Relinquish Human Notions and Understand the Fa from the Perspective of the Fa
What are human notions and how should we understand the Fa [universal law and principles] from the perspective of the Fa? I personally think that once we were born into the human world, all of the concepts that we employed to understand things and all of the knowledge that we had learned before we obtained the Fa are basically human devices. However, once we obtained the Fa, what we learn from Zhuan Falun [the principal teachings of Falun Dafa], including every word and every sentence that Teacher speaks to us, are all Fa -- the Law of the cosmos. Teacher says, "Already a god when obtaining the Fa" (Provisional translation from 'Saving All Sentient Beings' in Hong Yin). Then what is a "god" and what is the "Fa"? As practitioners, when we study the Fa, oftentimes, we still do not entirely believe in the Fa. We tend to use human notions to study the Fa and are not able to assimilate to the Fa-principles, and thus we cannot understand the Fa from the perspective of the Fa.
Once when I was distributing truth-clarification materials, I had the following thought: if the people in this house get up in the morning, walk out of the door and find these truth-clarification materials, after they have read the materials and understand the facts, they would be saved. Teacher's Fa came to mind, "If someone hears the Dao in the morning, he can die at dusk" (Provisional translation from the Lecture at the Conference in Europe). I understood that Teacher had just taught me a principle of the Fa, which is to believe. Teacher has also told us the story in which a practitioner in the Dao School jumped into a wine gourd; actually this story also tells us the same principle, to believe. Every sentence that Teacher teaches us is the Fa, and it possesses the enormous power of the Fa.
When we are cultivating ourselves, clarifying the truth and validating the Fa, if we allow our every thought and every action to be assimilated to the Fa, and if we can understand the Fa from the perspective of the Fa, isn't this striving forward and ascending in cultivation? Through this process we will gradually assimilate to the Fa at each level of the cosmos and keep ascending in our cultivation. As a result, we will naturally possess the power of a divine being. Teacher tells us, "One's gong level is as high as one's xinxing level" (Zhuan Falun), and "Matter and mind are one thing" (Provisional translation, Lecture at the Australia Fa Conference). In fact, every righteous thought that you have obtained through cultivation displays at different levels the power of the Fa and the power of a divine being. However, when we find areas in ourselves that fall short of the Fa, it is just as Teacher says,
"As a matter of fact, this results from an inadequate understanding of the Fa by your human side. You have humanly restrained your divine side; in other words, you have restrained the parts that have been successfully cultivated ..." ("Expounding on the Fa" -- Essentials for Future Advancement).
I personally have many deep reflections in this regard based on my own experiences, which I would like to share with you below.
On one occasion during the winter of 2001, I loaded my trailer with logs at the top of a hill. It was snowing heavily and the road was slippery. While going down the hill, a wooden part on the trailer suddenly broke, causing the trailer to lose control. Not far in front me the road took a sudden turn. At that moment, I thought that it would be dangerous if it continued like this, and it would be nice if the trailer would stop right away. Surprisingly, the runaway trailer was suddenly brought to a stop. I felt deeply grateful, as I knew that Teacher protected me.
The next day, I went back to transport logs again. Since the logs were quite large and heavy, it was difficult me to load them all by myself. I thought that it would be nice if there was someone to help me at the other end of the log. Just as I had this thought, when I loaded the log, the other end moved in a way as if there were another person helping me to load it. The location at which it was loaded, and the angle at which the timber was arranged were all perfect. To my surprise, it was very easy for me to load all the logs. On the way home, Teacher's words came into my mind one by one. I suddenly thought of the teaching, "matter and mind are one thing" (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun). Teacher also told us,
"At higher levels, things will be formed if you just start to think a little, and by just holding one thought will result in the creation of something" (unofficial translation Zhuan Falun II). I understood that Teacher taught me this aspect of the Fa with the log moving issue. It reminded me that I was no longer an everyday person and I possessed divine power. But I was still using human notions to regard myself! I recalled Teacher's words,
"You should also be clear that "natural" does not exist, and "the inevitable" has reasons behind it... I am not asking you to intentionally do something. I am only trying to make you understand the principles of the Fa so that you will have a clear understanding of this" ("Expounding on the Fa" in Essentials for Future Advancement).
The day after this experience, a practitioner suddenly asked me what was the shell of a human being. I thought it over a bit and replied, "from human notions, a human's shell is the surface of a human being, but from the Fa, the shell of a human being refers to human notions. Human notions are the shells". After that, I told the practitioner about my miraculous experiences over the previous two days when I was transporting the wood, as well as what I had enlightened to.
In order to completely oppose everything arranged by the evil old forces, many Dafa practitioners being held against their will in various places are turning from passively enduring the persecution and thus falling into the arrangements of the old forces, to using hunger strikes to break through the persecution. Practitioners have thus broken through the persecution and gotten out of the detention centers in an open and dignified manner. However, there are quite a number of practitioners who are still confined by human notions and dare not move forward one more step. For example, in forced labor camps, some steadfast practitioners held hunger strikes to resist the persecution. If all practitioners would take action together, the evil would be dealt a heavy blow. But some practitioners believed that since they usually have a good appetite, they were worried that they would feel hungry if they held a hunger strike and had to do the heavy labor, and hence they didn't participate in the hunger strike. This is actually restricting themselves with human notions. Teacher says in the section on Bigu in Zhuan Falun that, "Bigu actually refers to a special cultivation method in a specific environment." If we use human notions to understand this Fa, we would think it only refers to a previous cultivation method used for secret practice or solitary cultivation in remote mountains or woods. However, what Teacher says is the Fa. It has deeper meanings at different levels. I think that if we can break through this human shell, truly understand the Fa from the Fa, maintain a righteous belief in Teacher, maintain a righteous belief in the side of us that has cultivated well, and believe that what we are doing is the most righteous thing, any miracle can take place.
