Elaine Meinel Supkis
A great way to lose readers here is for me to take positions that run contrary to the beliefs or desires of many people. Why do I persist? Maybe I am suicidal! Heh. Well, I decided to tackle in more detail, the business of the Dalai Lama. Someone my family has known since the 1950's. My family is very religious which is why I am an outcast within it. Religious people hate humans who don't service the Hive of whatever religion is held dear. And the Tibetan Buddhist regime of the past clearly illustrates the death-desires that overwhelm all religions eventually. For example, to save all living things, the Dalai Lama in 1600 decreed the peasants could not kill a long list of animals. Then, to enforce this, the Lamas killed, maimed and starved the peasants! Which takes us to today's news: the Dalai Lama this week is visiting the headquarters of the former British Empire seeking help in regaining his throne in Tibet.
The Dalai Lama claimed yesterday that Beijing was planning the mass settlement of 1 million ethnic Chinese people in Tibet after the Olympics with the aim of diluting Tibetan culture and identity.
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader also claimed that some of Asia's most important rivers which flow from the Tibetan plateau are being polluted and diminished by careless industrialisation and unplanned irrigation.
The Dalai Lama made the claims in an interview with the Guardian after a meeting yesterday with Gordon Brown at Lambeth Palace. He said the talks had been detailed and the prime minister had been helpful "in spite of his difficulties". The Dalai Lama said: "He met me and he showed genuine concern and he wants to help."
Downing Street said the discussion focused on talks due next month on Tibet's future between Tibetan representatives and Beijing officials. The prime minister is said to have stressed the importance of the Dalai Lama's pledge to oppose violence, not seek Tibetan independence, nor support a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.
Another 6.3 earthquake in Sichuan province today. More people killed. The government of China is now desperately trying to remove millions, literally millions of people from the earthquake zone. Fears that the complex dam system built up over the centuries will fail as a big storm brews there. In all the uproar and tragedy, the Dalai Lama comes to one of his imperial allies in Britain to again, demand that China act as if Tibet were a foreign nation and not part of China.
This man's mendacity is obvious: is he demanding the British prime minister denounce the existence of Northern Ireland which is still held by the British who SPLIT Ireland in two when the Irish people revolted after WWI? Note that the Protestants were brought into Ireland and settled there and given many legal advantages over the natives. The crimes of the British imperial invaders in Ireland still stand. What if the Pope were to come to London to demand England remove the Protestants and reunite Ireland which they tore asunder?
Of course not! Just as the Dalai Lama won't go to DC to tell the President to hand over say, Montana or Wyoming much less, Arizona, Oklahoma, half of New York or any other parts of the US that used to be occupied by native American Indians. Indeed, the history of the world is all about population movements. The desire of the former despotic rulers of Tibet to have total isolation is of course, impossible. There are many, many contradictions in the whole movement to 'free' Tibet from China. One of the most glaring is the issue of the Zionist resettlement and very vicious displacement of the native Palestinians. The Dalai Lama has tried various weak attempts at being a 'world leader' in this toxic situation. Only he has no real ideological basis at all. Namely, he really isn't for stopping the worst case of ethnic/religious cleansing on earth.
BETHLEHEM, West Bank -- The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, had a visit to Bethlehem canceled at the request of the Palestinian Authority, which is unwilling to antagonize China, organizers said on Monday.
Palestinian nongovernmental organization Holy Land Trust, which invited the Buddhist spiritual leader to visit the birthplace of Jesus Christ, withdrew the invitation at China's request, said an official from the group.
The Dalai Lama was to have visited the Church of the Nativity, a mosque, Bethlehem town hall and a nearby refugee camp, the Holy Land Trust source said.
A senior official in the Palestinian foreign ministry confirmed that organizers had been asked to cancel the trip following a request from China.
"At the request of the Chinese government, we have not received or dealt with him given his separatist ambitions for Tibet," Majdi Al Khaldi said.
"Given our friendly relations with the Chinese government, which supports the Palestinian people, we asked the local [Bethlehem] authorities as well as civil society groups not to receive him and they acquiesced with our request."
The Dalai Lama last week paid a five-day private visit to Israel. Beijing accuses him of trying to lead the Tibetan province to secede from China and lodged an official protest against the visit.
