I’ve been reading My Spiritual Journey lately, a novel written by the Dalai Lama—Buddhism’s spiritual leader. And I gotta say, the guy has some solid points about how life should be lived.
First off, he preaches an interdependence of all living things. Basically, he means that everything is connected and we as human beings are intertwined with the natural world in ways we can’t even fathom. That’s pretty cool. It definitely explains the guilt I feel whenever I lash out or hurt someone else. The other day I accidentally struck a mirror with my elbow and apologized to it.
Things are getting weird at my house, but that’s not the point. The point is: The Dalai Lama could very well be a superhero, imbued with mystical powers, but his doctrine doesn’t permit him to use them. He’s a Buddhist Monk, which means he can only be an unbiased, non-violent commentator on any conflict. While he definitely opposes the Chinese Communist Party’s occupation of Tibet, his country of origin, the monk has made an effort to share his Buddhist findings with the Western world.
From a young age, he displayed an interest in the natural sciences. While many believe that religion and science aren’t related, he claims that an effective bridging of the two institutions will only benefit humanity in the long run.
But here’s where things get all sci-fi on our asses: the process of selecting the next Dalai Lama. His Holiness is the 14th Dalai Lama, the current incarnation of a tradition that’s existed since 1391. If a new Dalai isn’t selected before the current’s death, the decomposing body is monitored until the head points in the direction of the successor. From there, the search committee goes to whichever region the head indicates and makes a selection based on factors including birthdate.
But things get crazier. as the current Dalai Lama has hinted at selecting his successor in life. This would mean entering a meditative realm which exists on a different plain from our reality. It carries none of the distractions of this dimension, allowing the holy spirit to make an accurate selection. Since the Dalai Lama is the Buddha’s reincarnation, the concept of death is basically non-existent. Dying is just like renting a UHaul to that trendy condo on 54th Street.
Since the Chinese occupy Tibet, the motherland of the Buddhist monks and home of the Dalai Lama, they are invested in determining who the next incarnation will be. This would grant them a degree of authority over the Tibetans and Buddhism itself.
Nope, this isn’t a well-written Bond film. The current Dalai Lama has been combatting the Communist Party his entire life. Whether it be about the environment, spirituality or politics, he’s been denouncing Chinese actions for as long as he’s been able to speak. If the Chinese control the Dalai Lama, which they very well might, they gain control of a spiritual realm that’s beyond the average human’s comprehension.
Basically, the Sith are one step away from taking control of the Jedi Order.
(Submit equally witty and thought-provoking sign off here)