Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Is a perfect world possible?

Published:Sunday | December 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Book: The Path of Life

Author: Ou Wen Wei

Publisher: Pan Gu Shengong International Research Institute

The story of Ou Wen Wei is as intriguing as it gets. An attorney, scientist and calligrapher, he was a member of the communist party in China. He was imprisoned for practising spiritual healing and his belief in the omnipresence of God. Here, it gets interesting. While incarcerated, a divine being that identified itself as Pang Gu spoke to him. It was revelatory, an epiphany that transformed his life and that of countless people around the world.

Upon his release, Wei taught the system known as Pan Gu Shengong, initially to his family and closest friends with astonishing results. Terminally ill patients were successfully treated. Things have since changed, and the three-tier healing art is now taught and practised globally.

The Path of Life can be interpreted as mythological, fantastical, futuristic, and the musings of a hyper-imaginative mind.

Wei chronicles communication with his spirit guide, who reveals the imminent transformation of planet Earth. It is through his mind's eye that Wei captures the stunning beauty of the world tomorrow.

Understandably, Wei is doubtful. Who can blame him? After all, more than 100 million people were killed by political and religious strife in the 20th century.

Wei protests, but each time he voices incredulity, his spiritual guide redirects his focus. And for a moment, Wei is satisfied, even intoxicated, by visions of perfection. Yes, the world will be void of religious, political, and ethnic divisions. It will be enraptured in an awe-inspiring spirit of justice and equanimity. Nature will no longer be the victim of excess and will display her redolence and splendour. Customs and traditions will no longer separate us. Tribalism and cultural hubris will become archaic, extinct. Humankind will share in a common heritage, upholding common

festivals and holidays.

Wei encounters scenarios that are all-consuming and bewitching. "Hundreds of flowers were blossoming - on the hills, at the feet of the mountain, in the fields and in yards - vying with each other for wonderment and beauty ... . It was the first time, also, that I was seeing flowers with so much colour. By comparison, ours seemed inferior; even those depicted in the most beautiful paintings could not match the romantic charm of these."

And in this world of immortals we are told: "There will not be the least form of compulsory measures in the future human world. Each person is free to choose his or her own favourite enjoyment. The total amount of material each one requires will be exactly equal to the total warmth of society. Also, all the requirements of any one individual will do no harm to the interests of any other individual."

This thirst for a perfect world is shared by religious leaders and millions of believers of every cultural hue. Christian and Islamic millennialism is based on this faith. Biblical rapture promises utopia for those who have adhered to God's laws.

In many ways, Wei's Path of Life flows with cross-cultural similitude. His words echo those of the Christian paradise:

"In the future world, there will be a completely unified sense of time, so that at any given time, their positions will be the same no matter where people are viewing from. In other words, in the future world, even the benefit bestowed by the sun and moon on each person will be equal. All natural phenomena will conform to the ideas of a unified and just human world."

elevated standing

That the future will no longer be constrained by time or space is evident of man's elevated spiritual standing. There will be uniformity of language, so that whenever a sound is pronounced, "it will be understood correctly by their listeners and in the listeners' mind, the corresponding written word will appear". And, "organisations such as schools that teach and lecture on culture and knowledge will still exist; in them children will foster systematically with the purpose of allowing them to gain basic and unified cultural knowledge and enjoy the warmth of group life".

The question on gender equality arose, to which Wei's guide sanguinely responded, "Since everybody in the future world will have super capability and abundant material goods, more than they consume, there will not be a problem such as 'women's liberation' to be solved."

Again, we find biblical verses reverberating with this promise of peace and spiritual wholesomeness. In Isaiah 2:4, we read, "He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spares into pruning hooks: nations hall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

In Psalm 72:3, it is written, "The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the

little hills, by righteousness." And in verse seven of that very chapter, enduring harmony is promised: "In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth."

And in the vein of Christian eschatology - the gnashing of teeth and a swift and uncompromising judgement for sinners - Wei's spiritual guardian conveys a mandatory period of pain prior to the advent of a perfect world. He asks rhetorically, "Shouldn't we suffer and endure all agonies for the sake of the realisation of this refined world?" And later, he ensures that Wei fully understands divine revelation: "Don't forget the part of the plan that says that nobody can be admitted into the future human world before having undergone a process of painful tempering ... thus, when the time comes for settling accounts and their evil components are still found to outnumber their good ones, they must be resolutely destroyed for the sake of the purity and happiness of the future world."

But therein is a thought-provoking twist. The anguish and pain that many will suffer on the day of reckoning will be hoisted upon Pan Gu the Great. Yes, God will bear our pain for us to realise paradise. Here, the affinity to Christian doctrine of salvation couldn't be more evident.

For sure, The Path of Life gives meaning to dispensationalism, a Christian belief that God reveals Himself in different epochs or periods of history under new covenants. We can take this argument one step further and argue that these revelations occur in different cultural settings, corroborating the thesis that there are multiple paths to the same God. But the pressing question persists: Is a perfect world possible? Frankly, this is a matter of faith.

What is certain is that The Path of Life is a visionary work that must not be taken at face value. Beyond taxing our imagination, it offers hope in a world arguably at the cusp of annihilation.

Ratings: Interesting read

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