The fictional story
below is from Chapter 4 (Queen of the New Law) of the novel, Lu
Mountain, the last volume of the series of novels, The
Lodging for the Rose.
Mai-seong explained to me privately on the way back to our base on Poyang Hu, that her awakening as a human being had began practically at the first day of her contracted duties with us on the ship, even though she didn't recognize this at first.
When she spoke to me we were on a somewhat narrower part of the Yangtze River, half way between Huangshi and Jiujiang where the river runs straight for long stretches, passing through the great gap between two mountain ranges. We were relaxing on the top deck at the time enjoying the late afternoon sunshine and keeping Steve company, who was 'driving' the ship. Naturally we were taking account of what had been accomplished.
We talked about what had been accomplished for both the students and the people in Wuhan, as well as for us. Mai-seong confided to me that while I first addressed the students in response to the hecklers, she was horrified to see how some of them were moved by me, and then was astonished at how all that anger melted away in response to a single profound idea. She said that it suddenly dawned on her that something really big and beautiful was unfolding that she wanted to be a part of. That is why she stepped in and helped. She said that she became immensely proud that day to have been chosen to be a part of this movement, and has remained proud of herself ever since.
"I see us being involved in an effort that takes a person beyond nationalities, religion, politics, personality, that makes one proud to be alive. It is an effort of universal love for humanity," she said. She added that she was also happy to have been able to make a small difference in the flow of this effort by sharing the little that she knew. Her happiness, at this point, became expressed in the form of a kiss as we stood together at the upper deck's railing watching the surrounding country 'float by' on our journey downstream.
Wai-yi acknowledged later as similar kind of an "awakening." She spoke about it the next morning during breakfast. In context with it she spoke to us about the significance of the nearby Lu Mountain to the right of our anchorage. I recalled that I had remarked on how beautiful the mountain looked as we entered the great lake the evening before, where we were based. Wai-yi explained to us that during the Zhou dynasty in the eleventh Century BC, according to legend, seven brothers had built a lodge at the mountain, hence its name, Lu Mountain, which simply means lodge. She also explained that another legend speaks of a great healer, Dong Fen, one of the shamans of early Chinese history, who was said to have lodged at the foot of this mountain. According to legend he refused to be paid for his services. Wai-yi said that he had merely asked as reward, that every patient who was healed would plant five apricot trees when the healing was complete. She added that much later in time, during the Han dynasty in the first three centuries AD, the mountain slopes became home to more than three-hundred-eighty monasteries, some of which still exist. She said that she found in one of them a very ancient story that reflects to some degree our own story. With, having said this, she invited us all to come with her to the top of the mountain. She told us about a ledge that she had discovered, high above the Yangtze, that provided a spectacular view of the entire surrounding country.
So it was that we were all assembled three days later on her 'private' high mountain ledge to listen to Wai-yi read to us the ancient story that had been preserved with great care in one of the almost forgotten holy places of the mountain itself. She told us that the ancient story was a tale of two kingdoms.
She said that the story could have been written today, but evidently, it was written a long time ago. It appeared to be a saga, she said, that was passed on from the early days by word of mouth, before, sometime later it was written down.
The two kingdoms that she told us about appear have been two local kingdoms that were separated from one another by a mountain range, possibly by the Wu Mountain range through which the Yangtze had carved one of its deep gorges. The kingdoms were referred to in the story as the Kingdom of the West, and the Kingdom of the East.
The Kingdom of the West was ruled by a proud and cruel king, but the king was old and soon died. The successor prince was of the father's stock, but lacked the father's intelligence to rule a kingdom. People joked about the king's stupidity. However, the king had a beautiful wife, a queen who had been the king's lover long before he became a king. The queen was adored by the king for her mental abilities that he, himself, apparently lacked. It became all too soon evident, therefore, even to the king, that the queen was the real ruler in the kingdom, while not a drop of royal blood flowed in her veins.
