August 25, 2007

Regulating Magic

I'm a little late in posting this. Diana posted a link to this MSN article that has reported that China has made a law forbidding reincarnation without a permit.

MSN: BeliefWatch: Reincarnate

Aug. 20-27, 2007 issue - In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation." But beyond the irony lies China's true motive: to cut off the influence of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual and political leader, and to quell the region's Buddhist religious establishment more than 50 years after China invaded the small Himalayan country. By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering.

No, seriously.

Apparently, if you're going to be reincarnated, you have to apply for a permit. What I don't understand is what they think happens to a person if they don't apply for a permit, but they die.

My understanding of Tibetan Buddhism is very limited, so I might get some of this wrong, but my understanding is that the "final" stage of reincarnation is when a soul rejoins the universal soul. I have the idea that from time to time souls actually elect to leave the universal soul as well to start the process all over again because there's some kind of value in relearning enlightenment.

So, basically, there really isn't a purgatory for them. You just die and then you either take the next step forward, the next step back, or you do over the current step all determined by the sort of karma you've earned.

Obviously, I don't subscribe to any of this; I classify it with all other forms of mysticism. But if there's a law about it, someone has to have thought about this.

I say that, but I know it's not true. The Chinese government isn't honestly considering the logistics of reincarnation. They don't even think it's true. The article explains the political motivation behind this new law.

I think this speaks volumes about the ideological nature of the Chinese government. If they think it's false, then why do they want to regulate anything about it? Because the free application of one's mind -- even in adopting false ideas -- presents a threat to their power-mongering.

The nature of the Chinese government is well-known to the entire world, so I don't really need to prattle on about it here, but I can't help it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at August 25, 2007 10:19 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?