Things have drastically changed since Galileo was placed under house arrest for his scientifically accurate views, simply because they threatened the beliefs put out by the Catholic Church at the time.
Today, things have changed, to an extent. We still have information that is heavily controlled by the global elite. This small group of people and the corporations they run practically control all aspects of our lives, from media and finance to healthcare, education, and more. Most importantly, they control all of the information we see and read, whilst labelling everything else as ‘fake news.’ It’s a good thing this isn’t considered a conspiracy theory anymore, because if it were, we’d be in big trouble. Eisenhower warned us about the potential of “misplaced” power that would severely undermine American democracy. JFK warned us about the fact that there are those who wish to capitalize on an announced need for increased security, and that it would be “seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of censorship and concealment.” Today, some historians estimate that the U.S. government classifies trillions of new pages of text every single year. You can read more about that topic, the Black Budget, and Special Access Programs (SAPs) here.
Things are different in the sense that the religious and spiritual communities are much more open to information and evidence that help us to understand the true nature of reality. Many religious and spiritual teachings are actually being confirmed by science, and that is evident by the list below. Take, for example, the Dalai Lama. He’s never been a stranger to science, and throughout his leadership he’s constantly advocated for the collusion of science and Eastern philosophy.
As Vice News points out:
This intersection of interests was manifest in the diversity of His audience, which was comprised of roughly 150 Tibetan bhikkhus, academics, and students who had piled into the conference center at Jawaharlal Nehru University to listen to the Dalai Lama and a panel of physicists and monastic scholars discuss the intersection of quantum physics and Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophy.
It’s truly amazing, especially in the fields of neuroscience and quantum physics, just how much knowledge our ancient cultures had regarding the true nature of reality. In many cases, modern day science is in fact catching up to this ancient knowledge. Personally, I believe science can take us far, but only so far, as we are burdened today by scientific dogmas and an industry plagued by corruption.
“Despite the unrivaled empirical success of quantum theory, the very suggestion that it may be literally true as a description of nature is still greeted with cynicism, incomprehension and even anger.”
– T. Folger, “Quantum Shmantum”; Discover 22:37-43, 2001
Non-material science began to emerge at the turn of the nineteenth century when physicists started to explore the relationship between energy and the structure of matter. When they did this, the belief that a physical, Newtonian material universe was at the very heart of scientific knowledge was abandoned, and the realization that matter is nothing but an illusion replaced it. The very make-up of an atom is comprised of what we believe to be empty space. At this point, scientists began to recognize that everything in the universe is made out of energy, and this has been known in the scientific community for more than one hundred years.
“Some materialistically inclined scientists and philosophers refuse to acknowledge these phenomena because they are not consistent with their exclusive conception of the world. Rejection of post-materialist investigation of nature or refusal to publish strong science findings supporting a post-materialist framework are antithetical to the true spirit of scientific inquiry, which is that empirical data must always be adequately dealt with. Data which do not fit favored theories and beliefs cannot be dismissed a priori. Such dismissal is the realm of ideology, not science.”
– Dr. Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry and surgery at the University of Arizona (source linked below)
Although scientific methods based upon materialistic philosophy have contributed much to our world, this philosophy has dominated the world of academia to the point that it has restricted the sciences from exploring other models and prevented the equal study of mind and spirituality. When we discovered phenomena that could not be explained by classical physics, it led to the development of quantum mechanics. This introduced the concepts of energy, frequency, emotions, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and consciousness. It’s since been discovered that these concepts play a vital role in what we refer to as the physical material world today.
“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”
– Nikola Tesla
The points made here summarize the problem with not recognizing, acknowledging, and examining phenomena that go past the borders of the physical material world. These points were co-authored by Dr. Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona, Dr. Mario Beauregard of the University of Arizona, and Dr. Lisa Miller of Columbia University. It was presented at an international summit on post-materialist science, spirituality, and society.
