PureInsight | March 1, 2004
[PureInsight.org] Who are "other people?" Where are they from? What relationship do they have with me?
"Other people" are many. They come from near and far, no matter if it was in the past or the present. They are around me at every moment, every minute, every second, and they influence me.
I cannot remember when it was that I learned from "other people" to say: "I heard others saying it."
Armed with this statement, I felt I would forever be on the winning side. If I were wrong, I could push the responsibility aside; if I were correct, then I could personally benefit from it.
When doing things, one can follow the tide. If the majority did a certain thing, I would follow suit. What "other people" said, I would do likewise. That would keep "other people" from thinking that I had a different opinion, as I was very afraid of "other people" claiming that I was different.
Gradually, the ideas of "other people" replaced my thoughts. I could no longer distinguish between the thoughts of "other people" and my own. Worse than that, I had difficulty differentiating what was actually right or wrong, good or bad, righteous or evil, because my own standard was so mixed up and indistinct - the thoughts of "other people" became my own.
"Other people" spread all over me, as if I had been consumed. Having no standards, I had been driven and restricted by "other people," becoming helpless and indifferent, deceiving others while actually deceiving myself.
However, be it "other people" or me, there is no way to forecast the revolution of the stars, the favorable turn of destiny. It is even more impossible to predict the next life of an enlightened being, and the revelation of the truth. Even though the standard of the universe was placed in front of me, I would still use the concepts of "other people" (No, these thoughts have become my own now) to measure and guess. In the final analysis, would it be right or wrong? I might as well ask "other people," and listen to what "other people" have to say. Some "other people" may be correct because I believed that they were reasonable. Some "other people" might be wrong, and then I would criticize them. I had never used my own thoughts to analyze anything, never been willing to release myself from my body and mind to carry out anything. Instead, I always followed "other people" in their twisting and turning.
Maybe, just maybe, someday, when serious illnesses invade my body, when all my relatives have left me, when old age has caught up with me, and when life becomes hopeless, then I will let go of "other people." I will use what is left of myself to contemplate the problems: What exactly is this life meant for, as I have already lost the most valuable thing in life?
Perhaps, just perhaps, when I look back and seek again for the long-lost opportunity, it will be too late. Which "other people" will come forward and bear this responsibility?
It is only now that I understand that I must live for myself, no matter what "other people" say. "Other people" are "other people." I am myself. "Having heard the Dao in the morning, one can die in the evening." The ancients have already explained to me that life that was designed for me by the gods long ago. I must seek the Dao! Live sensibly and tread my path well. Hence, even should I die, I would have no regrets.
Translated from: http://zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/2/1/25567.html