The Hidden Seduction – Part VI-3 – Love Life Behind The Computer Screen

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Part VI-3 – Love Life Behind The Computer Screen

It was difficult for Elizabeth to put herself back on the market again, after more than twenty years of marriage. The she lived in a small village of about three thousand residents; everyone in town knew each other, and nobody there had caught her eye.

The Internet, a revolutionary invention of the 20th century, has not only shrunk the world at the speed of light and extended the human experience with a multitude of content and colours, it has also penetrated our intimate lives. Dating sites like Plentyoffish, Match.com, Lavalife, and hundreds of others have created a world behind the computer screen, real communities built with virtual bridges. Online we can find plenty of fish of all sizes, shapes, and colours.

But Elizabeth preferred traditional dating, which was understandable but limited in many ways. It is true that one can never really know who they are communicating with behind the screen, and most people are not sure if they want to bring a stranger into their reality. And so Elizabeth was dating a man whom she had met through friends, a big, strong Catholic who did not live very far away.

Ou Yang had started dating on Lavalife after talking with some other girls who had found their boyfriends on the site. She had come from a new nation that gave her the guts to go abroad and built her home in a strange land, so she could hardly be called bold for dating on a website.

Yet Ou Yang did not have much time for endless browsing and meetings. As she said: “I have no time to waste!”  She could not afford to go too much into detail neither.She was too busy with her work, household chores, and caring for her son, so the objective in her head and in front of the screen was clear. It seemed to her that dating had to be done as a goal to achieve rather than a period of life to live. She also did not want to grow fat from the endless coffees, lunches, and dinners, and she worried that she would spend too much money on worthless men, in addition to her precious time.

Soon enough Ou Yang found a French Quebecois as Ge Wen was leaving. Ge Wen had functioned for a few months as a baby sitter as Ou Yang prepared to replace him as a husband, and yet he knew nothing.

She had been talking to her “buddy” Simone for a while about François.

“What do you think of him?” Ou Yang asked Simone after telling her François’ age, appearance, and what he did for a living.

Simone was conscious that Ou Yang was dating while still married, right under her husband’s nose, and Simone felt a bit awkward giving her opinions under such circumstances about a man she had never met.

“Well, I really don’t know! You have to judge for yourself. I don’t know what you want and I have never met this person.”

Simone’s last comment led to a party suggestion by Ou Yang, and soon enough there was a BBQ on the back deck of Simone’s house one Saturday afternoon.

Now the man behind the screen showed up.

About eight years older than Ou Yang, Francois Rousseau was a self-employed business man who had been selling companies for owners who wanted, or had to sell. He was a good-looking middle aged man of medium height; his hair was turning the mixed colour of salt and pepper, thinning on top of his head; his body was straight but with ease, his face properly portioned and delicate, his red-striped shirt nicely well ironed. Though, with a bit of a belly hanging, he was quite pleasant to the eyes.  All these showed that he was doing pretty well in his business and life.

He was more prudent than humorous, as most business men usually are, but easy and pleasant enough to socialise comfortably.  After all, he bore the standard merits and characteristics of a decent Canadian professional salesperson. As Ou Yang was searching for a reliable Quebecois man, Francois’ fascinating blue eyes might actually rank dead last in her criteria, a pair of eyes that could attract romance with little effort.

Simone invited a few friends to help liven up the party. There was Victor Point, Simone’s boyfriend, Jeremie, a young Frenchman who was one of Simone’s Salsa friends, and a nice, gentle Chinese woman who had immigrated to Quebec from France. The guests started arriving around 3:30pm and slowly started a pleasant BBQ of steak, potatoes, salad, rice, and a red wine that Victor had brought back the previous summer from Bex, Switzerland.

Victor was a talkative person, and a party could be very dull without someone like him. He talked a lot, but he seldom spoke nonsense or went on meaningless rants. His humour was slightly weird and cynical, possibly due to his dead-end musical career. He had switched to web programming just because he believed that art is private, very subjective, and personal. Depending on art for a living was akin to putting art under pressure and scrutiny. Art is for appreciation and opening one’s mind, like humour is for laughing and mental health, even though some jokes bear criticism artistically and some can even turn sarcastic. But Victor’s jokes often had his new “friends” lost in the clouds with their absurdity and cynical flavour.

