Dec. 9, 1993
Social Evolution that is Development
Social evolution, if taken as evolution of society, is exactly on a parallel to the biological evolution of new species, developing newer forms. The speed of social evolution is at a snail's pace. Making allowance for the difference between matter and vital, we are tempted to say the 'velocity' in both the planes is the same or at least similar.
The mind in the physical matter, if you can call it material mind, is very slow to perceive but perceives everything without fail. From its perception of facts around, through imagination, it chooses a form of action that would facilitate its work. Through trial and error, it arrives at a success and on that basis the organisation of action. The vitality in the body energises this choice and the physicality endorses it in action.
Thus the first organisation or system is born. This is a very slow process. Man developed innumerable organisations thus of which the group, defense, offensive action -- aggression -- , family, community, agriculture, barter, market, movement, settlement, commerce, education, science, money, values, faith, tapas, govt., military, language, negotiation, comprehension, emotion, action stand out. The process of this creation is the only Development the world knows and that process is mental perception and choice, vital energisation, physical execution through skills. It is by the same process the individual develops into a better person.
The process of the collective creating an organisation has a subordinate action where the collective subconscious experience matures in the pioneering individual as conscious knowledge ready for action which when the society at large endorses is accepted as a way of life by the whole society, thus creating the psychological basis for the birth of a social organisation. In the measure this new organisation that is born by the psychological growth and sanction of the entire society draws upon its roots to convert that sanction into laws, rules, procedures, customs, usage, belief, social system and social culture, that organisation takes root in the society. What is consciously and concretely achieved at the top is the subconscious psychological achievement of the entire society which truth was lost sight of even by the Vedic seers. The elite that achieved this achieved by the entire masses and therefore the achievement belongs to the entire society. In practice starting from the spiritual realisation and scientific discoveries down to the reclamation of a piece of land has been held as a personal possession by the discoverer or that group. Hence the secrecy, the esoteric groups, the exclusive rights, the property right, the patent etc. Mother argues for the abolition of property rights and the law of inheritance. Communism even through its 7 decades of failure has succeeded in abolishing the exclusive right from the human consciousness by giving birth to the revolution of rising expectations.
The secondary or subordinate social evolution too included an element of original evolution of organisation, but it is minimal, though essential and significant. The aspect of evolution I would like to consider here is the full spreading of the progress that is achieved by the elite. Time was when the masses considered themselves as alien to progress, culture, civilisation, comfort, convenience and psychologically distanced themselves from the nobles, royalty, aristocrats, the elite, the clergy etc.
To wish to occupy the throne was treason whereas to aspire for the Presidency now is to be dynamic. To dress well was disobedience for a Harijan here. To know more than the guru was betrayal. 'Ambition' was used to describe dynamism and therefore all upward movement was cursed.
This was also the period of the individual in the sense that he alone was responsible for his destiny as the duty of the govt was only to maintain law and order and society has no obligation to the individual. Unofficially and imperceptibly the society, through the laws of the govt and social disapproval, compelled the individual to acquire a modicum of education and a minimum of health. In this process the govt. and the society began to commit themselves to the individual and welfare came to stay. It is obvious now that the society which educates the individual is well on the way to "develop" the individual in future which function was essentially discharged by the family till now. Apart from the foundation laid by the family, it is the individual who develops himself today. Should the aim of social development be fulfilled, the society should shoulder the task of developing the individual to his maximum capacity in future.
While the primary development -- the first innovation -- is necessarily slow being an ascending movement of nature, the spread of development from the top to the entire society, is always in a sweep after it begins. This is so because this is descent. Nature is at leisure and has eternity before it. She chooses a patient, slow moment. The descent is of the mind on matter and therefore is fast, being subtle.
Monarchy considered the common man's aspiration to the throne as treason while democracy accorded him not only the right to choose his 'king' but also the right to become one. The economic status which remained the exclusive possession of the upper middle class was not even considered by the lower middle class as a possibility. Not to wish for it was a virtue, to be unambitious. Now the advanced technology and commercial organisation are changing the scene. Everyone aspires for everything. The social 'values' reflect this underlying reality. The non-performing slow worker 'demands' the same pay as the high-performing skilled person who earns it as an incentive. Behind this irrational demand lies the rationality of "what the society produces belongs to the society."
Suppose the economic gains of the society are to be extended to all, the society in greater part has to develop several institutions and the individual has to acquire a host of capacities simultaneously overlooking the original rule of individual to society and again to all individuals. This is a must. Solving this challenge even in theory is a major step forward.
In the world conditions of this decade facilities of training, communications, follow up, organisational support, psychological milieu exist in enough measure to achieve this as the expectations have reached the very fringes of the society. The leadership should rise to the occasion to render this into an ordered transition without which the change will come about through chaos, breakdown, goondaraj, terrorism etc. The military stockpile will leak into the hands of the revolution completing the process. This is avoidable. The first step is Guaranteed Employment in the West, abolition of hunger in the East.
Should this change occur, we will witness initially a world without poverty, hunger and sorrow. It will take a few decades for humanity to overcome the wonder of a sorrowless world. As the horizontal spread of aspiration has reached the end, the society is ready for the vertical to take off.
The rustic living in the village not only lacks comforts and conveniences of the modern urban life, but lives in the mind set of a rustic to whom superstition is sacred and offers a mental security; he is ruled by the fear of the new, the unknown. To urbanize a village will take several decades while a rustic moving to the city is able to shift to the new atmosphere sharing its beliefs. This new mental attitude enables him to take to modern urban life in a few years. The leaders of thought can bring about this 'change in atmosphere' in the minds of the entire population by enlightened social action that will bridge the gap between the old and the new. As the energy of the population is released everywhere where the expectation rears its head, supply of missing links of the new organisation will accomplish this quickly. Russia where the expectations have risen to the level of a revolution among a highly educated population, is the ideal place to make an experiment.
