"Through Hardship the Body of Gold Is Tempered," Part 2
At seven a.m. on June 13th, I decided to go to SAS Airlines to clarify the truth to them once more. Bringing our statement and one AP report about Falun Gong with me, I arrived at the ticket counter and told them we were unlawfully denied access to our purchased airplane seats yesterday. I then asked them to give us tickets for the first plane in the morning headed for Iceland. The clerk at the ticket counter showed his sympathy for us, but when seeing the explanatory note on the computer screen, he hesitated to give us the tickets. At that moment, the airline's senior manager, Mr. Pierre Brownt, stepped into the office. I walked towards him, telling him that we had spent the previous night at the airport. When I showed him our statement and the AP report of Falun Gong, Mr. Brownt asked, "Can I keep these?" I answered, "I only have one copy. Could you please copy them?" Unhesitatingly, Mr. Brownt copied each of them and gave me the original, saying, "Please wait for one moment; allow me and my clerk to have a talk about this."
Then the ticket clerk and Mr. Brownt went into the office. About five minutes later, the ticket clerk told me, "Come here to have your tickets checked at 8:15." I brought the good news to all the others and each of us was quite encouraged. This was the brave act of kind people to resist the evil persecution of Falun Dafa. Even though the Icelandic Ministry of Justice had already announced a ban on Falun Gong travelers, they still performed with bravery and righteousness in pursuit of truth.
Immediately we came to an agreement, "Don't have any attachment of zealotry. Don't forget to send forth righteous thoughts together. In this way, the six of us will board the same plane."
At 8:15 a.m. the SAS Airline ticket counter gave us six standby tickets to the 10:40 plane. At 10 a.m. we arrived at the boarding entrance and happened to see Mr. Billnie Staigson from the Embassy of Iceland. Mr. Staigson stopped us. We showed him our tickets. He said, "Wait a moment. I have to call the Icelandic government." From his tone, we could see that he was considering how to let us go in an agreeable way.
The Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked, "Where have they been?" I said that we had been to Helsinki in Finland and Copenhagen in Denmark. Then a final question, which must have been raised by the evil, was asked, "Are you members of the Falun Gong organization?" Without a second thought I retorted, "Falun Gong has no membership." In fact, I could have given a better answer with more wisdom and ease. Then Mr. Staigson made a satisfactory gesture to let us go. In fact, in his mind he had a very clear understanding of us.
At 10:40 two practitioners from Toronto were able to board the plane for Iceland. Then, the airline announced that there were no extra tickets. So, four of us were about to leave, carrying our luggage. At this time, a moving incident took place. Mr. Billnie Staigson from the Embassy of Iceland ran from the airport lounge, catching up with us, saying, "Wait for another moment! Maybe there will be extra tickets." We were moved by his sincere words and eager expectations. From his tone of voice we felt that he expected us to leave for Iceland.
Suddenly it occurred to me that the previous announcement of having no extra tickets was to test our firm belief in the Fa, and to test how strong our righteous thoughts were. At that time, we did not pass the test.
At the final moment, there were two more extra tickets not claimed by anyone. Seeing nobody claim the two tickets, I said firmly, "Those two seats should be ours!" During the last minutes before the plane was to take off, two late passengers hurried in and boarded the plane. Later I understood that nothing in the human world was real and fixed; only the Fa was real. If our belief in the Fa had been firm enough and our righteous thoughts incomparably powerful, our abilities could have changed the unreal phenomena when the announcement of having no extra tickets was made.
At this time, Mr. Staigson told us something very interesting in a serious and firm tone, "There are still four tickets for the plane at two p.m. Right now, go change your tickets for the tickets to the plane at two p.m." So, the four of us went to change our tickets. One practitioner from Toronto and I happened to meet two Danish practitioners at the ticket exchange counter. We insisted that the Danish practitioners should get the tickets first and leave for Iceland earlier. With no extra tickets, the two Danish practitioners got two standby tickets. We also got two standby tickets. Just as we were about to leave, another touching scene occurred. Mr. Billnie Staigson from the Embassy of Iceland hurried towards us almost out of breath and handed me his cellular phone saying, "One Danish TV station wants to interview you."
It turned out that the TV2 station in Denmark heard of our situation and had been trying to interview us at the airport. Finally he found us through Mr. Staigson. I wrote down the phone number of the TV reporter, telling him I would call him pretty soon to arrange the time for an interview.
Then another miracle happened. Another two Canadian practitioners from Montreal at another ticket exchange counter got two tickets. After hearing this, Mr. Staigson hurried to us, telling the two of us, "Hurry here! There are still tickets." Indeed, another practitioner and I were able to get tickets. When I thought of looking for the two Danish practitioners, I asked the clerk if there were any tickets left. The clerk answered, "No, there were just four."
I came to realize that it was a small test for us and the Danish practitioners. At this moment, we had a deeper understanding of Master's teaching of "loss and gain." "You are not really asked to lose anything materially...The key is whether you can abandon that attachment."
