"The Sermon on the Mount" Revisited

A Western Falun Dafa Practitio

PureInsight | November 29, 2004

[PureInsight.org] Many of the ethical attributes and moral teachings for people to strive for I had gleaned from studying Zhuan Falun for almost seven years now have rung a bell all along. It was not until this week that I became aware of the prompts swirling in my head, discovering where those teachings came from. I had heard them before, though in a slightly different form, and not nearly as in-depth as in Master Li's teachings.

Nevertheless, I finally figured out why it has been relatively easy for me all along to internalize Master's teachings. I had heard similar admonitions all throughout my young life, in my teens, and later in my adult life. They resemble the wisdom, ethics and morals taught in writings called the "Sermon on the Mount," a universal charter of ethics and higher ideals that had shaped moral principles of the civilized world for the past 2,000 years. They are also the foundations of orthodox Christian religions and are actually part and parcel of our present codes of law. These ethics and moral principles are the forerunners to Master's Universal Law. As he told us, all that existed and exists was and is for the good of Falun Dafa. That is why I consider the "Sermon on the Mount" a precursor to Zhen, Shan, Ren and all that it entails.

This historic legacy, the "Sermon on the Mount", even spells out clearly that all men must abide by The Law, although the writers of that ancient text knew nothing yet of the marvelous, unequalled Falun Xulian Da Fa which Master was to leave us with in this present time. Nonetheless, part of that ancient text has this to say: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." I understand this as a portent of Fa-rectification. The text reads on: "For I say unto you, till heaven and earth disintegrate, nothing how so ever minute must deviate from the law, until all it fulfilled." Even then, people were admonished to abide by the law and not stray from the narrow path. And, the next sentence sounds as if written for us Falun Dafa disciples: "Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the common people, you shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven," which I interpret as meaning we have to overcome the notions and habits common people hold onto and absolutely follow Master Li's teachings, or we will never reach Consummation.

Having been raised with this 2,000 year old wisdom, and being familiar with these ideas prior to embracing the teachings of Falun Dafa, has [probably] made cultivation easier for me than for most people who did not have the good fortune to be somewhat prepared for the right road. But those of us who were members of orthodox churches at one time must make the transition to relying totally on the guidance of Dafa.

Although I have since realized the extreme limitations practicing a religion puts on a Dafa follower, the lessons I had learned in my youth from the "Sermon on the Mount" had been a help, particularly the admonitions in that ancient text that deal with seeking revenge and love for one's enemies. The "Sermon on the Mount" urges a person to abolish all thoughts of revenge and let it be, whatever the insult another has heaped on me. That is not easy – to say, "forget it," to genuinely forgive when someone does me wrong, making forgiveness a huge part of a being a step closer to heaven. The "Sermon on the Mount" further encourages people to think of others first and let go of self-serving thoughts. It even encourages people to send righteous thoughts in private, in a sense, focusing on the cares of the universe and not asking for personal favors. The "Sermon on the Mount" is quite specific about loyalty, enlightenment and absolute faith in wisdom and compassion of the Originator/Spirit/Overall Master Buddha.

And finally, the "Sermon on the Mount" says this: "The gate to enter paradise is wide open; the path to fulfillment is narrow, but the road to destruction is broad, and unless you walk the rocky, narrow path you will not reach your glorious destination!" That is what Falun Dafa teaches – unless we practitioners let go of all notions, habits and desires that are in cultivation's way, we will not reach the goal.

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