His tongue would deliver many interesting stories and his eccentric humour would either shock people or push open the gates of a common sense for the hidden variations of comprehension of life’s meanings in its richness and profundity. His endless novelties would make the people around him wonder how he could possess such wide a range of knowledge and how he could have such an unusual memory! Despite the cynical hint in his jokes, he was well appreciated and favoured as an original person by Simone.

Simone and Jeremie were the party exciters who made the party lively by showing off in a Salsa dance. It was a nice autumn afternoon and all of Simone’s tenants were out with their parents, biking or roller-blading by the Saint-Lawrence River. Nice music did not really disturb anyone,  nor did any of Simone’s friends arouse unfriendly feelings of her neighbours, only the occasional burst of laughters startled off the small delicate exotic red-coloured cardinal of Montreal.

Things went pleasantly for every one, also for the quiet Chinese woman from France. Her gentle light smile with a nod or a simple “oui!”  eased the hot Salsa dance. Simone did not quite understand Jeremie’s tongue rolling French of Paris, but their love for life did not stop because of the language barrier, for they had this mutual consenting smile and the sexy latin music and dance moves that both apprehended very well in similar senses. François soon grooved into the party, though Ou Yang unconsciously displaced  a little nervousness and some kind of concern with her tense body posture and slightly forced smile, maybe she was thinking about her son, or feeling uneasy about her husband left home with their son…

Towards the end of the party, Ou Yang dragged Simone inside the house and asked earnestly:

“What do you think?”

After three hours of BBQ, chatting and dancing, Simone had to say something to meet Ou Yang’s expectation.

“Well, he seems like a fine person!”

Simone did not want to intrude with too much of her opinion, knowing that she and Ou Yang were two different types of women in their different phases of life. She knew that life had to be experienced with people’s own ideas and mistakes, and that her opinions might be absurd for anyone else but her. People truly are very different.

“Yes, I think so. He is very good to my son as well.”

Of course, any single men who wish to date Chinese women with children should always treat the children well with no conditions, although it was almost unheard of for a single Chinese woman to date a single dad. They would probably rather be old spinsters.

Simone was a bit concerned about Ge Wen, but as the Chinese saying goes that: “ water at distance can not ease the immediate thirst -远水解不了近渴(yuan shui jie bu liao jin ke) ”, and let alone the fact that Simone was not a friend to Ge Wen, which meant the kind of distance at heart, she could do nothing else but “help” her friend Ou Yang. That seems to be what a friend is for.

 

To be continued…

The True Gap Between People

Posted by & filed under Professional.

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Active Mind Set

(photo of Hai Bo with Dan)

( Hai Bo attended the seminar  given by Mr. Dan Bastasic, one of IA Clarington Strategic Managers from Toronto on 23rd floor, 2000 Mcgill College, Montreal)

Hai Bo’s thoughts after the seminar:

The True Gap Between People

I am in the profession of investment. I help people who want to be different and do better.

And I am a literature/philosophy major by which I observe people and the world. People or clients around me constantly make me think: what is the thing that makes the gap between them?

If we all have a good head and a healthy body, we start our lives from the same line. But two/three decades, or even one decade after, the gaps between people are astonishingly formed and getting larger year after year.

Usually people only see visible gaps such as revenue differences, differently priced cars/houses they possess, places they can afford to stay and visit, or activities they go about, etc. but seldom people see the true yet hidden originating gap between them.

This hidden gap starts from the WAY of THINKING. Nothing else.

It starts way back to an age of teens and twenties, or for some late comers like me, it starts from the moment they are enlightened. A person’s financial situation after his/her 50s of age is decided by NOTHING BUT his/her THOUGHTS and the WAY of his/her thinking.

The world is ABSOLUTELY fair. We wonder how we get to the places we are at right now. It is NOT because of our parents who might put a silver spoon in our mouths, our formal educations which mean less and less adequate, our jobs that eat away our time and exhaust us in body and soul, AND not because we are terribly loving, nice, stylish, nor that we are moral,

It is indeed because of:

Curiosity, Open-mindedness, the will and intelligence for understanding a little bit of a complex, Patience for listening to things seem hard to comprehend at the beginning, Persistence to get the answers that would scare MOST people away or dive deeper to THE place where lazy people give up the journey not even half way, AAAAND the ability to trust, an ability and quality that is based on the proper knowledge acquired with the proper correct ways of cognition and that MOST people find it hard and impossible not possess.

