FAQ: Philosophy and Psychology

What is PROUT's philosophy of ownership and distribution?
In the final analysis, the ownership of this world and everything in it does not belong to individuals but to their creator. We all have a right to utilize the world and its potentialities but none can claim an absolute right to ownership. We should therefore develop a system of maximum utilization and rational distribution of all resources. To accomplish this, we will have to get established in morality, and then create a congenial environment for morality to flourish.

Is human culture one or many?
Human society is one and indivisible and has one culture, which is expressed in so many ways around the world.

Why is the universe our common patrimony?
The universe is created by the Comic Mind as It goes on imagining it. All living beings are part of that creation and have therefore the same right to inheritance. In this respect, PROUT holds that the Supreme Consciousness is the father of all, the Cosmic Force of Creation is the mother of all, and the Universe is our common home.

What is the scientific basis of PROUT’s fundamental values?
The Universe is being continuously created as a mental projection of the Cosmic Mind; whatever the Macrocosmic Mind imagines becomes the creation. It means that whatever exists is a part of Cosmic Mind and is therefore permeated by Cosmic Consciousness. As part of the Universe, human beings come into existence at some point in this flow of creation. Hence, existentially speaking Supreme Consciousness is our father, the Supreme Force of Creation is our mother, and the Universe is our common homeland. Socio-economically speaking all created beings are therefore siblings–brothers and sisters–with the same right to inherit and enjoy a common ancestral property; the physical, psychic and spiritual resources that are found within the Universe. PROUT’s vision is to create a society where this ideal is realized for the good and happiness of all. The spiritual view is of great consequence to PROUT’s principles of accumulation of physical wealth, the utilization and distribution of any crude or subtle resources, and issues such as culture and leadership, to name a few.

Are spiritual values anything more than abstract assumptions?
PROUT concretizes the spiritual in the concept of human cardinal principles. In the words of Sarkar:

“Human existence is trifarious, a combination of three currents: physical, mental and spiritual. Most people cannot transcend the limits of their physical existence: crude worldly pleasures become the only enjoyment of their lives. They embody all that is beastly in nature, goaded and tormented as they are by carnal desires. The subtle feelings of life, the subtle expressions and practices are beyond their reach. Their world is limited to their bodies and physical requirements. Other people are more concerned with their minds. They feel that it is the supremacy of the mind that has differentiated them from animals. Their lives are guided by their desires for mental satisfaction. By virtue of their endeavours they create poetry, art, music, sculpture, etc. They express the finer human feelings of mercy, sympathy, love, friendship and pity. They believe that the mind flows for the sole purpose of attaining the Infinite, and hence they focus their energies on the contemplation of the Transcendental Entity. […] The culminating point of animality is the commencement of humanity. The highest peak of human progress is the beginning of divine bliss. Where animality ends, humanity begins, where humanity ends, divinity begins. The meeting point of the highest attainment of humanity and the blossoming of divinity is the base on which the cardinal human principles are established.” (A Few Problems Solved 2, and other compendia)

Why is the spiritual at the base of PROUT’s rational philosophy?
Spirituality is at the base of PROUT because subtle pure consciousness embraces the physical and psychological realities of life.

What does PROUT mean by metaphysical?
Meta (Greek) denotes “behind” or “beyond”. Metaphysical means those psychic forces or abilities that deal with the physical, for example socio-economics, engineering, medical science, etc. It also includes the spheres of aesthetics and parapsychology. (It does not however comprise supra-aesthetic science, which is purely psycho-spiritual in nature.) It is such faculties that are taken into consideration in the 3rd fundamental principle of PROUT.

What is dogma?
A dogma is a mental construction that does not allow one’s thoughts or ideas to go outside of it.

Why does dogma go against the spirit of human mind?
Dogma goes against the fundamental spirit of human mind as it won’t allow one to go beyond its periphery of that boundary line.

Why is it that religions denounce each other?
One religion cannot accept another because they are all based on dogma.

What is the philosophical makeup of communism?
Communism is an unhappy blending of dogma-centered and matter-centered philosophy thriving on poverty.

What is the philosophical makeup of religions?
The philosophical base of religions is dogma-centered, consisting of a blending of matter-centered and self-centered philosophies.

How do religions inject superiority complexes?
Religions inject superiority complexes into peoples’ minds by the propagation of stories, myths and parables.

