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March 02, 1958 - Image 14

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Michigan Daily, 1958-03-02
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THE CMIHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

poge MOMh

THE MICHIGAN DAI[Y MAGA7INEF

Sundav. AAarchl.4195-9

Sunday, March 2, 1958

.. .. ...u~ .. fr s.v. zf1 2-0 1 %4L.1 r 1FSyf\LIINAW, *Awl SWUYI177u14i16' T7.lV'

THE CAO DAI
A Buddhist, Christian, Confucian, Hindu, Jewish and T

Whizz Kids &Ralid

Skating at The Colis

By MICHAEL KRAFT
DailyStaff Writer
RAITBIRDS are usually associ-
ated with horse racing. But
the term can just as easily be ap-
plied to a flock of birds in the
University's ice rink, the Coliseum,
ordiniarily inhabited by the hockey
team.
These "railbirds" are skaters
making their first appearances on
ice. They're fledglings of a modern
generation of blade-footed crea-
tures skimming across public skat-
ing rinks.
Shaky legs, weak ankles, and an
unwillingness to wander more
than an arm's length from the
railing of the boards encircling the
rink stand out as the "railbirds"
prime traits.
The first advance from the "rail-
bird" stage is the "rink rester."
These are slightly experienced
skaters whose ankles are a trifle
stronger but still are not capable.
o: making more than one trip
around the rink without needing
rest. The song of the "rink-rester"
goes, "this is the first time I've
been skating for years." The mat-
ing call replies, "Why don't we sit
down for awhile?"
OHSSONG is almost identical
to that warbled by the social
skater. Normally found in pairs,
the male of the species shows off

his strength by continually ad-
monishing his partner for not be-
ing able to skate fast enough. The
female displays her femininity by
wearing slacks and asking her
partner to hold her hand "for sup-
port.".
Social skaters are also found in
groups, usually around the exits
from the rink to the bleachers.
Another habitat is the corner of
the rink where they teach each
other to skate backwards or watch
"rink resters" falling frontwards.
A solitary creature of the rink
is the "whizz kid." Often he is an
American from one of the north-
ern states out to prove he's good
enough for the hockey team despite
lack of Canadian citizenship.
Speedsters of the rink, they habi-
tually zip around the ice and
suddenly swoop .In on victims,
usually social skaters or rink rest-
ters.
The "whizz kid's" basic tactic is
to cut suddenly in front of a slower
skater and dart between groups of
people to flash his dexterity. More
devisive minded "whizz kids" skate
backwards In the mainstream of
traffic, demonstrating disdain for
hazards.
OCCASIONAILY middle-age
fathers try to teach their kids
how to skate. When alone, these
normally stolid older men revert

eum
to the "look ma, I'm still youth-
ful" stage. Unable to match the
"whizz kids" in speed, they empha-
size polish by gliding in long meas-
ured strides, in tune to the music,
hands clasped behind the back.
The more determined, and es-
pecially those with some hair, will
even smoke a pipe and wear a
scarf thrown carelessly around the,
neck, ends dangling over the shoul-
der.
However, the "dashing" figure
cut by these gentlemen is contin-
ually overshadowed by the figures
traced in the middle of the rink.
Here, in an island of calm amidst
the rotating stream of skaters,
congregate the most highly de-
veloped type "iceous skaterous."
Called "spinners" because of
their peculiar motions while figure
skating, they particularly enjoy
skating backwards . with one leg
raised. This showing-off undoubt-
edly is the reason for having
hockey players skate around dur-
ing public sessions wearing "rink
guard" jackets.
SOME OF THE better figure
skaters grow tired of fighting
through trafc to reach center ice.
Many join the Ann Arbor Figure
Skating Club, which rents rink
time.
And some of the "whizz kids"
even make the hockey team.. . in

THE EXPERT WAY-Mary Greschke, skating instructor for the
University and the Ann Arbor Skating Club demonstrates how
to do it.

the intramural program. Between
public skating, varsity hockey
practice, University physical edd-
cation classes and club use, the
Coliseum is in almost constant
activity.
As many as 700 people have
flocked to the hockey rink for
Sunday afternoon skating, Mana-
ger Harry Cadeburg says.
ACTUAMY, the rink Is as fase-
nating as its creatures. Built.
in 1913 the building provided Ann
Arbor with an amusement center,
for swimming, skating, both ice
and roller, and carnivals were
housed under the roof. In 1924,
however, the roof burned and the
University bought the Coliseum

soon afterward. A major expan-
sion and remodeling in 1949 gave
the building its present roof-and
modern facilities.
In 1924 artificial ice equipment
was installed. Before "we just
opened the windows and the sides
of the rink and let nature take its
course," Nate Weinberg, son of the
Coliseum's founder recalls. "I can
remember when we played hockey
games with an inch of water on
the ice," he said.
"Times have changed since then.
The place used to attract a some-
what different group of people
when it was a natural ice rink."
And looking at the creatures
who now inhabit the rink, he maY
be right..

