Part V-2- The Shape of Light
For a Christian, divorcing was not something that was supposed to happen first of all in Ou Yang’s mind, for God is their mutual idol and non of the couple should be subject to be questioned apart from their loyalty to God. But unfortunately, they are not God, they are humans who have been trying to live up to God but could never be God himself. Even though no one can be the invented God, his qualities have always been there to encourage them to exceed human intelligence and abilities that had been constantly interfered and hindered by all obvious and hidden factors. Nevertheless, HIS qualities have been serving well at least those who truly believe in them and the light of God has been a guidance for their short otherwise long, maybe confused and miserable journeys.
Elizabeth’s husband Jonas Larson was tired of USA in the late 80s. His life there had seemed like entering into a dead end. He taught high schools full of young men and women, the majority of whom seemed unwilling to learn a bit more than just wanting to pass the exams. This modern world had become a place where people in general dragged their petty worm’s existence and slugged their fish’s pleasure with no dreams. Quite a number of people had left Christianity, some had been attracted by Asian wisdom, very cool of possessing some kills of “Taiji” and “Gongfu”, and the rest fell in the ever-happy after without any belief. They set their feet on the grand path of losing the firstly never-truly-gained ability of understanding any completely incomparable thinking system with its power of emancipation for creation, invention and WELL Being. Probably for western people, getting out from Christianity was a way to get in the system again by other doors and re gain its values after a big reset of conscience?
Maybe, ends adjust the means. And yes, this unique language of belief in different vernacular forms is disappearing, the churches are closing, since it seems that our purposes are different and way of life is changing. Matin Luther could translate whatever, yet he could not do anything more than providing just an opportunity. Montreal, the city of North America where Ou Yang and Ge Wen lived, with the most Catholic Churches where ” You can’t throw a stone without hitting a church”*, had half of the churches closed during the past 40 years.
USA seems intelligent enough to survive this “Quiet Revolution” which happened in Quebec, Canada from the 60s and also had been happening in many countries in Europe. This “Revolution” in Quebec shut the Catholic Church out from politics and people’s personal life completely, giving back the freedom to its people who rely on the system fought with faith. It is appalling how confident in our conscience we have become and how boldly trusting in our human nature and abilities we have appeared. It seems that we do not need better goals any more, or well being can be achieved with the scientific mind only.
No matter how intelligent USA was, the world was changing. Besides all charming technical gadgets, there was something that Jonas did not like. Maybe Jonas knew that belief would go after ambition, either for better or power, and that it would favour a place like China; or that it is only necessary for people in need of it as will power for success and supremacy. Maybe he should agree that the best thing in the world only belongs to people with different visions that could not be taught in ordinary languages and schools. There has always been a hidden school taught in a different language for people with different visions. This school has always made a difference in the classification of people than any other schoolings with their diplomas. There is no measuring diploma for the depth achieved by thinking.
Education is all about enlightening us into conscious beings so that we can keep our calmness and balance over human and natural disasters and can distinguish and keep the wisdom of the world among changes of values and styles. Christianity, in western cultures, had triumphed its primary purpose of lifting us humans above our ignorance about ourselves and the fearful world full of miseries and threats to our early existence and development, yet unfortunately, part of it became an obstacle slowly to the questioning of the truth of universe and to the progression of human thinking. Some Christian believers and many other people too started to question and blame God instead of questioning their small brains, though possibly the small brains together could be just as infinite and almighty with proper thinking system.
The way to understand the Bible, it is more of a question of classification of the genre. It is not a documentary based on facts that could be proven, it is rather a fable with hidden meanings or a fiction with some truths and many experiments of using symbols to try to give support and console the scared miserable small people who were in great need of comprehension and compassion. It is hard to eliminate what Christianity has done as an early form of education only because some people, institutions or nations had been using it for their ungodly purposes.
Nonetheless, the wonders of the universe and the shapelessness of wisdom have made The Institutions, any institution, instantly obscure, incomplete and in inevitable default. Such is also the fate of men and women: curious but stubborn, intelligent but dumb, courageous but cowardly, inventive but conventional, diligent but lazy, and most of all, sometimes too passionate and ambitious to be even against their own God’s will in the Western societies, but too cool and detached as Daoism and Buddhism out there in the “emptiness”, away from our little people’s hearts that unfortunately need warmth to survive and shoulders to cry on.
Humans tried all the ways including naturally impaired institutions run by enlightened mixed with benighted or evil men to reach out for their gods. Yet, some little brains did break through the thick walls of the Institutions and went outside for a “better” view of the world, just the same but inversely as Christian God had sent his SON Jesus to break though the ignorance, to be patient with and to include the totality of men, and even to die for his love of mankind.
Jonas was bored teaching. He was not sure anymore what to teach, because he was not convinced that most of his students loved what he taught. They were not disciplined. The freedom put their legs on their desks and chew gums constantly and incessantly while talking to him…He felt that USA was becoming another country, a country fading away from his God and the God of Americans, and it was sliding into a Kingdom of freedom of disrespect and ignorance. He felt that the nation was getting old and its youth were turning themselves into mute donkeys who had no dreams, nor better goals than necessity, nor spirit, and who had the tendency of staying with their parents way after their age of independence.
As his ancestors moved to USA from Sweden, he had this spirit of adventures. He wanted to leave US for China. He wanted to get out from US which, in his eyes, started declining as the world super power in politics, economy, culture including spiritual status. His first experience of teaching in Xi’An, China in 1990 had persuaded him to go back again after the few years’ teaching in Singapore and Malaysia. He stayed a few more years in Xi’An after 1996. He liked Chinese students. He really loved them for their spongy absorbing minds, their hungry and open pores on every inch of their skin and their endless child-like questions. He loved to stay in China where his body was energized, his soul revived and his spirit nurtured by the willingness and curiosity of his students and this “young” nation.
To Be Continued…
* Mark Train‘s Description of Montreal, Canada