Education is a system that abridges the entire past into a couple of decades for future generations. The system consciously does it. Suppose there is no such system as education, still the youth will be the beneficiary of the past achievements but it will be a slow process. What is true of education is true in all other walks of life. This highlights the importance of two social values: system and consciousness. The conscious knowledge acquired from experience is passed on in a systematic manner to future generations through education.
What education accomplishes in the field of knowledge, a Theory of Social Development can accomplish for the entire field of social progress. Education represents the descent of the knowledge acquired by the more developed sections of the society to the less developed sections. The same process can be seen in varying measures in the field of religion, government, science, money, language, etc. This application of conscious mental knowledge can be referred to as the descent of mind into the body. This process is occurring all the time in the subconscious of the society in the subtle plane.
The principles of Ascent and Descent and their particular expression in each field can be developed for action. In theory, each act is a new creative moment, where fresh energy becomes freshness in essence, while the basic essence is common to all society.
The Communist Manifesto called for the expropriation of the means of production by the proletarian dictatorship in 1848 to which Russia responded in 1917. Fear of communism, welfare state, enlightenment by education, 1929 Depression, Money becoming an instrument of social change, world wars, etc. made the entire world socialistic without another Russian Revolution. What the Russian Revolution ‘achieved’ for Russia, the right to strike achieved in other countries, making each successful strike an equivalent to the Russian Revolution.
The physical Man replaces the spearhead of his labour by ascent, by a thought process. Once Mind catches the idea of fast change, it tames the crudeness of the violent body by making it see the value of thought in action. Man’s pugnacious vital is chastened, replacing the battlefield with the negotiating table.
In this portal, we will develop rules applicable to each sector of social life and, if possible, to each specific situation, so that the highest benefit of this Theory can be reaped. For example,
- The nuclear disarmament movement for 60 years has been going on a zigzag path. The application of this Theory can, in one stroke, eliminate all the weapons.
- An unconscious application of this Theory in Ireland made the Irish Republic renounce violence for economic development, leading to the end of conflict in the North.
- About 5 to 10 million children are studying at home in USA, realising the value of home education instead of school education. As the conscious dissemination of knowledge through systematic education is a more conscious process than the subconscious social process of learning from experience, self-education is a superior to school education for bright children.
In one essential sense, Ascent and Descent is the quintessence of this Theory. Its wider development remains to be seen.
Conscious vs. Unconscious Development
Social development can be unconscious from the physical experience or conscious from mental knowledge.
- One is called ascent.
- The other is called the descent.
The terms Ascent and Descent will acquire very great importance in the Theory when we pass on from the unconscious phase of development to its conscious phase.
A perfect combination of the unconscious element
with the conscious element at any given moment
will advance the society a thousand-fold.
- The unconscious element is unavoidable. The conscious element is very little, not easily available for application. *As darkness is essential for us to see, unconsciousness is essential for us to live. When all is light, the eye is overpowered, dazed, cannot see. So darkness is essential for us to see.
- In a similar sense unconsciousness is indispensable for existence.
- In the ascent, consciousness emerges out of unconsciousness.
- In the descent, consciousness changes the unconsciousness into consciousness.
- In the ascent unconsciousness is passive, letting consciousness emerge.
- In the descent unconsciousness actively transforms itself into consciousness.
- The energies released by the individual in this process must be in equilibrium with the social environment. Otherwise there will be accidents.Therefore to know their perfect proportions of combination is essential.
- Society makes tremendous progress when that perfection is reached on a social scale.
- Such a progress in disequilibrium is Revolution.
- In perfect equilibrium it is evolution.
- It is easier to achieve that perfection in the Individual than in the Society.
- Some 100 individuals achieving such perfection is enough to induce that evolution in the Society.
- Prosperity is that TOUCH of such perfection in the vital.
- Genius is the same TOUCH in the mind.
- Should the body be so touched, it becomes immortal.
- Ascent is easy to conceive.
- In the descent, the pressure of the Force compels the member -- body or vital -- to transform.
- It is less easy to conceive.
- The Spirit is buried in the parts -- vital or mental.
- The Descending Spirit compels the buried spirit in the part to aspire, NOT for liberation but for transformation.
- To see this phenomenon in the lower classes that by transformation excel the higher classes is not our habit. Therefore it is difficult.
- That has partially occurred in America.
Mind and Time
- Man moving from the physical to the mental is ascent.
- His mind working on the body and vital is descent.
- The ascent is in the gross plane.
- The descent is in the subtle plane.
- They are two different compartments of action.
- Time in the ascent becomes Timeless in the descent, while the ascent meeting the descent is in the Simultaneous integrality.
- The ascent and descent meet in the Simultaneous Time.
- Ascent is subconscious.
- Descent is conscious – mentally conscious.
- They meet in the spiritually conscious – the Superconscious.
- The ascent is in the surface mind.
- The descent is in the inner mind.
- They meet in the subliminal mind.
- As long as Man is in the body he is in the ascent.
- His descent begins when he reaches the vital.
- It is pronounced when he reaches the Mind.
- Even in the physical plane, ascent and descent are imperceptibly there, but may not count for our study.
- The speed of ascent is the speed of Time.
- The speed of descent is that of the Timeless.
- Their meeting gives the ascent the speed of descent.
- In the ascent there is evil, death, suffering, pain.
- In the descent they are kept out, made incapable of harming MAN.
- When they meet, they are all abolished, rather transformed into their opposite.
- There is a criminal in jail who is a serious contributing editor of Wikipedia.
- This is an example, though a poor one, of transformation.
- America as a whole nation is an example of the lowest members of the society becoming the highest lights leading the world.
