Eliminate the Attachment to Seeking Fame
(Minghui.org) Lately, the attachment to seeking fame, which has been holding me in its grasp from time to time, interferes with my cultivation path and being an effective Fa-rectification disciple.
“Those who are attached to their reputations practice an evil way, full of intention. Once they gain renown in this world, they are bound to say good but mean evil, thereby misleading the public and undermining the Fa.” (“Essentials for Further Advancement”)
Prior to cultivating Dafa, my attachment of seeking fame was at great heights. I was a very shy person, but worried about losing face. Even though I learned to control it up to a point, my attachment had not been eliminated. I was very sensitive when it came to this attachment. I didn't want others to complain about me and so I was very polite and expected respect from others. I enjoyed being praised.
Then, I realized that my attachment of seeking fame was closely tied to the attachment of fear. For example, I tried to guard my name. Additionally I was always afraid of hurting others and afraid of them misunderstanding me. Although my fear was covered up by my attachment to fame I realized that this was because the attachment to fame held priority over everything else.
I looked for the root of the problem and realized that deep in my heart I believed that people looked down on me because I was born into a poor family. I studied very well in school, so my parents pinned all their hope on me. I was an introvert and lacked eloquence and social skills. My mother's high expectation, at the tender age of around ten, which demanded that I act like an adult, had the opposite effect and made me shy, nervous, and afraid to meet people. All this I have not been able to shake to this day.
I believe mother's education of “destructive enthusiasm” played a part in making me socially handicapped and beholden to the desire to win respect at all costs.
Seeking the Root Cause
So what is the root of cause for seeking fame? I believe it to be selfishness resulting in great concern for self. I expect every one else to focus on me, virtually placing myself higher than others. Whenever something happened, I tried everything possible to defend and protect my name and fame. I would enjoy or worry entirely for the sake of name and fame. In reality, I had forsaken my main consciousness and only lived for seeking fame.
From the perspective of everyday people, fame is something different from gaining profit, because profit is something tangible. On the other hand, seeking fame in human society is confirmation of one's ability, talent, wealth, social status, looks, and so on. These type of feelings are illusory, nothing eternal, eventually disappearing—what's the use? But people are lost in them.
As a Falun Dafa practitioner, I should recognize the attachment to fame and get rid of it. Seeking fame is based on selfishness, having no consideration for others and is also deceitful. For example, if your purpose of treating others well is for the sake of others to praise you, then you don't really treat others well, are you not deceiving people? Are you not lying? Are you not in contradiction to the universal principles Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance?
Letting Go of the Attachment to Seeking Fame
If I don't get rid of the attachment of seeking fame, it is easy for me to use the standard of fame to restrain myself. Although the result turns out to look roughly the same as when my behavior is based on the Fa, the starting point is different: One is for my own fame, the other actively assimilating into the Fa.
From the perspective of Fa-rectification, if the attachment of seeking fame is not eliminated, elements of self-validation would strongly be mixed with rectifying Dafa. This would make the person put too much emphasis on himself or herself, so that he or she would be unable to become humble, making it more difficult to walk on the path that Teacher arranged or fall by the wayside and even destroy oneself.
I came to understand that fame is one giant shackle that the old force put on practitioners, holding them in their thrall. To disintegrate this shackle is to destroy all attachments, enabling practitioners to have purer minds and thus enable them to save the world's people.
I think that attachments, such as inferiority, arrogance, vanity, complacency, show-off, jealousy, competition, lust, fear, and so on are linked to the attachment of seeking fame. The attachment of seeking fame is like a big tree, whereas human minds are like the big tree's extended twigs, and these twigs will slowly breed. Once the attachment of seeking fame is eliminated from the root, the aforementioned human notions can easily and completely be eliminated.
Fellow practitioners, please kindly point out anything incorrect in my understanding.