**** The Summary Report of the International Summit on Post-Materialist Science, Spirituality and Society can be downloaded here: International Summit on Post-Materialist Science: Summary Report (PDF).
As far as spirituality is concerned, the idea that you can control your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and use them to manifest your reality, is commonplace. The existence of “Chi” or “Prana” from ancient Eastern traditions both acknowledge this non-material world. Also known to some as the “Akash” or “Aether,” or that from which all comes. The primary source of creation in these realms is non-physical forces that our senses cannot identify, but modern day scientific methods can.
“The aakaash is not destructible, it is the primordial absolute substratum that creates cosmic matter and hence the properties of aakaash are not found in the material properties that are in a sense relative. The aakaash is the eternally existent, superfluid reality, for which creation and destruction are inapplicable.”
– Paramahamsa Tewari, engineer, physicist and inventor (source)
“And they allowed Apollonius to ask questions; and he asked them of what they thought the cosmos was composed; but they replied; “Of elements.” “Are there then four?” he asked. “Not four,” said Larchas, “but five.” “And how can there be a fifth,” said Apollonius, “alongside of water and air and earth and fire?” “There is the ether,” replied the other, “which we must regard as the stuff of which gods are made; for just as all mortal creatures inhale the wire, so do immortal and divine natures inhale the ether.” “Am I,” said Appollonius, “to regard the universe as a living creature?” “Yes,” said the other.
– The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Philostratus, 220AD (source)
These concepts are now at the heart of modern day quantum physics and neuroscience. Most of our pioneering scientists were actually mystics. Take Nikola Tesla, for example. He was heavily influenced by Vedic philosphy, and had correlations with Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), who was one of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders of the philosophies of Vedanta (one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy, the term originally referred to the Upanishads, a collection of philosophical texts in Hinduism and yoga. He was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the founder of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. He is a giant figure in the history of the Hindu reform movements.
Yo can read more about that and how Tesla was influenced by Vedic Philosophy here.
“No point is more central than this, that empty space is not empty. It is the seat of the most violent physics”
– John Archibald Wheeler
The Mystery of Consciousness
“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
The quote above is from Max Planck, a physicist who has been credited with originating quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.
“It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”
– Eugene Wigner, theoretical physicist and mathematician. He received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.
There are a number who share the same sentiment, and plenty of science showing that factors associated with consciousness do indeed have an effect on our physical material world, so much so that one wouldn’t really know where to start. This topic also branched off from the information listed above.
The quantum double slit experiment is a very popular experiment used to examine how consciousness and our physical material world are intertwined. It is a great example that documents how factors associated with consciousness and our physical material world are connected in some way.
One potential revelation of this experience is that “the observer creates the reality.” A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays by Dean Radin, PhD, explains how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality. (source)
Then we have topics such as telepathy and psychokinesis that fit into this realm.
“Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.”
– The Dalai Lama
Related CE Article: Buddhist & Leading Neuroscientists Agree, Consciousness Is Everywhere.
Below is a discussion about consciousness, what it is, and where it is, by Deepak Chopra. There are many such discussions on this topic, and personally I don’t really think consciousness can be completely defined or understood, but I think we are close. It’s amazing to see more science examine this concept given the fact that it was spoken and written about thousands of years ago.
It’s fascinating to consider just how many ancient teachings tell us that humans have the capacity to gain extraordinary powers through various techniques. Some of these techniques, known as siddhis in the yoga tradition (from the Sanskrit, meaning “perfection”), include meditation, static dancing, drumming, praying, fasting, psychedelics, and more.
In Buddhism, for example, the existence of advanced powers is readily acknowledged; in fact, Buddha expected his disciples to be able to attain these abilities, but also to not become distracted by them.
A professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan, Donald Lopez Jr., describes the many abilities ascribed to Buddha:
With this enlightenment, he was believed to possess all manner of supernormal powers, including full knowledge of each of his own past lives and those of other beings, the ability to know others’ thoughts, the ability to create doubles of himself, the ability to rise into the air and simultaneously shoot fire and water from his body. . . . Although he passed into nirvana at the age of eighty-one, he could have lived “for an aeon or until the end of the aeon” if only he had been asked to do so. (source)
This is correlated with modern day scientific study of ‘super powers.’
