PureInsight | July 16, 2001
Looking at clearwisdom.net lately, I cannot help but notice increasing references to “doomsday” events, dire disasters as retribution for bad deeds, including floods, insect plagues, drought, freak windstorms, and the loss of life and property arising from these unfortunate events. Human history abounds with prophesies of disasters and stories of doomsday events and warnings. Let us not lose sight of Master Li’s words, and here I am paraphrasing, that a DaFa cultivator’s life has already been re-arranged and cannot be predicted by prophets, fortune-tellers or soothsayers. How non-practitioners’ lives will be affected depends on their own life paths; it does not concern us.
What does concern me, though, is a recent item in major newspaper in the … group of newspapers in Asia, where the publisher attempted to sensationalize Falun Gong by ascribing it an apocalyptic label, thereby upsetting, perhaps, some causal readers with its connotation of “doomsday cult.” Why would a world-renowned newspaper publisher make such a careless remark? I can only speculate. None of Master Li’s speeches, tapes or books mentions any apocalyptic event. As a matter of fact, he even mentioned that no such event would happen.
When most people hear the term “apocalypse,” they recall an artist-created or movie-portrayed image of doom, usually represented by the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” signifying pestilence, war, famine and cataclysms. The true meaning of this Greek-origin word “apocalypse” is simply “a prophetic revelation, the lifting of a veil.” In Judeo-Christina tradition it refers to the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
World history and the literatures of all cultures are rich in centuries-old stories of prophecies and revelations, and oral histories of primitive peoples keep the apocalyptic mystique alive. Writers and prophets, both ancient and modern, have speculated when this event will occur, what form it will take, where it will happen, who will survive, and how one can prepare for this event.
As long as humankind has been on this earth, she has struggled to wrestle down the forces of evil, the dark forces. The biblical term for this battle is “Armageddon,” a Hebrew word originating from the “Mount of Meggido,” where the last, decisive battle between good and evil will be fought, where good comes to rule as it was destined to. Several dire symbolic predictions for the future of humankind are recounted in the millennia-old “Book of Revelations,” which is derived from the literature of the ancient world and is the last book of the Christian bible.
Master Li does not sensationalize any of his works with such phrases. He only speaks of the cosmic phenomena and explains that nothing in this world happens by chance. All occurrences, such as earthquakes, disasters, floods, devastating hurricanes, wars and catastrophic diseases are the results of the cosmic climate at that time. What is apocalyptic about that? Master Li has never spoken of “doomsday” nor has he mentioned any kind of such predictions, either orally or in written form. Master Li only instructs his students – numbering into the millions in forty countries around the world – to abide by the universal law of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance in everything the students do and to think of others first before they think of themselves.
Because of the tenets of this belief system, it is highly unlikely that genuine Falun Dafa practitioners would perpetrate any acts of revenge or violence. If that should occur, Master Li would no longer consider those individuals as his students. Master Li and his students believe in letting nature take its course, which does not mean, however, that they will sit idly by while horrendous and flagrant human rights abuses are perpetrated again and again on practitioners in China. Falun Gong practitioners will assert their human rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of belief, as guaranteed them under the Chinese Constitution. Nevertheless, in the face of adversity under China’s system of repression their protests are peaceful, non-political, solemn and dignified.
Falun Dafa’s tenets do not espouse any doomsday or apocalypse. Rather, Falun Dafa practitioners strive for wisdom, enlightenment and consummation. How is consummation accomplished and how are wisdom and enlightenment reached? Falun Dafa tells us to “cultivate” ourselves and return to our original, true selves. To best explain “cultivation,” let me use the example of a garden plot. To make the garden [the practitioner] flourish, one has to cultivate the soil: spade the earth, remove the weeds, the rocks, all foreign matter, sift the soil, rake it, fertilize it, sow seeds, apply water and enlist the help of the sun to make the seeds grow and mature into great fruits of one’s labor. This is an ongoing, daily task, because, in order to achieve success, one has to “weed out” or “cultivate” constantly. Falun Dafa practitioners cultivate themselves by letting go of human notions and attachments [cravings or aversions], by upgrading their moral nature and changing negative, immoral thinking, and getting rid of emotions, the down ramps to hell. To reach culmination or heaven or salvation, all orthodox religions have a specific moral code, variously referred to as “The Golden Rule,” or “The Ten Commandments,” or “Precepts.” Master Li, in his school, urges his students to abandon the “Seven Emotions” and “Six Desires.” While on this earth, everyone will have committed transgressions against these rules, transgressions that religions calls sins. Falun Dafa says these sins lead to karma, stating that everything has a karmic relationship, meaning a relationship of cause and effect. Falun Dafa practitioners will reach consummation after they have abandoned all their attachments and are fully able to live by the tenets of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.
This path toward consummation is intensely personal. No two practitioners are exactly alike. We all have different life experiences, attachments, tribulations, in-bred cultural notions, sufferings and joys. We have one thing in common, though: we have to overcome our addictions (attachments) to joy, anger, grief, worry, fear, melancholy, affection (The Seven Emotions) and attachments to lust, vanity, dignity, melodic sounds, a good life and sensual pleasures (The Six Desires). One must not be beholden to any of these, but take them lightly while living and cultivating in everyday society. Looking at these issues, what is apocalyptic about them? Master Li cautions us NOT to revere him, but rather consider Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance, the Universal Law, as the master and hearken to and live by his MESSAGE in the book “Zhuan Falun,” which contains all the wisdom we need to achieve fulfillment.
If one accepts the true meaning of the word apocalypse as prophetic prediction, then the words and immeasurable wisdoms contained in Master Li’s books are the most profound predictions for the 21st century.
Written from my present level of understanding.
Corrections, criticism and arguments are invited.