Stepping Out of the Imperceptible State of Non-Enlightenment
(Clearwisdom.net) For a very long time, I believed that "enlightenment" along an evil path only meant that a practitioner wrote a "Guarantee Statement"* or completely went to the opposite side of Dafa. I recently realized that all the perceptions currently in my mind that do not meet the requirements of Fa-rectification are also very bad. Their only difference from "enlightenment" along an evil path is the degree of severity. It is very dangerous if one does not awaken to this, as matter and mind are one and the same.
I am among those Dafa practitioners who were first detained after going to Beijing to appeal after July 20, 1999. After enduring two years of various mental and physical tortures, I was also among those determined Dafa practitioners who were unconditionally released in August 2001. After I was forced to leave home (to avoid further persecution), I continued doing Dafa work. I personally felt that I had a clear understanding of Dafa and that I was qualified to be one of the Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples who can keep up with the progress of Fa-rectification. However, along my rough journey of Fa-rectification, I finally realized that I am also one of those practitioners who are in a dangerous state of not becoming enlightened.
During my cultivation, I emphasized studying the Fa, although I also did the three things required of practitioners. However, I imperceptibly held on to the attachment of studying the Fa and doing Dafa work for my personal advancement. I felt that my xinxing [moral character] improvement was relatively slow. Fellow practitioners also said that I had not changed much although I learned much about the Fa. Furthermore, I also had difficulties getting rid of the attachments to fame and emotion. Amidst big tests and tribulations, although I could overcome them with my foundation of Fa-study, my determined faith in Dafa, and Master's help, I endured much pain amidst these tribulations. I felt deep in my mind that I seemed to be walking along a path that was arranged by the old forces. But how could I break through the old forces' arrangements and walk well the path arranged by our benevolent Master?
I must fundamentally change my state of cultivation. I spent a whole morning reconsidering and checking why I initially started my cultivation in Dafa, why I went to Beijing to appeal, why I still held on to my cultivation amidst the brutal persecution, and why I often feel lost, pained, and tired, even though I am cultivating myself in such a sacred Fa-rectification period. While I was still puzzled after much of thinking, I opened Minghui Weekly [an electronic journal which is published by Minghui, the Chinese version of Clearwisdom.net]. I saw many articles talking about "enlightenment" along an evil path. My attention went to an article about fundamental attachments. I had seen this article before, but I had not read it because I was confident that it had nothing to do with me. After I repetitively and carefully read this article, I again read Master's "A Dialogue with Time," "Towards Consummation," and Guiding the Voyage. I suddenly realized that I had always been in a non-enlightened state of personal cultivation and that I had been walking along a path arranged by the old forces!
I realized that over the last several years I was "using elementary school textbooks for college education," and I had failed to break through my own fundamental attachments. I had kept my Fa-rectification work centered on my personal salvation and personal consummation, and I still had a dirty, hidden thought of profiting from Dafa. Was I any different from those people in the religions who are busy building temples for worship? I fell into a state of self-reprimand and depression. I was concerned with my own losses and gains, and I felt that all my previous efforts were a waste. I was in such a state until I remembered the benevolence of Master, "I will save him" ("Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference"). I remembered that Master said "It's better to grasp it instantly, but it's fine to gradually enlighten to it, too" (Zhuan Falun). However, during the gradual enlightenment, how much does Master have to bear for Dafa disciples! I slowly pulled myself together. I correctly positioned myself and merged myself into the Fa-rectification. After correctly positioning myself, the interference that I experienced during Fa-study has become less, so has the attachment to fame, self-interest, and emotion. Furthermore, it has also become much easier for me to do truth clarification work. I have truly experienced the superb and detached realm of calmly letting go of attachments.
In what follows, I will discuss several incorrect mindsets that are not easily recognized during Fa-rectification work.
Taking Dafa work as a job: Practitioners who fall into this category do not pay attention to studying the Fa, doing the exercises, and sending forth righteous thoughts. They are just busy doing things, and mistakenly take doing Fa-rectification work as Fa-rectification period cultivation practice. These practitioners have a relatively stronger attachment to fame. Superficially, they are doing Fa-rectification work. But in fact, they mix Fa-rectification work with their mentality of showing off their capabilities. They have a strong notion of classes and virtually take themselves as the leaders. They have expanded desires of controlling others and money, etc. The evil has precisely taken advantage of this attachment. They arrange a lot of work for these practitioners, and let them busily do the work and find no time to study the Fa. This causes the practitioners to fall into a vicious circle that the busier the practitioners become in doing the work, the less time they can find to study the Fa.
In a state of personal cultivation: When doing Fa-rectification work, the practitioners who fall into this category usually encounter strong interference from various areas. They pay attention to studying the Fa, doing the exercises, and sending forth righteous thoughts. They are actively involved in Fa-rectification. It appears that they cultivate themselves diligently. However, while they do Fa-rectification work, they hold on to the strong attachment of seeking self-improvement and personal consummation. These practitioners often get more interference from xinxing tribulations. This is because the old forces will exploit these practitioners' taking personal cultivation and personal improvement as the most important thing. The old forces will then arrange and create the so-called xinxing tribulations so as to make the practitioners have no time to involve themselves in saving sentient beings.
Indulgence in emotion: These practitioners are strongly attached to emotion, and they get more interference from their families. In some severe cases, the production of truth clarification materials was affected, which caused trouble for the overall Fa-rectification work. Those who are attached to love between a man and a woman are affected by degenerated notions. To take advantage of, expand, and enlarge this attachment, the evils have arranged the so-called tribulations of emotion, and have created false impressions, misunderstandings, contradictions, and conflicts. Their purpose is to let the practitioners waste their energy and thus affect their involvement in Fa-rectification and salvation of sentient beings. In some more severe cases, the practitioners use the excuse of conforming to the ordinary people's state, indulged themselves in emotion, and could not let it go.
Seeking comfort: Practitioners who fall into this category are attached to money and property. The old forces will make your business prosper and let you busily make money so as to make you become indifferent to cultivation. For a practitioner who is interested in living an ordinary person's life, the old forces will make the practitioner busily involved in daily household work and unnecessary contacts with ordinary people, and thus make the practitioner neglect Fa-study and sending forth righteous thoughts. Thus the practitioner falls into an ambiguous state between false and genuine cultivation. Even in this state, the practitioner still believes that he is cultivating himself by conforming to the ordinary people's state. The purpose of the old forces is to make the practitioner gradually give up cultivation.
There are also practitioners who are attached to seeking supernormal abilities, or "getting enlightened to" the principles of higher levels. In addition there are other practitioners who choose not to read Clearwisdom.net, etc. No matter which type they are, they are all attaching themselves to things, and have failed to step out of humanness. These are all incorrect notions that must be eliminated as soon as possible.
This is my limited understanding and I hope that fellow practitioners point out anything that is not correct.
* "Guarantee Statement" - A statement to declare that he or she is remorseful for practicing Falun Gong and guarantees not to practice Falun Gong again, not to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, and never again associate with any Falun Gong practitioners.