When a benevolent activity is performed in the universe by a certain structure, we call that structure “a genius”, we call it “a blissful structure” — it will be “blissful” in human structure, “good” in animal structure, or “remarkable” in plant structure. Conversely, when a structure is engaged in destructive activity, then we call that structure “demonic” in human structure, “bad” in animal structure, or “notorious” in plant structure. Here, we are mainly concerned with “blissful in human structure” and “demonic in human structure”. Those blissful in human structure utilize their genius for new inventions and discoveries of various things, and thus aid in the development of the psychic and spiritual potentialities of human beings and help them to move in unison towards the goal. They are assets of human society. It does not require a high degree of intellect to know and understand them fully.
But those who are demons in human structure all fall into various categories. Although these structures, these frameworks, look like human beings, they are exceptionally clever and cunning. By inculcating various sentiments, they misguide not only thousands, but millions, of people to the path of malevolence, just for some petty social status or other temptation. Common people never think deeply about this; they have not been taught how to think deeply about it; they do not ponder over it even now. Until today this aspect of knowledge has been generally unknown to the world. That is why common people, not fully understanding these cunning people, are inclined to give them undue importance. They write voluminous books about these clever people and accept their words as authentic, thus bringing about considerable harm to the society, the state and the common masses. Simple ignorant people do not realize that they themselves are being harmed or that they, being misguided by those clever people, are harming others.
What these selfish people do is inflate the petty innate geo-sentiments or socio-sentiments of people, take them into their fold and guide them in any way they like. For instance, a certain leader of a country may inflate the geo-sentiment of his people. But when that geo-sentiment is aroused, those clever people may become fearful; because as a rule when the geo-sentiment is aroused, the geopolitical sentiment will also arise, and the matter will not necessarily end there. Along with geopolitical sentiment, geo-economic sentiment may also arise; the people may think simultaneously of economic liberty along with political freedom. This is a knotty problem for the self-seeking politicians. The cunning leaders merely want to utilize the geopolitical sentiment to attain geopolitical liberation for the people. But if people are conscious about economic liberation even before attaining geopolitical liberation, that will really pose a great problem for the selfish leaders; they will think, “It is not easy to provide two common meals a day to the hungry and ill-clad millions of this country (much less delicacies and dainties like ours!). It will be necessary to replace the existing exploitative structure with a new one. And then what will be gained by obtaining political liberation?”
They may think deeply about these things, but the common people cannot understand anything at all. The clever leaders, analysing the whole situation, think that before the geo-sentiment rises too high, they should come to a secret understanding with the rulers and attain the transference of political power peacefully. Then in the case of the peaceful transference of political power, there will be no necessity to raise the political sentiment to the highest pitch. Political power will come automatically to those ambitious politicians. And once they are in political power, they will retain the same exploitative machinery. The only difference will be that the white rulers will have been replaced by black rulers; and they will proclaim to the masses: “We have attained political liberty!” They will silence the voices of the people by telling them, “No, no, things like this [economic liberation] should not be uttered. It is a crime to speak like this at the present time!” It is not possible to identify these human chameleons by their outward appearance, but actually, how dangerous these people are! They are veritable demons in human framework.
Now, according to natural law, no truth is suppressed forever. It must come to light some day — it comes out indirectly from the sinners’ mouths. One of the characteristics of human psychology is this: though one may try to keep a secret, saying, “I will not disclose it. I will not reveal it. No, no, I will not divulge it,” one day in an unguarded moment it will surely come out of one’s mouth.
It is often found that a gentleman has managed to keep a secret to himself; but the same person, after drinking a bottle of wine, reveals everything in his drunken state. I knew a leader of a certain religious community who in his normal mood used to speak little. But in an abnormal mood, that is, after drinking some liquor, he would say openly before me, “I don’t believe in casteism” — the community he belonged to did not support idol worship and casteism* but did believe in ritual sacrifices — “but I will certainly marry my sons and daughters within my own Kayastha caste. I don’t believe in so-called gods and goddesses, but since I cannot find a suitable husband for my daughter, I secretly worship Lord Satyana’ra’yan’a.” He revealed everything under the spell of liquor. Thus the truth is always revealed in an unguarded moment; it never remains suppressed.
So those people whom I have called human chameleons, before the truth finally comes out, will have recourse to some new means of hoodwinking the people. They will switch over to a sentiment different from the one which they were previously using (using to pursue their self-interest at the expense of the people’s interest). Now, in switching over to a new sentiment, one needs a little cunning.
