Do Not Use a Critical Eye When Studying or Memorizing the Fa
(Clearwisdom.net) To study the Fa (1) well is the most important thing that a Falun Dafa practitioner should do. It is the prerequisite for and the assurance of our validating the Fa well. The quality and the effectiveness of our studying the Fa will be diminished if we don't keep a calm state of mind when studying the Fa, if we allow various kinds of interference to affect us, or if we don't have high respect towards Teacher and the Fa. Another serious barrier is that when studying the Fa, some fellow practitioners tend to discriminate, using a critical eye to look at the Fa. They split the Fa into categories like "important," "not so important," "related to myself," and "unrelated to myself." They think the Fa lectures are more important than the question and answer (Q&A) sessions. Within the Q&A section, they think that those parts that directly target their attachments or the things Teacher repeatedly talks about are more important. Also they think some articles by Teacher are more essential than others. Even within one article, they pay more attention to some paragraphs or sentences.
All these incorrect mindsets might not have obvious manifestations. The practitioners might not even clearly realize this issue themselves. However, because they use a critical eye when studying the Fa, they intentionally or unintentionally pick what they like to read. For example, they read some of the lectures a lot while seldom touching some other lectures; they pay more attention to some Fa principles while skimming through some others. When it comes to memorizing the Fa, those practitioners prefer memorizing some lectures to others. They spend a lot of time and are very fluent with some chapters but not all chapters. They even pick a few paragraphs within one article and only memorize those few paragraphs while ignoring the rest since they think those paragraphs are "well said," "very important," or "directly related to themselves." Personally, I don't think this is the correct way to study the Fa. I believe it diminishes the quality and effectiveness of the Fa-study.
There are many reasons for this phenomenon. The essential one is that those practitioners don't truly and rationally understand the Fa. Instead, they are attached to the superficial words, to their own feelings, or to their own emotions towards the Fa. Teacher said that the words are superficial, while it is the meaning behind the words that really matters and that the majority of the true improvements and huge changes are happening in other dimensions that we might not be able to see or feel. Therefore, when studying the Fa, the superficial words or our own notions should not affect us. All the Fa lectures and articles are equally important and related to us no matter whether or not we feel them to be important or related. We should read the whole lecture or the whole article when studying the Fa. We should not pick and only read what we'd like to read. Using a critical eye shows disrespect towards the Fa. Of course, Teacher gave a lot of Fa lectures and we have to balance our time well. I think it's alright for us to focus on one lecture until we finish it, or spend more time on reading or memorizing one lecture or one article when it talks about our own attachments or when we get enlightened to some parts of it. However, we should not continuously use a critical eye and we should not favor some lectures or articles over others. When trying to memorize an article, we should do it with the whole article.
Another major reason for this phenomenon is that some practitioners don't want to let go of their fundamental attachment; therefore, they will skip or be unwilling to read the part of the Fa that talks about their attachment. They don't want to make requirements for themselves based on the Fa. Many practitioners who can't step forward to validate the Fa or those who "enlighten" along an evil path tend to act like this.
Teacher talked about different subjects at different lectures because the practitioners who attended the lectures were in different cultivation states. Sometimes, Teacher used different styles of wording in different lectures and articles. Because of our educational background, personal preferences, and other factors, we might develop attachments to some of the lectures or articles. For example, those of us who like the classical literary style might favor Teacher's poems or articles written in ancient Chinese prose. Teacher mentioned that ancient Chinese prose was beautiful and had deep meanings. However, what Teacher said or wrote is the Fa instead of everyday people's literature. Teacher uses a variety styles or formats when teaching the Fa. Therefore, we should not get attached to the superficial styles or formats of the Fa.
Every word from Teacher is Fa. There are countless Buddhas, Daos and Gods, as well as boundless inner meaning behind every word of the Fa. We should cherish and respect every word of the Fa. We should not use a critical eye when studying the Fa.
The above is my personal understanding. Please correct me if anything is inappropriate.
(1) Fa: law and principles; the teachings of Falun Dafa.