Then first of all if one would consider well but the behaviour and shape of man’s body shall he not forthwith perceive that Nature, or rather God, hath shaped this creature, not to war, but to friendship, not to destruction, but to health, not to wrong, but to kindness and benevolence? For whereas Nature hath armed all other beasts with their own armour, as the violence of the bulls she hath armed with horns, the ramping lion with claws; to the boar she hath given the gnashing tusks; she hath armed the elephant with a long trump snout, besides his great huge body and hardness of the skin; she hath fenced the crocodile with a skin as hard as a plate; to the dolphin fish she hath given fins instead of a dart; the porcupine she defendeth with thorns; the ray and thornback with sharp prickles; to the cock she hath given strong spurs; some she fenceth with a shell, some with a hard hide, as it were thick leather, or bark of a tree; some she provideth to save by swiftness of flight, as doves; and to some she hath given venom instead of a weapon; to some she hath given a much horrible and ugly look, she hath given terrible eyes and grunting voice; and she hath also set among some of them continual dissension and debate—man alone she hath brought forth all naked, weak, tender, and without any armour, with most soft flesh and smooth skin. There is nothing at all in all his members that may seem to be ordained to war, or to any violence. I will not say at this time, that where all other beasts, anon as they are brought forth, they are able of themselves to get their food. Man alone cometh so forth, that a long season after he is born, he dependeth altogether on the help of others. He can neither speak nor go, nor yet take meat; he desireth help only by his infant crying: so that a man may, at the least way, by this conject, that this creature alone was born all to love and amity, which specially increaseth and is fast knit together by good turns done eftsoons of one to another. And for this cause Nature would, that a man should not so much thank her, for the gift of life, which she hath given unto him, as he should thank kindness and benevolence, whereby he might evidently understand himself, that he was altogether dedicate and bounden to the gods of graces, that is to say, to kindness, benevolence, and amity. And besides this Nature hath given unto man a countenance not terrible and loathly, as unto other brute beasts; but meek and demure, representing the very tokens of love and benevolence. She hath given him amiable eyes, and in them assured marks of the inward mind. She hath ordained him arms to clip and embrace. She hath given him the wit and understanding to kiss: whereby the very minds and hearts of men should be coupled together, even as though they touched each other. Unto man alone she hath given laughing, a token of good cheer and gladness. To man alone she hath given weeping tears, as it were a pledge or token of meekness and mercy. Yea, and she hath given him a voice not threatening and horrible, as unto other brute beasts, but amiable and pleasant. Nature not yet content with all this, she hath given unto man alone the commodity of speech and reasoning: the which things verily may specially both get and nourish benevolence, so that nothing at all should be done among men by violence.
She hath endued man with hatred of solitariness, and with love of company. She hath utterly sown in man the very seeds of benevolence. She hath so done, that the selfsame thing, that is most wholesome, should be most sweet and delectable. For what is more delectable than a friend? And again, what thing is more necessary? Moreover, if a man might lead all his life most profitably without any meddling with other men, yet nothing would seem pleasant without a fellow: except a man would cast off all humanity, and forsaking his own kind would become a beast.
Besides all this, Nature hath endued man with knowledge of liberal sciences and a fervent desire of knowledge: which thing as it doth most specially withdraw man’s wit from all beastly wildness, so hath it a special grace to get and knit together love and friendship. For I dare boldly say, that neither affinity nor yet kindred doth bind the minds of men together with straiter and surer bands of amity, than doth the fellowship of them that be learned in good letters and honest studies.[Pg 9] And above all this, Nature hath divided among men by a marvellous variety the gifts, as well of the soul as of the body, to the intent truly that every man might find in every singular person one thing or other, which they should either love or praise for the excellency thereof; or else greatly desire and make much of it, for the need and profit that cometh thereof. Finally she hath endowed man with a spark of a godly mind: so that though he see no reward, yet of his own courage he delighteth to do every man good: for unto God it is most proper and natural, by his benefit, to do everybody good. Else what meaneth it, that we rejoice and conceive in our minds no little pleasure when we perceive that any creature is by our means preserved.
Moreover God hath ordained man in this world, as it were the very image of himself, to the intent, that he, as it were a god on earth, should provide for the wealth of all creatures. And this thing the very brute beasts do also perceive, for we may see, that not only the tame beasts, but also the leopards, lions, and other more fierce and wild, when they be in any great jeopardy, they flee to man for succour. So man is, when all things fail, the last refuge to all manner of creatures. He is unto them all the very assured altar and sanctuary.
Now, then, imagine in thy mind, that thou dost behold two hosts of barbarous people, of whom the look is fierce and cruel, and the voice horrible; the terrible and fearful rustling and glistering of their harness and weapons; the unlovely murmur of so huge a multitude; the eyes sternly menacing; the bloody blasts and terrible sounds of trumpets and clarions; the thundering of the guns, no less fearful than thunder indeed, but much more hurtful; the frenzied cry and clamour, the furious and mad running together, the outrageous slaughter, the cruel chances of them that flee and of those that are stricken down and slain, the heaps of slaughters, the fields overflowed with blood, the rivers dyed red with man’s blood. And it chanceth oftentimes, that the brother fighteth with the brother, one kinsman with another, friend against friend; and in that common furious desire ofttimes one thrusteth his weapon quite through the body of another that never gave him so much as a foul word. Verily, this tragedy containeth so many mischiefs, that it would abhor any man’s heart to speak thereof. I will let pass to speak of the hurts which are in comparison of the other but light and common, as the treading down and destroying of the corn all about, the burning of towns, the villages fired, the driving away of cattle, the ravishing of maidens, the old men led[Pg 11] forth in captivity, the robbing of churches, and all things confounded and full of thefts, pillages, and violence. Neither I will not speak now of those things which are wont to follow the most happy and most just war of all.
The poor commons pillaged, the nobles overcharged; so many old men of their children bereaved, yea, and slain also in the slaughter of their children; so many old women destitute, whom sorrow more cruelly slayeth than the weapon itself; so many honest wives become widows, so many children fatherless, so many lamentable houses, so many rich men brought to extreme poverty. And what needeth it here to speak of the destruction of good manners, since there is no man but knoweth right well that the universal pestilence of all mischievous living proceedeth at once from war. Thereof cometh despising of virtue and godly living; thereof cometh, that the laws are neglected and not regarded; thereof cometh a prompt and a ready stomach, boldly to do every mischievous deed. Out of this fountain spring so huge great companies of thieves, robbers, sacrilegers, and murderers. And what is most grievous of all, this mischievous pestilence cannot keep herself within her bounds; but after it is begun in some one corner, it doth not only (as a contagious disease) spread abroad and infect the countries near adjoining to it, but also it draweth into that common tumult and troublous business[Pg 12] the countries that be very far off, either for need, or by reason of affinity, or else by occasion of some league made. Yea and moreover, one war springeth of another: of a dissembled war there cometh war indeed, and of a very small, a right great war hath risen. Nor it chanceth oftentimes none otherwise in these things than it is feigned of the monster, which lay in the lake or pond called Lerna.
For these causes, I trow, the old poets, the which most sagely perceived the power and nature of things, and with most meet feignings covertly shadowed the same, have left in writing, that war was sent out of hell: nor every one of the Furies was not meet and convenient to bring about this business, but the most pestilent and mischievous of them all was chosen out for the nonce, which hath a thousand names, and a thousand crafts to do hurt. She being armed with a thousand serpents, bloweth before her her fiendish trumpet. Pan with furious ruffling encumbereth every place. Bellona shaketh her furious flail. And then the wicked furiousness himself, when he hath undone all knots and broken all bonds, rusheth out with bloody mouth horrible to behold.
The grammarians perceived right well these things, of the which some will, that war have his name by contrary meaning of the word Bellum, that is to say fair, because it hath nothing good nor fair. Nor bellum, that is for to say war, is none[Pg 13] otherwise called Bellum, that is to say fair, than the furies are called Eumenides, that is to say meek, because they are wilful and contrary to all meekness. And some grammarians think rather, that bellum, war, should be derived out of this word Belva, that is for to say, a brute beast: forasmuch as it belongeth to brute beasts, and not unto men, to run together, each to destroy each other. But it seemeth to me far to pass all wild and all brute beastliness, to fight together with weapons.
First, for there are many of the brute beasts, each in his kind, that agree and live in a gentle fashion together, and they go together in herds and flocks, and each helpeth to defend the other. Nor is it the nature of all wild beasts to fight, for some are harmless, as does and hares. But they that are the most fierce of all, as lions, wolves, and tigers, do not make war among themselves as we do. One dog eateth not another. The lions, though they be fierce and cruel, yet they fight not among themselves. One dragon is in peace with another. And there is agreement among poisonous serpents. But unto man there is no wild or cruel beast more hurtful than man.
Again, when the brute beasts fight, they fight with their own natural armour: we men, above nature, to the destruction of men, arm ourselves with armour, invented by craft of the devil. Nor the wild beasts are not cruel for every cause; but either when hunger maketh them fierce, or else[Pg 14]when they perceive themselves to be hunted and pursued to the death, or else when they fear lest their younglings should take any harm or be stolen from them. But (O good Lord) for what trifling causes what tragedies of war do we stir up? For most vain titles, for childish wrath, for a wench, yea, and for causes much more scornful than these, we be inflamed to fight.
Moreover, when the brute beasts fight, then war is one for one, yea, and that is very short. And when the battle is sorest fought, yet is there not past one or two, that goeth away sore wounded. When was it ever heard that an hundred thousand brute beasts were slain at one time fighting and tearing one another: which thing men do full oft and in many places? And besides this, whereas some wild beasts have natural debate with some other that be of a contrary kind, so again there be some with which they lovingly agree in a sure amity. But man with man, and each with other, have among them continual war; nor is there league sure enough among any men. So that whatsoever it be, that hath gone out of kind, it hath gone out of kind into a worse fashion, than if Nature herself had engendered therein a malice at the beginning.
Will ye see how beastly, how foul, and how unworthy a thing war is for man? Did ye never behold a lion let loose unto a bear? What gapings, what roarings, what grisly gnashing, what tearing[Pg 15] of their flesh, is there? He trembleth that beholdeth them, yea, though he stand sure and safe enough from them. But how much more grisly a sight is it, how much more outrageous and cruel, to behold man to fight with man, arrayed with so much armour, and with so many weapons? I beseech you, who would believe that they were men, if it were not because war is a thing so much in custom that no man marvelleth at it? Their eyes glow like fire, their faces be pale, their marching forth is like men in a fury, their voice screeching and grunting, their cry and frenzied clamour; all is iron, their harness and weapons jingling and clattering, and the guns thundering. It might have been better suffered, if man, for lack of meat and drink, should have fought with man, to the intent he might devour his flesh and drink his blood: albeit, it is come also now to that pass, that some there be that do it more of hatred than either for hunger or for thirst. But now this same thing is done more cruelly, with weapons envenomed, and with devilish engines. So that nowhere may be perceived any token of man. Trow ye that Nature could here know it was the same thing, that she sometime had wrought with her own hands? And if any man would inform her, that it were man that she beheld in such array, might she not well, with great wondering, say these words?
“What new manner of pageant is this that I behold? What devil of hell hath brought us forth[Pg 16] this monster. There be some that call me a stepmother, because that among so great heaps of things of my making I have brought forth some venomous things (and yet have I ordained the selfsame venomous things for man’s behoof); and because I have made some beasts very fierce and perilous: and yet is there no beast so wild nor so perilous, but that by craft and diligence he may be made tame and gentle. By man’s diligent labour the lions have been made tame, the dragons meek, and the bears obedient. But what is this, that worse is than any stepmother, which hath brought us forth this new unreasonable brute beast, the pestilence and mischief of all this world? One beast alone I brought forth wholly dedicate to be benevolent, pleasant, friendly, and wholesome to all other. What hath chanced, that this creature is changed into such a brute beast? I perceive nothing of the creature man, which I myself made. What evil spirit hath thus defiled my work? What witch hath bewitched the mind of man, and transformed it into such brutishness? What sorceress hath thus turned him out of his kindly shape? I command and would that the wretched creature should behold himself in a glass. But, alas, what shall the eyes see, where the mind is away? Yet behold thyself (if thou canst), thou furious warrior, and see if thou mayst by any means recover thyself again. From whence hast thou that threatening crest upon thy head? From whence hast thou[Pg 17] that shining helmet? From whence are those iron horns? Whence cometh it, that thine elbows are so sharp and piked? Where hadst thou those scales? Where hadst thou those brazen teeth? Of whence are those hard plates? Whence are those deadly weapons? From whence cometh to thee this voice more horrible than of a wild beast? What a look and countenance hast thou more terrible than of a brute beast? Where hast thou gotten this thunder and lightning, both more fearful and hurtful than is the very thunder and lightning itself? I formed thee a goodly creature; what came into thy mind, that thou wouldst thus transform thyself into so cruel and so beastly fashion, that there is no brute beast so unreasonable in comparison unto man?”
These words, and many other such like, I suppose, the Dame Nature, the worker of all things, would say. Then since man is such as is showed before that he is, and that war is such a thing, like as too oft we have felt and known, it seemeth to me no small wonder, what ill spirit, what disease, or what mishap, first put into man’s mind, that he would bathe his mortal weapon in the blood of man. It must needs be, that men mounted up to so great madness by divers degrees. For there was never man yet (as Juvenal saith) that was suddenly most graceless of all. And always things the worst have crept in among men’s manners of living, under the shadow and shape of[Pg 18] goodness. For some time those men that were in the beginning of the world led their lives in woods; they went naked, they had no walled towns, nor houses to put their heads in: it happened otherwhile that they were sore grieved and destroyed with wild beasts. Wherefore with them first of all, men made war, and he was esteemed a mighty strong man, and a captain, that could best defend mankind from the violence of wild beasts. Yea, and it seemed to them a thing most equable to strangle the stranglers, and to slay the slayers, namely, when the wild beast, not provoked by us for any hurt to them done, would wilfully set upon us. And so by reason that this was counted a thing most worthy of praise (for hereof it rose that Hercules was made a god), the lusty-stomached young men began all about to hunt and chase the wild beasts, and as a token of their valiant victory the skins of such beasts as they slew were set up in such places as the people might behold them. Besides this they were not contented to slay the wild beasts, but they used to wear their skins to keep them from the cold in winter. These were the first slaughters that men used: these were their spoils and robberies. After this, they went so farforth, that they were bold to do a thing which Pythagoras thought to be very wicked; and it might seem to us also a thing monstrous, if custom were not, which hath so great strength in every place: that by custom it was reputed in[Pg 19] some countries a much charitable deed if a man would, when his father was very old, first sore beat him, and after thrust him headlong into a pit, and so bereave him of his life, by whom it chanced him to have the gift of life. It was counted a holy thing for a man to feed on the flesh of his own kinsmen and friends. They thought it a goodly thing, that a virgin should be made common to the people in the temple of Venus. And many other things, more abominable than these: of which if a man should now but only speak, every man would abhor to hear him. Surely there is nothing so ungracious, nor nothing so cruel, but men will hold therewith, if it be once approved by custom. Then will ye hear, what a deed they durst at the last do? They were not abashed to eat the carcases of the wild beasts that were slain, to tear the unsavoury flesh with their teeth, to drink the blood, to suck out the matter of them, and (as Ovid saith) to hide the beasts’ bowels within their own. And although at that time it seemed to be an outrageous deed unto them that were of a more mild and gentle courage: yet was it generally allowed, and all by reason of custom and commodity. Yet were they not so content. For they went from the slaying of noisome wild beasts, to kill the harmless beasts, and such as did no hurt at all. They waxed cruel everywhere upon the poor sheep, a beast without fraud or guile. They slew the hare, for none other offence, but [Pg 20]because he was a good fat dish of meat to feed upon. Nor they forbare not to kill the tame ox, which had a long season, with his sore labour, nourished the unkind household. They spared no kind of beasts, of fowls, nor of fishes. Yea, and the tyranny of gluttony went so farforth that there was no beast anywhere that could be sure from the cruelty of man. Yea, and custom persuaded this also, that it seemed no cruelty at all to slay any manner of beast, whatsoever it was, so they abstained from manslaughter. Now peradventure it lieth in our power to keep out vices, that they enter not upon the manners of men, in like manner as it lieth in our power to keep out the sea, that it break not in upon us; but when the sea is once broken in, it passeth our power to restrain it within any bounds. So either of them both once let in, they will not be ruled, as we would, but run forth headlong whithersoever their own rage carrieth them. And so after that men had been exercised with such beginnings to slaughter, wrath anon enticed man to set upon man, either with staff, or with stone, or else with his fist. For as yet, I think they used no other weapons. And now had they learned by the killing of beasts, that man also might soon and easily be slain with little labour. But this cruelty remained betwixt singular persons, so that yet there was no great number of men that fought together, but as it chanced one man against another. And besides this, there[Pg 21] was no small colour of equity, if a man slew his enemy; yea, and shortly after, it was a great praise to a man to slay a violent and a mischievous man, and to rid him out of the world, such devilish and cruel caitiffs, as men say Cacus and Busiris were. For we see plainly, that for such causes, Hercules was greatly praised. And in process of time, many assembled to take part together, either as affinity, or as neighbourhood, or kindred bound them. And what is now robbery was then war. And they fought then with stones, or with stakes, a little burned at the ends. A little river, a rock, or such other like thing, chancing to be between them, made an end of their battle.
In the mean season, while fierceness by use increaseth, while wrath is grown great, and ambition hot and vehement, by ingenious craft they arm their furious violence. They devise harness, such as it is, to fence them with. They invent weapons to destroy their enemies with. Thus now by few and few, now with greater company, and now armed they begin to fight. Nor to this manifest madness they forget not to give honour. For they call it Bellum, that is to say, a fair thing; yea, and they repute it a virtuous deed, if a man, with the jeopardy of his own life, manly resist and defend from the violence of his enemies, his wife, children, beasts, and household. And by little and little, malice grew so great, with the high esteeming of other things, that one city began to send [Pg 22]defiance and make war to another, country against country, and realm against realm. And though the thing of itself was then most cruel, yet all this while there remained in them certain tokens, whereby they might be known for men: for such goods as by violence were taken away were asked and required again by an herald at arms; the gods were called to witness; yea, and when they were ranged in battle, they would reason the matter ere they fought. And in the battle they used but homely weapons, nor they used neither guile nor deceit, but only strength. It was not lawful for a man to strike his enemy till the sign of battle was given; nor was it not lawful to fight after the sounding of the retreat. And for conclusion, they fought more to show their manliness and for praise, than they coveted to slay. Nor all this while they armed them not, but against strangers, the which they called hostes, as they had been hospites, their guests. Of this rose empires, of the which there was never none yet in any nation, but it was gotten with the great shedding of man’s blood. And since that time there hath followed continual course of war, while one eftsoons laboureth to put another out of his empire, and to set himself in. After all this, when the empires came once into their hands that were most ungracious of all other, they made war upon whosoever pleased them; nor were they not in greatest peril and danger of war that had most deserved[Pg 23] to be punished, but they that by fortune had gotten great riches. And now they made not war to get praise and fame, but to get the vile muck of the world, or else some other thing far worse than that.
I think not the contrary, but that the great, wise man Pythagoras meant these things when he by a proper device of philosophy frightened the unlearned multitude of people from the slaying of silly beasts. For he perceived, it should at length come to pass, that he which (by no injury provoked) was accustomed to spill the blood of a harmless beast, would in his anger, being provoked by injury, not fear to slay a man.
War, what other thing else is it than a common manslaughter of many men together, and a robbery, the which, the farther it sprawleth abroad, the more mischievous it is? But many gross gentlemen nowadays laugh merrily at these things, as though they were the dreams and dotings of schoolmen, the which, saving the shape, have no point of manhood, yet seem they in their own conceit to be gods. And yet of those beginnings, we see we be run so far in madness, that we do naught else all our life-days. We war continually, city with city, prince with prince, people with people, yea, and (it that the heathen people confess to be a wicked thing) cousin with cousin, alliance with alliance, brother with brother, the son with the father, yea, and that I esteem more cruel[Pg 24] than all these things, a Christian man against another man; and yet furthermore, I will say that I am very loath to do, which is a thing most cruel of all, one Christian man with another Christian man. Oh, blindness of man’s mind! at those things no man marvelleth, no man abhorreth them. There be some that rejoice at them, and praise them above the moon: and the thing which is more than devilish, they call a holy thing. Old men, crooked for age, make war, priests make war, monks go forth to war; yea, and with a thing so devilish we mingle Christ. The battles ranged, they encounter the one the other, bearing before them the sign of the Cross, which thing alone might at the leastwise admonish us by what means it should become Christian men to overcome.
But we run headlong each to destroy other, even from that heavenly sacrifice of the altar, whereby is represented that perfect and ineffable knitting together of all Christian men. And of so wicked a thing, we make Christ both author and witness. Where is the kingdom of the devil, if it be not in war? Why draw we Christ into war, with whom a brothel-house agreeth more than war? Saint Paul disdaineth, that there should be any so great discord among Christian men, that they should need any judge to discuss the matter between them. What if he should come and behold us now through all the world, warring for every light and trifling cause, striving more [Pg 25]cruelly than ever did any heathen people, and more cruelly than any barbarous people? Yea, and ye shall see it done by the authority, exhortations, and furtherings of those that represent Christ, the prince of peace and very bishop that all things knitteth together by peace and of those that salute the people with good luck of peace. Nor is it not unknown to me what these unlearned people say (a good while since) against me in this matter, whose winnings arise of the common evils. They say thus: We make war against our wills: for we be constrained by the ungracious deeds of other. We make war but for our right. And if there come any hurt thereof, thank them that be causers of it. But let these men hold their tongues awhile, and I shall after, in place convenient, avoid all their cavillations, and pluck off that false visor wherewith we hide all our malice.
But first as I have above compared man with war, that is to say, the creature most demure with a thing most outrageous, to the intent that cruelty might the better be perceived: so will I compare war and peace together, the thing most wretched, and most mischievous, with the best and most wealthy thing that is. And so at last shall appear, how great madness it is, with so great tumult, with so great labours, with such intolerable expenses, with so many calamities, affectionately to desire war: whereas agreement might be bought with a far less price.
