In the last few months many problems emerged that affected the work we are responsible for. A few days ago, a practitioner was kidnapped and the situation became increasingly difficult. Several practitioners candidly discussed these issues and found some causes from our own notions.
In brief, for a long time we just focused on working and failed to upgrade our mind nature and did not keep up with Fa-study. It truly became just "working." Another problem was the attitude toward human emotion and lust.
Emotion, lust and desire have been displayed rather strongly recently. Upon reaching the surface they began to reflect in our environment. No human thoughts can be taken with us. Teacher wants to remove these thoughts from us and has to let them be displayed so that we can recognize them. Thus, we don't have to be in a panic when facing these problems. All we need to do is to recognize them when they show up and set a strict standard for ourselves, thereby eliminating them.
I. Analysis of the Cause
The majority of the practitioners working together are divorced, widowed, or unmarried. Emotion created unstable conditions. Under the circumstance that we were not clear on the Fa, it became easy to focus our attention on something else. Moreover, we don't have much contact with other people, all the contact we have is among ourselves. If we felt good about each other from the beginning, it would be easy to develop an emotional relationship after working together for a long period of time. This could even reach the degree of being lost in the emotional relationship.
It is not that we won't get married after cultivation, as Teacher has told us. This means that dating and getting married through a proper channel are allowed in the Fa. Why has it become a loophole that the evil could take advantage of?
I think that there are two reasons:
1. The evil exploits the loophole when the emotional relationship is not righteous.
The unrighteous emotion is more a lust than an emotion. A normal emotional relationship must have a rational start, realistic possibilities such as a similar age, both parties being unmarried, etc. Lust, on the other hand, does not follow any common ethical values such as age, generation, marital status, realistic or not. The emotion from an improper relationship comes from lust. The emotion came after lust. Apparently, such emotion is not righteous.
As for practitioners who have a family, if their mind was still occupied with the opposite sex, regardless of whether they display it or not, it is clearly evil. Their moral standard is even lower than non-practitioners.
2. Although some emotion is allowed in the Fa, if one was haunted with emotion and placed emotion above the Fa, it becomes a loophole that the evil could use.
The Fa demands a higher standard for practitioners, who are the only ones doing Dafa work. Since we have already given up so much, we should immerse ourselves entirely in Dafa work. Although we don't need to be like monks, we should be clear about emotion. We must be able to know what is important and what isn't, what is the primary thing and what is secondary. When we allocate our time and energy we need to make sure that Dafa work is not affected. I will discuss later the right degree of involvement.
Generally, we feel all right when talking about emotion, but when it comes to lust, many feel too embarrassed to mention it. In fact, there is nothing embarrassing about it. Both are attachments and neither is better than the other, and both are things we should relinquish in our cultivation.
Some practitioners may feel that certain manifestations do not fall into the category of lust, but natural emotions of human beings. To explain that lust manifests itself everywhere, I would like to give an example from the ancient Chinese stories.
King Zhou once said to himself while appreciating the portrait of Goddess Nuwa, "What a beautiful lady! If only I would have such a lady as my companion." Therefore, Goddess Nuwa sent Daji [concubine that was possessed by a fox which is refered to in Zhuan Falun] to mess up the state affairs of the Shang Dynasty as a punishment for the evil thought of King Zhou towards her.
A god or goddess would not allow everyday people to have any evil thoughts about her, because it is considered as blasphemy and an insult to the goddess. As for those who have evil and lustful thoughts about a goddess, their crimes are unforgivable.
Master has told us the Fa principle, "Buddha's light shines everywhere, propriety and righteousness harmonize everything." A righteous god/goddess, or even a cultivator if he/she has cultivated to a state of no omission in the area of emotion or lust, has a field around himself in which no evil thoughts occur to anyone within the boundary of his field. If we measure with such a standard, we would find that lust is commonplace, only that it manifests in different degrees. Whether it is ourselves that have the lustful thoughts or we encourage other people to have them, in both cases it shows that we have not cultivated well on the issue of lust.
Therefore, whether it is emotion or lust, neither party involved has cultivated well, because if either of them has cultivated well, it would not have brought about such unrighteous things.
Let us have a look at the manifestations of lust. When coming across a good-looking person of the opposite sex, it is commonplace to take a few more glances, trying to show one's strong points in front of a person of the opposite sex, unconsciously hoping the other person would form a good impression; trying to find out if the other person has formed a good impression of oneself, and feeling pleased and satisfied if one finds the other person admires and has a good feeling towards us. (Only human beings feel good about such things; gods would consider it as blasphemy and an insult.) Sometimes one is careless in what he says and does, using ambiguous language, thus encouraging impure thoughts in others, etc. When this happens, it is certain that this person in question does not have a righteous mind, otherwise it would not have brought about such an effect. Of course sometimes it can also be the result of emotion.
There is another manifestation, which I cannot tell whether it is emotion or lust. A non-practitioner friend of mine once said to me openly that one thing made her really "angry." A male classmate was interested in her, but she rejected him, because she did not like him. Later that classmate turned his attention to another female student. This friend said to me, "I'm so angry! What's good about that student? She is nothing, but just younger than me. I will beat her somehow." For a long time after that, she dressed herself like a high school student.
Her mindset, which might involve emotion or lust, can also be seen as involving jealousy, which is none other than a kind of "selfishness" and a "desire to possess" when looked at fundamentally: a desire to possess the feelings of another person, or put it in other words, a desire to occupy a space in another person's feelings, even if one does not even like the person.