According to the legend, all of the elite and the wise of the kingdom courted the queen far more than they courted the king, which angered the king. Naturally, the king had the power to rule, and often overruled the queen on behalf of those who had come to him seeking certain powers of their own over the people, for a purpose that Wai-yi interpreted as their 'business gain.' Wai-yi explained that those people were the 'business' people of the kingdom, even though the concept of business had not been developed at this time to the extend as we know it today. She said that those people worked for the king at first, collecting taxes, lending out currencies, controlling the fields that the farmers could rent. They made the king's business their business and let the king have some of the royalties in exchange for their privileges. They also operated warehouses with trade concessions of their own making, and they operated stores and bakeries, and fisheries. In short, wherever profits could be made, they were the people making them, and this, of course, with the full support of the laws of the king. In fact, the king had no options but to support them as he received his income in royalties from their ventures.
Naturally, the queen strongly opposed the demoralizing trend, especially when the profiteering became obsessive and evermore unjust. She alerted the king of the tragic fact that the people of his kingdom became rapidly reduced to slaves for the profits of others, so much so, that they could no longer develop their potentials and upgrade their skills to enrich and strengthen the whole kingdom.
So it was that during this time of mounting tensions, deeply reaching conflicts arose that the king was ill equipped to deal with. Whenever he bowed to the wishes of his queen who better understood the economic processes of the kingdom, he made himself enemies in the business community, and whenever he relented to the business pressures, his queen would stir his conscience.
Wai-yi said that one could understand that the queen's influence on the king had obviously caused no small concerns in the 'business' community that saw its status and profits endangered. In an effort to protect the source of their wealth the business leaders came upon a scheme that promised to force the king's hand.
Since the business people where also traders with far reaching connections in other lands, they had heard about a religion in those far off lands that supported the very same corrupt ideals that they cherished, and the best of it all, it was all done in the name of God. Hastily, they hired an ambassador of this religion and brought him before the king.
According to the legend, the ambassador that they chose was a clever man who could be trusted for a fee to support their case against the queen. And so it was, that without ever speaking a word to the king about business principles, the ambassador became the champion for their cause, the cause of business. He spoke to the king about the law of God. He presented a law that supported a rigid code for the enslavement of the people at the grass roots level, and this in the name of love, and godliness, and honor. He told the king that a man is entitled under this law to have one wife who becomes obligated to serve him and him alone. Each man, thus becomes a king in his own right, and each tiny kingdom so created is on the higher level obligated to serve the sovereign of the realm.
Wai-yi explained that the moral law became thereby focused onto the individual level. There, the king's refined law defined severely guarded boundaries. However, the new royal law became thereby a completely separate issue. The new moral issues no longer pertained to they royal domain itself, and its business. They only pertained to the people's private domain. The lower moral law, for instance, actually encouraged the concept of slavery since the spouses literally owned each other under this law, just as the king owned all the people in his realm in a higher context. The ambassador of this new religion explained the virtues of this law to the king, by which, whenever anyone was found to be stepping beyond their prescribed sphere, which involved a violation of the ownership rights and duties, the transgressor incurred the death penalty as a divine punishment. The ambassador concluded to the king that not even his queen could stand above this law, since it was the law of God.
The king understood to some degree what this meant, since the queen had made no secret of her love for all the people in her realm, which invariably violated that new law. Nor had the queen imposed boundaries for her affections as this law demanded, but had honored all bonds that love has forged. The king was ell aware that the brightest scholars with the most advanced ideas and perceptions had been among the queen's most closely cherished friends. Those who had enriched her life and the kingdom as a whole, were embraced by her in a richly generous manner, at times even intimately so when this seemed appropriate.
The king understood that the new law would invariably become the queen's undoing. Although, being a man of a small mind, he couldn't foresee the consequences that went far beyond what the king could comprehend.
Barely a month had passed when the king became persuaded to mount a show trial against his own queen, under the new law. The trial was ostensibly designed to frighten the population into submission. In order to achieve this, the queen's death sentence was announced at the trial that she could not escape. Naturally, the death sentence was also imposed upon those whom the queen had loved the most. Still, the king could sense that the queen and the people convicted were also the most loved in the kingdom. This posed problem. Of course, the problem was easily solved.
In order to prevent the possibility of creating a martyr, the king was quietly advised by his 'business associates' to reduce the death sentence to exile for life; which he did. So it was that on the next day after the sentence was announced, the queen was deported, together with the most loyal and the most intellectually advanced subjects of the realm. Being "deported" meant that they were placed onto a raft and set adrift on the river that flowed out of the kingdom.
