‘We marched with the Socialists and the Communists, the Teachers and the Firemen, the Musicians and the Railway Workers, the Green Party and the foreign students – we all marched together as equals in our humanity. The march was peaceful, good natured and attended by hundreds of thousands of people! The Conservative Mayor of London – Boris Johnson – ensured a very heavy Police presence, but unlike the Student Demonstration, we were not kettle-drummed or baton charged, although there were plenty of batons in clear view. The Police were dressed in riot over-alls and military style boots, obviously prepared for a riot – but despite the numbers, no riot materialised.’
The loss of a one sided certainty has paved the way to an unbounded creativity that has led a number of thinkers to radically re-conceive history, and suggest – as Erich Van Daniken does – that human development upon the physical and psychological planes has not been the product of a straight forward Darwinian evolutionary process, but is rather the consequence of interference at the genetic level, carried out by technologically advanced alien civilisations who visited the planet Earth hundreds of thousands of years ago, and who, whilst finding human beings in a very primitive state of development, improved their DNA and bequeathed certain clues for the future development of advanced technology. Van Daniken expressed this ‘ancient astronaut’ theory in his 1968 book entitled ‘Chariots of the Gods – Was God an Astronaut?’ This book has sold millions and has been in print ever since with many reprints occurring in the early 21st century.
‘The nature of post-modern freedom, although equally applicable to all, does not necessarily mean that it is immediately perceivable to all those who exist within its condition. Its condition is the product, generally speaking, of advanced economic development, although on occasion such philosophies as Buddhism have been interpreted as being of a ‘post-modern’ nature. Obviously ancient India was not in the advanced economic state that western Europe is in today, but the Buddha’s philosophy marks a stark break with the traditions of his time, and represents a clear manifestation of one particular aspect of the post-modern condition, namely that of dismissing the long narratives of history that had previously dominated Indian philosophical and spiritual thought. West Europe, the United States of America and to a lesser extent the emerging central and eastern European states, are the product of hundred of years of economic development that has created nothing less than a revolution in the material structure of outward society that has seen the remarkable establishment of science and medicine over that of the theology of monotheistic religion. This state of industrialisation and technological development, regardless of its inherent inequalities has nevertheless created an extensive collective wealth that has raised the level of physical and psychological existence.’
‘The body of Henning’s article may be considered a rehash of the old ‘Wudang’ vs. ‘Shaolin’ mythology, with the facts (where they can be established), presented in a logical, if not meandering fashion; dates, names of emperors and portions of lineages, etc. China’s ‘Self Strengthening’ movement is mentioned near the end, as the final impetus for the association of Zhang Sanfeng with the development of Taijiquan – but oddly enough, Henning (who has written in military journals), does not acknowledge that this movement developed in China as a response to the rampant Western Imperialist aggression typical of the time. Curiously Henning makes no reference to the pre-Song uses of the term ‘Taiji’ which are known to refer to the practice (and usage) of martial arts. It is ironic therefore, that Henning would refer to Chinese myths and legends as ‘ignorance’, when so much of his historical omissions and oversights could well attract a similar criticism.’
‘Of course, the act of physically changing one’s environment for another inevitably has the consequence of a change of mind itself. For many ordinary beings this change of mind through experience is simply the process of the cognising of new sense-data – to be stored alongside similar sense-data previously acquired. For the Buddha himself, the change of physical experience led to the development of the immense urge within him to seek the answer that reconciled all physical experience, regardless of the nature of that experience itself.’
‘Master Xu Yun, who has inspired, and continues to inspire many, entrusted Charles Luk to take the Ch’an Dharma into the West through the translation of Chinese texts. Master Xu Yun use to very carefully choose the people he entrusted with vital work, for all his compassion, he did not suffer fools (although he continuously forgave them), and used his wisdom to see into the future and understand the karmic effects of certain actions in the present. Master Xu Yun chose many different people for many varying tasks, but it was Charles Luk that he gave the very important task of translating Chinese texts into reliable English.’