2. Removal of lust with righteous thoughts
Teacher has very clearly stated in "Attracting Demons in Qigong" in Chapter 6 of Zhuan Falun and in his lectures on the Fa regarding eliminating lust that if the process of discarding attachments, as defined by Teacher is followed, it will not be a difficult matter.
In fact, the discarding of attachments is not difficult. To say it is difficult is because fundamentally one does not really want to do it, is not resolute in one's desire to do it, but continually considers it to be something good and wishes to retain the attachment. In other words, it is not a matter of whether it is possible or not, but a question of whether one wants to do it or not.
Though all of our attachments may not drag us into hell, they will absolutely be the heavy cables that will prevent us from weighing anchor and setting sail on our course of Fa-rectification cultivation. Each cable needs to be efficiently severed, one by one. It cannot be a half-hearted effort, as that will only delay the journey. Therefore, when we are bogged down in attachments that generate difficulties and restrict our thinking, perhaps we should consider the consequences of our thoughts and actions.
Teacher described a person who read books about Futi qigong. Just as he was feeling great, a large snake suddenly appeared, and coiled around him. Whenever we feel that any attachments are good and follow a deviant path, they will all be similarly dangerous.
A fellow practitioner once wrote: to lose one's temper is to be used by the evil. Every time we lose our tempers, that evil will grow a bit stronger. Similarly, every time we give in to the demon of lust it is certain we are helping the evil; instead, when lust surfaces, just eliminate it.
A fellow practitioner, who had cultivated well in other respects, resorted to smoking as an act of rebellion (or was it just to alleviate anxiety?) because another practitioner could not satisfy her emotional demands. Whether it be emotion or lust, this type of indulgence and "transformation" are no different. They are only different forms of change. This is not to criticize, but to clarify that to be indulgent will result in the strong development of the attachment.
The following lines are excerpted from a poem, written by a young practitioner, that was published on Minghui Net:
When an attachment surfaces, suddenly things seem fragrant.
In time it is found to be useless; regret is useless as the mistake has solidified.
A fellow practitioner said that to help her eliminate the attachment of fear, she memorized the passage in which Teacher explains the Fa regarding fear, and it helped a lot (from the point of view of gong, this can be completely explained). Therefore, for some fellow practitioners who have strong feelings of lust, it is suggested that memorizing the relevant paragraphs of the Fa lecture will help immensely.
1. To marry or not to marry
The affection between a man and a woman within an improper relationship has been mentioned previously. Here, I would like to talk about the proper relationship between a man and a woman. Looking at the issue from another perspective, the relationship between husband and wife has now become based on human affections. The proper marriage and relationship issues related to practitioners working in society have been carrying on as normal. Here, I am referring to the affection and related issues of some practitioners who are not married, but have been concentrating on Dafa work:
In one of his previous lectures, Teacher gave us a firm answer related to the issue of marriage for young practitioners. Different levels of Fa have specific requirements for practitioners. Whether one gets married or not, as long as one acts according to the Fa, one's decision is not wrong. There are no specific rules. Different issues have different requirements. When a person meets a suitable partner, but continually avoids the issue of marriage, then it will create another form of attachment. Although Teacher has lectured previously on this issue, when the actual case arrives, one will still discover that there are a lot of things that are difficult to handle.
I feel that in most circumstances, the desire to get married is influenced by many sources, namely, pressure from relatives and friends, society, and public opinion, To analyze it further, the actual driving force comes from one's sexual desire, the seeking of a more comfortable life style, or material pursuit. For a practitioner, this is just another attachment, as cultivation is a process whereby a practitioner continually lets go of his or her attachments. Of course, for one who is already married, mutual encouragement can provide a good environment for cultivation as well (Fa promotion and clarifying the truth are treated in another context). To sum up, Fa-rectification disciples have to make sure that they do the three things stipulated by Teacher properly - all other issues must arise from these three things. Then the answers will come automatically.
In theory, to marry or not to marry is not the issue. One has to meet the right partner first.
If one's feeling is aroused upon meeting any member of the opposite sex, then that is a sexual desire, not emotion. Emotion is the concern towards a specific partner only.
Upon meeting the right partner, then, how should the case be handled? For practitioners who are involved with Dafa work, Dafa definitely must come first. No personal affection should come in between. Besides, when a genuine desire is aroused, wouldn't some degree of control be good for our cultivation practice? But because we're still cultivating, only limited control can be applied. Hence, let what is outside our control be developed naturally. In other words, let it happen naturally, without pursuit.
2. The hurdle of emotion
Someone asked the Teacher about being tested by emotion. Teacher answered, "You've treated emotion as a test, and that's because you haven't let it go, so you constantly have to pass it." (Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
When I first read this, I did not fully understand. Teacher seems to imply that emotion is not a test, but why not?
During an experience sharing session with other practitioners, I suddenly realized that affection, sex, and desires all belong at a specific level. It is like crossing a threshold when passing through a door, on ground level. When you are walking on a higher level, the threshold will no longer be a threshold--you don't have to step over it. Hence, we have to make a break-through from our level by studying more of the Fa, then the emotion, the sex, and the desires can no longer hold on to us. We would no longer have to worry about finding ways of passing the test, or crossing the hurdle, because they would not hold us back anymore.
I have not personally fully comprehended the issues above. Through the Clearwisdon.net, I hope to invite feedback from other practitioners on the issue.