Support is growing for HH The Dalai Lama in his peaceful mission to help bring about the return of freedom to the Tibetan people. Currently visiting Canada, HH is revealing a significant growth in interest from a surprising source….could the solution to Tibet’s enforced occupation at the hands of the Chinese State finally be making visible the crucial critical mass – is the turning point in sight?
MIND OVER MATTER
China took control of Tibet through seizing power, ‘power over’. Although, prior to the Chinese occupation of Tibet, both countries had been negotiating an agreement on Tibet’s status within China as an autonomous region, the two sides had failed to resolve their differences. The People’s Liberation Army crossed into Tibetan territory on October 7th 1950 and by October 19th, 60 years to the day at the time of writing, the Tibetan army was defeated defending its homeland. Although the Chinese state ordered the army to halt its advance towards the Tibetan interior, proclaiming the “peaceful liberation’ of Tibet, thus was initiated, by use of force, the occupation and subjugation of Tibet. What followed changed everything……
Freedom cannot be enforced…….it is a natural state, manifest within the scope of human rights, and ‘diversity’ manifests the field within which it becomes defined. In the interim period up to the Dalai Lama fleeing Tibet in 1959 the country became divided and internal conflict undermined the pragmatic negotiation of peace. Following the 1950 defeat the Dalai Lama had the chance to oppose the ensueing Seventeen Point Agreement of 1951 that China negotiated with Tibet, and in doing so he would have had the backing of the USA – but, the USA, through the CIA, had been arming Tibetan militants who strove to resist land reform and the imposition of the treaty. The Dalai Lama chose to go with the 17 P A. With emergent indigenous opposition both to the Tibetan government and to the Chinese occupation erupting, HH’s decision looked to be catalytic – ironic, as his long term view must have told him that preservation of the Tibetan spirit, in keeping with his pursuit of peaceful means, above physical confrontation, would be the only way forward, towards freedom. In fleeing Tibet he repudiated the agreement saying it had been made under duress and was not valid (there are specific grounds upon which this claim can be upheld) and entered the path towards collecting global support for the Tibetan cause. It is a path that has become a powerful transformative and enlightening example to the world – HH has been described as the most influencial person of the C20th (Time Magazine). This influence is pervasive and manifestly continues to grow.
Albeit cautious, a significant and optimistic wave of support for the Tibetan cause is now emerging from within the heart of China itself. In an hour long interview with Rick Westhead of the South Asia Bureau at Canada’s Star newspaper online the Dalai Lama spoke of his meetings with several hundred intellectuals, academics and high ranking officials within China who expressed the desire to align themselves with his ‘way’. The Dalai Lama advocates ‘the middle way’. Autonomy for Tibet can be achieved, HH believes, while his homeland remains a part of China – the freedom to protect and cultivate the self determination of Tibetan culture and identity within this context is central to this path of development, a path that Chinese State policy towards Tibet continues to block. And yet, for those respected free thinking individuals within China to express their support for the Dalai Lama in this context is to expose the internal discrepancy between State policy, attitudes and thinking, and the quality of mind that will produce a peaceful, intelligent and realistic solution to the Tibet problem. The Dalai Lama seeks to restore the balance of power to the Tibetan people through sharing, ‘power to’. By comparison this approach is very revealing.
The ‘middle way’ offers a bridge…….
The emergent support within China is a sign that, at its heart, amongst the people, China’s sentient and intelligent soul, is waking up to the truth – change will come. The announcement of China’s deputy premier Xi Jinping being given the key post from which he is likely to succed Hu Jintao as premier in 2012 has been greeted with great interest globaly, and provides further indications that reform may infact come to China. Little is known of Xi Jinping – he is credited with cleaning up corruption, which is equally a code for enforcing top down control – the need for internal reform is likely to be high on his agenda. However, at present this looks likely to be focused more on maintaining internal stability rather than making sweeping structural changes. Within China the tension between centralist and regionalist tendencies, as well as the struggle between elitist and populist factions is likely to come to the fore – many regions choose to develope individualistic relations abroad through trade agreements. The speculative view is that Xi Jinping will be more open to developing foreign ties, particularly through trade. Infact, openess is a word that has already been attached to his personality and approach. And he will not be alone in bringing change to the face of Chinese officialdom – seven out of the existing nine members of China’s core decision making body will be replaced.
The coming two years will be pivotal as we head towards the time when the Chinese leadership changes hands. Internal struggles are considered unlikely to subvert the regimes overall control – the continual increasing growth of the military’s influence both as enforcer and agent of inland security (particularly in the face of natural disasters and the regionalisation of business and industry) will make sure of that…..the next generation is going to be key.
Latest news; since this article was published, unrest amongst students at restrictions upon learning the Tibetan language is coming to light – a language belongs to a people, it expresses their soul and, as we know from internal reports, Chinese control upon Tibetan culture is very strict – watch this space!