[Pg 26]First of all, what in all this world is more sweet or better than amity or love? Truly nothing. And I pray you, what other thing is peace than amity and love among men, like as war on the other side is naught else but dissension and debate of many men together? And surely the property of good things is such, that the broader they be spread, the more profit and commodity cometh of them. Farther, if the love of one singular person with another be so sweet and delectable, how great should the felicity be if realm with realm, and nation with nation, were coupled together, with the band of amity and love? On the other side, the nature of evil things is such, that the farther they sprawl abroad, the more worthy they are to be called evil, as they be indeed. Then if it be a wretched thing, if it be an ungracious thing, that one man armed should fight with another, how much more miserable, how much more mischievous is it, that the selfsame thing should be done with so many thousands together? By love and peace the small things increase and wax great, by discord and debate the great things decay and come to naught. Peace is the mother and nurse of all good things. War suddenly and at once overthroweth, destroyeth, and utterly fordoeth everything that is pleasant and fair, and bringeth in among men a monster of all mischievous things.
In the time of peace (none otherwise than as if[Pg 27] the lusty springtime should show and shine in men’s businesses) the fields are tilled, the gardens and orchards freshly flourish, the beasts pasture merrily; gay manours in the country are edified, the towns are builded, where as need is reparations are done, the buildings are heightened and augmented, riches increase, pleasures are nourished, the laws are executed, the common wealth flourisheth, religion is fervent, right reigneth, gentleness is used, craftsmen are busily exercised, the poor men’s gain is more plentiful, the wealthiness of the rich men is more gay and goodly, the studies of most honest learnings flourish, youth is well taught, the aged folks have quiet and rest, maidens are luckily married, mothers are praised for bringing forth of children like to their progenitors, the good men prosper and do well, and the evil men do less offence.
But as soon as the cruel tempest of war cometh on us, good Lord, how great a flood of mischiefs occupieth, overfloweth, and drowneth all together. The fair herds of beasts are driven away, the goodly corn is trodden down and destroyed, the good husbandmen are slain, the villages are burned up, the most wealthy cities, that have flourished so many winters, with that one storm are overthrown, destroyed, and brought to naught: so much readier and prompter men are to do hurt than good. The good citizens are robbed and spoiled of their goods by cursed[Pg 28] thieves and murderers. Every place is full of fear, of wailing, complaining, and lamenting. The craftsmen stand idle; the poor men must either die for hunger, or fall to stealing. The rich men either stand and sorrow for their goods, that be plucked and snatched from them, or else they stand in great doubt to lose such goods as they have left them: so that they be on every side woebegone. The maidens, either they be not married at all, or else if they be married, their marriages are sorrowful and lamentable. Wives, being destitute of their husbands, lie at home without any fruit of children, the laws are laid aside, gentleness is laughed to scorn, right is clean exiled, religion is set at naught, hallowed and unhallowed things all are one, youth is corrupted with all manner of vices, the old folk wail and weep, and wish themselves out of the world, there is no honour given unto the study of good letters. Finally, there is no tongue can tell the harm and mischief that we feel in war.
Perchance war might be the better suffered, if it made us but only wretched and needy; but it maketh us ungracious, and also full of unhappiness. And I think Peace likewise should be much made of, if it were but only because it maketh us more wealthy and better in our living. Alas, there be too many already, yea, and more than too many mischiefs and evils, with the which the wretched life of man (whether he will or no) is[Pg 29] continually vexed, tormented, and utterly consumed.
It is near hand two thousand years since the physicians had knowledge of three hundred divers notable sicknesses by name, besides other small sicknesses and new, as daily spring among us, and besides age also, which is of itself a sickness inevitable.
We read that in one place whole cities have been destroyed with earthquakes. We read, also, that in another place there have been cities altogether burnt with lightning; how in another place whole regions have been swallowed up with opening of the earth, towns by undermining have fallen to the ground; so that I need not here to remember what a great multitude of men are daily destroyed by divers chances, which be not regarded because they happen so often: as sudden breaking out of the sea and of great floods, falling down of hills and houses, poison, wild beasts, meat, drink, and sleep. One hath been strangled with drinking of a hair in a draught of milk, another hath been choked with a little grapestone, another with a fishbone sticking in his throat. There hath been, that sudden joy hath killed out of hand: for it is less wonder of them that die for vehement sorrow. Besides all this, what mortal pestilence see we in every place. There is no part of the world, that is not subject to peril and danger of man’s life, which life of itself also is most[Pg 30] fugitive. So manifold mischances and evils assail man on every side that not without cause Homer did say: Man was the most wretched of all creatures living.
But forasmuch these mischances cannot lightly be eschewed, nor they happen not through our fault, they make us but only wretched, and not ungracious withal. What pleasure is it then for them that be subject already to so many miserable chances, willingly to seek and procure themselves another mischief more than they had before, as though they yet wanted misery? Yea, they procure not a light evil, but such an evil that is worse than all the others, so mischievous, that it alone passeth all the others; so abundant, that in itself alone is comprehended all ungraciousness; so pestilent, that it maketh us all alike wicked as wretched, it maketh us full of all misery, and yet not worthy to be pitied.
Now go farther, and with all these things consider, that the commodities of Peace spread themselves most far and wide, and pertain unto many men. In war if there happen anything luckily (but, O good Lord, what may we say happeneth well and luckily in war?), it pertaineth to very few, and to them that are unworthy to have it. The prosperity of one is the destruction of another. The enriching of one is the spoil and robbing of another. The triumph of one is the lamentable mourning of another, so that as the infelicity[Pg 31] is bitter and sharp, the felicity is cruel and bloody. Howbeit otherwhile both parties wept according to the proverb, Victoria Cadmaea, Cadmus victorie, where both parties repented. And I wot not whether it came ever so happily to pass in war, that he that had victory did not repent him of his enterprise, if he were a good man.
Then seeing Peace is the thing above all other most best and most pleasant, and, contrariwise, war the thing most ungracious and wretched of all other, shall we think those men to be in their right minds, the which when they may obtain Peace with little business and labour will rather procure war with so great labour and most difficulty?
First of all consider, how loathly a thing the rumour of war is, when it is first spoken of. Then how envious a thing it is unto a prince, while with often tithes and taxes he pillageth his subjects. What a business hath he to make and entertain friends to help him? what a business to procure bands of strangers and to hire soldiers?
What expenses and labours must he make in setting forth his navy of ships, in building and repairing of castles and fortresses, in preparing and apparelling of his tents and pavilions, in framing, making, and carrying of engines, guns, armour, weapons, baggage, carts, and victual? What great labour is spent in making of bulwarks, in casting of ditches, in digging of mines, in keeping of watches, in keeping of arrays, and in exercising[Pg 32]of weapons? I pass over the fear they be in; I speak not of the imminent danger and peril that hangeth over their heads: for what thing in war is not to be feared? What is he that can reckon all the incommodious life that the most foolish soldiers suffer in the field? And for that worthy to endure worse, in that they will suffer it willingly. Their meat is so ill that an ox of Cyprus would be loath to eat it; they have but little sleep, nor yet that at their own pleasure. Their tents on every side are open on the wind. What, a tent? No, no; they must all the day long, be it hot or cold, wet or dry, stand in the open air, sleep on the bare ground, stand in their harness. They must suffer hunger, thirst, cold, heat, dust, showers; they must be obedient to their captains; sometimes they be clapped on the pate with a warder or a truncheon: so that there is no bondage so vile as the bondage of soldiers.
Besides all this, at the sorrowful sign given to fight, they must run headlong to death: for either they must slay cruelly, or be slain wretchedly. So many sorrowful labours must they take in hand, that they may bring to pass that thing which is most wretched of all other. With so many great miseries we must first afflict and grieve our own self, that we may afflict and grieve other!
Now if we would call this matter to account, and justly reckon how much war will cost, and how much peace, surely we shall find that peace[Pg 33] may be got and obtained with the tenth part of the cares, labours, griefs, perils, expenses, and spilling of blood, with which the war is procured. So great a company of men, to their extreme perils, ye lead out of the realm to overthrow and destroy some one town: and with the labour of the selfsame men, and without any peril at all, another town, much more noble and goodly, might be new edified and builded. But you say, you will hurt and grieve your enemy: so even that doing is against humanity. Nevertheless, this I would ye should consider, that ye cannot hurt and grieve your enemies, but ye must first greatly hurt your own people. And it seemeth a point of a madman, to enterprise where he is sure and certain of so great hurt and damage, and is uncertain which way the chance of war will turn.
But admit, that either foolishness, or wrath, or ambition, or covetousness, or outrageous cruelty, or else (which I think more like) the furies sent from hell, should ravish and draw the heathen people to this madness. Yet from whence cometh it into our minds, that one Christian man should draw his weapon to bathe it in another Christian man’s blood? It is called parricide, if the one brother slay the other. And yet is a Christian man nearer joined to another than is one brother to another: except the bonds of nature be stronger than the bonds of Christ. What abominable thing, then, is it to see them almost continually fighting[Pg 34] among themselves, the which are the inhabitants of one house the Church, which rejoice and say, that they all be the members of one body, and that have one head, which truly is Christ; they have all one Father in heaven; they are all taught and comforted by one Holy Spirit; they profess the religion of Christ all under one manner; they are all redeemed with Christ’s blood; they are all newborn at the holy font; they use alike sacraments; they be all soldiers under one captain; they are all fed with one heavenly bread; they drink all of one spiritual cup; they have one common enemy the devil; finally, they be all called to one inheritance. Where be they so many sacraments of perfect concord? Where be the innumerable teachings of peace? There is one special precept, which Christ called his, that is, Charity. And what thing is so repugnant to charity as war? Christ saluted his disciples with the blessed luck of peace. Unto his disciples he gave nothing save peace, saving peace he left them nothing. In those holy prayers, he specially prayed the Father of heaven, that in like manner as he was one with the Father, so all his, that is to say, Christian men, should be one with him. Lo, here you may perceive a thing more than peace, more than amity, more than concord.
Solomon bare the figure of Christ: for Solomon in the Hebrew tongue signifieth peaceable or peaceful. Him God would have to build his temple.[Pg 35] At the birth of Christ the angels proclaimed neither war nor triumphs, but peace they sang. And before his birth the prophet David prophesied thus of him: Et factus est in pace locus ejus, that is to say, His dwelling place is made in peace. Search all the whole life of Christ, and ye shall never find thing that breathes not of peace, that signifieth not amity, that savoureth not of charity. And because he perceived peace could not well be kept, except men would utterly despise all those things for which the world so greedily fighteth, he commanded that we should of him learn to be meek. He calleth them blessed and happy that setteth naught by riches, for those he calleth poor in spirit. Blessed be they that despise the pleasures of this world, the which he calleth mourners. And them blessed he calleth that patiently suffer themselves, to be put out of their possessions, knowing that here in this world they are but as outlaws; and the very true country and possession of godly creatures is in heaven. He calleth them blessed which, deserving well of all men, are wrongfully blamed and ill afflicted. He forbade that any man should resist evil. Briefly, as all his doctrine commandeth sufferance and love, so all his life teacheth nothing else but meekness. So he reigned, so he warred, so he overcame, so he triumphed.
Now the apostles, that had sucked into them the pure spirit of Christ, and were blessedly drunk[Pg 36] with that new must of the Holy Ghost, preached nothing but meekness and peace. What do all the epistles of Paul sound in every place but peace, but long-suffering, but charity? What speaketh Saint John, what rehearseth he so oft, but love? What other thing did Peter? What other thing did all the true Christian writers? From whence then cometh all this tumult of wars amongst the children of peace? Think ye it a fable, that Christ calleth himself a vine tree, and his own the branches? Who did ever see one branch fight with another? Is it in vain that Paul so oft wrote, The Church to be none other thing, than one body compact together of divers members, cleaving to one head, Christ? Whoever saw the eye fight with the hand, or the belly with the foot? In this universal body, compact of all those unlike things, there is agreement. In the body of a beast, one member is in peace with another, and each member useth not the property thereto given for itself alone, but for the profit of all the other members. So that if there come any good to any one member alone, it helpeth all the whole body. And may the compaction or knitting of Nature do more in the body of a beast, that shortly must perish, than the coupling of the Holy Ghost in the mystical and immortal body of the Church? Do we to no purpose pray as taught by Christ: Good Lord, even as thy will is fulfilled in heaven, so let it be fulfilled in the earth? In that city of heaven is concord and[Pg 37] peace most perfect. And Christ would have his Church to be none other than a heavenly people in earth, as near as might be after the manner of them that are in heaven, ever labouring and making haste to go thither, and always having their mind thereon.
Now go to, let us imagine, that there should come some new guest out of the lunar cities, where Empedocles dwelleth, or else out of the innumerable worlds, that Democritus fabricated, into this world, desiring to know what the inhabitants do here. And when he was instructed of everything, it should at last be told him that, besides all other, there is one creature marvellously mingled, of body like to brute beasts and of soul like unto God. And it should also be told him, that this creature is so noble, that though he be here an outlaw out of his own country, yet are all other beasts at his commandment, the which creature through his heavenly beginning inclineth alway to things heavenly and immortal. And that God eternal loved this creature so well, that whereas he could neither by the gifts of nature, nor by the strong reasons of philosophy attain unto that which he so fervently desired, he sent hither his only begotten son, to the intent to teach this creature a new kind of learning. Then as soon as this new guest had perceived well the whole manner of Christ’s life and precepts, would desire to stand in some high place, from whence he[Pg 38] might behold that which he had heard. And when he should see all other creatures soberly live according to their kind, and, being led by the laws and course of nature, desire nothing but even as Nature would; and should see this one special creature man given riotously to tavern haunting, to vile lucre, to buying and selling, chopping and changing, to brawling and fighting one with another, trow ye that he would not think that any of the other creatures were man, of whom he heard so much of before, rather than he that is indeed man? Then if he that had instructed him afore would show him which creature is man, now would he look about to see if he could spy the Christian flock and company, the which, following the ordinance of that heavenly teacher Christ, should exhibit to him a figure or shape of the evangelical city. Think ye he would not rather judge Christians to dwell in any other place than in those countries, wherein we see so great superfluity, riot, voluptuousness, pride, tyranny, discord, brawlings, fightings, wars, tumults, yea, and briefly to speak, a greater puddle of all those things that Christ reproveth than among Turks or Saracens? From whence, then, creepeth this pestilence in among Christian people? Doubtless this mischief also is come in by little and little, like as many more other be, ere men be aware of them. For truly every mischief creepeth by little and little upon the good manners of men, or else[Pg 39] under the colour of goodness it is suddenly received.
So then first of all, learning and cunning crept in as a thing very meet to confound heretics, which defend their opinions with the doctrine of philosophers, poets, and orators. And surely at the beginning of our faith, Christian men did not learn those things; but such as peradventure had learned them, before they knew what Christ meant, they turned the thing that they had learned already, into good use.
Eloquence of tongue was at the beginning dissembled more than despised, but at length it was openly approved. After that, under colour of confounding heretics, came in an ambitious pleasure of brawling disputations, which hath brought into the Church of Christ no small mischief. At length the matter went so farforth that Aristotle was altogether received into the middle of divinity, and so received, that his authority is almost reputed holier than the authority of Christ. For if Christ spake anything that did little agree with our life, by interpretation of Aristotle it was lawful to make it serve their purpose. But if any do never so little repugn against the high divinity of Aristotle, he is quickly with clapping of hands driven out of the place. For of him we have learned, that the felicity of man is imperfect, except he have both the good gifts of body and of fortune. Of him we have learned, that no commonweal[Pg 40] may flourish, in which all things are common. And we endeavour ourselves to glue fast together the decrees of this man and the doctrine of Christ—which is as likely a thing as to mingle fire and water together. And a gobbet we have received of the civil laws, because of the equity that seemeth to be in them. And to the end they should the better serve our purpose, we have, as near as may be, writhed and plied the doctrine of the gospel to them. Now by the civil law it is lawful for a man to defend violence with violence, and each to pursue for his right. Those laws approve buying and selling; they allow usury, so it be measurable; they praise war as a noble thing, so, it be just. Finally all the doctrine of Christ is so defiled with the learning of logicians, sophisters, astronomers, orators, poets, philosophers, lawyers, and gentles, that a man shall spend the most part of his life, ere he may have any leisure to search holy scripture, to the which when a man at last cometh, he must come infected with so many worldly opinions, that either he must be offended with Christ’s doctrines, or else he must apply them to the mind and of them that he hath learned before. And this thing is so much approved, that it is now a heinous deed, if a man presume to study holy scripture, which hath not buried himself up to the hard ears in those trifles, or rather sophistries of Aristotle. As though Christ’s doctrine were such, that it were not lawful for[Pg 41] all men to know it, or else that it could by any means agree with the wisdom of philosophers. Besides this we admitted at the beginning of our faith some honour, which afterward we claimed as of duty. Then we received riches, but that was to distribute to relieve poor men, which afterwards we turned to our own use. And why not, since we have learned by the law civil, that the very order of charity is, that every man must first provide for himself? Nor lack there colours to cloak this mischief: first it is a good deed to provide for our children, and it is right that we foresee how to live in age; finally, why should we, say they, give our goods away, if we come by them without fraud? By these degrees it is by little and little come to pass, that he is taken for the best man that hath most riches: nor never was there more honour given to riches among the heathen people, than is at this day among the Christian people. For what thing is there, either spiritual or temporal, that is not done with great show of riches? And it seemed a thing agreeable with those ornaments, if Christian men had some great jurisdiction under them. Nor there wanted not such as gladly submitted themselves. Albeit at the beginning it was against their wills, and scantly would they receive it. And yet with much work, they received it so, that they were content with the name and title only: the profit thereof they gladly gave unto other men. At the last, little by[Pg 42] little it came to pass, that a bishop thought himself no bishop, except he had some temporal lordship withal; an abbot thought himself of small authority, if he had not wherewith to play the lordly sire. And in conclusion, we blushed never a deal at the matter, we wiped away all shamefastness, and shoved aside all the bars of comeliness. And whatever abuse was used among the heathen people, were it covetousness, ambition, riot, pomp, or pride, or tyranny, the same we follow, in the same we match them, yea, and far pass them. And to pass over the lighter things for the while, I pray you, was there ever war among the heathen people so long continually, or more cruelly, than among Christian people? What stormy rumblings, what violent brays of war, what tearing of leagues, and what piteous slaughters of men have we seen ourselves within these few years? What nation hath not fought and skirmished with another? And then we go and curse the Turk; and what can be a more pleasant sight to the Turks, than to behold us daily each slaying other?
Xerxes doted, when he led out of his own country that huge multitude of people to make war upon the Greeks. Trow ye, was he not mad, when he wrote letters to the mountain called Athos, threatening that the hill should repent except it obeyed his lust? And the same Xerxes commanded also the sea to be beaten, because[Pg 43] it was somewhat rough when he should have sailed over.
Who will deny but Alexander the Great was mad also? He, the young god, wished that there were many worlds, the which he might conquer—so great a fever of vainglory had embraced his young lusty courage. And yet these same men, the which Seneca doubted not to call mad thieves, warred after a gentler fashion than we do; they were more faithful of their promise in war, nor they used not so mischievous engines in war, nor such crafts and subtleties, nor they warred not for so light causes as we Christian men do. They rejoiced to advance and enrich such provinces as they had conquered by war; and the rude people, that lived like wild beasts without laws, learning, or good manners, they taught them both civil conditions and crafts, whereby they might live like men. In countries that were not inhabited with people, they builded cities, and made them both fair and profitable. And the places that were not very sure, they fenced, for safeguard of the people, with bridges, banks, bulwarks; and with a thousand other such commodities they helped the life of man. So that then it was right expedient to be overcome. Yea, and how many things read we, that were either wisely done, or soberly spoken of them in the midst of their wars. As for those things that are done in Christian men’s wars they are more filthy and cruel than is convenient[Pg 44] here to rehearse. Moreover, look what was worst in the heathen peoples’ wars, in that we follow them, yea, we pass them.
