The degree of a world's culture is measured by the social heritage of its native beings, and the rate of cultural expansion is wholly determined by the ability of its inhabitants to comprehend new and advanced ideas.
Slavery to tradition produces stability and co-operation by sentimentally linking the past with the present, but it likewise stifles initiative and enslaves the creative powers of the personality. The whole world was caught in the stalemate of tradition-bound mores when the Caligastia one hundred arrived and began the proclamation of the new gospel of individual initiative within the social groups of that day. But this beneficent rule was so soon interrupted that the races never have been wholly liberated from the slavery of custom; fashion still unduly dominates Earth.
The Caligastia one hundred -- graduates of the Satania mansion worlds -- well knew the arts and culture of Jerusem, but such knowledge is nearly valueless on a barbaric planet populated by primitive humans. These wise beings knew better than to undertake the sudden transformation, or the en masse uplifting, of the primitive races of that day. They well understood the slow evolution of the human species, and they wisely refrained from any radical attempts at modifying man's mode of life on earth.
Each of the ten planetary commissions set about slowly and naturally to advance the interests intrusted to them. Their plan consisted in attracting the best minds of the surrounding tribes, and after training them, sending them back to their people as emissaries of social uplift.
Foreign emissaries were never sent to a race except upon the specific request of that people. Those who labored for the uplift and advancement of a given tribe or race were always natives of that tribe or race. The one hundred would not attempt to impose the habits and mores of even a superior race upon another tribe. Always they patiently worked to uplift and advance the time-tried mores of each race. The simple folk of Earth brought their social customs to Dalamatia, not to exchange them for new and better practices, but to have them uplifted by contact with a higher culture and by association with superior minds. The process was slow but very effectual.
The Dalamatia teachers sought to add conscious social selection to the purely natural selection of biologic evolution. They did not derange human society, but they did markedly accelerate its normal and natural evolution. Their motive was progression by evolution and not revolution by revelation. The human race had spent ages in acquiring the little religion and morals it had, and these supermen knew better than to rob mankind of these few advances by the confusion and dismay which always result when enlightened and superior beings undertake to uplift the backward races by overteaching and overenlightenment.
When Christian missionaries go into the heart of Africa, where sons and daughters are supposed to remain under the control and direction of their parents throughout the lifetime of the parents, they only bring about confusion and the breakdown of all authority when they seek, in a single generation, to supplant this practice by teaching that these children should be free from all parental restraint after they have attained the age of twenty-one.
--Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon, from the Urantia Papers.