Going to Extremes Leads Us Away from the Right Path
(Clearwisdom.net) In many lectures, Master tells us not to be radical or go to extremes. Master said: “Don't go to extremes when you do things. Every aspect of the path we take has to be upright.” (“Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”) However, there still exists the problem of going to extremes. For example:
When going to the extremes of “putting aside one's own opinions and cooperating with others” and “being responsible for the Fa, being responsible for fellow practitioners and adhering to the principles of the Fa,” the consequences are oftentimes: Either he thinks he is always consistent with the Fa thus he insists on his own understanding and cannot cooperate well with others; or he is so afraid of being accused of stubbornness that he gives up his righteous thoughts and follows the crowd, thus being taken advantage of by the old forces.
When going to the extremes of “looking inward when there is a problem and not blaming fellow practitioners” and “kindly pointing out the shortcomings of fellow practitioners and frankly sharing experiences within the Fa,” the consequences are oftentimes: Either he is deliberately ambiguous when sharing experiences, and cannot frankly state his own opinions regarding the shortcomings of a fellow practitioner in order to achieve the goal of helping each other and improving as a whole body; or he develops an attachment to the shortcomings of a fellow practitioner, and not considering the capacity of the other person, he instead tries to change the other person or force his own opinion on the other person, thus causing pressure and interference to fellow practitioners who are in the midst of tribulation.
When going to the extremes of “seriously eliminating the evil” and “treating sentient beings compassionately,” the consequences are oftentimes: Confusion about the relationship between “evil” and “sentient beings manipulated by the evil,” having a “nice guy” attitude towards the evil and thus not seriously and completely eliminating the evil; or resentment against “sentient beings manipulated by evil” thus having endless tribulations.
When going to the extremes of “negating interference and persecution” and “looking inward to eliminate human attachments,” the consequences are oftentimes: Practitioners in tribulations do not want to hear their shortcomings pointed out by fellow practitioners, they only want other people to help them by sending forth righteous thoughts; or entering the erroneous state of “curing illness with qigong,” prolonging and worsening the tribulation due to attachments not eliminated, or focusing only on the one side of “looking inward,” which inadvertently acknowledges the persecution due to a shallow understanding of Master's poem,
“Remove your human thoughts
and evil will naturally die out” (“Don't Be Sad,” Hong Yin Volume II)
When going to the extremes of “having powerful righteous thoughts” and “paying attention to safety,” the consequences are oftentimes: One is motivated by self-validation and the show-off mentality, one does not pay attention to conforming to the state of ordinary society when doing things and neglects safety measures, and the attachment of “relying on the protection of Dafa” leaves a loophole for old forces' persecution; or conversely over-emphasizing the safety measures of everyday people while ignoring that the fundamental guarantee of a cultivator's safety are cultivating oneself well and maintaining strong righteous thoughts.
When going to the extremes of “walking one's own path, don't wait and don't rely on others” and “complementing each other well,” the consequences are oftentimes: Some practitioners have a strong attachment of relying on others. For a long time, they fail to independently walk their own path of validating the Fa with the excuse of “complementing others”; some practitioners cannot complement others well due to protecting themselves, dislike of trouble between practitioners or lack of patience, thus alienating fellow practitioners who need assistance, resulting in Fa-validation being slowed down.
The above problems are the result of taking one's understanding of the Fa to an extreme and failing to meet Master's requirement of “Every aspect of the path we take has to be upright.” This is because being educated in the Party's extreme education style has caused people from mainland China to form concepts of “either-or” and everything is viewed with “either love or hate.” We hold on to human notions when studying the Fa and use certain words from the Fa as an excuse for our attachments, rather than truly measuring ourselves using the Fa and truly improving. This has led to a more and more extreme understanding of the Fa. If we study the Fa this way, the effect won't be good. It only validates and strengthens our own attachments.
The closer to the end, the higher the standards are and it is becoming a more serious matter. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard. And we should strive to do well in every aspect according to Master's requirements. In fact, I was a person who used to easily go to extremes. I am writing this article to share my experiences with fellow practitioners. Let's walk the final path well. If there is anything inappropriate, please kindly point it out.