But now it is worth while to hear, by what means we maintain this our so great madness. Thus they reason: If it had not been lawful by no means to make war, surely God would never have been the author to the Jews to make war against their enemies. Well said, but we must add hereunto, that the Jews never made war among themselves, but against strangers and wicked men. We, Christian men, fight with Christian men. Diversity of religion caused the Jews to fight against their enemies: for their enemies worshipped not God as they did. We make war oftentimes for a little childish anger, or for hunger of money, or for thirst of glory, or else for filthy meed. The Jews fought by the commandment of God; we make war to avenge the grief and displeasure of our mind. And nevertheless if men will so much lean to the example of the Jews, why do we not then in like manner use circumcision? Why do we not sacrifice with the blood of sheep and other beasts? Why do we not abstain from swine’s flesh? Why doth not each of us wed many wives? Since we abhor those things, why doth the example of war please us so much? Why do we here follow the bare letter that killeth? It was permitted the Jews to make war, but so likewise as they were suffered to depart from their wives, doubtless because of their hard and[Pg 45]froward manners. But after Christ commanded the sword to be put up, it is unlawful for Christian men to make any other war but that which is the fairest war of all, with the most eager and fierce enemies of the Church, with affection of money, with wrath, with ambition, with dread of death. These be our Philistines, these be our Nabuchodonosors, these be our Moabites and Ammonites, with the which it behooveth us to have no truce. With these we must continually fight, until (our enemies being utterly vanquished) we may be in quiet, for except we may overcome them, there is no man that may attain to any true peace, neither with himself, nor yet with no other. For this war alone is cause of true peace. He that overcometh in this battle, will make war with no man living. Nor I regard not the interpretation that some men make of the two swords, to signify either power spiritual or temporal. When Christ suffered Peter to err purposely, yea, after he was commanded to put up his sword, no man should doubt but that war was forbidden, which before seemed to be lawful. But Peter (say they) fought. True it is, Peter fought; he was yet but a Jew, and had not the spirit of a very Christian man. He fought not for his lands, or for any such titles of lands as we do, nor yet for his own life, but for his Master’s life. And finally, he fought, the which within a while after forsook his Master. Now if men will needs follow the example of Peter that[Pg 46] fought, why might they not as well follow the example of him forsaking his Master? And though Peter through simple affection erred, yet did his Master rebuke him. For else, if Christ did allow such manner of defence, as some most foolishly do interpret, why doth both all the life and doctrine of Christ preach no other thing but sufferance? Why sent he forth his disciples again tyrants, armed with nothing else but with a walking-staff and a scrip? If that sword, which Christ commanded his disciples to sell their coats to buy, be moderate defence against persecutors, like as some men do not only wickedly but also blindly interpret, why did the martyrs never use that defence? But (say they) the law of nature commandeth, it is approved by the laws, and allowed by custom, that we ought to put off from us violence by violence, and that each of us should defend his life, and eke his money, when the money (as Hesiod saith) is as lief as the life. All this I grant, but yet grace, the law of Christ, that is of more effect than all these things, commandeth us, that we should not speak ill to them that speak shrewdly to us; that we should do well to them that do ill to us, and to them that take away part of our possessions, we should give the whole; and that we should also pray for them that imagine our death. But these things (say they) appertain to the apostles; yea, they appertain to the universal people of Christ, and to the whole body of[Pg 47] Christ’s Church, that must needs be a whole and a perfect body, although in its gifts one member is more excellent than another. To them the doctrine of Christ appertaineth not, that hope not to have reward with Christ. Let them fight for money and for lordships, that laugh to scorn the saying of Christ: Blessed be the poor men in spirit; that is to say, be they poor or rich, blessed be they that covet no riches in this world. They that put all their felicity in these riches, they fight gladly to defend their life; but they be those that understand not this life to be rather a death, nor they perceive not that everlasting life is prepared for good men. Now they lay against us divers bishops of Rome, the which have been both authors and abettors of warring. True it is, some such there have been, but they were of late, and in such time as the doctrine of Christ waxed cold. Yea, and they be very few in comparison of the holy fathers that were before them, which with their writings persuade us to flee war. Why are these few examples most in mind? Why turn we our eyes from Christ to men? And why had we rather follow the uncertain examples, than the authority that is sure and certain? For doubtless the bishops of Rome were men. And it may be right well, that they were either fools or ungracious caitiffs. And yet we find not that any of them approved that we should still continually war after this fashion as we do, which thing I could[Pg 48] with arguments prove, if I listed to digress and tarry thereupon.
Saint Bernard praised warriors, but he so praised them, that he condemned all the manner of our warfare. And yet why should the saying of Saint Bernard, or the disputation of Thomas the Alquine, move me rather than the doctrine of Christ, which commandeth, that we should in no wise resist evil, specially under such manner as the common people do resist.
But it is lawful (say they) that a transgressor be punished and put to death according to the laws: then is it not lawful for a whole country or city to be revenged by war? What may be answered in this place, is longer than is convenient to reply. But this much will I say, there is a great difference. For the evil-doer, found faulty and convicted, is by authority of the laws put to death. In war there is neither part without fault. Whereas one singular man doth offend, the punishment falleth only on himself; and the example of the punishment doth good unto all others. In war the most part of the punishment and harm falls upon them that least deserve to be punished; that is, upon husbandmen, old men, honest wives, young children, and virgins. But if there may any commodity at all be gathered of this most mischievous thing, that altogether goeth to the behoof of certain most vengeable thieves, hired soldiers, and strong robbers, and perhaps to a few captains, by whose craft[Pg 49] war was raised for that intent, and with which the matter goeth never better than when the commonweal is in most high jeopardy and peril to be lost. Whereas one is for his offence grievously punished, it is the wealthy warning of all other: but in war to the end to revenge the quarrel of one, or else peradventure of a few, we cruelly afflict and grieve many thousands of them that nothing deserved. It were better to leave the offence of a few unpunished than while we seek occasion to punish one or two, to bring into assured peril and danger, both our neighbours and innocent enemies (we call them our enemies, though they never did us hurt); and yet are we uncertain, whether it shall fall on them or not, that we would have punished. It is better to let a wound alone, that cannot be cured without grievous hurt and danger of all the whole body, than go about to heal it.
Now if any man will cry out and say: It were against all right, that he that offendeth should not be punished; hereunto I answer, that it is much more against all right and reason, that so many thousands of innocents should be brought into extreme calamity and mischief without deserving. Albeit nowadays we see, that almost all wars spring up I cannot tell of what titles, and of leagues between princes, that while they go about to subdue to their dominion some one town, they put in jeopardy all their whole empire. And yet[Pg 50] within a while after, they sell or give away the same town again, that they got with shedding of so much blood.
Peradventure some man will say: Wouldst not have princes fight for their right? I know right well, it is not meet for such a man as I am, to dispute overboldly of princes’ matters, and though I might do it without any danger, yet is it longer than is convenient for this place. But this much will I say: If each whatsoever title be a cause convenient to go in hand with war, there is no man that in so great alterations of men’s affairs, and in so great variety and changes, can want a title. What nation is there that hath not sometime been put out of their own country, and also have put other out? How oft have people gone from one country to another? How oft have whole empires been translated from one to another either by chance or by league. Let the citizens of Padua claim now again in God’s name the country of Troy for theirs, because Antenor was sometime a Trojan. Let the Romans now hardily claim again Africa and Spain, because those provinces were sometime under the Romans. We call that a dominion, which is but an administration. The power and authority over men, which be free by Nature, and over brute beasts, is not all one. What power and sovereignty soever you have, you have it by the consent of the people. And if I be not deceived, he that hath authority to give, hath authority to[Pg 51] take away again. Will ye see how small a matter it is that we make all this tumult for? The strife is not, whether this city or that should be obeisant to a good prince, and not in bondage of a tyrant; but whether Ferdinand or Sigismund hath the better title to it, whether that city ought to pay tribute to Philip or to King Louis. This is that noble right, for the which all the world is thus vexed and troubled with wars and manslaughter.
Yet go to, suppose that this right or title be as strong and of as great authority as may be; suppose also there be no difference between a private field and a whole city; and admit there be no difference between the beasts that you have bought with your money and men, which be not only free, but also true Christians: yet is it a point for a wise man to cast in his mind, whether the thing that you will war for, be of so great value, that it will recompense the exceedingly great harms and loss of your own people. If ye cannot do in every point as becometh a prince, yet at the leastways do as the merchantman doeth: he setteth naught by that loss, which he well perceiveth cannot be avoided without a greater loss, and he reckoneth it a winning, that fortune hath been against him with his so little loss. Or else at the leastwise follow him, of whom there is a merry tale commonly told.
There were two kinsmen at variance about dividing of certain goods, and when they could by[Pg 52] no means agree, they must go to law together, that in conclusion the matter might be ended by sentence of the judges. They got them attorneys, the pleas were drawn, men of law had the matter in hand, they came before the judges, the complaint was entered, the cause was pleaded, and so was the war begun between them. Anon one of them remembering himself, called aside his adversary to him and said on this wise: “First it were a great shame, that a little money should dissever us twain, whom Nature hath knit so near together. Secondly, the end of our strife is uncertain, no less than of war. It is in our hands to begin when we will, but not to make an end. All our strife is but for an hundred crowns, and we shall spend the double thereof upon notaries, upon promoters, upon advocates, upon attorneys, upon judges, and upon judges’ friends, if we try the law to the uttermost. We must wait upon these men, we must flatter and speak them fair, we must give them rewards. And yet I speak not of the care and thought, nor of the great labour and travail, that we must take to run about here and there to make friends; and which of us two that winneth the victory, shall be sure of more incommodity than profit. Wherefore if we be wise, let us rather see to our own profit, and the money that shall be evil bestowed upon these bribers, let us divide it between us twain. And forgive you the half of that ye think should be your due, and I will[Pg 53] forgive as much of mine. And so shall we keep and preserve our friendship, which else is like to perish, and we shall also eschew this great business, cost, and charge. If you be not content to forgo anything of your part, I commit the whole matter into your own hands; do with it as you will. For I had liefer my friend had this money, than those insatiable thieves. Methinks I have gained enough, if I may save my good name, keep my friend, and avoid this unquiet and chargeable business.” Thus partly the telling of the truth, and partly the merry conceit of his kinsman, moved the other man to agree. So they ended the matter between themselves, to the great displeasure of the judges and servants, for they, like a sort of gaping ravens, were deluded and put beside their prey.
Let a prince therefore follow the wisdom of these two men, specially in a matter of much more danger. Nor let him not regard what thing it is that he would obtain, but what great loss of good things he shall have, in what great jeopardies he shall be, and what miseries he must endure, to come thereby. Now if a man will weigh, as it were in a pair of balances, the commodities of war on the one side and the incommodities on the other side, he shall find that unjust peace is far better than righteous war. Why had we rather have war than peace? Who but a madman will angle with a golden fish-hook? If ye see that the charges and[Pg 54] expenses shall amount far above your gain, yea, though all things go according to your mind, is it not better that ye forgo part of your right than to buy so little commodity with so innumerable mischiefs? I had liefer that any other man had the title, than I should win it with so great effusion of Christian men’s blood. He (whosoever he be) hath now been many years in possession; he is accustomed to rule, his subjects know him, he behaveth him like a prince; and one shall come forth, who, finding an old title in some histories or in some blind evidence, will turn clean upside down the quiet state and good order of that commonweal. What availeth it with so great troubling to change any title, which in short space by one chance or other must go to another man? Specially since we might see, that no things in this world continue still in one state, but at the scornful pleasure of fortune they roll to and fro, as the waves of the sea. Finally, if Christian men cannot despise and set at naught these so light things, yet whereto need they by and by to run to arms? Since there be so many bishops, men of great gravity and learning; since there be so many venerable abbots; since there be so many noble men of great age, whom long use and experience of things hath made right wise: why are not these trifling and childish quarrels of princes pacified and set in order by the wisdom and discretion of these men? But they seem to make a very honest[Pg 55] reason of war, which pretend as they would defend the Church: as though the people were not the Church, or as though the Church of Christ was begun, augmented, and stablished with wars and slaughters, and not rather in spilling of the blood of martyrs, sufferance, and despising of this life, or as though the whole dignity of the Church rested in the riches of the priests. Nor to me truly it seemeth not so allowable, that we should so oft make war upon the Turks. Doubtless it were not well with the Christian religion, if the only safeguard thereof should depend on such succours. Nor it is not likely, that they should be good Christians, that by these means are brought thereto at the first. For that thing that is got by war, is again in another time lost by war. Will ye bring the Turks to the faith of Christ? Let us not make a show of our gay riches, nor of our great number of soldiers, nor of our great strength. Let them see in us none of these solemn titles, but the assured tokens of Christian men: a pure, innocent life; a fervent desire to do well, yea, to our very enemies; the despising of money, the neglecting of glory, a poor simple life. Let them hear the heavenly doctrine agreeable to such a manner of life. These are the best armours to subdue the Turks to Christ. Now oftentimes we, being ill, fight with the evil. Yea, and I shall say another thing (which I would to God were more boldly spoken than truly), if we set aside the title and sign[Pg 56] of the Cross, we fight Turks against Turks. If our religion were first stablished by the might and strength of men of war, if it were confirmed by dint of sword, if it were augmented by war, then let us maintain it by the same means and ways. But if all things in our faith were brought to pass by other means, why do we, then (as we mistrusted the help of Christ), seek such succour as the heathen people use? But why should we not (say they) kill them that would kill us? So think they it a great dishonour, if other should be more mischievous than they. Why do ye not, then, rob those that have robbed you before? Why do ye not scold and chide at them that rail at you? Why do ye not hate them that hate you? Trow ye it is a good Christian man’s deed to slay a Turk? For be the Turks never so wicked, yet they are men, for whose salvation Christ suffered death. And killing Turks we offer to the devil most pleasant sacrifice, and with that one deed we please our enemy, the devil, twice: first because a man is slain, and again, because a Christian man slew him. There be many, which desiring to seem good Christian men, study to hurt and grieve the Turks all that ever they may; and where they be not able to do anything, they curse and ban, and bid a mischief upon them. Now by the same one point a man may perceive, that they be far from good Christian men. Succour the Turks, and where they be wicked, make them good if ye can; if ye[Pg 57]cannot, wish and desire of God they may have grace to turn to goodness. And he that thus doeth, I will say doeth like a Christian man. But of all these things I shall entreat more largely, when I set forth my book entitled Antipolemus, which whilom when I was at Rome I wrote to Julius, bishop of Rome, the second of that name, at the same time, when he was counselled to make war on the Venetians.
But there is one thing which is more to be lamented then reasoned: That if a man would diligently discuss the matter, he shall find that all the wars among us Christian men do spring either of foolishness, or else of malice. Some young men without experience, inflamed with the evil examples of their forefathers, that they find by reading of histories, written of some foolish authors (and besides this being moved with the exhortations of flatterers, with the instigation of lawyers, and assenting thereto of the divines, the bishops winking thereat, or peradventure enticing thereunto), have rather of foolhardiness than of malice, gone in hand with war; and with the great hurt and damage of all this world they learn, that war is a thing that should be by all means and ways fled and eschewed. Some other are moved by privy hatred, ambition causeth some, and some are stirred by fierceness of mind to make war. For truly there is almost now no other thing in our cities and commonweals than is [Pg 58]contained in Homer’s work Iliad, The wrath of indiscreet princes and people.
There be those who for no other cause stir up war but to the intent they may by that means the more easily exercise tyranny on their subjects. For in the time of peace, the authority of the council, the dignity of the rulers, the vigour and strength of the laws, do somewhat hinder, that a prince cannot do all that him listeth; but as soon as war is once begun, now all the handling of matters resteth in the pleasure of a few persons. They that the prince favoureth are lifted up aloft, and they that be in his displeasure, go down. They exact as much money as pleaseth them. What need many words? Then they think themselves, that they be the greatest princes of the world. In the meantime the captains sport and play together, till they have gnawed the poor people to the hard bones. And think ye that it will grieve them, that be of this mind, to enter lightly into war, when any cause is offered? Besides all this, it is worth while to see by what means we colour our fault. I pretend the defence of our religion, but my mind is to get the great riches that the Turk hath. Under colour to defend the Church’s right, I purpose to revenge the hatred that I have in my stomach. I incline to ambition, I follow my wrath; my cruel, fierce and unbridled mind compelleth me; and yet will I find a cavillation and say, the league is not kept, or friendship is broken, or something[Pg 59] (I wot not what myself) concerning the laws of matrimony is omitted. And it is a wonder to speak, how they never obtain the very thing that they so greatly desire. And while they foolishly labour to eschew this mischief or that, they fall into another much worse, or else deeper into the same. And surely if desire of glory causeth them thus to do, it is a thing much more magnificent and glorious to save than to destroy; much more gay and goodly to build a city than to overthrow and destroy a city.
Furthermore admit that the victory in battle is got most prosperously, yet how small a portion of the glory shall go unto the prince: the commons will claim a great part of it, by the help of whose money the deed was done; foreign soldiers, that are hired for money, will challenge much more than the commons; the captains look to have very much of that glory; and fortune has the most of all, which striking a great stroke in every matter, in war may do most of all. If it come of a noble courage or stout stomach, that you be moved to make war: see, I pray you, how far wide ye be from your purpose. For while ye will not be seen to bow to one man, as to a prince your neighbour, peradventure of your alliance, who may by fortune have done you good: how much more abjectly must ye bow yourself, what time ye seek aid and help of barbarous people; yea, and, what is more unworthy, of such men as are[Pg 60] defiled with all mischievous deeds, if we must needs call such kind of monsters men? Meanwhile ye go about to allure unto you with fair words and promises, ravishers of virgins and of religious women, men-killers, stout robbers and rovers (for these be thy special men of war). And while you labour to be somewhat cruel and superior over your equal, you are constrained to submit yourselves to the very dregs of all men living. And while ye go about to drive your neighbour out of his land, ye must needs first bring into your own land the most pestilent puddle of unthrifts that can be. You mistrust a prince of your own alliance, and will you commit yourself wholly to an armed multitude? How much surer were it to commit yourself to concord!
If ye will make war because of lucre, take your counters and cast. And I will say, it is better to have war than peace, if ye find not, that not only less, but also uncertain winning is got with inestimable costs.
Ye say ye make war for the safeguard of the commonweal, yea, but noway sooner nor more unthriftily may the commonweal perish than by war. For before ye enter into the field, ye have already hurt more your country than ye can do good getting the victory. Ye waste the citizens’ goods, ye fill the houses with lamentation, ye fill all the country with thieves, robbers, and ravishers. For these are the relics of war. And whereas[Pg 61] before ye might have enjoyed all France, ye shut yourselves from many regions thereof. If ye love your own subjects truly, why revolve you not in mind these words: Why shall I put so many, in their lusty, flourishing youth, in all mischiefs and perils? Why shall I depart so many honest wives and their husbands, and make so many fatherless children? Why shall I claim a title I know not, and a doubtful right, with spilling of my subjects’ blood? We have seen in our time, that in war made under colour of defence of the Church, the priests have been so often pillaged with contributions, that no enemy might do more. So that while we go about foolishly to escape falling in the ditch, while we cannot suffer a light injury, we afflict ourselves with most grievous despites. While we be ashamed of gentleness to bow to a prince, we be fain to please people most base. While we indiscreetly covet liberty, we entangle ourselves in most grievous bondage. While we hunt after a little lucre, we grieve ourselves and ours with inestimable harness. It had been a point of a prudent Christian man (if he be a true Christian man) by all manner of means to have fled, to have shunned, and by prayer to have withstood so fiendish a thing, and so far both from the life and doctrine of Christ. But if it can by no means be eschewed, by reason of the ungraciousness of many men, when ye have essayed every way, and that ye have for peace sake left no stone unturned, then[Pg 62] the next way is, that ye do your diligence that so ill a thing may be gested and done by them that be evil, and that it be achieved with as little effusion of man’s blood as can be.
Now if we endeavour to be the selfsame thing that we hear ourselves called,—that is, good Christian men,—we shall little esteem any worldly thing, nor yet ambitiously covet anything of this world. For if we set all our mind, that we may lightly and purely part hence; if we incline wholly to heavenly things; if we pitch all our felicity in Christ alone; if we believe all that is truly good, truly gay and glorious, truly joyful, to remain in Christ alone; if we thoroughly think that a godly man can of no man be hurt; if we ponder how vain and vanishing are the scornful things of this world; if we inwardly behold how hard a thing it is for a man to be in a manner transformed into a god, and so here, with continual and indefatigable meditation, to be purged from all infections of this world, that within a while the husk of this body being cast off, it may pass hence to the company of angels; finally, if we surely have these three things, without which none is worthy of the name of a Christian man,—Innocency, that we may be pure from all vices; Charity, that we may do good, as near as we can, to every man; Patience, that we may suffer them that do us ill, and, if we can, with good deeds overcome wrongs to us done: I pray you, what war can there be among us for trifles? If it be but a tale that is told of Christ, why do we not openly put him out of our company? Why should we glory in his title? But if he be, as he is in very deed, the true way, the very truth, and the very life, why doth all the manner of our living differ so far asunder from the true example of him? If we acknowledge and take Christ for our author, which is very Charity, and neither taught nor gave other thing but charity and peace, then go to, let us not in titles and signs, but in our deeds and living, plainly express him. Let us have in our hearts a fervent desire of peace, that Christ may again know us for his. To this intent the princes, the prelates, and the cities and commonalties should apply their counsels. There hath been hitherto enough spilt of Christian man’s blood. We have showed pleasure enough to the enemies of the Christian religion. And if the common people, as they are wont, make any disturbance, let the princes bridle and quail them, which princes ought to be the selfsame thing in the commonweal that the eye is in the body, and the reason in the soul. Again, if the princes make any trouble, it is the part of good prelates by their wisdom and gravity to pacify and assuage such commotion. Or else, at the least, we being satiate with continual wars, let the desire of peace a little move us. The bishop exhorteth us (if ever any bishop did Leo the Tenth doth, which occupieth the room of our peaceable Solomon, for all his desire, all his intent and labour, is for this intent) that they whom one common faith hath coupled together, should be joined in one common concord. He laboureth that the Church of Christ should flourish, not in riches or lordships, but in her own proper virtues. Surely this is a right goodly act, and well beseeming a man descended of such a noble lineage as the Medici: by whose civil prudence the noble city of Florence most freshly flourished in long-continued peace; whose house of Medici hath been a help unto all good letters. Leo himself, having alway a sober and a gentle wit, giving himself from his tender youth to good letters of humanity, was ever brought up, as it were, in the lap of the Muses, among men most highly learned. He so faultless led his life, that even in the city of Rome, where is most liberty of vice, was of him no evil rumour, and so governing himself came to the dignity to be bishop there, which dignity he never coveted, but was chosen thereto when he least thought thereon, by the provision of God to help to redress things in great decay by long wars. Let Julius the bishop have his glory of war, victories, and of his great triumphs, the which how evil they beseem a Christian bishop, it is not for such a one as I am to declare. I will this say, his glory, whatsoever it be, was mixed with the great destruction and grievous sorrow of many a creature. But by peace restored now to the world, Leo shall get more true glory than Julius won by so many wars that he either boldly begun, or prosperously fought and achieved.
But they that had liefer hear of proverbs, than either of peace or of war, will think that I have tarried longer about this digression than is meet for the declaration of a proverb.” Desidirius Erasmus, “Against War;” circa 1533.
Down there on those vast expanses in my native country, where I was taken by events which have already fallen into oblivion, one has to cross, and I was compelled to cross, the Andes to find the frontier of my country with Argentina. Great forests make these inaccessible areas like a tunnel through which our journey was secret and forbidden, with only the faintest signs to show us the way. There were no tracks and no paths, and I and my four companions, riding on horseback, pressed forward on our tortuous way, avoiding the obstacles set by huge trees, impassable rivers, immense cliffs and desolate expanses of snow, blindly seeking the quarter in which my own liberty lay. Those who were with me knew how to make their way forward between the dense leaves of the forest, but to feel safer they marked their route by slashing with their machetes here and there in the bark of the great trees, leaving tracks which they would follow back when they had left me alone with my destiny.
Each of us made his way forward filled with this limitless solitude, with the green and white silence of trees and huge trailing plants and layers of soil laid down over centuries, among half-fallen tree trunks which suddenly appeared as fresh obstacles to bar our progress. We were in a dazzling and secret world of nature which at the same time was a growing menace of cold, snow and persecution. Everything became one: the solitude, the danger, the silence, and the urgency of my mission.
