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Everything nowadays is regulated. Vehicles are handled by the DMV, you’ve got your building permits, your residential neighborhoods, your income tax, and so on. Sometimes it feels like the rules never end. China is here to see that this vague feeling becomes a hard and fast reality. While religion may get a free pass in the United States and many other nations, China has decided it’s time to start regulating who gets reincarnated and where. Big brother is watching, everybody! Watching you die and live through the cycle of samsara until you break free to enlightenment!
For those of you unfamiliar with the ridiculousness of the Chinese Government, you’re in for a treat. A few years back, China decided that it was sick and tired of Buddhists always reincarnating in China. I’m sure we can all relate. I had buddhists reincarnating in my walls for YEARS, it was a huge pain in the ass. You’ve got to walk them through the enlightenment process over generations so they can finally be rid of their delusions before you can get some sleep. Those damn throat chants really put a damper on my sleeping schedule…
Anyway, rather than going through the trouble of becoming an enlightened teacher or calling pest control, China has opted to begin regulating reincarnation. How they aim to do this remains a mystery, though a hilarious one. Do they have to wait in line? Fill out forms? “Excuse me, but what form will you take in your next life, sir?”
China’s real aims are, unfortunately and unsurprisingly, rather more insidious than the comedy side would at first make them appear. Rather than just another silly exercise in control, the Chinese government is attempting to stamp out Buddhism within its borders. This includes (and is aimed at) Tibet. The Chinese government despises the Dalai Lama and, being rather powerless to deal with him at this point, has opted to deal with his successor instead. China hops to find its own officially sanctioned puppet-lama that they can use to control the Buddhists that remain in Tibet and other parts of China. By pointing out the fact that they have banned people from reincarnating, China can say, “Hey check it out, nobody’s allowed to reincarnate without our permission! We gave THIS guy permission, he’s the Dalai Lama and he’s working with us. He has seen the error of his ways.” Thus they hope to either eradicate Buddhism or to, at the very least, control it the way they control everything: through coercion and fear.
Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, is irrelevant in this. If reincarnation does exist, this is just a silly thing that won’t stop an expert in the first place. It’s said that powerful Lamas are perfectly capable of controlling where they are reincarnated and the Dalai Lama has already expressed the fact that he will NOT be reincarnated in China. If reincarnation doesn’t exist, this is all just ludicrous. The exiled Tibetans will find their new leader and China will find theirs and we’ll have competing brands of Dalai Lama.
I’m willing to bet the Tibetans’ Lama will feature 50% more compassion than their competitor’s. That will sure be impressive.
My personal feeling on this is that I happen to like the Dalai Lama. He’s a smart guy and surprisingly realistic and down to earth. The things he asks for are not unreasonable and the fact that China has stamped down so hard on him and his people just further proves that the Chinese Government has a lot things all wrong. These people don’t even TRY to appear like the good guys like most western governments.
I mean, they’re all idiots, but at least give us a show, right?