PureInsight | March 29, 2004
[PureInsight.org] The Lord of the Rings was written in 1950's. It quickly became popular all over the world. The book draws inspirations from many sources, including prophecies, myths, legends, history, religions and cultivation stories. It has been translated into 25 different languages. More than 50 million copies of the book of trilogy have been sold. The trilogy has been turned into immensely popular films. The Lord of the Rings centers on the tremendous fight between the righteous and the evil triggered by the ring. The fight doesn't only determine the fate of the people of Middle Earth, but also the destiny of immortals from divine kingdoms, deities, mountains, forests, living beings in the nether world, and even physical matter itself.
"The most impossible of people - the Hobbit obtained the ring." "When time passes by, the Hobbit will change the destiny of the world." This is the prologue to The Lord of the Rings: The Hobbit. In The Hobbit, the ring of power, which has the power to destroy the whole world, appeared again after vanishing for a long time. After it emerged, Sauron, the Lord of Mordor, sought to reclaim the ring that he himself had forged. If Sauron was able to obtain it, his body would be regenerated, Middle Earth would fall, and people would be plunged into an abyss of misery. The symbolic meaning of the ring is very profound. In today's world, the endless chasing and desire to have power have corrupted men's hearts. The situation is so bad that even immortals became powerless. Human beings are facing a catastrophe.
The Lord of the Rings prophesies that when human beings are facing a crisis and a fight breaks out between the righteous and the evil, it won't be heavenly beings such as immortals or gods to save the world. Rather, it would be common people who don't have any special skills, at least not on the surface. Hobbits are small in size, and are only about half the size of humans. They are naturally kind-hearted people and lead peaceful lives in their Shangri-La-like hometown, the Shire. One of them, Frodo Baggins, took the arduous job of being a ring-bearer. The one who had the ring would rule the world. The temptation to use the ring's power was almost irresistible. The one who yields the ring would become corrupt himself due to the ring's awesome evil power. Frodo was meant to be the ring bearer because he was the only one who could resist the ring's evil temptations. On the surface, it might look like a small matter. But it actually reveals a huge heavenly secret: In the face of a great catastrophe, human beings can't depend on Gods to save them as the Gods can't even save themselves. The ones who would offer salvation to people are those who look plain and insignificant, but are compassionate and don't seek fame and fortune. From an everyday person's perspective, as a Hobbit, Frodo doesn't possess any great talent or bold vision. He isn't perfect. But he has the steadfastness and the courage to take on a difficult task that nobody else can do.
Look at today's Falun Gong practitioners in the Fa-Rectification period. During the past four years, facing the evil and violent regime, facing the wild persecution that blotted out the sky and covered up the earth, practitioners have stood up peacefully and rationally, opposing the bloody and unprecedented persecution at the price of their lives. People have awakened. Jiang Zemin's persecution and suppression of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" are persecutions of human conscience and moral values. They not only test the beliefs of Falun Gong practitioners, but also test the conscience and sense of morality and justice of everyone in the world. The attitude of a living being towards the fight between the righteous and the evildoers determines his or her survival. This is why cultivators tell people the truth, even at the price of losing their own lives.
I have mentioned that those life savers are not "perfect." When Frodo was venturing to Mount Doom to destroy the ring, he was able to confront his own fear and continued on his path. While Frodo was trekking to Mount Doom, a demonic creature named Gollum followed him. Five hundreds years earlier Gollum's brother had come across the ring of power. Overtaken by greed and other desires, Gollum killed his brother so that he could have the ring. After he took the ring, its evil energy gave Gollum an unnatural, long life. Along with this, his heart and his body were poisoned by the ring. His body looked like that of a corpse. However, Gollum lost the ring, which eventually ended up in the hands of Frodo Baggins. Gollum's greed made him pursue the ring so that he could take it back. He followed Frodo and made trouble for him during his entire journey to Mordor. My personal understanding of Gollum is that he is like the old forces who take advantage of practitioners' karma and impure sides to persecute them. When Frodo finally had a chance to throw the ring into boiling lava in Mount Doom and destroy it, he hesitated for a minute. At that point, Gollum jumped on him and tried to take the ring away, and he almost succeeded. Frodo woke up and made the very difficult decision to destroy the ring. Both the ring and Gollum were destroyed in the lava, and Frodo fulfilled his mission. Frodo's journey is very similar to the Fa-Rectification process that practitioners are going through. On one hand, we need to upgrade ourselves. On the other hand, we have to fulfill our historical commitment – offering salvation to sentient beings.
Frodo and his uncle were taken to Heaven by immortals at the end of the book. Frodo told Sam, his best friend, that he had "so much to enjoy and to be, and to do." Sam returned to the Shire, where his pretty wife and daughter were waiting for him. He returned to his worldly happiness. The rest of Sam's life showed how people should live their lives and how to be a true human being. It will be like this in the near future. Practitioners will lay a foundation for the future culture of human beings.