The Seriousness of the Issue of Lust: Lessons from Failing a University Exam

A Practitioner in North America

PureInsight | May 13, 2007

[] I would like
to share my experience in failing an important real-life university
exam due to mistakes made in the issue of lust, and hope this lesson
will be a reminder to other practitioners about the seriousness of this

Master said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles":

"What do the old forces and the old cosmos see as the gravest thing?
Lust, [in the form of] sexual activity outside of marriage. That's what
they see as the most serious of things. In the past, once someone
violated the precept on that, he would be thrown out of the temple, and
his cultivation would be utterly finished. So how do gods look at this
now? Do you know what they have said in the prophecies that they left
behind? They prophesied that all of the Dafa disciples who would be
left in the end would be those who had maintained their purity along
these lines.

I obtained the Fa in graduate school, and for the first two years of my
cultivation, I was very diligent and unmoved in the face of lust. I
even thought I had cultivated it away, even though I had some severe
problems with lust before I started practicing.

However, due to temporarily losing my cultivation environment, living
with young non-practitioners, a busy job and slacking off on Fa-study
and cultivation and doing the three things well, I sometimes made
mistakes in the issue of lust. While I didn't make mistakes in
relationships with women, I often looked at bad movies or magazines.
Lacking a cultivation environment, I slipped into a depressed state of
giving into the attachment. Even though I tried to study the Fa, do the
three things well and behave like a true Dafa practitioner, I couldn't
get over this attachment and found it easier to give in rather than
cultivate it away.

Eventually, I got admitted into a Ph.D. program at a reputed university
and moved to a city with more Dafa practitioners. I spent all my free
time with Dafa practitioners, studying the Fa with a group every day,
clarifying the truth through a media project and tempering myself in
the cultivation environment. Even though the problem of lust hasn't
completely disappeared, I have been able to handle myself extremely
righteously for the most part since the second year of my Ph.D.
program. This is due to the tempering process of the group cultivation
and Fa-study environment, which I feel fortunate to be a part of.

However, I recently failed the qualifier exams for my Ph.D. candidacy.
I was given only two chances, and I was not able to pass either of
them. On the surface, I prepared well for the exams, especially the
second time, and I should have passed the exams easily. But I was
informed that I hadn't passed the exams and could not continue with my

Given this situation, it was possible that I would have to stop my
graduate studies and leave the city. This would not only make it less
convenient to do the three things well, but I would also not be able to
contribute as much time and energy to an important media project meant
to clarify the truth to society. I was shocked at this unexpected

Master is merciful, and He gave me a second chance. My professor had a
standing in two departments and, even though he was upset at my
results, he decided to take my hard work into consideration and
admitted me to the second department, where I will now need to take
some additional courses to catch up.

My understanding is that the old forces have taken advantage of my gaps
and used lust to cause me to make mistakes, staining my path of
cultivation. I also feel that they used these mistakes to further
aggravate their persecution of me and make me pay for my sins.

In addition, I often have a strong competitive mentality, jealousy,
being unwilling to cooperate with other practitioners, and feeling
superior due to some skills that I have. I believe that these bad
elements are being reinforced by the old forces due to the lust that I
have not completely cultivated away:

"That's why they have the students who have made mistakes make more
mistakes, over and over, and in the end do wicked things and go to the
opposite side."

("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles")

We have read in the ancient stories published on PureInsight and
ClearWisdom about people were made to fail the Civil Exams in ancient
China, even though they were predestined to pass them, due to one small
wrong lustful thought. In contrast, the mistakes I made are worse! Of
course, I believe that this is also part of the old forces' persecution
and I have tried to deny them by sending righteous thoughts and asking
Master for help in denying the arrangements, but I believe it also
boils down to my making mistakes in this aspect previously.

I hope that this will serve as reference to other practitioners who are
having a hard time passing the tests of lust and sentimentality. Not
only will our cultivation path be stained and ruined, but we may end up
having to lose our predestined fortune in the human world and not being
able to complete our historic mission in saving sentient beings as

I hope that we can all do better in this aspect of lust and sentimentality and remind each other to be vigilant.

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