Experience Sharing on Common-Law Marriage
Question from one practitioner to another:
Dear fellow practitioner, how are you? I would like to share one thing with you. There are two practitioners in our area who have left home to avoid further persecution. They are a male and a female, both unmarried and have been working together for more than two years. More than a month ago, they suddenly had a child; they have had sexual relationship without being registered for marriage.
In regards to their matter, we have different understandings. We believe that we must behave absolutely righteously as Dafa practitioners. Teacher asks us to do three things well; we should let go of everything that is self and do Fa-rectification work wholeheartedly. We must conform to human society. They did not have a marriage certificate, and there was no wedding. We were forced to leave home to avoid the persecution, different from the fellow practitioners who stay at home. We should improve ourselves as a whole body and get rid of all the behaviors that do not conform to Dafa. In this process, we need to exchange and share experiences with each other so we can achieve holistic improvement. We feel their explanation is based on an unrighteous starting point, and it is very difficult to reach a common understanding on the Fa. Can you please share your thoughts about this matter?
The practitioner's answer:
First, I would like to thank you for giving me this chance to share understandings, because it can help me see my own cultivation state clearly: Facing this kind of problem, how do I understand it based on the Fa? Can I be compassionate enough and clear-headed? I shall briefly talk about my thoughts in relation to your question so far.
1. An unregistered marriage is caused by the human notions, mostly human affections, desires and lust. Of course, it may also include the need of helping and supporting each other in daily life. Regarding how to deal with sex, Teacher said in Lecture at the Conference in Europe:
"You may have a wife or have a husband. This is the normal way of life for human beings. You are committing a sin if you have sexual activity with someone who isn't your husband or your wife. The gods in every upright religion of the East and West have emphasized this point very strongly. When stipulating what constitutes human behavior, they have been very serious about emphasizing this."
Therefore I think, if Dafa practitioners can strive more diligently in studying the Fa and the cultivation, and remember the important historic responsibilities as Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, we should be able to do better and be more righteous, and become less likely to end up with an illegitimate relationship because of the desires.
2. How can other practitioners solve this conflict of different understandings more benevolently? To my understanding, practitioners are originally cultivating on different levels. Even though we are all in the Fa, it is impossible for everyone to have the same understanding and behave in the same exactly manner, except when it comes to the violation of the Fa-principles. According to the situation you described, think calmly and judge with very pure standards of being a human. They have not done well, especially as Dafa practitioners. Why couldn't they control themselves, and get rid of the pursuits of human affections, desires and lust in this critical historic moment? Teacher said in "Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2003":
"But no matter what, you're Dafa disciples, so just keep righteous thoughts in your minds and try your best to do well what you should do. You're cultivating while conforming to ordinary people to the maximum extent. You don't need to become monks or act like those people who've left the secular world behind. In fact, this is already the most convenient in terms of form. But when it comes to elevating your xinxing [the nature of the mind or the heart, moral character], there can be absolutely no compromise."
Therefore, I think, if we can rigorously require ourselves as Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, we can take every step openly and honorably, and be respected by the later generations.
By looking at it from the standard of an ordinary person, after all, these two practitioners are unmarried (it is not an affair outside the marriage or other wrongful sexual relationship). Under the current situation of evil persecution, they did not register for the marriage, but it has become a fact. It is a private matter, and also may not be appropriate for others to intervene.
From the aspect of improving as a one body, and each practitioner must continuously improving Xinxing. I hope that both of them can treat this marriage seriously, and are able to remind each other the responsibilities as Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, and practice diligently together, in the format of their family life. We should treat them with understanding, and we should remind and help them.
Cultivation is everyone's own matter, whether you have such a wish or what standard you can achieve are restricted by many internal and external elements, which cannot be forced. However, the fact is that Teacher has gone through countless tribulations for our sake. But because our enlightenment qualities are poor, we did not understand the Fa well and did not want to put down our attachments, and we could not achieve the best results that were given by our Teacher on many things. These caused additional difficulties for Teacher in the Fa-rectification, and brought losses for our own futures. However, we are still using our human notions as the standards to protect ourselves and the old forces, instead of cooperating with Teacher's salvation.
