Suffering from Persecution Versus the Journey of Saving Sentient Beings
(Clearwisdom.net) After reading the article "Singing the Praises of Master and Dafa" (with Master's Comment), I felt a sudden enlightenment, because for the last four years there have been many issues I was unable to think through regarding the persecution of Dafa disciples. I would like to share the following understanding as reference.
In the last four years, because I have firmly adhered to Dafa practice, my business was ransacked and property taken away by the authorities. I was laid off from my job and was sent to a detention center. I went to Beijing four times to validate the Fa, and was arrested the last time I went. I was severely beaten in the police van at Tiananmen Square, suffered further beatings by the police, and all kinds of torture by the criminals while I was detained in the Beijing West District Detention Center. Later, I was sent to the northeast. As soon I stepped into the prison -- before I even got to the cell -- I was badly beaten by the police; my eyes, nose and mouth were bleeding and bruised. Then I was stripped naked and put in handcuffs and shackles which were fastened to the floor. I woke up at midnight and found that I could not open my eyes or mouth.
Later I was sent back to my hometown, and was sent to a labor camp after a few months of surveillance. While at the labor camp, I performed all kinds of heavy labor including digging trenches, unloading trucks, and carrying heavy loads. Some Dafa practitioners in their 50s or 60s died as a result of the harsh treatment. Some wrote the "four statements" against their will as if they had been "transformed," but after they were released, they made declarations on Minghui.net stating that all of what they wrote while being "transformed" was null and void. Now at home, they are often harassed and "cared for" by the security department of their former work units, the local police stations, and the neighborhood office. Also, the local police have taken away their Dafa audiotapes and Master's scriptures.
The evil ones try not only to ruin my physical body, but, most frighteningly, they also want to destroy my conscience and will power.
Master told us that all of this persecution was imposed upon us by the old forces that insist on testing Dafa and Dafa practitioners. However, Master does not accept this and has told us not to accept it either, but rather to deny it. I denied it in my heart, and denied it verbally, and yet in my actions I did not really deny it, because I knew that every single thought of mine was deeply trapped in this persecution.
Looking back at the last few years of cultivation, spreading the Fa, safeguarding the Fa, validating the Fa, clarifying the truth, and saving sentient beings, I have followed Master, and have done many things that we should do as Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples. However, I must admit that I have never been able to make a break from the arrangements of the old forces. In the past, before Master taught us the Fa principle of "completely deny the arrangements of the old forces," I may not have been considered wrong when I followed the path arranged by the old forces. Now that Master has made it so clear, I would be really wrong if I still accept those arrangements.
The old forces want to impose their evil tests on me, and the evil beings want to persecute me. Every single thought of mine had been on the persecution. What a harmonious cooperation. It is an act: The police play the role of those who beat people while I play the role of someone who is beaten; the government plays the role of the suppressor while I play the role of the "victim." The act orchestrated by the old forces seems so moving and tragic, and so ridiculous.
Did I come to the to the human world, to practice Dafa simply to endure the persecution? No, absolutely not. Master has never approved that the more persecution one suffers the better. What Master has approved is the firm determination of Dafa disciples during the persecution, the fact that Dafa disciples are still able to safeguard the Fa and to validate the Fa, and are still able to save sentient beings during the persecution. Teacher said,
"For a long period of time the sentient beings in Dafa, especially the disciples, have had a misunderstanding of the Fa at various levels regarding xinxing improvement. Whenever a tribulation comes, you do not see it with the side of your original nature but view it completely with your human side. Evil demons then capitalize on this point and inflict endless interference and damage, leaving students in long-term tribulations." ("Expounding on the Fa," Essentials for Further Advancement).
What are the principles of my human side? What are the understandings of my divine side? If my understanding is based on the human level, or if my way of thinking is the same as everyday people, then the understanding would no doubt be of my human side, not of my divine side. If during the persecution I hold firm faith in Dafa, validate the Fa and save sentient beings, which everyday people cannot see and nor understand, then validating the Fa and saving sentient beings are understandings of the divine side.
As for the persecution, what is its essence? Teacher taught us,
"My truly cultivating disciples, what I have taught you is the Fa for cultivation of Buddha and Dao. Nonetheless, you pour out your grievances to me over the loss of your worldly interests, rather than feeling upset for being unable to let go of ordinary human attachments. Is this cultivation? Whether you can let go of ordinary human attachments is a fatal test on your way to becoming a truly extraordinary being. Every disciple who truly cultivates must pass it, for it is the dividing line between a cultivator and an everyday person."
"As a matter of fact, when you agonize over infringements upon your reputation, self-interest, and feelings among everyday people, it already indicates that you cannot let go of ordinary human attachments. You must remember this: Cultivation itself is not painful--the key lies in your inability to let go of ordinary human attachments. Only when you are about to let go of your reputation, interests, and feelings will you feel pain." ("True Cultivation," Essentials for Further Advancement).