Note that China supports Palestine. This is logical because the Palestinians want a reunited Palestine while the Jewish organizations that have used military force to take over larger and larger parts of Palestine want a divided landscape which they can tear off pieces of and incorporate into a new state that denies even basic civil rights to the natives. The open plan of the European and American Jews is to drive out and totally displace all the natives. The Dalai Lama has to walk a tightrope here. He does this by claiming that the Palestinians have the right to try to resist this odious plan.
But they have to be peaceful while doing it. He doesn't get hopping mad when the Israeli Jews shoot peaceful demonstrators with rubber bullets or shoot with live ammo. He wants them to put up a fake front resistance and then quietly fade into nothingness. There is no urgency on his part, concerning them. When the Tibetan native population rioted quite violently, he denounced this and then egged on his crazed Western followers to harass the Olympic torch carriers. Imagine if people attacked Olympic torch bearers for any of the empires which often host the Games. Like the US. Imagine gangs screaming, 'Free Palestine' were to do this?
In the wake of the riots in Tibet, the Dalai Lama has gone about the place trying to get even more backing for his schemes. So his pretense of being peaceful are false. Just like the peaceful protests of Gandhi didn't bring India one inch closer to freedom from the British invaders. All such struggles are violent by nature. Millions of people died when India became independent and Pakistan was created as a divided nation [half of which is now called Bangladesh]. It is OK for the Dalai Lama to lead an insurrection. There are many insurrections going on in the world, after all.
It is his desire to have OTHER NATIONS partition China. As if this were 1933. The US, England and German empires are to march on Beijing and loot the palaces and then dictate terms! Of course, this is insanity. Just asking the leaders of outside empires to back him in this scheme is impossible and frankly, weakens his own movement. Instead of supporting China and then wrestling with the authorities there, he wants outsiders to create demands. Palestinians can't do this since they have no means of influencing the old European and the new American empires. After all, it was when these same empires invaded and destroyed the Ottoman Empire during and after WWI that their woes began!
Another tactic of the Dalai Lama is to pretend that he and his gang were lovers of the environment and thus, better guardians than the Chinese. This takes us into matters that are positively Medieval. The belief that Buddhism loves nature has some reality to it. But this runs alongside the destructive part of Buddhism: the destruction of the humans who are ruled by Buddhists. If one wandered around Buddhist empires 300 years ago, one did not see a healthy, strong population. Instead, the tendency was towards having significant numbers of people live in monasteries surrounded by struggling peasants living in tremendous poverty. In the case of Tibet, nearly a quarter of the population lived in these monasteries. Often, the peasants are reduced to actual slavery. In Tibet, since it was geologically isolated from the forces of history, this process which had run for over 500 years was at the point that virtually the entire peasant population were outright slaves.
The resemblance to Medieval Europe was quite stark. Here is a National Geographic film about the Nazis sending an envoy to Tibet to form an alliance with the Dalai Lama so Germany could have a religious/political basis for enslaving millions and millions of Europeans as well as annihilating the Jews and other ethnic minorities! We have to look at these sorts of things when desiring to romanticize the Buddhists of Tibet!
Next, we must look at the Chinese record for deforestation, etc. The Dalai Lama hopes to fool Americans into believing that he cares about these things. He does! But not the way Americans imagine. The forests of Europe existed up into modern times via a very cruel method: the lords who ruled Europe forbade the peasants to touch the forests. The most hated laws were the Forest Laws. If peasants cut down trees or hunted there, they were killed. Or had their hands chopped off, or were put in chains as a slave. Indeed, the forests of Tibet were preserved this same, cruel way!
Forest Cover in 1948
Deforestation and desiccation are both time-related processes. The time element is illustrated in the decline of forest cover that occurred between the Neolithic era and the present day. It is also visible in the period since 1949.
Prior to 1949, the forested area of what is present-day Sichuan totaled 14.4 million ha (Mha). According to the Sichuan volume of The Forests in China series, by the early 1950s, forested area in Sichuan decreased to 0.7 Mha with a growing stock of 1.6 billion m3 .8 It also reported the average annual consumption rate of growing stock as 9 million m3.9
In a study of Tibet, the pre-1949 Guomindang government reported that forested area totaled 1.5 Mha. By contrast, a recent survey conducted by the General Investigation Group of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau reported a much larger total of 6.135 billion ha of forested area and 1.4 billion m3 of growing stock. In 1994 The Beijing Evening Paper reported total new forested areas in Tibet equaled 7.17 Mha, with new growing stock at 2.084 billion m3.
