Confucius' Consulting With Laozi: A Discussion of Divine Culture
(Clearwisdom.net) Orthodox Chinese culture is broad and profound; it includes both cultivation culture and general culture for non-cultivators. Laozi and Confucius were representatives of these two aspects of orthodox Chinese culture.
Twenty-five hundred years ago, Confucius once went to Luoyang to consult with Laozi. From their conversation, we can distinguish the difference between cultivation culture and general (ordinary) culture. Understanding the difference will help us to better understand orthodox Chinese culture and the truth about Falun Gong.
During their meeting, Laozi pointed out that Confucius had "pride and too much desire." Laozi suggested that Confucius get rid of such things, "because these things are no good to you at all." After they exchanged their understandings of justice and humanity, Laozi asked Confucius, "Have you attained Tao?" Confucius said, "I have been seeking it for 27 years. I have not yet attained it." Laozi said, "If Tao were something tangible that could be gifted to others, people would have struggled to dedicate it to the king. If Tao could be gifted to others, people would have wanted to gift it to their relatives. If Tao could be told clearly, everyone would have told his brothers. If Tao could be taught to others, people would have struggled to teach it to their children. All of the above are impossible. The reason is simple. When a person doesn't have the correct understanding of Tao, Tao will not come to his heart."
Regarding things that Confucius couldn't forget or felt unfair about, Laozi believed that Confucius was seeking trouble for himself because Confucius was trapped inside fame and self-interest. After Confucius returned home, he didn't speak for three days.
One of Confucius' students, Zigong, felt it was strange and asked what was going on. Confucius said, "I know birds fly, fish swim, and animals run. The running ones can be controlled using traps. The swimming ones can be caught using nets. The flying ones can be shot using arrows. Yet, dragons are sometimes in the cloud and sometimes in the sky; I don't know how to deal with them. Laozi is a dragon. His thoughts are like the dragon flying in the vault. I opened my mouth, but I was speechless. I stretched out my tongue, yet I couldn't retract it back. I feel anxious and can't find myself anymore."
Confucius studied the theories and orders of how to be an ordinary person. What Laozi talked about was the way of cultivation, which is much higher than the ordinary people's realm. That's why Confucius couldn't completely understand Laozi's words.
In his Dao De Jing (also written as Tao Te Ching), Laozi said, "After losing Tao, there is virtue. After losing virtue, there is humanity. After losing humanity, there is justice. After losing justice, there is courtesy." Laozi was very clear about the source of the humanity and justice that Confucius taught. However, Confucius couldn't understand the Tao that Laozi talked about. Though the two lived during the same historical period, the difference between Confucius and Laozi tells us a principle, which is that the cultivation of Tao exceeds all knowledge in the human world. Cultivators can understand everything in the human world and not be moved by any interests and desires in the human world. Ordinary people that don't cultivate are lost in the illusion of the human world, and they regard cultivation as mystery that's difficult to understand.
The reason for causing such a difference is as what Laozi pointed out, "When a person doesn't have the correct understanding of Tao, Tao will absolutely not come to his heart." In other words, whether one seeks the Tao with a pure heart and dares to give up fame, interests, and emotions in the human world, is the foundation for whether one can understand the way of cultivation.
After Buddhism spread into China, it greatly enriched the culture of cultivation. It helped people to know that there are other forms of cultivation. After that, the Buddha school and the Tao school were both richly developed from the Chinese cultivation culture, which is a unique situation in the world. What the orthodox Chinese culture connotes is profound. This deep and rich cultivation culture was prepared for people in the present time to enable them to understand the Dafa cultivation.
From the process of Confucius' consulting Laozi, we can gain some enlightenment. Even the greatest scholar and thinker among ordinary people can hardly understand the high realm of the cultivators. This phenomenon is especially prominent in current people's understanding of Falun Gong. People are used to viewing Falun Gong cultivation with their strong human mentalities and using an ordinary view of right and wrong to comment on the Faun Gong cultivation.
We know that Laozi talked about many principles of governing a country in his Dao De Jing. Yet, as a cultivator, he had no political ambition. Thus, nobody said that Laozi was involved in politics. It was Confucius who had the ambition of "recovering the Zhou rite" and traveled around in different countries. This is another significant difference between cultivation culture and ordinary culture. A genuine cultivator can see clearly everything in the human world, but does not have any aspirations for the human politics.
Some people have rejected the truth about Falun Gong and claimed that Falun Gong is getting involved in politics. On the one hand, this is the result of their being influenced by the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) fabricated rumors about and slanders of Falun Gong. On the other hand, it is because modern people have little understanding about cultivation. When people have a better understanding of cultivation culture in the orthodox Chinese culture, they will understand that Falun Gong has nothing to do with politics. That Falun Gong practitioners' telling the truth during the persecution, spreading the "Nine Commentaries about the Communist Party," and persuading people to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and its affiliated organizations are done to help people know the innocence of Falun Gong, the essence of the CCP, and the danger of being part of the CCP. Falun Gong, itself, has no political ambitions or goals, and it has nothing to do with politics. Political activities struggling for desire and power bring trouble to oneself, and it is not at all a cultivator's pursuit.
The Chinese nation has five thousand years of glorious history. Only cultivators who have truly given up the pursuit of fame, self-interest, and emotions can deeply understand the essence of the broad and profound genuine Chinese culture. Even the greatest scholar among ordinary people can only know it superficially, instead of from within. When one has realized this critical issue, it will be easier for him to understand the orthodox Chinese culture that has a broad connotation closely related to cultivation.
In recent years, overseas Falun Gong cultivators have been promoting worldwide the orthodox Chinese culture, which is greatly welcome. The New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) Chinese New Year Spectacular has shown the genuine Chinese Divine culture without the abnormal CCP culture. It has been most meaningful to have it displayed by Falun Gong practitioners who cultivate the principle of "Truth- Compassion-Forbearance." During the present days while the CCP has been destroying the orthodox Chinese culture, only Falun Gong practitioners can display the deep connotation of the true Chinese culture. The true Chinese culture is tightly connected with the absolute base of human life. The classical arts of the NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular is refreshing. The audiences have strongly felt the essence of the true Chinese culture and are shaken from the bottom of their hearts.
If you are interested in the true Chinese culture and really want to understand it, then you should carefully understand the truth about Falun Gong and carefully watch the NTDTV Chinese New Year Spectacular. The Chinese people should do so even more.