Looking at Fa-Rectification and Cultivation from the Perspective of Beings in the New Universe
(Clearwisdom.net) This article contains my personal understandings from cultivation during the Fa-rectification period. I would like to share them with everyone.
When glancing back at the history of my life from the perspective of the new universe, regardless of how long I have existed or how great I once used to be, I was just one of the many lives that goes through the stages of formation-stasis-degeneration-destruction. It is guaranteed that in this process, everyone is headed towards destruction. I believe that we were given true hope and future to our lives when our Teacher began rectifying the Fa. It is only now that I have gained a better understanding of what Teacher meant when he said, "The eternity in which your beings never perish..." (From "Position" in Essentials for Further Advancement II).
Teacher has purified us fundamentally during the Fa-rectification period. Since the beginning of the universe, there were never beings as fine, sacred and eternal as the ones we will become through cultivation. This has never happened before. Of course, maybe we will share some resemblance with the beings in the past, similar to how humans and Gods have comparable appearances. But can one say that humans are Gods? So looking at it from this viewpoint, Teacher actually gave us a new life. When I realized this, I burst into tears.
How vast and complex this systematic work is. It is far beyond the wisdom of the universe. "We'll keep what's good, get rid of what's bad, ..." (from Zhuan Falun) At the time when the old universe is heading towards destruction, we are given the chance to be part of the new universe, which is so much finer and purer. This is beyond the belief of all intelligence in the old universe.
Only now have I finally gained a little more understanding of the phrase that has been repeatedly quoted by fellow practitioners from "Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature" (from Essentials for Further Advancement). Teacher said, "I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness."á
Viewing this great catastrophe happening in the old universe, I truly feel that "Compassion should arise in the heart, and the facial expression should be peaceful" (The Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa). The things that the old forces have been trying to do have absolutely no significance. It is impossible for beings from within formation-stasis-degeneration-destruction to prevent themselves from heading towards degeneration and destruction. During the numerous catastrophes in the past, countless efforts were put forth towards this exact same purpose [of preventing the cycle], yet all of them ended up in vain.
In the past, the history of the universe had no real definition for "compassion," and neither did it have a true meaning for "cultivation." Looking from the perspective of the new universe, all past attempts to "cultivate" were just aspirations to reduce the speed of life approaching degeneration and destruction in the process of formation-stasis-degeneration-destruction. They had no way of solving the problem fundamentally.
Hence Dafa disciples' compassion does not match the concepts of the old universe. In accordance with Teacher rectifying the Fa, we are saving sentient beings from degeneration and destruction. Before Teacher came to rectify the Fa, who has ever resolved this biggest and most terrifying problem of life? If Dafa practitioners' saving sentient beings today is called "compassion," then the concept of compassion in the past would be merely a wish to offer charity. Of course, all the Gods and beings of the universe say that Teacher is compassionate. Strictly speaking, this word is insufficient to describe our great Teacher. Yet Teacher allows sentient beings to use such words to describe, to compliment, and to appreciate the savior of their lives.
Looking at it from the new universe, there are no concepts such as "returning to the original true self" or "going back home" amidst Fa-rectification. How can going from the old universe to the new be referred to as "returning" or "going back"? For instance, let us say we used to live in a simple straw house, but now this place turned into a series of beautiful mansions. Would you still say that this is your previous home? Actually this example is really not appropriate because what I am trying to depict is the fundamental changes that have occurred.
From the standpoint of the new universe, I finally realized why "selfishness" is so hard to relinquish. In fact, many fellow practitioners have discussed how to remove "selfishness" and how to become even purer. It is my personal understanding that their motives for removing selfishness often originate from selfishness itself. The thought of wanting to be pure is already impure.
We all came down from different colossal firmaments with the notion of "returning to the original true self," which is also the "Buddha-nature" of the beings in the old universe. After going through numerous reincarnations at countless levels, this thought has not perished. It is this thought of ours that our revered Teacher sees as valuable. However, having merely this one thought is certainly insufficient in today's Fa-rectification. In the beginning, we were able to attain Dafa due to this one thought. Yet today, shouldn't we reexamine this original thought of ours to see if it really meets the standard that Teacher asks of us?
All beings have the instinct of not wanting to head towards destruction. They are also remember their original magnificence. Manifested in the beings at different levels, the old forces are adhering to their own notions and refusing to assimilate to Dafa. Hence they try to use Dafa as a means to escape destruction. We also see some Dafa practitioners constantly thinking of and looking forward to returning to their "original magnificent realm." Therefore they work so hard to try to achieve this aspiration through Dafa cultivation. This "returning to the original realm" is also commonly referred to by some practitioners as "going back home."
In fact, the so-called "instinct," "remembrance," "aspiration," "original magnificent realm," and "home", and even the thought of "returning to the original true self" from the beings of the old universe, are generated from the mechanisms of formation-stasis-degeneration-destruction. What is home? Where is your home? Shouldn't we think this over well? These are exactly what Teacher referred to as "...the illusion that you cannot let go..." ("Practicing Cultivation After Retirement" in Essentials for Further Advancement). Compared to the standards of the new universe, the terms themselves are already impure and not in harmony. We are holding on to those degenerate notions while seeking to purify ourselves and to remove "selfishness." How is this any different from using mud to wash away the existing mud on our bodies?
Let us relinquish all illusions and attachments that we have of the old universe. It contains nothing of the so-called "original magnificence" that we had originally expected. Compared to the new universe, its "magnificence" contains many loopholes. Thus it becomes something of the past, just a part of the universe's history. As for Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, although Teacher uses words and phrases of the old universe, behind them are actually the boundless inner meanings and standards for different realms of the new universe!
This is a very serious issue. As enlightened beings in the new universe, can we clearly realize this point?