My Understanding of "Not Striking Back When Beaten, Not Swearing Back When Sworn At"
"Not striking back when beaten and not swearing back when sworn at" are fundamental requirements of the Fa for a cultivator. In the last few years, since I've started practicing cultivation, I have often thought that these requirements are not difficult to follow, and that all practitioners should have no problems doing so. However, I discovered recently that what I'd considered easy to achieve was not, as all along, I was evaluating things from an everyday person's point of view. In other words, I was actually using the understanding of an everyday person, the most superficial principle of Fa, as a base reference.
Teacher's words, "Not striking back when beaten and not swearing back when sworn at," are the Fa, and are directives for cultivators. Their meaning is different from the viewpoint of everyday people. Of course, the comprehension of ordinary people is also an understanding of the principle, but from the human world's perspective.
Indeed, Dafa is most profound. In my recent Fa study, I was enlightened to some of its profundity, which struck me that not only was I not attaining the level required by "not striking back when beaten and not swearing back when sworn at," but I was also very poor at it. I am writing this down to share it with our fellow practitioners.
This morning during my Fa study, I came across the following passage, which suddenly opened my mind:
"For example, upon arriving at work, a person overhears two people slandering him in terrible language and he becomes irritated. Yet we have said that as a practitioner, one must follow higher standards of conduct and should be able to behave by - not striking back when beaten and not swearing back when sworn at." (Zhuan Falun Lecture 4)
Here, Teacher explains a basic requirement of a practitioner using an example to illustrate the principle. The two people did not strike him or swear at him, but were using bad language behind his back. Under such a circumstance, Teacher still requires the practitioner to be able to behave by "not striking back when beaten and not swearing back when sworn at."
This is my new understanding: If I got hurt or was being treated unjustly, instead of calming myself down, I got into an argument with people, then I hadn't yet measured myself up to the level as required by "not striking back when beaten and not swearing back when sworn at." One does not necessarily have to be in a situation when someone actually strikes or abuses us.
A similar principle can be applied to interactions among our fellow practitioners. If someone pointed out our mistake, regardless whether his viewpoint was correct or incorrect, instead of looking inside ourselves, we tried to pick on the person in order to protect ourselves, then we hadn't met the requirements of "not striking back when beaten and not swearing back when sworn at."
Different cultivation levels will give rise to different viewpoints as well. Let's look at this scenario - A fellow practitioner told me that I was wrong, but I maintained my own stance, did not display a correct attitude and got into an argument with him. This practitioner then found someone else to talk to me about it. If I still could not display the right attitude, but instead, tried to gain sympathy and support from my other friends, then, the whole situation would turn out exactly like what Teacher has said, "He's got his people, I've got mine. Let's start a fight" (Zhuan Falun Lecture 4). There is no difference really. Isn't it also a demonstration of our aggressive nature?
The example given by Teacher appears simple, but has a profound meaning, which of course, is a directive for cultivation. If we do not have a calm mind during Fa study, or if we have attachments, how can we recognize the different levels of Fa? Oftentimes, we may think this way - I may not be in the best state of mind, but I have understood the general meaning from the Fa study session. Yes, the general meaning and that's all. Studying the Fa this way only refreshes our memory towards the meaning of the wordings as perceived by everyday people. It is not the in depth meaning of Fa.