How do religions inject inferiority complexes?
Religions inject inferiority complexes into peoples’ minds by the propagation of stories, myths and parables to create inferiority complexes.

How do religions substantiate these complexes?
Religions substantiate their injection of superiority and inferiority complexes by the propagation of fear complex and inferiority complex amongst the people, especially amongst the proletariat (shu’dras).

How to counteract the negative effect of dogmatic religions?
Emphasis should be placed on proutistic and Neo-humanist education that produces a high degree of rationality in the human mind. Simultaneously, the spiritual sentiment must be inculcated in human minds as this is more powerful than the religious sentiment.

How did capitalism come into being?
The historical seeds of capitalism lie in the desire to accumulate consumer goods “just in case”. It is with this mentality of acquisition and accumulation that capitalism takes root; what began as a precaution against bad times developed into speculation and the insanity of unbridled acquisition.

What is the inherent contradiction in capitalism?
Capitalism's basic contradiction is due to its self-centered profit motivated psychology. It expresses itself as an urge for infinite accumulation of wealth in a world of limited resources. Socially it results in luxury for a few and poverty for the many rather than welfare of all. When the centralization of wealth becomes extreme it leads to stagnation, recession, depression and finally collapse of the capitalist system. Capitalism is not congenial to the integrated growth of human progress and will eventually burst like a fire-cracker!

Why is external force needed to rectify the conduct of capitalists?
It is necessary to curb capitalist greed by placing a ceiling on accumulation, because capitalists themselves will not be able to reform as their internal urge to do so is very weak.

What are the psychological reason for the rampant economic disparities and discrimination under capitalism?
Human longings are infinite. As physical objectivity is finite it can never quench the infinite physical longing. Here the psychic body and physical objectivity are always separate and so the seed of dualism and eternal frustration sprouts. Therefore capitalists’ infinite longing for physical objects is an internal contradiction that expresses itself as a dangerous psychic ailment.

What is the permanent cure for this psychic ailment of capitalists?
The permanent welfare of capitalists lie in the attainment of spiritual objectivity, which means bridging the gulf between the self and the object, and therefore leading to peace.

How will PROUT counteract capitalism in the physical sphere?
PROUT stands for an economic system where money will not be restricted or immobile in the hands of a few capitalists. The more the optimum mobility of money is kept unrestricted, the more it will strengthen and invigorate the socio-economic life of the collective body. The 1st fundamental principle of PROUT ensures such development.

What is capitalism in the psychic sphere?
The selfish psychology developed by an apathetic, elitist intellectual class, that does not like to exchange its privileges with working earnestly for the welfare of all, is the cause if intellectual capitalism.

What are the main problems caused by such intellectual capitalism?
The five main pressing problems in society caused by intellectual capitalism are:

  1. Illiteracy and ignorance, as intellectual people do not come forward to enhance people’s literary and cognitive skills.
  2. The socio-economic consciousness of the indigenous people is not encouraged, as intellectuals have become selfish and only care about their own well-being.
  3. Since intellectuals support the status quo rather than challenging it in a constructive way, unhealthy inferiority complexes and fear complexes continue to influence the minds of the people so that they are kept psychically weak.
  4. Due to lack of rational education and non-dogmatic inspiration through both the educational system and mass media the intellectual and moral development of people is hindered; so intellectual backwardness and irrationality become rampant in society.
  5. Due to the same lack of rational education and non-dogmatic inspiration narrow sentiments like geo-sentiment and socio-sentiment start exerting a destructive influence on society. Consequently, intellectual exploitation, dogmatic theories and doctrines, and religious superstition and rituals become widespread.

What should intellectuals do about the ills caused by intellectual inertia?
Intellectuals must keep their intellects pure and unblemished. They will have to mix with the common people, engage themselves in their welfare, assist the common people in their development and extend their support to all anti-exploitation movements.

What is capitalism in the spiritual sphere?
Those who neglect their family and society and instead withdraw into seclusion in order to fulfill their longing for spiritual emancipation are spiritual capitalists.

What is the one great harm caused by spiritual capitalism?
Because of their selfishness, spiritual capitalists keep spiritual knowledge to themselves and do not bother to arouse spiritual awareness in individual and collective life.

How will PROUT cure spiritual capitalism?
PROUT deems that spiritual practice is a cardinal human right. In order to secure this right and infuse society with spiritual vigour, PROUT introduces the concept of a spiritually strong leadership armed with an ideology based on universal spirituality. In this way spiritualist will be able to fulfil the ideal of Salvation for self and service to the creation.

