Knowledge, skill and values are the foundations of excellence in professional work. But these factors of excellence have an inner and outer dimension. Most of the discussions on this subject focus on developing or cultivating the outer skill, knowledge or behaviour. But a more effective approach would be to awaken the corresponding inner faculties of consciousness. This book by M.S. Srinivasan presents a practical blueprint for developing these inner dimensions of excellence.
- There are two dimensions to excellence: Values and Skills. Skill without values is not human but a brute machine. In a human organism, there can’t be any excellence without values. But what are values? The concept of values can be viewed from many angles. For the professional who has to deliver results, values should not be defined in a too narrow moralistic framework. The concept of values for a modern professional must include the pragmatic needs of professional work. But values remain abstract and ineffective without skill. But what is Skill? In a broader perspective skill is the ability to deliver results by converting an idea into effective action and tangible achievement.
- And finally neither values nor skills are entirely external or behavioural. They are in essence an expression of consciousness and rooted in consciousness. For achieving true excellence in professional work we have to understand and harness this deeper dimension behind values and skill.
- The inner source of all knowledge is consciousness, which has many ways of ‘knowing’, or in other words, it has many types of ‘intelligences’. It is now recognised that ‘intelligence’ is much more than mere IQ. There are many ‘intelligences’ in our consciousness and that which is measured by IQ is only one of them. .....
- In the concept of integral psychology, a human being is in its essence made of Consciousness, which expresses itself as the four fundamental principles which constitute the human organism: Body, Life, Mind and Soul. Since all these four principles of our self are expressions of consciousness, each one of them has its own ‘intelligence’, which means they are capable of ‘knowing’. So in this concept, knowledge is not confined to ‘Mind’. Though in a general sense, we may say Mind is the source of knowledge, the other parts of our being, like the emotions of our heart, dynamic parts of our life force or even the body can also ‘know’ in their own way, and can be an important and creative source of knowledge.
- Knowledge and skill can bring efficiency but excellence comes from ethics and values. A true professional must govern his or her knowledge and skill by truth and ethics. ..... every form of outer competency in behaviour or action has corresponding inner faculties. There are deeper and higher layers of mind in us which have an intrinsic sensitivity to higher values like truth, beauty, goodness, harmony and unity, which we may call Value Intelligence.
- ..... Mind is also a form of energy like Matter. When this mental energy is scattered and diffused in uncontrolled and useless chattering, it is at the lowest and at the most inefficient level of functioning. On the other hand when this mental energy is under control, free from useless, wasteful and disturbing thoughts, focused and concentrated on a point, it functions at its highest potential. Energy, physical or mental, when focused, enhances its penetrative power. ...... The act of focussing the mind increases and multiplies the cognitive as well as the penetrative power of its energy; it grows in light, clarity, insight, understanding and also in power, intensity, strength and force of effectiveness.
- The ability to sustain a high level of energy is an important factor behind peak performance, productivity and well-being. Most of the great leaders in business, politics or society have this ability of maintaining a sustained flow of energy in their work or activities. Energy is not only individual but also collective. When people work together it generates a lot of vital energy in the collectivity. ..........
- The best and most effective way of charging our human organism with energy is to learn how to receive from the almost inexhaustible source of universal energy. We must learn how to receive, hold and spend energy in the right rhythm. If the expenditure of energy is more than the energy stored or received than it leads to exhaustion and fatigue. But at the same time, if we receive too much energy we cannot hold, it also leads to disturbances.
- ........ But most of us do not know how to receive energy consciously from universal sources. We normally receive from other limited sources like food or relationships. Food is our main source of energy. .... The other source of energy in our day-to-day life, of which we are not fully conscious, is interactions with people which involve exchanges of vital energy. .........
- In our inner being, sensations and emotions are the two vehicles or conduits through which universal vital energy can be received. ....... So, beautiful and harmonious sensations which do not arouse passions or excitement can be a very healthy source of vital energy. Similarly, emotions which are generous and not self-regarding can put us into contact with universal energy. The other source of vital energy is relationships with people which involve an interchange of vital energy. Harmonious, creative and productive interchange of vital energies enhances energy levels in a group.
- Mental energy from the universal mind is received through reading, study, contemplation and creative expression of ideas, which represent eternal and universal truths that govern the world, for thoughts and ideas are not mere abstracts. They are pockets of mental energy. ........ Spiritual energy is received through spiritual aspiration and spiritual disciplines like japa, mantra, meditation , devotion and surrender to God, disinterested work done as an offering to God.