Fw: One Mountain One River One Sage
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 9:41 AM
To: zoonie blog
Subject: One Mountain One River One Sage
One Mountain One River one Sage
What do you think of the entrance foyer to the library? What really strikes me is its glass construction, open to the skies through its transparency and to all visitors, but not only that. Its connection to the skies links the library to all other parts of the world and to times past, the history and culture of the world up to the present time.
This is particularly relevant to the exhibition whose name I have borrowed for my blog. The library has strong cultural links to the Shandong Province and regional government in China and the story they are bringing to visitors is one of the past political ideals of not ruthless power over the people as in present day China but benevolent power used to protect and enlighten the people. Confucius in his philosophy and sayings teaches ordinary people how to live and be physically and mentally balanced and healthy.
I will let the photos tell the story. What is interesting and understandable is that no mention is made of modern day China and the stark contrast between the message of the past and the repressive regime of Communism ruling China today.
When we were outside the Visitor Centre at Regatta Point in Canberra it was a brave individual who has escaped his home country to tell the story on three shocking billboards. Falun Gong also known as Falun Dafa is an ancient Chinese philosophy the three central tenets of which are Truthfulness, Zhen, Compassion, Shan and Forbearance, Ren. Very Confucian don’t you think. This spiritual discipline for mind and body comprises moral teachings and five gentle exercises that are now practised by tens of millions of people all over the world, but according to the Chinese government it gives too much power to people to focus and control their own bodies and achieve individual strength.
Twenty years ago the then leader of the communist party launched a violent move to destroy it which continues unabated and in hideously large numbers.
People who have escaped China tell of whole generations of their families disappearing into internment camps never to be seen again. But the most shocking part was that these internees are reportedly killed to order and the sale of their body parts and organs is now a big source of revenue for the Chinese National government.
I read in a BBC investigation about and saw the images of Google Earth satellite photos which are proving that in once desolate empty areas of China many vast prison camps are being built to house these ‘political dissidents’ in organ factories.
It puts an interesting perspective on the exhibition and strongly suggests that at least some regional governments in China do not support the present regime. It is also good that the Chinese in Australia are free to spread the word about what is going on with their secretive government back home.
Again we had been lucky with our timing as that exhibition was also about to close. We wandered across to the Mortlock Chamber housing the Sir Josiah Symons Library built in 1884 as a museum and art gallery on the bottom floor and a library on the two upper floors.
What struck me about these three beautiful buildings is that they all house masses of information, artefacts and images of the indigenous people. In the cultural history of Australia the story of the aborigines is understood in the academic world to be of immense importance and is shown with a respect and understanding that warms the heart.
The view down the length of the library from the second floor is stunning. The wrought iron work, golden lighting, symmetry and curves over the doors and in the atria combine to impress. Down each side there are shelves of books not only against the walls but also on little units at right angles to the walls creating discrete study areas in between each with its own wooden table and chair. When we strolled along the open side every study ‘hole’ was occupied by a person enjoying the peace and quiet and studious atmosphere. Many of the books were so old their original titles written on the spines had worn off. It looked as if the same careful hand had re-written the titles in white on thousands of books. What a job!
The day proved to be a real mixed bag of cultural enjoyment and a bit of a shock as we stood in the lift at the YH with a young girl. We got chatting about our travels and when we got to the part about heading to Darwin her parting shot was “Look out for those Abos”. I was sorry to hear such an obviously discriminatory view from a modern young mind, but as Rob says “Takes all sorts love.”