January 23, 1994

What accomplishes in life is work. Acts are the units of work. The prime agent that brings an act about and its result is the SKILL required for the act. Along with the skill, discipline and values come into play to yield the full individual or social use of the act that goes to make a work possible.

At the base of any skill is the energy needed for its formation which through the stages of becoming force by direction and power by organisation accomplishes at the end. Physical skill needs physical energy as skill of each plane requires energy of that plane. Higher planes of vital and mental require for the formation of skills in their planes the base or bases of their previous planes well established. No skill formation in a higher plane is possible either with a vacuum in the previous plane or an insufficient formation.

In the example of the skill for writing or skill of writing, the pure skill is complete when one learns the formation of letters and the words. As part of that skill there exists a set of 'non-writing' skills in the sense they are not directly connected with the formation of each letter. As long as you learn how to form 'l' or 'k' or 's', the skill is acquired, but the evenness of the letter formation, the straightness of the line are also necessary to complete the skill of writing. Then comes what to write. This is not the physical part of the writing skill but it is an essential part, though a part of the skill to be acquired later. Instead of describing in this fashion we can say that the definition of skill can be delimited by us as suited for the discussion. Thus writing skill for us means acquiring the ability to form letters evenly and connect them into a word along a straight line. Physical energy that condenses and focuses into the exercise of writing turns into physical skill of writing.

The skill thus acquired is of use for the individual when it is accompanied by values of cleanliness (not smudging the paper, etc.) orderliness, punctuality etc. and the personal discipline of work. Discipline itself can be termed as a value but it is all a matter of convenience of classification we choose. Skill by itself will not deliver its use value unless accompanied by values and discipline. Values here means values of this plane, i.e. physical values of cleanliness, orderliness, punctuality, straightness of line and paper, judgement of where to place the paper for writing, the angle in which the pen is to be held, the amount of pressure one can exert with benefit on the nib etc. These accompanying values and disciplines (keeping the pen closed while not writing) are endless. In one example we exhaust covering all the areas of inquiry. The rest of the paper simply repeats as it is in the physical plane, so it is in the other planes. Lengthy discussions of detail will always help more fully understanding the first example. We can take it up later when we meet. For a preliminary presentation of a theory of value formation to Soloman, this much is enough.

To repeat:

Energy in each plane matures into skill of work in a single act and yields its full result to the individual when values and discipline are called into play.

The vital skills follow the very same rules in their formation but will appear to be different for the untrained eye. Speaking is a vital act whose primary components are coordination of the muscles in the mouth, throat and face. Very dull people who speak with an effort can be seen making strange muscular movements of the facial areas as the primary skill of speaking at this level is not yet formed in them. Words form into sentences and sentences go to convey a thought. When the person has acquired this much he must modulate his voice to the hearing of the listener and initiate speaking when the other man is not speaking. If this much can be described as speaking skill, innumerable other values and disciplines are called into play to complete the act of speaking or yield their result. They need no enumeration except a few examples. Control of his saliva spilling over his own lips or reaching the other man's face, gestures of hand and other parts of his body, the value of respect for the listener, the disciplines of bringing his notes to the table or looking or not looking at the notes etc. etc.

Thinking is a mental skill or even understanding is a mental skill. Even this can be described in similar detail which I avoid for the present.

Values can be described as the skill of higher mind (spirit), values like honesty, loyalty, patience etc. In saying Value formation we only mean these values of honesty etc. which are really skills of the higher mind.

Man's accomplishment is determined by the dimension -- width, amplitude, scope, reach, spread or whatever -- of his work. No work that does not include the dimension of the values (of spirit) can be of any consequence to our discussions. An ordinary citizen seeking a career acquires a degree, a job, a family and sets about seeking a goal, first setting one. His goal is achieved or not, depending on whether he includes values or not in his pursuit. Suppose his goal is to become an executive (or a politician or a head of the family or an affluent citizen, etc.), unless the values for this goal are included in his pursuit or in the process of his pursuit, he will not reach that goal. Beyond a certain level in the society, no goal can be reached without positive values. Till that level, goals (accumulation of money or power) can be reached even negatively also.

The values that enable a person to accomplish his goals are primarily given by the family and secondarily by the school education. Later the job supplies a few and on his own he chooses or learns a few more. For the purposes of presentation the following will be enough:-

  1. Skill is a work value.
  2. Skill accomplishes in the physical plane.
  3. In each plane skill belongs to the physical part of that plane.
  4. Skill in the vital is known as attitude, in the mind decision, in the spirit value, in the being motive.
  5. Keeping the term skill for the physical will enable the listener to catch the idea quickly.
  6. Individuals achieve in the measure they learn the (skills) abilities of achievement.
  7. It is necessary to distinguish between skill, capacity, ability and talent.
  8. Skills accomplish in the measure values and disciplines support.
  9. The family imparts psychological skills, schools the mental skills and job the work skills, human interaction social skills.
  10. Always in each individual or society there exists a considerable area of skill formation unutilised.
  11. This is so because skill formation is subconscious.
  12. Making this process conscious individuals or societies can raise themselves tenfold at once on the analogy of an Asian country importing a high technology.
  13. Neither individuals nor societies will come anywhere near a new possibility which does not inspire the fabric of their value formation.
  14. Man has come by a value formation (of prestige, security, money) after a considerable effort. He will NEVER risk it for anything.
  15. He will readily risk it (nothing can prevent him from risking it) if he sees another higher value formation. It does not matter it is far higher and unattainable but he will exert his maximum to attain it. He would rather die than not attempt it.
  16. In the revolution of rising expectations this energy is see. It is irresistible.
  17. Should there be a complete map of value formation and scales of several values (physical, vital, mental, social, operational etc.) the map can be seen growing in dimension with the increasing perspective of the viewer and the INDIVIDUAL can be placed in the right position. This placement of the individual (or society) will show us the next position that can inspire him. That next position for anyone is tenfold expansion of the present.
  18. Should such a scale or sphere be ever constructed and delivered to the population through schools, the world can emerge out of all its present evils or scourges.
  19. This analysis is directly related to the theme of culture and development.
  20. Education plays a partial but crucial role in the entire process.