This switch-over is called “metamorphosed sentimental strategy”. That is, a person discovers that the sentimental strategy which he or she previously used to misguide innumerable people, is about to be detected. (“The people are forming a bad opinion about my real nature.”) So he or she decides to exploit another sentiment just to save his or her own prestige, and that too very quickly, because any more delay means further loss of prestige. This act of shifting to a new sentiment — maybe from communalism to nationalism or from nationalism to communism — this metamorphosis of sentiment is called “metamorphosed sentimental strategy.”
These people are indeed expert at changing their sentimental strategies. Suppose a party (maybe social, political, economic, or whatever its complexion) is being divided into several factions, and each faction is utilizing a different sentiment from the other. Those who are clever enough will select the majority party and identify themselves with that group, for their political ambitions will be fulfilled thereby. What they usually do in these circumstances is to waste no time in issuing their statements — in effusive language — in favour of the majority group, denouncing the other factions. Or they may also speak out, saying, “I made a great mistake, I committed a Himalayan blunder” — and promptly shift to another party, thereby ensuring their political position. You will find people of this mentality in all spheres — social, economic, political, cultural, etc. They exploit people’s sentiments primarily for their own social position and secondarily for other purposes also.
In this regard, they are not at all eager to promote human welfare; rather they look upon people as pawns, saying, “Well, I will deploy these one hundred thousand, two hundred thousand, people for this purpose; another five hundred thousand for that purpose.” This is how they calculate. Those simple and unwary people who placed their faith and trust in them and were misguided, may become uprooted from their ancestral homes and be forced to live a life of shame and disgrace. As refugees, they have to move for shelter from place to place like street dogs.
Who are responsible for the distress of these millions of refugees? Those demons in human framework, whom those poor fellows trusted; to give ovations to whom those people rushed to meetings with thousands of garlands; for whose satisfaction people used to don special kinds of caps to cover up their sins.
(Once I asked a certain gentleman, “Why do you put on such a cap? Is it because the white cap goes nicely with your black hair?” He replied, “No, not for that purpose really. I am using the cap not to cover my sins, but to cover my baldness.” Some people wear caps to conceal their baldness, and some to show allegiance to their political bosses.)
But meanwhile the refugees roam about hither and thither, and today the number of refugees is not only thousands but many millions in various parts of the globe. And for their precarious existence, for the ignoble deaths of those millions of wretched people, only a handful of people — demons in human framework — are really responsible. They come to the world and leave it in great ruins. During their lifetime, they fully utilize all the mass media. The common people become confused and cannot think beyond that which the mass media tell them. It is a general weakness of common people that they are inclined to believe whatever is printed in books and journals.
Those demons in human form do not think that after their demise a real evaluation of their ideals and actions will take place. Only then do people realize, “My God, what a great mistake I made! I worshipped a monkey taking it to be a god! What a great misfortune I have brought upon myself! But now the situation is beyond repair.” The people become divided, the state becomes divided, psychic barriers are erected between groups of people — the collective progress of humanity is totally impaired. These types of people, I have said, and again I repeat, you will encounter in different fields of life. Some are inclined to believe that these types of people are found only in the political field, but this is not the case: they are in every field, especially in the fields of so many schools of philosophical thought. They have a heinous tendency to demolish the positions of their opponents.
In the past, many thinkers stated one thing in the beginning, but subsequently when they discovered that the plain truth would cost them public support, they somersaulted. It is not proper to mention anyone’s name — but now you have the measuring rod, the touch-stone, in your hands; you can judge for yourselves.
I will give one small example. Maharshi Kapila, while pondering his Sa’m'khya philosophy, did not initially say anything about the Supreme Entity. His school of philosophy is known as Atheistic Sa’m'khya (Niriishvara-Sa’m'khya). When he found himself in a very embarrassing position from the philosophical point of view, when he sensed that his philosophy was likely to be discarded by the people, he quickly invented a new concept of Proto-God (Janya-Iishvara) and indirectly accepted the existence of God. Another example: According to Shankaracharya’s school of philosophy, everything is illusion (Maya) — that is, there is illusion in the beginning, illusion in the middle and illusion in the end. This is called prama’da in Sanskrit. But then, that same Shankaracharya composed hymns to the River Ganges: “O Divine Gaunga’, goddess who has descended from the heavenly abode of the gods” (Devii Sureshvarii Bhagavatii Gaunge). According to him, the entire universe is false; so in this false universe, the river Ganges is also false! So what was the necessity of eulogizing such a false river? This is a case of somersaulting to save oneself from a very embarrassing position, just like a harmless snake pretending to be poisonous. This is a very fine example of a metamorphosed sentimental strategy. There may be some people who will consider this change of sentimental strategy to be a natural process of evolution, but in fact it is not evolution but a metamorphosis of strategy. Evolution does not take place so quickly nor so easily.
