The PROUT Companion: Theory of History

Q. What is history?

History is an expression of collective psychology. Every event in the historical phenomenon is an expression of this collective psychology.

By dint of a powerful psychic momentum and expanded vibrational waves a great personality or a powerful movement may exert a mighty impact on social movements or the collective psychology. The social psyche would then undergo a change. As a result the collective psychology would express a new historical phenomenon, popularly known as historical events.

Q. Is collective psychology a psychic myth? If not, what factors contribute to forming collective psychology?

Mind is not a myth. It is a psychic momentum, a real entity, manifesting itself through nervous systems and physical structures. Similarly, collective psychology is the collective psychic momenta expressing itself in social phenomena.

Six factors contribute to the formation of a collective psychology:

  1. Spiritual philosophy
  2. Spiritual practice
  3. Socioeconomic theory
  4. Social outlook
  5. Scripture
  6. Preceptor

The strength or weakness of a social order depends upon the presence or absence of these factors in a society. At one time Pro-Islamic Arabs had a great vital force created by a strong social outlook, which the Persian culture lacked. The Persians however possessed a higher philosophy emanating a subtler culture. The Arabs attacked Persia and conquered it but were themselves persianized in contact with the subtler Persian culture. In their further march into India it was these persianized Arabs who came in contact with the highly evolved Indian culture. This fact is found evidently expressed in  architectural monuments constructed during the Muslim rule in India where one observes a combination of Indian and Persian cultures manifested in these monuments. Many such examples may be found in the pages of world history depicting the significance of the six factors or spokes of social development.

Q. How does collective psychology cause social dynamics?

In our relative world nothing is static, everything is dynamic. Vigor is the inherent characteristic of every entity, including the social order, which undergoes change just as the dominant psychic momentum or the collective psychology changes. Sociopolitical systems evolve or are transformed to take new and newer forms. In the same way collective psychologies or fundamental social values change. Take for instance the period in history when the collective psychology revered the brave and warrior-minded. The political system of those days evolved from tribal life to feudalism. Court poets sang the praise of the muscle of courageous tribal chiefs and feudal kings. The strong warriors were the undisputed masters of the land under whose regime the economy flourished according to rules framed by those warrior heroes. Of course, the warrior had the proud privilege of evolving a slave society from its crudely pleasure-seeking, fear-soaked collective psychology towards warrior-minded values of life. A slave’s mentality is dominated by matter. It gets easily overpowered by the static principle. This means that the slaves’ collective mind is easily overcome by instinctual impulses. Hence it is unable to organize a society to any appreciable degree. Conversely, a warrior aspires to dominate matter under the inspiration of higher sentiments. He or she can therefore move forward and achieve goals. Thus the collective psychology under warrior rule underwent a significant change from enslavement by matter towards its conquest. The age of the warrior  arrived triumphantly to the slaves’ total adoration.1

In the course of time, collective psychology changed again; intellect and not muscle came to establish its domination. Mighty warriors as well as the era’s scriptures recognized the mental powers of intellectuals. A mythical aura of obscure mysticism was woven around them. The socio-political system again underwent a corresponding change. The Middle Ages offer many examples to sustain this fact.

Collective psychology undergoes a further change. The bourgeoisie by dint of their economic wealth elevate themselves to great and important positions in society. The value of money dominates the collective psychology. The poet now sings: “All virtues are with the wealthy, money makes the mare go.” The valor of warriors and even the sharp minds of intellectuals lick the “silver-shoes” of the unscrupulous acquisitors of economic power. The sociopolitical system once again shapes itself to suit the interest of a new group psychology, that of the capitalists. Our own recent history depicts this very phenomenon.

Exploitation by rapacious capitalists degrades most of the intellectual and warrior-minded to a state of slavery. They sell their labor – intellectual and physical respectively – to serve the interests over the capitalists who pay them so that they may earn a livelihood. But the economically exploited intellectuals and warriors, who are by now incorporated into the vast mass of slaves under capitalist rule, are different from the archetypical slave who are of a most submissive mentality and therefore are the genuine members of the economic slave class. The intellectuals and warriors who feel the brunt of exploitation but still somehow maintain their original values, become disgruntled slaves and vanguards of the antithesis that eventually leads to slave revolution. Once upon a time people of their kind were not at all anybody’s slave. And their inherent values still deserve better.