I wanted to show the entire chart so we can see some obvious details. One is, Tibet has the least forest cover than any parts of China. Second, this forest cover has not shrunk. Unlike other, more densely populated areas of China. The US was deforested rapidly by European peasants who came pouring into the New World. Since there were no royal hunting grounds, trees were felled systematically. Where I live, one of the oldest farming communities in North America, settled by the Dutch, the only trees older than 300 years are the border trees. An ancient oak more than 600 years old towers over the eastern border of my farm. I call it 'Sherwood Forest Tree' because I thought it was six or seven huge oaks at first. Then, when I uncovered the base, the tree is over 8' in diameter. The farmers didn't cut down the trees that separated the fields but certainly cut all the rest! My son found a scythe deep in the woods at nearly the summit of the mountain where hay was harvested over 150 years ago, for example.
For centuries Tibetans have lived with nature, always seeking to learn and understand its nuances and rhythms. Our religion, Buddhism, has played a role in this respect. A general taboo against exploiting the environment was a direct result of our Buddhist knowledge and belief about the inter-relationship between all plants, animals, as well as the "non-living elements of natural world" have became a part of our daily lives. And after living like this for hundreds if years, it has become difficult for any Tibetan to differentiate between the practice of religion and concern for the environment.
In the Horse Water Year (1642) His Holiness the Great Fifth Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, became the spiritual and political mentor of Tibet. From this date, in the tenth month of every year, a Decree for the Protection of Animals and the Environment was issued in the name of the Dalai Lama.
(1) One of the Decrees (or "Tsatsig") issued by Great Thirteenth Dalai Lama states:For the health of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, for the sake of the Dharma and for the benefit of all sentient beings, the village heads, officials and governors of all districts of Tibet are commanded to prevent the killing of all animals, except predatory hyenas and wolves. The fish and the otters of the water, animals of the hills and forests, birds of the air, all animals and insects endowed with the gift of life, big or small, must be protected or saved.(4)
The governors and official of each district must send out observers and agents to see that this decree is faithfully observed in all the regions of the land of snow. If not, the respective observers and agents must report the violation of the tsatsig to me (Regent Tagdra) personally, with proper, unbiased proof.(5)
If the Tibetan Government hears of or if the concerned governors report, that the individuals, whether high humble, consider these tsatsigs routine and continue to violate them, they will be punished according to the law of the land. If the lawbreakers are caught, not only they but the governors of the districts where this tsatsig is broken will also be punished.(6)
In other words, to save the Holiness of the religious ruler, everyone else had to be very, very careful not to kill. And to enforce this decree, draconian, cruel measures were instituted! Not to mention, the diets of the humans in this very poor land when it comes to vegetables and grains, deteriorated rapidly. The height of the peasants dropped. This is why so many people were physically quite small compared to meat-eating European invaders, for example. Also, Buddhism sprang up in the warm south. It then took this culture and imposed it in the cold mountains. One thing here: the Mongol invaders who were converted to Buddhism over the centuries drank milk and ate milk products. So they managed to survive this severe, alien regime since there was nothing forbidding the consumption of milk.
Tibet itself had fallen into desuetude. Governed as a theocracy, the Tibetan peasantry struggled under the burden not only of the harsh conditions that made agriculture and animal husbandry difficult but also with the need to accumulate a surplus sufficient to support an ever-growing class of monks and priests.
The Tibetan monkhood had increasingly eschewed the outside world and its focus resolutely turned inwards, on personal faith and salvation and away from any sense of a social contract with the peasants whose efforts continued to support it. Yet the peasantry and other non-religious took comfort and a sense of validation in their ability to continue to sustain the large religious class. In these circumstances, it was likely that the Tibetan state would implode of its own accord anyway. Foreign interference helped to hasten that fall. A vibrant and healthy Tibetan polity might more successfully have been able to resist occupation and subsequent hegemony by the Han Chinese, although that is far from certain in any case.
Religious faith is a wonderful thing but alas, it is also easily exploited. This is why religious leaders all end up living in palaces and the condition of their faithful flocks deteriorate until there is an uprising and either a new religion is born or they are conquered by outsiders. Most human religions end up getting very confused about sex and power. This leads them into setting up crushing regimes that involve all sorts of sexual mischief. Just like the denouncing of sex within the Catholic clergy paves the road to raping boys or having secret mistresses, the Dalai Lamas, far from being pure or holy, ended up doing these exact same things, too.