Life is a delicious dish for which we are provided ALREADY with ALL the ingredients. We are presented ALREADY with ALL the paths that we need for whichever one we like to step our feet on. It is absolutely UP to THE person.

 

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Have a good day!

The Hidden Seduction – Part VI-2 – Love Floating On The Foam of Caffè Latte

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Part VI-2 – Love Floating On The Foam of Caffè Latte

Ou Yang popped up at Simone’s door when she wanted to talk or “needed” advice. Simone grew a bit of tedious feeling about Ou Yang’s non-mutual beneficiary visits after seeing that Ou Yang was not really interested in listening to what she was asking for. Sometimes she felt that the visit was good for no one at all. Nevertheless, going dancing was always an exception.  After all,  Simone had enough a strong empathic heart to continue trying her best to help Ou Yang in her own way which would be thought as too direct for Chinese. To Simone, directness was the result of all her knowledge and experiences and it would save Ou Yang precious time in her critical moment of life. At least, she could show Ou Yang part of the joy of life – the pleasure of dancing. Indeed, dancing had served as the strange link between the two very different girls and some what as the only way for Simone to continue her hidden mission.

Ou Yang invited herself one lunch time again to Simone’s home. Simone prepared Italian Bruschetta and some fruits as simple lunch.

“I heard that Quebecois men are very cheap! They don’t even pay you a cup of coffee!!!”

Well, that was not the first time Simone heard such a comment on Quebecois men.

Ou Yang was like most daughters or grand-daughters of Chinese women who have been liberated by Chairman Mao for 61 years after 1949. Strangely, these women still tangled themselves up as if they had never been free from their traditional roles of dependants of men and society. The 1st two generations of new China passionately scorned this role, but the 3rd and 4th generations slowly shifted into taking such delight in praising men who provide, spitting out contempt so hideous on those who could not.  We could even feel the goose bumps on our skin only seeing the ways they uttered words of despite. They surely love men to pay for everything when they are dating and they demand in their heads absolutely the “chivalry” when they are invited out.  Indeed, very where in the world, invitation means that the inviting party absolutely pays,  but in China, dating expenses fall on men as entrance examinations! Even though, some of those Chinese women are living in different western countries, their thinking habit is like a heavily charged train sliding on a down slope.

All detailed cultural differences and expectations of women in dating say a lot about the societies they live in. Chinese women advanced one step after 1949, yet soon got lost in its revolutions where humanity simply disappeared. And now, as men are getting wealthier and the society is automatically putting its handle in the hands of girls because of The One-Child Policy, women seem to have happily resumed their traditional positions as priced merchandise instead of going a step forward.

In China, Ou Yang never once paid for tea or meals. All boys treated her. Especially as a college graduate, she was a hot one on the market. Men would usually pay everything to have a university educated woman added to their social status. Lucky for those girls who lived in that time when diplomas were symbols of advancement and glory and a sort of “sexy” attraction to men. Of course, having money was not the only criterium for Ou Yang, she wanted more than that. But paying the coffee or meals should be the first test the man had to pass.

Upon hearing Ou yang, Simone frowned unnoticed, but agreed to the comment first in order not to sound opposing, thus paving her way into the following conversation. Coming back from getting her a glass of juice, she said to Ou Yang:

” but you know, getting to know the person in whole is more important than judging them only from paying for you or not the very first date”. Well, Ou Yang was judging even before meeting any of them from gossip.

“Well, I detest men who do not even buy a cheap coffee for the woman he invited! You can not depend on a man like this!”  Ou Yang was quite passionate when she commented as if she had a real opponent in mind.

“Ou Yang, maybe he does not mean to invite you? Maybe he does not know you enough to invite you? If you do not agree to try him, you will not go out with him, right? So, aren’t you having an equal chance and shouldn’t you share the cost?”  Simone spoke out her opinions.

