At present, we at the Roerich-Bira Foundation feel charged with a sense of immediacy. The world is gripped in a roiling conflict of great complexity. It is different from the great conflicts of the 20th century in that most of it is happening under the surface and yet its ramifications feel even more all-encompassing and our future feels even more crucially at stake than in earlier times. The Foundation feels it wise to be as optimistic as humanly possible. Yet we recognize the urgent need to contribute to a positive outcome to the fullest extent of our potential–which, while only newly tested, seems considerable. The sense of urgency that animates our thoughts and actions is balanced by a recognition that a thoughtful, well-considered agenda is best. Indeed, these times demand an ingenious blend of timely action and time-tested wisdom.
However great the chaos and however dark appear the prospects of failure, we believe in embracing a spirit of harmony and celebration. We believe this is the wisest course and the one most likely to produce the most effective action and to inspire the most cooperation. The spirit of innovation is the spirit that solves the thorniest problems. And this spirit is fed and is regenerated in the cultural realm.
We at the Roerich-Bira Foundation believe that culture should be celebrated actively, with an urgent yet self-confident attitude. We believe to our core that an active, engaged and solution-oriented celebration of culture will stoke the engine of development. It is the spirit of innovation and development that constitutes Humankind’s connection to the highest version of our collective identity. Through culture, we are enabled to imagine and actually connect with the highest principles of the Universe. Through culture, we connect with the means to actualize the highest version of ourselves.
The vision, the means and the will which bring about the total development of the human being are gifted to us through culture. Just as the individual is inevitably brought to a closer approximation of his/her higher self through access to a higher vibrational understanding of life, so the collective–the entire species and even all sentient life–can be raised above the lower vibrational energies of ignorance and fear through the modes of culture. These assertions are based on science. It has long been understood that we attract not what we fear we lack, but we attract a reality that mirrors our vibrational state. Many individuals have employed this understanding to uplift themselves, to create prosperity and abundance for themselves and for those around them. It is said that the great ones among us–and certainly Nicholas Roerich and Dr. Shagdaryn Bira must be considered in this light–create hope and abundance through a special connection to the higher energies that flow to and through each of us. These energies are available to all–and this should be the message that the rest of us must do our best to receive to the fullest possible extent. We benefit most directly from the dynamic attainments of our cultural, spiritual and scientific achievers when we recognize that the the power to uplift lies within each of us. I can personally attest that this has been the direct effect of Dr. Bira on my life. No doubt, Dr. Bira will express himself similarly in regard to George Roerich and the legacy of Nicholas Roerich himself.
Every significant achievement that has led to a higher state of human development proceeds from a connection to the higher vibrational states that have been attained by the great ones among us. This is the essence of culture. This is undoubtedly true anywhere in the cosmos. And so, when we consider the Roerich Pact some eighty years after its emergence as international law, we should consider it in the light of universal truth. Indeed, we are indebted to none other than Franklin D. Roosevelt for his transcendent observation that, “This treaty possesses a spiritual significance greater than the text of the instrument itself.”
It is our contention that the spiritual significance of the Roerich Pact is cause for celebration. It is in celebration that our imaginations are engaged and our actions become ceremonial, expansive and inspired. It is in genuine celebration that we connect to one another via the higher vibrations. In true celebration, the willingness to commit ourselves fully to the art of living is invigorated. The art of living is the essence of development in all its forms. And so we should celebrate in a manner that attunes us to the higher frequencies along which flow the currents of innovation and creativity. All the best sources of wisdom admonish us to do so. And the spiritual significance that Roosevelt intuited is nothing other than Universal Love, through which we find the energy and capability to overcome any obstacle.
Of creativity, Nicholas Roerich wrote: “The language of creativity is that pan-human tongue understood by the heart.” He goes on to state unequivocally that “Culture is the Heart.” It is culture that is spoken from the heart and addressed to the hearts of others. The great ones among us are imbued with the spirit of sacrifice and this is indicative their great achievements. While the intellect may manifest the divine, it is the Heart that engages in sacrifice for the greater good. The sacrificial labors of the great ones are the riches of culture–the indispensable riches that comprise a sort of evolutionary fund that gives hope and opens new possibilities for each generation.
Nothing could be more urgent than the need to create new sources of prosperity in every sense of the word. We encourage a development that proceeds unencumbered by the restrictions and limitations imposed by the very few who–through ignorance, greed or vanity–seek their own aggrandizement at the expense of the entire race. We seek to dispel the darkness of want and crooked intentions. And so our celebration must be followed by concerted effort. Our discourse here today, illuminated by the Light of Culture, will encourage and inform such laudable efforts as were envisioned by Nicholas Roerich when he announced the beginning of the Epoch of the Heart. His sacrifice and contribution, distilled in the Roerich Pact, invite us to deepen and broaden our efforts to cultivate and uplift not only the Human Spirit but the Human Being in the flesh. For it was Gandhi who observed that poverty is the worst form of violence.
On September 20th of this year, I had the very good fortune to attend the International Day of Peace celebration at the Roerich Museum in New York City. Disciples of Peace from all over the world were in attendance. An unspoken consensus that evening affirmed that the Roerich Museum was the best possible place for the United Nations to hold such a gathering. Roerich’s most iconic images glowed on the walls around us. His energy and spiritual aptitude drew us to this location as if by some irresistible cosmic inducement. After the powerful statements and personal testimonies that were shared, I was indescribably pleased to be approached by many people who were curious about our work here in Ulaanbaatar. They expressed the desire to come to Mongolia, to witness and participate in our research, our actions and our spirit. I encouraged all to come. Never before had been in such an ideal position to promote our Foundation or the principles we espouse: economic fairness, respect for our natural environment and non-aggression. We believe that these principles, held sacrosanct, will serve the cause of development and that the vision of Pax Cultura serves as our guiding light. But what I wished to emphasize to all those who approached me was that the exceptional nature of their Mongolian colleagues lies in the ability to take action–and to do so, innovatively and persistently, until results are attained and the next level of evolution is clearly revealed for future generations. Mongolians are doers, I told them. Please come to Mongolia to witness, contribute and find inspiration. Quite a number of people assured me that they would!
The great issues of our time are transnational issues: economics, environment and law. We believe that these issues require the action and reflection which the Roerich Pact dares us to consider. And we affirm the power of culture both to connect us to the vision of an ideal human society and to provide us with the communicative, educational and scientific means to turn the vision into results.
Thank you all for attending this afternoon’s celebration. May our discourse be animated by the joy both of collaboration and of the fulfillment of purpose.
–J. Philip Jimenez
The Roerich Bira Foundation
13 October 2015