Happy tidings

I just thought that diary would make me happy. So even though I have nothing particular happy to write today, the title is still appropriate. After some casual discussion with friends about death, suicide, and religion, I started researching a bit more on one of the most controversial religions in China over the past two decades, Falun Gong. Clearly we know there is no science behind that, since the supreme leader, Master Li, claimed that he saved the world three times, after his predicted apocalypses failed to deliver three times in a row. The blog I read put me in great historical perspective. Master Li is not that original after all. His religion is based on a mixture of Buddhist traditions and native Chinese internal energy or airflow theory, the latter well popularized and ingrained in the average mind by martial stories that flourished in the 60s and 70s, pioneered by authors like Louis Cha (whom I esteem greatly and believe worthy of a few Nobels, such as those in literature, and those in the spread of peace through allegorical violence). Even before the neo-martial art fantasies, people of the antiquity have written titillating stories about chivalry, under various technologies. Thus Li’s theory probably wouldn’t gain as much traction without the big cultural backdrop every chinaman is exposed to. The strong cohesiveness and uniformity of culture, consequent of millennia of assimilation, greatly eased Li’s way through the single biggest market share, that eclipsed all his predecessors like Yan Xin. Speaking of the latter master, I had the great fortune to be introduced to its local chapter here in the Bay area, through a friend of my father. Despite my personal dismissal of the teaching, I am ever grateful to the hospitality and arousal of intellectual curiosity, heralded by the elite group of world-class scientists and engineers in-situ.

Deep down, however, I want to believe all of their teachings. These days, I feel a certain warmth when my mind wanders towards the possibility of browsing through falun dafa on a desert island. Maybe it’s the simplicity of its language, famously embodied by the Master through the paraphrased quote “I do not follow the established grammar in my book, because my teachings can not be fully conveyed under the constraint of human lingo”. I must say, despite how ludicrous this might sound, it has a certain anarchical, laxative power that attracts a jaded mind like mine. But then what do I do with beloved Christianity? Just this morning, I had to defend my decision to spread a small gospel on Wechat. I figured after months of contentious usage, that the best verbal defense is often accompanied by a display of weakness: not the self-mockery type, but genuine, embarrassing confessions, or even a Freudian slip of sorts. It’s when a child makes an insouciant, totally uninformed comment, do adults have something to chew on and feel less awkward about what the next appropriate thing they can say. I want to be that targeted child, except I think I am braver since I know the consequence of excommunication.

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About aquazorcarson

math PhD at Stanford, studying probability
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