Russell Targ, for instance, is a physicist and author, a pioneer in the development of the laser and laser applications, and a cofounder of the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) investigation of psychic abilities in the 1970s and 1980s. SRI is a research and development think tank in Menlo Park, California. Called remote viewing, his work in the psychic area has been published in Nature, The Proceedings of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE), and the Proceedings of the American Association the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
He recently gave an interesting talk tilted “Everything I Know About ESP.”
The point here is that these phenomena are studied at the highest levels of government, and they correlate directly with ancient stories stemming from various cultures of people with ‘superhuman’ abilities.
Health and Fasting
“Humans live on one-quarter of what they eat; on the other three-quarters lives their doctor.”
– Egyptian pyramid inscription, 3800 B.C.
Fasting is a tradition that was incorporated into many ancient cultures, from ancient Vedic traditions to Buddhist traditions and more. Fasting is not to be confused with starvation; it’s the process of restrain and control from the sensorial experience of eating. Many religions and spiritual teachers have urged others to fast in order to rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul. It’s no secret that fasting is one of the, if not the, oldest health interventions known to man.
This is probably one of the best examples of modern day science catching up to ancient Eastern mysticism. Within the past couple of years, an enormous amount of research has shed light on the health benefits of fasting. Studies have shown that, if done properly, it completely reverses type two diabetes, kills cancer, regenerates stem cells, regenerates the pancreas, repairs damaged DNA, and flushes toxins from the body. It also helps to reverse multiple age related diseases and repair the brain.
Despite these facts, doctors still advise against it, without any science to back it up. All of the science points towards nothing but good things, which are detailed in several articles we’ve published on the topic, which you can see below:
Life After Death
Is the brain a receiver of consciousness, or is consciousness a product of the brain? Although science has not yet shown with absolute certainty that consciousness exists separately from our physical organs, there is a lot of evidence (both anecdotal and scientific) that indicates that consciousness is something completely separate — that it continues on even after we have deceased, that it is and can be a separate “thing” from the brain. There seems to be a lot of consistency when it comes to studies that have examined this issue. New findings within this field are rapidly changing how we perceive and relate to the physical world.
Life after death is obviously a common topic within spirituality and religion, although all do not agree on exactly what happens.
Below is a video of Dr. Bruce Greyson speaking at a conference that was held by the United Nations. An Emeritus professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioural science at the University of Virginia, he is considered to be one of the fathers of near death studies.
In the video, he describes documented cases of individuals who were clinically dead (showing no brain activity), but observing everything that was happening to them on the medical table below at the same time. He describes how there have been many instances of this — where individuals are able to describe things that should have been impossible to describe. Another significant statement by Dr. Greyson posits that this type of study has been discouraged due to our tendency to view science as completely materialistic. Seeing is believing, so to speak, in the scientific community. It’s unfortunate that just because we cannot explain something through materialistic means, it must be instantly discredited. The simple fact that “consciousness” itself is a non-physical “thing” is troubling for some scientists to comprehend, and as a result of it being non-material, they believe it cannot be studied by science.
“Our results show that medical factors cannot account for the occurrence of NDE. All patients had a cardiac arrest, and were clinically dead with unconsciousness resulting from insufficient blood supply to the brain. In those circumstances, the EEG (a measure of brain electrical activity) becomes flat, and if CPR is not started within 5-10 minutes, irreparable damage is done to the brain and the patient will die.”
A total of 344 patients were monitored by the team of researchers, and an astounding 18% of them had some sort of memory from when they were dead, or unconscious (no brain activity), and 12% (one out of every eight) had a very strong and “deep” experience. Keep in mind that these experiences have occurred when there is no electrical activity in the brain following cardiac arrest.
You can find more examples at the bottom of this article.
