(Clearwisdom.net) Master told us in "Teaching the Fa in New York City," published in Lectures in the United States (1997):

"This is the difference between a human and a God. If you can let go of life and death, you're a God; if you can't let go of life and death, you're a human--this is the difference."

I sometimes used to think that letting go of life and death was easy. I believe that everything Master says is true; therefore, I decided that in order to reach consummation, I would not be afraid of death. I resolved that I could even lose my life to reach consummation. So didn't this mean that I did not have the attachment of life and death? I thought, since I can let go of life and death, am I a god?

I felt that my thoughts were somehow incorrect, and that I was not in line with Master's Fa. But I could not find out where I was wrong.

Later, I was thinking that there are many people in the world who are not afraid of death. For many people, to live is more painful than to die. Many people even commit suicide. Does that mean those people who commit suicide have let go of life and death? I do not think so. They can let go of death, but they cannot let go of their fears and worries about life. They do not wish to live any more, and because they cannot endure life, they commit suicide. So it is not correct that a man is a god if he lets go of death.

In saying, "let go of life and death," my understanding is that Master is telling us that we cannot have the attachment to life. At the same time, Master talked about letting go of life, and not to have the attachment of death either. So no matter how difficult and brutal the environment is, and no matter how hard it is to endure, we should live based on the principles of the Fa, and treat everything based on the requirements of the Fa. We should not be overly concerned with our own life or death. That is my understanding of "letting go of life and death." Simply being unafraid of death is not the manifestation of cultivation at a certain level.

To reach this level we need to cultivate ourselves truly and solidly. Through studying the Fa well and cultivating continually, we will naturally reach the level of truly letting go of life and death.

If we are wanting to obtain something easily, and we do not make a priority of Fa-study and cultivation, one is bound to take a detour in his or her cultivation practice. Before, I did not make a priority of Fa-study, and was satisfied with just doing Dafa work. I used the amount of work I did to clarify the truth as a measure of whether I cultivated diligently. Sometimes I even thought I clarified the truth in dangerous environments. Isn't that evidence of letting go of life and death? Actually, I was trying to use doing Dafa work to replace solid cultivation so that I could take the easy way. Clarifying the truth about Falun Gong is one of the three things Master requires. Doing a lot of truth clarification work does not solely represent how well we have cultivated. We can only improve if we solidly do all of the three things well at the same time.

Studying the Fa well is the fundamental prerequisite for doing everything else well.