Tibet, the Force and the Triumph of Love

Yesterday, we were part of a small though very lovely and effective vigil for Tibet outside Fremantle Town Hall. It was a very warm, beautiful day and we sat, meditated, handed out literature, got petitions signed and prayed for world peace. I have been to many moving peace vigils in my time, and this one was one of the most touching. We sat there facing all the shoppers and tourists while singing OM MANI PADME HUM, the mantra of Chenrezig, Bodhisattva of Compassion, led by two members of the Perth Sangha.

Other Sangha I know consciously did not attend out of concern of the reaction of the Chinese; many have families in Tibet or wish to travel there at some time in the future. The last peaceful all-night vigil in Perth was abandoned when some angry and abusive Chinese people turned up. Yesterday however was clear sailing, though we did spot the inevitable Chinese official posing as a tourist.

This guy needed some serious acting lessons or a refresher in whatever ‘discreet surveillance’ course the Chinese bigwigs have sent him in on. He kept circling our area, not directly looking at us, and then whipping out his camera for a few quick shots before getting absorbed in some window display or other. The poor chap must have been so bored by the end of it all – you can look at window displays only so many times without being driven to distraction.

The news from Tibet of course is not good. I really do not know why the Chinese and other governments are still set on the course of repression in this day and age. I mean, haven’t they heard of the likes of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi? Don’t they know history enough to realize that lining up force against non-violence never ‘wins’ in the end? Being Star Wars Day (May the fourth) I was of course reminded of that famous line from Obi Wan Kenobi to Darth Vader:

‘You cannot win Darth; if you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine”.

I still get goose bumps remembering this scene 🙂

And so it is with the Tibetan people and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The more the Chinese strike at them, the more torture and killing, the more peaceful protesters are brutalized – the more the power of peace, love and compassion touches the heart of the world. This is why His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan struggle are so ‘popular’. Ultimately love and peace will prevail, simply because it is the sustaining fabric of the universe, the essential ‘force’ out of which this phenomenological world arises. This is one of the core truths of all religions, and anyone with even a modicum of religious experience knows this reality.

Star Wars itself helped to popularize a very simple understanding of some of these truths through the concept of the Force. As an eager 11 year old forbidden to attend Sunday school I seized on the Force with religious intensity. Today there are many people – and some even seriously – who describe their religion as Jedi or Jedi Knight on Census forms. I wonder what the Chinese government would make of that?

May the Force be with you 🙂


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3 comments

  1. Asher Fryer · May 6, 2008

    Personally I believe the Chinese government, apart from its typically human nature, of all those in power who try to control others, is logically doing what it believes in: atheistic communism. There is nothing more convincing than the history of communism, and its ‘natural’ antagonism to all things spiritual and true, being itself a subversive, anti human and (as the Qi Gong say) “anti cosmos”. It’s greed, hate and lack of self awareness, public brutality, total dishonesty and hypocrisy are not merely ‘human’, and it is hard not to believe they are in the grip of more than simple nationalism. The demiurge brooks no rivals to its ‘control’. Tibet, apart from being too close to such an appetite, has many things about it which would seriously irritate such a philosophy, and Mao was not shy of saying so. It’s ironic that many of those who back in the 60’s supported ‘communism’ (their own western, sophomore version no doubt) are now supporting tibet. But once you’ve let the beast out of the cage…

    Also, only commies are allowed to ‘wear’ red, and it just maddens them further to see monks wearing it. 😛

    Yours in the force 🙂
    Ash

  2. Peregrin · May 6, 2008

    Hi Asher,

    yes, I had forgotten about the red robes!

    The idea about ‘being in the grip of of more than simple nationalism’ is something a few others have mentioned privately. I am not up enough on the situation and the Chinese culture to be able to make any sort of assessment. It is an interesting field for discussion … and before we know it we’ll be talking about Hitler and Wagner and wot not 🙂

    Yes, most western support for communism came from middle young middle class people rebelling against their parents and who had no idea of what it was really about. I examined communism and the various ‘socialist’ youth groups when a very young man and found it all very tame and western. The only knowledgeable and genuine people were a few in their sixties and seventies.

  3. Asher Fryer · May 8, 2008

    Hi Peregrin,
    all due respect to Chinese who are slaves or oppressed by something they cannot beat or do not understand aside, I don’t think it is hard to pinpoint the obvious nature of China at this point. I certainly don’t believe in ‘one world’ or ‘peace’ at any price. I strongly condemn all western governments who wish to ‘bring china into the fold’ through compromise of their own tattered remains. They are either working with such an impulse, or are totally naive as to its maliciousness. Nor do I think it is a field of ‘discussion’, no offence to discussion meant. It is definitely an enemy of all things good as we understand them, and the game of political correctness and compromise and ‘peace’ will not end well. All are children of God, but not all are friends and allies of God, if you know what I mean. Ignorance is a cause, not an excuse, although it is easier to say that here, than over there. All things being equal, it’s very complicated, and I really think that a lot is being ‘accomplished’ through opposition and support for China beyond what is obvious….

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