Sometimes we followed a very faint trail, perhaps left by smugglers or ordinary criminals in flight, and we did not know whether many of them had perished, surprised by the icy hands of winter, by the fearful snowstorms which suddenly rage in the Andes and engulf the traveller, burying him under a whiteness seven storeys high.
On either side of the trail I could observe in the wild desolation something which betrayed human activity. There were piled up branches which had lasted out many winters, offerings made by hundreds who had journeyed there, crude burial mounds in memory of the fallen, so that the passer should think of those who had not been able to struggle on but had remained there under the snow for ever. My comrades, too, hacked off with their machetes branches which brushed our heads and bent down over us from the colossal trees, from oaks whose last leaves were scattering before the winter storms. And I too left a tribute at every mound, a visiting card of wood, a branch from the forest to deck one or other of the graves of these unknown travellers.
We had to cross a river. Up on the Andean summits there run small streams which cast themselves down with dizzy and insane force, forming waterfalls that stir up earth and stones with the violence they bring with them from the heights. But this time we found calm water, a wide mirrorlike expanse which could be forded. The horses splashed in, lost their foothold and began to swim towards the other bank. Soon my horse was almost completely covered by the water, I began to plunge up and down without support, my feet fighting desperately while the horse struggled to keep its head above water. Then we got across. And hardly we reached the further bank when the seasoned countryfolk with me asked me with scarce-concealed smiles:
“Were you frightened?”
“Very. I thought my last hour had come”, I said.
“We were behind you with our lassoes in our hands”, they answered.
“Just there”, added one of them, “my father fell and was swept away by the current. That didn’t happen to you.”
We continued till we came to a natural tunnel which perhaps had been bored through the imposing rocks by some mighty vanished river or created by some tremor of the earth when these heights had been formed, a channel that we entered where it had been carved out in the rock in granite. After only a few steps our horses began to slip when they sought for a foothold in the uneven surfaces of the stone and their legs were bent, sparks flying from beneath their iron shoes – several times I expected to find myself thrown off and lying there on the rock. My horse was bleeding from its muzzle and from its legs, but we persevered and continued on the long and difficult but magnificent path.
There was something awaiting us in the midst of this wild primeval forest. Suddenly, as if in a strange vision, we came to a beautiful little meadow huddled among the rocks: clear water, green grass, wild flowers, the purling of brooks and the blue heaven above, a generous stream of light unimpeded by leaves.
But the unforgettable ceremony did not end there. My country friends took off their hats and began a strange dance, hopping on one foot around the abandoned skull, moving in the ring of footprints left behind by the many others who had passed there before them. Dimly I understood, there by the side of my inscrutable companions, that there was a kind of link between unknown people, a care, an appeal and an answer even in the most distant and isolated solitude of this world.
Further on, just before we reached the frontier which was to divide me from my native land for many years, we came at night to the last pass between the mountains. Suddenly we saw the glow of a fire as a sure sign of a human presence, and when we came nearer we found some half-ruined buildings, poor hovels which seemed to have been abandoned. We went into one of them and saw the glow of fire from tree trunks burning in the middle of the floor, carcasses of huge trees, which burnt there day and night and from which came smoke that made its way up through the cracks in the roof and rose up like a deep-blue veil in the midst of the darkness. We saw mountains of stacked cheeses, which are made by the people in these high regions. Near the fire lay a number of men grouped like sacks. In the silence we could distinguish the notes of a guitar and words in a song which was born of the embers and the darkness, and which carried with it the first human voice we had encountered during our journey. It was a song of love and distance, a cry of love and longing for the distant spring, from the towns we were coming away from, for life in its limitless extent. These men did not know who we were, they knew nothing about our flight, they had never heard either my name or my poetry; or perhaps they did, perhaps they knew us? What actually happened was that at this fire we sang and we ate, and then in the darkness we went into some primitive rooms. Through them flowed a warm stream, volcanic water in which we bathed, warmth which welled out from the mountain chain and received us in its bosom.
Happily we splashed about, dug ourselves out, as it were, liberated ourselves from the weight of the long journey on horseback. We felt refreshed, reborn, baptised, when in the dawn we started on the journey of a few miles which was to eclipse me from my native land. We rode away on our horses singing, filled with a new air, with a force that cast us out on to the world’s broad highway which awaited me. This I remember well, that when we sought to give the mountain dwellers a few coins in gratitude for their songs, for the food, for the warm water, for giving us lodging and beds, I would rather say for the unexpected heavenly refuge that had met us on our journey, our offering was rejected out of hand. They had been at our service, nothing more. In this taciturn “nothing” there were hidden things that were understood, perhaps a recognition, perhaps the same kind of dreams.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I did not learn from books any recipe for writing a poem, and I, in my turn, will avoid giving any advice on mode or style which might give the new poets even a drop of supposed insight. When I am recounting in this speech something about past events, when reliving on this occasion a never-forgotten occurrence, in this place which is so different from what that was, it is because in the course of my life I have always found somewhere the necessary support, the formula which had been waiting for me not in order to be petrified in my words but in order to explain me to myself.
During this long journey I found the necessary components for the making of the poem. There I received contributions from the earth and from the soul. And I believe that poetry is an action, ephemeral or solemn, in which there enter as equal partners solitude and solidarity, emotion and action, the nearness to oneself, the nearness to mankind and to the secret manifestations of nature. And no less strongly I think that all this is sustained – man and his shadow, man and his conduct, man and his poetry – by an ever-wider sense of community, by an effort which will for ever bring together the reality and the dreams in us because it is precisely in this way that poetry unites and mingles them. And therefore I say that I do not know, after so many years, whether the lessons I learned when I crossed a daunting river, when I danced around the skull of an ox, when I bathed my body in the cleansing water from the topmost heights – I do not know whether these lessons welled forth from me in order to be imparted to many others or whether it was all a message which was sent to me by others as a demand or an accusation. I do not know whether I experienced this or created it, I do not know whether it was truth or poetry, something passing or permanent, the poems I experienced in this hour, the experiences which I later put into verse.
From all this, my friends, there arises an insight which the poet must learn through other people. There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song – but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.
The truth is that even if some or many consider me to be a sectarian, barred from taking a place at the common table of friendship and responsibility, I do not wish to defend myself, for I believe that neither accusation nor defence is among the tasks of the poet. When all is said, there is no individual poet who administers poetry, and if a poet sets himself up to accuse his fellows or if some other poet wastes his life in defending himself against reasonable or unreasonable charges, it is my conviction that only vanity can so mislead us. I consider the enemies of poetry to be found not among those who practise poetry or guard it but in mere lack of agreement in the poet. For this reason no poet has any considerable enemy other than his own incapacity to make himself understood by the most forgotten and exploited of his contemporaries, and this applies to all epochs and in all countries.
The poet is not a “little god”. No, he is not a “little god”. He is not picked out by a mystical destiny in preference to those who follow other crafts and professions. I have often maintained that the best poet is he who prepares our daily bread: the nearest baker who does not imagine himself to be a god. He does his majestic and unpretentious work of kneading the dough, consigning it to the oven, baking it in golden colours and handing us our daily bread as a duty of fellowship. And, if the poet succeeds in achieving this simple consciousness, this too will be transformed into an element in an immense activity, in a simple or complicated structure which constitutes the building of a community, the changing of the conditions which surround mankind, the handing over of mankind’s products: bread, truth, wine, dreams. If the poet joins this never-completed struggle to extend to the hands of each and all his part of his undertaking, his effort and his tenderness to the daily work of all people, then the poet must take part, the poet will take part, in the sweat, in the bread, in the wine, in the whole dream of humanity. Only in this indispensable way of being ordinary people shall we give back to poetry the mighty breadth which has been pared away from it little by little in every epoch, just as we ourselves have been whittled down in every epoch.
The mistakes which led me to a relative truth and the truths which repeatedly led me back to the mistakes did not allow me – and I never made any claims to it – to find my way to lead, to learn what is called the creative process, to reach the heights of literature that are so difficult of access. But one thing I realized – that it is we ourselves who call forth the spirits through our own myth-making. From the matter we use, or wish to use, there arise later on obstacles to our own development and the future development. We are led infallibly to reality and realism, that is to say to become indirectly conscious of everything that surrounds us and of the ways of change, and then we see, when it seems to be late, that we have erected such an exaggerated barrier that we are killing what is alive instead of helping life to develop and blossom. We force upon ourselves a realism which later proves to be more burdensome than the bricks of the building, without having erected the building which we had regarded as an indispensable part of our task. And, in the contrary case, if we succeed in creating the fetish of the incomprehensible (or the fetish of that which is comprehensible only to a few), the fetish of the exclusive and the secret, if we exclude reality and its realistic degenerations, then we find ourselves suddenly surrounded by an impossible country, a quagmire of leaves, of mud, of cloud, where our feet sink in and we are stifled by the impossibility of communicating.
As far as we in particular are concerned, we writers within the tremendously far-flung American region, we listen unceasingly to the call to fill this mighty void with beings of flesh and blood. We are conscious of our duty as fulfillers – at the same time we are faced with the unavoidable task of critical communication within a world which is empty and is not less full of injustices, punishments and sufferings because it is empty – and we feel also the responsibility for reawakening the old dreams which sleep in statues of stone in the ruined ancient monuments, in the wide-stretching silence in planetary plains, in dense primeval forests, in rivers which roar like thunder. We must fill with words the most distant places in a dumb continent and we are intoxicated by this task of making fables and giving names. This is perhaps what is decisive in my own humble case, and if so my exaggerations or my abundance or my rhetoric would not be anything other than the simplest of events within the daily work of an American. Each and every one of my verses has chosen to take its place as a tangible object, each and every one of my poems has claimed to be a useful working instrument, each and every one of my songs has endeavoured to serve as a sign in space for a meeting between paths which cross one another, or as a piece of stone or wood on which someone, some others, those who follow after, will be able to carve the new signs.
By extending to these extreme consequences the poet’s duty, in truth or in error, I determined that my posture within the community and before life should be that of in a humble way taking sides. I decided this when I saw so many honourable misfortunes, lone victories, splendid defeats. In the midst of the arena of America’s struggles I saw that my human task was none other than to join the extensive forces of the organized masses of the people, to join with life and soul with suffering and hope, because it is only from this great popular stream that the necessary changes can arise for the authors and for the nations. And even if my attitude gave and still gives rise to bitter or friendly objections, the truth is that I can find no other way for an author in our far-flung and cruel countries, if we want the darkness to blossom, if we are concerned that the millions of people who have learnt neither to read us nor to read at all, who still cannot write or write to us, are to feel at home in the area of dignity without which it is impossible for them to be complete human beings.
We have inherited this damaged life of peoples dragging behind them the burden of the condemnation of centuries, the most paradisaical of peoples, the purest, those who with stones and metals made marvellous towers, jewels of dazzling brilliance – peoples who were suddenly despoiled and silenced in the fearful epochs of colonialism which still linger on.
Our original guiding stars are struggle and hope. But there is no such thing as a lone struggle, no such thing as a lone hope. In every human being are combined the most distant epochs, passivity, mistakes, sufferings, the pressing urgencies of our own time, the pace of history. But what would have become of me if, for example, I had contributed in some way to the maintenance of the feudal past of the great American continent? How should I then have been able to raise my brow, illuminated by the honour which Sweden has conferred on me, if I had not been able to feel some pride in having taken part, even to a small extent, in the change which has now come over my country? It is necessary to look at the map of America, to place oneself before its splendid multiplicity, before the cosmic generosity of the wide places which surround us, in order to understand why many writers refuse to share the dishonour and plundering of the past, of all that which dark gods have taken away from the American peoples.
I chose the difficult way of divided responsibility and, rather than to repeat the worship of the individual as the sun and centre of the system, I have preferred to offer my services in all modesty to an honourable army which may from time to time commit mistakes but which moves forward unceasingly and struggles every day against the anachronism of the refractory and the impatience of the opinionated. For I believe that my duties as a poet involve friendship not only with the rose and with symmetry, with exalted love and endless longing, but also with unrelenting human occupations which I have incorporated into my poetry.
It is today exactly one hundred years since an unhappy and brilliant poet, the most awesome of all despairing souls, wrote down this prophecy: ‘A l’aurore, armés d’une ardente patience, nous entrerons aux splendides Villes.’ ‘In the dawn, armed with a burning patience, we shall enter the splendid Cities.’
I believe in this prophecy of Rimbaud, the Visionary. I come from a dark region, from a land separated from all others by the steep contours of its geography. I was the most forlorn of poets and my poetry was provincial, oppressed and rainy. But always I had put my trust in man. I never lost hope. It is perhaps because of this that I have reached as far as I now have with my poetry and also with my banner.
Lastly, I wish to say to the people of good will, to the workers, to the poets, that the whole future has been expressed in this line by Rimbaud: only with a burning patience can we conquer the splendid City which will give light, justice and dignity to all mankind.
In this way the song will not have been sung in vain.” Pablo Neruda, “Toward the Splendid City;” Nobel Literary Laureate Lecture, 1971.
I’m astonished at how well the early Hindu and Chinese thinker, how well he was able to process his information, in view of the very limited amount of information humanity had as of that time in comparison to anything we have today.
Just making a little jump in information, as we, as humanity on board of our planet, entered into what it called World War I, the scientists around the world have ways of reporting to one another officially and chemists have what they call Chemical Abstracts. Chemical Abstracts are methodical publications of anything and everything any chemist finds that he publishes information regarding, it becomes a Chemical Abstract. As the world entered World War I, what was called the twentieth century it’s a very arbitrary kind of accounting matter, we had some hundred I think we had (I’m doing this off the top of my head from memory) about 175,000 known substances, approximately almost a quarter of a million substances by the time the United States came into the war, known to chemistry.
We came out of World War I with almost a million substances known. By the time we ended World War II, we were well up into 10 million, and we’ve come out of it now where the figures really are getting to be astronomical. We can’t really keep track of the rate at which we are discovering more differentiable substances chemically distinct from one another. Those are typical of the information really is a bursting, bursting rate. I’m speaking in relationship to my own life, one life in the extraordinary numbers of lives there must have been on board of our planet. The information is multiplying at that rate during just one lifetime indicates that something is going on here right now that is utterly unprecedented, and we’re in such indication of acceleration of experiences of human beings, the integration of the accelerated, the experienced, to produce awarenesses that are indicative of Humanity going through some very, very important kind of transition into some kind of new relationship to Universe, I’d say, the kind of acceleration that would occur after the child has been formed in the womb, taking the nine months, and suddenly begins to issue from the womb out into an entirely new world.
I think we are apparently coming out of some common womb of designedly permitted ignorance, given faculties which we gradually discover and learn to employ by trial and error, and we’re at the point where I now have, which would also seem absolutely incredible to a generation before, I’ve now completed 37 circuits of our earth, kind of zig-zagging circuits, not straight around, not tourist, just responding to requests to appear here and there, to lecture in Universities, or to design some structure, whatever it may be. So that is in the everyday pattern that I am circuiting that earth. It certainly makes it in evidence that we are dealing in a totality of humanity, not the up to my generation completely divided humanity, spread very far apart on our planet. 006 My father was in the leather importing business in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States, and he imported from two places, primarily Buenos Aires and India, for bringing in leathers for the shoe industry, which was centered at that time in the Boston area. And his mail, or a trip that he would like to make to Argentina took two months each way, and his trips to India in the mail took exactly three months each way. And it seemed absolutely logical to humanity when early in this century, Rudyard Kipling, the English poet, said “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” It was a very, very rare matter for any human being to make such a travel as that, taking all those months. There were not many ships that could take him there. 007 All that has changed in my lifetime, to where I’m not just one of a very few making these circuits of the earth, but I am one of probably, getting to be pretty close to 20 million now who are making, living a life like that around our planet, and very much of the whole young world doing so. I keep meeting my students of various universities from around the world, half way around the world again. They are all getting to be living as world people. So this is a very sudden emergence into some new kind of relationship to our Universe is being manifest. None of it was planned. There was nobody in the time of my father or my mother, as I was brought up, prophesying any of the things I’ve just said. 008
The year I was born Marconi invented the wireless, but it did not get into any practical use until I was 12 years of age when the first steamship sends an S.O.S., it’s in distress, by wireless so think of it a great many miles and the world began to know the ship was in distress and ships began to rush to its aid. Absolutely unexpected! My father and mother would say “Wireless? Such nonsense!” 009
When I was three the electron was discovered, and nobody talked about that. It wasn’t in any of the newspapers, nobody was interested in electrons, didn’t know what an electron was that had been discovered. 010 I was brought up that humanity would never get to the North Pole, absolutely impossible, they’d never get to the South Pole; and our Mercator maps didn’t even show anything… the Northern-most points were a very rugged kind of a line, but you didn’t see or know anything up beyond that. 011 When I was 14 man did get to the North Pole, and when I was 16 he got to the South Pole, so impossibles were happening. 012 Like all other little boys, I was making paper darts, which you could make at school; and boys must have been making them for a very long time; and we were hoping we might be able to get to flying. But the parents, your parents were saying “Darling, it’s very amusing for you to try that, but it is inherently impossible for man to fly. So when I was 7 the Wright brothers suddenly flew and my memory is vivid enough of seven to remember that for about a year the engineering societies were trying to prove it was a hoax because it was absolutely impossible for man to do that. 013 So then, not only was there the radio, but when I was 23, which you think well I guess many in this room are not 23 yet; when I was 23 the human voice came over the radio for the first time, and that was an incredible matter. When I was 27 we had the first licensed radio broadcasting. When I was 38 I was asked to go on the experimental TV studio program in New York where the Columbia Broadcasting had 70 sets in various scientists’ and their Board of Directors’ homes, and they had experimental programs going on; they didn’t have any money for paying anybody. The man who ran it, Gilbert Seldes was a friend of mine, and ran the studio, and so, I often appeared on his program, but we don’t have television operating in the United States until after World War II. So we’re talking about when I was 45 when we had our first television. So this is very, it couldn’t be a more recent matter, and yet nobody thought at that time we were going to have they didn’t know you were going to have transistors; they didn’t know man was going to have satellites going around the earth; they didn’t know we were going to have radio relay satellites, that we were going to be able to have programs coming out of any part of the earth, going to any other part of the earth. Absolutely not one of these steps was ever anticipated by any of the others. 014 So having experienced that, I also experienced living with my fellow human beings, who I find, no sooner has it happened, then he says “I knew it all the time. I’m not one of those to be surprised, I was sort of in on it you know… I was a little bit responsible” There is a strange vanity of man, and I think the vanity that he has, was essential to his being born naked and helpless, and having to make the fantastic number of mistakes he had to make in order to really learn something. And I think he would have been so disgruntled, so dismayed by the mistakes, and the errors, that he would never have been able to carry on. He would just have been absolutely discouraged, so he was given this strange vanity to say, to continually sort of make himself exempt, and he was some kind of privileged, and always in. And he was able to then, quite clearly, to deceive himself a great deal. So I find everybody today saying “getting to the moon, anybody can do that. That’s absolutely simple and logical.” Now, it is obvious, and simple, and logical provided you were born and this has happened in your lifetime, you can see how it happened. 015
I began to realize that with that rapid changing going on, which was not anticipated then what people called “natural” when I was young… the natural related to the state before these great changes occurred… where we were supposed to stay, we were inherently remote from other human beings… no way you could get to other human beings. And all the customs that developed over millions and millions of years of tribes and little communities being isolated one from the other… how you get on with one another, seeing everybody, you saw everybody a great deal all the time. The conditions that were really brought about by that constant proximity, brought about human behaviors which we have now rules and everybody the older people say that’s the way you carry on; but it is really no longer germane to the conditions that are prevailing. And, I began to realize that, for instance, to me, having been born before flying, before the Wright brothers, to me it was a very extraordinary matter that man could fly. And certainly, his first flying was fraught with a great deal of danger, and you admired very much the people who were able to accomplish it without failing; and our first automobiles that I had, my first automobile; the automobile tires, with my first car would probably blow out within a hundred miles. You were stopping really very, very frequently getting out and taking off that tire and repairing it… with ways of vulcanizing it and getting it back on. We didn’t have the easy mounting tires that we have today, so it was a very great task to do it. The engine continually broke down. The brakes burnt out and wore out very, very rapidly, so that driving a car doing your own cranking and cleaning your own spark plugs, and often taking out the spark plugs and priming them with gasoline so you could get the engine going you were very intimate with your machine. And, if you were, you knew how relatively unreliable it was. Therefore, you drove with great caution. I still drive in the terms of brakes that fade out, and I allow certain distances, and I find the space that I’m allowing to the next car inviting young people who have good brakes, and who assume that they have good brakes, to drive into that spot with great safety. 016
