I have had the chance to feel happy with my work as a journalist, that is: to expose the truth, to report accurately what was happening, the events I have witnessed, and the facts I have gathered. However, I have never felt the happiness of a thinker, since I have not yet offered anything to the world as a thinker.
I was born in a very tumultuous period of my country’s history, in wartime, amidst the never-ending sounds of guns and bullets, day and night, and the ever-changing conflicts for power, under the pressure of foreign streams of thought. These foreign ideologies had negative effects on many Vietnamese generations. With rhetoric, distant illusions of a happy life combined with promises about the future of a strong and rich country, free and happy… all these ideologies have covered schemes of invasion by powerful nations that have fought one another to take over lands and territories, to dominate and exploit the human and natural resources of Vietnam.
Then one day, from a deep sleep like many millions of Vietnamese for decades, I have suddenly awakened in the midst of these uninterrupted conflicts and fights, the raucous shouts of opposition or acclamation, and the words of nationalism or communism.
Everything seems so chaotic and complicated. In the communist bloc there are nationalists, and in the nationalist bloc there are communists. Both sides strike hard with all kinds of tricks, clashes, and manipulations to win the fights. For a very long time we have seen too much fighting and destruction, too little construction.
The result of that is a deplorably underdeveloped Vietnam. Many years after the war, tens of thousands of children are malnourished and suffering from physical and mental illnesses. Many women are exploited in the country and trafficked in the region.
It is very difficult for Vietnam to find an exit amidst all these incessant conflicts and hatreds. People are still looking at one another with hatred in their eyes, although the war ended many years ago. People are still exploited and oppressed in different ways. Young Vietnamese who grow up in deprivation are bewildered by the dividing barrier between nationalism and communism.
Any possible reconstruction is of course insufficient, since everyone still has many doubts that dissuade them from finding a true way out for themselves.
All ideologies that pertain to the principle of self-elimination are subject to decline, particularly those that are not compatible with human nature and current living conditions.
Vietnam should change. The Vietnamese Dragon – symbolized by the Nine-Dragon River, the Mekong, which runs along the territory in the shape of an S – has begun to wake up after a long sleep, to stretch forth with the Vietnamese Sacred Spirit of the Nation, which derives from the power of the fighters and people who have sacrificed their lives to protect the country for thousands of years.
This is the moment for all the people to stand up and reclaim our position as Vietnamese, the offspring of Dragons and Deities, who embrace the philosophy of human compassion, national love, and the essence of harmony from the beginning until now. The bright flag of the people with “red blood and yellow skin” will fly high all over the South, the North, and the Central regions in harmonious chorus of the Vietnamese Song of Triumph.
This song is about how “to overcome hatred”, to build and give the “doctrine of love,” which is rooted so deeply in the tolerant and illuminated soul of every Vietnamese and which is the endless source of THE WAY, waiting for the right time and place to pervade the whole country and then flow out to the world.
From this moment our young people inside and outside of the country will be united, and together they will work for the salvation and reconstruction of the nation, so that Vietnam will rise from calamity and develop adequately to participate with other countries in the world. They are capable of doing so, since many Vietnamese, because of the unique political and social situation of their country, have received ideas from more advanced civilizations and then harmonized them with the VIETNAMESE RELIGIOUS SPIRIT of Loving-Kindness, Compassion, and Equanimity -- the essence of every human being’s TRUE MIND.
“THE RISING NINE-DRAGON RIVER: A Spiritual Journal – II” is a truthful reflection of the changes and transformations in the Religious Spirit of a Vietnamese, with a deep faith in the Sacred Spirit of the Nation, and the guidance of the High-Above, the very Source of every Vietnamese and every human being in this world.
NGUYỄN HUỲNH MAI