Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Last update from China

September 2, 2011 Ni Hao Everyone,
I am beginning this letter from Chengdu a city in Sezuan province of China. Tonite I will take an overnight train to Kunming, where I will finish this letter before I leave China and go to Kathmandu Nepal on September 6.
Since my last update I left Ping yao after 5 days there. The time spent there was uneventful but It was there that my interest in the writings the Tao de Ching were renewed. I read a nice book there called the Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet, which seeks to explain "The Way" of Lao Tzu in terms of Winnie the Pooh characters. Here in Chengdu I traded up my copy of Norman Mailers classic war story "the Naked and the Dead" for the penguin classic edition of The Tao De Ching and I have been reading it ever since.
Its funny how on the surface I think of my time in Ping Yao as having little significance but on the other hand it may be that one is quietly, gently guided through life to find what one needs as one needs it. In Ping Yao the Dao came alive for me! I met a Chinese hotel manager there who is a taoist, and we read a chapter of the Tao de Ching together every day.
From Ping Yao, I traveled by over night train to Xi An and couch surfed with a Scots man called Ali and his chinese girlfriend called Joy. Ali has a degree in Philosophy from somewhere in Britain and studies Kung Fu and teaches English in Xi An. He and I had a lot of totally cool talks about the nature of reality and the philosophy of Kung fu and Tai Chi.
We went to some great restaurants near his apartment and generally hung around drinking tea and talking and going for walks in the evening. During the days i hung around the Buddha gardens near the Wild Goose Pagoda and just relaxed my mind.
China, like everywhere else I have been, is a lot different than I expected! There is plenty of religious freedom here. There is a booming economy and there seems to be none of the usual signs of urban decay, like public drunkenness and drug abuse, there are almost no beggars and I have no fear of violence, there are certainly enough police but most of them carry no weapons. Buddhist and taoist monks walk freely in the streets un molested by the government.
That being said, this is certainly NOT a democracy, and there is a great deal of political repression. The great wall has been replaced by the great firewall. I can not read my blog, or post anything on it here in China. Google searches and wikipedia topics are censored. On an everyday kind of walking around life, it is just like anywhere else I have been but beneath the surface...it can be quite repressive, though most chinese will (just like everywhere else in the world) never have a run in with the police or the government.The days of "the Great Leap Forward" and the "Cultural Revolution" are over.For most practicl purposes this is a capitalist country with an oligarchy running the government.
I think that most people dont give a hoot about politics or really even political freedoms. Most of us do not want to run for office or change the government. I think it is fari to say that in my own country most of us do not feel our government cares about what they want, or does what they want, or spends their taxes on what they want them to spend them on.
So I think that in this respect China is no different from most western countries. they have an admitted one party system, while my country has a one party system which it claims is a two party system. both countries put lots of people in prison and even execute people they feel have lost their right to live...Barbarians both. I feel both are more oligarchy than democracy and I base this on the fact that 95% of the people who get elected are actually getting re-elected!
These things are of little importance to me. All I get from my government is a valid passport so i can come and go as I please. Of course I want more but I wont likely get it. What is really important in life, A person must get for himself.
The reason we are here is to raise our consciousness and I do not think your government can help or hinder you in this. Their power, their authority is all just illusion. Their rules are just that! Rules, not laws. Man makes rules God makes laws. It is easy to tell which is which, you can break the rules but not the laws! So before leaving Cheng du, I managed to trade my copy of Norman Mailer's "The Naked and the Dead" for Lao Tzu's The Dao De Ching.
I am now in Hunnan provence, in Kun Ming after a very pleasant overnight train from Cheng Du. I fly to Nepal in 3 days where i will write another update.Until then I urge all of you to continue breathing and being where you are!
Peace and Love to you all,
" Sincerity is the key to self-knowledge and to be sincere with oneself brings great suffering." Gurdjieff

"Concepts can at best only serve to negate one another, as one thorn is used to remove another, and then be thrown away. Only in deep silence do we leave concepts behind. Words and language deal only with concepts, and cannot approach Reality."Ramesh Balsekar

"You are Timelessness in which no death can enter, for where there is no time there is no death. That Timelessness is Now, and that is Being. Being is always shining. I AM is the Light of Being. This Diamond cannot hide and can never be hidden." Sri H. W. L. Poonja


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