Enlightenment is not the acceptance of, or practical experience of rebirth. Enlightenment is not the acceptance of, or practical experience of a ‘soul’ theory. In other words, a fully enlightened and rational mind, is a mind ‘emptied’ of all delusion and irrationality.
Having established these facts, it is important to understand that a realised monastic is not limited to his or her social role, and that realised members of lay society are equally not limited to their role. There exists enlightened freedom that functions through specific social roles, but which remains completely ‘free’ of any limitations as defined by those roles.
I noticed then that even the traditional Hakka clothing was nolonger worn, and the language spoken was a mixture of Hakka and Cantonese (with the occasional English word). Those who have left this village have spread all-over the world and changed in the new environments they have encountered, and yet there is something distinctly ‘Hakka’ that holds it all together!
Despite many permanently resettling in the cities, and abandoning their farm land, it is estimated that around 130 million migrant workers make the trip into the cities, whilst older and younger members of their families stay on the farm land and look after the home. This army of migrant workers spend 50 weeks of the year working in factories that provide living quarters and regular food to their workers. It is only during the two-week holiday of Chinese New Year that the factories shut-down and the employees are allowed home.
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.’