PureInsight | April 18, 2005
II. Eliminating the Attachment to My Superior Wealth of Knowledge
In October 2003, the following passage of the Fa inspired me to tell the history of Falun Gong from the perspective of an everyday person from its introduction in 1992 to the persecution.
Teacher said, "At a time when the morality of human society is on the verge of total collapse, in particular, it is the great cosmos that has once again shown mercy to human beings and given them this final chance." (From "Further Comments on Superstition")
Every society in the history of mankind has been built upon respect for higher moral values. It is a known fact that all kinds of social problems that have presented themselves in Mainland Chinese society today arose from the erosion of the Chinese people's morality. The most admirable aspect of Falun Gong is its capability to restore and further enhance over 100 million people's morality in China, that very wasteland of morality caused by the CCP's continuous destruction of traditional Chinese moral values. Falun Gong has also helped millions of Falun Gong practitioners worldwide restore and further enhance their morality. Without Falun Gong, China's continuous destruction of its ecological environment and people's morality will eventually bring itself down. The danger is imminent. Although many Chinese people have identified that restoring the Chinese people's morality is the only solution to all of China's problems, they are relying on the power of traditional Buddhism, Taoism or other orthodox religions to restore people's morality. But their efforts have proven to be in vain.
Teacher said, "With the passage of time, the human mind today is becoming increasingly complicated, and the ways of thinking have also changed. Accordingly, people nowadays cannot comprehend what these great enlightened beings taught in the past. Therefore, when people read these scriptures now, they feel unable to understand the true meaning." (From "Lecture in Sydney")
Therefore, I wrote a 20,000 word essay titled, "A Hope at an Impasse," which I hoped to get distributed to governments worldwide and the lawmakers in the United States. The message I tried to convey in the essay was: Only Falun Gong can solve all the problems harmoniously. It is the only solution.
I received some feedback from fellow practitioners who read the essay. One of them said he feared that some governments might try to use Falun Gong for their political agendas when they realized that Falun Gong is the only solution to their problems. I replied curtly in the email, "With the same logic in mind, does it mean that you wouldn't mention the health benefits of Falun Gong to people because you are afraid that people might start to practice Falun Gong for the sole purpose of getting their illnesses cured?" Another fellow practitioner who saw my reply wrote me an email to tell me that in just one sentence I had shown my strong attachment to self. After searching inward, I admitted that I used the analogy and induction in order to win the argument. I was not listening to fellow practitioners' feedback with a kind, open mind.
Teacher said, "If each person thinks that he has some skills, they all think that they're capable, each of them thinks that he's right, and they refuse to give ground, then actually, at that point there are problems with those people who won't give ground." Teacher also said, "Don't worry about losing the chance to implement your own ideas, and even less should you be unwilling to admit that others' are better." (From "Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
So I modified my essay based on fellow practitioners' feedback, but it still was not published at any Falun Gong practitioners' websites after two weeks. Then I suddenly remembered the large amount of work of the editors. Besides loading new articles, there must be many types of meticulous work that the editors face every day. Yet those daily loads of work are not visible to us. I decided that I should be more considerate and review my essay from the perspective of the editors, instead of expecting the editors to do all the review work for me. After all, Teacher has already described the state of mind of the Great Enlightened Beings.
Teacher said, "It's tolerance, an extremely immense tolerance, being able to accept other beings, and being able to truly think from other beings' perspectives." (From "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.")
I started to re-read my essay and ask myself how I would judge my article if I were the editor. Who are the regular readers of Falun Gong practitioners' websites? Not only Falun Gong practitioners read the websites, everyday people and Jiang Zemin's henchmen are also visiting our websites. It follows that we must not create any loophole for Jiang Zemin's henchmen to exploit. In the past, I had often regarded other people's feedback as unreasonable criticism. I suddenly realized it is a very solemn task to decide which articles get published. An editor's job is not to make sure the authors' feelings or senses of pride do not get hurt. The editor must be responsible for the Fa. I remembered how much this website had helped me in my cultivation practice during the first year of the persecution while I was living in China. I decided that I must help protect it with righteous thoughts. If my article was not published, it wouldn't affect the progress of Fa-rectification in any way. After all, my article was just a small and insignificant thing that I did on my own in the hope of contributing to the Fa-rectification. After I removed another layer of my attachment to vanity and self, the article was published on the website.
