Falun Gong and politics

29 Dec

For those of us from the United States (and other democracies), and especially for those of us who grew up in the 60’s, “being political” has an often positive connotation to it, one associated with speaking one’s mind, righting perceived wrongs, and acting on ones political freedoms and basic rights (though perhaps at times we forget about the obligations and responsibilities that also go along with our freedoms; an area of great divide between those who want to give preponderance to individual rights and those who want to emphasize individual responsibility towards the “collective” or other individuals). But to a Falun Gong practitioner, to “be political” was established by Li Hong Zhi as a bad thing, it was something that Falun Gong practitioners were not to do. In his book Great Perfection Way of Falun Buddha Law written in 1994, Li states:

“All Falun Dafa practitioners must strictly observe the laws of each country. Anyone’s behavior and action of violation against the laws or policies of the country are not tolerated by the merits and virtues of Falun Dafa. The violation and all the consequences should be the responsibility of the person concerned.”

He makes clear that the concern of a practitioner is not politics but cultivation:

“The learners of Falun Dafa should take cultivating Xinxing as the basics. He should neither interfere with the political affairs of the country nor get involved in any kind of political disputes or activities. If doing so, he is not the learner of Falun Dafa any more. And he should take the responsibility himself. The fundamental aim of our cultivators is to make further advance in real cultivation and achieve perfection at an early date.”

 These teachings were taught at a time when Falun Gong was not banned in China. However, once the ban began and Falun Gong practitioners began to gather in Tiananmen square, they were, in essence, acting contrary to Li’s teachings. This may be why the practitioners and Falun Gong spokespeople denied that what they were doing was political. This obstinate innocence about the political nature of their actions may have been necessary so as not to lose faith in the Teacher by revealing him as contraticing himself or changeable. If the Falun Gong admitted that its actions were political, then it would have to admit that the Teacher was asking them to go against the Teacher’s own words. It should be noted here that Li claims that what he says “is the truth” and the words written in his books are word for word true and must not be changed. In the recent articles written by Li Hong Zhi, which are personally attacking Jiang Zemin, the Teacher’s actions seemed to be even more political then before. In response to possible questions coming in from practitioners, messages like the following have been posted to the Falun Gong website Minghui. It should be noted that the Minghui website has been sanctioned by Li as the official mouthpiece for the Falun Gong. Practitioners are told that it is the only source of information that they can believe, that they can trust. Everything that appears on this website has been pre-approved.

Practitioners who are concerned about the effect their actions have on their family members are told in another Minghui posting not to feel guilty, because “actually, during the process of rectification, it is beneficial that family members suffer for some of the practitioners’ hardships because such endurance’s can be exchanged for irreplaceable happiness in their eternal lives.” (Demolish the Evil Beings’ Schemes with Righteous Minds 9/3/00).

Another message on the website, this time from a practitioner in Beijing, directly tackles the issue of being political and states that:  “in the past, we have strict requirements in ‘not participating in politics”…So we have come this far along the correct path. Now the standard is set higher, ‘being afraid of participating in politics, afraid of interfering with state affairs’ and so on and so forth are also attachments.” and since all attachments are to be abolished, this one must go too, He chides “those who are on a stop-and-go mode, think what is preventing you from ‘striking vigorously forward’ —the attachment of fear, laziness, taking a short-cut, or selfishness? No matter what it is, our Main Spirit clearly understands that to cultivate in Falun Dafa your entire life until reaching Consummation is the most and only significant thing.” The author states that “Some disciples who stood up to protect the Fa and thus were detained many times have fallen into a state of not willing to do much after they had been released. This is not very normal.” You must stop trying to find “excuses for one’s own ‘failure to have stepped forth.” The practitioner is then warned that “the evil has reached insanity. Don’t be scared by the terror… There might even occur tragic and inhuman incidents of ‘threatening with depriving of your life.” Li teaches that the Falun Dafa teachings are of greater value than your life.

And in one of his latest statements, Li tells the practitioners that the increasingly harsh conditions in China are their fault, for “Had you truly been able to discard those fundamental human attachments in your cultivation, these last tribulations wouldn’t have been so vicious.” (“Towards Consummation” 6/26/00).

Li’s “non-political” instructions to his practitioners have changed, so that now, protesting is a necessary part of their enlightenment process (called Consummation). If you don’t participate, you are displaying attachments, and if you cannot let go of your final attachments, you lose your chance to reach Consummation. Li speaks to his practitioners, particularly in China, not in terms of human rights, but in terms of eliminating all evil from the universe, letting them know that Falun Gong followers who are beaten or die are future “Buddhas, Daos, and Gods”.

With regards,
Patsy Rahn

text from: http://english.kaiwind.com/Views/201008/t116706.htm

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