The Divine Performing Arts, Traditional Culture, and Falun Gong
(Clearwisdom.net) A person's stance on Falun Gong can tell a lot about how he or she judges right and wrong, and, in a sense, it is also a reflection of that person's appreciation for Chinese culture. Unfortunately, in China today, some people associate Falun Gong with politics, and that's the result of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s persistent and slanderous propaganda over the last eight-plus years.
In true traditional Chinese culture, two things are emphasized: the belief in the divine and the contest between good and evil. These two things are also closely related. The ability to discern good and evil comes from the heavens, and that is the basis for morality. Even though sometimes the side of good appears to be weaker than the side of evil, those with a strong sense of morality can determine which is which.
Falun Gong is a cultivation of the Buddha School following the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." The CCP's brutal persecution of Falun Gong and Falun Gong's subsequent peaceful and compassionate ways of countering the persecution and saving sentient beings are shaping up to be just such a contest between good and evil. In many ways, this is an encapsulation of traditional Chinese culture.
The Divine Performing Arts' New Year Splendor was over two hours long and contained more than 20 different programs. Among them were two dances and some lyrics related to Falun Gong. A few Chinese audience members, mostly from Mainland China, walked out of the theater midway, as they had been deeply influenced by the CCP's propaganda in recent years. They thus found the content referring to Falun Gong unacceptable. The New York Times published an article on February 6, 2008, wherein the writer gave a one-sided view of how many people left and why he thought they did.
In reality, the Falun Gong issue is an integral part of the show, which is, after all, about traditional Chinese culture. How, on the one hand, can one extol the virtues of the ancient Chinese--pursuit of justice, faith, kindness, courage--while, on the other hand, ignoring those who are today defending the virtues of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance?" If we can applaud the exploits of Mulan and Yue Fei, yet we cannot accept the virtues of Falun Gong, then what kind of traditional culture are we promoting?
The few people who walked out most likely did so because of the exhaustive efforts by the CCP to slander Falun Gong. Before the Jiang Zemin regime began to persecute Falun Gong prior to 1999, the Chinese government praised and gave awards to Falun Gong. It then did a complete reversal and inundated Chinese society with propaganda against Falun Gong, and then extended its smear campaign overseas through its consulates and embassies. Coupled with the brutal persecution in China, it's no wonder that Mainland Chinese people have been so intimidated and fooled. They left at the mere mention of Falun Gong and did not feel comfortable revealing their names to the newspaper.
Ironically enough, however, the New York Times article led to more people wanting to find out the truth about the show for themselves. After the article's publication, the show enjoyed several full houses at Radio City Music Hall before it continued its global tour to Asia and Europe. It just goes to show that people do want to think for themselves and can, after all, decide what's right and wrong.