Chapter 17: Religion Begins Where Ideas End
When you destroy something you have a tremendous feeling of power. So once in a while, when you have the immense feeling of power and nothing to do, you start destroying things that you know perfectly well.. You may destroy the chair, you may destroy the mirror, you may start throwing things in the room because you are so full of anger - which is a quality of power, a dimension of power.
You know perfectly well that what you are doing is stupid; it is your own mirror that you are destroying and tomorrow you will be going to the market to purchase another, and bothering about the price, and haggling about the price. You know all that, but that is far away in the background; what you need now is to feel power, that you are not impotent. And in the second world war, Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, were feeling really impotent: everywhere there was defeat.
Albert Einstein’s letter is one of the most historical documents of the world. Roosevelt jumped upon it. Immediately the work started, and although by the time the atomic bombs were ready, the war was finishing.. This is something to be understood: The war was finishing; Germany was losing, Japan was losing. Just fifteen days more and the war would have ended. But Roosevelt was in a hurry; before it ended the atom bomb had to be dropped - just to see, “how potent we are; and we proved you utterly impotent.”
It was not a question of war, absolutely not. All the generals who were involved in the war were surprised that the atom bomb had to be used, because it was only a question of two weeks at the most; that was the longest period estimated. “Why so much hurry? If we have been fighting for five years, and in two weeks’ time the war is going to end, let it at least end in a human way, at least the way it has always been. Don’t make it into something even more inhuman.”
But Truman, who succeeded Roosevelt, and the other people who were in power, and who had then the atom bomb in their hands, could not wait. This was not the time to wait, because if they waited for two weeks more then where were they going to try out the atom bomb? Where were they going to see the glory of their power? And how were they going to show these enemies, with whom they had been struggling, that once and for all it had to be decided who was the most powerful.
The atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on two cities in Japan, for absolutely no reason at all - no military reason at all. The reason was psychological, political.
Albert Einstein had the greatest shock because he thought he was creating atomic energy in case the other party created that energy - then we would be at a loss. So this was a defense measure. That is what he was thinking, that this was a defense measure. In fact, just to have created it was enough for both Germany and Japan to realize, “We are finished.” There was no need to destroy those two beautiful cities.