By RICHARD HALLORAN
IN MODERN man's religious life,
fragmentation is commonplace.
Christianity is split among Catho-
lic, Orthodox, and Protestant de-
nominations. Judaism is divided
into Orthodox and various Reform
groups. Buddhism has two major
divisions, Hinayana and Maha-,
yana, each with several sub-
divisions. Everywhere is seen di-
versity not unity of religious be-
lief.
From time to time, however,
movements toward unity crop up.
Conferences among Protestants
have attempted to resolve differ-
ences in doctrine. Last month,
Catholics held a week of prayer
for religious unity. Others, such
as Bahai, attempt to synthesize all
doctrines and spiritual thought
into one body of belief.
Such syntheses are not confined
to the Western wrld. In the
south-east corner of the vast Asian
continent, in the pocket-sized re-
public of Vietnam, is a religion
known as Cao Dai. This sect's be-
liefs are a conglomeration of ritual
and doctrine culled from Buddhist,
Christian, Confucian, Hindu, Jew-
ish, Moslem, and Taoist teachings.
The spiritual guide for between
one and two million souls, Cao Dai
is a twentieth century faith con-
tending that all religions are one,
that all men's diverse religious be-
liefs are reconcilable.
CAO DAI is a religion born of
mysticism. In 1919, on the
little island of Phu Quoc in the
Gulf of Siam, Ngyuen Van Chieu,
a Vietnamese working for the
French colonial administration,
took to seances to pass his lonely
hours. According to his later tes-
timony, the first manifestation of
the spirit of Cao Dai, the Supreme
Being, appeared to him that year.
This spirit told Chieu he was the
one to proclaim a new religion,
the visible sign of which would be
one all-seeing eye surrounded by
sun rays.
Chieu apparently didn't do
much about preaching the new
faith until his return, in 1924, to
Saigon, the leading city in the
south of what was then French
Indo-China. Gathering together a
group of intellectuals interested in
mysticism, Chieu began describing
his ideas and holding seances.
But Chieu's initial talks about
the revelation of Cao Dai and his
attempts to win converts were not
successful until after a seance on
December 25, 1925. Then the spir-
it of Cao Dai supposedly manifest-
ed itself to Chieu and his fellow
mystics, telling them that he had
come to "teach the truth to the
people of Vietnam."
Attending this seance was Le
Van Trung, a despairing Saigon
merchant on the verge of finan-
cial failure. Because Cao Daism
offered him solace in his time of
trouble, he readily espoused it and
became a fervent believer.
Trung, an aggressive intellec-
tual, was soon to be the moving
force in the spread of the new
cult. Chieu, the founder, was a re-
tiring scholar who lacked the drive
to preach the Cao Dai gospel. Con-
sequently, Trung pushed-himself
to the fore and became the first
Great Master of Cao Dai in April,
1926, just prior to the sect's formal
establishment.
In November of that, year,
amidst much pomp and ceremony,
Trung and the other Cao Dai pro-
claimed the founding of Dai Dao
Tam Ky Pho Do, Cao Daism's full
and proper name, meaning the
Third Amnesty of God. The short-
er and better known "Cao Dai"
signifies "High Palace," a symbol
of "the God Who Reigns over the
Universe."
AT TAY NINH, a city about 35
miles north of Saigon, the Cao
Dai built- a cathedral that dem-
onstrates the universality of their

religion. Against the background
of the black mountain Niu Ba
Der, sacred to Buddhists, they

