July 12, 2001


History of Human Accomplishment and its Measurement



·          The history of Kings, nations, cities, institutions, languages, science, knowledge, and technology is available.

·          Whether one can compile a history of human accomplishment in terms of his parts of being, psychology, skills, or other endowments and how far it can help us measure human accomplishment today is this endeavour.

·          If one such tool is fashioned, it is our hope that it will also be a tool of enhancing the same accomplishment.

·          Human accomplishment is the accomplishment of human energy, skill, capacity, knowledge, values, etc.

·          All these have two sources -- outer and inner.

·          Accomplishment does not lie on a linear scale.

·          Nor does the endowment conform to a unidimensional progress.

·          The components, the scales, the accomplishments lie on varying measures.

·          To successfully accomplish this project then one has to

1.       gather all the constituents of these components, scales, accomplishments, etc. and

2.       all the laws of their progress.

·          It is quite a challenge and appears not feasible by its scope and complexity, but we know two things that are encouraging.

1.       One’s accomplishment often appears to be self-explanatory, as many people are able to know an approximate measure of it.

2.       Hundreds of types of trainings are now available.

·          It only means that what is now generally known must be precisely measured through a system  and training of partial skills are there, indicating the possibility of a training of a skill for the WHOLE.

·          Accomplishment is individual as well as collective. Here we try to know only about the individual, though the collective accomplishment is also of great interest to us.

·          Everything man has so for achieved comes under human accomplishment. Still a few things stand out.


-         Cure of diseases.

-         Protection from wild animals.

-         Discovery of Science, Mathematics, Astronomy, Engineering, Manufacturing, Physics, etc.

-         Discovery of the laws of Nature.

-         Creation of languages.

-         Building of cities.

-         Sailing the seas, flying in the air.

-         Productive knowledge.

-         Warfare.

-         Spiritual disciplines.

-         Creation of immortal literature.


·          Obviously, these accomplishments presuppose graded skills and capacities. The formation and growth of these skills and capacities in the individual and collective is what I call the history of human accomplishment.

·          Language is one medium which unmistakably carries all the footprints of these landmarks over the centuries, as man needed to give a NAME to each act and activity of his.

·          This progress has moved to its position of today on innumerable routes individual and collective; physical, vital, mental, spiritual planes; work and organisation; inner and outer expression; unidimensional to multi complex dimensional, etc.


-         The individual work becomes a collective organisation through various stages.

-         Physical movement upgrades into mental thought.

-         Outer needs become inner values.


·          Though the lines of development are infinite, their origin, growth and complexity are all simultaneous over a period of several thousand years.

·          Like ‘Snakes and Ladders’ there are many sudden eruptions of situations that raise one high or pull him down very much.  This phenomenon is of a special description.

·          Compared with man’s early effort of compiling a calendar, almanac, horoscope, medicinal cures, creation of dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc., our project does not appear too formidable. The major task is to acquire the clearest perspective in precise outline, which may defy the best brains of the day. Later the monumental labour that is contemplated appears as a task for a whole university and not a single individual.

·          The first daunting task we are relieved of, as Sri Aurobindo offers that outline.

·          The next will not be so crushing an effort if the Internet is well used to draw upon the resources of the world.

·          The software programme I wish to create for decision-making contains an outline or a summary of outline of this effort. Life Response is another.

·          It will be of great use to read one book that traces the history of law, printing, language, cultivation, the first factories, etc., so that one will be acquainted with the nature of the work to be undertaken.

·          Prof. Higgins was able to place any Cockney within two streets of his residence through a knowledge of phonetics. He told Pickering that he was from Oxford, he was in the Army, and had gone to India, after giving his native place, all of which he deduced from Pickering’s pronunciation. It means our effort is not far out of the way.

·          Sherlock Holmes is able to know from a hat brought to him by a policeman that

-         Its owner was an intellectual.

-         he had cut his hair last week.

-         he was rich 3  years ago but had now lapsed into poverty.

-         His wife was inattentive to him.

-         There was no gas in his house and

-         The man had forethought.


·          We need to fill all the 1 to 9 or 1 to 16 stages with all possible words from every point of view.

·          Define as many terms as possible in terms of their interacting forces. E.g.


-         Decision is a result of knowledge, will, the need of the hour, and the urge for action.

-         Affection shows the presence of another, active emotion, occasion for emotion, understanding the person, energy for emotion, synchronizing  of attitudes, etc.


·          As any of us know several people very well, our formula, however rudimentary it is now, should somewhat justify our understanding of these people. The best course is it must be right in our own case.

·          If we test it for rightness in a few real and fictional characters, we can make a good beginning.

·          A slight parallel can be seen in the field of medicine.

·          This is a field where accumulation of clinical data is unparalleled.

·          In India cholera and small pox were fully eradicated by vaccination and inoculation.

·          Micronutrients have played a great role.

·          In the West, sanitation, hygiene, drugs and the advances in this field have almost eliminated minor ailments such as fever, diarrhea, dysentery, etc. 

·          The stupendous knowledge of the Chinese as is seen in acupuncture opens a new world of understanding.

·          Medical science now knows almost all the reasons in terms of diseases, symptoms, cures, probability of cures, etc.

·          Coupled with the modern technology for operation, etc. the Science of Medicine has become formidable.

·          Doctors know all attendant symptoms of any disease.

·          With a vengeance, they refuse to see the relation between the physical disease and the psychological cause.  Suppose a new outlook emerges to study that relationship, a huge crop of results will arise.

·          Not that it is totally unknown today, but that it will be systematized, it will secure the sanction of the field of medicine. This will be a great weapon in the hands of the population. My view is the immediate results will be --

-         A 90% elimination of all minor ailments without any use of drugs and a 30% disappearance of major diseases.

-         Knowledge is powerful, Knowledge that has the scientific sanction will be more powerful.


·          The construction of a scale, its endorsement by a field of experts will create a weapon in the hands of planners all over the world with the following consequences --

-         This tool will reveal to every individual the scope of progress in his own life. People who are at point 22 on a scale of 1 to 100 can, on their own, move to point 52 because of this knowledge.

-         National prosperity all over the world will double or triple quickly.

-         To all those who are anxious to exert for progress, their own maximum will be open. The man at 22 points may have a maximum of 78 which he can reach by his own systematic effort.

-         Educational, vocational, professional efficiencies will triple or quadruple.

-         Violence will be halved all over the world.

·          Systematic use of this weapon by universities and governments will bring 3000 A.D. to 2010 A. D.