We Are All Interconnected
This is a common theme in spirituality — how we are all connected to each other, and how we can all co-exist and thrive together. If we understand how everything is interconnected, we can make better decisions and become more aware of what impacts we are having not just on a physical level, but on a mental level as well.
This type of interconnectedness spoken of in spiritual teachings is also demonstrated by science. Take Quantum Entanglement, for example, a strange phenomenon that Einstein referred to as “spooky action at a distance.”
Multiple studies have confirmed this to be real. For example, an experiment devised by the Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, led by Professor Howard Wiseman and his team of researchers at the University of Tokyo, recently published a paper in the journal Nature Communications confirming the existence of something Einstein did not believe to be real: the non-local collapse of a particle’s wave function.
They did this by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, and testing whether measurement of it in one laboratory would actually cause a change in the local quantum state in the other laboratory. In doing so, researchers were able to verify the entanglement of the split single photon.
Elizabeth Rauscher, a nuclear physicist who is a former researcher with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Livermore National Laboratory, and the Stanford Research Institute, as well as NASA, gave an interview where she said that quantum entanglement experiments have been conducted with NASA astronauts in space.
What it means is that either information is travelling faster than the speed of light, or there is no such thing as seperation, that there is an instantaneous transfer. This would mean that space is simply the construct that gives us the illusion of separation.
Below is the trailer to a great documentary that explores this topic even further. It’s called The Connected Universe. All of the studies conducted in parapsychology, psychokensis, and telepathy (government studies mentioned above) also lend more credibility to this hypothesis.
The Mind-Body Connection
“A growing body of scientific research suggests that our mind can play an important role in healing our body — or in staying healthy in the first place. . . There are now several lines of research suggesting that our mental perception of the world constantly informs and guides our immune system in a way that makes us better able to respond to future threats. That was a sort of ‘aha’ moment for me — where the idea of an entwined mind and body suddenly made more scientific sense than an ephemeral consciousness that’s somehow separated from our physical selves.”
– Garth Cook from Scientific American
We’ve covered this topic extensively, and it’s truly amazing. Spirituality advocates for the healing powers of the mind, and how our mind, thoughts, and emotions influence our health and those around us.
I’ve put together a few articles on the topic that go more in-depth if you want to read more about it:
Above is a quick summary of points under each heading to show you that there is a connection here. If you feel the need to explore the topics further, please do so.
I felt compelled to share these similarities between science and spirituality because, within the mainstream, they are seen as completely separate topics that don’t relate to each other at all. This is puzzling, because there are so many examples of instances where they do intersect and complement each other.
Based on all of my research into quantum physics, neuroscience, and other science in general, these similarities are not hard to see. In fact, in some cases, modern day science completely confirms ancient Eastern philosophy.
Perhaps our planet needs to return to its ancient spiritual roots, and since we are so programmed in this modern world to see science as the bearer of truth, perhaps it can help lift us into a more spiritual type of existence — one where we acknowledge these facts and what spirituality has to offer us. I do believe we are currently in the midst of a spiritual revolution, and the science coming out that’s confirming these concepts only helps the cause.
At some point we have to question our belief systems that’ve been ingrained into us over the years, and question whether spirituality is “just another religion,” because it definitely doesn’t seem that way. Thanks for reading.
‘Jeffrey Epstein Committed Suicide’ Rules Medical Examiner
- The Facts:
New York’s chief medical examiner has ruled Jeffrey Epstein's death suicide by hanging.
- Reflect On:
How could the biggest most important witness of our lifetime die so carelessly before trial? Why is there still so much we haven't been told about this Epstein case?
New York’s chief medical examiner has completed their autopsy and ruled that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide by hanging himself his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City.
Epstein was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges that had been reported for years but not much was done about them. His case is the highest profile case in a very long time involving many high level and elite figures and politicians. Due to this, many believe he may have been murdered, and regardless of this ruling, that may still be the case.