Seeing Mr. Staigson leaving, one practitioner from Toronto said, "Seeing him, I felt moved to tears! I will surely call him after I go back to Canada."
Indeed, we were moved by this man who maintained his righteous behavior under overwhelming pressure. We were happy for such a being who could resist the evil with wit. His righteous attitude toward Fa-rectification would surely bring him a beautiful future. As Master said in the article "Towards Consummation," "Everyone's behavior, good or bad, fully reflects the outcome he will obtain."
Suddenly I enlightened to the dignity of Dafa. When clarifying the truth in an environment full of hardship, we had to behave with Dafa's divine virtue, dignity, and sacredness so as to earn people's respect for Dafa. Just as Master said, "Every single sentient being reveres Dafa's saving grace." ("Foretelling the Fa's Rectification of the Human World") "The world's sentient beings will [strive to] repay the saving grace of Dafa and Dafa's disciples." ("The Blessings from Dafa")
At this moment four of us came to understand why we would not leave the airport for Iceland until two o'clock in the afternoon--it was because we had to be interviewed by the TV station before flying to Iceland. I started preparing for the interview. At noon the TV2 reporter, Mr. Johns Lankide, and the photographer interviewed me. They showed admiration for our behavior on the journey.
Looking back upon our truth-clarification in the difficult situation in Copenhagen, and upon our managing to board the planes for Iceland, we had a deeper understanding of Master's words, "Through hardship the body of gold is tempered." ("The Difficult Path to Godhood")
As Master said in "Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions,"
A Great Enlightened Being does not fear hardship
Having forged an adamantine will
And with no attachment to living or dying
He walks his path of Fa-rectification openly and nobly.
At about 3:30 p.m. on June 13th, our plane landed at the Keflavik Airport in Iceland. The moment we got the plane seats in Copenhagen, we told ourselves, "Before going through the customs in Iceland, let go of any attachment of zealotry and do not slacken in our efforts to send forth righteous thoughts." Also we became aware of the inconvenience of trying to act together in a large group. Because two of us could not speak English, the four of us divided into two groups. One group went through the customs successfully.
However, another practitioner and I did not go through customs smoothly. The customs official examined our passports carefully and asked us to see the police. Immediately, we told ourselves to strengthen sending forth righteous thoughts. After arriving at the police office, maybe because of the power of our righteous thoughts, the police appeared somewhat bewildered, not knowing what to ask us. After copying one page of our passports with our photos on them, he asked, "How long will you stay here?" Then no questions about Falun Gong were asked and we were allowed to go through customs.
After going through customs, the four of us again united with the two other practitioners from Toronto who had boarded the plane for Iceland in the morning. The six of us started our Fa-rectification journey in Iceland again.
The two practitioners from Toronto told us they had already contacted the Icelandic practitioners and were informed, "The head political scoundrel will arrive at the same airport at about 4 o'clock. There are no other practitioners around there, just you six."
At this moment we came to understand that this journey was so delicately arranged by Master's great mercy. About "arrangement," in "Touring North America to Teach the Fa", Master said, "A lot of things are the old forces' arrangements. What's more, they arranged them in great detail, and the manifestations are extremely complex." One practitioner and I had the same understanding: though the old forces could have arranged all the details of this, they were unable to arrange the Fa. Suppose the old forces had arranged the Icelandic event. We still could thoroughly deny the arrangement of the old forces if we behaved based on the demands of the Fa. Simultaneously I had a deeper understanding of the words, "One's life can be changed if one takes the path of cultivation practice."
At about 4:20 p.m. on June 13th, the national anthems of Iceland and China were heard at the airport and we knew that the head political scoundrel had arrived. At a place about 100 meters away from the airport, six of us sent forth our pure and powerful righteous thoughts to the whole universe.
On the evening of June 13th, an Icelander, Mr. John, arranged our accommodations and also the accommodations for several other practitioners. We were touched by his enthusiasm. He told us, "At first I had no idea about Falun Gong. But after the Icelandic government banned the Falun Gong travelers from entering Iceland, citizens all around the country knew about Falun Gong. All of the Icelanders support you. It is crazy of the Icelandic government to make such a decision." Later he added, "It is said that the Embassy of China wrote a letter to every Chinese here, asking them to welcome Jiang. The Embassy of China has paid every single one of the Chinese here some money. If they did not go to welcome Jiang, they would get into trouble after going back to China."
We told Mr. John that Jiang had traveled everywhere to make a show. We also told Mr. John our story of being stranded at the airport in Copenhagen and being interviewed by a Danish reporter, who asked us, "Will Falun Gong be denied entry to Iceland?" Mr. John said, "You could have given a better answer, saying that it is Jiang Zemin, instead of Falun Gong, that should be denied entry into Iceland." Listening to his remark, we gave him an understanding grin.
To be continued.