In the recent past China has deveoped a reputation for standing back from engagement with and exerting influence directly upon world relations outside of its borders, and this has born criticism. However, with China’s profile in the world increasing, environmental events and issues hitting the country directly, the focus on human rights and increasing scrutiny of how this nation influences and relates to the rest of the world, the pressure for change will, inevitably, increase. How at home with impermenance are the two sides?
QUALITY OF MIND
Even in the most mundane sense, the impermanence of the manifest world is an understanding that is at the foundation of the Buddhist approach.
Quality of mind has the power to bring change, great change. The Chinese regime has a tremendous determinist grip on change within its borders, control through the implimentation of political ideology, an ideology that may appear to be diametrically opposed to spirituality. And yet, the ongoing conflict of interests is not about Communism v Buddhism – it does, however, highlight the inherent differences in quality of mind. ‘Quality of mind’ as an expression of the use of ‘power’ contrasts with ‘quality of mind’ as the means of liberation from suffering.
While China has only been under communist rule for 71 years it is the power of communist politics to eclipse all other ideologies within its borders that shows clearly how the Chinese State mind exercises and relates to power. Inspite of apparent inclusivity there is a puritanical streak to the State’s mundane methodology and orientation – this is conservatism as control, structure that seeks to contain change. Astrologicaly Saturn plays a significant role within the natal chart for China’s communism, as it does in the Dalai Lama’s chart – we will look at the significant synastry between these two Saturn placements in the upcoming second part to this post.
For all the well defined intellectual qualities of the authorities within China there is little humour present within the public face of the Chinese regime – by contrast, the Dalai Lama, while he is known to be both astute and intelligent, is also known for his humour and mischevious nature. And they do say that humour, as well as money, makes the world go ’round.
Intolerance towards independant free-thinking that goes counter to the Chinese regime’s ideologies is indelibly burned on our consciousness – remember Tianamen Square. Little evidence of compassion is ever displayed. For Buddhists worldwide compassion is at the root and is the vehicle for dissemination of its own ideology. Compassion, as the manifest face of an enlightened mind, recognises the impermanence of attachment.
There is no doubting the power of the ‘simple monk’, as the Dalai Lama has described himself. His ability to maintain a relentless schedule of meetings with world leaders, giving talks, continuing negotiations and meeting spiritual obligations speaks of a tremendous energy at work. When we look at the astrology of the man the source becomes clear – for example, his first house Sun is conjunct the brightest star in the skies, Sirius – the ‘Dog Star’. This star has been known as the harbinger of fame. It is also connected with doubling the heat of the Sun and fearlessness within nature – we will go into the significance of this in more detail in the next post.
Chinese traditional belief considers dogs to be fortunate, the ‘Fu Dog’ bringing good fortune and happiness. Infact Chinese culture abounds with spirituality and pragmatic superstition. This is a culture rich in an indigenous heritage that has been successfully carried by Chinese people to all quarters of the globe. This has been one of China’s greatest exports. The domesticaly embedded a-spiritual nature of the communist regime would at first appear at odds with this heritage. It is perhaps because of the resiliance and astonishing depth of the old culture, as well as the wiley adaptability of the Chinese people, that the spirit of ancient China remains so virile an underlying presence. There is also within this a propensity to embrace change…..
The internal paradox does find expression though – the Dalai Lama has been labeled as a ‘devil’ by the Chinese authorities. This, in the light of the roots of Chinese culture, is a clear projection of ‘shadow’. First accounts of Buddhism entering Tibet include the marraige of the Tibetan king Songtsan Gampo to the Chinese Tang dynasty Buddhist princess, Wengchen; Chan Buddhism came to Tibet from three sources, including China. Tibetan Buddhism continues to this day to be practiced within North East China and Mongolia, whose own struggle for independance from China is well known – the roots of this conflict run deep. A main feature of Chinese assertions that Tibet is a part of China rests on the idea that the region has been under continuous Chinese governance since the C13th Yuan dynasty. And for all the history that is claimed as an integral part Chinese claims on Tibet we are faced with the reality of our changing world – borders change, politics evolve, peoples continue to be subjected to the imposition of ideologies that do not reflect their true nature.
The Dalai Lama fled the country in 1959 – faced with the immediate threat of incarceration and the inevitable consequences. Amidst the increasing destruction of Tibetan culture, freedoms of its peoples and the stifling of the Tibetan spirit, he chose to preserve the potential for his role as spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, a role which has enabled him to win the support of millions worldwide – undoubtedly this has been crucial in keeping alive the spirit of Tibet and ensuring that the plight of the Tibetan people remains a pertinant issue within our global consciousness. Interestingly this factor is also revealed in the astrology and we will return to this too in the next post, the other side of the upcoming October Full Moon.
In the next post we will bring the astrological examination of this meeting of minds more into focus and look at how the stars reveal the inner tensions and dynamics of the situation. We will focus on some of the intrinsic characteristics of the charts for China and the Dalai Lama and look at their synastry for further indications of the Tibetan solution, a solution for us all.