There is a strong tendency for all religions, no matter what they proscribe or what they profess, to end up building hive communities that run harems! This is a very strong force. I cannot fathom why except perhaps, the dream world's power in religion is very great. And the dream world is, as Freud understood correctly, a lot about sex and death. There is a very strong self-destruct streak in humans. Perhaps our success at keeping our young alive due to our large brains being able to use fire and tools, we then make up for this, we balance this with being very destructive? A lot of Buddhists try to ignore this history which they, themselves, create. The 'peaceful' Buddhists in Tibet were very, very cruel. The mercy they felt were only for their own hive communities. The supporting peasantry were not part of this benevolence.
Yet the peasants supported this system. As in Japan or China or for that matter, medieval Europe before the Reformation. As the religious hive communities gather more and more economic power and hoard more and more of the results of labor by the peasants, eventually either there has to be a revolution or the society is put to the sword. For if this runs too long, the people are eventually too weak to resist invaders.
In Tibet, they were very, very weak when the Chinese finally invaded and put an end to the cruelties of the ruling Tibetan nobility and the hive communities that supported this tyranny. A great number of odd death wish magic had taken over the Buddhist community by the 20th century. It was evolving into more like the Aztecs of Mexico than towards 'humanism'. Just like the end of the Middle Ages and the reaction of the Catholic Church to the Reformation was to turn towards human sacrifices in the form of auto de fees. The anxiety to reassert the powers of the hive community was so great, the persecutions of dissidents and Jews shot upwards. This, incidentally, was why the Founding Fathers of the US decided to erect a wall between Church and State.
Unlike the Dalai Lama who wishes for a theocratic state. Going back to today's news, the Dalai Lama is in Britain, seeking the muscle of the dying British Empire to harry and harass China into giving up Tibet and reinstalling him as the ruler of Tibet. England tried to take over Tibet in the past as they sought to rip up China:
Francis Younghusband took it upon himself to shoulder aside the nominal leader of the mission, General James Macdonald, who has subsequently and rather unfairly been labeled with the soubriquet 'Retiring Mac.' Where Macdonald would have followed the terms of reference of the mission scrupulously, Younghusband forced the troops onwards to the capital and to the negotiation of another the unequal treaties that imperialists employed at the time, as indeed they still do. Tibetans who tried to stand against the British and empire troops - mostly from India and Nepal - had only medieval weapons to sustain themselves and no concept of the danger of modern technology and military methods. Faced with superior firepower and with a mindset that connected superior force with religious virtue, the overwhelmed Tibetan guards fled on more than one occasion. There was a massacre. Some British troops were killed by accident, misadventure and enemy action. The weather and the forbidding mountainous terrain proved rather more formidable foes.
Yet the steadfast sense of superiority and destiny possessed by the British hierarchy convinced them that they could not and would not be either deterred or defeated. Relentlessly, the column of troops and larger supporting column of livestock and logistics teams pushed on towards the holy of holies in Lhasa. Negotiations were entered into, contrary to instructions and the treaty forced through by Younghusband almost alone. He planned to return in triumph at this great extension of British imperial power. Alas for him, the British government took a dim view of his overstepping the mark and he lived out his life, if not in ignominy, then at least not without achieving the high honours he envisaged for himself and his later activities were more marked by eccentricity than reward. The treaty was renegotiated, with a much fairer distribution of the benefits of it. Tibet, nevertheless, had entered, fatefully, the realm of inter-imperial politics.
Incidentally, this is what killed the British empire: overextension. Also note that there was and still is, great confusion as to what were borders back then. The earth's borders were very loosely defined 250 years ago. There were, rather, spheres of power and influence. And the co-mingling of peoples was great. Populations entered into other areas and grew or were driven out by tribal warfare. The concept of national borders is frankly, very modern!
Back to the Dalai Lama's rule in the past: the Lamas decreed that nothing was to be killed. But this meant the peasants must starve. All of Tibet was put under restrictions that prevented the peasants from doing nearly anything. This severe rule is a key issue for me: the entire ecological movement is inherently an issue of nobility versus peasants! Always was in the past, will be in the future. Peasants want to cultivate the land and chop down trees. Nobles want to roam about in various reincarnations of Eden. They want to stroll around in Nature while peasants want to have nature service them. On top of this, the nobles want the peasants to service THEM! To do this, the peasants have to wrest from Nature the value added goods that service the nobles. This struggle for power over nature and over the output of human labor is at the heart of the political and social dynamics we see in the world today.
