3. Relying on the fruits of individual cultivation rather than more and more thoroughly denying the old forces' arrangement by taking the Fa as Teacher

Some disciples might think, "I did not avoid the arrangements like Yu, Li and Zhou did, I openly denied the evil arrangements themselves with dignity." I am such an example. After breaking out of the detention center, I was surrounded by people from the Public Security Bureau, the Residential Committee, even my relatives. They demanded that I write a so-called "understanding." I picked up the pen and wrote, "Jiang is persecuting Dafa, and he will inevitably be condemned by history." Then I handed it in to the Public Security Bureau. Several people yelled at me at once, but amidst their yelling, my resounding voice made theirs sound hollow and weak. I looked at them with determination, so that they couldn't even look me in the eyes. In the end, they couldn't say anything; it ended up being me lecturing them in the conference room. Only the one policeman that had dealt with me before knew what was happening and didn't say anything to me to begin with. The others were completely dejected and defeated. Finally the policemen wanted me to sign a "confession." Taking a look at the papers, I said, "First, I didn't demonstrate. Second, we are not an organization. Therefore, I'm not signing." After this little play was over, everyone present was stunned. In the end I walked out openly and with dignity.

Then does this count as completely denying the old forces' evil arrangement? I'd like to discuss this in detail.

Master said, "Whether it is your supernormal abilities or your Unlocking of Gong, you achieve them through practicing cultivation in Dafa. If you put Dafa in a secondary place and put your supernatural powers in the primary place, or as an enlightened person you believe that what you understand one way or another is correct, or if you even regard yourself as being great and beyond Dafa, I would say that you have already started to stumble. It would be dangerous and you would become ever worse. At that time, you would really be in trouble, and your cultivation would end up in vain. If things are not done right, you will stumble and fail in your cultivation." -- (Zhuan Falun Lecture Six, "The Mentality of Showing Off")

I realized that cultivation must take the overall cosmic climate as a guide at all times. Whether the path one takes is righteous or not, whether the thinking is positioned righteously or not, it is determined by the degree of compliance with the requirement of the Fa-rectification at that time and place. For example, in the peaceful times, as a Dafa disciple one should speak gently with a look of tranquility, always forbearing and giving ground when encountering conflict. After the persecution began, some students who were not able to step forward were content with their own personal "solid cultivation," claiming that going to Tiananmen Square was "not harmonious." Under the cosmic climate of the Fa-rectification at the time, they were attached to the outward manifestation of the fruits of their previous cultivation. That is the same as placing what they had achieved through cultivation above Dafa itself, believing that it has surpassed Dafa. At this point, no matter how much their outward appearance met the standard of the peaceful times, that is not cultivation in the righteous Fa, but going down an path of "evil enlightenment." Therefore, we can never place what we have achieved above Dafa's requirement. At the same time, evaluating something from outward appearances is not evaluating it from the Fa principles, therefore it is not truly looking at the problem's essence.

Then what is the current cosmic climate? Master requires us to do three things well: study the Fa, send forth righteous thoughts, and clarify the truth. At the same time we are required to completely deny the old forces' arrangements. My personal understanding is that the basis for these three things is to deny the old forces' arrangements, otherwise these three things cannot possibly be done well. Just like the example I gave before, accepting "being able to endure hardship" is at the same time hiding "the acceptance of hardship." While resisting the brainwashing class, they inadvertently created pressure for their fellow practitioners. Then looking back on our journey of Fa-rectification and the things that appeared to be very good things, are there inadequacies that we could not recognize before? I believe that there are.

Looking back at my fellow practitioners, many are special people. Huahua was unstoppable; Daan thought of everything; Xiaojian quietly took care of all the details well. Each could tackle large projects alone, and each was a special talent. But sooner or later, they all fell prey to the evil. I have been trying to figure this out -- what caused them to be captured by the evil? How can we completely deny the evil persecution? Oh, Huahua has these attachments, Daan has those attachments, Xiaojian has these attachments -- but everyone has different attachments and different paths, what is the most fundamental reason?

Let me first talk about how we destroyed the evil during the conflicts. We cooperated seamlessly and put everyone's talents to good use. Some are very clever; some have great leadership qualities and a commanding presence; some have sound judgment and come up with great ideas; and some are excellent at coordinating activities (she fell prey to the evil in the end, as well). This practitioner's ability to resolve any conflict among disciples -- and all of our other abilities -- they were the achievement of our solid cultivation in the Fa. We won victory after victory by relying on what we had achieved within the Fa and under the guidance of Dafa. We trusted ourselves and our fellow practitioners. We realized Dafa's power through our victories in eliminating the evil. We saw clearly and distinctly how we destroyed the old forces' arrangements by using what we had gained through cultivation in the Fa. Because of this we believed in Dafa and Master even more. In the joy of following Master in Fa-rectification, even though many fellow practitioners around us were being arrested, we were solid like diamond. We almost could not see how we had any major, fundamental deviations. We appeared almost to be (this expression is key) "a group of particles that is solid and unshakable."

