PureInsight | August 2, 2004
[PureInsight.org] I used to be an avid reader of spy and espionage novels in my early teens, many years before I obtained the Fa. One of the terms that I frequently encountered was the term "sleeper."
Apparently, during the Cold War between the US and the-erstwhile USSR, spies from either side, called "sleepers," would be placed in the rival country. They would establish themselves as model citizens, live there for dozens of years, have families and completely blend in. But when the time came, the spy agency would send a secret message to the "sleeper," who would "awaken" to complete the mission required of him. Since he had completely blended in, he would have very few obstacles compared to a spy who came from the outside.
There are many reports on Clearwisdom about how practitioners who were very steadfast and even been model practitioners have fallen down, committed grave moral sins, stopped cultivating or even turned towards the evil side. Of course, with the progress of Fa-rectification, such occurrences have become less and less, but it appears that it still happens from time to time and the problems are serious whenever they happen.
No matter how well these practitioners did in the past, they might have been arranged by the old forces to create tribulations and test the body of Dafa practitioners. Master told us in "Suffocate the Evil" in Essentials for Further Advancement II:
As for the people who have been "reformed," it was arranged in history that they would persecute the Fa this way. No matter how well they acted when arrested or beaten, all of that was setting the stage for their leaping out today to persecute the Fa and confuse students.
Even though I am a non-Chinese practitioner from overseas, I have had some experiences that have helped me understand this issue. I would like to share my own experiences in this respect.
When I first started cultivation, I lived in a very demonic environment, and my roommates gave me a lot of tribulations, especially when I tried to be involved in Fa-rectification activities. One of them even put a photo of a perverted rock star on a picture of Master, apparently to "mock" me. He experienced karmic retribution two days later when he lost his well-paying and stable job, but he and the others didn't seem to learn.
Even though I had just obtained the Fa then, I was incredibly strong. Despite the hardship, or maybe because of it, I became more and more steadfast in Dafa, studying two lectures a day and throwing myself into the Fa-rectification. I conducted myself with dignity. My personal cultivation was rock-solid, and I didn't make any mistakes except for being a little irrational and careless in everyday matters.
Over a period of time, the situation changed. I had to live in the same house due to many complicated reasons. But as I cultivated during the Fa-rectification, my roommates changed a lot and they started to treat me better and respect Dafa.
But at this time, my own righteous thoughts were weakening. At around the same time, some complicated human issues from before I started cultivating were reappearing, even though they were not as strong as before. To compound matters, the two fellow practitioners in my city left for other cities.
So, even as the environment got better, I started to become weaker. I felt tired and drained often, and I spent more time with my roommates, watched movies and gossiped with them. As time passed, I just barely restrained myself when they engaged in filthy talk, and refusing a drink of alcohol (which I always did eventually refuse) became a cultivation achievement. I also failed the test of lust several times when I was by myself.
Degenerate notions, human attachments and fears were getting stronger and stronger. I was confused and worried, and I wasn't sure how I was going to get out of it. I wondered how I could have been so strong in a vicious environment for 2 years, but could not handle myself well even as the environment became better.
At the same time, though, I was still involved in truth clarification activities, and I was still studying the Fa and sending forth righteous thoughts – though of course, the quality was not very good. Many practitioners were thinking that I was doing very well. Also, in everyday people's words, I was "well-rounded" – young, intelligent, professionally successful and talented in many areas.
I started to wonder if I was an arrangement of the old forces. I thought to myself - if I were in China and was pressured to spy on practitioners, wouldn't I have done so, given the state of mind I was in? If I had to cohabit with a female practitioner, wouldn't I have committed sins in the issue of immoral sexual relations? Wasn't I like some of those practitioners in China at materials sites, who, though very talented in technical and other areas and respected among Dafa disciples for their human skills, were not solid on the fundamental issues of cultivation and had caused a lot of damage to the materials sites?
Eventually, my living environment changed and I became more clearheaded. I was able to once again conduct myself in a dignified way and do the three things better and according to the standards of a Dafa disciple.
But that period of time will keep me thinking - will it happen again? If it does, will I be in a position where I can cause a lot of damage?
Was I a "sleeper" among Dafa disciples?
Master said in "Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference:"
Actually, the old forces arranged for many people to come and play negative roles. Some of those people had abandoned that before the persecution started, and some did during the persecution. That's because the side of those beings that's aware knows. So, many people who were to play negative roles quit and are now cultivating in an upright and dignified way.
I think that the only way we can overcome the old forces' arrangements is to do the three things well and completely follow Master's teachings to the best of our abilities.