Some Thoughts After Reading "More Thoughts on Hunger Strikes"
After reading the article "More Thoughts on Hunger Strikes" published on Minghui.net on November 26, 2003 (See English version on Clearwisdom.net http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2003/12/4/42848.html), I feel it is necessary to reevaluate the issue of hunger strikes from the viewpoint of cultivation. The article pointed out some common behavior problems associated with hunger strikes from the angle of xinxing cultivation. However, the author elaborated only on the inadequacy of hunger strikes; a reader may misinterpret that the author was simply criticizing hunger strikes. With this concern in mind, I would like to explore and augment this subject.
First of all, I think hunger striking itself is not the crux of the problem. However, the practitioner should have a clear and rational understanding of the Fa when making the decision whether or not to proceed with a hunger strike.
To resort to a hunger strike in order to protest against brutal persecution is both reasonable and lawful when one loses personal freedom in the environment of cruel persecution. It also sends a strong message: I am being treated unfairly, please help investigate and correct the wrongful acts of the abusers. Treating a hunger striker humanely is well recognized by the international community; even in Chinese jails or labor camps there is a corresponding stipulation regarding hunger strikes. On the ordinary human level, a hunger strike is considered a form of protest against unlawful persecution. Many Dafa practitioners in China resort to holding hunger strikes as a means to protest persecution; it creates a shocking and frightening effect on the perpetrators. Many Dafa practitioners have endured arduous hunger strikes and been able to uprightly break out of the evil's den. Therefore, even though some practitioners might temporarily show their fear or attachments during their hunger strike, we should not deny their righteousness and belief in Dafa. However, even with its rightfulness, we should not carry out a hunger strike as a standard formula or a fixed means for solving a problem. We should not consider any problem encountered during a hunger strike to be beyond questioning. As considering anything that absolute would create a loophole for the evil to take advantage and cause tremendous losses for Dafa practitioners and the sentient beings whose only hope to be saved is the Dafa practitioners.
For Dafa practitioners, hunger strikes cannot be used as a means or model for solving problems in ordinary human society; one needs to treat it with a clear mind from the standpoint of the Fa. We need to ask ourselves: Why do I want to go on a hunger strike? Why not? How do I proceed with a hunger strike? How do I proceed without a hunger strike?
Actually, a hunger strike is not the only means to resist persecution, even after losing one's personal freedom.
During the Fa-rectification period, as Dafa practitioners, we should be more open in our thinking; we should enhance our behavior in validating the Fa on the basis of Fa-rectification. Besides the use of a hunger strike to righteously break though the old forces' arrangements, there are many examples of other means described on the Clearwisdom website. From my personal viewpoint, clarifying the truth and sending righteous thoughts with an unwavering mind should be our most powerful means to resist persecution and eliminate evil. Since a hunger strike is still a way for ordinary humans to protest injustice, what Dafa practitioners face is not the same as everyday people; the source of persecution Dafa practitioners encounter exists in other dimensions. If the old forces' behind-the-scenes-helpers and rotten ghosts did not exist in other dimensions, the evil in the human dimension would not dare to do those things. We need to understand clearly the nature of the persecution, and directly eliminate the evil controlling the individuals committing those evil deeds in order to thoroughly prevent persecution and demonstrate the power of Dafa. This part can't be done by ordinary people, but can only be done by Dafa practitioners, since it will be more effective, more fundamental, and extraordinary.