Discussion about Buddha Law, Cultivation and Science With a Friend (Part 1)
(Clearwisdom.net) When one customarily moves in more intellectual circles, often one must introduce the Fa and clarify the truth in a deeper, more profound way than in general society. Perhaps, after considering them carefully, there are lessons to be learned from such discussions.
Friend: "I believe you when you say that Falun Gong is capable of healing illnesses and strengthening the body because you are required to dispel distracting thoughts and be calm. Being calm definitely promotes good health. But there are many people, especially intellectuals, who, once they get involved in it, cannot withdraw. In your words, that is being steadfast. They will practice even under threat of execution. That is what I cannot comprehend. You are also engaged in science. Is that not being more superstitious than superstitious? I just cannot understand."
Me: "Actually, it is quite easy to understand. What is science? Probing the unknown, exploring the universe. There are various methods and ways of probing and proving. Science is only one of them. There are others. Whether they are good or otherwise, let us not debate that for now. But to truly understand anything, whether it is a natural phenomenon or the nature of the universe, the best method is to be familiar with it, understand it, and be assimilated into it. For instance, in order to do research on the people of a given nationality and their customs, directly observing them and living with them are good ways of understanding them."
Friend: "That could be very difficult. How can you get close enough to sample the unknown directly? How can you be assimilated into the universe?"
Me: "There are characteristics of the universe called Zhen, Shan, and Ren (Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance) which are the beliefs of Falun Gong. These are the fundamentals of the universe, the basis of the Buddha Law. To be assimilated into the universe is to be assimilated into the characteristics of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. That is to subscribe whole-heartedly to those principles, enabling you to continuously and gradually conform to the various levels of Zhen, Shan, and Ren."
Friend: "That is a novel and original statement, the characteristics of the universe of Zhen, Shan, and Ren. Who knows about them? Who can prove them? So what if we conform to them? Is that just a hypothesis?"
Me: "Not a hypothesis. Although the universal principles of Zhen, Shan, and Ren are not as easy for you to recognize and understand as "solid rocks," you are actually witnessing and experiencing them daily. Because the principles of the universe are Zhen, Shan, and Ren, all things possess these special qualities, or certain special qualities that are derived from them. All things are in harmony and at peace. If a person or the members of a family, a region, or a society were to conform to the special qualities of Zhen, Shan, and Ren, they would enjoy happiness, harmony and peace. On the other hand, if they deviate from Zhen, Shan, and Ren, there will be many disasters, much discord, and, when it reaches an extreme situation, the danger that the whole structure will collapse."
Friend: "There is certainly some merit [to what you say]. The terrorism the world is experiencing and the doctrines of extremism are like that. Are not our falsehoods, our self-proclaimed greatness, empty talk, and rotten corruption the result of deviation from Zhen, Shan, and Ren? If it is so, then it is the result of not being in conformity to Zhen, Shan, and Ren!"
Me: "Practitioners have even deeper understandings. For example, during the meditative exercises, because a practitioner is at a level that is in a higher realm, having conformed to and been assimilated into the special qualities, the universe will be unfolded before that practitioner: its beauty, superb and marvelous scenes, and its realities. The practitioner may see and come in contact with materials and life forms of another dimension and other things. Some practitioners might see the arteries and veins of their own bodies, which are similar to the main and collateral channels indicated in the diagrams used by Chinese doctors."
Friend: "Those things are too specific and specialized. Let us talk about what we all can see, like what we were just talking about, what can be seen in society. For the phenomena we were discussing, I can agree with the determination of their nature, but can we decide on their actual components? For example, is there a relationship between the degree to which the system conforms to the special qualities of Zhen, Shan, and Ren and the quantity of good and bad in that system?"
Me: "Actually, I can only tell you about an experiment done by someone. It was a computer simulation, which you could also do. It simulated a system, an environment, with the individuals either being humans or other living beings. The individuals' reliance and demands on the environment can be modeled for the humans or other living beings, bestowing upon them a fixed degree of conformity to Zhen, Shan, and Ren. You may be able to just simplify it to a constrained norm of standard behavior by an individual regarding his attitude towards the changing environment and other individual variations in conduct, responses, tolerance and so on. Then observe how results vary under the various conditions of conformity to Zhen, Shan, and Ren."
Friend: "Oh! I can imagine that the higher the degree of conformity to Zhen, Shan, and Ren, the happier the individual, the more harmonious the system , and the longer the life of the system will be. The lower the degree of conformity, the worse off the system will be, and perhaps it will even collapse very quickly."
Me: "Don't forget, the system itself and the environment also possess the special qualities of Zhen, Shan, and Ren. The universe we inhabit is like that."
Friend: "I see, I see."