The Dalai Lama's reasoning for LITERALLY cutting off the hands and feet of the peasants as punishment for spoiling nature was simple: this gave the Dalai Lama's a leg up in going to 'heaven'. To achieve purity, all they had to do was prevent the peasants from killing anything! To enforce this, they MURDERED the peasants. This sort of twisted, dark, backwards thinking is what I call 'The Outer Darkness' and it is at the heart of the human soul. Why do all religions end up doing this?
It is the basic contradiction within our own psychological being. We have this compulsion to stomp on our nearest and dearest if this means we will be 'perfected.' I come from such a background. My family is nearly all 'Christian'. They firmly believe I will burn forever in hell because I look at religion from the other side of the mirror. They hate this and won't ever talk to me. I have a brother who is a minister. He hasn't talked to me in...about 35 years. Nor will he EVER talk to me for it inspires naked fear I will shake him out of his hive beliefs! He prays for the Apocalypse to come and wipe out most humans and thus, return Eden. OUCH. My fury over this plan eludes him totally. He wants to go to heaven, they all want to go there. My insistence that the Guardians at the Gates of Death are very aware of the desire to go to heaven while murdering humans, they have elaborate plans for enlightening all the people passing by: they force them to relive the lives of the victims of the religious impulses!
Or maybe not! Who knows? I would like to see that, myself. A dangerous thought. I suppose they will wring me out a the Gates of Death for even thinking about wanting this....which takes us to the core of the problems concerning Tibet! The Dalai Lama lives like a king. He is coddled and cared for by his followers. He gets and got in the past, CIA money because the CIA wants to kill China. The empires of the West hate China and have sought to loot China in the past and hope to do this in the future. Tibet is a perfect platform for dominating China! Thus, the energy being poured into this enterprise.
Religions have had a close relationship not only to violence but to economic exploitation. Indeed, it is often the economic exploitation that necessitates the violence. Such was the case with the Tibetan theocracy. Until 1959, when the Dalai Lama last presided over Tibet, most of the arable land was still organized into religious or secular manorial estates worked by serfs. Even a writer like Pradyumna Karan, sympathetic to the old order, admits that "a great deal of real estate belonged to the monasteries, and most of them amassed great riches. . . . In addition, individual monks and lamas were able to accumulate great wealth through active participation in trade, commerce, and money lending." (8) Drepung monastery was one of the biggest landowners in the world, with its 185 manors, 25,000 serfs, 300 great pastures, and 16,000 herdsmen. The wealth of the monasteries went to the higher-ranking lamas, many of them scions of aristocratic families, while most of the lower clergy were as poor as the peasant class from which they sprang. This class-determined economic inequality within the Tibetan clergy closely parallels that of the Christian clergy in medieval Europe.
Along with the upper clergy, secular leaders did well. A notable example was the commander-in-chief of the Tibetan army, who owned 4,000 square kilometers of land and 3,500 serfs. He also was a member of the Dalai Lama's lay Cabinet. (9) Old Tibet has been misrepresented by some of its Western admirers as "a nation that required no police force because its people voluntarily observed the laws of karma." (10) In fact. it had a professional army, albeit a small one, that served as a gendarmerie for the landlords to keep order and catch runaway serfs. (11)
Young Tibetan boys were regularly taken from their families and brought into the monasteries to be trained as monks. Once there, they became bonded for life. Tashì-Tsering, a monk, reports that it was common practice for peasant children to be sexually mistreated in the monasteries. He himself was a victim of repeated childhood rape not long after he was taken into the monastery at age nine. (12) The monastic estates also conscripted peasant children for lifelong servitude as domestics, dance performers, and soldiers.
There is no paradise on earth. Never will be one. If there is one, all we have to do is look under the table to see who is dying to make this possible. I greatly fear the impulse to 'save the planet' will end up causing WWIII. There are many, many people who dream of eliminating the vast majority of humans so they and they alone can enjoy Eden. Many supporters of the Dalai Lama in the West are of this frame of mind. Some of the nastiest people I have met were within this community. Just like the nastiest people in America are often the 'I love JESUS' community. They will embrace only those who join them. And even there, they resent anyone who tries to question even small details of the deadly plan to have Jesus kill most humans.
Love, it seems, is a one way street. And ends in destruction. But then, the poets realize that love and hate are very close to each other and flip easily from one state to the other. As everything at the very center of our being is prone to do!