However, let's shift the focus away from our small group and look at the entire body. Many disciples do not possess this type of ability that we do. Many of the fellow practitioners who were arrested -- the direct reason was that they were not as capable as us in some regard. For example, they were not as clever, or not as experienced, or not as detail-oriented, or not as good in using new tools and new technology, or not as informed, or not as knowledgeable in understanding the resources in ordinary society and taking advantage of them. Then, what are they to do? Should they just be arrested, beaten, murdered, have their families broken apart, and go homeless in the evil's relentless persecution? The answer is definitely a resounding "No!"

While this little group of ours was cruising along and relying on our abilities gained through cultivating in Dafa, using the wisdom gained through cultivation to destroy the evil's arrangement and clarifying the truth, while we were satisfied with the evil's repeated resounding defeats, did we consider the fact that fundamentally, the evil arrangements should not exist at all? We rarely stopped to think. Our attention to detail, our commanding presence, our unstoppable determination, our sound judgment and great ideas, our seamless cooperation -- all of it shined forth brilliantly with the backdrop of the evil arrangements' persecution. When we were asked whether the evil arrangements should or shouldn't exist? We answered, "Haven't we eliminated it? It already does not exist anymore."

Just like how Yu, Li, and Zhou resisted the brainwashing classing using their special characteristics, speaking as individuals, they did resist and eliminate the evil's arrangements in some specific conflict with the evil. But because fundamentally they accepted the evil's arrangements, they were persecuted by the evil in the end. We used our strengths obtained through our own cultivation to resist and destroy the evil's arrangements, but we also inadvertently, implicitly accepted the old forces' persecuting those disciples who did not possess our strengths. There are so many attachments that need to be removed in the course of cultivation, so in other areas, other disciples have strengths that we lack. In this way, in the same arrangements made by the old forces, we also inadvertently, implicitly accepted the old forces using the fact that we lack strengths that others possess as a reason to persecute us. When other disciples see us being persecuted, they are like us. They naturally think that our being persecuted was because of our own attachments or because we lacked their strengths -- just like how we considered them being persecuted.

In this way, as an entire body we unanimously accepted being persecuted by the old forces, accepted others being persecuted, and accepted ourselves being persecuted. All of this was not something we had understood before. From this perspective, this is an omission by our small group as a whole, as well as other small groups. Different small groups may have different forms of acceptance towards the old forces' arrangements. For example, we may accept the old forces' persecuting and arresting this person using the excuse that he did not pay enough attention to detail. Someone else might accept the old forces' using the reason of "unable to withstand beatings" to persecute us, accepting the old forces forcing us to write articles denouncing Dafa, etc etc. These are the gaps among each small group. These kinds of small groups are quite numerous. There are these small groups in China and outside of China, so there are gaps between those in China and those outside China. The small groups that do different types of work might accept the old forces' arrangements in the same way, thereby forming gaps again. Because doing different types of work can remove different attachments, then being attached to using one's removed attachments to overcome the old forces' arrangements -- this would lead to unwittingly accepting the old forces using other disciples' unresolved attachments to persecute them.

Other than this, even the small group is made up of different people of different backgrounds. Their individual paths are different, so of course the attachments that they get rid of are also different. If someone accepts using one's removed attachments to overcome old forces, he is at the same time inadvertently accepting the old forces' persecution of those disciples within the group that had not removed that particular attachment.

Just like this, among particles, among groups of particles, between big particles and small particles, among particles of differing abilities, they are filled with gaps. The evil uses these gaps at their leisure to persecute us disciples at will. I often see articles saying things like the "old forces go into every available gap." In reality, the key is still the existence of gaps among particles and groups of particles; otherwise even if they wanted to they could not find a way in.

This is the biggest omission that I see in us as a whole, and this is the fundamental reason that such capable disciples within our small group were arrested one after another. We were not truly a "group of particles that are solid and unshakable." As a whole we did not melt into an indestructible, whole body. The reason lies in the fact that many particles inadvertently accepted the old forces' arrangements, even though we believed that we had destroyed the evil time and time again in conflicts with the evil.

Then what is the specific manifestation? Let me discuss this using what I have seen.