Buddhist pagoda, nor Moslem
mosque, nor Hebrew synagogue.
It is a grotesque combination of
architectural features from all the
styles associated with those re-
ligions.
As one observer describes it, the
cathedral has "church towers like
an Occidental church, a clean
sweep of tiled floor like a mosque,
and the triangle of the Hebrew
synagogues. Plaster cobras and
dragons give it the atmosphere of
a pagoda."
The cathedral has the long
ground plan, side aisles, choir,
nave and gallery of a Christian
church. Outside the portals two
Buddhist warrior statues stand
guard, one kindly and the other
grim. On the roof are Oriental
figures of the unicorn, tortoise,
phoenix, and dragon. Inside are
depictions of Christ, Confucious,
Buddha, Lao Tze, and the Hindu
trinity of Brahma, Siva and
Vishnu.
THIS amalgamation of art and
architecture symbolizes Cao
Dai theology. According to this,
the First Amnesty of God occurred
in the Orient and was granted
through Lao Tze and Buddha. The
Second Amnesty was presented in
the West by Moses and Christ.
The first two amnesties were hu-
man in form, say the Cao Dai, but
the third, the coming of Cao Dai
himself, is the transmission of
truth through the higher medium
of mysticism.
The Cao Dai say they hae a
message for the entire world, con-
taining elements from every re-
ligion. Pham Cong Tac, present
leader of the sect, once wrote "the
multiplicity of religions is not an
obstacle to' harmony if there is a
subtle but nonetheless real bond
which serves as a point of con-
tact. This" subtle but real bond,
Cao Daism, brings to every un-
prejudiced person, in all sincerity,
in all fraternity, its message: Life,
Love, and Truth."
Another Cao Dai elaborates on
his religion's unity-in-diversity
this way: "Cao Daism does not be-
lieve in a single true and uniquely
sanctifying belief. The Creator
has scattered the seeds of truth
over the continents of the earth.
Jesus or Buddha or Lao Tze; their
message is at bottom only a form
of the great divine truth. In their
depths, all religions coincide."
CAO DAI doctrine teaches that
the Supreme Being caused
spiritual worship to come into the

world at different times and in
different places, each manifesta-
tion based upon the customs of
those to whom religion was re-
vealed. But disharmony grew out
of this multiplicity and religion
was robbed of its value by men's
ignorance:
Cao Dai thus decided to unite
the world with a single simple
creed, a creed that took its doc-
trine from the truths already
present in existing religions. From
Confucianism came the philosophy
of the G o l d e n Mean; from
Buddhism, devotion and charity;
from Taoism, worship of truth
and discipline of character.
Christianity, coming after these
older philosophies and religions;
acts as a link, the coordinator of
tne wisdom taken from the others,
emphasizing goodness and virtue.
In the Cao Dal religion, as in
some other Oriental religions, the
dead are thought to dwell with
the living. Contrary to popular
Western beliefs, ancestors are not
worshipped but are reverenced and

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consulted as honorable rr
of the family. In Cao Dai
departed make their pr
felt through mediums and s
The dead supposedly gu
living in choosing leaders,
lating law, and outlining r
codes. Even the senior hun
ing dignitary is not living
LA Tai Po, a 7th century
poet. Some of the other d
notables, roughly the equiv:
saints in the Christian sex
W i 11a m Shakespeare,
Hugo, Joan of Arc, and 4
Clemenceau,
ALTHOUGH Cao Dal ritt
Moslem, Christian, and
tal mixture, the religion's
zation and terminology ar
lar to that of the Catholic (
Cao Dai hierarchy inclu
cardinals, 68 bishops, and
3,000 priests.
At the head of this stru
a "pope." The first, Le Van
was "disincarnated" aft
death in 1934, meaning t]
day rhe. will return in
form.
Trung was succeeded
present "pope," Pham Coi
who does not carry the sa
Trung did, in anticipat
Trung's reincarnation. Tru
the Great Master. Tac is :
to as the Superior.
Cao Dai worship requir
"masses"? a day, at 6 an(
the morning, and 6. and
night. When a gong sound.
the faithful to worship, pr
pear robed in red, blue, oz
gown~s, representing Coi
Taoist, and Buddhist in
respectively. Intoning a li
chant, they bow to the gi
seeing eye, and mount nix
forms from the nave to t1
each suggesting one of nin
of perfection. Midnight "r
the most solemn servic
brings out the highest dig
of the sect.
A place for women is i
within the hierarchy, an
unique: feature for any ox
religion. Women are instri
effect a calm and receptiv
cultivate a capacity for of

RAfl.IRD
.. . a fledgling

WHIZZ KID-Swooping past victims, a speedster of the rink,
shown at right, flashes his agility for anybody that looks like a RINK RESTER
hockey coach. "... oh, to sit"

Richard Halloran, j
Daily Editorial Director
tributed several articles
Magazine last year. He
three months in Vietnam
ing his military servic
received a Master's Deg
Far Eastern Studies last

SOCIAL SKATERS-"Let's go faster," he says, displaying his
strength. "Hold me for support," she says, showing feminity.

CAO DAI CATHEDRAL-Located at Tay Ninh, the interior fea-
tures depictions of Christ, Confucious, Buddha, Lao Tze and the

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