(Clearwisdom.net) Editor's Note: To commemorate the ninth anniversary of the April 25 Appeal, Clearwisdom presents this as one of a series of republished articles from years past. The April 25th Appeal was notable not only for its size, but also because it was remarkably peaceful and orderly. Some 10,000 practitioners gathered in central Beijing that day, peacefully protesting for their civil rights. The CCP propaganda machine, however, in its quest to crush Falun Gong at the bidding of then Party Chairman Jiang Zemin, twisted the facts to serve its own motives. To this day, CCP propaganda accuses Falun Gong of "laying seige to the Zhongnanhai Central Government Compound" on April 25, 1999, falsely alleging that the 10,000 gathered posed a violent threat to the nation and its leaders. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, as this series of articles documents from various angles.
Falun Gong has gone through nine years of peacefully resisting the persecution in China since the peaceful appeal made by some 10,000 practitioners in Beijing on April 25, 1999. We have endured so many turbulent storms, and it is hard for people to imagine the miserable hardships that practitioners have suffered in the past nine years. Nonetheless, Falun Gong practitioners have made it through.
Some people may think, "The government banned it, so just give it up. If you feel that it is good, practice it quietly at home, don't speak to others. Why don't you 'endure,' since you practice Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance?"
Behind this point of view lie thoughts that are a mixture of sympathy and misunderstanding. People know the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is vicious and that there won't be a good outcome for anyone against it. Why shouldn't we forbear it? Some people think that practitioners clarifying the truth and opposing the persecution is not practicing Forbearance.
Forbearance. What exactly is Forbearance? How should we forbear?
People all say Forbearance is "a knife in the heart" because the Chinese character for "Forbearance" is made up of a knife symbol above the heart symbol. The word describes the pain of cutting the heart or cutting through bones. Indeed, Forbearance means sacrifice, persistence, endurance, and accomplishing something others cannot accomplish.
Someone may point out that, in the face of the attacks by Jiang Zemin's regime on our Master and the complete suppression of Falun Gong, many practitioners went to appeal and to clarify the truth, while a particular practitioner did not go and instead "stayed at home practicing quietly." This practitioner thinks he is practicing Forbearance. Let us look at what he endures when "practicing quietly at home."
When the newspapers, TV programs, radio broadcasts, and websites were slandering Falun Gong and its founder with fabrications that covered the earth and sky, this practitioner hid. When his employer asked him write a guarantee statement to stop practicing Falun Gong, he did. When neighbors asked if he still practiced Falun Gong, he denied it, shaking his head, and said he had quit long ago. When fellow practitioners wanted to visit him, he put them off with paltry excuses. Then he "practices quietly at home" and still goes to work, goes to school, gets paid, finds a job, pursues higher education, gets promoted at work, moves into a new apartment, receives a retirement salary, etc. He has not sacrificed anything. People cannot help but wonder, "What is he enduring?"
Only the people that are being attacked or abused verbally can truly speak about Forbearance. "My Teacher was slandered, but I did not defend him--I endured." He behaved as if the person being slandered was not his Teacher; he did not think of sacrificing for his Teacher. "When I saw others being harmed, I endured it by being silent." He showed that he did not want to endure for others because he was not the victim. In fact, due to fear and selfish concerns, one who "practices quietly at home," is separating himself from the whole body of Falun Dafa. He became a bystander when Jiang Zemin and his regime started to slander Falun Dafa and Master.
Upon careful examination, the above person would probably feel a bit guilty while watching the poisonous slander on television. He might feel like he has let down Falun Dafa and Master. However, guilt is not Forbearance.
Forbearance is a great virtue that exists side by side with Truthfulness and Benevolence. Forbearance is not a synonym for cowardice or living disgracefully. Forbearance is acting on a clear and rational choice from within and having an indestructible mind.
When practitioners step forward to safeguard Falun Dafa, they truly assimilate themselves with Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance and become particles of Dafa. They are mutually enduring the pressures and insults aimed at Falun Dafa. Only when they have "endured" can they truly speak about Forbearance. When a practitioner refuses to sign a guarantee statement to stop practicing Falun Gong, he must bear the pressure of losing his job or losing his academic prospects. When he goes to appeal for Falun Dafa when deprived of such rights, he has to bear the pressure of having no apartment to live in or having his retirement salary withheld. When he refuses to write a repentance letter in a brainwashing center, he has to bear the pressure of people misunderstanding him. When he firmly refuses to give up his righteous faith and cultivation when being tortured in prison, he has to bear the pressure of the CCP unreasonably complicating the lives of his family members or co-workers who suffer financially and even have to endure the pressure of potentially losing their lives.
In the face of all kinds of pressure and danger, practitioners do not betray their consciences, but rather speak out for Falun Dafa in an open and dignified manner, and clarify the truth without regrets or grievance. With sincerity and kindness they tell people that Falun Dafa is great. They tell people that "Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance" is the cosmic principle. This is genuine Forbearance. Practitioners bear with their tiny bodies the pressure from the entire State mechanism run by Jiang Zemin and the CCP. They manifest non-violence, peace, rationality, truthfulness, benevolence, open dignity, and no regrets. This is great Forbearance.
Someone may say, "Intolerance of minor injustices can lead to the undoing of one's great destiny." That is man's strategy based on self-interest. Falun Dafa practitioners are safeguarding the cosmic principle of Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance. What they seek is an open and just environment in which to cultivate the Righteous Way. What they demand is a heaven-granted chance for every being to go back to their original, true selves. Falun Dafa practitioners are not pursuing anything for themselves, but are defending the heavenly principle in which the evil will never defeat the righteous.
"Practicing quietly at home" is absolutely not the mindset or rationality of cultivators born from Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance. Falun Dafa can enable beings to go back to the wonderful realms they came from, but because of slander, the world's people will lose their chance if they do not know the truth.
At this critical moment, Falun Dafa practitioners are only thinking about quickly letting people learn the truth so they will not miss this chance! With such a wish, how can they "practice quietly at home?" It is because practitioners have opposed the persecution over the past nine years that they have created a space that has enabled people to learn the truth, that Falun Dafa has spread to more than 80 countries, that an era of Falun Dafa has been imparted to humankind, and that countless people have been able to choose a wonderful future for their own lives.
In fact, it is the violent dictatorship of the CCP that has destroyed people's belief in the Tao. The evil nature of the CCP has corrupted social morality. There is no Truthfulness or Benevolence in the CCP-ruled society, and the understanding of Forbearance has also deviated. Helping a victim has become an unwise thing to do, and living disgracefully has become a wise choice. No matter what the original cause was, the mentality of "practicing quietly at home" guides people to blame the victim, not the evildoer, which adds fuel to the flame of Jiang Zemin and the CCP.
Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance forms one body harmoniously. While opposing the persecution and clarifying the truth, practitioners have fulfilled Truthfulness and Benevolence, and they have also practiced Forbearance amidst it. The sacrifice practitioners have made rectifies the morality that was destroyed by the CCP, and it paves the way for the return of virtue to Chinese society and human beings. Those who have clear minds can understand that nine years of rationally resisting the persecution shows the great Compassion and Forbearance of Falun Dafa practitioners. Indeed, practitioners have presented pure Forbearance for humankind with their noble devotion.