Surface Form and the Heart (IV)
May 26, 2003
(Clearwisdom.net) After the persecution of Falun Dafa started on July 20, 1999, the home of many volunteer assistants of the practice sites were searched and Dafa books and related materials were confiscated. Hearing the news, my husband and I were thinking of taking the Dafa books to a safe place. Just then, a bunch of people came to our home and took my husband away, saying that he was the volunteer assistant at a practice site. At that time, we had a lot of Dafa books at home. My mind was racing on how to protect the books. I thought that Dafa had saved my life. At such a critical time, I had to protect the Dafa books with my life. I had a strong righteous thought to protect them.
However, I was also concerned about what would happen to my husband. I was tormented by anxiety and uneasiness. Again the thought of protecting the books stood out in my mind. I had so many books that I had to find a car, but I couldn't find one available after making several attempts. I couldn't carry the books out of the building by myself. So I asked a practitioner to help. He wouldn't dare come to my place. Then I went to my relative's home. She also was reluctant to come with me. My daughter and her husband were at work, and I had to baby-sit their daughter, so I returned home to think of a way. After some hard thinking, I got an idea. When I went out with my granddaughter, I saw someone keeping watch on my home. The idea didn't seem workable under the circumstances, so I had to turn back. I was so sad. Then I thought I shouldn't be depressed. I had to face the situation.
At the time, my husband and I were staying in my daughter's home. She and her husband were both serving in the army. Just as my heart was burning with anxiety, I heard that the military compound we were living in was going to be closed. No one was allowed to go in or out. A government document regarding the Falun Gong issue was to be read to the people. I realized that it would be even harder for me to get the books out. The living areas for the troops and their families were all very quiet. There were few people in sight. They all went to listen to the government document regarding Falun Gong. I was at home, caught in my anxiety. I thought of one idea after another. None of them seemed good enough. Time was passing by quickly. They started to read the government document. At any time they might come over to my home and confiscate the books. My granddaughter started to cry out for food. I couldn't hold back my tears any more. All sorts of deviated ideas popped out. It was really a challenge to keep righteous thoughts during this tribulation .
I thought that if I were an everyday person, I would certainly have a good fight with the people who dared to steal Dafa books from me. However, Master told us practitioners to treat others with benevolence. I felt like I had no way out from the pressure and felt like killing myself in defiance. Yet Master said in his lecture in Sydney that committing suicide is a sin. I talked to Master in my heart, "Master, it is the right thing to protect Dafa books. Why don't you help me?" Disappointment, doubts, and the thought of being wronged all popped into my mind.
After crying for some time, I calmed down. Suddenly, I thought of taking the Fa as Master. So I opened Hong Yin The poem I opened to was "Being Calm in Tribulation". As a practitioner, I should keep a calm mind in a crisis. I thought about how Dafa saved me from a severe illness. I also thought about the power of Dafa that I had experienced again and again during my practice and understanding of the Fa principles. I had experienced all that myself. How could I have any doubts of Dafa? I thought in tears that I had to take the books to a safer place.
My granddaughter started to cry again for food. I decided to buy some food for her and calm myself down. At the gate I saw the guard in a heated quarrel with a driver, who had found the wallet and ID of an officer and came to look for him. The guard said that he had orders from his supervisors not to let anybody in or out. I went up and convinced the guard to let the driver in. The driver was thankful to me. I told him I really like to help kind-hearted people. Then I asked if he would help me move some things. He immediately said, "Yes." He drove the car to the front of my building. The body of the car blocked the sight of the person on watch. He probably would have never imagined what happened. I asked the driver to help me carry cartons of books into his car. Then I got into the car myself. He drove me to a safe place. I wanted to pay him, but the kind-hearted person refused. When I insisted, he almost became angry. So I gave up.
The incident left a very deep impression on me. If I merely looked at the surface manifestation, there seemed to be no way out, no car, no one to help, not being allowed to get in or out. According to human logic, it was absolutely impossible to get the books out and I was surrounded by one danger after another. Yet, Dafa is boundless and powerful. Master's arrangement is just so perfect. Had I went out a few minutes earlier, the driver might not have arrived yet. Had I been several minutes later, he might have gone. My granddaughter just asked me to get her food at that moment. If we looked at the surface manifestation, we would be confused and feel it was impossible to do anything. If we consider something as it stands, we would be stuck. However, if we try to get out of it and look at the core through the surface manifestation, and at the same time rectify our hearts, many problems would be solved along with the upgrading of our hearts.
The moment I rectified my state of mind and consolidated my firm belief in Master as well as the heart to protect the books, the miracle happened.
