Integral Reflections offers an extension of the ideas presented through "The Healing Project" website. These include the will to healing at personal, social, spiritual and environmental levels, the discussion of textual sources from which intellectual and spiritual nourishment can be drawn, the maintenance of a watching brief on the turbulent currents that course through the present times, and the exploration of poetic consciousness as a transmitter of the deeper dimensions of human experience.
Remembering Hiroshima. While the World Quietly Burns . . . .
August is the time for recalling
the atomic slayings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Sixty-eight years ago, The
Pentagon exacted a savage retribution for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour
in December 1941.
Hiroshima served as the testing ground for the first of two
different nuclear detonation devices.
Hiroshima, August 7th 1945
Little Boy, the 15-kiloton
obscenity that tore apart history was based on a very simple design. A
relatively small pellet of HEU (highly enriched uranium) was shot into a larger
block of HEU in order to produce a sufficient mass of heavy radioactive metal
to shatter atoms and release a fury of destructive energy that instantaneously
transformed the entire city of Hiroshima into what John Pilger called “an
atomic desert.” The blast killed over 100,000 of the city’s inhabitants within
But this was not enough.
Nagasaki, August 11th 1945
The torching of Nagasaki followed three days later. The bomb
dropped on Nagasaki was cynically named Fat Man by its creators. It was
a larger “device” than that gifted to Hiroshima and was of a more complex
design. It consisted of a central core of plutonium into which multiple
explosive charges impelled smaller lugs of heavy metal to bring it to critical
mass. It “yielded” an explosive force equivalent to 22,000 tons of
trinitrotoluene - TNT. Herein we witness the wonders of contemporary
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were part of an infernal calculus
coldly rationalised to test the effects of these finely wrought carriers of an
inhuman fury. 200,000 lives were vaporised in those two insane lashings. The
lucky ones died immediately. The less fortunate ones dragged their flayed flesh
and seared futures through agonising days and weeks. Tens of thousands walked
wailing through the ruins of what has been forgotten by so many in these
And have things changed since then? On a positive note, the
50,000 nuclear warheads that bristled during the 1980s have been halved. In
this thirteenth year of the new millennium, we can rest easier in the thought
that a mere 20,000 nuclear infernos rest silently in rocket cones stored in
deep silos, on floating platforms, in the hardened steel chambers of sleek
and silent submarines that cruise the world’s oceans, or in "retirement" in warehouses in the United States and the Russian Federation.
An “exchange” of 50 such nuclear warheads between say, India
and Pakistan, would vaporise the lives of millions of people and shred the futures
of many more. And in addition to producing radioactive fallout on a global scale, such an event would blow out even further the tenuous layer of high
atmospheric ozone that shields us from those higher frequencies of solar
radiation that can tear apart the delicate helices held within the nuclei of
our own cells, thereby darkening even further an already darkened future.
According to reliable sources, it is estimated that the US presently holds a cache of over 8,000 nuclear
warheads; the Russian Federation holds an additional 11,000. The United States
plans to spend over US$200 billion on the maintenance and modernisation of its
nuclear arsenals over the next ten years. And Russia has slated US$60 billion for its own modernisation
And it costs about US$500 to sink a well in India that can
provide an entire village with enough water to spare women hours of
daily walking to fill the family pot with water needed for drinking and