During my hunger strike, I always held this thought: "With Teacher here and with the Fa here, what should I be afraid of? Allow my divine side to play a role." I often asked Teacher to strengthen me. As a result, during that period, I really didn't have the feeling of being hungry. Instead, my mouth was often moistened with a sweet liquid. In the first two weeks, I didn't experience any weight loss but looked healthy and even rosy. Others all found it hard to believe. Once, just as I went to bed, I felt as if I floated up in the air. It is really hard to describe that wonderful feeling. I knew that Teacher was watching, strengthening and encouraging me. One day, I enlightened to the fact that I could not just stay here in detention like this. I needed to go out to validate the Fa. I thought, "let me become thin and have some symptoms of starvation." Indeed, I soon became skinny and my health turned bad. When they sent me for a medical examination, I held this thought: "Let's check it. Let's exhibit all the expected illnesses." As a result, the examination showed that all my internal organs, except my lungs, had serious problems. It is really so, that whatever I think of is what I will have. In this manner, I left the forced labor camp in an open and dignified manner after more than 20 days of hunger strike. While walking through the entrance of the labor camp, I thought, "I don't have any problems. I am a Dafa practitioner -- how could I have illnesses?" On the train home, I became more and more healthy. When I arrived home, all my symptoms disappeared. It is really impossible to explain and understand these facts using human concepts and notions.
Teacher talked about cultivation practice in the "Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference" and told us,
"You know what? Just on the one issue of cultivation alone it's so complex at the cosmos's lower levels. But it becomes simple at higher levels, where there's no longer any concept of cultivation but only the concept of karma elimination. At levels higher up, all troubles are to pave the way for ascending to Heaven. And at even higher levels, concepts like eliminating karma, enduring hardships, and cultivation no longer exist, and it's just a choice! This is the principle at high levels of the cosmos: you think someone is good enough, so you choose him--that's the principle. 'Cultivation? We didn't arrange cultivation for him. What's cultivation? We just want to cleanse it, cleanse it step by step, all the way up. Cleanse it--it's as simple as that!' Yet when manifest at different levels, it becomes paving the way, having troubles, enduring hardships, eliminating karma, cultivating, and so on, cultivating one way, practicing another way..."
Teacher also says, "Different levels have different Fa" (Zhuan Falun). We are cultivating ourselves in the Fa-rectification period. From a higher level, however, it is just a matter of choice. All lives at different levels have a choice. Teacher told us in "Towards Consummation" (Essentials for Further Advancement II),
"Everyone's behavior, good or bad, fully reflects the outcome he will obtain. Sentient beings, your future positions are chosen by you, yourselves."
Presently, our truth clarification is to help sentient beings to establish a correct choice for themselves. If a person, after our truth clarification, understands that Dafa is good, or if he was previously involved in the persecution and after he has learned the truth, he stops persecuting Dafa practitioners, he will be saved. He will not be eliminated. It is his choice, a choice to not be eliminated. If this person doesn't listen to the truth about Dafa and still holds the notions obtained from the slanderous lies and still persecutes Dafa practitioners, he chooses to be eliminated. That is his choice. Our Dafa practitioners choose to "Obtain the Fa and return through cultivation" (Hong Yin). In the entire cosmos, at all the levels of enormous cosmic bodies that are experiencing the Fa rectification, Teacher has taught the Fa to all the Gods, including those who are involved in the Fa rectification arranged by the old forces. The Gods at different levels also have their choices. In the Fa rectification period, all lives in different levels have their own choices. The Fa of the universe gives lives in different levels a chance to select what they want. After the immense force of Fa-rectification sweeps through, those impure lives, thoughts, and factors will be eliminated. The entire firmament will be renewed and there only will remain lives, thoughts, and factors that are in conformity with the principles of the righteous Fa -- with Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance. After the Fa rectification, the entire firmament will not have anything that is impure. Isn't the purpose of the final elimination to cleanse the firmament? In the course of cultivation, Dafa practitioners, as Teacher says, are "to get rid of their human attachments and all the other bad things that they carry ("The Vows of Gods are Being Fulfilled," Essentials for Further Advancement II) and become more and more pure, until we are completely pure. It is to cleanse the dust on Dafa practitioners. Isn't there a cleaning process at each of the different levels? We are able to enlighten to what the Fa is only when we have broken through the "shell" of humans and understand the Fa from the perspective of the Fa.
Finally, let's use Teacher's words from "The Vows of Gods are Being Fulfilled" (Essentials for Further Advancement II) to encourage each other,
"You should know that people who are to be saved need to pay off, through arduous cultivation, all the sins and karma that they generated in the past doing bad things, they need to get rid of their human attachments and all the other bad things that they carry, and at the same time they need to rectify their behavior and thinking. Only then can they be saved. ...because a cultivator has to eliminate his sins and karma during arduous cultivation, and, after being purified, move towards Consummation."
The above is only my personal understanding. Please kindly point out any inaccuracies.