Be Careful Not to Idolize Fellow Practitioners
Practitioner A from our local area was unlawfully arrested and sentenced to forced labor for handing out informational materials about the persecution of Falun Gong. After she was released, she wrote an article to expose the persecution she suffered and how she denied the evil persecution with strong righteous thoughts. After her article had been published on the Minghui website, we included her article in our local informational materials. Many practitioners read it. Instead of thinking of exposing the evil persecution based on this, they not only said practitioner A cultivated so well that evil did not dare to persecute her, but some practitioners also began to idolize her. This caused a stir among our local practitioners.
Practitioners from different areas began to invite her to share her experience. Wherever she went, she always heard praise and admiration. Practitioner A said, “I did not study the Fa for a few years while imprisoned at the forced labor camp. I thought I had been significantly left behind in my cultivation. After talking to practitioners, I found many of them had not improved.”
Another practitioner from our local area was also unlawfully imprisoned and persecuted. The family members hired an attorney to defend her. Practitioner A distributed the invitation notices for the court hearing, but unfortunately she was arrested again while passing out the notices and has now been imprisoned and has suffered persecution for over a year.
If a practitioner was arrested and persecuted, all practitioners should unconditionally look inward. After she was released the first time, we all praised her, saying that she cultivated well. Gradually she developed the attachment of complacency and showing-off, and no longer listened to other practitioner's advice. She also felt she cultivated very well and liked to share her experience by making speeches. This practitioner was released from the forced labor camp because she did not cooperate with the evil in the forced labor camp. It showed she cultivated well on one aspect. It doesn't mean she cultivated well in all aspects. She should study the Fa well. Meanwhile, she should have looked inward to find her omissions that were exploited by the evil forces and rectified it by the Fa standard.
Some practitioners idolized her so much that they followed her instead of studying the Fa. That is very dangerous. The practitioner is cultivating and therefore still has human notions and attachments to get rid of. When we all idolized her, we unconsciously pushed the unrighteous matter to her dimensions and made her cultivation ever harder. In the end, the practitioner was arrested and persecuted again.
“Yes, when a student has cultivated well in some regard, we should learn from him. But the student is still cultivating and still has human attachments that haven't been removed yet, so you still need to use the Fa as your standard.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students”, Teaching the Fa at the Conference VI)
“Don’t follow others or go and listen to them when you see their abilities, or divine powers, or whatever it is. You’ll hurt them, their attachment of happiness will well up, and they’ll lose everything they have in the end, everything will be shut down, and eventually they’ll fall to the bottom.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I am also well-known among local practitioners. Many practitioners said I cultivated well and they idolized and relied on me. Some practitioners even asked my opinion on whether they should buy a house. After a while, my attachment of showing-off and fame all developed. One practitioner saw my attachments and reminded me to look inward. But I did not listen to him. I wasn't convinced since all of the other practitioners said I cultivated well.
Gradually I looked down on the practitioners around me and my attachment magnified. I became eager to show how well I cultivated in front of the practitioners so as to gain praise and recognition from them. I also became afraid of losing fame. I often made contact with a female practitioner for Fa-validation related things. I did not pay attention to cultivating myself well and gradually the attachment of lust surfaced. I made mistakes and took a detour in my cultivation. Master is compassionate and did not abandon me. Master gave me the chance to resume my cultivation. I would have been destroyed if Master hadn't given me another chance.
To idolize any practitioner is actually to harm the practitioner and push the practitioner down. No matter how well the practitioners cultivate themselves, they achieve this by studying the Fa well and cultivating themselves well based on the Fa. We should all consider the Fa as our teacher and truly cultivate ourselves well in order to save more sentient beings.
Above is just my personal understandings. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.