With the queen now removed, a new era began in the kingdom. Under the new law, the impediment was removed, against stealing and killing, at the level of the royal 'business.' The so-called 'moral' part of the law, as much as there was any morality left, was deemed applicable only to the people's dealings with one another in their private lives. Consequently it became legal at the 'business' level to cheat and steal, and to cause death for profit, as long as the murdering wasn't done in the private domain in the form of a private killing by ones own hands. Murder by starvation, or in the context of conducting business, was deemed to be the outcome of 'business conditions' rather than as an act of killing.
At first hardly anyone realized that the newly imposed trend was destroying the kingdom from within. Everybody seemed happy with their newfound riches. No one noticed at first that the best workers in the kingdom, those who didn't escape to save their life when the new law became enacted, were slowly worked to death, or became sick and died of their illnesses for the lack of care.
After the best workers became used up and were discarded, the lesser-able workers were put to the task and were used up in much the same fashion. In the background, the insatiable appetite for more profits grew, that the business piracy demanded.
Out of this background, a whole new trend emerged. Quietly, working in the background, the 'stronger' in the business world began to steal from other businesses by means of clever schemes that promised the sky, but were empty structures of lies in real terms. After all, lying was legal in the name of making profit 'for the king.' The lies were said to be necessary to conceal the truth and thereby to protect their business dreams of ever-greater wealth, some of which was actually paid out to the king.
Soon, the pretending stopped. The most 'advanced' business people started to trade in goods that simply didn't exist, which were merely deemed to exist in the future, but which could be sold and bought many times over for real profits before the time at which they were actually created. In evermore cases, they were never created. In this manner the 'business' people created for themselves enormous wealth out of thin air in the form of intangible aggregates that existed only in the form of numbers written in scrolls that had no real correlative in the real world. Soon, even this process was simplified. It became too bothersome for the businessmen to relate their businesses to merchandise, whether real or imagined. They started a game that allowed them to trade the numbers directly with one another, allowing for big and easy profits that they pursued with greedy eyes.
Little did they realize in their obsession that no one was left in the kingdom tending the fields. The workers had all been starved to death, and they themselves would never pursue such lowly employment. Why would a businessperson do that? Still, there was no one left alive of the peasantry to do it. The harvests were failing. Bread was increasingly hard to get, and what could be found was of poor quality. Eventually the business people realized that all these lowly things had to be done. That is when they realized that they, themselves, lacked the necessary skills to farm, or to raise cattle, or to harvest, to butcher, to bake bread, to make tools, and so on.
In their frustration they prevailed upon the king to use the remaining people of the land to wage a war against the Kingdom of the East which had in abundance everything they needed. "Apart from that," they said to the King, "it is always good to start a war when things don't work anymore. War changes the environment."
In this urgent matter, once again, the king followed the advise of his trusted advisors and prepared an army of sorts, armed with whatever weapons the kingdom had laid up in previous times in its armories.
According to the legend, the exiled queen, being guided by her leading edge supporters, had survived the journey through the haunted rock ribbed canyons that were cut so deep that never a ray of sun had touched them, and on a river so swift and so violent that it took their combined strength to prevent their rafts from being smashed against the canyon walls. Still, they survived by virtue of their skills and prayers and arrived unharmed and hungry in the Kingdom of the East.
Their arrival was considered a miracle, there. The people of the Kingdom of the East were fully aware of the perils. They had heard stories being told of narrow gorges that lead to the lair of dragons surrounded by steeply rising cliffs, guarded by waterfalls and rapids foaming over submerged rock formations. To their knowledge no one had ever dared to make this journey for a thousand years, or had come through, alive. The queen, though, who understood the rumors and the legends, feared no danger, nor did she fear the dangers that might await her on the other side. Indeed, such fears would have been in vain. Her companions were knowledgeable in many things, and had been quick to adapt, to become expert boatmen and to become wise in the ways of the river. So it was, that when they emerged on the other side, they were kindly received. Their achievement was celebrated. They were brought before the king of that land as the people of a miracle.
