(Clearwisdom.net) How on earth did the old forces come into being? Why did the inhuman persecution of Falun Gong happen? Why has the persecution lasted more than seven years? Have we Falun Gong practitioners ever thought about the root cause of the persecution calmly and seriously?All these are very important questions and each practitioners should try to understand the answer to each question.
“Selfishness is a fundamental attribute of the cosmos of the past. Because of that attribute, formation-stasis-degeneration-destruction and birth-aging-sickness-death are inevitable. In the future the Fa will be all-harmonizing, perfect, and selfless. The change in that fundamental attribute of the cosmos leads to fundamental changes in the cosmos’s progression and beings’ characteristics.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference”)
Selfishness, an attribute of the old cosmos, is the fundamental reason for the old forces to bring destruction and disintegration to the old cosmos at some point in time. It is without doubt that all lives in the universe instinctively will do everything in their power to survive, because they do not want to die. This is the fundamental reason why the old forces arranged this demonic tribulation. They attempt to circumvent destruction.
However, selfishness penetrates all lives in the old universe, that includes the old forces. The actions to save the cosmos were designed by the old forces out of selfishness. Therefore, they are unable to harmonize the universe. On the contrary, all their actions will accelerate the disintegration of the old universe. A life is most selfish when it is trying to escape disintegration and death. To escape destruction and retain what they need, the old forces use the excuse, “Helping Falun Gong practitioners achieve higher levels and therefore they have to “test” practitioners at every step of the way. Alas, the old forces even do not adhere to the Fa of the old universe. They tortured and slaughtered Falun Gong practitioners. Driven by their notions, the old forces continue their so-called “test.” The lives and elements of the old forces fail to evaluate their behavior from the perspective of the Fa and saving all sentient beings in the universe.
The selfish attribute is also at work among everyday people in everything they do. In their pursuit of self-interest, everyday people abandon their parents, cheat their friends and relatives, fight with each other, kill people, commit other atrociousness crimes, hire people to assassinate their enemies, and so much more. All of mankind's decadent behavior results from selfishness.
Falun Gong practitioners' cultivation practice transcends the old universe, but selfishness penetrates every single layer of our bodies. More often than not, this attribute is manifested in our thoughts or behavior. Many of the old forces' tests are not true tests. They interfere with practitioners by injecting thoughts into our minds. They make us accept their tests or persecution and their arranged path.
I will outline below some examples of selfishness I have observed:
After Jiang Zemin and the Chinese Communist Party began the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, some practitioners went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong for the sake of reaching consummation. Some practitioners accepted the persecution in detention centers or forced labor camps. They felt they have upgraded their cultivation levels because they endured and survived the torture. Therefore, they were very pleased with themselves and thought themselves to be better than other practitioners. Some practitioners, when failing to endure the torture and signing a “guarantee statement”, felt defeated and disappointed in themselves. Some practitioners fail to step out and explain to people the facts about Falun Gong to avoid being arrested. Some practitioners who hold a fierce competitive mentality insist on being right and waste time and effort arguing about everything. Some practitioners envy or are jealous of diligent practitioners. Some practitioners think they cultivate well and do not have any attachment to fear. Hence, they do not take into consideration their personal safety or fellow practitioners' safety. Some practitioners are oblivious to fellow practitioners' cultivation levels or status when they force fellow practitioners to follow their ways of doing Dafa work. Some practitioners are stubborn and turn a deaf ear to fellow practitioners' advice. Some practitioners are busy with doing Dafa work. They think that by doing more Dafa work and contributing to the Fa-rectification, they will reach consummation. They fail to incorporatecultivation into the process of doing Dafa work. They have forgotten that Falun Gong practitioners will reach consummation by cultivating their hearts, not by doing Dafa work. Some practitioners with an attachment to comfort try to take the easy route in everything they do. Some practitioners are attached to when the persecution will end. The root cause of all these attachments is selfishness. If we do not detect them in time or eliminate them in time, the old forces will be likely exploit these loopholes and create a lot of damage.
In the latest Fa lectures, Teacher emphasized the importance of searching inward to identify our attachments. Isn't Teacher asking us to eliminate selfishness through our cultivation practice so that we will attain selflessness and altruism and become selfless enlightened beings? If every Falun Gong practitioner lets go of selfishness, will there be any conflict between practitioners or between practitioners and everyday people?
There is a Chinese expression: selfish heart and interfering thoughts. I had never thought much about this expression until now. Now that I think of it, this expression carries a very profound meaning. Interfering thoughts arise from selfishness. A selfish heart is bound to produce thoughts that interfere with the person. Selfishness is hidden in each and every thought of ours. If we neglect to guard each and every thought of ours and examine if our thoughts comply with the Fa, we will be unlikely to eliminate selfishness. Recently a few fellow practitioners have written articles about cultivating their each and every thought. I, too, have identified this problem recently. The root of all of my impure thoughts is selfishness. The Fa-rectification is near the end. It is high time that we completely eliminate our selfishness.
Selfishness is anchored in all bodies, and in each cell and thought that has not completely assimilated to the Fa. If we fail to study the Fa in tranquility daily, it will be difficult to capture our fleeting selfish thoughts. I don't mean that we should go to the extreme and become too vigilant or too nervous about guarding our thoughts. As long as we continue to study the Fa in tranquility, Teacher's fashen will give us hints. In “To the Australia Fa Conference,” Teacher pointed out the especially importance of studying the Fa.
A Falun Gong practitioner shared one of his celestial visions about studying the Fa. When we study the Fa seriously and upgrade our understanding, righteous divine beings will eliminate the evil beings at our current cultivation levels instantly. This shows the importance of our Fa study.
If all Falun Gong practitioners eliminate our selfishness in time, we will attain tranquility when we send forth righteous thoughts and our righteous thoughts will become very powerful. It is extremely important to eliminate our selfishness.