Monday, July 17, 2006

But if you don't get around to it, here is the best transcription I can offer of the High Lama talking about the meaning and purpose of Shangri-la:

It could have been delivered yesterday, or tomorrow.It came to me in a vision long long ago. I saw all the nations strengthening, not in wisdom but in vulgar passions and the will to destroy. I saw their machine power multiplying, until a single weaponed man might match a whole army. I foresaw a time in which man exalting in the technique of murder would rage so hotly over the world that every book, every treasure will be doomed to destruction.

This vision was so vivid and so real that I determined to gather together all things of beauty and of culture that I could, and preserve them here against the doom toward which the world is rushing.Look at the world today. Is there anything more pitiful? What madness there is! What blindness! What unintelligent leadership! A scurrying mass of bewildered humanity crashing against each other, propelled by an orgy of greed and brutality. A time must come, my friend, when this orgy will spend itself. When brutality and the lust for power must perish by its own sword.

Against that time is why I avoided death...When that day comes the world may begin to look for a new life. It is my hope they will find it here. Their books and their music, and a way of life based on one simple rule: be kind. When that day comes, it is our home that the brotherly love of Shangri la will spread throughout the world. When the strong have devoured each other, the Christian ethic will at last be fulfilled, and the meek shall inherit the earth."

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