Meditation Outlawed

After a few months spent near an unstable tipping point, meditation has officially been declared illegal, the Prime Minister Murray Schillinger announced this morning during a vibrant speech. "This is not a liberal measure, but a social one. It had to be done for the common good, to protect the people", said Mr Schillinger.

A fifteen-page press statement was also issued by the government, giving more details to support the Prime Minister's affirmations, while a press conference was organized with several ministers, who seemed eager to answer the numerous questions this law had raised among experts and commentators.

"People who meditate do not contribute to our economy, or very few, said the finance minister. Did you ever see a spiritual master build a house or make some bread? Hopefully will the free time that this new law allocates them be employed to more productive activities than doing nothing all day long."

"Let me put it this way.", he added. "Suppose that you have society A, where meditation is authorized, and society B, where it is punished. Obviously the outstanding numbers of hours lost to meditate in society A will constitute a huge handicap to the economy, allowing society B to outperform society A in terms of growth, hence in terms of power. Now let me ask two simple questions: in which world do we want to live? Which world do we want to leave to our children?"

Far from these economical considerations, the health minister evoked the consequences of meditation upon discernment and sanity.

"Meditation, in a number of ways, can be compared to a drug", declared Anna Blavatsky. "It brings you into an intoxicated state and you progressively become addicted. Worse, the tolerance threshold raises everytime you practice. See, the first time a master kindly proposes you five minutes, but after a few months it can turn into more than eight hours a day of apathic haze. This is no coincidence because of course, the longer the session, the higher the price. I'm very worried about the mushrooming number of so-called ashrams opened by so-called swamis. This is clearly the consequence of a too lax policy, which lets such cults of nihilism expand without recognizing that people were gradually depossessed of their identity. The number of yoga practionners has at some point reached a critical mass, then gregarious instinct did the final job to conquer new hippie adepts. We had to do something."

Dwayne Kohonen, head of the Interior Ministry, brought also a firm support to the law but with different arguments.

"Meditation is a threat to the security of our citizens, and I'll tell you why. With the help of the military research taskforce, our engineers have developed powerful censors analyzing waves emitted by the brain, mapping them to a detailed architecture of thoughts. These scanners are already installed in most of the main public areas, and for now used successfully for marketing purposes. We can safely assume that someone desiring not to emit waves by emptying his mind has his own agenda; namely, compromising thoughts he doesn't want to expose. The new legal disposition acknowledges this phenomenon very clearly, and therefore considers any attempt to hide from our security scanners by the practice of yoga or meditation as dissimulation of potentially useful information, which is criminal behavior and can lead you to jail."

In the zen community however, the information has triggered waves of astonishment. Peng Tang, director of the Blue Cloud Meditation Center, was certainly interrogative.

"We wonder why what we were wanting was wrong. Meditation isn't about hiding ideas, it's about being free, and aware of it. That being said, this new law is a breach into our individual liberties, and frankly I don't understand what is going on. If sitting quietly is a threat to our own integrity, why is television still authorized? If the government wants to make illegal what can turn a person into a mean, selfish, violent individual, why doesn't it rather outlaw money? We take this law with a zen attitude. And we'll stand up peacefully against it. You know the scenario. First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Like today. I wonder what will happen next.", he concluded.

The Selenic Gazette