Now, that would be typical, really, of the difference between people born under one set of conditions and those born under others. What seems safe, what seems logical. It was a very amazing matter to me, when my own daughter, Allegra, was born, the year that Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic ocean; but flying was still a very infrequent experience, for the average human being to view an airplane actually in flight. You went to air meets. You knew that there were battles of half a dozen planes over Europe during World War I, but the Lindbergh flight was great news to everybody. The biplane was still the major ship, and I was wheeling my child in her baby carriage in Chicago’s Lincoln Park in 1927, and she was lying on her back looking at the sky, and suddenly a little biplane went overhead; and it was a very extraordinary matter to have an airplane show up over Chicago. And, I said, “Isn’t this amazing! My daughter is born with an airplane in the sky.” To her an airplane would seem very logical. 017 Her daughter was born 21 years ago, and she was born in New York, and her father and mother took her to (this is my granddaughter) took her to their new home on a place called Riverdale just north of Manhattan Island across the bridge North of Manhattan Island you get to quite high land it was called Riverdale, it’s quite high. And there was that old wooden house that was about the highest point there a three-story house, and my daughter and her husband had an apartment on the top floor of that wooden house. It had old-fashioned glass porches on it, and the, my grand daughter lying in her crib and coming right over Riverdale was La Guardia Field traffic, all the West-bound flights flying in the prevailing South-west, westerly winds took off right over the house, so literally every 30 second, my grand daughter would hear “arrarrrr” going over the roof, and everybody would say “airplane” to her. I was not surprised the first word my grand daughter said was not “mum” or “dad” but “air”, and the parents and uncles, and aunts and grandparents would take her out in their arms onto the glass porch. She was born in the late Fall of the year. The leaves were off the trees in New York. She saw, and they’d get out on the glass porch and point to the airplanes; and she saw literally thousands of airplanes before she ever saw a bird. To her an airplane in the sky was much more “normal” than a bird. 018 And looking from that glass porch down the West side drive of New York went by, and it came over the bridge and it went thru a valley that was just below their house, she saw millions of automobiles in her first year; and the children’s books that she was given were of farm pigs, horses, ducks and all the things that I was brought up with which seemed absolutely normal to me, because the grown-ups said these are outside the house, and kept point to them, but my grand daughter had never seen any such thing. She’d seen all those airplanes and those automobiles, and a pig to her was about the same as a picture of a polio virus. She saw that the grown-ups were enjoying showing it to her, so she’d laugh along with them, but it was absolute pure cartoon. Now, this is the way in which the world really has been changing, and the publishers hadn’t caught on to that kind of a change and they were still publishing what was called a “children’s book.” 019 Now, and I’ll grant that there might have been plenty of people who were born where there still were some ducks and pigs; but that was not the prevalent condition any more. Because, during and following World War I, the enormous capacity to produce machinery occurred, and farm machinery was developed in a very big way, and began to do the work on the farm more readily than the human beings could with their muscle and the people used to have to be where the food grew or they would perish. But suddenly there was refrigeration and there was canning the food could reach them any distance, and they weren’t needed on the farm to produce the food, so people were all flowing into the city. So my granddaughter’s experience was really the dominant experience by far the majority of experience, that she would never have seen these things in that farm book. 020 So I now assume, that when people say that something is “natural,” “natural” is the way they found it when they checked into the picture, and this picture has been changing incredibly rapidly, and with the society in general going along all the old rules of cities and customs where you are seeing a whole lot of each other which is really irrelevant. And so that is one reason why then, the young people of our day, began to see things very, very differently from their parents; and to realize that the long traditions and customs were really no longer appropriate. It wasn’t a matter of the unfriendliness of a young generation with an older generation; it was simply that the new generation was being born into a new “natural,” which was absolutely “unnatural” to grown ups. 021 That’s enough of what I’m saying to introduce the concept of there being very large pattern changes affecting the lives of human beings on board of our planet. They were not in anyway anticipated by any of the humans, yet they are overwhelming, and would have to be really read in the terms of being evolutionary; and that Universe apparently had it in “Universe.” If this is the first time that you were ever a lily, you might assume that you were just going to be a seed, and not realize that you were going to then grow up with some green leaves. Then you don’t know that all of a sudden you’re going to sprout a white, beautiful bell shaped flower; and you don’t know that you’re going to have stamen. Each of these things are a surprise. So that I think that humanity as a whole is going thru a great transition which is superbly designed, as is the organization of the human, the human chemistries and associabilities of all those atoms of which we are comprised. And, my whole thinking out loud with you from now on is going to relate to seeking for more and more of these large patterns that are operative, that become deprecated by human beings very rapidly because they don’t like to have seemed to have been caught by surprise, and because of that vanity factor it is not too easy to make humanity comprehend as possibly readable and significant and predict other such waves to come about. 022 Again I find human beings, with the news that we now are sharing around the world, which all of the world finds disturbing, reporting everybody around the world is aware of the troubles of other peoples as they never were before. They had troubles before, but they were never so aware of the other people’s troubles, so we have an awareness of the totality of great trouble. And, I think human beings’ vanity factor make them really feel “I am solely responsible for how this is going to come out,” and “I can then deputize my authority to one political leader, and it’s up to him to really get us out or half a dozen that we elect and expect performance,” as if human beings really can master and understand in a great way that I feel they do not. To me it has been clearly manifest that we have been very, very innocent and that we have to respond to the environment, whatever the environment is doing. And we can only do, I say, I don’t really have a word “artificial” …I don’t really have a word “unnatural.” I say, “if nature permits it, it is natural if nature doesn’t permit it, you can’t do it.” You may not be familiar with the fact that nature allows that, but the fact of your unfamiliarity doesn’t make it unnatural. If it is unfamiliar to us we tend to say it is artificial or unnatural. 023
I’m going to review two or three ways in which I discipline myself to try to get myself thinking in a little more adequate manner concerning what we know of our Universe and what may be going on in a larger way, and to try to get things in a little better proportion. As for instance, I would like to have a picture of the Milky Way galaxy (may I have that picture please), and here we are looking at an array of stars, you can see the Milky Way running thru the stars. The number of stars you are looking at is about 18,000; they are approximately 1/6 millionths of all the stars in our Milky Way galaxy. We now know of, we have been able to get our great telescopes trained on other galaxies and so forth, and we now have taken photographs and are aware of a billion such galaxies of a hundred billion stars each. 024
Next picture, please. This picture we are looking at a galaxy very far away (may I have that next picture); we are looking at an exploding phenomena. I spoke about those hundred million galaxies of a hundred million stars each 99.9% of them are invisible to our naked eye, but their sizes are of great, great magnitude. To get a little idea, our own star “Sun” is a, our own earth is 8,000 miles in diameter, and the diameter of the sun is just a hundred times that, and so our little earth looks very tiny against that enormous big ball. But our star sun is a small star. Most of you are familiar with Orion’s belt, and in Orion’s belt, one of the two bright stars is reddish in color, and this is Betelgeuse, and Betelgeuse’s diameter is greater than the diameter of the orbit of the earth around the Sun so that’s a good sized star; so we are a little planet, of a rather inferior star, which is one of a hundred billion stars in our galaxy, and we know there are billions of galaxies, so we get an idea our little planet, and you and I are utterly invisible. We’ve taken pictures of our planet coming in from the moon; when you can see through the cloud cover, you can see the blue of the water and the brown of the land, but you can’t make out any human being; you can’t make out a mountain let alone a human being; there is absolutely no visibility of a mountain because the aberration of the deepest water five miles below sea level, and five miles above the mountain top, ten miles aberration in eight thousand miles is so, so meager that a polished steel ball is probably rougher than that. So, we are absolutely invisible on a negligible, little tiny planet of a rather negligible star which is one of a hundred billion of a known billion galaxies, so multiply the billion times 100 billion and you get a little idea. 025 Now, as we look at things at a great distance the picture that I have this is of a bursting phenomena in the heavens. Which looks like a tiny little light, and it keeps remaining like a tiny light, but at such a distance. And the distances involved are so great this particular phenomena is expanding at a velocity of three million miles an hour, which with the distance between the earth and the Sun (92 million), so that in 30 hours, just little over a day, this expands the complete distance between the earth and the Sun, and yet it remains for the thousands of years we may be looking at it, like a little tiny speck there in the sky. You get a little sense of the size and the deceptiveness to us in the magnitude of the information in which we are really dealing in today. 026 I am quite confident, and this is as far as you and I have been able to when I say you and I, I mean all our fellows the human beings who have been born naked and helpless and finally have discovered the principles of refraction of light and have developed the telescope, and have been able to make a sweepout we are getting information, as tiny as we are, we have information of approximate spherical sweepout of observation of 11 1/2 billion light-year radius; and a light year is 6 1/2 trillion miles, so when you get to 11 1/2 billion times 6 1/2 trillion you get a little idea of the distance from which you and I are getting information reliable information. We get the rate at which this thing is expanding. And, thru the spectroscope we have learned about refraction of light, and thru the spectroscope we are able to take the light from all of those observations and each chemical element has its unique frequencies when incandescent; human beings on our planet, have been able to take inventories of the relative abundance of chemical elements in a sweep-out of 11 1/2 billion year observation. We have that kind of capability despite our absolutely negligible magnitude physically. That we can deal with our minds in such magnitudes and do so quite reliably. The human being must have some very great significance in the scheme, because we don’t know of any other phenomena that has this mind the human mind. Because, what I talk about is discoverable only by virtue of the mind. There are a great many creatures that have brains, and all the creatures that have brains disclose that the brains are always and only synchronizing, integrating a plurality of informations from touchings and smellings and hearings and coordinating those into some composite information that tends to produce images. But brain is always and only as each of those senses are, dealing in each special case experience. This is the smell of that one. This is the height of that one. Touch whatever it may be. Finally, the human mind we find the human mind able to do something that the brain cannot do. So I differentiate between brain and mind completely. 027 What human mind is able to do is, from time to time, reviewing the special case experiences, because they are recallable, and the brain is very good about recalling them calling them up again, is to review a plurality of those special case experiences. From time to time mind has intuited that there is something going on, some relationship between the special case experiences that was not being predicted or suggested in any way by any of the special case experiences considered only by themselves. 028 Take the very extraordinary experience, while we’re dealing in stars, of the fact well-recorded in the earliest annals of man that he became aware of there being five lights in the sky five little points of light quite bright ones, much smaller than the sun and the moon. And these five bright ones behaved in ways that all the other myriads of light did not. The other myriads of lights stayed in beautiful constant patterns, as far as human beings could see, but five of them moved around, and were a little brighter than the others and moved around in some strange kind of way and if you kept track of them they would reappear; and they had some regularities about them so that long-long ago in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, good recordings were made of these behaviors of what we began to call the planets. So there were five special case informations that have some relationship it seems, because they were behaving the way nothing else behaved, so they differentiated out by this unique behavior. 029 We have, then, the human beings gradually acquiring calculating capability. And I’d like to make great note of this. We will go back and talk about this in much more detail later on, but if you’ve ever tried to do any multiplication or division with roman numerals, you find you don’t get anywhere. So supposing you were intrigued by some motions, or something like that, you couldn’t make any calculations with roman numerals. So that, no matter how intrigued you might be by the fact that there is something going on there, and “I’d like to know something about it,” there’s really no way that you can calculate. The Arabic numerals came into the Mediterranean world and began to supplant the roman numerals about 700 A.D. But they were used at first entirely as shorthand for say, instead of three marks of the roman numerals, you just go like that ‘3’, it was a little quicker. So they were sort of a shorthand for this larger scratching. But I want you to realize that the roman numerals were used entirely as scoring devices. And you could have a servant that was very ignorant, but you station him here and say “every time one of those sheep go by I want you to make a scratch,” so he kept doing this faithfully just matching/scoring/matching the experiences. 030 The Arabic numerals, I’m quite confident, were derived from the invention of the abacus as a calculating device; and if you are familiar with the abacus, having rods and beads that slide on them; and you can do it in fours or fives there are different module systems you can use. You would then have what we call decimally, or finger wires. With five, you fill up a column of five and then you knock them back again, empty it, and move one over into the next column. And, the convention is to move the incrementation leftward and when you then close out the five and put one over in the next column to take its place of those five, then you have an empty column. I’m quite certain that the navigators over the great deserts or the navigators of the sea, who did deal in the stars as the only way to give them information about where they are, probably developed the first trigonometry and the first important geometrical calculations; did then, from time to time, lose their abacus overboard on the ship, or it was lost in the sands, but being so familiar with it, they could draw a picture, they could see it in their mind’s eye very nicely, and they could then manipulate the concept of filling up that column and then moving over one. I’m quite certain that the Arabic numerals represented a symbol for the content of the columns; and when they moved over and left an empty column, they had to have the cipher, so the Arabic numerals had the cipher. 031 It is interesting then that the Arabic numerals were first taken over in the Mediterranean world as substitutes for roman numerals, the cipher had no significance whatsoever because you couldn’t eat “no” sheep, so they didn’t have a score for “no” sheep. They didn’t have any need in the roman numerals, which was just a scoring system, for something called “nothing.” So that, the cipher was recognized as being there but having no use, they just thought of it as kind of a decoration used like a period, just put at the end or something like that. It is a matter of the slowness of the information gain that there is 500 years between the Arabic numerals coming into the Mediterranean world and beginning to take the place of the roman numerals before the significance of the cipher was discovered, and published by a Latin in North Africa, in Latin, showing how it occasioned the positioning of new numbers, the moving of your multiplication over one column; and with it came the capability of anybody to calculate. Now, calculations had been very much monopolized by the navigators and the priests, who were unquestionably astronomer navigators, who came up on the land. And the temporal power had to come to them, and they found that the temporal power, while he was a strong man, just could not cope with the kind of information they could obtain by virtue of their calculating capabilities, so they guarded it very carefully. 032 We have the temporal powers if you think about it a little like in Italy where you see all those great castellos, valley after valley; hill after hill; castle commanding its particular valley; and you have all these little kingdoms all over these city-state-kingdoms, were everywhere all around the Mediterranean world. And the king, or the overlord, or whatever he wanted to call himself, would have the people bring in their sheep and their wheat, and/or whatever it may be their food, their produce and they would want to exchange it, so that they could go home with some of the other produce. All exchanging was calculated at the church the priests would do the calculating for them. And they probably used the abacus. 033 At any rate, the process of having the temporal power being vested in the church the calculating capability, required also then that the church then in effect, tax the people for making the calculation and so you would give so many sheep to him, and so many bags of wheat to him, but you left bags of wheat and sheep out in back of the church; so that there was a very large take on the part of the temporal power by virtue of controlling the calculations. As a consequence, the publication of this book explaining the way in which you position numbers, illiteracy was rampant, so not too many people could read it, but it became very much a threat that anybody could do their own calculation and not have to go to the authorities to do the calculations for them. So that, in many, many of those little kingdoms throughout the Mediterranean world, it became a death penalty for anybody caught using the cipher. 034 The word cipher has secret connotations for this reason. Because people used it, they needed to use it, you understand “I’ve got to do my own calculations” but if I get caught so I must be very secretive. Gradually the significance of the cipher permeates society, particularly the young student world that was literate. So the students of Northern Italy and Southern Germany began to realize more and more the significance of the cipher, and the positioning of numbers to do their own calculations. Young peoples’ faces are less familiar than the older peoples’ faces, and so the young people could get away with what the older people couldn’t, so approximately the year 1200, 500 years after the Arabic numerals came into the Mediterranean world, that the treatise was written, that’s 1200, and 300 years later it was impossible to ever again enforce the prohibition against use of the cipher. And this is a wonderful date we’re talking about 1500, five hundred years ago. And this is exactly when Copernicus comes in. Here was Copernicus, suddenly, with the capability to calculate; and calculating the positions and some of the interrelationships of these, what we call the planets, he came to the conclusion that our earth was also a planet, and behaving in relationship to the sun the way the other planets were. 035 And this opened up a completely new excitation of humanity. Remember now, I’m saying, here was brain getting all this special case business, and mind intuitively stimulated… there must be something going on here, I’d like to find out what it is that is going on; and suddenly we had this calculating ability, and Copernicus coming out with a very new, fantastically new idea, that we were not standing still with all this show going on around us, but that we were one of the planets of our sun. And so we have then, Tycho Brahe, very inspired by Copernicus, and a man of great means, and he acquired instruments for much better observation, and he had his great observer who was Kepler, and Kepler then made extraordinary new, much more accurate observations of the planets. In the first place, he discovered that they were moving in ellipses, and not in circular orbits. If you yourself have ever made an experiment of just drawing a circle having a pen and a string, or a pencil, you know you have a single restraint. But if you want to make an ellipse, you have two restraints. 036 So the fact that they were moving in ellipses indicated that there was not only some relationship to the sun, but to some other possibly some integrated effect of the other planets. And Kepler, then, now had beautiful data, which showed that they were a team, alright, they were all going around the Sun but they were different sizes, they were different distances from the Sun, they all went around the Sun at different rates, so the team was a very disorderly team; and yet he felt that the fact that they were all on one team, they must have something more about them. But now that he had his calculating capability, he did then what a mathematician can do, he said, “I want to find something common to this… and superficially there is nothing common to them. They are all different. But, I’m going to give them a certain amount of time, very much less than one orbit, of the fastest orbiting… so I think the amount of time was 21 days. And now he knew how far they were from the sun, each one, so on the beginning of that 21 days, he’s here, and then he knows exactly the amount of arc in 21 days. Then he has the radius from the end of that arc back to the sun again makes a piece-of-pie shape area. He found that in the same 21 days some of them were short, fat pie, and some were long, thin pie. But because he had the actual mathematical data, he was then able to calculate the areas of the piece of pie. An extraordinary intuition must have made him do such a think, must have said “as long as I have the data, might as well calculate it,” and to his absolute astonishment he found that the areas were all exactly the same in a given amount of time. So where there was a superficial difference I want you to try to think of yourself as being the first human being, and with all this stimulation going on for thousands of years, you suddenly realize that hidden in this superficial disorder was the most incredible, elegant mathematical order. Absolute coordination. 037
And he would have to reason, that if they were touching each other you can understand how gears could coordinate, but with the incredible distances intervening, how could they possibly coordinate with this elegant mathematical manner. Well, one thing you could say about that was that there were these great distances apart, and he knew that if he had a weight on a string, and swung it around his head, it was in an orbit if he let go it would go in a line. The fact that they were in orbits indicated that there was some kind of a tensive restraining, so it really got down to that there is a tensive restraint, and it could be that the other planets got into various positions where there was a composite of their pulls, to effect, to bring about this elliptical phenomena. 038
We have Galileo, like other brains, then, terribly stimulated by experiences, but suddenly with calculating capability. So he began to measure the rates at which objects would go down inclined planes of different angles, then free-falling bodies. And he found that these free-falling bodies were increasing in their rate of falling. There was an acceleration. And he found the rate in which they were accelerating was actually multiplying the number times itself, it was a second power rate of acceleration.
