Karmic Retribution: Chinese Embrace Ancient Concept in Understanding the Consequences of Persecution
(Minghui.org) “I have been collecting and ruining Falun Gong truth-clarification flyers, pamphlets, and banners in the past few years. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) residential committee ordered me to do such things because I took low-income subsidies.
“My leg has been broken, and I cannot walk on my own. I know I have met with karmic retribution, because I did the CCP's bidding. I know that Falun Gong is good, and Falun Gong practitioners are good people. I sincerely apologize to Falun Gong and beg for forgiveness. I will not do such things anymore. 'Falun Gong is good.' I often keep it in my mind.”
The above is a declaration that Lu Qin, a non-practitioner in China, submitted to Minghui.org and published on July 4, 2014.
More and more Chinese are viewing the persecution of Falun Gong and things happening around them in a traditional context of retribution (Bao Ying or 报应), a view of moral cause and effect.
“On the doer of good, heaven sends down all blessings, and on the doer of evil, he sends down all calamities,” so says The Book of Documents written over 2,000 years ago.
Chinese believe that they dwell in a moral universe, in which cause and effect are manifested through “retribution,” which in this context can be positive or negative. It also serves as a connection between human beings and heaven (or the universe at large), in the sense that human actions are judged and have cosmic consequences.
In The Ledgers of Merit and Demerit: Social Change and Moral Order in Late Imperial China, Cynthia Brokaw, Professor of History at Brown University, describes “retribution” as a “belief in a supernatural or cosmic retribution, a belief that has been a fundamental, at times the fundamental, belief of Chinese religion since the beginning of recorded history.”
A Feeling of “Guilt and Relief”
As Falun Gong practitioners continue to tell people about the goodness of the practice and expose the persecution, people are getting a clearer picture of why the persecution is fundamentally wrong.
A practitioner has helped almost all of the officials at his workplace, a CCP agency, to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. One day, a deputy secretary came to his office and asked, “Why didn't you help me quit the CCP?”
The practitioner was surprised, as five other colleagues were present in the office at the same time, “You are not kidding, are you?”
“No. I'm not kidding,” responded the CCP deputy secretary.
When offered an alias, he said, “Simply use my real name. Please come to my office when you have time. I have other matters to discuss with you.”
The next day, he revealed that he had arrested and beaten Falun Gong practitioners when he was the CCP secretary in his hometown. He asked, “I don't want to receive retribution. What should I do?” Pursuant to the practitioner’s advice, he wrote a declaration and sent it to Minghui.org to express his regret.
The 15-year-long persecution of Falun Gong has not only caused death and harm to 70 million plus practitioners, but also put tremendous burden on a lot of people who have to carry out the persecution as part of their job.
A policeman who tortured Falun Gong practitioners recently experienced big changes in his life. He had a stroke, went through divorce, and his only son was imprisoned. He seemed to age a decade overnight, appearing haggard and to be teetering on the edge.
A practitioner recognized him on the street, and told him about the principles of retribution: what goes around comes around, something excluded from the CCP doctrine as it is goes directly against principles taught in atheism.
The former policeman listened quietly and attentively. He suddenly burst into tears, sobbing loudly, as if he had just shed a burden that had been with him for many years. He decided to send a solemn declaration to Minghui.org to take a stand against what he once did.
Three months later, he looked much younger and refreshed, as if he had become a new person.
Ancient Concept Drives Chinese People's Decisions
Chinese official media reported that over 500 judges have resigned in Beijing and over 300 in Shanghai during the past five years. The same metric for Jiangsu Province is 1,850 judges in the past five years. In 2013 alone, Shanghai lost over 70 judges. This issue is especially severe in local courts. Minghui.org has also reported that local 610 Offices are having difficulties filling vacancies.
This is likely connected to the general public in China seeing the downfalls of high-ranking CCP officials as a result of retribution for their bad deeds in the persecution of Falun Gong. Judges are particularly key in following the persecution policy and sentencing practitioners to jail.
“The fallen high-ranking CCP officials are those who have persecuted Falun Gong [practitioners] and are meeting with their retribution. This perception is widespread in China. I have followed it. Everyone should be informed of the truth. Otherwise, we don't even know why disasters happen to us when retribution comes,” a Chinese tourist told Falun Gong practitioners in Lucerne, Switzerland this summer.
Fearing the heavenly law of retribution is one of the main drivers behind the tuidang (quit-the-CCP) movement's success in China: over 170 million Chinese have chosen to denounce their communist organization memberships to avoid being included in the retribution that the CCP and its members will face in the future.
People know that the persecution is bad, and the time will come for it to be held accountable.
Raising Awareness for Everyone's Benefit
While the concept of retribution exists in many cultures, people may see it only in sense of punishment, or mistaken it for “eye for an eye.” The idea of retribution instead articulates a universal guiding principle of goodness being rewarded and evildoers bearing consequences for their actions.
It is a concept that is prevalent in most belief systems in the world, but may not be as important to as many people in modern times. Falun Gong practitioners who tell such stories of retribution, both positive and negative, are doing so to remind people of what they once firmly believed in and used to guide their lives.
A practitioner wrote a letter to his local head of domestic security division, one that is often in charge of persecuting practitioners. Thinking of the difficulties that this policeman had gone through in his life: Death of his father when he was only several months old, left behind by his mother as she remarried, and growing up in his uncle's home under his grandmother's care, the practitioner cried as he wrote the letter.
He felt for the policeman as another human being, and didn't want him to suffer more as a result of the consequences of persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. He told the policeman not to follow the persecution policy and bring disasters upon himself.
Two days later, he called the policeman and asked, “Have you received my letter?” The policeman replied, “Yes, I have read the letter. It was such a long one.” He then informed the practitioner that he had released those practitioners detained in his division.
By informing their fellow Chinese of the ancient concept of retribution and guiding them to use this knowledge to their benefit, Falun Gong practitioners are driving positive changes in China's society. It looks like this ancient concept is experiencing a revival and helping to guide the Chinese people once again.
Category: Opinion & Perspective