What is meant by progressive in PROUT?
Any development is not progress. Where development is towards psycho-spiritual welfare PROUT calls it progress. According to Sarkar:

“Normally, people associate the word progress with scientific progress, but actually, scientific progress may or may not be true progress. The essence of progress is movement towards psycho-spiritual welfare. Human existence is trifarious. It has the physical, the intellectual and the spiritual aspects. There is movement in all three spheres, and therefore there can be progress in all three spheres. The main consideration, however, is what is the goal or the aim of movement?” (A Few Problems Solved 6 and other compendia)

Why is there no true progress in the physical and mental spheres?
Physical and mental objects are relative and cannot offer any permanent or absolute solution. Rather, reactions follow in the steps of such limited development. Progress is a Latin word that means well-directed movement; it is movement towards Supreme Welfare. Any physical or mental advancement supporting such true progress is progressive.

Why does something crave for more?
The acquisition of something limited only creates the want for acquiring more because human thirst is unlimited. Only by acquiring the Unlimited will this thirst be quenched.

What are the essentials of an integrated ideology?
It must have a rational analysis of socio-economic problems and must not ignore the human need for mental/intellectual expansion and spiritual emancipation. Finally, it should be imbued with inherent dynamism and vitality so that it can guide humanity forward in its quest for all-round progress. Thus a spiritual base is required for Prout economy to succeed. Spirituality stands for evolution and elevation, not for superstition or pessimism. Spiritually oriented people will be infused with a strong sense of morality, and for this reason will fight al forms of exploitation and propagate moral and spiritual values in the society, as per the maxim, “Self-realization and service to humanity!”

How does PROUT describe human society?
Human society is one and indivisible. It is like a garland which is made up of different types of flowers, linked by one common thread. The overall beauty of the garland is depend upon the beauty of each flower. Similarly, each facet of society is linked together. To maintain the unity and solidarity of the social structure, all spheres of social life must be strengthened and developed.

What does PROUT imply by the term common philosophy?
A common philosophy embraces the whole of creation, explains all its phenomena and its noumenal cause, and is therefore applicable and useful for all.

Why is struggle the essence of life?
Fight is the essence of life because without the struggle between the vital force and the static force no development will take place. Even a flower has to struggle to grow out of the earth and rise towards the sunshine.

What is “psychic pabula”?
Pabulum (Latin) means food; psychic pabula (pl.) means “mental foods” or “mental objects”. Whenever a person does something physical or mental his or her mind is in the process of acquiring some mental pabulum.

Why does the human mind keep running after psychic pabula?
The mind depends on the acquisition of psychic pabula in order to maintain its own existence.

What is the proof of this assertion and how is the human mind structured?
The human mind is the composite of four factors:

  1. Mindstuff, which recreates impressions begotten through the sensory organs.
  2. Ego, which think itself to be the doer of all actions dealing with these impressions.
  3. Intuition, which observes the ego’s dealings.
  4. Soul, which observes what the intuition observes and is the final link with the Supreme.

Ordinarily the intellect of a human being is centred on the ego, which cannot envision an existence beyond itself as it is too attached to sensory stimuli to understand the nature of its origin. The intuitional part of the mind is less attached to the sensory organs. When it is developed it is intimately attached with the soul. The final proof that mind depends on the acquisition of psychic pabula for its continued existence is seen in the above model, and has two main aspects. If the mind of a human being does not involve itself with external physicalities, it withdraws into the ego’s relative mental world where it continues to associate itself with impression previously formed in the mindstuff. From here it will again return to the physical world and will continue to go back and forth in this mechanism of physical involvement and mental analysis. However, if the mind goes deeper beyond the limitations of the egotistical mind it will gradually enlarge and merge this limited ego with the intuitional faculty, and subsequently merge its intuition with the all-knowing soul. Mind is then liberated from limitations and embedded in the totality of creation. This state of freed mind is called liberation. The existence of this liberated state is a verified fact, its condition is called qualified absorption, savikalpa samadhi, and is the result of practicing certain techniques of psycho-spiritual and spiritual meditation. If the mind chooses to go further and merges itself with non-qualified consciousness, it will be lost in the infinite formless bliss that is the origin of all being. This state is called salvation or nirvikalpa samadhi and is outside of the human mind where no relative mind or qualified consciousness exist, only Absolute Being.

