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2808China: Monks must get OK to be reincarnated

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  • Elizabeth
    Aug 18, 2007
      This was published in our local paper. Was thinking Klemp could very
      well use this tactic in the future with his membership.

      Published August 18, 2007
      The Gannet

      It turns out China is doing more than exporting poisonous toothpaste,
      toys coated with lead paint and tires guaranteed to blow apart at 70

      They have decreed that Buddhist monks in Tibet have to get government
      permission before they can reincarnate.

      I hate it when that happens. It just spoils the whole death-to-new-
      life experience. Just when you're set to move on to that next step of
      existence, some bureaucrat wants you to fill out a bunch of papers.

      The irony, of course, is that an atheistic government now gets to
      decide whether you get to reincarnate yourself. Go figure. Please.
      Of course this is ridiculous. But there's something more sinister
      going on. China's communist rulers aren't just trying to make a
      mockery of the religion in a nation that has struggled under the heel
      of Mao Zedong's thugs since 1950.

      What the Central Committee in Beijing wants is to further weaken the
      influence of the exiled Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, who is
      no friend of the Chinese. The new order, in effect, gives China the
      power to pick the next Dalai Lama, someone they plan to keep on a
      very short leash - and in Tibet.

      Tibetans believe in reincarnation. Buddhism teaches that the Dalai
      Lama's soul is reborn continually as a new human. The current Dalai
      Lama, who has been living in India since 1959, has said he refuses to
      be reborn in Tibet as long as China rules. This assumes he can
      control such things.

      Anyhow, the succession process could end up with two Dalai Lamas -
      one in Tibet picked by China and another from elsewhere picked by the
      current exiled Dalai Lama.

      All of this has created much stress for Tibet and its belief system
      based on peace and relieving human suffering.

      Still the notion of having to get an atheistic government's
      permission to carry out a religious act is laughable. I can just
      picture the scene in some bureaucrat's office in Beijing:

      "Excuse me, I'd like permission to be reincarnated."

      "Where are you from?"


      "Here, fill out these forms in triplicate. Oh, and no praying while
      you are in here. This is the Great Hall of Belief, which means belief
      in the Communist Party. Oh, by the way, do you have anything you'd
      like to export to the United States? Toys? Dog food? Pirated
      electronics? Flammable children's clothing? It's big business these
      days. We'll give you a 10% cut, and your product doesn't even have to
      work. The Americans don't inspect what they buy from us. They're so

      "No, I just want to be reincarnated."

      "You aren't trying to become the next Dalai Lama, are you?"

      "I really can't say."

      "Well, unless you plan to come back as a butterfly or an ox, you'll
      have to fill out more than those forms. We have rules, you know."

      "Like the ones you used to invade Tibet?"

      With friends like the Chinese, nobody needs enemies.

      Especially the Tibetans.
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