Chinese mirages: Shaolin and other

26.01.2005

26.01.2005


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By the tenth hour of the evening our bus crossed the low hill, rolled down already in the dark. We were approaching the legendary Shaolin Monastery — the cradle of Zen Buddhism and the mecca of all fans of the Chinese "spirituality." Pointer on the new highway to the monastery for some reason was not. The driver went out to ask for directions at a roadside restaurant, someone from the local call us to pursue. We went back a little and began to slowly descend the side of the road. Smell the mystique of the epic about the "kung fu": Now get into the quiet monastery, where monks are wise in secluded places, in the light of the moon meditate and perform their mysterious passes, charged with "life energy space." But in the next moment, because of the whole town seemed to turn high-rise dormitories, and the bus drove into a crowd of children. Furiously Gulden, they were somewhere under the supervision of counselors, and many were carrying on their heads, stools and tables. Looking in the direction of where to send this strange procession, I saw people dammed low ground, something like the stadium. At its center was set brightly lit, clearly visible in the darkness of night fighting ring in which two men fought a duel in the style of "Shaolin boxing." Incredible picture, as if descended from the American action movie.

At about eleven o'clock, when we settled into the hotel and had dinner, and I exchanged pleasantries with the director of the hotel — for the East conversation with a foreigner understand your language is a matter of honor and even morbid curiosity of each head — at the bottom of the arena is empty. But still around boiling life. Which ran from the hotel rows gymnastic halls were filled with people. I looked out the window of one of them: a team of schoolchildren under the strict eye of trainers deftly performed somersaults and built gymnastic pyramid. On the walls were crowded audience, or maybe the other teams who were waiting for their turn. A man was buzzing around the hive, and each was busy with his business: who is working out methods of combat fighting and possession of weapons who are just stretched or push-ups, and some are located in basins with running groove and do laundry. I went into the yard of one of the dormitories: a room with a bunk bed boards rough on ten residents each, and several boys something to buy in the grocery store. In a corner of the yard — medical center, a young female paramedic examines a knee sitting in front of her boyfriend. No one paid any attention to idle foreigner.

The reigning around the commotion created, however, the impression of a full comprehension of what is happening. Where is outside of China, and even more precisely, the Chinese children's sport, you'll see firsthand the situation of general enthusiasm and hard to oblivion "work on himself"? What was left dead figment of the imagination of writers of early social realism with their slogan "Time, Forward!" Suddenly came to life under the shadow of an ancient Buddhist monastery. And that irrepressible ebullience mental strength, impregnated, seemed the very air around it's feverish desire to become better yourself and improve the world around me gave the atmosphere a fantastic flavor.

A boy of nine curiously looks around me. Looking for some conversation with him. He is from Jiangxi Province — is three kilometers to the south. She is a student at a local school of martial arts, parents see once or twice a year. Learn it for another five years. The dream he had one: to become a famous Wushu master and (implied of course) to make a lot of money. Competition is fierce, and the future stars of combat acrobatics learn from a purely Chinese zeal.

Such sports schools around the Shaolin now at least a dozen. Restaurants "Shaolin kitchen" to order more. Local authorities and businesses now operate to the fullest glory of the ancient monastery. Once upon a time "Shaolin boxing" was the property of the few monks who zealously — as was the custom in China — the keepers of the secrets of his skill from outsiders. At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, the monastery was closed, the monks exiled to the corrective work. Knowledgeable people in China have told me that since the real masters in Shaolin left. I can not judge whether this is so, but one can definitely say that the true master will not engage in self-promotion and pupils produce a pipelined manner. And with the same confidence we can say that when the real history of the monastery was over, he began his new, virtual history. Inexhaustible stream of books, movies, but especially television series and television programs made Shaolin most famous symbol of China's new-old or, in more prosaic — the most-promoted Chinese brand on the global "market civilization", where trade in cultural myths. This market is not interested in the fact that in general there is in the world, and that is, it's tempting, exotic. And here, as in any bargaining, have their "tops" and "roots." The general public gets the fascinating spectacle, and conquer the last patrons take their interest to the sense of unity that such shows are told the crowd.

In the last eight years ago, I came to the Shaolin Temple as a messenger Russian official structures and guest Provincial Party School. I was brought on two "Mercedes", accompanied by five people and immediately conducted to the abbot. Regal important abbot with a face "the full moon" (an indispensable attribute of the honored monk), took me to the secretary of the society on the ideology of the local party. He said he would be happy to send a team to Moscow Shaolin Wushu masters and he will go there, but only in the company of his "adviser on ideological questions," and pointed at the man sitting next party leader. And it sounded so weighty and it is natural that there could be no doubt: in China, the Buddha made the chief monk to have his companion secretary for ideology.

