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Rome - 27th Entry - 17th October 1973
It had been a hot, dry summer with occasional showers; the lawns were turning brown but the tall trees, with their heavy foliage, were happy and the flowers were blooming. The land had not seen such a summer for years and the farmers were pleased. In the cities it was dreadful, the polluted air, the heat and the crowded street; the chestnuts were already turning slightly brown and the parks were full of people with children shouting and running all over the place. In the country it was very beautiful; there is always peace in the land and the small narrow river with swans and ducks brought enchantment. Romanticism and sentimentality were safely locked up in cities, and here deep in the country, with trees, meadows and streams, there was beauty and delight. There's a road that goes through the woods, and dappled shadows and every leaf holds that beauty, every dying leaf and blade of grass. Beauty is not a word, an emotional response; it is not soft, to be twisted and moulded by thought. When beauty is there, every movement and action in every form of relationship is whole, sane and holy. When that beauty, love, doesn't exist, the world goes mad.
On the small screen the preacher, with carefully cultivated gesture and word, was saying that he knew his saviour, the only saviour, was living; if he was not living, there would be no hope for the world. The aggressive thrust of his arm drove away any doubt, any enquiry, for he knew and you must stand up for what he knew, for his knowledge is your knowledge, your conviction. The calculated movement of his arms and the driven word were substance and encouragement to his audience, which was there with its mouth open, both young and old, spellbound and worshipping the image of their mind. A war had just begun and
*Krishnamurti was now in Rome until October 29. neither the preacher nor his large audience cared, for wars must go on and besides it is part of their culture.
On that screen, a little later, there was shown what the scientists were doing, their marvellous inventions, their extraordinary space control, the world of tomorrow, the new complex machines; the explanations of how cells are formed, the experiments that are being made on animals, on worms and flies. The study of the behaviour of animals was carefully and amusingly explained. With this study the professors could better understand human behaviour. The remains of an ancient culture were explained; the excavations, the vases, the carefully preserved mosaics and the crumbling walls; the wonderful world of the past, its temples, its glories. Many, many volumes have been written about the riches, the paintings, the cruelties and the greatness of the past, their kings and their slaves.
A little later there was shown the actual war that was raging in the desert and among the green hills, the enormous tanks and the low-flying jets, the noise and the calculated slaughter; and the politicians talking about peace but encouraging war in every land. The crying women were shown and the desperately wounded, the children waving flags and the priests intoning blessings.
The tears of mankind have not washed away man's desire to kill. No religion has stopped war; all of them, on the contrary, have encouraged it, blessed the weapons of war; they have divided the people. Governments are isolated and cherish their insularity. The scientists are supported by governments. The preacher is lost in his words and images.
You will cry, but educate your children to kill and be killed. You accept it as the way of life; your commitment is to your own security; it is your god and your sorrow. You care for your children so carefully, so generously, but then you are so enthusiastically willing for them to be killed. They showed on the screen baby seals, with enormous eyes, being killed.
The function of culture is to transform man totally.
Across the river mandarin ducks were splashing and chasing each other and the shadows of the trees were on the water.