It appears Epstein fashioned a noose out of a bedsheet and hung himself from a bunk bed in his cell. Epstein was allegedly able to kill himself just days after being taken off suicide watch at the prison as he had previously attempted suicide. Just so happens, guards on duty at the prison reportedly left Epstein unsupervised for longer than prison regulations require, giving him the time to commit suicide.
If Epstein’s case is this high profile, and he is likely the biggest most important witness is perhaps our lifetimes, how is it that the prison could have let this happen so easily and carelessly? Worthy of questioning regardless of the medical examiners ruling.
More details to come.
The First & Only No-Kill State For Shelter Animals In The US Has Been Declared
- The Facts:
America has finally announced its first no-kill state: Delaware. All brick-and-mortar shelters in the First State have at least a 90% save rate which qualifies it as the very first full state working to lead a no-kill movement.
- Reflect On:
The no-kill movement is a beautiful one. It shows that the human-animal bond is not only seen and felt, but important enough to us as a collective to take action. Do you believe the goal of having all of America being no-kill by 2025 is attainable?
Sound the alarm! Happy news to share with you all today… Amid all of the perceived chaos that is taking over our screens and mainstream media, it’s always important to touch base on the good news that occurs. This week, Delaware has become the first official no-kill state for shelter animals, and I couldn’t be happier to hear and share this.
As not only a pet lover myself, but a cat-mom of 3 amazing shelter animals as well, I know and have seen the various traumas that can result from either life before being placed into a shelter or during their time there due to anxiety, etc. — and it doesn’t stop there. We’ve all heard the stories, and though I had yet to dive into the details myself personally due to not having the heart for it, it is a fact that some shelters rid themselves of ‘unwanted pets’ every cycle as the shelter seeks more room for new-coming potentials.
With that said, this is very BIG news — not only has Delaware taken on the task to reevaluate how its shelters are run and deal with overcrowding, but Delaware has also taken initiative in the ‘no-kill’ movement.
The nonprofit Best Friends Animal Society, which is working with shelters, animal welfare organizations and government agencies across the country to make America a no-kill country by 2025, announced the news at their annual conference in Dallas, Texas.
Linda Torelli, director of marketing for the Brandywine Valley SPCA, which has three locations in Delaware and cares for more than 14,000 animals each year, credited a multipronged approach with helping the First State achieve no-kill status — and its citizens.
“The community in Delaware is very oriented to pet advocacy, so we had their support,” she told TODAY.
Brandywine Valley SPCA implemented numerous programs so that 95% of animals that enter the open-admission shelter find homes. Torelli said because cats are euthanized at twice the rate of dogs, the nonprofit instituted the practice called trap, neuter and return, aka TNR, to save the lives of feral or “community” cats that would otherwise be euthanized. In TNR, advocates humanely trap the felines, and veterinarians spay or neuter them before they are released back into the community.
Open adoptions — which don’t require time-intensive applications that involve things like home inspections but instead focus on matching a pet with a potential adopter’s lifestyle — help move animals more quickly through the shelters. – As reported by TODAY
We all either know someone or are that someone who has gone to a shelter and adopted their best friend at some point. And while we all aim to do our part, it’s a HUGE step to know that shelters themselves are now also taking initiative so that there is ‘no pet left behind’ if you will.
So many wonderful pets, companions, and memories are birthed thanks to adoption and it is beautiful to see that more intention is being set on creating a community that is aware of a movement to aid in eliminating the need to kill for the lack of insufficient adoptees. As a personal thank you to all of you who have or will adopt and welcome a new friend into your lives & homes – a reminder to remember you are saving a life when doing so. So, THANK YOU! And thank you, Delaware, for being the shift!
What Are The Hong Kong Protests All About?
- The Facts:
Protests in Hong Kong against an 'Extradition Bill' that threatens the freedom of residents have ramped up, to the point where the Hong Kong Airport had to be shut down and the Chinese army is closer to intervening upon this semi-autonomous nation.
