The Responsibility of Society

By P.R. Sarkar

(June 1960) – The essence of the parallel psychic waves of society is determined by the medium [average degree] of the following factors:

  1. a common language;
  2. similar manners and customs;
  3. a similar mode of living;
  4. similar traditions;
  5. racial similarity;
  6. religious similarity;
  7. a common culture; and
  8. a common objective or goal.

Unfortunately, these factors are generally neglected at the time of building a social structure because they are not the causes of the collective psychology but the means through which the collective psychology flows. In actual fact a common sentiment, common psychic waves, form the essential vital force of a social structure. This is the reason we say that society is the expression of parallel psychic waves, and arises because of the mental tendency of moving in unison.

“When building a social structure we should give the highest priority to the spiritual goal … even if they expand psychically, people become self-centred if they lack a spiritual goal, and group sentiments develop in their minds.”

It is clear that society is supported by the immense collective power of many individuals. This is why the popular concept of society is that of a collection of individuals. But a mere aggregate of many individuals whose psychic waves move in different directions, that is, whose psychic waves are not parallel but divergent and distorted by dissension, cannot be called a society.

In a family, where each individual gives importance to the comforts and well-being of the other members, however physically or intellectually underdeveloped they may be, we see a society in miniature. There are many families in the world where every member is concerned about the welfare of the others, despite differences in their physical or intellectual capacity. This is an ideal family. This should also be the ideal form of society, although this is extremely rare today.

Society has a responsibility to maintain and utilize its common property in a proper way. Society should ensure that all are given equal usufructuary rights to this property so that everyone can live together with a healthy body and mind.

Today the world is following either capitalism or extreme materialism. Under these systems, those who are endowed with greater knowledge, intellect or physical power go on misappropriating more and more material wealth. People have forgotten that together with physical wealth we also receive subtle wealth from the Supreme Operative Principle. A member of a family who does not feel a sense of unity with the other family members and does not recognize the logically-acceptable necessity and the lofty principle of joint rights, cannot be regarded as a social being. According to a universal spiritual ideology, the system of individual ownership cannot be regarded as absolute. This is why our concept of society does not support capitalism.

In a joint family every member satisfies his or her desires and need for food, clothing, medical treatment and other requirements according to the financial capacity of the family. If a certain member of the family accumulates more food, clothes, books or medicine than he or she needs, will the other members of the family not face difficulty? In such circumstances that person’s actions will be unrighteous and detrimental to society. It is the responsibility of society to immediately dismantle such a defective social system.

In the world today the capitalists are accumulating an increasing amount of wealth and possessions, leaving others to suffer acute pangs of hunger. They are forcing people to wear rags so that they can parade in ostentatious clothing. To increase their strength, they are even sucking others dry of their vital juice. It is the responsibility of society to use all possible means to make these people understand their mistakes and stop their antisocial activities.

The aspiration to become rich by exploiting others is always a kind of psychic ailment. Capitalists argue, “We amass wealth through our intellect and labour. Let others also amass wealth in the same way if they have the intellect or capacity to work. Who will stop them?” They do not want to accept that the number of consumable commodities in the world is limited, but all need their basic necessities. If one person is rolling in wealth this will generally mean that others will be deprived of even their minimum requirements. The failure to recognize the needs of others is itself a disease. But the victims of this ailment are also our brothers and sisters, members of the same human family. Either through human appeals or circumstantial pressure, these people must be cured of their psychic ailment. In order to do this we will have to channelize their obsession with material wealth in a mental and spiritual direction. At the same time as people’s physical hunger and thirst are being satisfied, everyone should be freely taught scientific processes to fulfil their psycho-spiritual longings.

There should be a social order in which every one will work according to his or her capacity. Those with greater physical capacity will provide physical labour, and those with greater psychic capacity will provide psychic labour. It is the responsibility of society to look after those who are unable to render either physical or psychic labour.

Society should not grant social rights only to those who have the physical capacity to work. All should have equal rights; and the rights of one individual should not violate the rights of others. Everybody should be guaranteed the inviolable right to develop themselves psychically and spiritually to the best of their capacity. There should be no obstructions of any kind. But in order to preserve social peace and joy, the individual right to go against the collective interest in the physical sphere must be withdrawn.

When building a social structure we should give the highest priority to the spiritual goal. Everybody will have to realize this. Even if they expand psychically, people become self-centred if they lack a spiritual goal, and group sentiments develop in their minds. Such people cultivate mundane knowledge but not spirituality. Spirituality involves the contemplation of such questions as “Who am I?”, “What is my goal?”, “How can I reach my goal?”, etc. Today’s intellectuals are impeding the spread of spirituality because they are morally deficient and their psychic waves are going against the collective interest. As a result, immorality, corruption and dishonesty are rampant in society. A strong and healthy society will stop this trend.

A study of history will make it clear that a strong and healthy society has not yet evolved on this planet. This is mainly due to the inadequate propagation of an ideology. Although at different times a few people thought of establishing a strong and healthy society, they used argument and debate instead of deliberation and reason to convince others of the need for such a society, and ultimately ended up projecting themselves instead of the ideology. Thus the ideology became secondary and was ultimately swept away because people started worshipping them as elevated souls or spiritual beings. Due to the absence of an ideology a strong society could not be established, and many defects crept into individual life.

Lord Krśńa was the first to attempt to build a strong and healthy society, but he lost a lot of time due to the Mahábhárata war. Ultimately he did not have enough time to build a human society. Similarly, Lord Sadáshiva, the original propounder of Tantra, had to devote much of his time to building a strong foundation for spirituality, and despite his immense desire, he could not build a strong social order. Today, the combined power of both will help to build a healthy human society.

"The Responsibility of Society", PROUT in a Nutshell Part 5
Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2012

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