The king of the East was young and powerful, but the kingdom was also in trouble by an invading force that had crossed its borders in the North. The king, therefore, regarded their arrival as something more than a miracle. He saw it as an answer to his prayers for a solution to the crisis. Against this background the exiled queen and her advisors proposed a daring plan that must have appeared like suicide to the king.
She urged the king not to counter-attack in this situation, but to do the opposite. She had been told by the king's own military leaders that the invading armies had been judged to be too numerous in strength. Her concern was that too many people would die in a struggle that would accomplish nothing. She said that an attack against the invaders would assure the greatest tragedy the kingdom could suffer. She urged the king to surrender the northern regions, but to do it slowly with protracted negotiations. She told him, that at the same time he should send other messengers who should urge the people in these regions to escape from there, in order to save their lives, and to burn their houses and their fields before leaving. She assured the king that the invading armies would be weakened by the winter rainstorms, that she was told turns the country of the North into pools of soggy quagmire, the kind in which horses and wagons get hopelessly stuck, and in which people get ill without proper shelter. The queen then proposed to the king to ready his armies for an eventual counter-attack at the height of those winter storms, but not defeat the invaders. He should offer them food and sanctuary, and so rescue the invaders themselves.
She told the king that killing his enemies would lead to revenge. Moreover, if he were to invite the invaders, disarmed of course, into the country as his guests, and utilize whatever skills they might posses, he would have gained a resource with which to further develop the kingdom, while his enemies would be deprived of that resource. She told the king that he would likely gain many times the equivalent value of what would be destroyed by the invasion.
As it was, the queen turned out to be correct in everything that she had proposed, because the entire war unfolded precisely as she had forecast.
She then persuaded the king to employ the invaders to build canals and dikes for the kingdom, and to clear new fields for their own use, and to build themselves houses. "After three years," said the queen, "those who would still wish to return to their own country should be allowed to do so, and those who wished to stay should be invited to bring in their families as well.
So it was, that a potentially ugly war became avoided. The queen was elevated to become an acting queen once more. By a royal degree she was made equal in status in every respect to the already existing queen of the kingdom. The king even helped her to research the origin of the cruel law by which she had been condemned to death in her own land. The end result of the research was just as everyone at court had suspected. The cruel law, for which she had been exiled from her home, had been a total perversion of a fundamentally natural and beautiful law. This natural law had urged the people to respect one another and to honor the bonds they had established between one another. The undistorted law contained no references to sex, age, status, or numbers involved in a bond of love between people. The law merely urged people to honor all human bonds, regardless of their shape and form. It was a law of love; the essence of love.
This newly discovered, real law, soon became the law of the land. It didn't become law by the force of a royal degree, however. It became understood to be a law, because adherence to it enriched everyone's life. This law became also embraced by the kingdom's guests of the armies of the North, who were now vigorously enriching the land and were building a richer life for themselves than they ever had, laboring alongside everyone else.
It was against this background that the invasion by the kingdom of the West occurred. The invading forces didn't come by boat or raft, as the queen had come. The kingdom didn't have enough boats or rafts, nor did it have the economic resources to build them, nor the skilled people who would be able to drive them. The invading army came on foot across the mountains that the boatmen said were touching the sky, which they said; no one could ever cross-alive. Still, many of them did. They had worked their way up through steeply rising valleys until they were indeed touching the sky. Those who survived the arduous journey to the very end had no heart left for any fighting. Whatever weapons they had still with them were gladly exchanged for food that was offered by their previous queen.
Many of the would-be invaders still recognized the queen who had come from the city to greet them. She even recognized some of the once proud business tycoons among them who had become mired in the poverty of their own creating, who had then joined the army as a way out. They, too, found a new life in the queen's new country in the East. In this environment everyone became richer. Nor were all of these riches of a type that could be carried away. These riches unfolded from being human. They were the riches of love.
