(Lecture given in Montevideo, August 11th, 1945 by Carlos Bernardo Gonzalez Pecotche*)
"...I will refer tonight to something that was neither written nor heard of anywhere, something that occurred a long time ago and which, to me, is as real as the consciousness I have that I exist today, but, obviously, this does not mean that it is also real to you. You have every right to doubt it, to disbelieve it, although it would not weaken in any way the consistency of the truth that will be presented to you. Having qualified this point, it will be easy for you to listen without any concern to your spirit. I repeat: What I am going to refer to has not been written in any book because when it happened the written word had not yet been used to record occurrences.
...One day when mankind started to become conscious of life and the world it lived in, the human beings who formed this mankind complained to God. They told him that some did very good things and others did very bad things; that some worked hard and others not at all and that, undoubtedly, none of this was communicated to Him and no records were kept of the good deeds nor of the bad ones. God had then a gesture of immense joy as he perceived that his people, the tiny men on earth, were starting to use their understanding, and He found the complaint to be fair; so much so that as of that day a new era began for mankind as He pronounced a sentence that up to the present time has been fulfilled inexorably: "All those of you who stand out. who dignifies his species, who shows fairness and does good deeds will be recorded in a book, and all those who due to their merit deserved to appear in it, I will glorify them, as their names are read."
He said that this book represented the gate through which human beings would enter into His Kingdom and would be honored and called immortals, but that also would be recorded in it the worst among them so that, as men read their names, they would be horrified by them. God also stated that when He would read those names He would strike them out from the book so that nobody would remember them; and if someone were to remember at one time it would only be to indicate a renegade.
Very well; those who listened to this sentence remained silent, no doubt thinking about what they should do to be included in this book. From then on, the noble yearning of becoming more than what they were was born in human beings; that is, to do good and better themselves. And as time went by, the first names that were to be recorded in such a great book appeared. Certainly, very few had reached such a lofty design; amongst the thousands and thousands only a few conquered the golden objective of being included in its eternal pages. There were those who were so angry with this situation that they started to do evil so that their names would appear in any way in the book; and this is how they were also recorded in it: the first great infamous names of mankind, that is, the names of the first renegades.
All of this gave birth in the human conscience to the sense of responsibility: what could not be forgotten were the words which were eloquently heard to mean that the pages of this book would be for the good-doers and not for the bad-doers. This greatly stimulated the spirit of all human beings but, as it always occurs, not everyone was able to cultivate this stimulus and convert it into a true culture exempt from any contamination. Nevertheless, even though the number of those who cultivated this stimulus was reduced, from these few others descended and, following their example, were able also to have their names etched in the book. Those who achieved a high level of evolution and those who conquered great cognitions established the first school in which all those who aspired for and deserved high honors were to be initiated.
This book is called History, which explains to each human intelligence who were those who were able to be included in it and what their merits were. For a long time, this had a powerful influence among kings, princes, heads of state and, above all, the persons who, due to their dignity, heritage, or knowledge, were to be included in it. This resulted in their efforts to ensure that the pages in which their names were to appear would mirror their lives, ennobled by goodness and exempt from stains.
...As the years and epochs passed and human beings forgot the behavior and the example of those who preceded them, they became unworthy of appearing in such a valuable book, thus falling into disgrace and annihilation. What occurs today in the world has a lot to do with this decadence and imposture that opened a parenthesis in the judgment of History.
There are principles that are eternal and inexorable and no matter how strong a control may exist to subjugate nations, this cannot change nor upset the order that exists for it would push into chaos the process of civilization. The laws, as the principles, are of eternal essence: all of them must be real and logical to the intelligence of human beings, and if one law shows them that it is impossible to fill a small container with ten liters of water, it also shows that one cannot modify what is unmodifiable.
Over the course of recent times, there has been a deep inquietude in the world; and human beings were so impatient that, instead of waiting again for God's word, they delivered their complaints to intermediaries who "would solve everything". As a consequence, they had to suffer later the most barbarous of all despairs and the most cruel tortures, many having paid with their lives for such credulity. What responsibility could those who pretended and promised to eliminate the causes of men's complaints have? None. This alone should invite hours of deep thought.
The outcome may have been very different if at least they would have turned to those who had the credentials for being responsible; especially those whose ancestors etched their names in History and who would never have acted in contradiction to those who preceded them in their positions of great importance in politics, society, science or other areas, because these, as with the others, have always directed their efforts toward what made them worthy of a place in History. And, I repeat, no one can be recorded in it unless recognized by the world as having contributed in some way to mankind, be it through works of goodness or by leaving behind worthy examples for his fellowmen to follow. This is why it can be said that this book includes a group of human beings who stood out by their deeds; and nothing can be more encouraging nor more stimulating to man than knowing that his fellowmen, through their merit and by their efforts and their example, deserved the honor of being registered in it and were able to forge by themselves their own greatness.
I have spoken about this on this day because it would seem that with it one of the greatest chapters of History comes to an end.
It is necessary that the new pages contain many names; this will mean that many would have reached this honor, distinguishing themselves from the anonymous humanity. Do not forget that each one who is registered represents a symbol, and by respecting those men many others are respected. For example, Argentines are respected for San Martin and for the numerous great men that consolidated nationality. Uruguayans are respected for Artigas and for all the other men who inspired and forged the nation's destiny. And like those, many other nations are honored through their prominent men [and women,] as if they were the true guardian angels of their respective people. What else could be done, therefore, but to strive to become worthy of such a majestic heritage? Each one therefore according to his strength, must strive to follow this path, and even if he were not able to register his name in the sacred book he should be thankful if, by getting closer each time, he could nurture the hope of appearing one day in its pages. I am certain that you will succeed if you take for granted this other truth: that the day this book is shut it would be very sad to find yourselves left out.
One must be confident that all the human beings who make up the present generations will prepare to collaborate in the great task of reaffirming the human values and in the building of a better world, where peace ceases to be a myth and becomes the most beautiful of realities to which all human beings can aspire."
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