A New Culture of Development

I am writing from the Roerich Museum and Shambhala Center in Ulaanbaatar.  Before me is the image of Rigden Djapo, a king of Shambhala.  He is clearly a warrior, he is in action, riding across the sky.  But he is attentive!– attended by fiery doves and watched over by the Buddha. 

I never would have thought when first I saw the image of this humble, dignified Museum in black and white photographs in my book on Roerich that this would be my office.  The past two years have flown by with some prodigious results and some lingering challenges, heartaches.  What exactly is our mission?  We seek to emphasize the importance of culture in shaping develolment.  Without inculcating certain principles on a cultural level–that is, deeply and on a level that governs every aspect of life–the evolutionary process of development will inevitably serve the few at the expense of the many.  It will become sclerotic.  The few will seek to deter the many from joining the process and advancing themselves. The oligarchs will contrive to stunt the process because they believe that free, open and meritocratic development would disadvantage them. 

That is how it is that development agencies, programs, organizations seem very often to make matters worse for those struggling the hardest.  The individuals behind them do not actually wish development in the true sense.  They wish to control development, to keep “others” in their place.  And to make a tidy profit.  They didn’t attend Harvard Business a school for nothing–even though it functions more as a social club than a school.  The oligarchical conspiracy is this: We must stay in control and allow nothing to grow unless it is under our auspices.  How is this achieved? First of all, it is achieved by any and all means necessary.  The saboteur of human potential will either dress itself in the garb of legitimacy or use fear and brute force to cover its illegitimate modes.  The slightest whiff of altruism will intoxicate the saboteurs into believing that they are good people.  Like a drug, when it wears off, it leaves the user in a state of anxiety and paranoia.  What if people find out what they are actually up to?  What if the poor fools really do manage to succeed at development?  Will our kind lose out?  Will “they” overtake “us”? 

How is it that the World Bank, while in the process of fighting poverty, will usually end up making things worse?  It is always easy to blame the downtrodden and easier still to walk away when there is no persons or body of persons who can hold them to account.  The glossy veneer of technocratic respectibility hypnotizes the media, the vast majority of the privileged and a good number of the disadvantaged who need desperately to believe hope is rational.  Where such slick maneuvers do not succeed in managing the developing peoples, brute force is never far behind.  Libya, Iran, Iraq, China, Russia . . . the list of countries who have either been beaten down by or continue to be harassed by the Western technocratic elite is quite long.  So far, only the BRICS have forged a reasonable opposition and alternative to the eugenics-minded, Anglo-American dominated West.  And so, true development, and a true world order, has a chance of succeeding. 

But, certainly, the struggle is far from over. The term “development” needs to be taken back from the technocrats and given new meaning, or, restored to its original meaning.  This requires that each person rennovate the concept within themselves and encourage one another to do so.  We must recognize the ambition for development in ourselves and in others, and we must encourage, foster and engage in mutual aid and teamwork.  The disinformation campaign has been singularly focused on confusing us, causing us to doubt our senses and one another.  It has largely separated us from basic knowledge of right and wrong–or at least, it has separated from the sense that right and wrong have any serious meaning.  The fascist oligarchy has hoped to keep the world largely stupid and dependent on their expertise.  It has depended, indeed, upon abject stupidity.  For how else is it possible to get healthy young people to go and die in wars that are predicated on a cruel and blatant hoax like 9/11?  This has gone well beyond jingoism.  This has resulted in a pathological alteration and abuse of human psychology. 

The big problem is: the oligarchs have no vision, only insatiable desire.  Those who has sought to control and exploit have very little idea of what it takes, in the long run, to develop as a species, with other species within the given paradigm of Earth and Sky.  As the innocent are ground down into hopeless poverty or else shredded literally in the streets of Donetsk, as economic imbalances attain cartoonist proportions, as lies are pushed forth and no truth is repressed, we must face the reality that the present program must have a dead-end.  And it is only intelligent to assume that the forces that will bring us to this dead-end will have no idea of what to do in the face of extinction–or they would have been doing it all along.  The IMF has no clue, the World Bank has no clue, the CFR and Bilderberg have no clue.  The great vacuum of the UN clueless.  They are an Apartheid organization that routinely shuts out and shuts up our 300 million Indigenous and does not defend them in any appreciable way.  They are a political organization, created for political reasons. 

The concept of development has been weaponized.  So, we must rediscover the concept and passionately pursue its realization.  Development can no longer be allowed to function as a tool of manipulation by Anglo-American interests.  We must embrace it as and fundamental aspect of human culture.  We must promote it on a spiritual level, in the sciences, in the full realization of art that does not merely stand by and lament.  We must promote it in our families and among our friends.  And in those moments of reflection that development requires, we may find our own deeper nature.  We will uncover the meaning of life for ourselves.  This is the work of our Roerich Bira Foundation: to inspire a universal culture of development.  Harmony is not a static proposition.  It moves us forward in a river of melody and in the elaboration of themes.  What we must be clear about is that evil exists.  It exists as anything that might thwart this natural life impulse.  And only a CULTURE OF DEVELOPMENT can guide us as we attempt to steer away from tragedy and loss.  Joy is our destiny.  Confusion in this regard is unnecessary.  How wonderful it is to work until late in the afternoon in this lovely historic museum, to watch the sun’s beams penetrate these icy windows and illuminate this sacred space.  At these moments, I know Shambhala is near!

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