Those who cause the slave revolution are not passive-minded persons. They are incessant fighters who believe in non-compromising struggle against the ruthless exploitation of the ever-acquisitive capitalists who keep maneuvering to suck out the vital juice of the social tree. These disgruntled slaves have the sharp intellect of the intellectuals and the fearless mentality of the warriors. By their spiritual inspiration they are destined to conquer and to achieve victory. They have no desire to succumb to cleverly manipulated strategies of compromise with the capitalist mentality of exploitation. Their combined powerful motivation – the resurrection of noble warrior and astute intellectual values – causes a change in the collective psychology and a new era emerges following the slave revolution. Thus the social dynamic continues.

Physical clash, psychic clash and attraction for the Great – individually and collectively – cause a change in either one or more of the six factors of collective psychology mentioned at the beginning of this chapter. A world war causes a terrible physical clash and thereby a change in the concept of socioeconomic ideas and social mentality. The collective psychology changes a lot. For instance, after World War 1 political imperialist countries kept on propagating imperialism but World War 2 gave that idea a rude shock. As a result countries so far kept under political subjugation attained political freedom. A new age of rising democracy spread around the world. But the era of economic imperialism still continued within this very form of humanly decorated neocolonialism. This exploitation will wither away only when the mentality of economic exploitation gives way to the sublime concept of a new spiritual humanism.

Psychic clash is caused by the emergence of new ideas and ideals of spiritual philosophy, socioeconomic theory or social outlook. Such psychic clashes are effective only if the ideals being preached are supported by powerful movements.

Attraction for the Great is rapidly accelerated by those great preceptors and masters who both preach spiritual philosophy and teach a practical way as well as have it practiced as well. Thus the preceptor, who by his versatile Cosmic genius can bring a revolutionary change in all the six factors would undoubtedly cause a tremendous spiritual-psychic upsurge in the collective psychology of the entire human society and bring forth a sublime revolution. A new human society would emerge. The cimmerian darkness of the inter-lunar night will disappear and the new day of the new sunrise will wake up the new world.

Q. What is the difference between varna and class?

Varna is a Sanskrit word for the psycho-social classification of human society, whereas class is an economic concept. The four varnas of Prout’s theory of the social cycle are slave (shudra in Sanskrit), warrior (ks’attriya), intellectual (vipra) and capitalist (vaeshya). Prout’s concept of varnas defines human beings as psycho-social beings, whereas the concept of class categorizes humans as economic beings. The psycho-social being can conquer external circumstances and cause the emergence of a congenial environment for social progress, whereas the economic being is slave to the force of economic determinism – a beggar and a beast.

In Prout’s theory of the social cycle, which is a theory of psycho-social evolutions and revolutions, varna becomes a practical concept that leads human beings to the sublimity of spiritual humanism. In contrast, the concept of economic class is a myopic dogma that has caused economic slavery, psychic regimentation and spiritual bankruptcy.

Q. Is the change from an era of domination of a particular varna to another evolutionary or revolutionary?

As discussed earlier the change in the collective psychology is a natural phenomenon in which rulers or administrators should change accordingly. Harmony between the psychology of rulers and the people is characteristic of the state of synthesis. Whereas when the psychology of rulers is found to be suffering from self-centered obsessions, it lags behind and denies the people social progress. A former synthesis degenerates into thesis and an anti-thesis is generated in the form of the emerging exploited group that truly represents the aspirations of the collective psychology. Thesis must succumb to the forces of antithesis, bringing forth a new synthesis and a new era. This may occur as a natural course.

At times however the movement of the social cycle from one era to the next is the result of the application of force. Such change is known as evolution. In evolution the change does not come as a matter of natural course but is caused by the application of some force.

If for instance the warrior era gives way to intellectual rule as a natural course of events it would be a natural change and not evolution. But if the emerging intellectuals have had to apply force, it would be evolution. Such a change is evolutionary.