3. This matter is also a chance to improve Xinxing for fellow practitioners. By all means, don't become attached to others' attachments and only try to change others. We need to act according to Teacher's requirement. First, when facing the conflicts and problems, think, "Why was I allowed to see this? Which of my attachment came out?" then to improve ourselves.
Not long ago, I happened to receive another letter. One fellow practitioner asked me to collect and send them some articles regarding human affections, lust and desires. I recommended an article published on the Clearwisdom website on February 25, 2003 called "Some Thoughts on Morality in Marriage" and Teacher's lecture, "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference." Why did I not collect all the articles requested by the fellow practitioner? I explained to that practitioner that it was mainly because I wanted to avoid the situation of everyone speaking with their own attachments. When people argue, they often quote chapter and verse, not only to prove they are right, but also to prove others are wrong. But this is the state of human ideology, which is running counter to the thoughts of practitioners. The discussion and exchange among Dafa practitioners are to remind each other that it doesn't matter if you speak well or not, what can truly change people's hearts is the Fa. Only when we can all calmly study the Fa, and be sincerely convinced to look for our own shortcoming, the conflict can be solved fundamentally. If everyone only wants to change others, then it may become the argument of ordinary people.
Fundamentally, we study the Fa and use our understanding of the Fa to lead our lives, not others. If we forcefully ask others to conform to our understanding, it is hard for them to accept, especially when they still have the attachment and have not realized the urgency to get rid of the attachment. Even when we only remind them and not force our thoughts on them, are our thoughts and manners unselfish, harmonizing and compassionate enough? These would also affect the impact of our sharing.
4. In regards to these two fellow practitioners, we can kindly encourage them to study the Fa more, and improve their own Xinxing while doing Dafa work. Instead of arguing whether they are wrong and bad, we need to judge a person or look at an issue from a comprehensive angle. We do not regard a person to be so great because he or she did a good thing, and we do not regard a person as bad because he or she did a bad thing. A genuine Dafa disciple should improve himself everyday amidst the assimilation to the Fa, so it is possible to be purer each day. On the contrary, a fixed vision would restrict us from seeing the facts.
Teacher told us in "Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2003":
"For cultivators, though, when it comes to raising the requirement on your xinxing and letting go of your attachments, there's absolutely no wiggle room, and the standard can absolutely not be lowered, because we need to be responsible to the future, and to the cosmos and the sentient beings of the future. Many Dafa disciples will achieve the status of gigantic beings in the future, and they will encompass many sentient beings, even boundless beings. So if your standard is lowered, then that level of the cosmos won't last long and that level of the firmament won't last long, so you have to meet the standard."
In this matter, if the direct parties can be more diligent in studying the Fa through the compassionate reminding and help of others, they themselves will understand the issue from the Fa on a higher standard, thereby be more conformed to the standard of Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples.
5. Teacher wants to save all sentient beings during the Fa-rectification. We should try our best to harmonize what the Teacher wants to achieve, instead of dismissing a practitioner who has already gained the Fa. This is our biggest compassionate thought. From what happened to the practitioners that were forced to leave home to avoid the persecution, we also can learn much from this lesson, and strive to walk more righteously on the remaining path. For example, even in a difficult situation, we should also try our best to conform to the ordinary society. Practitioners with a family should try their best to live and do Dafa work at home. If possible, we should take special care of Fa study and experience sharing among practitioners with different cultivation states. Do not think that just because everyone comes to do Dafa work, so of course everyone can control their Xinxing well and naturally achieve improvement as one body.
In conclusion, let's help and remind each other to go forward together to the day that Fa-rectification arrives in the human world.