We Must Distinguish Between the Postnatal Self and the Prenatal Self
(Clearwisdom.net) I want to write down something I experienced recently and share it with my fellow practitioners.
I married twice and have a complex family background. My parents passed away early and my sisters and I do not see each other very much. I'm the eldest and I think I have tried my best to help others over the years. I think I treated everyone from my husband and my ex-husband's families well. However none of them treated me well and nobody gave me enough praise. I felt it very unfair and held a grudge toward everybody in my family.
After I started cultivating Falun Dafa, I got to know that everything happens for a reason. I also tried to refrain from my bad thoughts; however the resentment in my heart only grew more and more. I felt very frustrated and decided to read Dafa books trying to find a solution to vent my anger. I often recite Master's words,
"Everyday people take insignificant friction and minor problems really seriously. They live for their ego and tolerate nothing. They will dare to do anything when they are angered to an unbearable point. Yet as a practitioner you will find the things that people take seriously to be very, very trivial--even too trivial--because your goal is extremely long-term and far-reaching. You will live as long as this universe. Then think about those things again: It doesn't matter if you have them or not. You can put them all behind you when you think from a broader perspective." (Chapter III: Cultivation of Xinxing in Falun Gong, 4th Translation Edition)
I am usually able to get calmer after reciting Master's words. However, after a while, I would again feel upset over a minor problem. I was unable to fundamentally change myself over a long period of time. Feeling hopeless, I thought to myself I was a wicked person. Master's "Realms" reads:
"A wicked person is born of jealousy.
Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.
A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion.
With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy.
An enlightened person has no attachments at all.
He quietly observes the people of the world deluded by illusions."
(Essentials For Further Advancement)
Somehow I still thought I was a wicked person for a very long period of time.
But why was I a wicked person? It seemed unfair when I thought about it. I thought I did not do a lot of wicked things during my 50 plus years of life. I worked hard and was comparatively an unselfish person; in addition, I always tried to help others and yet other people often deceived me. My family members would always mock me and say that I am a fool. How can I be a wicked person? If I were a wicked person, why would Master take me as a disciple? I felt very upset. I then thought, "this is my cultivation environment." Master gave me some opportunities to improve my xinxing because I am a new practitioner who just began practicing Falun Gong in 2004. I felt this tribulation was too difficult for me to get through.
When I was sending forth righteous thoughts one day, I could not calm myself down and felt very furious at myself. I shouted to the wall, "How bad can I be? Why do I always think of these things? Am I a wicked person?" Even though I am a new practitioner, I have a clear understanding of Master's Fa-rectification and I pay great attention to sending forth righteous thoughts. I feel very bad if I miss even once. I try very hard to study the Fa and save sentient beings. Even though there are many areas in which I need to improve, I am definitely not a wicked person! I jumped off the bed and knelt down in front of Master's picture and said, "Master, am I right? I am definitely not a wicked person; that wicked person is not me. The prenatal me is pure and compassionate! Am I right, Master?"
All of a sudden, a surprising scene appeared before my eyes, Master's image appeared several times larger than usual, levels and levels of golden light kept emitting outward. I thought my eyes became blurry. I looked again and the golden lights were still beaming. I was really overjoyed. I witnessed many miracles since I started cultivating, however this was the first time I saw Master's picture emitting layers and layers of golden light. I realized that what I thought was right. I suddenly remembered Master had told us before that our prenatal selves are very pure, all our impure thoughts are formed postnatally, and those are exactly the dirty thoughts and ideas we need to cultivate away. So I said to myself, all the wicked thoughts are not mine, I myself am a very pure and compassionate life, and all the wicked notions and bad thoughts must leave me immediately and get out of my mind, all the wicked thoughts are demons and I do not allow them to interfere with me! Absolutely forbidden! All of a sudden, I became very relaxed.
Since then, I seldom become furious. Whenever I am a little unhappy, I think immediately: eliminate the demon of hatred. As soon as I refrain from the thought, it is very easy for me to pass and I would cease thinking about the details of unhappy things.
From this experience, I understood what exactly "cultivating every thought" means. This problem has bothered me for a very long time. While cultivating our every thought, it is very important to distinguish between our prenatal self and postnatal self. All bad thoughts and notions do not belong to us. We accumulated a lot of degenerated notions and substances over the lengthy period of our lives. At the same time, the old forces also arranged every thought of ours purposely. In order to get rid of the bad notions and thoughts, we have to recognize them first. Otherwise we would always be controlled by them and they would laugh at us and magnify all the bad things we have. Each and every day, I think about whether I did anything wrong or had any bad thoughts. Do those notions belong to me? I feel I have benefited a lot from doing this.
I am very grateful toward Master. No words can describe my gratitude!
July 28, 2007