At times rulers of a particular fiendish exploitative disposition prolong their maneuvering to maintain their domination at any cost. They may do so even when the collective psychology has undergone a tremendous change under the impact of powerful psychic momenta created by the forces of antithesis. In such circumstances a stouter application of might or force becomes a must. If not, the time for change to occur may become so long that the flesh and blood of the great majority of society gets sucked up and devoured by the exploiters. The application of a stronger force shortens the duration of change and society is liberated from rapacious exploitation. Such a tremendous change is termed revolution.

Take the case of the capitalist varna deep into its phase of exploiting the other varnas. In order to carry on exploitation this group of rapacious capitalists may orchestrate a luxury-oriented segment of intellectuals and warriors to serve their nefarious ends and maneuver the entire economic-political system to serve their interests. Circumstances may then arise where the disgruntled slaves – downtrodden intellectuals and warriors – will have to apply stronger might in order to effect real change. Such a dramatic and particular forceful process of change is revolution.

Q. What are the characteristics of counter-evolution and counter-revolution?

According to the laws of social dynamics human society progresses from the warrior to the intellectual era, from the intellectual to the capitalist era, and from the capitalist through a slave revolution into the next cycle of social building commencing with the warrior era. The change from one era to another is not an abrupt occurrence but goes through a process of gradual change. At the point of entering their respective progressive eras warriors, intellectuals and capitalists are not that exploitative. At that early stage they themselves are harbingers of constructive change and humanist ideals, moving with the progressing collective psychology of their times. It is in the later phase of an era that a ruling varna degenerates to become exploitative. Thereafter the intensity of exploitation continues to grow to suit their intensity of their meanness.

There are circumstances when the application of reactionary force makes an era revert to the preceding one. Such change is called counter-evolution, for example with the establishment of warrior rule after a period of intellectual rule.

Similarly, if within a short period of time or by the application of tremendous force an era is forced back, it is called counter-revolution.

There are circumstances when certain forces cause counter-evolution or counter-revolution but the era does not change qualitatively. Rather it remains the same even after it gets reverted. For instance, if under capitalist rule a particular group of capitalists dominates to keep its caucus supreme then another group of capitalists may under terrible circumstances cause a change of rule. The masses may feel temporarily relieved due to such external change but with such a change of rule the system of exploitation does not change. Such apparent change may be termed counter-evolution. If such change were brought on quickly or by the application of tremendous force it may termed counter-revolution.

During periods of counter-evolution and counter-revolution exploitation grows more since authorities become more anxious and overzealous to remain in power. As a result the forces of antithesis grow stronger, too. Consequently the duration of the era after a counter-evolution is short-lived, and the duration of an era after a counter-revolution is still less short-lived.

Q. Why do the forces of change operating after counter-evolution and counter-revolution become more aggressive and dynamic?

Naturally, as mentioned above, due to the lust for power of the masters of reactive change, who are more or less devoid of ethics, virtue and benevolence, exploitation in the wake of counter-evolutions and counter-revolutions continues to grow. Hence the masses quickly become disillusioned since they find the new economic-political circumstances more oppressive and torturous than the old.

Q. What is revolution in its true sense and when does it become a must?

Circumstances for real revolution ripen when the social environment, under the pressure of vested interests, becomes highly exploitative. When traditional faiths, ritualistic dogmas, current economic, political, cultural and other institutions all tend, or are used, to bind rather than liberate human beings, the enslaved bring about their revolution. This happens when the fiendish motivations inherent in the exploiters’ vested motives have reigned supreme for too long. At that critical point there is no other way out for the exploited than either to continue with their ever-deteriorating slavery until death or do something radical in order to live.

It is the disgruntled, value-oriented (warrior and intellectual) slaves who feel a revolutionary urge. The general masses however have been continuously conditioned to remain faithful to the exploiters. In this grave situation an ordinary person have typically lost his or her dynamism and genuine interest in life. Frustration, passivity, physical and mental degeneration and all sorts of negative trends with their accompanying diseases overwhelm the social psyche.

Under such circumstances a total breakaway from the suffocating environment (physical, economic, social, political, cultural, psychic, spiritual) becomes a must. When such a change is due, the collective psychology needs to develop a new upsurge and set a sublime goal to which it is destined to go. This we call a revolution in the true sense. All other changes are patchwork efforts, palatial revolutions, changing the top people, i.e. a temporary phenomenon. Only the warrior-minded and intellectually-oriented amongst the enslaved are able to take such steps and shoulder the responsibility of such tremendous change.

