I have been visiting temples and praying to Buddha since I was young. But there was not any teaching or scriptures available until recent years. After I join one of the study group, I get more and more admire the wisdom, compassion of Buddha and his great devotion for finding the solution for the suffering of salient beings. But I was mostly linking the study with my personal improvements.
Our recent discussion about collective changes led me to search for philosophy and Buddhism teaching. Listening to Venerable Guan Cheng’s you-tube channel, clarified many of my confusions. Venerable Guan Cheng compares our body and mind to a computer that made up of hardware and software. The computer software take in the inputs from keyboard (5 aggregates – eyes, ear, nose, tongue, body sensation ), then the RAM (mind/6th conscious) sort them out, and store them in the achieve file (7th consciousness). The 8th consciousness (Anyas conscious) is a build-in software that automatically run the program of cause and effect. Whatever cause (action/speech/thinking) we put in, there is certain effect coming out. Not arranged by God, not thoughtfully arranged by us, it is by the automatic program that works cause and effect. Venerable Guan Cheng speaks of Buddhism’s teaching is to build up a good achieve file of enlightenment, curtsey and loving kindness, fortifying joy and equanimity in our 7th and 8th consciousness. He talked of human as the scriptwriter, director and actor of our life, and we can also learn to be the audience of our own life. Because when we are objective and righteous audience of ourselves, then we can analyze and guard ourselves and choose to response, rather than react more appropriate to the outside world – and creating positive archive files.
The fundamental principle of Buddhism teaching based on Morality(戒), Reflection (定) and Wisdom (慧), reveals the truth of life and emphasizes the infusion of Buddhism practice into our daily life, our living reality regardless if we become a monk/nun or not. I feel the wisdom of Buddhism has a lot to lend to the solution of social issues we have at hand.
In observing the social experimentation of the last hundred years of Communism and its contest with Capitalism, we see the obvious fraud of both these ideologies.
Capitalism, which boasted freedom of individualistic creativity and increase of productivity, has led us to witness its many cyclic economic depressions, the latest one being the 2008 financial crisis. Its many ugly facets plague the society ranging from medical malpractices, Wall Street manipulation to inequality in society. Capitalism has some inherent weakness in its design.
Communists took the theory from Marxism-Leninism to overthrew the old systems with violence. In doing so, they have been creating bad Karma along the way. In Russia, Joseph Stalin organized “Great Purge” in which hundreds of thousands – including senior political and military figures were interned in prison camps, exiled or executed. In China, this radical approach has lead to coups’ attempts and clashes of power struggle in the highest level of leadership. The most obvious case in point is The Culture Revolution – to this date, its catastrophic damage to the moral is still polluting the country. Neither do we see the communism able to prevent the power-that-be from corruption and low morality conducts.
Recently I read from newspaper about a newly released movie called The China Hustle. ( Some youtube clips here.) It claimed that both the Chinese government and the American stock exchange have been cross-pollinated to dampen the already vulnerable financial system since after 2008 crisis. I am quite shocked that Chinese government would be involved in this. If the claim is true, then Chinese Communist Party has swung from radical left of “liberating the mankind” to radical right of State Capitalism – an extreme Totalitarianism with no check and balance. The corruption and inequality we observed now in China in certain degree similar to Chinese Nationalist Party (中国国民党) of the 1930s- 1940s. When Nationalist Party was initially set up by Shun Ye Shin, it was a very progressive forces in the frontline of revolution against suppressive Qin Dynasty. But once the party took over the country, the ruling class replace the old oppressive forces it had previously overthrown.
There is no denial of Community Party’s contribution to the Chinese progressive cause in the last century. Deng Xiao Ping’s Open Door strategy and focus on economic improvement is a tremendous push in upgrade the country from backward third world developing country to a great world power today. But this development has come to a stage that require further adjustments and consolidation. Because the The current party corporate complex and problems associated with it will eventually drag down the fast track development of the past decades.
I admire Deng Xiao Ping as a great leader who has steered the country out of narrow gorges and into smoothly water. He said the standard to evaluate reform measures is to see if it is supportive of economic productivity increase, if it is helpful to improve the country’s overall strength, if it is beneficial for people’s live standard. (为此他提出了判断“姓资姓社”的标准… 判断的标准，应该主要看是否有利于发展社会主义社会的生产力，是否有利于增强社会主义国家的综合国力，是否有利于提高人民的生活水平。”（文选第3卷，第372页). Now twenty years after the implementation, China has made considerable achievement in that regards. Maybe what need to do now is to reduce some of the side effects of the reform ?
We are hopeful that Chinese government has the courage to face its problems and have willing to correct the fundamental issues based on the truth(实事求事）as we can see at this point of development.