This research scientist’s life changed unexpectedly when he personally experienced the shortcomings of modern science.
Li Baoqing had worked at the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences for several decades.
In the late 90s, Li led an important nationwide water-saving agricultural project using rainwater run-off. The project is still ongoing at the Academy of Sciences today, conducted by teams of scientists and research fellows who were once Li’s students.
In 1991 Li was awarded the title of advanced researcher. Two years later he was recognized by the State Council, and in 1997 his name was listed in Cambridge University’s Who’s Who dictionary.
Then Li encountered qigong.
What is qigong?
In the early 1990s, after several decades of communism, China experienced a revival of spirituality. Suddenly hundreds of “qigong” practices with teachings similar to Buddhism and Taoism were introduced to the public, with widespread claims of supernatural phenomena and miraculous healing.
Li’s wife, who had many ailments, was introduced to a qigong practice called Falun Gong (or Falun Dafa), which spread very quickly by word of mouth because of its health and other benefits.
Li said that his wife’s illnesses soon disappeared, and she regained a healthy state.
“When she told me about it, I thought that qigong could only heal long-term diseases like the ones she had. I was healthy and only had colds and a fever from time to time, so I thought I didn’t need to practice Falun Gong,” Li said.
But in 1995, Li began to suffer from shingles and sudden deafness. He was rushed to the hospital, but his health problems did not improve.
He then desperately tried acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, but found similar results.
“I felt frustrated,” Li said.
Right around that time, during the lunar New Year in 1996, Li was invited to a nine-day Falun Dafa class. He and his wife attended together.
“I finally began the journey of discovering the profoundness of Falun Dafa,” Li said.
“After the nine days of classes, not only did the pain disappear, I even quit smoking and drinking,” Li said. “Without medicine and treatment, and only by practicing the exercises and listening to the lectures, I was able to get rid of my illnesses. That was my first taste of the magic of Falun Dafa.”
Afterwards, Li started reading Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Gong, written by the practice’s founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi.
“The guidance of the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance changed my view of the world,” Li Baoqing said.
Li Baoqing explained that modern Western science is based on experimentation; we use our eyes or testing equipment to investigate tangible objects and do not believe in things we cannot see or verify.
“As a result of this limited approach, we often get lost,” Li said. “But true scientists do not limit themselves. They are humble individuals who dare to admit the limitation of our research and keep finding new things that science has not taught us.”
Li said that many great scientists, including Michael Faraday, Alexander Volta, George Simon Ohm, André-Marie Ampère, James Clerk Maxwell, Thomas Edison, believed in the existence of higher beings.
“So don’t limit yourself and your knowledge just because you are a scientist,” he said.
Li’s enjoyment in China of his newfound spirituality was short-lived. In 1999, Jiang Zemin, the then-head of the Communist Party, launched the persecution of Falun Gong with a decree to “ruin their reputation, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically.”
A resident at the Academy of Sciences, Li witnessed the persecution of Falun Gong in his neighborhood and at his workplace. He himself was abducted several times and forced to undergo brainwashing classes. His research funds at Academy of Sciences were also cut.
In 2003, after having been illegally detained several times, Li and his wife left China for Australia, where they now live.