowledge of process is what we know as scientific knowledge. Man, in possession of this process, does not wait for compelling circumstances to arise in order for him to repeat actions leading to results. His mental curiosity urges him to repeat such acts wherever possible. The enormous unused energies that are released by such a mental urge generate a rare enjoyment in the act. The knowledge of the process gives him two abilities: first, the ability to proliferate the activity, and, second, the ability to pass on his knowledge to posterity without his descendents having to labour for long years.

Development Theory: Man who has accomplished so much in the world can also know the process of having accomplished it. That PROCESS is what we term as Theory of social development. The value of such a theory includes:

  • Undeveloped social segments can rapidly develop themselves without having to wait for compelling circumstances to rise.
  • Developed areas of the world by virtue of their development have created hundred and thousands of pockets of potential energies that now lie unutilised or unrecognised. They are social gold mines, which can be readily utilised.
  • Errors of development have come to stay even as the achievements have. These errors are perceived as aberrations in the absence of a theoretical knowledge of the process. All such errors can be wiped out by this knowledge.
  • The pace of social development need not be unconscious as it has until now. It can be determined by our own choice. One possibility is that all developing nations can at once catch up with the developed nations and all ills of development can be either wiped out or turned into opportunities.
  • Like every other phenomenon, DEVELOPMENT also exhibits the capacity to change into its opposite. A theoretical knowledge can help Man avoid this eventuality.

Theory, Principle, Law

            Law expresses the relations of regular occurrence. The law of supply and demand is a perception of their relations. The law of gravitation or Boyle's law explains to us what laws mean.

            By principle we mean the fundamental truth of things or essential truth of things.

            The social existence has its own principles and truths of existence and their powers when expressed are governed by laws.

            By theory we mean the knowledge that includes the various principles of existence, their truths and the laws that govern their powers in action.

             These terms are to be precisely defined for our future purposes. At this point, their definitions will be imprecise in view of the undefined territory we are in.

What theory does to knowledge and experience?

  • The theory creates a human framework of past and future lives within which the present can be evaluated.
  • The theory raises physical, vital experience to the plane of mental comprehension.
  • The theory helps foresight, forecast and prediction of future.
  • An activity is isolated. Process enables the repetition of the act. Theory reveals the whole human social AREA created by a certain activity and thus multiplies the human opportunity.
  • The theory creates the framework of standard references that help correct our deviations and errors.
  • All progress man has so far made is by the first 2 levels of the theory. We are pleading to move to the 3rd level of theory.

A theory of social development will raise the activity of development to the mental plane, creating a framework of standard references, reveal the unseen potentials created by the achievement so far, in addition to correcting our deviations and errors, helping us achieve far more than we can presently dream of.           

The knowledge of a field that exists independent of anything particular that is logically clear and precise, is the theory for that field of activity.

story | by Dr. Radut