June 2, 1999
Imagine tribal people trying to integrate into ways of civilisation and doing it fairly successfully in one or two generations. Compare them with other sections of the same tribe who try to learn all that the civilisation can give them on their own self-discovery, shutting themselves out from the sector of the civilised people. Educational systems do it today. Education helps the next generation to acquire all that the past generations have accumulated as practically usable knowledge. The most rudimentary element of the system is information – information about history, geography, hygiene, government, health, etc.
As the child grows up, he is introduced to the sources of information and how this information was originally gained. Encyclopaedia has institutionalised these systems of information and facts about every branch of study. If information can be gained and used by all, a much smaller section only can acquire the talent of gathering such further information. These people need ideas of what they are looking for, e.g. economic data is collected by those who have an idea of prosperity.
These ideas exist at all levels. In the physical plane ideas of security, comfort, welfare, quick movement, etc. serve this purpose. Vitally, greater enjoyment, higher harmony, faster expansion are the ideals that help generate appropriate ideas. Discovering the various laws serves as ideas in the mental plane. Information is the final product of laws and ideas that come to the common man as instruments through which he can gain the knowledge and experience of the entire society.
Man receives this information in his physical mind and puts it to good use. Beyond it lies his vital mind that can sense the higher implications of that information. Mental ideas that lie behind the information are received by mentally developed people. Can the common man receive the information, the ideas behind, through his spirit? He can. One who is open in his spirit receives the useful information, senses its higher purpose, and sees the mental ideas and the laws that discovered the ideas. Further, he is able to see the spiritual vibration that acts in the society that moves through that idea. To be able to see that is what Sri Aurobindo calls “Grace of the inner Spirit”. Hence,
Information is the Grace of the Spirit.
Information is the door that opens into Timelessness. For those who live in social Time, information acts as the door that leads into social Timelessness, thus abridging centuries and millennia into year or decades. I spoke about creating a framework of theory and fitting Mexico or India into it. Doing so, at the very bottom we see set against each other what we are doing and what we must be doing. Thus a thousand pieces of development information are available to people for direct use. Educated people see the ideas behind the information, thinkers see the theory, and spiritually open men see Sri Aurobindo at the further end.
Development information is the grace of the social thought.
Development ideas are the grace of social wisdom.
Development theory is the Grace of the social spirit and his own inner spirit.
Theory is the Grace of the inner Spirit.