How to solve the various problems caused by psychic urges?
The problems caused by unbridled psychic urges cannot be solved by running after crude, limited objects. Neither should they be suppressed as they would only rebound with even greater force in some shape or the other. Instead, psychic urges should be channelized towards the unlimited and most subtle Supreme Desideratum through proper psycho-spiritual approach; means through a scientific system of spiritual practices.

How does the socio-economic path of PROUT satisfy spiritual hunger?
By removing all disparities and artificial barriers human beings will be able to move together towards common physical, mental and spiritual goals. Spirituality means togetherness in the absolute sense, not only in the physical and mental sense. In order to achieve this subtle togetherness, the complications and problems of the physical and mental worlds must be solved.

Can you explain the policy of “ensuring the well-being of all in a gradual way”?
The Neohumanist policy is to ensure the well-being of all creation by first serving human beings, then animals, then plants and then inanimate objects. PROUT takes care of the first part while Neohumanism embraces the welfare of animals, plants and the inanimate world. The policy of focusing on the welfare of human beings first is scientific as human beings will be able to assimilate the ideas of Neohumanism only when their minimum requirements are safeguarded in a proutistic setup. PROUT and Neohumanism are the two wings of bird of society.

What is Neohumanism?
Neohumanism is an original philosophy formulated by P.R. Sarkar. It teaches that human beings must cultivate an all-pervasive outlook embedded in spiritual essence. Neohumanism’s social perspective stresses the existential value of all – plants, animals and human beings, and exhorts human beings to rise above petty geo-sentiments, socio-sentiments and ordinary human sentiments in order to embrace the neohumanist sentiment of devotion to all.

Where is the importance of caring for the inanimate world?
By polluting and seriously disturbing the inanimate world in many ways human beings seriously affect the ecological balance of the earth. In the non-living world there is mind but that mind is dormant, as if asleep, because there is no nervous system. Hence, the non-living world cannot express its grief when it is damaged or destroyed. To protect the inanimate world human beings should conserve and properly utilize all natural resources.

What is the principle of selfish pleasure?
The principle of selfish pleasure rests on dogma. It tells people that due to their particular form of communalism (religious groupism), capitalism or nationalism they may continue to look after themselves only and ignore others’ need to enjoy the level of welfare that they do. This principle enslaves even educated people to dogma.

What is the principle of social equality?
According to PROUT, all living beings are the children of the same Cosmic Father and Mother; the Supreme Consciousness and the Supreme Force of Creation. They should therefore enjoy their common inheritance – the potentialities of the creation – together and move together towards the Supreme stance of being. The neohumanist principle of social equality has very much to do with the principle of advancing cardinal human values before ordinary social values.

Why do we need a theory that comes after practice?
The best and only practical theory succeeds practice. Such theories can merge with other practical theories and form new theories. On the other hand, if practice follows theory – it means that the theory is speculative – chances are that it may fall into one of the following four categories:

  1. Hypocritical theory; motivated by some selfish gain and never meant to be implemented in actual life.
  2. Theoretician’s theories; blind to the facts of the real world and ignores the spiritual; such theories remain confined to the mental sphere only and can never be implemented anywhere.
  3. Inefficient in field of application; propounded by people who somehow are efficient themselves but their theory is not practical to others.
  4. Environmental difficulty; good intention but due to the limitation of the thinker’s mental environment such theories can be disastrous if introduced in the real world; ref: Marxism.

What is the difference between the rule of reason and spiritual guidance?
The path of the rule of reason is “from the known to the unknown”. It takes as its point of departure something limited in the physical and mental world and draws its conclusion on it. Therefore the premises of reason are always embedded in the sphere of relativity where change is the only permanent factor. Because of this stigma of relativity the rule of reason is never able to go beyond the relative and establish itself in absolute truth, satya. The rule of sadvipras, on the other hand, is based on spiritual guidance. The spiritual sphere is beyond the relative and is therefore absolute. The path of spiritual guidance is “from the unknown to the known”; it opens itself to the Supreme and brings spiritual inspiration and intuitional knowledge into the world of physical and mental relativities. The rule of spiritual guidance infuses day-to-day life with supramundande knowledge and Supreme Grace.

According to PROUT, what is the origin of the path of synthesis?
The path of synthesis originates from the psychology of service and welfare.

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