Denise Kalm’s encounter with Falun Gong, a spiritual practice rooted in ancient Chinese culture, began many years ago. Although she initially had a negative opinion about the practice from mainstream media articles, her view changed in the last few years after she subscribed to The Epoch Times. Then, she attended Shen Yun, a top classical Chinese dance and music show, in San Francisco this January. The dance vignettes and lyrics offered her more insights into traditional Chinese culture.
She said she was “blown away” by Shen Yun and got more curious about the spiritual practice. So when Falun Gong founder Mr. Li Hongzhi’s recent article “How Humankind Came To Be” came out in The Epoch Times, she read it and found it “fascinating.”
“Shen Yun talks about the gods. And there’s poetry which is translated and songs and things like that. So I learned a little bit more, but these were piecemeal, and Li’s article really set it all in context,” the 68-year-old life coach told The Epoch Times.
She found the article fascinating because “it tied into so many things that I had studied in various other ways before and just sort of sewed them up together into a package that people can quickly grasp.”
To her, “How Humankind Came To Be” also offers people first-hand experience of Falun Gong. “I’m glad that he [Mr. Li] set the record straight in his article so that people could read it and say, ‘Okay, this is what it really is,’” Kalm said, encouraging others to get to know Falun Gong by reading Mr. Li’s article. “This guy is telling you the facts. And ask yourself, could these people hurt you in any way? No. Are they doing harm to the world? No.
“So just like other religions we may not understand well, we should think no differently about them than any other people because they’re living good, positive lives with great values. And that’s all good for everybody.”
‘Strong Parallel’ Between Science and Li’s Teaching
Before entering the career fields of information technology, marketing, and coaching, Kalm studied biochemical genetics. She said she found the article “compelling” because the thoughts in Mr. Li’s article predate what scientists thought. Yet, she saw “a strong parallel between what scientists talk about in terms of the universe that keeps recreating itself and what he talked about in the article.”
“As a geneticist, one of the things that will hit people immediately is how unlikely it is that humans exist and are mostly born completely normal when you think of all the things that could go wrong,” she said. “And so, most of the scientists I’ve known were somewhat spiritual people, not necessarily religious on a level saying, I believe in God, but there’s a feeling of so much we don’t know, and so much architected about life.”
She continued, “With our genetic code, just to start with that, and how it creates relatively perfect humans all the time is absolutely amazing. And so you have a feeling of something else governing, that something is happening here. And so by reading that article, I felt that resonance of another way of explaining it, even though it didn’t turn me into a religious person.”
“What I love is the idea of a very practical ‘how do you live your life as a good person’ aspect to it,” she said of the article.
Growing One’s Soul to Become Better
Out of curiosity, Kalm explored the concept of reincarnation with her mother around 1990. She participated in a reincarnation workshop where people discovered their past and future via self-hypnosis.
During the workshop, the facilitator asked everyone: What would it be if you could ask the universe one question? Kalm asked, “If there’s a heaven, I would like to have one moment of perfect understanding [of the universe].”
“I felt that Li was coming close to that in some ways with this article,” she added. “If there’s reincarnation, we carry the things from our past with us. The soul is carrying them, and that’s really some of what Li was talking about, in my opinion.”
Although Kalm was unsure if she believed in reincarnation entirely, she found it “very interesting” that the Chinese beliefs correlate with reincarnation: “If you improve yourself, if you learn and grow your soul, it becomes a better soul, and you are rewarded for that.”
‘Live by Your Values’
Kalm was studying for a doctoral degree in biogenetics when she discovered that research was not her true calling. Therefore, she dropped out of graduate school after obtaining a Master’s degree in biogenetics.
She thought information technology would be an interim career before she figured out what to do next. However, she spent decades in the field. From a performance engineer who made computers run fast, she became a marketing director of a major IT firm and a vice president at a non-profit membership organization of IT professionals. She opened her coaching business in 2005.
While her various jobs don’t show an obvious theme, the common thread seems to be performance and self-improvement. She’s still coaching but semi-retired and not actively seeking new clients.
Speaking of what, from Mr. Li’s article, she might pass on to her clients, she said, “Live by your values. Don’t let anybody else influence you, or adopt a certain thing to be popular because your values will guide you to do the right thing, and you’ll have a good life. You’ll respect yourself, and things will just go better.”