portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

human & civil rights | indigenous issues

Save Tibet... Why?

When asked, a monk living in exile said there is nothing in it for the West in saving Tibet....except.... it is right.  http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com
For more information on this op-ed that has appeared in several Western publications  http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com


Save Tibet... Why?
By Joe Mickey & Sazzy Varga

What's in it for the West to support efforts to save Tibet?. Plenty

 http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com

Left in the dust of the human race are tiny remnants of tattered cultures trying desperately to hold on to the keys that unlock the great mysteries of life. Did the American Indians understand things that we will never know? And what of the Aborigines of Australia? Did one ever find proof of the existence of the human soul while on a walkabout? One of these keys also belongs to the Tibetans.

The concept that solutions to the ills of the world lie within the content and quality of each individual's heart are now lost on the "me" generation. Bigger weapons, faster computers and wireless technology are the answers and things have become the gods. More money, more power, more...that is the new sound of Om, the new amen, the new shalom.

"Free Tibet" is a cause that has risen on the world stage to the level of the Nobel Peace prize for the Dalai Lama in 1989.

For most who know their plight of human annihilation and cultural desecration by the Chinese over the past 50 years, the soul of Tibet is embodied in the Dalai Lama. Every Tibetan seems to contain a portion of that soul.

While life holds little mystery, those who have come in personal contact with the Dalai Lama can at least recognize that his gentle presence is powerfully felt‹like a mystery of life. To the ingrained Judeo-Christian sensibilities of the West, in its understanding of the Tibetan cause, the Dalai Lama is ironically seen as the symbolic representation of Tibet1s soul. Ironic because Tibetan Buddhism does not recognize the existence of a permanent human soul, but rather a transitory spirit trying to find its way to being nothing more than truth. What is it about the Save Tibet effort that seems to maintain a hold on the one element of human nature that we cannot define in DNA or through technology? Do we recognize that we can not let another culture be swallowed up lest we lose all chance to find and prove there is something greater within us than DNA, cells and bone and flesh?

Why will the concept of saving Tibet not stop nagging at the collective conscience? A Tibetan monk, when asked what he thought was in it for those in the West who were trying to help Tibet, said there is nothing in it for us, except that it is right. When asked about becoming a Buddhist, one Lama answered that religion should be a choice that follows one1s own tradition. A person should pick a religion that matches their nature because religion is there to make people better.

China is rising on the world stage as a military and economic force. China could save Tibet with a slight change in policy and in doing so it would rise above all other great nations. Their current path is to gut the Tibetan culture, while leaving a corpse dressed up to attract tourist dollars as a sort of Tibetan amusement park. Parading the image of the Tibetan culture will undoubtedly part of the propaganda gained when China presents the 2008 Olympics.

But realistically, there will be no great change coming from China. That leaves it to us to do what ever we can, large or small, to help the Tibetans save their culture. Individually we will gain nothing from the effort, but in saving Tibet we prove the existence and power of the human spirit.

homepage: homepage: http://www.tibetanphotoproject.com


just what the world needs 12.Feb.2008 08:17

asdf

Another theocracy.

Tibet 12.Feb.2008 08:33

semyon

In 1976 I traveled in Laddakh, visited Dharmsala, and challenged Tibetan Buddhism because it was counter to my Christian beliefs. I sat in monasteries with monks drinking tea overlooking the Himalayas, singing Hene matovou, how blessed it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Monks are brought into service at age 6, and never really know who they are until much later in life. I saw extraordinary feats of mental ability that while understandable are mysterious. There is a Tibetan cure for Hepatitis C that the West lacks and pharmaceutical companies have prevented from being brought to the U.S. I saw my Christian faith had powers that challenged the monks, but I did not seek to destroy. It is more difficult to love the rich in this country and the misbegotten war mongers that kill in the name of Jesus. Walk the path of love.

re: just what the world needs 12.Feb.2008 08:45

me again

i wasn't aware that the tibetan government in exile advocated simply re-creating the theocracy that existed prior to the chinese invasion. don't they advocate a constitutional monarchy?

Tibetan government in exile is elected/Democratic model 12.Feb.2008 10:35

Joe Mickey thetibetanphotoproject@yahoo.com

While we are here, we would offer  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDy_at_ouQg
an Interview with Mr. Samphel

Also we offer free DVDs to anyone who will host a Tibetan film screening
Drop us an email at  thetibetanphotoproject@yahoo.com and please put DVD screening in your subject line.


What A Great Disinfo Job! 13.Feb.2008 12:23

blues

Prior to their liberation by China's People's Liberation Army in 1950, Tibet was a nation of feudal serfs who were completely owned and used in every possible sense by a ruthless gang of warlords who masqueraded as "holy men." China was certainly not what we would consider a liberal nation. But they did liberate the raped, staving, voiceless serfs from the vicious gangsters in saffron robes.

Since then, the CIA has found it useful to promote these religious thugs "monks" to sainthood. And has expended many tens of millions of the US citizen's dollars in providing nice accommodations, endless PR services, etc., etc. to these religious criminals.

Give me $30,000, a Santa Claus suit, and a bottle of Southern Comfort and I can look even bit as saintly as the Dalai Lama.