Shortly afterwards, a most unthinkable thing happened in our area. A talented practitioner, T, suddenly developed problems in his cultivation practice. Several fellow practitioners and I felt sorry for him, so we tried to communicate with him and wrote him a few emails to encourage him. A fellow practitioner, Y, also wrote to T. Y rarely speaks during our cultivation experience sharing gatherings. I had always thought he did not much facility in writing Chinese because he had immigrated to the United States during his puberty. I was very surprised by and impressed with his clear and concise email to T. I saw a disparity between Y and me. Y did not use a long list of facts and references the way I often do when I write. But I could feel the energy, compassion and sincerity in his writing. It made me realize that when people try to judge something, they usually do it based on how it makes them feel, not by precise reasoning. There are many examples of how Falun Gong practitioners have deeply touched people and even moved them to tears where they didn't accomplish that by laying out the facts and explaining things to them with clear logic. They were able to move people because of their compassion and kindness. For the first time I started to suspect that the logic I have been adhering to might be an obstacle to my cultivation practice after all. Moreover, I also started to doubt if my so-called talent for writing could truly touch people and help them accept the truth of Falun Gong.
Later on, T's problems got worse. I was deeply saddened by his dreadful condition for nearly a month. I kept thinking what the root cause of his problems might have been. Then I came across the following passage of the Fa.
Teacher said, "What's worst is when people read Zhuan Falun for the first time and use human notions to evaluate the Fa: 'Oh, it makes good sense here; I have doubts about the things mentioned there.' In this way, he will have read the entire book for nothing—he'll gain nothing. This is such a pity!" (From "Lecture at the US East Coast Conference")
The traditional scriptures of Buddhism warn its cultivators against eight types of obstacles to cultivation practice. The last type of obstacle is known as "secular cleverness." My understanding is that we always have some type of measurement to tell right from wrong, but the biggest problem to cultivators is that no measurement in the human realm, such as science, literature, history, or philosophy, can possibly be used to measure the Fa. The gods were the ones who created all disciplines of knowledge in the human realm. How can we mortals use these secular measurements to evaluate the gods who created us?
Teacher said, "Those old forces, I can tell you, were the most outstanding beings at each level, and they have been destroyed. Those who were the most capable were destroyed as a result of the arrangement of that final old force. Its intention was to achieve what it wanted at the cost of destroying this portion." (From "Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
T's tragedy was an unforgettable lesson to me. I told myself, "Do not ever think that you are smart enough to evaluate things or people with your own notions. Only the Fa is absolutely correct and true, and there are always flaws in human beings' notions." Looking at my essay, "A Hope at an Impasse," I could now identify my problem. I tried to use the principles that everyday people approve of and a set of perfectly constructed logical arguments to derive a conclusion. I was confident that I would be able to defend my conclusion with any everyday person and win the debate. But the truth is that not everyone puts as much emphasis on logical arguments as I do when they evaluate things. More importantly, I forgot about the principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition. When I build an argument to win the debate, another argument must exist that can refute mine.
Looking back at how I began my cultivation practice in Falun Gong, I remembered that I was not persuaded because of some logical reasoning, but because of my most fundamental moral values as a human being. It is the three words, "Truth, Compassion and Forbearance," that appealed to me. I wanted to follow those principles and that's why I started my Falun Gong cultivation practice. Practitioner Y told me that, shortly after he started his cultivation practice, one morning he suddenly burst into tears while taking a shower. It was probably because his knowing side was grateful that he finally found Falun Gong.
