On Assumptions and the Environment
I. About assumptions
Since July 20, 1999, from the moment when the evil came out overwhelmingly, I had been looking forward to an end to all of this with a strong attachment to time. I was yearning for an end with the idea: "Endure it, depend on others, and wait to see", subconsciously following the arrangements of the old forces in the universe. I even thought when reciting the Fa that I would be able to study the Fa in custody if I were to be arrested. Because of my attachments, I was persecuted by the evil and forced into a detention center.
In the detention center, I was thinking that it was not the right place for me, that I should be home. At the same time, I thought that if I were to be put into a forced labor camp, I might be "transformed", because so many other diligent practitioners had turned against Dafa there. Therefore, I decided I would rather stay there and be sentenced than be taken to a forced labor camp. All of these assumptions of mine were in fact acknowledging the persecution. Then I started to recite the Fa, and gradually my thoughts became clear. My mind became clearer with the reading of every article of the Fa, and I became more steadfast in the Fa. I truly understood how it feels to be melted into the Fa during that period. However, afraid of enduring the hardship, I was not able to deny the arrangement of the old forces. I believed at the time that to deny the arrangement of the old forces was just to do well. Based on this mistake, I obeyed the evil's arrangement while reciting the Fa at every possible moment. I thought that if I were forced into prison, I would do better when facing the evil brainwashing sessions, because I would recite more of the Fa. I did not really understand Master's words:
"But, the ability of Dafa disciples to validate the Fa isn't for the purpose of enduring this persecution, and even less is it for clarifying the truth among the world's people. I only asked Dafa disciples to clarify the truth because persecution has taken place and has caused this situation. To put it more clearly, Dafa disciples don't exist in order to clarify the truth; we do that because the old forces caused this persecution and we were left with no choice. We are making use of this persecution while we defy it, and we are establishing even greater mighty virtue for Dafa disciples as we clarify the truth."(Teaching the Fa, Easter, 2004, at the New York Fa Conference)
Just before I was released from prison, I was wondering whether the 610 Office would intercept me, and what I would do if this happened. After realizing this thought was not correct, I immediately eliminated it. The evil latched on to this thought, though, and repeatedly interfered with me. In those days, I was always making many assumptions at the occurrence of each event, which was a habit I had formed before I started cultivation. I had these thoughts over and over again, and then I found out that such thinking was incorrect, and thus eliminated them. But afterwards the same thoughts would come back, and I eliminated them again, causing myself a lot of suffering in the process.
Now, I understand that all those assumptions actually stemmed from my "selfishness." Selfishness is thinking only of oneself and something formed after birth. It is a passive, negative mindset and a part of the communist culture, formed under the fierce lead of the communist party, to alter and protect oneself. It makes you imagine the worst and live in paranoia, and it makes you surrender and be controlled by it. Over time, it becomes second nature and you don't even notice that you are being manipulated. Therefore, I tell myself to distinguish between thoughts: "That thought is not truly me, I have to control it, stop it from appearing, and ultimately it must be eliminated."
There is a saying, "Act only after thinking carefully." I used to think that the way I deliberated for a long time over things was what this referred to. But now I realize that the true "thinking carefully" should be to think about things in advance, to think whether I should do it or not, whether it will hurt others or not, and whether it is in accordance with the principles of being a good person.
Master told us, "In Fa-Rectification Your Thoughts Have to be Righteous, Not Human." The so-called assumptions are the human notions that need to be eliminated.
II. About the Environment
When I was sent to prison, because of the upright thinking and behavior and dedication of those practitioners sent in before me, some prisons developed a relatively good environment. Practitioners could study, practice, not be monitored, not have to do any labor, etc. Meanwhile, with Master's blessings and fellow practitioners' coordination, the evil was restrained. Of course, the evil persecution never stops. In such a harsh situation, we insist on doing the three things to create a better environment.
There was one time, when a practitioner was thrown into an isolation cell, the news spread fast around the prison. After discussion, we decided to request his release from the staff in the prison. The staff tried to turn down our request with rude and unreasonable words, but we remained unmoved. On the second day, we were told that he was freed. Because the evil always lies and deceives, we needed proof that it was true and sent somebody there to visit. They agreed to it. Afterwards, we found out that practitioners from other prisons also helped us in their own way.
Because of our continuous effort, the environment became better and better. At that time, I was feeling confident. But looking back, what we did satisfied the pre-existing environment only--I only focused on the goal of building a good environment, not the process of doing so. Then, when I needed to be on a higher level, new problems arose. Sometimes, there were differences in our understanding of Dafa, so problems occurred on some issues, gaps appeared in our group coordination, and the evil took advantage. For example, in order to try to break through while maintaining our existing environment, there were disagreements with some practitioners' righteous thoughts and actions. The difficulties at the time were about how to maintain the present situation, how to withstand the persecution, and about hoping for and waiting for the time to pass by. We overlooked thinking about how to negate the persecution fundamentally and break through the obstacles before us. We relied too much on the group to help us, rather than diligently improving step by step. When we dealt with problems with a human mentality instead of righteous thoughts, especially when facing lies and tricks from the authorities, it was so easy to be hindered by them.
While in prison, facing the evil constantly requires strong righteous thoughts all the time, as once there is a loophole, the evil will take advantage of it. Subjected to these conditions over such a long time and placed under huge mental pressure and painful torture, one needs strong willpower and steadfast righteous thoughts. The fundamental attachment was that of selfishness. As Master said, "With attachments left behind, the lightened boats sail swiftly" (The Knowing Heart)
Cultivation is very serious--let us all strive forward together diligently.