- What happened in USA in the physical plane, in future will happen to the world in the Spiritual plane.*
Ascent is from physical to the Supermind via vital, mental, spiritual.
- Ascent is to rise in power, status, worth, skill, force, capacity. A cleaner of a bus, by dint of hard, reliable, skilful work becomes a driver, owner of one or more buses.
- We see it as his individual ascent from physical work to vital power and wealth.
- The individual ascent in reality – actuality – is made possible by the potential material for ascent in the society. This we lose sight of.
- Here we see the subconscious knowledge of the society emerges in the conscious Individual as the achievement of the Pioneer.
- What is that subconscious knowledge?
- Knowledge emerging anywhere in the world permeates the subconscious stratum of the society all over the world.
- Language, numbers, plowing, tools, etc. found in one part of the world are also discovered in all other parts of the world.
- The subconscious receives it, senses it as something to be sensed, receives it as symptoms, ripens in readiness to let it emerge as conscious knowledge.
- This process has several stages in the subconscious and conscious layers of the society.
- It goes through the well-known stages of oblivious indifference, reluctant recognition, intense refusal, desire to acquire, aspiration, endeavour to get and possess.
- All these stages repeat at the sub-conscious as well as conscious layers.
- They also repeat at the level of surface and depth – consciousness and substance.
- Again they have to go on repeating these stages of growth in the body, vital and mental planes.
- If this is so, for one part of the world’s achievement to spread to another part of the world, there is the process undergone for this transition in that first part.
- We can call it the subconscious Pioneer.
- Whatever we call it, wherever it occurs, whether it is subconscious or conscious, the stages are the same.
- Those who are intimately familiar with the growth of the Internet can watch for themselves directly all these stages.
- Such changes are there in all walks of life, but we are oblivious of them.
- An example of a skill ascending is as follows.
- Physical skill of writing.
- Vital skill of pleasant relationship.
- Mental skill of rational thinking.
- Spiritual skill of being quiet so that Silence will collect in the mind.
- The skill is the same. The planes are different. So, they look vastly different as writing, behavior, thinking and meditating.
Ascent and descent meet in simultaneous integrality
- As everything else, the ascent and descent are in Time and Space. Time has three dimensions, Time, Timelessness, and Simultaneous Time where Time coexists with Timelessness. In Time events move successively. In Timelessness events are instantaneous but are not available to those in Time. In Simultaneous Time (Simultaneous integrality of Timeless Eternal and Time-eternity) the instantaneous result is open to those in Time.
- One can be in government service or in a political party but not in both. They are mutually exclusive. But in the politician in power they meet. He is in a plane higher than the member of a party as well as a member in government service.
- One principle of life is that the dualities meet at a higher plane where they co-exist. The rival teams in a college merge when the college makes up a team to participate in the inter-collegiate tournament.
- Ascent is in Time. Descent is in a plane of Time that approaches Timelessness. They meet in the Simultaneous Time.
- Educational system offers education to one and all in a structured way, suited to the slowest member of the society. This is in the ascent for those who enter the system, i.e. children of educated parents. To the primitive village the aspect of descent is more pronounced in the system of education where the social results for him are of miraculous speed.
- Take a person in that village who perceives the significance of the educational system and refuses to enter into it, but decides to get its benefit without entering into it. He now has all the advantages of the educational system which he can avail of from outside. Entering the system he can take a degree. Not entering the system, he can be an illiterate. By remaining outside the system, he can avail of the freedom of illiteracy and the resources of the system. As a result, he becomes a genius, which is the result of Simultaneous Time.
- Ascent is our ordinary life. Decent is the civilizing effort of the Society. It is open to the Individual to be in both systems by not limiting himself to either. That way miraculous results instantaneously accrue.
- We see most in the ascent, oblivious of the descent. All those who shun the educational system belong to this type. Man has the choice of availing of the descent. All those who avail of the civilising life are in the descent.
- No one is aware of Simultaneous Time. Compelling chance circumstances push a few men into it and they emerge as leaders there. It is said that most of the great orators of the world were not highly educated or not educated at all.
- Edison belongs to that type.
- Khrushchev learnt reading and writing at the age of 29.
- Gandhiji practiced SPIRITUALITY in politics which is another example of this phenomenon.
Individual and Collective
 The Individual is the collective at one point. The collective is one big Individual. Civilisation can be explained in many ways in terms of life style, education, prosperity, mental development, decreasing violence, awakened Spirit, etc. It can also be explained from the points of view of the Individual and the collective.
- Civilisation is the measure of the collective receiving the Individual enlightenment.That way Socrates and Buddha remain very distant ideals for today’s collective. So does Jesus.
- A few thousand years ago Mind found its efflorescence in India. It took some thousands of years for the Greeks to awaken themselves in Mind, as symbolised by Socrates.
- Socrates was the Individual in whom Mind reached its climax in Europe.
- For that Mind to be born in all men it took 1500 years.
- Hamlet was its symbol. His was the nascent Mind unable to arrive at a decision.
- The collective ascends slowly.
- The descent of the Individual has to be accomplished through a social organisation which is slow to develop.
- In matters mechanical, such as the railways, phone, etc., such developments are quick.
- In educational or mental matters, the requisite collective organisation and its speed are impeded by the very slow receptivity of the Individuals who are to man the system.
- It is easy to train a physical skill, not so easy to train a mental skill. With respect to skills of value it is most difficult.
- Society is integrated when the accomplishment of the collective equals or very nearly equals that of the Individual as the Individual will always be ahead of the collective till Individuality is fully dissolved in impersonal universality.
- Social Development can take that consummation at a point of compromise generally suited to our Quest.
- At that point the entire collective will be conscious.
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