A Brief Discussion on Forms and Formalities
From the perspective of an everyday person's level, forms and formalities are certain models and rules that mankind's thoughts and behavior follow, which keep society in order. As society developed and progressed by this perpetual force, some forms and formalities changed accordingly, whereas some became fixed models that have restrained people's thinking and behaviors. From the standpoint of history, some fixed thinking and behavior patterns therefore stabilized and became an invisible, perpetual force controlling human society.
As cultivators we should free ourselves from this perpetual force in order to think and act rationally and clearheadedly. Of course it is a very difficult process to break through this constant and regular force that has accumulated throughout history. In cultivators' terms, it requires certain types of energy to break through this obstacle. However, after we make breakthroughs, it's even more difficult for us to rationally, clearheadedly and properly steer ourselves in the right direction, namely, to be able to handle and make use of our energy properly.
As for the issue of forms and formalities, how do cultivators view it? My understanding is that we first need to be clear about which ones are man-made forms and formalities and which ones are forms and formalities of the cosmos's own orderly mechanism of operation. This requires our understanding of Fa-principles and hence insightful observation of nature's natural working mechanism. Only through this can we use true scientific principles to harmonize the human world. Here the key is "man-made." Man-made refers to untrue, blind, narrow and low. Accordingly, only when we see clearly what is "man-made" can we then understand the real truth.
Cultivation is a process of constantly eliminating attachments. Accordingly, we should not be attached to any forms or formalities. But that does not mean that there should not be any forms or formalities. If we also go beyond eliminating attachments, then we reach the level of making choices. Teacher says in Zhuan Falun:
"But we, in contrast, focus directly on your mind, we cultivate by following the universe's highest nature, and we cultivate by following the universe's form. So it's only natural that our gong grows fast."
In "Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature" Teacher also says:
"You must be clear that the form of cultivation practice that I leave you can never be altered."
My understanding is that the forms Teachers refers to here are not everyday people's so-called "man-made" forms. Actually, they are the manifestation of the universe's Fa-principles.
My understanding is that, whether it is the old cosmos or the new cosmos, they are all consistently and yet mysteriously rotating and progressing in their own forms. The forms and formalities that human's understand are fixed and rigid. If we free ourselves from human notions and look at it from a cultivator's perspective, forms and formalities not only change constantly, but their changes are also made in an orderly fashion (Rather than disordered. The so-called disorder is a noun that mankind uses because the human brain cannot acknowledge it, that's all). Therefore, to sum it up, everything has forms and formalities and is orderly.
For example, on the path of validating Dafa, a person thinks that writing or refusing to write the so-called "guarantee statements" is just a formality that he does not have to be obligated to. Then he does not have a comprehensive understanding of the Fa-principles of the universe's form. Yet another person may think that as long as he has never written the so-called "guarantee statements" and he has followed the cultivation form required by Teacher, then he has passed the test like that. Then, even less has he understood the true essence of forms and formalities. Because forms and formalities are manifestations of inner nature, we can say that forms and nature are one and the same. In other words, whether your standpoint regarding thought and xinxing are in line with the new cosmos's form determines whether you can assimilate into the new cosmos's principles.
As Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, not only should we break through the constant and regular forces accumulated throughout history at this human level, but we should also free ourselves from the old cosmos's principles. In the process of validating the new cosmos's principles, we should understand the new cosmos's form. Therefore, a true cultivator should constantly understand the Fa-principles, while at the same time constantly assimilate to the cosmos's form. Then we will not have problems understanding that the higher the level of an enlightened being, the less he will disrupt everyday people's perceptions. Because with just one glance of his eyes, an enlightened being can see everything clearly. In the cosmos's form he exists in a state of grand freedom. We can also say that he is one and the same with the cosmos.