Growing Up

A Practitioner from Virginia, USA

PureInsight | July 30, 2006

[] As
cultivators, we need to break from doing things because of feelings for
parents, be they our human parents or Master. To be truly responsible
to our own lives, we need to be motivated by Master's Fa, so that we
have a proper understanding of our purpose of actions and existence.


A textbook might say about human development: When we are babies, we
cry to get what we want. When we are little children, we do things to
either please or displease our parents, depending on our moods. When we
become teenagers, in the West at least, we tend to rebel against our
parents. When we become young men and women, we struggle to be
independent from our parents, but still want to please them. By the
time we get a little older, we start thinking about how we can help our
parents. When we get middle aged, we try to do things that would carry
on the family tradition. When they die, we do things in their memory.


I am not a sociologist or psychologist, but the above summary is
probably pretty similar to most textbook descriptions of human growth.


While this description may be fine for humans, as cultivators we have
to guard against such an approach to growing up and the relationship
with our parents for three reasons.


First, if we grow up in such a way, we continue to be caught in the web
of sentiment. Master writes, "Those who attached to affection to family
will be burned and entangled by it for the rest of their lives." Our
motivation for doing things would be sentimental and derived from the
human notions of our parents. Similarly, humans may obey their parents
because of mi xin (as Master discuses in the article on Mi Xin), but I
don't believe cultivators should use mi xin as their sole criteria.
While we need to have faith, we cannot cultivate based on sentiment and
human notions.


Second, we wouldn't be taking responsibility for own lives. Nobody can
cultivate for another, but if we act out our lives based on our
parents' wishes, then we are absolving ourselves of responsibility for
our decisions and our cultivation. Master asks, "For whom do you
practice cultivation?"


Finally, as a consequence of the first and second reasons, we would
take this approach to growing up into our cultivation growth and this
approach of our relationship with our parents into our relationship
with Shifu. Our cultivation path would then be simply doing what
Teacher says to try to please him (or not doing so, because we feel
angry at him.) If we acted out of mi xin, we would simply do things out
of dead faith -- "I don't know why I'm doing this, but Teacher told me
to, and I always do what my teachers tell me to, so I don't get in
trouble." We should surely follow what Teacher tells us, but the reason
why is fundamental, because it determines our essential relationship to
cultivation. Do we follow teacher out of sentiment or because we trust
that Teacher knows what is best for us and for the cosmos?


Master says: "But everything that's done in validating the Fa is done
for yourselves--not a single thing is done for me, and that includes
the things I've told you to do." (LA 2004)


I understand Master to be saying that everything we do is for our true
selves. So when we think about doing the three things, what perspective
are we taking? Do we do it just to please Master? And we just do enough
"to get by" -- or are we doing it because we care about our own
existence. Human beings do everything for themselves - they will work
endless hours to make more money, or gain the admiration of our
parents, because they believe these things are important. But as
cultivators, we don't stop to think enough what will truly help our
true selves. If we truly understood how important the three things were
for ourselves, how hard would we work at them? But if we just do what
we are told without an understanding of the relationship of these
things to ourselves then we slack on the things that "we don't really
want to do".


The problem is that we allow ourselves to not be responsible for our own actions, our own futures:


"It looks like you're doing things for Dafa, and some people may be
thinking, 'I'm doing things for Master, because Master told me to do
them.' In fact, that's not the case. The things I tell you to do, those
too are done for yourselves."


Master said that if we he wanted us not to use are own thinking he
would have made us into "typewriters." Again, it is not a question of
following Teacher or not - don't get me wrong. But if we are focused on
making Teacher happy, then we don't know why we are cultivating.  


Let us ask ourselves: Why are we cultivating? Why do we exercise and
study the Fa the amount we do? Why are we really sending righteous
thoughts? What's the real motivation for clarifying the truth?


I have feeling that when we are able to answer these questions in a
righteous way, we will be able to do the three things 100 times better
and finally be responsible for ourselves.



Thank you -- please point out anything that is not in the Fa.

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