By Ven. Prof. Chin Kung
“Power of Peace: Building Peace Through Communication and Information” UNESCO Global Forum
Bali, Indonesia, January 21-23, 2007
Mr. Abdul Waheed Khan, UNESCO Assistant
H.E. Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan,
H.E. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia,
Good day! It is my great pleasure and privilege to present some thoughts here at the UNESCO Global Forum “Power of Peace: Building Peace Through Communication and Information”.
I. Critical to the world’s destiny is the media
An old Chinese proverb says: “water can either float the boat or sink it.” The media is like water. It can either save the world or destroy the world. The media itself is neutral, neither kind nor evil. When media directors broadcast positive content to the masses, the world would be saved. On the other hand, when the negative content is broadcasted to the masses, the world would be destroyed. I used to talk with Mr. Liu Chang Le, the CEO and founder of Phoenix TV, that there were two kinds of people who had the power of either saving or destroying the world. The first are the national leaders. The second are the media directors. Many country leaders and peace builders already feel this keenly. The content of violence and eroticism in the media would seriously affect the social order and people’s mentality, especially that of the youth. The influence could be so deep and wide that it would destroy a people or a nation, and ultimately destroy the world.
It is sad to see that media around the world broadcasts a great deal of negative content such as violence, eroticism, stealing and lying. The positive content is very little. Many people are often exposed to and used to stimulations and become wild and cruel. To transform people’s mentality would definitely take time and effort in the education for them.
As the media is so critical, we established a Hwazan Video and Audio Library 20 years ago, and started to use the Internet education 10 years ago. Since 2003, one of my followers set up the Hwazan Satellite TV Station. All the educational channels (i.e., the Internet, the Satellite TV, DVDs, television programs, etc) broadcast the saint education content such as ethics, morality, cause-and-effect, wisdom, and science.
Relying only on the support from individuals, our human and financial resources for the distance-education is very limited. We are pleased, however, that in the past few decades, this effort has proven to be effective, which confirms the important role of the media in promoting social harmony and world peace.
II. Implementations of the Media Education for Peace
This conference aims at identifying practical methods to harness the mass media and information and communication tools for the education and culture of peace. This is a good start. It signifies that the negative impact of the media has now received attention. Thus, I am happy to provide my wholehearted support to the conference albeit my limited resources.
The set-up of the hardware facility is the first step in the media education for peace. With the kind invitation from the conference organizing committee, despite my old age of 80 and my heavy teaching duties, I ask my representative to present my humble views from my study of almost 50 years. I often say: the advanced information and communication techniques are hardware only. To build software, the most important thing is to form expert teams to collect and compile materials of saint education and train saint educators. To those national leaders and people with noble ideals to genuinely save the world, I recommend that an organization be formed to continuously design the content of media education surrounding the topics of
ethics, morality, cause-and-effect, wisdom, and science.
Then each member-country sends a representative to participate in an evaluation team to evaluate whether the educators’ teaching materials are oriented to mind purification, social harmony, national security and world peace. These evaluators need to listen to lectures given by the educators every day to avoid bias. The content of the teachings, once endorsed by the team, will then be broadcasted globally. There should not be copyright restriction imposed on the teaching materials so that they can be circulated freely and widely. The wisdom and knowledge of ancient saints and sages belong to the whole humanity and do not belong to certain individuals.
A critical issue for such pure and kind saint education is: who is eligible to teach? What are the purposes, contents, methods
and consequences of the education? Thus, the organization urgently needs to design and lead the training of qualified educators and the compilation of the teaching materials. Otherwise, even if the TV station were established, there would not be real effect of the media education. A supporting centre should be established to train educators and look after educators’ daily life so that they would be able to concentrate on their studies and lectures.
III. Revelation from an Experiment in a Small Town
In November 2005, we established a Lujiang Centre of Cultural Education, Lujiang County, Anhui Province in China as an experiment of Chinese traditional saint education. The majority of the teachers in the Centre have teaching experience. They do not want to pursue for fame and money. They determined to carry forward the saint education in order to contribute to long-lasting harmony and peace. These teachers set good role models for the residents in the small town. Within less than half of a year, good results can be seen. I heard that the United Nations was interested in building a harmonious sample city in Rugao, Jiangsu Province, China. Perhaps the experience of the Lujiang Centre of Cultural Education might be a useful source of reference.
I cordially invite the national leaders, experts, scholars and those who share the common goal of building peace to visit Tangchi Town in Lujiang County. I, together with our teachers in the Centre, will provide you with our teaching experience and materials for reference of confl ict resolution and peace building.
A Buddhism Sutra says: “the environment is transformed by mind;” “all matters are created by mind”. This theory has been verified by the water experiments of a Japanese scientist Dr Emoto Masaru. Dr Masaru has done over a hundred thousand experiments on water and proved that water is able to ‘understand’ human mind, to ‘see’ human language, and to ‘listen to’ human voice. The water crystal is formed according to what is attached to the water. Under the kind mind or words, water crystals would turn out to be beautiful, while under bad thoughts or words, water crystals would appear ugly. Dr. Masaru found that the thoughts of ‘gratitude’ and ‘love’ would make water crystals most beautiful. He concludes that ‘gratitude’ and ‘love’ are the essence of the universe. I absolutely agree to this point. Dr. Masaru also did an experiment at Lake Biwa. Lake Biwa had been polluted for 20 years and was disseminating unpleasant smell. On July 25, 1999 at 4:30 in the morning, 350 people gathered and offered their prayers facing Lake Biwa for one hour. All people concentrated on the words “the lake is purified!” Several days later, the dirty lake water became clean and calm. The newspaper and TV channels reported this amazing event. The lake water polluted for years had clearly become purifi ed. Although this purification only lasted for half a year, we are greatly inspired by the result of this experiment. We deeply believe that the entire universe is one unifi ed entity. If we use the media to propagate saint education globally, then more people will cultivate kind mind, cherish gratitude and love, do good deeds and pray for our Earth and global peace. As a result, the natural disasters would vanish, environment balance would be restored, societies would be harmonious, and the world would be peaceful!
Above i s my humble view to Your Excellencies and all of you. Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
I wish you all good health and happiness!
Ven. Prof. Shi Chin Kung AM, Hon. PhD
Honorary Doctorate, Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic
State University (Indonesia), Griffi th University, and
University of Southern Queensland (Australia)
President of Pure Land Learning College
Honorary Professor of University of Queensland,
and Griffi th University (Australia), Adjunct Professor of
Remin University (China),
Director of Lujiang Centre for Cultural Education