We have, then, Isaac Newton enormously stimulated by all the foregoing events of all these other discoverers, and he, himself, then also with mathematical capability. And he had a deep drive to somehow understand that tensive relationship Kepler had discovered. And he, himself, then, like you and I, could swing a weight around his head, and every time he let go off like that, then he set it off in a line like that, but the earth pulled on it, and pulled it that way. Quite clearly the earth was much more powerful than he was in sending it this way. Isaac Newton, then, evolved his first law of motion. That a body will persist in a straight line, except as affected by other bodies. And he said, “I see this other body, the earth, is very, very powerful how much they pull must have something to do with their sizes.” He then said “I am informed by the astronomers and the navigators, we have very good information regarding the interrelationships of the moon and the earth the tides three quarters of the earth is covered with water, and all those waters are pulled by the moon so there are trillions of tons of water being lifted by the moon pull obviously the pull between them is something vastly greater than my muscles involved so it’s something to do with size here. Then, Isaac Newton, having evolved his first law of motion, a body persists in a straight line, except as it is affected by other bodies he then conceived, hypothetically, which a mathematician can do if he has the calculating capability the patterns of the heavens were very well charted by now by the astronomers and the navigators; and for any given minute of any night of the year, they knew exactly what the patterns would be, what would be in zenith over any given point that’s how you could navigate. 040
So, Isaac Newton had some very reliable patterns of the heavens to go by for a given time, so he chose a night when the moon would be fairly easy to observe, and probably clear weather, and then he made an assumption that the earth would suddenly stop pulling on the moon. In effect, he doesn’t use these words, but, you would annihilate the earth, therefore if you have that weight, and you swing it around your head, if you let go of it, it goes over this line. So he said, if the earth suddenly stopped pulling on the moon, the moon would go off on a given line, so he calculated what that line would be on that night at that time, and he was able, then, to pattern it against the heavens in a clearly patternable line. Therefore, on that night, at that time, he then measured the rate at which the moon was falling away from that line towards the earth, and he found that the rate at which the moon was falling exactly agreed with Galileo’s rate of falling bodies, that is the accelerating rate; it was moving, apparently, to the second power, that is, multiplying the number times itself. Therefore he said: l) we multiply the two masses times each other to get the relative amount of interpull compared, between any other two objects, and we halve the distance between the two, we will increase the interattractiveness four-fold (that is the second power). He spoke about how this being an inverse ratio, because he spoke about going away, so if we go twice as far away there is only one quarter of the pull, so we have the inverse ratio to the second power of the relative proximity. 041 There were relatively very few literate people in his day, very few people really listened to what he was saying, but the other astronomers did pay attention and began to apply his hypothetical relationships to other astronomical phenomena, and gradually began to discover and explain all the astronomical interbehaviors of these remote bodies. So we have then suddenly, human mind, all these various minds of the generations the many generations stimulated by something going on there, between that is not of, it wasn’t in any one of those planets by itself at all, and we have then, Isaac Newton finding this interrelationship which has proved to be absolutely valid, and holds as we get into the microcosm long after when Isaac Newton didn’t know we were going to get there at all there were no electromagnetics involved, this mass interattractiveness is operative. 042 Isaac Newton was able to say that these two apples would pull towards each other, therefore you and I on the planet would not tend to think about this interpull because the pull of the earth is so enormous, as the friction of the apples on the table completely prevent demonstration of any local two bodies pulling towards each other. One reason that it escaped man for so long. It had to be free bodies that were greatly removed that would have to stimulate man to think this way. 043 Now, where I’m coming to then, is that there was nothing in the moon, in its geometrical dimensions, there was nothing in its chemistry, there was nothing in its electromagnetics, that in any way said it was going to attract the earth. There was nothing in the earth that said the same. It was not until you saw the interbehavior being manifested in free space that you realized there was something going on between. This is why I say that mind, and mind alone, has been able to discover relationships that exist in between that are not of any of the special case phenomena. And brain is always dealing in special case. So brains deal in special case and mind is dealing in discovering relationships existing in between. This then comes to the word SYNERGY. 044 SYNERGY means: behaviors of whole systems, and a minimum system would be two, behaviors of whole systems unpredicted by behavior of any of the parts of the system, when the parts are considered separately, one from the other. And the word Synergy, I find going around the world, I’ve spoken to more than five hundred colleges and universities around the world, in the first three hundred I checked my audiences asking how many were familiar with the word Synergy, and less than 3% and properly known by only about 1% said, so it became evident to me that the word Synergy was not popular, but is the only word that means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by behavior of any of the parts when considered only separately. The fact then that the great interbehaviors, in fact all great generalized principles discovered by science, are relationships existing between, that are not of the parts themselves. That’s why scientific discoveries are few and far apart. Because you are always just finding relationships, and these relationships can only and will always be expressed mathematically. They are completely generalizable mathematically. 045 So, I find then, the Universe is quite clearly these important generalized principles that we discover. A generalized principle in science is one which no exception has ever been found to the mathematics of the principle. 046 Our brains are always dealing in special case, and each special case is inherently terminal, finite, syntropic, physical. Therefore brain wants to have things begin and end, and brain would like to have a beginning and an end of the Universe; a beginning and an end of the world. But mind, then discovers principles which must have no exceptions, which means that they are inherently eternal, and not the kind of word that brain is familiar with. It is implicit that they are eternal; they must never have any exceptions. We find then a plurality of these eternal generalized principles operative, and if you become, then, preoccupied with the family of known generalized principles, then you become deeply impressed to realize that, these being eternal, they are all concurrently operative, and none of them has ever been found to contradict any of the others. But they are all found to be interaccommodative. They all have absolute regularities, and the regularities are interaccommodative. 047 When you and I use the word design, we use it to mean a complex in which the various components are ordered in respect one with the other. That’s a design in contradistinction to randomness. There is a deliberate, deliberate placement and ordering. So I say then that human mind is gradually discovering. If you are looking at a plurality of generalized principles, there is a great A Priori Design of Universe. And the human mind has access to the rules and the design of Universe a little glimpse of it, because as we keep pulling the curtain up slightly we realize that there is a lot more than we don’t know. What is most impressive, really, about this whole experience I just gave you about Isaac Newton or Kepler, is that you ask Mr. Newton what the gravity is, he’s able to tell you how it behaves. I can’t possibly tell you what it is, because there is nothing in any data of any special case you can point to that says it’s going to happen absolutely nothing. Therefore, when you come to great moments, the actual fact of how great generalized principles are discovered, you come to A Priori Absolute Mystery, within which A Priori Absolute Mystery, this most sublime and reliable relationship is manifest, is existing. So that, to me, the more intimate you become with the actual working moments of those who made the great discoveries, the more deeply moved you are by an A Priori Great Mystery. 048 (Break) 049 Since the great generalized principles that have been discovered by Science are synergetic, I’d like to think about the word SYNERGY a little more, and as I said, I found university audiences around the word approximately unfamiliar, only 3%, and l% of the popular audiences. Therefore it’s perfectly clear that the word, not being popular, would tell me that people are not thinking that there ARE behaviors of wholes unpredicted by behaviors of parts, because if they did think there were then they would have had to find a word to express it, and the word SYNERGY is that word. The fact that it is unfamiliar makes it quite clear to me society has become quite content that all you have to know is about parts. Society has been quite content to be specialized, feeling the parts are all going to add up take care of themselves. So I’d like to think a little more about that word Synergy. The word is the companion of the word ENERGY, EN-ERGY, SYN-ERGY. 050 EN-ERGY, SYN-ERGY. ERGY, work, SYN and the syn of synchronization, it’s the withness prefix, it’s the integrating prefix; whereas the EN-ergy was a separating out, differentiating out. Now the word ENERGY is very familiar to man because he has been quite content to separate out, he felt that he gained by isolating scientifically you discover, and he has discovered a certain amount by that, you get a great deal of data by isolating; but he hasn’t found these great principles by the isolation. Energy has been a preoccupation of man, and synergy has been really overlooked. But Synergy is to energy as integration is to differentiation. Energy is differentiating out, and Synergy is integrating. 051 There was nothing in atoms per se that predicts chemical compounding. There is nothing in chemical compounds per se that predicts biological protoplasm. There is nothing in biological protoplasm per se that predicts camel and palm tree and the respiratory exchange of gases between the mammals and the vegetation. In fact you discover that the larger complex of Universe is never being predicted by the lesser. There is nothing in the chemistry of human toenail that predicts human being. So, I find then that the Universe itself is synergetic, it is a great complex of generalized principles, each of which IS synergetic, so that we really have a Synergy of Synergy, there is an exponential synergizing of the generalized principles of Universe themselves. Now, quite clearly, then, the Universe being complex, and synergetic, if we were able then to cope with the totality, we might be able to find out about parts, and we have what I call three well-known Synergetic Strategies of obtaining important information. 052 First is the Greek’s triangle, where the triangle, having six distinct parts, the three angles and the three edges, and the known sum of the angles of the triangle, 180 degrees, plus then any two sides known and the included angle known you can find out, you know half of the information you can discover the other half; be able to get half that is all unknown before is a very powerful capability. 053 We find, then, you can always institute in trigonometry, you can always invent a right triangle in any triangle because you can drop a perpendicular line to a base line that’s going to be 90 degrees, and you can divide any triangle into two right triangles. And with having two rights, you know one of those angles is right, therefore it gives you a whole lot of information right away plus the 180 degrees known; and you really only have to find out two other items in order to be able to solve your problem with the trigonometry. Now, there was then the Greek triangle it is a synergetic strategy, working for the whole, the known behavior of the whole, and the known behavior of the sum of the parts and finding out about other parts. 054 Into the Synergetic strategies comes a relatively short time ago historically, Euler, and Euler realized an extraordinary pattern generalization. Euler doesn’t phrase it in these words, but I will give you my own phrasing of what Euler said. He said “All visual experiences can be reduced to three fundamental aspects. There are visual experiences that are trajectories: something is in motion leaves a trail; or, I scratch that’s leaving a trail, or I leave a deposit of an amount of chalk that’s a trail. There are trajectories, and where two trajectories cross we get a fix. That will give you a location. And, if then, a plurality of lines cross, or the same line comes back and crosses itself and has then a perimeter, a closure, then you have areas. And he said then that lines, and areas, and crossings, or fixes, are never to be confused one with another, and all visual experiences are reducible into those three. So you can look at any picture you’ve ever seen, and I would say it does not include the color, it could be any color; and looking at that picture you can say, consider that line, that’s an outline of a face. You can decide that this is a crossing or a point (it would be the same), it is not an area, but if the point is big enough you think it’s an area and you can make a line around it; and Euler found that when you decided what it is you are looking at in the picture and you take inventory that is a line, that is an area, and that is a crossing. Then, he said, the numbers of the crossings, which he also, because lines are crossing and converging as they cross, called a vertex, coming towards one another, indicating, working towards a point; so he said, the number of vertexes plus the numbers of areas (if it’s a flat picture on the wall) will equal the number of lines plus the number one. 055 But he said if you recognize than that the picture is on the wall, the wall is a part of some kind of a polyhedral phenomena. So, I say then that the picture, I see the picture, then, has an edge and a back to it, and seems to be a very asymmetrical polyhedron, but that whole blackboard and its wheels, and I deal then with what I’m looking at, as a polyhedron. Then, he said, the numbers of the crossings plus the numbers of the areas equal the numbers of the lines plus the number two. It is absolutely constant. Then, he said, if you put a hole thru the system, like the hole in a donut, or coring an apple, then the numbers of the crossings or vertexes, plus the number of the areas are equal to the numbers of the lines. 056 Well, this is a very extraordinary kind of a total capability now. You know the behavior of the whole this is all there is, there isn’t any more; and if you know something is out there you can find out about the others. 057 Then we have in chemistry, Willard Gibbs, and Willard Gibbs said that crystalline, liquid and gaseous states; that these have an interrelationship. We call it the “phase rule,” which is very similar then to the Euler this plus this equals this plus two. And I have now been able, as I will go on with you in the hours and days to come, I am going to give you then the topological identification of the Willard Gibbs phase rule. It’s not the appropriate time for us to do it here, but what I’m getting at is, I’ve given you three Grand Synergetic Strategies, where you know the behavior of a whole, there is something you have observed about the whole, and you know some of the parts you can find out about other parts. This is a very, very powerful matter. 058 I find that our whole education system around the world is organized on the basis of the little child being ignorant. Assuming that the little child that’s born is going to have to be taught, in a sense it’s an empty container, waiting for information to be given to it from the grown-ups; and so the little child demonstrates time and again an interest in the whole Universe. A child is very enthusiastic about the planetarium. A little child will ask the most beautiful questions about total Universe, continually embarrassing the grown ups who have become very specialized and can’t answer great comprehensive questions. 059 We find the child then, with its propensity to comprehend totally, ready to be Synergetic, humans have the proclivity to be Synergetic, and yet, our education is to say, “Never mind, darling, about that Universe, come in here and I’m going to give you an A and B and a C, and then if you learn that well I’ll give you a D and an E and an F. We keep adding to the parts. We do what we call building up a body of knowledge of brick on brick. 060 This all both perplexed me and stimulated me into thinking about how we might somehow or other reorganize our self-education, because education is in the end a self-educating. The experiences stimulate, but then the significance in the experience has to be apprehended and then comprehended by the individual and the Synergetic educational system, then, became of great excitation to me and I wondered how we might be able then to, it seemed logical, if you could start with Universe itself. Let’s just start with the whole, and then we’ll have no variables left out. So I felt that we would have to have a definition of Universe and incidentally as I disciplined myself along these lines starting almost a half century ago, I said, I must never use a word that I cannot really relate to experience. I must be able to define each word that I use, and if I can’t, then I don’t have a good definition going back to experience, I must give it up. So I said, I either have got to give up the word Universe, or define it on an experiential basis. 061
Now, we find that Eddington defining Science, and he says Science is the attempt to set in order the facts of experience, the raw materials of experience. I found another very great scientist, and I’m quite certain that he was unaware of Eddington’s statement, I cannot certify this, but the man was relatively remote, and it was Ernst Mach, the physicist of Vienna, and Ernst Mach, the physicist of Vienna is a man who the name “Mach number” – as we come to ultrasonic speed is named for Ernst Mach. Mach, the physicist said: “Physics is arranging experience in the most economical order, because the physicist has discovered, that absolutely unique to nature, is that nature always does things in the most economical ways. There are many ways of talking about this, the principle of least resistance or least effort, but she is always most economical. However, this is not a “Yes” “No” “Stop” “Go” affair. We find as you are going to go on with me, that there are a plurality of equally economical alternatives optional to every event in Universe a plurality of them. But Mach said, Nature will use one of those equally most economical ways. 062 So the physicist then, was concerned with the economy of arrangement of experiences, and Eddington, the scientist general interested in experience, all experiences, and he didn’t specify, he said arranging experiences in order. Now a mathematician such as Boole, Boole developed the concept of the mathematicians to a little further degree where the mathematicians had been unable to find any grand strategy approach to gain information from, in a logical matter, they find it expedient to, then, assume the most absurd condition, and then gradually eliminate the improbability of the most utterly absurd this is a little less absurd. If they can get down to something that might be reasonable, this is a way of sharpening up this reductio ad absurdum. We have then a Boole, able to introduce non, most not-economical order. I just want you to understand that general science might then trying to put experiences in order, but they may not be the most economical that’s the difference between the physicist and the mathematician, then, would be the physicist is only interested in the most economical. Those are the only ones that really correspond to the way nature is behaving; the absurd is what Nature doesn’t do; which is very fortuitous on the part of the mathematician to employ such a strategy. 063
We have Einstein saying the beginning and the end is an experience. Experience becomes, quite clearly, THE raw material of all science. And, this would mean it is experimentally evidencible. And once you’ve learned how it behaves, you’re going to be able to repeat the experiment and that behavior is manifest, so that I then felt that it would be very necessary to describe Universe in the terms of experience. So I said, what do I mean by the word Universe? I said, I must mean the aggregate of all of humanity’s consciously apprehended and communicated experiences. That would be the whole roll of stuff. What else could I mean? And at first when I said that quite a few years ago, I know I, myself, and many others felt, that maybe it’s inadequate you’ve left something out there. They said you’ve left out dreams. And I said, No, it’s part of it I said the aggregate of all experiences, we have experienced dreaming. We also experience becoming. We’ve experienced that the number of words in the dictionary increase every day because it’s part of our experience of continually discovering a further, another facet of the information. So I can’t find anything that has really been left out of the definition. And if you can find anything, tell me about it, and it’s already going to be one of our experiences, so that it seems to work pretty well; and having then developed this scientific definition of Universe, I then said I have a way now of dealing in totality. I know what it is. 064 I found it very interesting that Einstein, then, sought and did define “physical Universe,” in contradistinction to “comprehensive Universe.” Because he differentiated between the physical and the metaphysical, and he said he was only concerned, really with the physical, because the physical can be coped with experimental evidence, you can reproduce the experiment. But, I also say that you and I do have metaphysical experiences. He defined Science, rather, his physical energy, physical is energy, energy associative and energy disassociative; and both turnaroundable. Note the disassociative could be come associative, radiation could be reflected and lensed and reconcentrated and so forth. So that Einstein’s physical Universe consisted entirely of energy, energy associative as matter and energy disassociative as radiation, and one transformable into the other. 065 We have, then, the physical Universe of Einstein, being all energetic, as he said, usually it’s called ponderable, it was weighable, but we find that weighing is then the effect of a lever, and gravity can pull, but electromagnetics could pull equally; so when we get into electromagnetics, we simply say that anything that is physical can be identified by moving a needle. We can get actually a physical indicator of the presence of the physical. 066 But the metaphysical does not move needles. Now, the metaphysical experience is a very preponderant one all that is going on in this room between you and I is metaphysical. What we call “understanding” is utterly metaphysical. There are no arrows, there is nothing going on to really weigh or indicate, really understanding. I find it is a very extraordinary matter; I can see your eyes physically, and your eyes will communicate to me as my tongue can wag and make sounds in the air waves, which gives you some kind of words, and so forth, but the understanding is not that physical. 067 Einstein did not try to include the metaphysical in his definition of Universe, but he defined the physical Universe the following way, stimulated by experiences which had come in great prominence in his time at the turn of the century. Where he was very much impressed by what you call the Brownian movement, the absolute constant motions in the liquids. He was very impressed with Black Body Radiation but he was particularly impressed by the measurement of the speeds of radiation, both light and other forms of radiation in vacuo, linearly in vacuo, and finding that they were all the same speed. 068 Einstein, I want to identify, what he thought about these stimulants that I gave you, in the terms of previous thinking proclivities of humans. We have the human beings over great ages seeing smoke, seeing steam in nature, seeing metals melted out of rock. We have a very extraordinary time when Priestly the priest-scientist undertook to isolate fire under a bell jar, because up to this time there had been four mystical elements: the air, earth, water and fire; and he felt that fire might be a chemical element, and he gave it a temporary working name, and he then set about to isolate this fire under a bell jar. And he weighed the items that he was going to ignite, and then ignited them, and when the fire was over, he found that the products under there weighed more than the weight of what they had put in. 069
We have Lavoisier explaining what had happened in the following manner: He said that they had not weighed the air under the jar. Up till this time all the chemical elements then known to human beings were metals, they were iron, copper, silver, zinc and so forth. There were eleven of them, and they were very easy to identify. For Lavoisier to say that the nothingness under the bell jar consisted of a plurality of invisible chemical elements, and that one of them had separated out and joined in with the other inputs of the fire, separating from the other, and he gave it the name “oxygen”. 070 This is, to me, one of the most extraordinary metaphysical jumps in history, for a human being to assume that the non-metal “nothingness” consisted of a plurality of “somethings”, and “something” so fundamental as to be actually rated as elements, was extraordinary conceptioning. He then went on to show that this is exactly, that the oxygen joined with the mercury and you had mercury oxide. He showed that what you called iron ore was simply when the oxygen was joined, you take the oxygen away and there is your iron. He went on demonstrating this oxygen joining so that combustion really was oxidation. So that we have then Lavoisier’s explanation then enlightened all those who ever had an experience really about metallurgy. You’d had good luck in having fire and melting metals out, suddenly it gave chemical controls to metallurgy. It also explained what combustion was. It also explained what steam was, it was water vapor where you had the associating of the oxygen. 071