Q. Who exactly can bring about a true revolution?

There will be individuals or groups whose vibrational fluctuations or psychic momenta are longer and stronger than that of the collective psychology (including that of the exploitative ruler). Such persons and groups and none other can bring revolution by dint of their more powerful psychic momentum.

When pseudo-warriors rule (in the later, degenerated phase of the warrior era) intellectuals with a stronger psychic force may come forward to dominate the social arena. Likewise, in the later phase of the intellectual era, when its rule degenerates into pseudo-intellectual maneuvering, a capitalist presence will establish itself over the pseudo-intellectual system by dint of material motivation augmented with money-power. The rapacious capitalists are more powerful than the intellectuals or the warriors and even stronger than the combined force of them both. Capitalists buy the intellect of intellectuals, the valor of warriors and the physical power of the slaves to serve their own ends.

Intellectuals keep up the appearances of a valid socio-economic-political system with which the capitalists can exploit even more. The unholy alliance of religious dogmatic ritualism and economic rule serves the capitalists with warriors guarding their treasury. A tremendous control over the collective psychology is maintained by the capitalists. Its aggressive profit-orientation and shrewd exercise of money-power keep the masses submerged in an ocean of deception created by religious-political and pseudo-cultural slogan-making.

Who can express a more powerful and subtler psychic momentum than capitalism? Only those who possess a stronger psychic power made subtle and sublime by spiritual intuitional inspiration instilled with the ideation of the Supreme.

Comprehensive experimentation and scientific research – such as extra-sensory perception (ESP),  psychokinesis, astral- and energy bodywork, and mystic consciousness – all speak of the amazing powers of the psycho-spiritual phenomenon. Techniques and practices leading to higher states of consciousness enable human beings to manifest tremendous spiritual momentum. Such an occurrence is not a myth but actually a practical achievement. Spiritual aspirants manifesting their powerful spiritual momentum for the good and welfare of all can conquer the exploitative psychic momentum of the unscrupulous capitalist rule. They can the emergence of an exploitation-free social order that will last for a long time.

Q. Are revolutions always bloody?

A revolution is not necessarily always blood-soaked, yet at times bloodshed is a must. As previously discussed, disgruntled slaves, consisting of intellectuals and warriors, are the vanguards of the slave revolution. They engage themselves relentlessly in causing the slave revolution. Where such a revolution is dominated by intellectual force it tends to be non-sanguinary but if under pressure of circumstances warrior force comes to the fore then the revolution will involve bloodshed.

Q. Who are sadvipras?2

Sadvipras are those spiritual moralist personalities who want to put an end to sin and vice by the application of their power. They are not found on the periphery of the social cycle, which continues to move from one era to the next. Instead they remain as the cycle’s controllers at its hub or nucleus. They continue to fight evil and exploitative policies.

Q. When do sadvipras emerge and what is their role?

As seen earlier the slave revolution requires the impact of a powerful spiritual force. Only sadvipras  can sustain such a tremendous initiative. As such their emergence is needed. When some of the disgruntled slaves ardently engage themselves in cosmic ideation they undergo a particular process of psycho-spiritual churning. As they are put through the tortures of economic exploitation and political hardships that wonderful confluence of cosmic ideation and psycho-spiritual churning causes the emergence of sadvipran leadership out of this group of disgruntled slaves. Sadvipras never emerge amongst luxurious and pleasure-seeking utopians but from downtrodden, disgruntled slaves.

As long as a slave revolution is not materialized sadvipras will continue to strengthen the forces of antithesis and guide. They will continue to exhort the disgruntled slaves to bring about the revolution and liberate society from the clutches of exploitation. Afterward they remain at the hub of the social cycle. From there they continue to inspire the development of a sadvipran society based on PROUT’s invincible principles instilled with the lofty ideals of spiritual humanism.

The social cycle is an ever-revolving phenomenon where a certain collective psychology or varna predominates in a particular age. If a warrior in the warrior age, an intellectual in the intellectual age, or a capitalist in the capitalist age goes on to become a rapacious exploiter instead of a fair administrator, the bounden duty of sadvipras will be to protect the honest and the exploited and bring the dishonest and rapacious exploiter under control.