Ou Yang had such a talent in turning things in her favour. She was absolutely reasonable thinking that she could not go for a man less good than her husband who had been already paying everything for her, who even handed over all his pay after receiving his salary every month without delay. Yes, it would be demeaning if she had found a man who would do less than her husband.

“Well, you have to understand that Quebecois men are used to women’s independence. Quebecois women enjoy paying their own bills, because their grand mothers and even mothers had no identity (they bore the names of their husbands), no chance to work, no right to own bank accounts, and absolutely  no access to their husbands’ accounts before the 60s! Now, they enjoy their freedom of working for their own money and spending it instead of “being treated” by men like before!”

Simone said to her with eyes looking directly into Ou Yang’s.

” You have money for a coffee, don’t you?”

Hearing this gently pronounced but very clear and direct question, Ou Yang suddenly turned red:

” No, that is not the point! Of course I have money. I have more savings than them from my profitable tour guide job in China, but I need to see that they love me!”

Ou Yang protested genuinely.

So the debate weather money represents love lasted 20 minutes until Simone was tired of trying. Ou Yang argued as if she was not there to listen to different ideas from the girl she seemed trusting, but to show off her princess-like value and pride some what as a kidnapped Chinese woman.

In Ou Yang’s mind, if the man was not willing to pay even for a coffee, this man would be too cheap and untrustworthy! It had nothing to do with money. Ou Yang was absolutely a princess, a princess who grew tired of her slave husband,  a queen with an eight year old, a hard-working priceless woman who was not shy at all to think for a second of her own unfavourable situations…

It was interesting that she was not in China where women of 27 years are tagged as “left-overs”.  She was on a different market where “foreign men” were naive about Chinese women, where men knew a bit of Asian family traditions and customs , but not really knew that women were not even mentioned and thus did not exit…

Western men did not know at all that New China, though liberated women 61 years ago,  let them be spoiled by men who wanted to show power after being given the right to chase material wealth with China opened up. They would never have imagined that Chinese women in general were created equally greedy monsters in between the periods of history of nothingness and liberation, and on the road of the men’s society returning to raw lust for money and power .

Ou Yang’s case was even more difficult. She was caught even tighter in Quebec. She fell into a place where women are independent and supported by a wise and kind society, a place where men would think that paying every coffee and meal would be an insult to independent minds with self-esteem. In regard of treating Chinese women, Quebec men fall into a cultural error zone unconsciously, but it would be pretentious for them to behave like Chinese men if they’d be sincere and if we’d like them to be genuine.

Simone tried to make Ou Yang see that love is priceless and it comes from getting to know each other to start with, rather than from the irrelevant payment for a coffee in a society where even a beggar can afford three full meals by begging on the streets. But Ou Yang insisted that if there was no free  coffee, then there would be no chatting, absolutely no chance for further development!

“So your love has a price of a coffee, is that right?”

Seeing that her way did not work at all, Simone changed  her weapon and uttered abruptly those words with a bit of scorn.

Ou Yang felt strange why Simone said that. “Of course not!”  She held herself up high, because she was worth more than a cheap coffee. That was just the whole point! In her eyes, she was worth the price of a one carat diamond at least.

“hahahaha….”  Simone could not help laughing, but her laughter went from mocking into joking, fearing what was hidden in her laughter would hurt Ou Yang. She thought, by adjusting her laughter,  she could cover well her distain for Ou Yang, or to be precise, her despite for this prevailing Chinese women’s concept of love by measuring it with rituals or money. She was sure that she had adjusted,  into an obvious understanding and deep empathy, her improper statement and her aversion for Ou Yang’s inherited cheap and stubborn ways of thinking …

“Why you laugh? I am serious! I would not just go out with a man who would not even pay for my coffee on the first date!! If he is not willing to pay for just one coffee, what else he would do for me?”

Indeed, love is invisible to Chinese, untouchable with no smell, but coffee, even though Chinese do prefer tea, does have a kind of strong burned smell and taste; and a diamond does have visible pretty shapes and solid touch with much more value to tag the worth of love. This might be the reason why it is harder for Chinese to pull their facial muscles for smile or laugh than “Climbing to the Heaven”,  because they are busy fantasizing meeting men who would measure their love with diamonds,  putting rulers into their pockets to measure their loss and gain kept under their matresses, and they are so busy calculating that they become poker faced.  They forget that living each breath of life healthily and joyfully with appreciation is the most important measure for life. Every one, especially girls in Quebec, can fully execute this ultimate ideal and enjoy this last but the best meaning of life.