The Western Empire that the would-be invaders had come from was never attacked in return. There was no need to do so. It simply died out on its own. There were rumors heard of wide spread crimes and starvation in the dying empire, followed by rumors of pestilence. After a while there were no rumors at all forthcoming. After still a while later, new rumors emerged that the land was being resettled by some of the people who had once fled. Still, no New Kingdom was established by the resettlement. The people realized what they hadn't realized before, that they had a choice to choose their own destiny. They realized that they had had the power to overthrow their earlier king who had become corrupted. They just hadn't realized this, then. Now, that the realization was made, they chose not to have a new king, over them. They chose to remain subject to the new law that was cherished by the queen, and always had been cherished by her, that they had learned to value. Thus the two realms simply became one larger kingdom, as indeed, the inhabitants of both realms had become, being bound together as one people by that law that none of them had made, which had merely been discovered.
Much the same happened in the Kingdom of the North. The returning people remained united in their bond to each other and to the people of the kingdom that was ruled by a wise king and two queens, and a law that honors all human bonds.
Wai-yi Chen predicted, as she finished the story, that the same process was now in the early stages of repeating itself again. She said, "the respect for all human bonds came to us from America, where the gentle law is not welcome, where this law had been perverted into its opposite. But this gentle law is being accepted here. It will enrich China where the beautiful things of life are not being rejected anymore. In fact it has already begun to germinate. It has begun to enrich Russia too, and India, and all of Asia. It is coming to light as the law of the general welfare principle, the Law of Love. The West, of course, will disintegrate since its corrupt system has already destroyed the financial system and the economies of the nations controlled by the West. Many people have already died, and many more will still die in the abject poverty of their own creating. In the darkness of this poverty, China's model based on the New Law, on the general welfare principle, the Law of Love, will some day stand as a beacon of hope for them.
"Perhaps the day will come soon," said Wai-yi, "when China offers the West its partnership to develop nuclear fusion power for the benefit of all humanity, in exchange for the West destroying its nuclear weapons. China may even offer the western nations food and redevelopment aid since they destroyed their own development potential. They may do this on a platform that operates without currencies, a platform of equity. Ultimately, there will be just one law in the universe, the law that supports human existence. Then the world will be ruled by one king, one universal principle, and by two queens, one honoring the human bond and its sovereignty, and the other one enriching that bond that binds us all in a single embrace, 'enveloped' in love."
"Would you say that this is a fair estimate?" said Wai-yi Chan quietly to us all while we were sitting at her lookout ledge high above our home city.
Steve simply smiled in reply. Heather hugged her. I answered with a kiss. Sylvia silently handed her a small wild rose and kissed her. She called it the Rose of China. Ushi commented on it, and said that it was the Rose of Love. Ross said it was the Rose of the New Law that was poised to transform the world. Fred agreed, but he called it, The Champagne Rose, representing a discovery that one should celebrate with open eyes and open hearts. Tony called the rose, the Rose of the Winds that carry its fragrance to encircle the world. Giovanni called it the Rose of Truth that had opened its pedals heralding a new age for humanity. Dagmar and Alison called it the Royal Rose of the Kingdom of the New Law, ruled by the twin principles of universal love and universal sovereignty. Mai-seong looked at the rose and said that in the end, it is after all but a rose. She said that it was our love, the love of all of us together, in respect of the bond that we had built, what gives that rose those wonderful special meanings that we had attributed to it. So, she concluded that the real beauty and the meaning of the rose are found in us and was coming alive in us. I suggested that we should let the rose unfold in our harts to symbolize the all-embracing unity of good.
Here, Wai-yi's face lit up with a smile. She suggested that our boat should be given an additional name that reflects the symbol of our grand realization of the all-embracing unity of good. She suggested that out boat should be called, Lu Rose, The Lodging for the Rose.
We all agreed that this was a wonderful idea. And so it was done.
Actually it wasn't exactly done that way. The ship's existing record was removed from the registry as though it had sunk. Then the ship was re-registered under its new the name of, Lu Rose. With the fondi's concurrence the registration was put under my own new Chinese name of Hsi-sheng Lee. So it was that a ship by the name of "China Sea Angel" was terminated in the public records as though it had sank beneath the sea. The CIA would never be able to trace it now, should they ever make the connection. The same also happened to my American name. My passport carried only my new name. The old existed no more. Steve suggested that the renaming of our ship was a good idea. "It buys us a little more time," he said, "but you are not save yet, not even here, not until the world is safe." Then he added. "One day that will all happen."