I sit here in my Yellow button down shirt with my gray tie and wonder if this is the moment. If this is where the subtle reality shifts into the gross reality, where the cracks become visible and the dam begins to actively leak, and then collapse. The naming of the Umbrella Revolution is also a very interesting and shows a symbolic relationship with the Tibetan culture as well. The Parasol in Tibetan Buddhist practice is represented as a protection from spiritual defilement analogous to the protection from searing heat of the sun (I am sure that you could use this to represent as an umbrella to protect against rain etc. as well). One was also pretty fortunate to be able to afford a parasol and this represent the fortune of someone able to be see that defilements and seek shelter from them.
What is it that they are protecting? What is the Umbrella Revolution going to do?
A seed is a catalyst to the tree, if it is more specific the seed of an apple tree produces an apple tree. It cannot produce a pear tree. Thus we examine the causes, the conditions, and the intention of those that practice and we can, through the only way we can from the side of the Other, their practice. We know it by what they do and say. I watched as young children really, no more than 20, pick through heaps of garbage placing items in different piles. I wondered what they were doing. Then I realized that they were separating the garbage from the recycling. I then saw another group sweeping the highway. One was interviewed and he said, "We are citizens of Hong Kong. We don't want to see it destroyed. We want to show that we care about this city." He went on to say, "we put up these signs," they said, in the translation, 'Sorry for the inconvenience caused by blocking the traffic.' Amazing really. Revolutions, and revolutions in China have been so bloody, heaped with bodies, when both sides have decided to use the futile seeds of violence-which bring about a fruit no one usually wants to eat.
This is why I have thought that Tibet is so unique, and so imperative to our human psyche. I have written about it before so I wont be too verbose for fear of losing the reader. But Tibet is important because reality is really just a paradigm (not Reality). The paradigm is made up of what has been done and these are the points of reference to develop the environments of our communities. Why Tibet is amazingly important is that, perhaps, the first time since India, there is a chance that there is a revolution that does not descend into violence. That there is a change of mind that shift the paradigm without blood. Oh, we know, that India eventually fell into this. Gandhi Ji has often said he 'failed' in this way. But, in his greatness, he was the leader of a movement that showed that non-violence was not only a way, but the only way, to be able to humanely engage a wayward enemy. One cannot expect, like I have pointed out above, to produce anything but violence from the seeds of violence. It is not that Non-Violence will never produce violence, there are too many seeds at play to say that, but it gives it the best shot, it weighs the equation a bit more to one side. Tibet is another chance, and frankly, an even better chance than India was. It is much smaller in population, the religious and ethnic makeup is not as diverse, and there is a leader that the vast majority of the population within Tibet and without identify as a Buddha. We will follow. He has proven himself in the various crucibles of this world and has shown that he believes in the worth of human life. When asked if he was even mad, just a little, at the Chinese for taking over his country he replied, "they took my country why would I give them my mind as well?" If you knew where this arose from it is not that he means that we remain neutral them as well. It means that we thank them for being our greatest teachers, teachers of patience, love, compassion for how can we measure these except for in their opposites? We look at them as grateful students, as loving recipients of a wonderful teaching. This does not, though, mean, as Gandhi Ji has pointed out, that we cannot confront. We will and have.
This leads us to the Umbrella Revolution. We have a chance here to be able to enact this change, perhaps. To engage it in the best of our selves. To even engage the Chinese populace through HK and be able to give them their heritage back. I have often thought China would come looking to Tibet for that. They have a long, long, history of Buddhist though, practice, of philosophical traditions of Virtue which were tried to be eradicated. As they move forward toward such wealth, at least some, they will soon, hopefully, find out what Americans who do not have this history, have found out-Materialism without purpose but Material ends is cold, inhumane, and awful for the Human. It breeds a perpetual stomach for consumption is the only way. It does not jibe with logic, reason, or any other form of inquiry to maintain this trajectory. While America will have to create it, China just has to remember it.