German Practitioners: Eliminating Elements of the Party Culture, Saving More Sentient Beings
(Clearwisdom.net) I have realized that I have many traces of Party culture in myself. In summary, the Party culture manifests itself in me in four ways:
2. Not admitting my mistakes, protecting myself instead
3. Purposefully saying ambiguous things and things not easily faulted
4. Before speaking, I say things to prevent others from pointing out my mistakes
Boasting shows that I have a hidden attachment to showing off. The other three traits show that I have the attachment of protecting myself; the root cause is selfishness.
Teacher said in Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference:
"In a natural society such as that, people share a common way of life that values keeping calm, being kind and open-minded, and not putting up your guard around people. That's normal, and before the wicked Party came along, Chinese people used to be that way too."
My understanding is that behaving as the Party culture directs keeps others from seeing what's on one's mind, so as to guard against others and protect oneself. Therefore, not until many Germans have dealt with Chinese people for a while do they see through their shortcomings. The same thing happened to Chinese practitioners.
German practitioners manifest some aspects of Party culture, while Chinese practitioners from mainland China manifest Party culture almost completely. Of course, the root of the Party culture has very close connections to the evil CCP (Chinese Communist Party).
How I realized I had traces of Party culture happened like this: I told a Taiwanese person—who is very supportive of Falun Dafa—that the practitioner who was responsible for Shen Yun tickets would get in touch with him about getting him his tickets right away. But it turned out that this practitioner could not get in touch with him, and after this practitioner finally contacted this person, he got distracted with something else, and as a result, he didn't get him the tickets to him until a few days later.
When this Taiwanese person saw me again, he challenged me by asking why I had told him that this practitioner would get in touch with him right away, causing him to wait the whole day. He also told me that if one could not guarantee something, then one should not make a promise. Right away, I realized that my attachment of boasting had flared up.
He added, "Almost all of your practitioners share the same problem." What he said alerted me, as the practitioners with whom he has contact were all from mainland China. Was this a common problem? If that was the case, what the cause of it? I kept digging, and I found Party culture was the root cause. I was pleased and really appreciated Teacher for having that person point out my attachments. That day, I talked with this Taiwanese person for four hours. During our chat, he pointed out to me my shortcomings one by one.
2. Not Frankly Admitting One's Mistakes, Protecting Oneself
Another thing this Taiwanese friend said was that practitioners from mainland China were not willing to admit their mistakes, or if they did admit their mistakes, they would add something at the end indicating that there was some reason it was beyond their control.
In ancient China, Chinese people could always admit their mistakes with sincere hearts. Even an emperor who realized his mistake would publish a public announcement to admit the mistake and take responsibility for it right away. They would also do penance by not eating for one day or copying scripture for two days or chanting scripture for three days, etc.
After the CCP invaded China, this traditional culture was destroyed. The CCP legitimizes itself by claiming to be great, glorious, and correct. It never considers itself wrong. If it were to admit its mistakes, it would lose its legitimacy. At the same time, the power struggles within the CCP are very brutal. Once a person begins to admit his mistakes, he might lose his power, or even his life, which has resulted in the kind of Party culture that the CCP has formed over the past few decades in which no one will admit his or her mistakes and one always argues for oneself. During the June 4th Tiananmen Square Massacre, one CCP official said something like this: "If we were to take one step back, it would have been equal to two steps, and if we were to take two steps back, we would have totally collapsed." This is the mentality with regard to admitting mistakes.
This aspect of Party culture has impacted many Chinese people from mainland China. The result has been that, in recent years, China has become a nation that does not know how to admit its mistakes, because in our consciousness, we all know that we'd end up paying dearly if we did. A county like Germany is different. As a non-communist country, if its president admits to mistakes, he would only have to face the risk of stepping down from his post, and his life would never be endangered. For Chinese people, they might understand that they are wrong, but they don't want to admit it, so they try their best to defend themselves. Now the Chinese people have developed a habit of defending themselves. Through cultivation, we have eliminated the Party culture to a large extent, yet there are some areas that still need work.
3. Purposefully Saying Ambiguous Things and Things Not Easily Faulted
I realized that sometimes I say some ambiguous things because I don't want others to find out about my mistakes. It all comes down to protecting myself.
During its past few decades of political struggle, the CCP kept changing its stance. In order to protect themselve, if they weren't sure what the stance of the CCP was, many people learned to say things in an ambiguous way so that they could not be faulted. This is probably why this way of expressing themselves came into being.
What I used to say was: "As long as our righteous thoughts are strong, we will surely succeed." This is correct. But by only saying that, without saying how to enable one to have righteous thoughts, or why sometimes when we needed to use righteous thoughts but we lacked them, it equates to a slogan that avoids making mistakes.
4. When I Spoke, I Would Cover Myself to Prevent Others from Pointing out My Mistakes
In our experience sharing, we would always end with the same sentence: “This is my current understanding on the Fa. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.”
I feel this is the right thing to say. "This is my current understanding on the Fa" signifies that I am responsible for what I said. "Please kindly point out anything inappropriate" signifies that I am willing to accept other people's advice. If I fell short in my understanding, I am willing to admit that I have this shortcoming.
If I change the above sentences to: “My understanding is not perfect. Please bear with me for anything inappropriate,” this is completely different. "My understanding is not perfect" means that I don't want to be responsible for what I said. And as I have informed you that I would make mistakes, even if there is anything inappropriate, please do not point it out to me, as I have already warned you. This is protecting one's selfishness.
If I use this cunning tactic, I have prevented others from pointing out my mistakes, and I still have Party culture within me. I've often heard things said this way in decision making among practitioners.
The Party culture manifests in other areas as well. What I have mentioned reflects only a few areas.
This is my current understanding on the Fa. Please point out anything inappropriate.