Culture and Peace

N.Roerich


Culture is reverence of Light. Culture is love of humanity. Culture is fragrance, the unity of life and beauty. Culture is the synthesis of uplifting and sensitive attainments. Culture is the armour of Light. Culture is salvation. Culture is the motivating power. Culture is the Heart.

If we gather all the definitions of Culture we find the synthesis of active Bliss, the altar of enlightenment and constructive beauty.

Condemnation, disparagement, defiling, melancholy, disintegration and all other characteristics of ignorance do not befit Culture. The great tree of Culture is nourished by an unlimited knowledge, by enlightened labor, incessant creativeness and noble attainment. By study, esteem and admiration we become real co-operators with evolution and out of brilliant rays of supreme Light may emerge true knowledge. This refined knowledge is based on real comprehension and tolerance. From this source comes the great understanding. And from the great understanding rises the Supremely Beautiful, the enlightening and refining enthusiasm for Peace.

Culture and Peace make man verily invincible and realizing all spiritual conditions he becomes tolerant and all-embracing. Each intolerance is but a sign of weakness. If we understand that every lie, every fallacy shall be exposed, it means that first of all a lie is stupid and impractical. But what has he to hide who has consecrated himself to Peace and Culture? Helping his near ones he helps general welfare which at all ages was appreciated. Striving to Peace he becomes a pillar of a progressing State. By not slandering the near ones we increase the productiveness of the common creativeness. By not quarreling we shall prove that we possess the knowledge of the foundations. By not wasting time in idleness we shall prove that we are true co-workers in the plough-field of Culture. Finding joy in everyday’s labour we show that the conception of Infinity is not alien to us. Not harming others we do not harm ourselves and eternally giving, we realize that in giving, we receive. This blessed receiving is not the hidden treasure of a miser. We understand how creative is affirmation and destructive is negation. Amidst basic conceptions those of Peace and Culture are the conceptions which even a complete ignoramus will not dare to attack. There, where is Culture, is Peace. There, where is the right solution for the difficult social problems, is achievement.

Contemporary life is changing rapidly. The signs of a new evolution are knocking at all doors. In real unconventional science we feel the splendid responsibility before the coming generations. We understand gradually the harm of everything negative. We begin to value enlightened positiveness and constructiveness and in this measure, in merciful tolerance, we can prepare for our next generation a vital happiness, turning vague abstractions into beneficent realities.

What an epoch-making day might be before us when over all countries, all centers of spirit, beauty and knowledge could be unfurled the one Banner of Culture! This Sign would call everyone to revere the treasures of human genius, to respect culture and to have a new valuation of labour as the only measure of true values. From childhood people will witness that there exists not only a flag for human health but also there is a sign of peace and culture for the health of the spirit. This sign, unfurled over all treasures of human genius, will say: Here are guarded the treasures of all mankind, here above all petty divisions, above illusory y frontiers of enmity and hatred, is towering the fiery stronghold of love, labour and all-moving creation.

On the scrolls of command it has been inscribed that a spiritual garden is daily in need of the same watering as a garden of flowers. If we still consider the physical flowers the true adornment of our life, then how much more must we remember and prescribe to the creative values of the spirit the leading place in the life surrounds us? Let us then with untiring, eternal vigilance benevolently mark the manifestations of the workers of Culture. Let us strive in every possible way to ease this difficult path of heroic achievement.
Let us also mark and find a place in our lives for the Great Ones, remembering that their name no longer is personal, with all the attributes of the limited ego, but has become the property of pan-human Culture, and must be safeguarded and firmly cared for under most benevolent conditions.

We shall thus continue their self-sacrificing labour and we shall cultivate their creative sowing which, as we see, is so often covered with the dirt of non-understanding and overgrown with the weeds of ignorance.

If you shall be asked, of what kind of country and of what a future constitution you dream, you can answer in full dignity: We visualize the country of Great Culture. The country of Great Culture shall be your noble motto. You shall know that in that country will be peace, where Knowledge and Beauty will be revered.

Everything created by hostility is impractical and perishable. The history of mankind gave us remarkable examples of how necessary just peaceful creativeness was for progress. The hand will tire from the sword but the creating hand sustained by the might of the Spirit is untiring and unconquerable. No sword can destroy the heritage of Culture. The human mind may temporarily deviate from the primary sources, but at the pre-destined hour it will realign itself with renewed powers of the spirit.

We are tired of destruction and negations. Positive creativeness is the fundamental quality of the human spirit. Let us welcome all those who, surmounting personal difficulties, casting aside petty selfishness, propel their spirits to the task of preserving Culture, thus insuring a radiant future.

From the medical world we know that so-called vitalizing remedies cannot act suddenly. Even for the best vitalizer time is needed so that it can penetrate to all nerve centers, to stimulate them not only mechanically but truly to strengthen and revitalize the nerve substance. If we see in all examples of life revitalization, then how undeferrably necessary it is to think and to begin to act under a sign like the Red Cross of Culture!

Humanity has become accustomed to the sign of the Red Cross. This beautiful symbol has penetrated life not only in times of war, but has afforded to all existence an affirmation of the concept of humanitarianism. And the same realization of humanitarianism, the same undeferrable necessity from small to great, must surround this sign of Culture similar to the Red Cross. One must not think of Culture at certain times when digesting the tasty food of a dinner. One should know that during hunger and cold it is also needed. As the sign of the Red Cross shines luminously to the wounded, so the physically and spiritually famished should the Sign of Culture burn radiantly.
It is now the time to obstruct, to protest, to disagree and to wrangle pettily? When a Red Cross Ambulance hurries through the streets all traffic stops to make way for it. Likewise for the Sign of Culture let us also give up at least some of our usual habits and all the vulgar sediments and dusty limitations of ignorance from which, in any case, we will sooner or later have to purify ourselves.

Culture and Pease – the most sacred goal of Humanity! In these days of great confusion, both spiritual and material, the disturbed spirit strives to these radiant strongholds. But we should not unite only abstractly in the name of these regenerating conceptions. According to our abilities, each in his own field, we should bring them into actual surrounding life as the most necessary and undeferrable. We must not fear enthusiasm. Only the ignorant and the spiritually impotent would scoff at this noble feeling. Such scoffing is but the sign of inspiration for the true Legion of Honour. Nothing can impede us from dedicating ourselves to the service of Culture, so long as we believe in it and give to it our most flaming thoughts.

Above all confusions the Angels sing of Peace and Goodwill. No guns, no explosives can silence these choirs of heaven. And despite all the earthly wisdom, idealism, as the Teaching of Good, will still remain the quickest reaching and most renovating principle in life.

 

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