Out of this you could not have avoided inventing the steam engine, out of the new metal and atmosphere of science and the steam engine came along very shortly. And with the steam engine, the masters of the water-ocean world, three quarters of it covered with water, with the lands all divided, and the men who had enough power to command the carpenters, and the metal workers to produce a ship and to build a great ship; having developed this design of it through eons of experience of the sea, imagine that anyone did constitute an adequate ship, to be able to send it to great distances, to integrate the resources which were very different in the different parts of the world, bring about the Synergetic interaction of this one place with another, and suddenly what was at home that didn’t seem to be of much value to anybody is suddenly of very great value. 072 Masters of the water-ocean world suddenly had steam and didn’t have to wait for wind in their sails, outperformed completely the people who still had to wait for wind in their sails. 073 We have then the masters of the water-ocean world of great wealth of incredible wealth, saying “you scientists” up to this time energy had just been some kind of a God. Some countries had several kinds of energetic Gods, some of speed (and Mercury, or whatever it may be), but they were just Gods. And suddenly you have that energy coming thru a pipe with a valve, and you turn it on to do extraordinary work; and what other kind of capabilities do you scientists have? 074 This was the first time science really came into very important patronage by great wealth. This really brought about the Royal Society and other equally high-standing scientific organizations in the various competing countries in Europe to see who was going to control and get water trade… and giving this money to the scientists, really was a good amount of money, developed then, identified energy uniquely with the heat, with the fire. Therefore the development of what is called thermodynamics. And with the thermodynamic scientific researching, came the great Second Law of Thermodynamics discovering that all local systems always continue to lose energy… this was then the phenomena entropy, and the energy given off may be orderly, and been given off in an orderly way in respect to that particular system, but the rate at which it was given off by another system is another periodicity and so the two coming together do not necessarily synchronize, so they seem to be producing randomness and disorder. 075 Incidentally, I find it very interesting to look up the first law of thermodynamics, as it was formulated in England, and was that, the unit of measure of energy should be the British Thermal Unit (BTU). It’s a highly political first law. And the second law was then about entropy 076 Now, we have, at the time of Newton, so far as the scientists knew, we had instant Universe; and Newton thought of time as a quality permeating all the Universe at exactly the same rate. So, that he said, the scientists say if the clouds get out of the way, there are the stars, they’re instant stars. 077 There had been a great astronomer, Roemer, who, to explain certain astronomical phenomena that he observed, had to assume that it could be that light also had a speed the way that sound has speed. And Roemer’s calculations regarding this were very extraordinary, coming really very close to what was found out experimentally when man on board our planet in vacuo did then actually with mirrors develop speed-of-light experiments. But the scientists were not thinking Roemer’s way at all. Scientists in general were thinking “Instant Universe,” and because the Universe was “Instant Universe,” then it, too, was a system. And with the great Second Law of Thermodynamics, then the Universe itself must be losing energy, therefore the Universe is running down. This is the very essence of classical conservatism; where people thought they were being well informed by science that the Universe somehow or another had a big bang. 078 Isaac Newton, also, in his first law of motion said, as I gave you, “a body persists in a straight line except as affected by other bodies…but his first phrase is: “a body persists in a state of rest or in a line of motion except as affected by other bodies. To Isaac Newton, “at rest” was the norm, and all the motions were abnormal, that somehow or other suddenly we had this big bang and Universe is going to expend it’s energy, and anybody who expends his energy is going to bring us all to rest a little quicker, rest being death, the normal. It’s the quick and the dead. 079 We had, then, in view of what I just said to you, Einstein being informed that radiation did have a speed, and astronomer’s employing this right away, discovering that it took light eight minutes to come to the earth from the sun. I’m going to use items that Einstein did not use, but you’re very familiar with the Big Dipper, the Big Bear. And as we go in, the first star in the end, in the handle of the Big Dipper, you’re seeing a live show taking place 75 years ago. Going to the next star at the turn of the handle, you’re seeing a live show taking place one hundred years ago, and going in one more star, you’re seeing a live show taking place two hundred years ago. It’s anything but on the same blackboard, because a hundred years difference at 6 l/2 trillion miles each year, you’ve got an incredible depth of observation, where the brightness makes it seem to be akin in that pattern. 080 When you look at Andromeda and you can see a few little sparkling lights of a whole galaxy there; and you’re looking at a live show taking place a one million years ago… it takes exactly l million years for that light to get here. 081 Come back again to looking at Orion’s belt and the Betelguese and the other bright star, one is a live show 1500 years go, and another 1100 years ago. So Einstein said “The Universe is an aggregate of non-simultaneous and only partially overlapping energy events.” Each one of these great energy events, each one has its own duration, they have their beginnings and their endings, so we have then, to him then, the physical Universe was an aggregate of non-simultaneous and only partially overlapping energy transformation events. 082 Now, this is a very interesting kind of a definition, because it is also the definition of what you and I would call “scenario.” In a scenario we have a man born, and then he gets to be “daddy,” and he has children, and then he gets to be a “grand daddy,” he overlaps the grandchildren, and then he dies. There is an introduction of a life, and it blooms, and a star is the same. And the star has its duration, so the beginnings and endings of these local energy systems; but Einstein said “I think that in this non-simultaneous Universe, that the energies that are being given off by this one might be associating elsewhere. 083 And he said, I see on board of our planet, this little child is not entropic, this little child gets to a bigger child it doesn’t deteriorate, it doesn’t come apart; there seem to be organisms where there is a growth, and the little sapling gets to be the big tree. So, I can see then, later on, when he begins to shrivel, and shrink, and then disappears there is an overlapping. And these energies then he said there was another great scientist Boltzmann. And Boltzman had the feeling, the concept intuitively that energies then pulsed in our Universe. You and I are familiar then with our weather where we give the weather in terms of high and low pressures of the atmosphere. And we find that the lows are always exhausting the highs, like a vacuum cleaner, until they become full and they become the new high, and the other low is elsewhere. 084 So Boltzman had the idea of exporting and importing, that one place becomes exportive and then finally exhausts, in some place is importing all the time, so there is pulsing of the Universe. But the energy is not getting lost. So Einstein said, in contradistinction to the conservatives who thought the Universe was entropic and nothing else, and therefore the Universe was running down, and coming apart, Boltzman and Einstein, then, think in the terms of, it could be that energies that are disassociating here are associating there. And so, out of Einstein’s expression of that powerful working hypothesis, came very much greater attention to energy accounting. And, we have then, as of this century, scientists having to say that there was no experimental evidence of energy either being created or lost. 085 We do have the word in science, in physics, of annihilation. And many of the words used by the physicists are ill-chosen, I find. For instance, the physicists talks about particles, and he says, I don’t mean about any THING at all, this is an event, but he’s so used to a little something being called a particle, he calls it a particle, so I find it is ill-chosen for him to use the word annihilation. His annihilation is of the following kind. I have one rubber glove. There is only one rubber glove in Universe here. It’s on my left hand, and I start stripping it off my left hand, and I finally end up by pulling it off like that, just gradually rolling it off; and suddenly it’s off my left hand, but now it fits my right hand. So there is a right hand now. You have the right hand, and then the right hand gets annihilated and you have a left hand. One is convex and assembled, and focal, and the other is simply for the moment, invisible that does not make it annihilated. And all the annihilations that physics have of that character are reinstatable, you go from the positive to the negative. 086 So I have Einstein’s then thinking and instituting a way of thinking which now at this point of the 20th century, makes it really quite clear that as far as experimental evidence goes, Universe is eternally regenerative. Now we have, as Einstein said, each of the energy events. And here again we had this beautiful the photon, we come down to a quark, we come down to a minimum energy package. And it’s a finite package, and each is absolutely discontinuous from the next package. And so he said, “The Universe is an aggregate of finite, therefore the total is finite, an aggregate of finites is finite.” But, you and I tend to say, the proclivity of man is to say, that finite is viewable, it is seeable, conceptual. 087 Einstein’s definition which I said comes into the category of scenario, he didn’t call it scenario, there have been other scientists who talked about it as serial Universe and so forth, meaning scenario; there was a fascinating English scientists-philosopher, James Dunne, who wrote the serial Universe. Now scenario, I want you to think about, is an aggregate of frames. And there is nothing in the single frame caterpillar that tell you it’s going to be a butterfly. There is nothing in one single frame butterfly that tells you a butterfly could fly. You have to have a whole lot of frames of butterfly in relationship to the environment to realize they’re flying. You find that in scenario Universe, there is no meaning whatsoever until you get a great many of the special case experiences, and there is a little intuition of some relationships going on here, that’s why the scenario is so fascinating. You’re looking for relationships all the time, that are being increasingly suggested as probably present, as one event after another. 088 We have then a scenario Universe, that is then non-unitarily conceptual. Single frames are unitarily conceptual, so the Universe is defined by Einstein as non-unitarily conceptual. Now we have then that it is finite, because it is an aggregate of finites, and it is eternally regenerative. Yet it is non-unitarily conceptual. So when you find yourself asking yourself the question, having heard that the astronomers just found a further out star, when you say, I wonder what is outside outside, you are asking a sculptural question, a single frame. The outside means that you do have a picture, a single one, and that’s like asking which word is the dictionary? It actually is a meaningless question in the terms of scenario Universe. I want you to realize what it was that Einstein was actually introducing here. So we have aggregates of finites. 089 Now I felt that I could expand Einstein’s scenario physical Universe to also include my metaphysical experiences, because all of those always begin and end. My information stimulus from the brain is always terminal so all my inputs are finite. So I said, I’m going to define physical and metaphysical Universe, which I’d like to do now if I can, so in order to be able to start with the whole is then, I said, the aggregate of all humanity’s consciously apprehended and communicated experiences. You communicate to yourself or to others, but the experience has no meaning until we have actually some kind of communication with it. That its a beginning that communication, so that is a communication, experience is a communication. 090 So I said I think I can combine the metaphysical and the physical by saying it is then the aggregate of all humanity’s consciously apprehended and communicated experiences which are an aggregate of non-simultaneous, and only partially overlapping events, both metaphysical and physical, energetic as well as metaphysical, weightless. 091 So therefore I said, I see then, Universe, all each one of those metaphysical experiences always begins and ends. Our experience is that way, it is the nature of the special casing that they are terminal. Therefore, I said, they, too, are an aggregate of finites, so the Universe as defined, both metaphysical and physical combined, is finite, but non-unitarily conceptual. So I said, what is, then, conceptual, and what is thinkable? 092 This brought me then to now pursuing a grand strategy, having been able now at least to get to a definition of Universe, which I got a lot of actual inputs about what it is, knowing its behavior as a whole, what the whole is, then going to get to know what I can about some of the parts. 093 What other parts do I know something about? I come now down then to this very extraordinary phenomena you and I call thinking. Throughout the whole of my thinking out loud with you, you are going to find that I always come back to an experiential base. I don’t deal with any axioms. I don’t say anything is self-evident. I don’t say there’s anything I believe. I can hypothesize that this may be the explanation of what I am experiencing, but I’d have to say that is as a guess, it’s an informed guess; but I will always be dealing in an experiential strategy, and I’m now doing everything I can to understand how we can develop a synergetic grand strategy of approaching problem solving by human mind. 094 So I said, what is it that I am personally conscious of doing when I say I am thinking? I’m not saying thinking may be a bright light, suddenly, we’ve all heard people say “I had a bright idea.” I say what am I conscious of about it, and as I become really fairly well disciplined in identifying what it is I am experiencing. Now I call your attention to a common experience of all of ours, which is, we say, “what is the name of that beautiful blonde tall boy, you remember?” His name is on the tip of my tongue, but it doesn’t come right away. And both of us forget we said it, and then tomorrow morning, when we’re busy with something, in comes the name, Tom Turner, and you are little annoyed at this thing; but what we do, is we both experience that when we ask ourselves questions we have a mechanism which goes back and gets the answer, and maybe it might be quite difficult to retrieve, maybe it is hidden under a lot of other input, but we have this mechanism that does it absolutely inexorably 095 That’s a mutual experience, that’s one reason we can remember it, because we can check up with each other that it did happen. But we have a solo experience, and I also have learned from doing what I’m doing thinking out loud and being on the stage many times with large thousands of people out there, a word doesn’t come to me quite right away, because I’m doing my thinking out loud, and I have to pull out those word tools that I’ve gradually learned to employ; and one comes a little slowly and I need to explain what it is, I find I can get around it by using quite a few other words to inform you what I’m thinking about, but then just as I am getting it out that way, then suddenly I find the right word comes to me. I find that there are lags in recall rates, which we would not really identify because that name seems to come back tomorrow, or sometime later on, sometime today, but such big lags that we haven’t been able to say any given, identifiable periodicity of lag, length of lag. 096 However, I have learned that the words that I am standing on the stage needing, they are rather frequently used words, and every word I use has little lag, and some of them a little longer lags. I find that people who are not used to thinking about what it is they are doing when they say they are thinking and talking, tend to go ah, ah, ah in between, really giving you the periodicity of the lag. 097 Now, the point, is, I discovered there is a plurality of lags and rates of recall, and some of them are really very short, and particularly these ones in relation to the word tools. And the names take longer because the names used to be names of functions, descriptions of a Smith was smithing, a Miller was milling, and so on, and so you could see that by your experience, and it came to you very quickly. But now we say Miller, but he is not doing milling, and it gets to be then just a sound pattern. Smith is in an area of sound, and it’s a graphing, a sound pattern, so we only have a certain amount of memory cubbyholes for this kind of non-functional pattern, and so they get buried very deep, like magazines, so it takes a long time to go down and pull it out of the stack, since that cubbyhole has been filled up vertically now. 098 Coming then to the idea that there are lags in rates of recall and that there is an inexorable searching that is initiated when you ask yourself a question What I said to you is different, but when I ask myself something, I’m going down the street and I say, What is the name of that tree? My mother gave me the name of that tree. I haven’t seen one in a very long time. And then your attention is called to something else some friend waves from a car and you have to go on. You ask yourself questions all day long like that. So when you’re trying to go to sleep sometimes, in comes maple trees and you wonder why all these things keep coming in. And, because there is no identified lag of the different types. They don’t come back on schedule, and it really makes it impossible for you to say, “Yes, I asked myself that question three hours ago. ” And just look at my clock and sure enough it’s three hours. We don’t have that kind of scheduling, so there is a heterogeneity to the rate of recall that does not make us tend to pay much attention to this. We just say I am a little slow, or we use such words as that. 099 I’ve now discovered what it is that I do when I say I am thinking. I find that I am spontaneously, I become spontaneously preoccupied, I don’t do that deliberately. I suddenly realize that’s something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot, I’ve put off time and again, I’d really like to think that out. So I say, I’m now going to accommodate my really pursuing it there is some important relationship going on here if I only would take a little time I’m going to find out, what understanding means is I’m finding the relationships. I’d like to understand what’s going on here. So what I do consciously then when I say I am thinking, is that my conscious part, in keep coming messengers with maple trees and things like that, and I say “that is really very interesting, I am glad to have that information, but please wait in the ante-room. Don’t go away, but wait in the ante-room; so my conscious part is sort of holding this interesting but irrelevant information on one side while I am parting the grass and finding that path, and suddenly I find out what it is that I am looking for. 100 So my conscious part was dismissing or holding off all temporarily irrelevancies. Having discovered that my conscious part was then dismissing irrelevancies, I then find the irrelevancies fall into two main classes all experiences which I’m trying to recall and identify, all experiences which are too large and too infrequent to in any way be synchronizable at the magnitude which I am considering; and all the experiences I have had which are too high frequency, too minute to in any way have worthwhile magnitude at the size they are, and I found that really is tuning. There is a much too great a wave length, and a much too small a wave length. This is really a discrete one. 101 Now, furthermore, about our experiences, I am dismissing experiences that are irrelevant so there is a macrocosmic and microcosmic group. Now experiences are inherently omni-directionally observed. That is, our earth is revolving, you and I are pivoting, revolving. We are looking at all directions, so when I take my total experiences, they are omni-directionally positioned in respect to me. Therefore, the irrelevancies which are too large and too infrequent, I dismiss outwardly, omnidirectionally; and the ones that are too high frequency, too small, I dismiss inwardly. I discovered then that the consequence of my conscious subscription intuitively to this preoccupation is important, and my conscious attempt, then, to put aside irrelevancies, has then cleared, taken all my experiences and put them into two main groups: all experiences outside and all the experiences inside, and a few experiences which are lucidly relevant to each other. 102 I discovered then that what I call a thought, is a relevant set. And, this relevant set defines an insideness and an outsideness. And I said, alright, how many stars would it take to produce an insideness and an outsideness? Two stars do not. They have betweeness not insideness and outsideness. And three stars have betweeness, but no insideness and outsideness. So, they only define a plane. There’s no thickness. Not ’til I get four stars which do I have insideness and outsideness. So I said, this is really very, very exciting this would be I gave it the name then, of a conceptual subdivision of Universe. I called it a system. And a system, I said, subdivides all the Universe into all the Universe outside the system, all the Universe inside the system, and a little bit of the Universe which is the system that is subdividing. And this got to be a very terminal condition here absolutely terminal. And this gave me great power of definition. So, this is a thinkable set, and the minimum is a tetrahedron. Now a tetrahedron becomes really very fascinating. 103 In that relationship, I then also went into developing a definition of the word structure. Because I felt that understandings and interrelationships incidentally, the four points have six interrelationships. They were quite different numbers. One is the prime number 2 and the other is the prime number 3. A beautiful arithmetical brilliance here the number of relationships which you would finally have to understand, is to find all the relationships, with something other than the numbers of the stars. That’s one reason why understanding would not be.. So here is the synergetic phenomena going on. 104 Now, STRUCTURE. I found engineers and scientists did not have a definition of Structure. They talked about structures but they don’t have a definition of structure. And I wanted to arrive at my structural definition experientially. I’m going to make a necklace. I find necklaces consisting of tubes. Their surface may be quite fancy outside of the tube, but inside of the tube, through which we have then a continuous cord, and the necklace comes back to itself, it’s a finite closure back upon itself. 105 I find that the matter – I’m going to pay no attention to the exterior decoration of the beads, I’m just interested in the tube parts, so I’m just going to deliberately take tubes, and I’m going to take a number of tubes of the same length as these. I’m going to take a number of aluminum tubes one quarter inch in diameter and about 9″ long and easy to see in the room here, and run Dacron cords thru them. 106 I’m going to make a very long necklace and we find we can drape it all round the room. It is characterized by its transformability, mutability. And then, looking at this necklace and observing very carefully what goes on, I find that none of the tubes are changing their lengths, nor are any of them bending. Whatever is going on here that makes possible all this change of shape has not to do with the tubes themselves. Something between the tubes, or the angles, where the tension cable runs between them. So the cable doesn’t necessarily have to go thru. I can make it fasten from end to end of the tubes. It becomes really a fixed push-pull member with this flexible corner. So it is the angles which are changing. Because it isn’t the tubes, I begin to take the tubes out one by one deliberately to see what kind of effects I get. First I find that if there are even numbers of tubes in the necklace, it will make a wave, positive-negative, positive-negative, valley, valley-peak. But if I have odd numbers, then it gets to where it is bulky and gets up to where it has a plateau at some point and so forth. Then, as I keep on taking out beads I get to where I only have six beads left six tubes; and I’ve draped it over my shoulders here 9″, and 9″ and 9” and down from here, so there is a “U” in front of me here, and a “U” down my back. Alright, I take out one more, I only have 5, so I have a “V” in front here and a “U” down my back. I take out one more and I only have four, I have a “V” in front and a “V” down my back it drapes over my shoulders. I take out one more and I only have 3. That is the minimum polygon, and for the first time it does not flex. It is what you and I call a triangle. 107 Now there are six parts there, there are three independent tensions and three independent compressions, and they are six independents interacting to produce a stable pattern, so this begins to get pretty close to being able to define a structure. It is a complex of events that interact to produce a stable pattern. 108 Then I find that the only polygon that does stabilize is the triangle, and it is the minimum polygon. It could not have two sides. So I find that the minimum polygon is the stable one, and if it exists experientially, it is going to then consist of, maybe I’ll drape this something on the board to fasten it, but the board, when I get down I find is a compression member. These constituents in there are the minimum just like I gave it to you the push-pulls. So I say, “A triangle is structure, and a structure is triangle. That’s that. And this was a fact that was very well known to the ancients, and so we have the trestle, the tracers, the truss we see men doing lots of things with other kinds of polygons and stabilizing them with little gusset-plate triangles, with enormous leverage against them very unfair to them. At any rate, nature does things in the most economical way, so she would not do it in that uneconomical way of having leverage advantage against a joint. 109 Now, next thing. The triangle is structure, structure is triangle, and I come then to the minimum system of Universe and it consists of four triangles. So not only is it minimum system it is minimum structural system. It is an absolute limit case all the way through. You don’t anyone need to mark your paper, because you are dealing in first hand experience with Universe. So I now get to what becomes very fascinating here, find that angle is an angle independent of the length of its edges. I can take three angles and get a triangle, and a triangle is a triangle independent of size. I have conceptuality independent of size. That is very important. I have then in my structural system, I have a structural system conceptual and independent of size. It could be any size. 110 Then I find that angle, of course, is part of a circle. Just a fraction of a circle, and all sizing is cyclic that is angle is sub-cyclic. It is sub-size. So we have conceptuality independent of size is another kind of phenomena. It is always going to be in terms of some kind of cyclic repetition. This gives me quite an important difference between the sizing as special case (and they are always so). And the generalization, the conceptuality is generalizable, and yet conceptual. This is, to me, very important, and really a breakthrough mathematically; where I did not have to have just a mathematical abstraction as an equation, but it was conceptual. And Euler had done a great deal for that and Willard Gibbs even more, in identifying with crystallography and so forth. 111 I have a grand strategy. We’re looking for a statement of the whole, and we have the Universe identified, and we have a conceptual structural system, a minimum thought, isolatable from total Universe. The thinkable. So when we’re looking for understanding, we’re really looking for Structure. We have to know exactly why the pattern is stabilized that way. Anytime you and I ever say, I recognize that pattern with my eye, the recognizability has to go back to stabilization of pattern, and you’re going to find it always goes back to the triangle 112 Now, TETRAHEDRON. A tetrahedron can be any size. I find that if I take a flat sheet of paper. Seemingly this is a flat sheet going out to infinity a plane going to infinity. So people have spoken about that as infinite. I’m going to take out some angle, like this, and begin to make a cone. I keep taking out more angles, and I can finally bring all the edges back to one another, and when I do, I’ll find out that I’ve taken out exactly 720 degrees. That is, if I skin a pig, or skin any creature, keeping the skin all in one piece, and I want to get it down flat for a rug, every time there is a little hump in it, you cut a little sinus into it and let that down, flat, and finally when it is all down flat, if you count up the sum of the angles of all of the sinuses, they will always be 720 degrees. If you put all this together again it will take 720 degrees out of the angles around the edges. 113 Now, this is beginning to be very interesting to me, because the sums of the angles of the tetrahedron, which has four triangles, each 180 degrees, four times 180 degrees is 720 degrees. So there is something about then, the difference between infinity and the finite, or the structural system, was exactly one tetrahedron. O.K. Got that? 114 I’ve been trying to get at a Universe which was finite, but non-unitarily conceptual. I wanted to know what was unitarily conceptual and I got down to this structural system, so I find the difference between the finite, but non-unitarily conceptual Universe and the finite, the definable, I call it, definable-conceptual, is exactly one finite tetrahedron. Now the tetrahedron has, however, a convexity as seen from the outside, concavity as seen from the inside. And there is a positive and a negative tetrahedron, to give you both the microcosmic and the macrocosmic complementation for total Universe. So that the difference between the conceptual is really two one positive and one negative tetrahedron. 115 Now, as I began to get into this kind of scoring. I then got into redefinition of the sphere as defined by the Greeks, because the Greeks’ definition of the sphere will not hold up in empirical science. It is defined as a surface, equi-distant in all directions from a point. There can be no holes in it. And in physics they have never found any absolute continuum, they have found only discontinuity. But it can’t have any holes as defined, because you come to the rim of the hole and the radius would change. We also find it would divide all Universe into all Universe outside the sphere and all Universe inside the sphere with no traffic between the two, and it would be the first perpetual self-sustaining system. Therefore, this is the first perpetual motion machine. You could do away with the rest of the Universe, because there is no loss, there are no holes in it. 116 We find that the physicist has found absolute discontinuity, and in the terms of physics the spherical experience can only be defined as: “an aggregate of events approximately equidistant, and approximately all directional from one approximate event.” That is the closest you can get, because in all the time in making all those measurements, there are going to be aberrations. So we have then, this plurality of events, approximately equidistant. 117 Now nature is always most economical, so she will not, then, interconnect those events by the arcs, because they are of greater distance than the chords; so she would interchord all the points. So we find then, that all of this most intimate interchording is omni-triangulated. So we suddenly get to omni-triangulated, spherical, chordally interrelated, which is what is being called a geodesic structure. And we find then, that each chord, in contradistinction to an arc, the center of the chord is nearer the center of the circle than are it’s ends, therefore the chord is emerging as it comes out to the surface of the sphere. Therefore, if chords converge at the spherical at the radius terminal, they are concave, as seen from the inside, and convex as seen from the outside. I found, then, that the sums of the angles around all the vertexes of any system, it can be a crocodile, inter connect all the points omni-chordally interconnected. We find that the sums of the angles around all of the vertexes of any system will always be the number of the points of the system times 360 degrees minus 720. That is the difference is always one tetrahedron. The mathematician had assumed for an infinitesimal moment, a sphere was congruent with the plane to which it was tangent, and I find that is not so. This makes really a very, very great difference. There is actually a discreet 720 degrees. 118 Then I also found that the sums of the angles around all the vertexes of any system, whether it is crocodile, peacock, or a sphere, or an orange, the sum of the angles is ALWAYS evenly divisible by the 720. Absolutely even! This is getting the punch, it gets very strong. 119 We now come to several more aspects of the tetrahedron and then I’m going to have a break, but I would like to wind this part up. I’m going to have a set of cheese platonic solids, a platonic cheese cube and octahedron, tetrahedron, icosahedron the whole family. And I am going to take the cube and slice parallel to one of its faces. And, what’s left over is no longer a cube. Then I take the dodecahedron and slice parallel to one of its faces, and it is no longer a dodecahedron. Each one of them becomes asymmetric, with one exception the cheese tetrahedron. So I slice parallel to one of its faces, there’s a little smaller tetrahedron, but absolutely regular. So I slice parallel to the second face. It gets a little smaller still, but absolutely regular. Try the third face fourth face always gets a little smaller, but always regular. Tetrahedron, then, is the only symmetrical polyhedron whose integrity of symmetry is not violated by accommodating local aberrations. This has a very extraordinarily important property. And it is inherently four planes. It is not a three-plane system as we have with the x,y,z coordinate system. It is inherently a four-dimensional phenomena. Now I find, then, the tetrahedron, when I move one of its faces towards its opposite vertex, we say it gets smaller. As it gets smaller, it’s lines shrink at an arithmetical velocity mathematical rate. The areas shrink at a velocity to the second power, and the volume gets smaller at a velocity to the third power, three completely different rates. But, as it gets smaller, there are always four vertexes, there are always six edges, there are always 60 degree angles, these are absolute constants have nothing to do with size. So I have, then, this conceptuality independent of size that is absolutely independent of the three different velocities. 