Ancient cities, ruins or architecture are historic and constitute the splendors of the past. The past is the time, gone by, and its period represents a definite portion of time fixed by events occuring in nature or man-made in history, which follow one after another. The difference is that one precedes the other as the manner of the sun and the moon which take turns to give brightness to provide days, months and years. All phenomena have no point of beginning that can be clearly seen. There is a rotation-each following the other in regular order in a cycle. The effect today follows the cause of yesterday. The change of tomorrow is what happens today. Therefore, man must know the events of the past. If we have no knowledge of the past, it is somewhat like a vessel without a compass and a rudder on the high sea. What will happen to that vessel is a matter of grave concern.
Moreover, great harm is derived from ignorance, but more harm is still caused by not knowing truly and yet pretending to know. The result is sure to be ruinous. In ancient as well as in present times, the successes and failures in innumerable cases result from such cause. True knowledge in art requires the time to study, pass and encounter many difficulties in bringing the unknown to light.
Nowadays everything seems to become narrower and narrower. A tiny thing, which occurs in one small corner of the world, may be able to stir all over the Globe. Thus I am perturbed by the anxiety that the changing of the modern society, due to pressure of material things coupled with the present East and West cultures facing each other in a violent manner, might become still more serious. All the intellectuals or pundits should take special notice no these events matter. Even those who hold their own bibles as their refuge for centuries have to leave their beliefs and turn to consider matters which they think antagonistic.
I strongly believe that the morality of the world population is deteriorating. And at the same time I cannot deny the advancement of science that is so valuable to mankind, incomparable in any era. We, Asians, believe that the scientific approach can bring knowledge to human beings. But it cannot elevate the spirit of man. It has only paved the way for materialists in their search for worldly happiness.
Everything has to depend on the suitable position, right nucleus and right time. The suitable position means the position that is rightly means the needed environment at the time. If heaven needs something to remain, it will not develop beyond the limitation of growth. This is the state of balance according to the law of nature.
Suitability and beauty have no boundary in age. This can be proven by the existence of art, paintings and architecture that were beautifully created by man as lasting treasures and have been handed down to us by our ancestors. Every piece of art is priceless. Some have become world treasures and adored by art lovers. They seem to have no nationality, no religion, no limit in time. Only art has bestowed the refreshing spirit on human beings up to the present day. Therefore, we should give more serious thought and interest to art.
It is not only Art that has been given to us by our forbears. One must mention Culture here also. Both are linked as a national heritage. Some have been left without care, or in other words to be carved for by nature, and worse still destroyed by the hand of man. Though culture has been regarded as old fashioned, yet it is still suitable for human society.
Under the circumstances, I would like to draw the attention of the world population to come to witness our art, customs and culture. I believes certain that in one day or another they will benefit the noble spirit and will be a good reminder to those who are drawn to materialism. Thus the “Ancient City” has been created. This may remedy the existing moral deterioration of human society. But whether or not, this great problem can be solved and can achieve its aim, and who will solve it, my answer is that it will not be an individual but everybody together. It is not a matter of time from morn till night. It is to be months, years and even centuries. There is an old saying that “To build a hill, a lump of earth has its own value”. This can be compared with a traveler. Each step contributes and has its own value. To complete the building of one hill, it has to depend on the first lump of earth. To reach the end of the journey, it has to depend on first step.
If my own motto is not consonant with those who uphold that the present society is right and should advance its course further, I and compelled to implore them to do justice to what justice is. Seek goodness from the thing that we hate; seek badness from the one you love, in order that these can be in evidence to help judging the Thai art, customs and culture of old; and whether they are as valuable as I judge them to be.
What will be the result ?
I leave it to Heaven to ordain.
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