(Clearwisdom.net) The paths of cultivation are arranged differently for different cultivators, therefore, the manifestation of personal attachments varies. They could manifest as an attachment to consummation and the end of pain, to the completion of Fa rectification, qing, or fear. No matter the surface appearance, the root of all attachments is selfishness, regardless of their manifestations.

Come to think of it, if a person who lives completely for the other sentient beings in the universe, bears no selfishness and always puts others first, can such an enlightened being have any of the aforementioned attachments? Definitely not! Therefore, I would say that the source of all attachments is selfishness. Knowing this, we should target our fundamental attachments directly in the course of cultivation practice. Only when we truly let go of self and abide by higher standards in our daily lives can we step out of humanness and walk well the path of Fa rectification.

Selfishness is a manifestation of the xinxing state of sentient beings in the old cosmos that deviated from the Fa. Even the old forces, claiming to test Dafa disciples, are motivated by selfishness. Before obtaining the Fa, Dafa practitioners were beings of the old cosmos. Their thoughts and behavior were no different than other sentient beings. The goal of cultivation practice is to assimilate to the Fa, and gradually eliminate attachments layer by layer. We need to measure up to Dafa's high standards. Only when we constantly cultivate our speech, behavior, and thoughts can we eliminate these attachments. Otherwise, when one slacks off in cultivation, his selfishness comes out. Moreover, if a practitioner doesn't learn the Fa well, such attachments will interfere with him more and more, leading to his giving up cultivation and practice. In my opinion, those who didn't catch up with other practitioners after July 20, 1999 and those who exhibited a despondent state and slacked in their resolve to be diligent, and are attached to the duration of Fa-rectification are manipulated by the substance of selfishness.

Teacher requires us to cultivate ourselves into selfless enlightened beings and always put others first. At this phase of Fa rectification, I came to realize that this is a realm and standard a true Dafa disciple has to reach. Though in the beginning of personal cultivation, some practitioners thought the state of selflessness is almost impossible to reach. They dared not even think about it, and bore this idea: "whatever level I can attain, let it be. I doubt if there is anyone able to cultivate to such high level." Fortunately, these thoughts gradually changed. Many unrevealed, residual attachments emerged and were removed when cultivation during Fa rectification began. Most practitioners improved quickly. However, many of us still haven't come to realize nor paid enough attention to some fundamental problems in cultivation. I didn't move one step forward to consider this problem until recently, when I read an article by another practitioner. Now I know that not only is the state of a selfless enlightened being not too high to reach, for a Dafa practitioner it's totally reachable, and a level we all must achieve.

During the past six years, ever since July 20, 1999, Teacher told us all the things we ought to know and ought to do. We learned that Dafa practitioners come from high-level realms to obtain the Fa and have extremely important missions and responsibilities in history. When considering anything, the results will vary depending on whether we think of ourselves first, or put sentient beings and Dafa first. Teacher said in Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York:

"When a being is considerate of others in doing things and displays tolerance in the process, it's because his starting point is selfless."

I'd like to point out two examples. First, we all know it's common for practitioners in China to hang banners at night. One group of practitioners targets the most populated areas, where their banners will get the best exposure. The results have been pretty good. The other group took the opposite approach. They only hung banners in remote areas, where they felt safer. Some even hung banners in remote mountains! To their surprise, many were often caught.

The second example reveals the extremely different results when the authorities abducted practitioners from these two groups. The first type looked inward first to see if the abduction was caused by something within themselves. They sent forth righteous thought and asked other practitioners to join them to help those who were caught. While making plans to save the detained practitioners, they kept doing the three things. The other group of practitioners, however, thought: "Will I be sold out by the detained practitioners? I need to protect myself, and lay low for awhile." They were too afraid to clarify the truth. Unfortunately, the outcome of this course of action has always been negative. This example illustrates how the first thought of doing the three things matters and affects the outcome.

In our daily lives we interact with our fellow practitioners and ordinary people. When something happens, our first thought is the true reflection of our cultivation status. Teacher said:

"If you do not change the human logic that you, as an ordinary human, have formed deep in your bones over thousands of years, you will be unable to break away from this superficial human shell and reach Consummation."

("Cautionary Advice" from Essentials for Further Advancement).

Selfishness has also formed deep in our bones. Only when we diligently learn the Fa well and abide by the strict standards of Dafa can we remove this fundamental attachment from our innermost beings, cultivate ourselves into selfless enlightened beings, and do the three things better. Only then will we live up to our historic missions and responsibilities.

Let's cherish this opportunity, which only appears once in millions of millions of years. It's Teacher's one merciful thought that changes the rules of operation when the cosmos degenerates to the final stage. The old cosmos would simply be destroyed and a new one generated. It's because of Teacher's one merciful thought that we have the opportunity to cultivate this righteous Dafa, and the sentient beings of the old cosmos have the chance to be saved to the new cosmos. In the long run, the number of sentient beings to be saved will be determined by the truth clarification of Dafa disciples. Let's keep up the good work!

Please kindly correct any misunderstandings on my part.