The Attachment Behind Dishonesty

Wen Hua

PureInsight | April 19, 2004

[] People often say that the one thing that the Chinese people lack most is sincere honesty. After being a cultivator for several years, I still find myself lying from time to time when my main consciousness isn't strong enough. For example, once I purchased a roundtrip ticket on a bus. But due to a change in my schedule, I missed the bus that I was originally supposed to be on and took a later bus. According to the rules, I should have purchased another ticket for my return trip. But I didn't because I felt it was too troublesome. On another occasion, I stayed in a hotel with other people and had to check out early because of a change in my plans. I should have paid for my share of the whole reservation. But I only paid for the nights that I actually stayed at the hotel, which means that other people who were sharing the room with me had to pay more. I noticed many of these types of dishonest deeds. These things are looked down upon even by ordinary people and I am supposed to be a cultivator. After I kept doing dishonest things, I was compelled to look squarely at the problem.

When I behaved in a dishonest way, I was not necessarily trying to cheat others for monetary gain. On such occasions, I would think to myself, "I have donated almost all my wages to Dafa. How could this small amount of money matter? It is too much trouble to remedy the situation so just let it be." Besides having the desire of saving myself some trouble, I also unconsciously felt quite pleased with myself when I was able to take advantage of others. These two things acted together to lead me onto a less than righteous path. Very often, when I did not do things righteously, I tarnished the image of Dafa practitioners.

This made me think about the story our merciful Master told about Buddha Sakyamuni. At that time, his disciples were hoarding the bowls used for collecting alms. Sakyamuni gave a lecture specifically addressing the issue of his disciples hoarding bowls. His disciples had already discarded all their worldly possessions, and yet they became attached to hoarding bowls. Why is the human mind so weak and the attachments so strong? I remember a story that a fellow practitioner told about himself. His work unit was allotting apartments. He was able to let go of an apartment worth tens of thousands of yuan and did not fight for it with others. But when he went out to buy a few cents worth of green onions at the local market, he found himself bargaining with the vendor and trying to get the vendor to lower the price. In his heart, wasn't he still concerned with his own gains and losses?

Generally speaking, the motive behind wanting to gain things for oneself is selfishness. But when I dug deeper, I realized that I had the demonic nature of looking down upon the laws and regulations of the ordinary society, which is something that the "revolutionary cadets" of the Cultural Revolution took great pride in. It is a mentality of opposing traditions and orthodox things that the old forces have instilled in me. I remember that when I was in high school, a fellow student frequently stole from others and then threw away what he stole. All he wanted was the feeling of having won something by stealing. Before I started to practice Falun Gong, I too frequently felt quite pleased with myself for disobeying certain rules and being able to take advantage of loopholes in those rules.

I have now realized that the Chinese people of our generation perhaps lack respect not only for other people but also for social norms, tradition, morality, and so on. These bad characteristics are reflected in our cultivation. For example, sometimes we don't show enough respect to our Teacher and to the Fa. Sometimes we don't show enough respect to other people.

The opposite of respect is contempt. If a person often regards his own things as being more important than everyone else's, won't his selfish mentality gradually expand? Won't he come to regard himself as always being right? Won't he always overestimate his own capabilities, become stubborn and intractable, and never listen to others? Aren't these the special characteristics of the old forces? In cultivation, the goal is to be selfless, and we cultivate so that our human-world selfishness becomes less and less. If we enlarge our selfishness, isn't that going against our cultivation? It may appear to be a minor problem, but the demonic nature that my action reveals is truly scary and something that I must eliminate.

As I examine the circumstance of my dishonesty, I feel as if they were done subconsciously. It seemed that I did those things without thinking. Now I have come to understand the importance of always strengthening my main consciousness.

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