- Reflect On:
Is Hong Kong now the central theatre playing out the struggle between Eastern and Western sociopolitical ideologies?
I decided to take on this article, first to inform myself better about the motivations behind the Hong Kong protests, which have been ratcheting up in recent days, and then to pass on a basic understanding to you, the reader, so that together we can follow the events going on in this allegedly ‘autonomous’ Chinese territory with some degree of context.
First, it must be understood that Hong Kong developed into a commercial powerhouse as a British colony, and its residents enjoyed some aspects of democratic freedom not available on mainland China. British rule of Hong Kong ended when it was returned to China in July of 1997 under the framework of “one country, two systems.” The “Basic Law” constitution guaranteed to protect, for the next 50 years, the democratic institutions that make Hong Kong distinct from Communist-ruled mainland China.
The struggle for an expansion of democratic freedoms on the island have been ongoing in some form or another ever since, with some initiatives specifically supported by the “Basic Law.” Meanwhile, the national Chinese government has attempted to resist such reforms, and has been working to augment its own power and influence over Hong Kong:
- In 2003, Hong Kong’s leaders introduced legislation that would forbid acts of treason and subversion against the Chinese government. But when an estimated half a million people turned out to protest against the bill, it did not go forward.
- In 2007, China delayed constitutional plans to implement universal suffrage in elections for the chief executive of Hong Kong until 2017; however, they added more seats for lawmakers elected by direct vote in a way that divided the pro-democracy camp.
- In 2014, the Chinese government introduced a bill allowing Hong Kong residents to vote for their leader in 2017, but the candidates still needed to be approved by Beijing. Massive protests led legislators to formally reject the bill, and electoral reform stalled. As a result, the current chief executive, Carrie Lam, was hand-picked in 2017 by a 1,200-person committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites.
In other words, it was not a question of if there would be another populist uprising in Hong Kong, but when.
New Extradition Bill Is The Catalyst
Earlier this year, Chief Executive Lam pushed amendments to extradition laws that would allow people to be sent to mainland China to face charges. In some ways, this had a similar agenda to the bill introduced in 2003 that would have directly forbidden acts of treason and subversion against the Chinese government.
This latest bill is a bit more subtle, but the end result would be the same: those Chinese dissidents who are working for greater autonomy from mainland China and full democracy in Hong Kong are de facto enemies of the state, since they are working to erode China’s power over the economic and political affairs of Hong Kong. And China wants to be able prosecute such activities.
Even before this bill, Beijing’s influence over Hong Kong had been on the rise. Activists have been jailed and pro-democracy lawmakers disqualified from running or holding office, while independent booksellers started disappearing from the city, before reappearing in mainland China facing charges. And so when the extradition bill came out, the population of Hong Kong clearly saw it as an attempt to undermine and subvert The “Basic Law” and give Beijing full authority to try pro-democracy activists under the judicial system of the mainland.
Protests started small, relatively speaking, but as we have seen with the Yellow Vest protests, attempts to crack down with a hard hand are not deterring people as much as they used to, and in fact protesters become emboldened by seeing an increase in participation. Here is an early timeline of the protests:
- March 31: the first protest was attended by 12,000 pro-democracy protesters according to organizers (police put the peak figure at 5,200).
- April 28: an estimated 130,000 protesters joined the march against the proposed extradition law (police estimated 22,800 joined at its height), the largest since an estimated 510,000 joined the annual July 1 protests in 2014. A day after the protest, Chief Executive Carrie Lam was adamant that the bill would be enacted and said the Legislative Councillors had to pass new extradition laws before their summer break.
- June 9th: while reports suggested it had been the largest ever, it was certainly the largest protest Hong Kong has seen since the 1997 handover, surpassing the turnout seen at mass rallies in support of the Tiananmen protests of 1989 and July 1st demonstration of 2003. CHRF convenor Jimmy Sham said that 1.03 million people attended the march, while the police put the crowd at 270,000 at its peak.