Basically, we only feel we are being persecuted when we feel our self-interest in everyday society is being infringed, and our attachments touched. Do I still feel persecution if I let go of all my attachments, personal fame, interests, and human sentiments, and when I achieve a state of a righteous, enlightened being of unselfishness and selflessness, who puts the interests of others first? Teacher also said,
"You should also be clear that 'natural' does not exist, and 'the inevitable' has reasons behind it. In fact, 'natural' is irresponsibly used by everyday people to make excuses for themselves when they are unable to explain the phenomena of the universe, life, and matter. They cannot imagine what 'nature' itself is. Under the influence of this kind of notion you think that all these tribulations are inevitable and that this is just the way it is, thereby developing a passive and pessimistic attitude." ("Expounding on the Fa," Essentials for Further Advancement).
The fact we are being persecuted is because the old forces have used excuses that we still have human attachments, plus our tacit consent to the persecution, and each single thought we have has given rise to the persecution becoming "inevitable," "natural," and "reality."
From the perspective of everyday people, the persecution is reality, yet from the perspective of Dafa practitioners, there is no persecution at all. In the article "Singing the Praises of Master and Dafa" it says, "My main understanding is this: Master and Dafa, which cannot be referred to and praised with the old cosmos's language, fundamentally have no connection to the old cosmos, the beings within the cosmos, or the old forces' concepts and arrangements."
The persecution and the evil tests are ideas and arrangements of the old forces, a result of Dafa practitioners cooperating with evil beings. Although Master has made it very clear that these arrangements have nothing to do with Master, Dafa, and Dafa disciples, Dafa disciples still have their minds on how to endure the persecution, and how to avoid, protest against, and stop the persecution and have Falun Gong redressed ... then we are already deeply trapped in the persecution and in the arrangements of the old forces.
This is similar to the Fa-principle about "illnesses." "Illnesses" to everyday people are a tangible reality, and if Dafa practitioners still think about how to endure and cure the illnesses, the illnesses would not be cured. When Dafa practitioners put their minds on returning to their true self and do not think about the illnesses any more, their illnesses disappear.
Dafa disciples' exposing the evil, broadcasting truth-clarifying TV programs, distributing flyers, appealing, suing the head of evil through the legal system, SOS rescues, etc., from the angle of everyday people, is to stop the evil and diminish the persecution. However, from the perspective of Dafa disciples, every single one of our thoughts should be on spreading the Fa, validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. Although we are doing the same things on the surface, there is a big difference in our xinxing. We should elevate our thoughts from the persecution to saving sentient beings and to assisting Master in Fa-rectification, from a human understanding to a god's understanding, and from the arrangements of the old forces to what is arranged by Master.
I felt so light when I came to such an understanding. There is no persecution whatsoever, be it in the labor camps, at home, at work, in the 610 Office, overseas, or inside of China ... everywhere is a good environment for eliminating the evil, for saving sentient beings. Wherever there is evil, there Dafa disciples should be to eliminate the evil; wherever there are sentient beings, there Dafa disciples need to be to save them.
In the past, when people from the security section, the local police station, and neighborhood committee came to my home, I would clarify the truth to them, but I would talk to them with the state of mind that we were being persecuted, we were innocent and being wronged, a state of mind for which the evil beings would show contempt and kindhearted people would feel sympathetic. I really didn't like them to come to my home to interfere with me. But now, from the bottom of my heart, I welcome them in my home. What a wonderful opportunity to clarify the truth, to save them, to eliminate the evil beings behind them with righteous thoughts. In the end, they leave my home with great respect toward Master and Dafa, and a feeling of gratitude toward me, and those who are beyond salvation never dared to come again. Although I was telling them the same facts, and sending forth righteous thoughts with the same verses, the result was totally different. Indeed: However high your xinxing is, that's how high your gong is.
In Touring North America to Teach the Fa , Teacher wrote,
"When they were beaten and in a lot of pain, many of them cried out, 'Oww! Mom!' They completely treated this persecution as a persecution of ordinary human beings against other human beings."
Although some practitioners did not cry out "Oww! Mom!" they had the same state of mind, and also viewed this persecution as one of ordinary human beings against other human beings.
Also in Touring North America to Teach the Fa, Teacher said,
"When Dafa is persecuted, the first thing Dafa disciples should think of is saving sentient beings and how to validate Dafa. Isn't that magnificent? We don't acknowledge this arrangement by the evil one bit, but after all, the persecution has taken place, and after all, the evil has persecuted so many sentient beings. Shouldn't our first thought be how to make good use of time to save them? To treat it as an ordinary human persecution against other human beings, to think with an ordinary human mind, 'When will they restore our name? When will it end?'--think about it, are these the thoughts a Dafa disciple should have?"
I'm here to save people, and everyday people are here to be saved. Only the path arranged by Master is so brilliant and great.