120 Finally, the face of the tetrahedron reaches the opposite vertex, then all three velocities come to “zero” at the same time, but because the tetrahedron’s symmetries, and all the constants were not varying, I can really have then an empty or “zero” volume size tetrahedron. And that is a very interesting form. We have it here (shows audience Jim Morrissett’s VE Star) where we have four planes. Here are four planes, see this plane, that plane, this one, and they are all going thru the same common center at the same time. Now, I can then get to absolute empty sizeness just to satisfy very much whether we really do get to limit case. 121 Next thing. Engineers say that the civilian doesn’t realize it, but every action has a reaction. This goes back to our classical scientist, and that was a statement made before the speed of light. Since we have the speed of light, we now know we don’t have instantaneous Universe. Therefore, the action and there is another vector, a resultant. Every action has it’s reaction and its resultant, and they are not the same. Now these are all energy behaviors and they are all expressible as vectors, and vector is a line of energy event, taking place in a specific direction, where the length of the line expresses the velocity times the mass, and the angles in respect to a given axis of observability. So vectors are not lines that go to infinity, they are absolutely discrete. So we have then, here is an energy event, and here is his reaction here, and here is his resultant. And the angles are never at 180 degrees, like this, they are all something, we have the word Precession. 122 Precession is the effect of bodies in motion on other bodies in motion. The whole Universe is a complex of bodies in motion, so all the inter-effects are precessional. The effect of the sun on the earth, the gravitational pull, is to make the earth go into orbit around the sun, at 90 degrees not at 180 degrees. So the pull is 180 degrees, the resultant is 90 degrees, and this is precession. I find this is one of the motions that man is not really used to, he really things about his 180 degrees, and he expects 180 degrees all the time, not realizing this other angle, the resultant, Precession. I find, then, that there is an action and it’s reaction is at some angle other than 180 due to a complex of other forces operating, and there is a resultant, so it is some kind of a “Z” form, like this. Not in a plane necessarily. This is a typical energy event, of a three-vector affair. 123 Nuclear physics today says there never could have been a great chaos, because we have the proton and the neutron always and only co-exist, and they are in orderly relationship and actually inter-transformable. And the proton has its electron and its anti-neutrino, they really are the vectors. This is the proton and this is the electron and these are the energy vectors. The neutron has its positron and its neutrino, and each one of those triplets is called one half Planck’s constant, one-half spin, one-half quantum. I take then two, this is a proton, and this is a neutron, with it’s action, its reaction and its resultant. And I am going to put, this is a half quantum and this is a half quantum. And I am going to put the two together. And I must put them together in an absolutely constant way where the male comes to the female, the end of the male must come in at an angle and so we put one half quantum with one half quantum, and suddenly we have one quantum and it is one structural tetrahedron one minimum structural system Universe. This really brings conceptuality into very, very important prominence. 124 I now say that I have given you a grand strategy, starting with the whole and working down to how we isolate what is relevant, and I have now been able to really define a system. And I am able, then, to really develop my parameters. This is, I find man starting with parts, he has guess parameters, or hopes he has them all, but this is completely the other way, we are beginning with nothing being left out. This way you can really, with very few bits, zero in tighter and tighter and tighter. 125 That’s enough for this chapter. I think again we seem to be getting warm. It is now ten after nine. This last one we’ve been an hour and a half, and I think you can take another 10 minutes off and carry on. (Break) 126 I am very eager this evening to develop a sense of confidence in a grand strategy of problem solving and to have a feeling of complete integrity of all the inter-relationships of everything we introduce here, having confidence that we really are getting to the limit case. I am going to, for instance, now show you that at each vertex of the tetrahedron, we have three planes coming together, three triangles. You can’t have less because then the triangles will just become congruent with one another, there is no insideness and outsideness. So the minimum case is three around a corner. Now I can have four triangles around each corner, and call it the octahedron, so it’s omni-triangulated, and it divides Universe into insideness and outsideness; therefore it is a system, so it, too, is a structural system. Then we find that we can get five triangles around each corner, all equilateral. It is then omni-triangulated, and it has insideness and outsideness and there are five triangles at the North pole, five triangles at the South pole and ten around the equator – it has 20 triangles – we call that the icosahedron. And icosahedron, then, is also a structural system, having insideness and outsideness, and being omnitriangulated. I can’t get six triangles around the corner because they add up to 360 degrees and would be a plane going to infinity. 127 So the limit cases are tetrahedron, octahedron and icosahedron there are only three structural systems of Universe, tetrahedron, octahedron and icosahedron. Now, they have very interesting relationships one with the other. For instance the tetrahedron does not fill all space by itself, but the tetrahedron and the octahedron come together, see the plane form at the bottom here, and they can fill all space. Every time I put this, get this same plane, I keep filling the plane and add one to another, and we can have tetrahedron and octahedron filling all space, structurally. 128 The tetrahedron, remember, had six edges, and each of those edges is a vector; so a minimum structural system in Universe has six vectors, and those vectors can be either pushed or pulled, so they really are, each one has a negative, so there are really twelve basic vectors involved in every event. This being the minimum structural event of Universe. Now, octahedron has twelve edges. I am going to call six one unit of quantum. Remember three was a half quantum, six is one unit of quantum. Octahedron has twelve edges, count them. The four at the North Pole here, four at the South Pole, and four around the equator, are twelve, so it has two units of quantum. Icosahedron has 30 edges you find the five up here, and then the five around this way (that’s ten), five here, five around the ten, and then the ten around the equator, thirty. Thirty vectors, thirty divided by six is five, there are five units of quantum here, this has one unit of quantum. This has two units of quantum. This has five units of quantum. 129 When the tetrahedron volume is used as unity, octahedron has a volume of exactly four, and the icosahedron has a volume of 18.51. It’s very close to 20. In this case (the tetrahedron) we have a structure where I get one unit of volume, for one unit of quantum in structure six. This one (the octahedron) I get four units of volume with two units of quantum that’s twelve. This one (the icosahedron) I get approximately twenty for five units of volume. In this one I’m getting one for one, one volume for one unit; two for one, and here approximately four for one, just a little short of four for one, so here I’m getting the most volume, if then, from the Universe’s viewpoint, separating Universe into insideness and outsideness. This would be the maximum macrocosm, microcosm minimum/maximum-cosm. It’s a pulsing affair; this give me then the most interior with the least structural investment. This becomes then very interesting where nature would have problems of volumetric enclosure, of environmental controls, and wants to do so with minimum effort, she would choose the icosahedron. So it becomes very interesting that the virus all the viruses polio viruses all of them, turn out to be based on the icosahedron. 130 We have three legs of a tripod. There’s the tripod out like this, flatter and flatter, and less and less force to make it go down like that. When they are almost vertical, you get three of them really acting together. And this way they are acting separately, so that at the highest advantage, the more acute the angle. So tetrahedron gives you the greatest strength resisting external forces. And the icosahedron gives you the most volume with the same. I get much more volume with the same amount of quantum of energy investment. So that’s what she does to the viruses. These protein shells of the viruses the viruses are very difficult for man to deal with because they are so structurally powerful, that they have been very difficult to destroy, see, this is their structure. We now know this is absolutely, specifically, as pattern goes. 131 Now we’re getting to the hierarchies of limits of all the cases of structural systems from the minimum to the maximum, and find that there are interesting qualities about them. As for instance, the tetrahedron is such that if its legs are rubbery, if I push on it, it turns inside out. You can make this into a model very readily. Make a steel rod triangle, not too heavy, but it has some weight. Take three rubber bands, pull them tightly to the center here, and you’ll find it is a diaphragm. You can pump it. The inertia of the rods, like this you can punch your hand, punch it back and forth. This is exactly what goes on with the atomic clock. This is the atomic clock. 132 The tetrahedron is the only one of the structural systems that can turn itself inside out. If I push on this vertex of the octahedron, it can turn this half can nest inside the other half like collapsing a football, or basketball. But it only nests inside itself. Now icosahedron, if I push on one of the vertexes, it simply dimples locally. This point here will come down to here; so the consequence of forces on one vertex of the icosahedron is dimpling; this is nesting within itself folding; and this is inside-outing. Only the tetrahedron has this extraordinary capability to accommodate aberrations in all the symmetries, but also to become the only fundamental inside-outing structure, to give you it’s own negative. 133 That is enough of the tetrahedron for the moment. I’m going to give you a little in arithmetical accounting. So, we find that, we’ll make a square of these. The square, remember the necklace “V” in front, goes over my shoulders, and a “V” down my back. I’ll make out of this for instance, then, a cube. These are rather rubbery, rather stiff little joints. But the cube has no structural integrity whatsoever. This just flattens down. You can make it into lines or whatever you want. And, the dodecahedron has no structural strength whatsoever. Only the triangulated have structural strength, so that when people talk about, say, a dodeca as a structure, or a cube as structure it is not so. A cube only becomes a structure when it gets a tetrahedron inside of it, it has six faces doesn’t it, it has a diagonal here, diagonal here. These six faces match the six edges of the tetrahedron. And they give you the strength. So we can build up the tetrahedron, can build up the cube from the tetrahedron as it’s core. 134 Looking at octahedron, which has volume of four. It’s pretty easy to demonstrate the volume of fourness. These two have the same altitude, and they have the same base here. I can run a line inside that octahedron from here to here can you see that? The octahedron really has what we call the.. it has a square cross section. It always has these cross sections. It gives you what it is called the x, y, z coordinates. It has six vertexes, and I interconnect the six vertexes and I get the three x,y,z, coordinates interacting one with another at 90 degrees in the center of each of the squares here. You can see the thing coming this way. Now, octahedron has volume of four. I could have a tetrahedron formed the following way: see that triangle in the base? Then I have a triangle there, and then there is an isosceles triangle formed by this steel rod and the blue edges, can you see one? So this is an asymmetrical tetrahedron going from the base here up to that upper corner, and the steel rod is the backbone of that tetrahedron; and it has then, the tetrahedron sitting inside of it base to base and same altitude to altitude. So one is an asymmetrical and the other is a symmetrical tetrahedron, but they have the same volume, and you can see that this consists then, of four such tetrahedra, one, two, three four faces, can you see there? So, on each one of these panels of four I can get one, so this has a volume of four tetrahedra of the regular tetrahedra. 135 Now, if I have the x,y,z coordinates, 90 degree corners inside here the center, we can make an asymmetrical tetrahedron forming on each one of these faces, where this faces goes to the center of gravity of the octahedron. Can you see one going from here? lines reeling in beside the x,y, z coordinates. It’s central angles here are all 90 degrees 90/90/90. It’s exterior is 60/60/60. Internally is 45/45/90 you see that. So I have eight what you call one-eighth octahedra tetrahedrons, each one coming to the common center and forming on each of the eight faces can you see those? Because this has the volume of four, an eighth would have a volume of four divided by eight to get one half, so each one has a volume of one-half of the regular tetrahedron. 136 What I do, then, is to take four one-eighth octahedra, each having a volume of one-half, and each one has an external equilateral triangle face. So I take that equilateral triangle face and make it congruent with this face of the tetrahedron. This leaves the 90 degree corners out here 90/90/90. And this corner here 45/45/45, and I put another one on this face. It goes 90/90/90 out here, and 45/45, so the 45 and 45 add up to 90 here. I can put four one-eighth octahedra on the four faces of the tetrahedron and we get the cube, with the 90 degree corners, so we have added four times one-half, is two. We have added two to the volume one of one tetrahedron. We find the cube, then, when the tetrahedron is unity, the cube is exactly three. The octahedron is exactly four. There is a very beautiful hierarchy going on here. When you use the cube as unity, and use the edge of the cube as your vector, instead of the diagonal, then all the other platonic solids come out irrational numbers; but when you start with the tetrahedron, suddenly, rationality begins to persist all the way through. And you then discover that the icosahedron is itself a condensed twentiness of what is called a vector equilibrium. 137 I want to go to the board for a minute and give you a little accounting. While the mathematician has said, and all the scientists do say this, we have then this 2 x 2 is 1,2,3,4. And they call that squaring. Call this two to the second power, squared. 138 So then we have the 3 times 3 is nine and the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. We call that three squaring, 3 squared. However, I can do this: draw a triangle, then I’m going to make a triangle double the size, and I so two times two is one, two, three four. So that’s just an accident. So then you.. (here he draws on the board) 139 Three times three is 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, so 3 x 3 is 9; and then I just try for one bigger one; there, so I say 4 x 4 is 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,
Now there you see the land world, and while the people were all deployed and remote from one another, suddenly see how close they really are to one another, and you can really see how swift this integration is just simply bound to be.
I feel that I have given you now enough for tonight. It’s 10:30, but the main thing was to introduce enormous big patterns that evolution, Universe is at work. Universe has an a-priori Integrity, is an a-priori mystery. You and I come in naked, ignorant and helpless, finding our way. We have gained enough understanding of experiences to discover, as the Oxford Dictionary makes it very clear, about 100,000 nuances of common experiences that are so unique nuances they really need their own special describing words, and we have agreed on 100,000 words for those unique experiences. It represents one of the most extraordinary memorials of humanity to me. That we have these tools that I can sit here, using, thinking out loud, using those tools that have been gained by humanity over those millions of years of communicability.
So I see, then, very beautiful big things happening, and we will pursue it from there, but I think I introduced to you a grand strategy for problem solving. I’ve wanted you to think about, ‘Why are humans here?’ ‘Why they have that beautiful mind and why they have access to the great principles of Universe itself, of the great design nothing else we know has access to?’ I say we, common to all human beings, in all history, completely independent of any ethnic nuance or whatever it may be problems, problems, problems because WE ARE HERE FOR PROBLEM SOLVING. Not to have problems out of the way in some stupid, sublime something called peace. We’re here strictly for problem solving, and the better you get at it, the more problems you’re going to get to solve.
And we find that the games played by humanity, they knock out a fly get randomness and must convert it, and all of this gets to be the whole game is to convert to order, to comprehend and understand. And in this transition we’re going thru, we will go into a great deal of that in the further sessions, we will go into what is politics and what is, but I think tonight, then, we have the prime ingredients. I think I’ve introduced you to good problem strategy solving capability; what the system really is. We have a system which you don’t have any parameters that are going to get accidentally left out, and I think I have introduced enough to you that you can have confidence with me in seeking more and more of these big patterns, all the time really, then, being able to exempt man, not taking him too seriously. I am quite confident that the star sun is not saying to the other stars, ‘I’m not going to keep life going on that planet there, they haven’t paid their bill.’ I don’t think the Universe is talking any such nonsense, and what we’re out to really discover if we can, is how Universe really does operate. Why we are here, and how we begin to participate in the big game of Universe itself rather than a game we’ve been playing on our planet Earth which is really quite unrealistic and has been highly distortable. Thank you. ” Buckminster Fuller, “Everything I Know;” Lecture #1 of 42, 1975.
In the name of God, the most merciful, the most beneficent.Your Majesties, Your royal highnesses, distinguished members of the Norweigan Nobel Committee,
Dear sisters and brothers, today is a day of great happiness for me. I am humbled that the Nobel Committee has selected me for this precious award.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support and love. Thank you for the letters and cards that I still receive from all around the world. Your kind and encouraging words strengthens and inspires me.
I would like to thank my parents for their unconditional love. Thank you to my father for not clipping my wings and for letting me fly. Thank you to my mother for inspiring me to be patient and to always speak the truth – which we strongly believe is the true message of Islam. And also thank you to all my wonderful teachers, who inspired me to believe in myself and be brave.
I am proud, well in fact, I am very proud to be the first Pashtun, the first Pakistani, and the youngest person to receive this award. Along with that, along with that, I am pretty certain that I am also the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who still fights with her younger brothers. I want there to be peace everywhere, but my brothers and I are still working on that.
I am also honoured to receive this award together with Kailash Satyarthi, who has been a champion for children’s rights for a long time. Twice as long, in fact, than I have been alive. I am proud that we can work together, we can work together and show the world that an Indian and a Pakistani, they can work together and achieve their goals of children’s rights.
Dear brothers and sisters, I was named after the inspirational Malalai of Maiwand who is the Pashtun Joan of Arc. The word Malala means grief stricken”, sad”, but in order to lend some happiness to it, my grandfather would always call me Malala – The happiest girl in the world” and today I am very happy that we are together fighting for an important cause.
This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change.
I am here to stand up for their rights, to raise their voice… it is not time to pity them. It is not time to pity them. It is time to take action so it becomes the last time, the last time, so it becomes the last time that we see a child deprived of education.
I have found that people describe me in many different ways.
Some people call me the girl who was shot by the Taliban.
And some, the girl who fought for her rights.
Some people, call me a “Nobel Laureate” now.
However, my brothers still call me that annoying bossy sister. As far as I know, I am just a committed and even stubborn person who wants to see every child getting quality education, who wants to see women having equal rights and who wants peace in every corner of the world.
Education is one of the blessings of life—and one of its necessities. That has been my experience during the 17 years of my life. In my paradise home, Swat, I always loved learning and discovering new things. I remember when my friends and I would decorate our hands with henna on special occasions. And instead of drawing flowers and patterns we would paint our hands with mathematical formulas and equations.
We had a thirst for education, we had a thirst for education because our future was right there in that classroom. We would sit and learn and read together. We loved to wear neat and tidy school uniforms and we would sit there with big dreams in our eyes. We wanted to make our parents proud and prove that we could also excel in our studies and achieve those goals, which some people think only boys can.
But things did not remain the same. When I was in Swat, which was a place of tourism and beauty, suddenly changed into a place of terrorism. I was just ten that more than 400 schools were destroyed. Women were flogged. People were killed. And our beautiful dreams turned into nightmares.
Education went from being a right to being a crime.
Girls were stopped from going to school.
When my world suddenly changed, my priorities changed too.
I had two options. One was to remain silent and wait to be killed. And the second was to speak up and then be killed.
I chose the second one. I decided to speak up.
We could not just stand by and see those injustices of the terrorists denying our rights, ruthlessly killing people and misusing the name of Islam. We decided to raise our voice and tell them: Have you not learnt, have you not learnt that in the Holy Quran Allah says: if you kill one person it is as if you kill the whole humanity?
Do you not know that Mohammad, peace be upon him, the prophet of mercy, he says, do not harm yourself or others”.
And do you not know that the very first word of the Holy Quran is the word Iqra”, which means read”?
The terrorists tried to stop us and attacked me and my friends who are here today, on our school bus in 2012, but neither their ideas nor their bullets could win.
We survived. And since that day, our voices have grown louder and louder.
I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not.
It is the story of many girls.
Today, I tell their stories too. I have brought with me some of my sisters from Pakistan, from Nigeria and from Syria, who share this story. My brave sisters Shazia and Kainat who were also shot that day on our school bus. But they have not stopped learning. And my brave sister Kainat Soomro who went through severe abuse and extreme violence, even her brother was killed, but she did not succumb.
Also my sisters here, whom I have met during my Malala Fund campaign. My 16-year-old courageous sister, Mezon from Syria, who now lives in Jordan as refugee and goes from tent to tent encouraging girls and boys to learn. And my sister Amina, from the North of Nigeria, where Boko Haram threatens, and stops girls and even kidnaps girls, just for wanting to go to school.
Though I appear as one girl, though I appear as one girl, one person, who is 5 foot 2 inches tall, if you include my high heels. (It means I am 5 foot only) I am not a lone voice, I am not a lone voice, I am many.
I am Malala. But I am also Shazia.
I am Kainat.
I am Kainat Soomro.
I am Mezon.
I am Amina. I am those 66 million girls who are deprived of education. And today I am not raising my voice, it is the voice of those 66 million girls.
Sometimes people like to ask me why should girls go to school, why is it important for them. But I think the more important question is why shouldn’t they, why shouldn’t they have this right to go to school.
Dear sisters and brothers, today, in half of the world, we see rapid progress and development. However, there are many countries where millions still suffer from the very old problems of war, poverty, and injustice.
We still see conflicts in which innocent people lose their lives and children become orphans. We see many people becoming refugees in Syria, Gaza and Iraq. In Afghanistan, we see families being killed in suicide attacks and bomb blasts.
Many children in Africa do not have access to education because of poverty. And as I said, we still see, we still see girls who have no freedom to go to school in the north of Nigeria.
Many children in countries like Pakistan and India, as Kailash Satyarthi mentioned, many children, especially in India and Pakistan are deprived of their right to education because of social taboos, or they have been forced into child marriage or into child labour.
One of my very good school friends, the same age as me, who had always been a bold and confident girl, dreamed of becoming a doctor. But her dream remained a dream. At the age of 12, she was forced to get married. And then soon she had a son, she had a child when she herself was still a child – only 14. I know that she could have been a very good doctor.
But she couldn’t … because she was a girl.
Her story is why I dedicate the Nobel Peace Prize money to the Malala Fund, to help give girls quality education, everywhere, anywhere in the world and to raise their voices. The first place this funding will go to is where my heart is, to build schools in Pakistan—especially in my home of Swat and Shangla.
In my own village, there is still no secondary school for girls. And it is my wish and my commitment, and now my challenge to build one so that my friends and my sisters can go there to school and get quality education and to get this opportunity to fulfil their dreams.
This is where I will begin, but it is not where I will stop. I will continue this fight until I see every child, every child in school.
Dear brothers and sisters, great people, who brought change, like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Aung San Suu Kyi, once stood here on this stage. I hope the steps that Kailash Satyarthi and I have taken so far and will take on this journey will also bring change – lasting change.
My great hope is that this will be the last time, this will be the last time we must fight for education. Let’s solve this once and for all.
We have already taken many steps. Now it is time to take a leap.
It is not time to tell the world leaders to realise how important education is – they already know it – their own children are in good schools. Now it is time to call them to take action for the rest of the world’s children.
We ask the world leaders to unite and make education their top priority.
Fifteen years ago, the world leaders decided on a set of global goals, the Millennium Development Goals. In the years that have followed, we have seen some progress. The number of children out of school has been halved, as Kailash Satyarthi said. However, the world focused only on primary education, and progress did not reach everyone.
In year 2015, representatives from all around the world will meet in the United Nations to set the next set of goals, the Sustainable Development Goals. This will set the world’s ambition for the next generations.
The world can no longer accept, the world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in Algebra, Mathematics, Science and Physics?
Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child.
Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.
Dear sisters and brothers, the so-called world of adults may understand it, but we children don’t. Why is it that countries which we call s’trong’ are so powerful in creating wars but are so weak in bringing peace? Why is it that giving guns is so easy but giving books is so hard? Why is it, why is it that making tanks is so easy, but building schools is so hard?
We are living in the modern age and we believe that nothing is impossible. We have reached the moon 45 years ago and maybe will soon land on Mars. Then, in this 21st century, we must be able to give every child quality education.
Dear sisters and brothers, dear fellow children, we must work… not wait. Not just the politicians and the world leaders, we all need to contribute. Me. You. We. It is our duty.
Let us become the first generation to decide to be the last , let us become the first generation that decides to be the last that sees empty classrooms, lost childhoods, and wasted potentials.
Let this be the last time that a girl or a boy spends their childhood in a factory.
Let this be the last time that a girl is forced into early child marriage.
Let this be the last time that a child loses life in war.
Let this be the last time that we see a child out of school.
Let this end with us.
Let’s begin this ending … together … today … right here, right now. Let’s begin this ending now.
Thank you so much.” Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Lecture; Nobel Peace Prize, 2014. https://www.nobelprize.org/