During a meeting with a staff member of a U.S. Representative, I described to him the cruelty of the persecution, Falun Gong practitioners' steadfast faith and the new hope that Falun Gong has brought to the mankind. Finally, I said to him, "There are a large number of Falun Gong practitioners in China who insist on living by the principle of 'Truth, Compassion and Forbearance' and holding appeals for Falun Gong with peaceful approaches despite the violence and terror they have been subjected to. Doubtlessly, Falun Gong will alter the history of China. Your help to Falun Gong will become a part of that history." I could feel my words had a strong impact on him. Yet I felt it were not my words that deeply moved him. It was my steadfast belief in the Fa and my compassion for him that truly moved him.
Teacher said, "As I mentioned before, when you speak to others with your own purpose in mind, wanting to change or persuade them, no matter how reasonable your words are, other people will have a hard time completely accepting them. Neither will the words be able to move people's hearts. Why? Let me tell you: It's actually because the words you say carry all of your thoughts. Your sentences carry complicated thoughts, such as your various emotions and desires among everyday people and even your numerous attachments. This makes your words not so powerful and rather dispersed. In addition, people often maintain their own viewpoints when saying things to others, and these might not conform to the Fa of the universe. So in this respect it lacks the power of Truth. Moreover, when speaking to others, people also add things to protect themselves so that they won't get hurt. In other words, the intention behind your words is then no longer pure. The words you speak become extremely impotent as a result. But when your mind is truly able to reach tranquility, when your attachments become fewer and fewer, or when the distracting thoughts become fewer and fewer, you will find that your words have power." (From "Lecture at the Conference in Switzerland")
Every Falun Gong practitioner has different types of attachment. It may be important for us to apply our knowledge when we clarify the truth to everyday people, but ultimately it is the level of purity of our thoughts that will determine the effectiveness of our truth-clarification efforts. Only by continuously studying the Fa and truly cultivating ourselves can we attain a higher level of purity. When our mind truly reaches tranquility, we are bound to have infinite wisdom when we clarify the truth to people.
III. Eliminating the Attachment to Self
As Falun Gong practitioners, we write articles to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and to offer Teacher's salvation to the world's people. Once I could hardly contain myself from laughing out after I completed an article. Although it would be days before it was published, I knew it was a powerful piece and would help everyday people immensely to know the truth. This time I was not happy for my accomplishment, but for the world's people and for their chance of salvation. It was a Saturday afternoon when I completed the article. While I was on my way to the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. to send forth righteous thoughts, tears flowed down on my cheeks. I remembered the following passage of the Fa.
Teacher said, "No matter how much work a person in charge has done among everyday people, he is working for Dafa out of his own will. The success of his work is only a manifestation among ordinary humans. It is the mighty power of Dafa itself and the specific arrangements made by my Law Bodies that enable people to obtain the Fa and spread the Fa widely. Without my Law Bodies doing these things, even protecting the people in charge could hardly be ensured, let alone spreading the Fa widely. So don't always think of yourselves too highly. There is no fame, self-interest, or official titles in Dafa, but only cultivation practice." (From "A Heavy Blow" in Essentials for Further Advancement. )
Only Teacher can save people and take them to the new universe with his infinite compassion and magnificent grace. Naturally any wisdom shown in my article originated from the Fa. But there is a lot more work than writing the article. In order to save these people, Teacher has to have the predestined people find and read my article. Teacher has to cleanse their bad thoughts and bring forth their kind thoughts. Teacher has to reduce their karma by consuming it for them. Finally Teacher has to enhance their morality levels so that they can meet the higher standards of the new universe. No writing of mine could possibly do any of the above work. It is Teacher's Fa that has the power to complete these goals. Next to this tremendous amount of work, our contribution to the truth-clarification appears to be so trivial and insignificant. Who are we to brag about our trivial assets?
In the past, I often thought to myself, "I wrote this article," or "I thought of this new angle to clarify the truth." Now I realized the credit of the grand, awe-inspiring Fa-rectification does not belong to anyone but Teacher and Teacher alone. Only when we unconditionally dissolve ourselves into the Fa will our articles and our lives become meaningful.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/3/7/31436.html