Kent Kuhlmann, a wealth manager in California, said the article “How Humankind Came To Be” is “both daring and incredible.” Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, published it in The Epoch Times at the end of January. Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, encourages adherents to live by the universal principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance and teaches meditative exercises.
To Kuhlmann, the article is “very deep” for getting into “some very esoteric levels of spirituality and beliefs about the world and mankind and our origin.” “This person [Mr. Li] really bares the soul of non-standard religious and spiritual beliefs,” he told The Epoch Times. By “non-standard,” he said he meant non-Western and non-Catholic.
People who follow traditional Western religions might think the article was just weird, he said. “So that’s why I thought it was such a courageous article for you guys to publish because not a lot of newspapers would publish an article like that.”
He thanked The Epoch Times for “having the guts to publish this piece” despite the persecution of Falun Gong in China. “This spiritual group in China embodies all that is good and pure in the human spirit,” he wrote in a comment to this newspaper.
Kuhlmann is no stranger to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) oppression.
Before becoming a wealth manager, Kuhlmann used to travel to Asia often at his previous international sales and marketing job. He was in Hong Kong in June of 1989 when the CCP army slaughtered students protesting at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, as Hong Kong citizens did their best to help support the student democracy movement.
Therefore, he understands the CCP’s level of oppression and the courage needed to carry on peaceful resistance to it—such as the Falun Gong movement—for decades.
Over the past 23 years, millions of Falun Gong adherents have been held in labor camps, mental asylums, drug rehabilitation centers, unofficial black jails, or other detention facilities. However, the followers’ peaceful resistance to the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution persisted. Many attributed their courage to stay steadfast to their beliefs and the power of faith.
Darkness Shall Pass
Now 62, Kuhlmann has been on his spiritual journey for decades.
Growing up in a parochial family, he witnessed conflicts and people taking sides in the community church he grew up with after it changed governance when he was about 17. He then embarked on a spiritual journey and learned about many beliefs, including Taoism, Buddhism, native American religions, and other cultures. He doesn’t view Falun Gong as a religion because many beliefs in the East don’t take the form of religion.
He said he realized “a common thread through everything before all of the layers of rules that were manmade got put on top of everything.” He grew up with guilt that certain actions or thoughts would be considered “sinning.” But after exploring many other beliefs, he gained a deeper understanding of how one is held accountable for the consequences of his choices, which ties to the concepts of karma and reincarnation mentioned in Mr. Li’s article.
In Kuhlmann’s view, the essay reaffirms his understanding that “we are all connected; we are all part of the same organism.” “What’s killing the planet is not greenhouse gases. It’s selfishness, greed, and power,” he added. “I think clinging to spirituality is pretty much the only thing that has helped us stay grounded.”
He remains hopeful that the darkness shall pass, even though “we’ve had a lot of very dark things prevailing for a long time, and they seem to be accelerating in a big way right now.” To him, it’s a manifestation that the evil knows its days are numbered and that a new page will turn.
“I believe there are all kinds of other forces out there from a spiritual realm that are helping this planet right now to make it through that,” he said. “What gets me up every day is my belief that this, too, shall pass. We’ll be on the other side of this at some point.”