Social progress is possible only in the stage of synthesis. During the period of thesis or antithesis the social energy remains engrossed in struggle. Sadvipras therefore will endeavor hard to keep society in the stage of synthesis and let the social cycle revolve from one era to another. It means, with the change in collective psychology they will get the administrators changed. The moment they find seeds of exploitation sprouting in the mind of rulers they will see to it that the decadent leadership is replaced by a progressive one. In this way the social cycle will continue to revolve from warrior to intellectual, from intellectual to capitalist, and so on. For the sadvipras the goal is to let the state of the social order remain in synthesis and not be allowed to degenerate into thesis or antithesis. Thus sadvipras will never find a day of rest in an easy chair.

In the state of synthesis their endeavor will be to lead human society in such a manner so that it advances to touch the silver lining between the metaphysical and spiritual. Thereafter the metaphysical aspect of society will continue to grow even subtler with social progress. The silver lining will always remain a polestar to be approached and realized by the ever-evolving and progressive social order.

Q. Will the characteristics of the era after the slave revolution be the same as they were in previous cycles?

One complete round of the social cycle (through slave, warrior, intellectual and capitalist dominance followed by slave revolution) is termed peripheric, or complete, evolution. Following the completion of the whole cycle a fresh cycle commences with the onset of the warrior era on the path of evolution or revolution. Will things be the same as they were the last time this particular varna was in power? It is true that the fundamentally predominating psycho-spiritual factor of one era will be congruent with the same era of the previous cycle. As the warrior collective psychology has a predominantly chivalrous attitude, the intellectuals their typical cerebral orientation, and the capitalists economic motivation as their basic predominating psycho-social factor, these will continue to manifest themselves in their respective eras of any round of the social cycle.

Of course, the intensity of the psycho-social assertion may differ. Yes, differ it must since variety is the characteristic of the operative principle, of the force of creation. While moving with the social cycle every single person undergoes a process of change, consciously or unconsciously, and so is the case with groups and institutions – social, economic and political. All these experiences persist both in the collective minds of the varnas and in society as a whole. The next corresponding era comprising of all those stresses and strains, impulses and impressions, achievements and realizations must get a variegated form. No matter how strong the predominating basic psycho-social factor may be it will definitely be characterized by humanity’s accumulated cognition at that particular point in time.

For instance, as at present, if our society, suffering as it is under capitalist exploitation, undergoes a slave revolution and a warrior rule emerges at the onset of the next round of the social cycle, will all the characteristics of that coming era remain the same as they were in the warrior era of the previous cycle? No. How could they? The impact of thought in the realm of philosophy, science, technology, the consequence of realizations in the social sphere, in spirituality, the effects of achievements in the realm of economy and culture, the profound impressions of institutional experiences such as global governing bodies, and above all the emergence of sadvipras will cause a profound and far-reaching variegation in the coming warrior era. Of course, while overcoming the rapacious and unscrupulous exploitation, the forces of antithesis manifesting through the disgruntled slaves, under the guidance of sadvipras, are likely to develop a chivalrous attitude. This basic trait of the warrior-minded would continue to predominate the collective psychology of the merging warrior era instilled with several powerful impressions caused by the above-mentioned factors. This will also be the case with later eras.


1 Here the meaning of slave is not “slave of someone” but slave to matter, someone who is not able to rise above matter. Someone who is enslaved by another may or may not be slave to matter. All the four terms – slave, warrior, intellectual and acquisitor (capitalist) – here pertain, amongst other factors, to their respective orientation  towards matter. Warriors rise above matter by their physical force and thereby rule the slaves. Intellectuals control matter directly by their intellect and/or indirectly through the warriors and slaves. The acquisitors control matter by securing ownership to it and thereby submit the other three – slaves, warriors and intellectuals – as well. In his seminal work Human Society Part 2 P.R. Sarkar deals exhaustively with the dynamics of these four varnas (see below) and the  theory of the social cycle.

2 A sadvipra is one whose intellect remains embedded in cosmic truth, a “declassified” person in whom none of the four varnas dominates. From the Sanskrit sad (satya; cosmic truth) and vipra (intellect).

Copyright Proutist Universal 2011

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