Simone saw that Ou yang did not get the ” joke”, so she pointed out with words:

” Don’t take it seriously, I was just joking with you!’

But Ou Yang was offended. She got well the meaning hidden in the joke. She stood up from the bar chair suddenly, grabbed her purse, walking towards the door while putting on her shoes and coat, saying at the same time in a wronged and bitter tone:

” You are lucky! You do not understand me! Victor treated you well and you are lucky!  If I had your money, I wouldn’t care neither; if I had a person like Victor, I would not need anything more!”  Ou Yang judged Simone’s situation because she saw Simone’s big house with beautiful flowers all through three seasons and she never heard Simone complain or mention anything concerning the payment. Not complaint or mention meant that Victor did all very well including paying for everything!

She might not be totally wrong. We do need money to cure our addiction to money and a good generous man who pays everything to let us feel no need for needing. But how much do we need and what can be called generous?

There, on her porch, Simone watched angry Ou Yang rushing away. Simone saw the tears in Ou Yang’s eyes when she got into her car. Ou yang’s anger made Simone feel that her utterance was very improper, inconsiderate and even rude. Yes, Simone should have understood better Ou Yang’s multi entanglement and be more patient. So sorry and bad she felt instantly for Ou Yang and herself, she chased after Ou Yang’s car, yelling something while running, but Ou Yang drove away like a crazy youngster racing….zuuuummm…leaving Simone’s shouts unheard in the noise of her volkswagen.

Even with her front lights off, and with anger and bitterness, Ou Yang disappeared into the darkness…

Yes, Simone was lucky to have Victor Point treating her the clean air in the restaurant for one and half hours when they first met! They actually treated each other the priceless water without paying any tip to the waiter,  which made the waiter unhappy waiting on two people who did not not reward his work! That was really cheap! How lucky was she in Ou Yang’s mind! Maybe Simone should think like Ou Yang, get offended by Victor’s treat of air and water and shut her door forever to Victor?

Simone sent an e-mail and also called to apologize. She made sure that Ou Yang was alright. Ou Yang righteously excused herself of not knowing the situation of Quebec women, yet she emphasized that she was not a cheap woman nor a Quebecois woman, so she would not let men have her so easily…

To Be Continued…

 

The Hidden Seduction – Part V-3 – The Boring Stage

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Part V-3 – The Boring Stage

Jonas might have gone a bit farther than his convention limited him or his religion has expected of him by being a bit farther away from his vow to his wife Elizabeth. The worst of all, he confessed to his wife,  as a good Christian, his “sin” of having fallen in love with a Chinese woman a few years after the event. We would wonder, since he could stray from his Christian disciplines, why could he not bear the torture of his guilt, why would he not just consume it or let it rot away with his dead cells than sharing his burden with his wife whom he might have forgotten that she was also a human being?

Nevertheless, we could never understand the true reasons for this cruel disclosure of his “infidelity”. He might have a decent cause to break his oath for, but he did not do it right then in “proper” ways or he was just too true to himself to remember his vow. When the jug is broken, any way of breaking it should be wrong anyway.

It is in vain to blame when unpleasant things happen. Finding fault could not end the inevitable conflict between God and men and neither could it help build our life. Experiences, any experiences “good” or “bad”, all should become positive energies for wise people to resume their lives, not something to fear of, nor to avoid facing. “good” or “bad”, we need to embrace them as our lives, our only lives that would have been in these ways no matter how many lives we would have lived.

For Jonas, should he honour his own individual need or path while continuing honouring HIS that had taken his wife into this custodian of marriage, and how? Should he be allowed to “sin” and make mistakes, such big ones in his life that had mislead another person’s 2o years? Or we should say it is not sin nor mistake, but rather the natural unavoidable progression of  life? When we say that “cheating” is a “sin” or “mistake”, aren’t we putting ourselves on the “right” side of human moral laws, yet dwelling on the wrong side of natural laws? Is Christianity seen as natural laws or laws of our humans? But it seems that the unified only way is to live our lives well with what we have got making the best out from whatever situations we are put in.