And now I'm on the Rights of the ordinary visitor in the morning exploring this famous place. Along with the flow of tourists go into the gates of the monastery. The layout and architecture of this institution unremarkable. In addition, most of the buildings recently restored after the destruction of the Cultural Revolution. Instead of Buddhist chants around screaming saws and banging hammers, smell the incense replaces mortar: hastily erected all new buildings. Once again, trying to find a moment to photograph the only attraction of the monastery ensemble — antique iron statues of soldiers in combat poses. Alas, as in the previous two times it does not work: on the statues continuously hang tourists posing for a picture. Log into the far pavilion with 18th-century frescoes depicting training fist fight, police angry nuns. In response to my request to let me in the room, he apparently did not find on my face due respect, suddenly refuses.

I ran from the human bustle of the gate of the monastery. But there — the same dense and idle crowd, gathered around the souvenir shops and street vendors trays. Teeming with people and is located near the famous "forest stupas." To the grief of the mart has fitted just two cable cars leading to some remote temples and monasteries. Now the average tourist will get stuck here all day. Looking back and looking at the mountain behind the monastery — where, according to legend, the founder of the Monastery of exotic monk Damo (Bodhidharma), held in the contemplation of the wall for nine years. To my surprise, next to the cave now can see a large white statue of a seated Bodhidharma. Monument recluse! Nothing is more absurd and impossible to imagine. But it is true that the patriarch Damo, meditating in a cave — one of the most popular subjects of Chinese painting: in the East, oddly enough, the image is appreciated for what he is simulacrum, deputy missing reality.

"In the construction of socialism is the Chinese characteristics" — Deng Xiaoping used to say. It's obvious that the construction of the "new China" with its ultra-modern factories, skyscrapers and roads (which, alas, and in Russia for a long time will not be) accompanied by an equally feverish construction of improvised's deputy missing — always missing, of course — of antiquity. In China, develops, scientifically speaking, heterogeneous social landscape: in the desert of technological systems scattered "historical sites" — always unique, accumulating a collective memory of the Chinese people. On the way to the Shaolin Temple, the ancient city of Linfen, Shanxi Province, we visited, for example, recently restored "grave" of the legendary king of ancient times by the name of Yao — a specimen of the Confucian virtues. The grave there, of course not, but there is a huge park with flower garden, pompous gate, temple, museum, "happy" bell for every punch in his watchful servant who takes on the yuan, and other entertainment. Not far from the place, and there is now a "grave" as the successor to the mythical Yao — King Shun. Further south to the services wishing to partake of Chinese wisdom — the ancient temple of the famous general and exemplary patriot Guan Yu, who is popularly worshiped as a god of war and the god of wealth, etc.

In this quest to join the historical exotica (more precisely: to recreate it again) guessed totalizing response to the crisis and, in fact, Samoyed identity revolutionary modernity, which samples a "high" style glorified the heroic self-sacrifice, and irresponsible tormented "corrective labor." The post-revolutionary era, it is also the era of postmodernism, has brought a taste for "otherness", powered spectacles. Here too there are contrasts. Since the 80 th century. intellectuals, which, as is well known, "baseless" and is prone to dissent, projects the "otherness" in the traditional peasant way of life by painting the image of a dark people, explains more interjections and insults or singing their strange, old songs. Of such material coats the "historical greatness" is not soshesh. Moreover, the national dumbness might lead to the subversive idea that the voice of the people drown fanfare party propaganda. Meanwhile, authorities in dire need of neutral symbols of the cultural unity of the nation. Tomb of the founders of the Chinese civilization and, by default, the ancestors of almost all Chinese — very suitable for this purpose. Moreover, these attractions are perfectly unite the Middle Kingdom to the global Chinese diaspora — the main engine of Chinese "economic miracle." The same Shaolin Temple attracts crowds of tourists from Hong Kong, Taiwan and South-East Asia. Yes, and "grave Yao," as it turned out, rebuilt on the money overseas. Far from it — a phenomenon I've noticed frequent in China — are administrative and Party institutions: the power of place.

Mirages officially sanctioned domesticated "otherness" almost eclipsed prickly images of the real-"other." Official policy lies in the fact that not dramatize the identity, pushing the "advanced" and the default "backward" and put it in the area of pleasant dreams about his "prapochve," What are the Chinese, in general, is the very life-force growth, the so-called "inner pulse" of life. One can understand this impulse is only in the act of inner enlightenment. In the "prapochve" Chinese wisdom has nothing of real history, it is scattered in actuality elan vital. Spiritual awakening, said students Damo, is recognized as a "pouring water into the water 'it is only a full line of consciousness given, for-givens of existence — no more. In this sense, "antiquity" Shaolin patriarch does not differ from its novodelnoy kitschy sculpture: primary affect life easily turns into eroticism. Mystical epiphany suddenly responds delirious unreality of life of young shaolintsev. Incidentally, the term "heat of heart" or "Chan disease," signifying some kind of emotional frenzy or neurosis, often commemorated in the sources in connection with the practice of Chan meditation.