"If the attachments at your human-surface side aren't removed, then Master and the Law-guardian Gods are put in a tough position. But if your righteous thoughts are strong, then Master and the Law-guardian Gods can do anything for you." ("Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
It seemed that the surface manifestation was there for us to realize our attachments. When our hearts change, the surrounding environment changes also. Master says,
"I hope that every Dafa disciple won't overemphasize the surface form of things. Your own cultivation, your own improvement, your validating the Fa amidst the evil, saving sentient beings, and steadfastly walking the path that you should take, doing all these well, that's what counts most. " ("Lecturing on and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference")
Gods value the heart rather than the form. In Gods' eyes, every manifestation in the human world is like passing clouds that change all the time. It is not the true nature of matter and won't last long. Man regards the matter itself as difficult, but Gods regard the upgrading of one's heart as difficult. Man looks at the result, while Gods look at the process. Man looks at the surface manifestation of the successful result, while Gods look at the actual effect in the process.
Because man looks at the surface manifestation, he overemphasizes his ability and always tries to get success through his human ability. Sometimes he puts in more efforts to validate his own ability rather than to validate Dafa. However, man's ability is too limited. Therefore, it is hard for him to be successful. Gods look at the upgrading of one's heart and take the matter as something pretty easy to deal with. Gods' divine power is tremendous, and Dafa's power is even more boundless. Once the heart is upgraded to a higher level, things will change along with the rectified heart and the righteous thoughts. When the heart reaches a certain level, success comes naturally. Even if it's not the right time for success to manifest at the surface, the actual success is there.
Because man looks at the surface manifestation, he is always wondering when all this will come to an end. He forgets to see whether his heart has upgraded to the level of consummation, nor does he look whether the hearts of Dafa disciples have, as a whole, reached that level. When our hearts have reached that level and fulfilled our mission of validating Dafa and saving sentient beings, it is time for all this to end. Because the human sides of the practitioners make us look at the surface manifestation, we have problems cooperating with one another. It is just like focusing on Jigong's eating meat, ignoring that the surface manifestation often gives one a false impression. His eating meat is merely an illusion. The truth is that Jigong had long discarded the attachment to meat. This reflects that some people are attached to others' attachments instead of looking at their own attachments.
Because man looks at the surface manifestation, he tends to judge from the surface and concludes that we are having a fight with the evil and bad people. Master says,
"One righteous thought itself subdues a hundred evil things."
Actually, it is a battle with our known and unknown attachments. As to the evil elements, we are going to eliminate them. As to the people in this world, we are going to save them. If we take it as a fight with the evil and the bad people, we are likely to find ourselves stuck in the specific work. Because man looks at the surface manifestation, he is likely to be restrained by regulations and fetters and fail to make better use of all sorts of forms in this human world for the Fa-rectification.
Due to the fact that man looks at the surface manifestation, he generates the heart of pursuit. He cannot reach the state of Wuwei (with no intent). He only waits for the external changes and forgets that his internal changes will bring the external changes. For example, some might have expectations for those with political power and look for them to give us favor, forgetting that it is us who are to save sentient beings. One thought in our hearts determines whether many sentient beings will be saved.
Because man looks at the surface manifestation, he generates the heart to focus on the work. He focuses on how great things look at the surface and ignores the actual effect. It's like pulling teeth with the method in western medicine, doing things with force rather than with heart and the divine power Dafa bestowed upon us. Because man looks at the surface manifestation, he emphasizes the success of the lawsuit against Jiang manifested at the surface.
After studying "Lecturing on and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference", I realized that the actual success is that Dafa disciples' hearts are upgraded to a higher level as a whole and that we have fulfilled the goal of validating Dafa, saving sentient beings, and exposing and eliminating the evil. Gods wouldn't care about the gain and loss in this human world. Nor do they care for the success manifested on surface. Nonetheless, the lawsuit against the head of the evil is an opportunity to get actual success. We should work together to make good use of this opportunity. Because man looks at the surface manifestation, he can't balance the relationship of matters, and is thus unable to understand the Fa and look at things harmoniously. For example, when talking about "letting go," one thinks of letting go in formality, sometimes ignoring the attachments that should really be discarded.
Overestimating the surface form and ignoring the heart and the true nature of the matter will result in many attachments. As practitioners have a god side and human side, if we emphasize the upgrading of our hearts and are not moved by the surface form, we could better restrain our human side and let the power of our god side be displayed.
It's easy to say but hard to do for me, especially while in tribulation. I am easily moved by the usual habitual thoughts and often look at the surface, ignoring the heart. Even though I know that I should look within myself, sometimes I still fail to find the attachments.
I realize that I have to put in more efforts in Fa-study and change my usual habit of thinking. When I lay a good foundation in practice, I will be able to gradually understand the true nature of matter and not be tempted by the surface manifestations.
Due to the limited level and understanding, the above is only for your reference. Please kindly point out anything improper.
For Parts I, II and III, please see