Life is always complicated. The complication many times includes mainly our concerns for the loved ones, the direct wife or husband, children and indirect other members of the families. It seems that life always has two faces, one is for facing the institutions that we created and live in, the order that we established and have to follow, and morals and values that we teach our children to enable them to have something to hang strongly on; the other face is questioning ourselves inside, to understand our changing selves, our true feelings,and what the set world and moral touching promises still make the same good sense to the true changing instant us.

The second face is always timid with a little voice while the one outside is either unquestionably strong or used to be in set moulds. Could Jonas be a natural man and a godly man at the same time?  If not, why not then?  What would be the result of just being a natural man instead? Quebec men had kicked the ass of God out from their doors, what have become Quebec men for Ou Yang to date soon, what are these ungodly Quebec men?

Elizabeth’s divorce dragged longer than usual. She struggled for 8 years amongst bearing the banal consequences of her husband’s very humanity,  the cruelty of the discharged guilt and her own human attempts for forgiving. A woman who married her high school sweet heart, a pious Christian and a mother of four was given the burden to choose and carry separately the responsibility for the kids.

Since Elizabeth decided to divorce, she would be thrown into a world that she had not much knowledge of, or probably that she would not approve. It seemed that she cast herself out from her relatively enclosed and “purer” Christian world into a mixed one of all others. The most unfortunate of all,  she would encounter doubt in her firm mind,rendering herself at the risk of losing her Christian faith.

She was about to find out that the world where woman made from man’s rib was changing when science and technologies have made our life such that the strength of muscles are losing to that of brain. She knew very well that Eve was depicted the vicious and disrespectful one who tasted the apple of knowledge, and she herself had become a woman with free spirit who was in reach of any apples in the world. Yet, the Christian culture had planted into her blood and bones the concept and habit of relying on men without whom women were out cast forever into an unknown world, a world where men were leaving behind what she had been taught to believe in.

Instead of saying that Elizabeth was thrown out by an unrighteous and unkind incident onto an awkward stage, it would make more sense to think that she was put into an ordeal and incessant trouble and pain by the need for “confession” and for releasing the “guilt” righteously. Jonas was not saved neither from an ordeal, though different, or even worse and harsher one, from the unimagined consequences of being honest enough to “confess” and to ask for forgiveness, thus putting the hot ball into the hands of Elizabeth for his own errors that might be correctable by himself.  We were not saved from tasting the salt when Jonas and Elizabeth were crying. We were helpless. We could not even hold their hearts besides being silent.

Poor Elizabeth, now she was on a stage where she found herself almost naked and everyone of her small village was watching. She was out of the relationship with her husband, yet not ready to have a place to hang IN. She did not quite know the location of the door to the next house where she could accommodate her soul properly as she had achieved before with Jonas.

Her uncertain situation could be easily seen on her puffy face. The grievance, the unrest, un-eruptable wrath found their ways into her deep wrinkles. She was born with a up-beat character and was chosen by God as a perfect sower of sun rays, but the life changing event hardly could hold any longer her happy karma and her life nurturing sun rays almost resembled that pale light dazzling from a mirror. The need of her children, the love and care for her kids and the limit of the small town made it impossible for her exhausted soul to give up completely her once happy marriage of almost 20 years. Life is not a nice paint, life is real, ugly and awkward at this moment or years,  which did not allow her to go forward nor backward.

We would think that Christians do not fight against each other, yet we have to to accept that they fought hard by hanging fast to their belief and defending their humanity and conventional feelings fostered by their belief, or simple by not knowing what to do while tangled in complex situations . Their God was the witness of their frustration and indifferent relationship that was once loving and perfect. There seemed not much good left from the happy past except reluctance and indifference between the two of them.

Like Elizabeth, Ou Yang was slowly coming out from her Chinese convention.  With a vague vision of a “bright”future, all life businesses were uncomfortably annoying and discouraging .  The two women,  of different nations,  so different from roots to surface, were suffering strangely a surprisingly similar fate…

 

To Be Continued…

The Hidden Seduction – Part V-2 – The Shape Of Light

Posted by & filed under Personal.

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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