- June 16th: even though a day earlier Carrie Lam announced that she would suspend the second reading of the bill without a set a time frame on the seeking of public views, the pro-democracy camp demanded a full withdrawal of the bill, and went ahead with the rally, which the Civil Human Rights Front claimed saw the participation of “almost 2 million plus 1 citizens.” The government issued a statement at 8:30 pm where Carrie Lam apologized to Hong Kong residents and promised to “sincerely and humbly accept all criticism and to improve and serve the public.” Still, she did not meet the protesters’ demands of withdrawing the bill completely or resigning.
As the timeline goes forward beyond the suspension of the second reading of the bill, the protests have grown bigger, with more widespread involvement. It is impossible to list all the events that have taken place, but a good compilation can be found here.
Police have violently clashed directly with protesters, repeatedly firing teargas and rubber bullets. As well, it seems that there have been instances of unsanctioned pro-Beijing thugs on a mission to injure protesters, where police did not intervene. However, as political authorities are slowly learning in recent times, protests that resist strong-arm tactics see their demands grow beyond their initial grievance and demand reparations for state violence that has occurred during the protests themselves. Protesters have vowed to keep their movement going until these core demands are met:
- the resignation of the city’s leader, Carrie Lam
- an independent inquiry into police tactics
- an amnesty for those arrested
- a permanent withdrawal of the bill
The Geopolitical Context
The protests here are emblematic of a larger struggle between different systems of national governance. Hong Kong is a particularly unique case as it is a region that developed some mature institutions of Western Democracy while still always being tied to a major Eastern civilization.
Beijing has issued increasingly shrill condemnations of the protest but has left it to the city’s semi-autonomous government to deal with the situation. But that does not mean they cannot influence even more serious internal measures. On Thursday, Chen Daoxiang, the head of the Chinese army garrison in Hong Kong, said the military was “determined to protect [the] national sovereignty” of Hong Kong and would help put down the “intolerable” unrest if requested. The army released a promotional video showing tanks and soldiers firing on citizens in an anti-riot drill.
A tweet yesterday from the Editor in Chief of China’s state-owned tabloid, Hu Xijin, warns of an imminent showdown in the wake of protests at the Hong Kong airport that were so disruptive that the Hong Kong airport authority advised all passengers to leave the terminal buildings as soon as possible:
Hong Kong Airport canceled all remaining flights Mon afternoon due to illegal assembly. Central government still exercises restraints, and respects HK’s high-degree of autonomy under one country, two systems. But I have an intuition riots won’t be allowed to keep on like this. pic.twitter.com/ouFP3ON1Pj
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) August 12, 2019
There is an implied threat that the mainland Chinese army may get involved. Chinese military vehicles have gathered in Shenzhen, a city in mainland China bordering Hong Kong, and military exercises may soon be underway.
Of course, the actions of the Chinese government are being closely watched by the Western world, and there has been no lack of condemnation for the strong-armed tactics of police. The condemnation will only increase if the Chinese government institutes even more severe measures. Countering this, Beijing has ramped up its accusations that foreign countries are “fanning the fire” of unrest in the city. China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi has ordered the US to “immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form”.
Whatever happens, the people in Hong Kong seem quite steadfast in demonstrating that they don’t want to allow meaningful change to be kicked down the road any longer, and certainly don’t want any more limitations to their freedom. We will see how this struggle plays out this time around.
Before we start taking sides on the issues behind this protest, it is important to note that neither Chinese-style communism nor any current implementation of Western-style democracy present themselves as true vehicles for the full burgeoning of our individual sovereignty and our collective evolution.
Certainly the struggle in Hong Kong provides more and more individual citizens the opportunity to implicate themselves directly in our system of governance, and the ripple effect of this is that more people in the world will awaken to the fact that each and every one of us has an innate choice in the way we consent to be governed as a society.
Once we clear the veils of control-based deception and come to truly grasp our sovereignty and our ability to choose, we will then be in a much better position to give an informed consent to any social or political institutions we decide to create and maintain.
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