Marriage was a social institution formed to rear the children but man sought from it psychological satisfaction. When it did not respond to his expectations, he broke it. Now he does not know where to turn. Man expects the present society to fulfil his rising expectations and if it does not he will break its present structure.
Monarchy in England, France, Russia and colonialism gave way. What now faces dissolution is not one form of organised society, but the entire society itself.
In truth the message is not abolition of poverty but a society where all enjoy equally with equal freedom with no fetters to women.
Fresh development saturates the social layer it started from and stops with that. Within the same society, same social stratum, same country, fresh development quickly spreads. The world today is not one unit culturally or politically but with respect to these expectations, the world today is one psychological unit.
Development of resources, economic development, technological development are all the achievements of man. Hence human development is the only development that matters hereafter, especially when each type of development conflicts with the other. Man being the centre of human development cannot generate any such conflict. Man cannot function in such a fashion as to conflict with himself.
As this is social evolution at the level of creating institutions -- mind -- the evolutionary energy is released only in the mind. So all the ideas from the ancient times that have a bearing on social organisation are of interest to us.
The basis of the present society is 'Limitation of the Physical', i.e. resources are limited -- water, land, air etc. -- whereas the society we are entering into is based on the limitlessness of the mind. From the limits of the physical realities to the limitless possibilities of the mind, is the view.
Privileges were originally for the leader only. Then the rights got extended to his family -- royal family. Later it was for the nobles and aristocracy, now it is the upper middle class. Finally it must be for all.
Authority in the society has undergone corresponding changes. What started as physical liquidation -- murder -- changed into mutilation, imprisonment, social ostracism, ridicule ended as defeat in the election and disapproval of the society. But the Future is left to the self-choice. There is no punishment involved but it is left to the individual to choose a bright future.
The power, the institutions and their symbols are as follows:
Leadership -- army -- empire
Resourcefulness -- land -- title
Productivity -- organisations, institutions – Scientific discovery
Awareness -- upward social movement -- product
The Individual in the mass should be so developed in all skills as to fully avail of all the social achievements before the society can evolve further.
The society is poised for evolving an order of affluent joy of mental adventure. It will accomplish itself breaking the existing social structure unless by a conscious evolution a smooth transition is offered by the leadership.
To repeat, as required by the context, the first step is to abolish poverty, disease, ignorance and SORROW.
In the absence of conscious transition, society lies in wait till the TIME COMES when, in a sweep, it accomplishes its purpose. So far, the sweep -- the revolution -- has only been negative in the sense the achievement is by destruction.
It can -- again I repeat -- now be made consciously in a sweep, positively, for the first time.
Several small or tiny expressions are there like the explosive expansion of computer use.
Crushing sweep is more easily seen in destruction, not so much in the building up -- as in the industrial boom in East Asian nations.
In the very new creation there is no sweep or even swift move. Only when the majority of the society grabs at what the minority has done do we see the sweep. Even in the snail's pace of new creation -- founding of a family -- the sweep is there, but we miss seeing it. As it is matter, the perception of each particle of the new truth is necessary before the whole accepts. What appears to us as snail's pace is every cell of the material mind acquiring the knowledge in sequence. At its own level the speed is the greatest, a sweep. For our mental perception the swiftness of matter is a slow pace.
Again Mother says body understands at the moment when it is ready for action. Till every cell acquires the knowledge the body does not understand. The moment the last cell completes receiving the knowledge, body acts instantaneously. Hence the revolutionary sweep of the rising expectations.
As the original new creation -- of social organisations -- was by the human resourcefulness (of the material mind) its extension from the top to the bottom through expectations must also be by human resourcefulness, this time by the physical mind.
To make the 'physical organisation' of the world is possible by physical, material items like a commercial product usable by one and all.
To make this revolution conscious and possible it is necessary the links at all physical levels between the old structure and new structure are to be identified. It is scooter in Pakistan, pumpset in Ramapuram, car for the blue collar worker, moped for the middle class employee. The following matter,
1. The physical product.
2. The physical procedure to obtain it.
3. Its physical use.
4. The part of a physical organisation that can use it.
5. The physical enjoyment and comfort it yields.
The new creation is never a fixed possibility. The entire atmosphere is ripe for the imagination to exercise itself. It is not as if there are a few or many alternates from which one is chosen. It is an open situation in which something new is fashioned.
Earlier the 'Products' stopped spreading at a point leaving a substantial population outside itself. This is explained in our own minds as the lack of wealth. Not necessarily so. The population so left out has psychologically distanced itself from what was enjoyed by the elite. No rural landlord can persuade himself either to invest in stocks or become a member of the city Rotary club. He is outside the pace of such a thinking whereas now every blue collar worker wants everything the elite possesses.
The change we propose is worked out at the mental level by education, vital level by upward movement and at the physical level the security is given by the material property.
The enormous energy absorbed by the military is now disengaged. It is there for us to use. Except in raising the masses, it cannot be fully absorbed. Ethnic conflicts when reconciled can absorb mountains of energy. The stock pile has a power to compel people to use. it.
The material mind perceives and the body organises. Here we see that Mind rules Matter.
Sweep has been there. So far it was political. Now it will be economic. We await the sweep of cultural values in the beginning of the next century.