A bunch of unshakable peace "old feeling" feverish sensuality and would not be possible if the Chinese did not differ from time immemorial unusual susceptibility to illusionistic art. But as the perfect crime leaves no residue, and the perfect fantasy is indistinguishable from reality. Hence the well-known taste and even a passion for Chinese counterfeits. It is noteworthy that the Chinese go to their (non-) historical places, not in order to inspect and something even more to learn (that is the lot of Europeans and Japanese), and to "have fun" (wan), give food to emotions. Since ancient times, they were fascinated by the jostling city streets, and the roar of the holiday glitter, noise and smells of the bazaar — everything that embodies the excess "hot commotion" (PVCs NAO) life. In all this they found intoxicating beauty of dreams. And aesthetically valuable things they puts the epithet "ancient", calling antiques "old toys." Chinese antique bagatelles it is "played" by opening them with new properties or finding a new use for them in everyday life: an ancient bronze vessels sniffed and turned into flower vases, decorative stones were listening, taking from them a stick "pure sound" and used as screens in interior, ancient fasteners nailed to the wall as clothes hangers, etc. Toy, generally speaking, has no practical use, and is valuable only in that excites the senses, awakens pure desire — a desire that is herald of eternity in us, and declares itself metamorphoses unpredictable state of mind. Toy gives the opportunity to include the "otherness" in their world, and so enjoy it. Toy supposed to give, to give "just because", and its owner also feels an irresistible desire to "just" break it. That's an educated person in China, surround themselves with "old toys" has always claimed to be the "old-outlandish" (gu guay) husband. He lived a cultured, stylish passion. He listened to the immensity of desire, which was upon the boundless haze of national life, going through the roof over the edge of the visible worlds.

It is significant that the Chinese have no taste for the aestheticization of the ruins, ie cultivating a sense of historical distance. Old buildings are being demolished and a rebuilt anew, incorporating them into daily life only to dissolve into the abyss of everlasting "antiquity." Do we not see here the action, even if unconscious, the same mechanism of fun: abolish the old because of the continuation of the game? It is, as you might guess, the very nature of sensuality: the highest pleasure delivers the very desire to interrupt the flow of desire. There is no better way to keep the "other" in the shower. But it is also about cultivating feelings of sensuality in transubstantiation sensitivity. Passion for the "old toys" led to the heights of refinement of the spirit. The law of the "libidinal economy" (the theme of Jean-F.Liotara) on the Chinese way is well expressed by saying just about fun, delivered with antiques, a respected painter and art theorist of the 17th century Dong Qichao, "very excited feelings suddenly gives way to peace" . Similarly, the impact of the mythical king's tomb or monument cave sideltsem: introducing the missing reality, they awaken the imagination, at the same time revealing the bottomless depths of reflexivity. Even more sharply: the omnipresence of otherness certifies unthinkable or, more precisely, the presence of pre-conceivable source of life. This non-zapamyatnoe, prior to any experience and knowledge, but nothing has outside space itself is, indeed,

thing Veche, stainless eternity.

Re-open and, moreover, global in scope symbols of Chinese identity are the spiritual counterparts "desiring machines", the driving modern capitalism, and politics in modern China is increasingly becoming a way to control this motor of post-industrial society. Do not be surprised if in the near future will begin talking about the "Ch'an capitalism" in which the production-consumption desires to be entered in the action "vital impulse" by the start of the game. Also obvious is the social basis of such a theory: bonvivanstvo or say more neutral economy of desires of Chinese nouveaux riches.

Equality agents desire under capitalism is consistent with the Buddhist doctrine of universal equality on "the nature of the heart." And what about the capitalist way of life generated by unequal distribution of wealth? Because Buddhism does not have its ontology, it just takes the existing in a given society — for China's Confucian — a hierarchy of status, understood as spontaneous, but an inevitable manifestation of the law of karma. As followers of Shaolin patriarch said, "everyone takes a role on the stage of life" ("Pictures of the Taming of the buffalo").

Nature — the first custom, said Pascal. Why not say in this case, the custom is that articulated the passion is the first nature? It seems that the Chinese fantasy — it is not a deviation from the norm, not the "modified form of consciousness" and the most that neither is the primary truth of human existence. What a fun adventure of the spirit should appear to them in such a case, the daily routine! Is this not need to look for an explanation of their genuinely calm, patient, zdravomyslennomu and yet almost childlike nonchalant attitude to the reality of this world, it seems that the Europeans casemate suicide? Chinese knows that sleeps and plays a role. That and saved.

PS I remember as a child loved watching the filmstrip (TV still was not) about the Russian Knight, who came to the enchanted east country and prompted local residents from eternal sleep. I think the creators of this masterpiece of obscure Soviet folklore had no idea they were close to the truth in their way East. And how were wrong in their perceptions of the consequences of such an awakening.

And how was close to the truth, and how wrong I myself eagerly looking at the pictures fabulous life!

25.01.2005

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