Those who have harmed humanity have various natures, and by now you have already understood those types of people. It is a bit hard to identify those human chameleons who change their sentiments in order to exploit humanity more. Sometimes they shift their ground from one geo-sentiment to another geo-sentiment, sometimes from a geo-sentiment to a socio-sentiment, or from one socio-sentiment to another socio-sentiment. They are adept at everything. To attain the support of the masses, one day a certain leader said, “I will not allow my country to be divided, to be vivisected — my country will be partitioned only over my dead body, not before.” What he did in this case was to exploit both the geo-sentiment and the socio-sentiment simultaneously. All clapped their hands in joy and said, “He is the only hope of our country,” and they considered him a god incarnate. Then when the country was really partitioned, that leader did not open his mouth in the beginning — he preferred to observe his vow of silence. Later he merely said, “I am extremely sad, I am with the people.” This is nothing but metamorphosed sentimental strategy. You must clearly recognize those people who adopt such a strategy; and to recognize them, one needs a greater degree of intellect, not merely common intellect.
Then what is necessary? First, one who attempts to know them should train one’s mind, and to train the mind there must be a proper base. Suppose some boys want to practise running; they need a place for that. Similarly, to train the mind, a base is required. In this case, the base is the principle of social equality — sama-sama’ja tattva: “Whatever others might say, I sincerely believe that all humans have the right to food, clothes, accommodation, education and medical treatment. It is not enough for me to accept their rights in principle; as an honest person I should make the utmost effort to see that they have attained their rights.” This is the spirit of the principle of social equality.
But it will not do to stop here with the spirit only. Supposing some boys want to run. If they simply stand still on the hard earth, will that be considered running? They will have to actually run. This running, this forward movement, is known as “proto-psycho-spirituality”.
What happens through this proto-psycho-spirituality? When a person is guided by it to think in a particular way, and sees that one’s own benevolent mode of thinking is not reflected in other people’s activities, then that person can easily realize their true nature. So those who practise this proto-psycho-spirituality can easily recognize those demons in human framework. Then, after recognizing them, it is their duty to expose them to others also, to make people understand that they are repeatedly harming human society. It is not enough for one to personally unmask them; one must open the eyes of others also. Only in this way can the well-being of the world be promoted. Thus it will not be sufficient to lie peacefully in wait, like goody-goodies in isolated ivory towers. One will have to spread one’s wings and soar high into the blue firmament.
So this proto-psycho-spirituality is a dynamic force. When a group of boys run in the field, their movement is the main factor. If they lose their mobility and sit down on the ground, that will not be considered running; it will only encourage the psychology of lethargy.
This universe of ours, as you know, is circum-rotarian (that is, rotating around its own nucleus). Nothing is outside its circumference, so it is not necessary to search for its nucleus outside. One need not run about in search of the Nave, the Hub, the Nucleus; the Hub of this circum-rotarian universe is the hub of the individual also. This circum-rotarian universe is controlled by one Centre both collectively and on a unitary basis. Thus each and every grain of dust, each and every blade of grass — all are being equally controlled by that Supreme Hub. Now, if, by some means, an individual can make his or her individual psycho-spiritual hub coincide with that circum-rotarian spiritual Hub, then that individual will feel oneness with every grain of dust, with every blade of grass — that will be his or her psychology. This very realization will make one’s life-force throb throughout the entire universe. By means of this proto-psycho-spirituality one can fight against all sorts of socio-sentiments. The human chameleons who use socio-sentiments or geo-sentiments, can also be easily detected in the light of proto-psycho-spirituality.
Now you may ask, what is proto-psycho-spirituality? First, we must discuss what psycho-spirituality is. Since it is the mind which advances towards spirituality, it is called “psycho-spirituality”. And it is called “proto” in the sense that it is a flickering entity — it is like a flickering flame, not like a steady flame. It is not something unruffled or fixed; it is expressive of movement. Hence it is not complete psycho-spirituality but proto-psycho-spirituality. And the mobility portion within the systalsis of proto-psycho-spirituality is purely psychic; and the blissful staticity within the systalsis is purely spiritual. So it is a happy blending of psychic and spiritual strata. Thus I call it “psycho-spirituality”.
One thing more should be added here. Whenever people, after performing some activity, think of the Nucleus of the circum-rotarian universe, their minds become all-pervasive. Such people can never think of harming others; rather they will think only of universal welfare. In that elevated state of mind, they will easily detect those demons in human form and will acquire the necessary capability to properly guide the ordinary or extraordinary individuals or groups who tend to be misguided by all sorts of socio-sentiments (because socio-sentiment is many times more harmful than geo-sentiment).
28 March 1982, Calcutta
From The Liberation of Intellect, Neo-Humanism (Chapter 10: A New Ideology for a New Generation)
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