When the old forces are arranging "tests," (in reality undermining Fa-rectification) it is done at different levels. For example disciple A, because he used his cell phone to contact another disciple who had an unsecured cell phone, this led to his arrest after having his call traced. When we go back to think about it (including disciple A), we would think that we had an omission in not paying attention to detail in our work habits. When we are going back to think about it, on one hand we will be able to keep the evil from using our inattentiveness to detail to exploit our loopholes; on the other hand, we have inadvertently further accepted the old forces' using other disciples' lack of attention to detail to persecute them. At the same time, shouldn't we look deeper inside and try to find out why disciple A was always so careful before, but had an omission on this issue on this occasion?

If we only think about it at the stage of "a habit of being attentive to detail," that is equivalent to ignoring the underlying elements' interference with us. If we keep looking inside -- ah -- it was because disciple A had not let go of his human sentimentality towards this other disciple. This way, on one hand we will be able to keep the evil from using our human sentimentality to exploit our loopholes; on the other hand, we have inadvertently further accepted the old forces' using other disciples' sentimentality to persecute them. At the same time, shouldn't we look deeper inside and try to find out why in earlier times, disciple A took sentimentality mildly, yet after passing many tests, suddenly his sentimentally actually grew?

If we only think about it to the point of "sentimentality," that is equivalent to ignoring the underlying elements' interference with us. If we keep looking inside -- ah -- it was because disciple A had endured loneliness over the long period of time of arduously passing tests. He had an omission on the issue of "forbearance." This way, on one hand we will be able to keep the evil from using our inadequacy in "forbearance" to exploit our loopholes; on the other hand, we have inadvertently further accepted the old forces' using other disciples' inadequacy in "forbearance" to persecute them. At the same time, shouldn't we look deeper inside and try to find out why in earlier times, disciple A was able to forbear very well, yet recently his level of forbearance gradually declined?

If we only think about it at the stage of "forbearance," that is equivalent to letting the underlying elements' interference with us go unchecked. If we keep looking inside -- ah -- it was because disciple A had passively endured under the pressure of the evil persecution. Then we will be able to keep the evil from using our "passively enduring" to exploit our loopholes, but we have inadvertently further accepted the old forces' using other disciples' "passively enduring" to persecute them.

To keep searching in this fashion, we will find reasons behind reasons, and reasons behind those reasons. From this, we can see how many arrangements by the old forces we have implicitly accepted in our minds. How many gaps between us and other Dafa particles or other groups of Dafa particles are contained in our minds? The answer is, way, way too many. Without searching deeply, we are accepting the evil that is hiding in those deep recesses. If we do search deeply, we then have to face the excuses that the evil is using to persecute other disciples. Yet when the old forces are conducting their "tests," they are taking action and causing damage at many levels. Every level contains treacherous, deadly opportunities. They are coming after the disciples' omissions at every level.

Then how can we fundamentally achieve improving ourselves to the point of having no omissions, while not giving the evil any excuse to persecute other disciples? The answer is to fundamentally deny all of the arrangements by the evil forces to "test" Dafa. Searching inward in a timely fashion is a must, but the basis for searching inward -- it must be taking Fa as Teacher, helping Master in Fa-rectification, assimilating to Dafa, and offering salvation to sentient beings. Only this is truly searching inward.

Some disciples might be thinking, "Of course, nowadays everyone is reading the book daily. What you are saying are all high-level principles -- don't they ring a bit hollow?" I will then discuss in detail my understandings on searching inward.

What is searching inward? Looking back on cultivation during the peaceful times, because we understood that "Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance" was the highest Fa principle of the cosmos, we just wanted to assimilate to it. There were no other thoughts -- at that time searching inward truly was very pure. But now there are some disciples (include myself in the past), their definition of "searching inward" while studying the Fa, sending forth righteous thoughts and clarifying the truth was, "I need to study the Fa well and find out my own inadequacies and omissions. That way, I won't be taken advantage of by the old forces. If the old forces don't come to do damage, then I would be safe. The power of my sending forth righteous thoughts would be greater, and my clarifying the truth would be more effective."

Looking at it this way, this so-called "searching inward through studying the Fa" has unconsciously turned into something to keep the evil from exploiting loopholes. Is this searching inward? In reality it is at some level explaining oneself to the evil: "Don't come take advantage of my loopholes. See, according to your principles, see how innocent I am!" It is explaining oneself to the evil, in order to prove one's "innocence" and seeking not to be taken advantage of. Is this taking the Fa as Teacher? Is this taking our revered Master as Teacher? This doesn't seem to be much different than those monks in the temples worshipping those earthly Buddhas and earthly Taos. The underlying thinking for this mentality is: "Look at me, look at how innocent I am according to your standards. Don't persecute me, I accept your persecuting those disciples who are not innocent according to your standards. I accept your persecuting those disciples who have attachments."

We are begging it to accept us as innocent, and we are accepting it. Then it will come. On one hand it is persecuting us, while on the other hand it allows us at some level to destroy the persecution that it has used some low-level evil to produce. Then while we are destroying this evil, in reality we are unconsciously accepting the higher level evil's arrangements -- this is in fact nourishing it. Then does everyone see this? It is truly using its persecution of us to nourish itself. All of this persecution comes from our own acceptance of this evil. I have come to understand that the current root of the evil is implanted in the acceptance of it in our minds; it is in fact implanted in the gaps among the Dafa particles.

Then what is truly searching inward? First we need to be clear that Master has come for the purpose of rectifying the colossal firmament and saving sentient beings, bringing the true principles of the cosmos to sentient beings. Assimilating to the Fa is for the purpose of rectifying oneself, helping Master in saving sentient beings -- the goal is absolutely not avoiding being taken advantage of by the old forces. Even if they did not take advantage of loopholes, we still need to assimilate to Dafa. If they did take advantage of loopholes, we still need to assimilate to Dafa. In reality they are not worthy of testing this Fa, not worthy of playing the role of testing disciples. For them to plan to do this, it is their sin. As a result, they will obtain results opposite to their intentions -- not only will they not be able to protect themselves, but instead they will be completely eliminated from this cosmos. They are only worthy of being completely eliminated. They are not worthy of having Dafa disciples responding to their "tests" and explaining their innocence, otherwise this would be accepting the old forces' arrangements.

Master pointed out: "The more fearful they are inside, the more the evil specifically goes after such students." ("Dafa Disciples' Righteous Thoughts are Powerful") "At the same time, no attachment or fear could possibly enable you to reach Consummation. And any attachment of fear is itself a barrier that prevents you from reaching Consummation, and is also a factor in your being "reformed" toward the evil side and in your betrayal." ("Dafa is Indestructible") "You must consciously and clearly recognize the evil beings' persecution. They're truly doing bad things. It's best that Dafa disciples walk their own paths righteously and not allow the evil to seize any excuse to persecute you." ("Touring North American to Teach the Fa") Master has taught us these Fa principles, and my understanding is that the purpose is to have us see completely and clearly how the old forces' evil and our own impurities are the obstacles to assimilating to Dafa and offering salvation to sentient beings. The goal is definitely not to have us explain ourselves to the old forces, showing that we are innocent according to the old cosmos' principles. Teacher is the Master of the colossal firmament's rectification; we are disciples who are assisting Teacher in the human world; the old forces are the targets of the Fa-rectification. Assimilating to Dafa is the fondest wish of any being. It is not for the sake of "not being transformed" during persecution; it is not for the sake of "being able to withstand beatings" in persecution; it is not for the sake of "not betraying." We do not exist for the persecution; this is an issue of the basis for cultivation. If the starting point for studying the Fa and cultivating oneself becomes "not being transformed," "not betraying" or "being able to withstand beatings," then that in and of itself is accepting and going along with the old forces' arrangements.

The requirement set forth for us by Dafa is: "A Dafa disciple completely opposes everything arranged by the evil old forces." ("Dafa is Indestructible") What is "completely opposing"? If we don't place enough importance on assimilating to Dafa, and on understanding and assimilating to Master's intent and direction, then it's inevitable that we will go round and round endlessly in the circle of accepting the evil arrangements.

Master said in "Looking Back" (Hongyin), "Things of ancient past, Create people in maze; Who claims great wisdom, Cosmos wielded inside sentiments."

My understanding is that whether one is a philosopher or some wise sage among humans, he is always going back and forth within sentimentality, and unable to transcend the bounds of sentimentality. It is the same within Fa-rectification: if one cannot understand the overall significance of the Fa-rectification from Master's standpoint, thoroughly see through all of the old forces' arrangements in obstructing Fa-rectification, and steadfastly deny all of the old forces' arrangements -- then whether things are done in an magnificent and grand fashion, or if it is shining with brilliance, it is all still going back and forth within the old forces' arrangements.

I just want to mention something in passing. On the web I have seen some letters disciples have written to everyday people, especially those letters to those responsible for persecution, asking them to change their ways. These letters are also explaining the authors' innocence, using a tone of begging not to be persecuted. I feel that there is still an underlying acceptance of the persecution and feel very badly after reading these letters. In reality when clarifying the truth in many situations, it is fine and necessary to talk while giving ground. However, we cannot give ground on fundamental matters. We must be clear while doing this; otherwise we would not be able to achieve the result of letting people understand the truth.

To be continued...