(Minghui.org) I would like to share my thoughts on solemn statements written by Falun Gong practitioners in China.

The following is one such example: “After lodging my criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin for his crimes against humanity, I did something that does not conform to the requirements of Dafa. I hereby state that the things that I said to the arresting officers, and the things that I signed for them, are invalid. I will work hard to make up for the losses that I have caused.”

This particular practitioner did not bother to mention when the event took place, what happened when the police showed up, or what he said or wrote that was not in line with Dafa. In my opinion, such simple statements seem insincere.

Publishing a solemn statement is an opportunity for those who did not do well to make up for their wrongdoings, and do better in the future. Thus, their statements should be written with the utmost sincerity, and a feeling of steadfast determination. It is not like a simple promise made in the secular world. Rather, it is a heart-felt pledge that a practitioner makes to the universe. It's that serious!

Why do some solemn statements lack this requisite seriousness? Because the practitioners who wrote them appear may be more concerned with protecting their egos and shifting responsibility for their wrongdoings.

These practitioners view making a solemn statement as a convenient and expeditious way of cleansing themselves of the bad things that they've done on their way to consummation. They fail to regard their statements as solemn pledges.

They issue a statement for others to see, instead of writing it to improve themselves. Think about it. If we fail to improve ourselves, is it a simple matter? Aren't we trying to cheat divine beings and Master Li? Isn't this a huge sin?

Master Li said,

“When you can really do that, not just saying it but putting it into action, Master will definitely stand up for you.” (“Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”)

Making a solemn statement is just the first step in atoning for our misdeeds. The most important thing is knowing deep in our hearts what our shortcomings are, and then working hard to completely overcome them. Remember, the title of “Dafa disciple” is not something that we can self-proclaim. Rather, we must first conform to the standard of practitioners to be worthy of this most sacred title.

Master Li said,

“In the end how many people will be able to come through, and how many people will truly be able to meet the standard for a Dafa disciple’s consummation? Sometimes I’m really not optimistic. The Fa-rectification is bound to succeed; that’s certain. And for sure there will be Dafa disciples achieving consummation. But how many? I’m really not that optimistic at the moment.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)

I was shocked and ashamed after reading Master's above quote. I have practiced Dafa for many years and I have always taken it for granted that as a Dafa practitioner, I would one day reach consummation—especially since I had invested so much time and energy into Dafa-related projects.

However, when I looked deeper, I realized that almost every thing that I had done for Dafa was out of self-interest. Meaning, I had always weighed the task at hand in terms of how much virtue I would accumulate after completing it.

So, instead of trying to reach the altruistic state of a true practitioner, I was motivated by the thought of accumulating virtue! I was thus always seeking virtue.

Even when I wrote my own solemn statement—after committing a wrongdoing—I did it mainly out of self-interest. I wanted to impress high-level beings with the fact that I had not left a blemish on my path of cultivation. These thoughts are a far cry from Master Li's requirement of thinking of others first and ridding ourselves of our human attachments.

Master Li said,

“Ultimately there’s a difference in levels between those who have done extremely well all the way through and those who have stumbled time and again, writing some [“repentance”] statement one day and then nullifying it the next, although pulling through in the end. If those who still aren’t rational even to this day really wake up today, start sprinting and try to catch up with others, and can really manage to do well, then consummation is possible for them. They won’t be able to catch up with those who are well ahead of them, however. In cultivation there are different realms. I am really anxious about this. The more time passes the more anxious I get.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)

One of the reasons why some practitioners “have stumbled time and again” is that they write at the end of their solemn statements: “From now on, I will do well and work hard to make up for the losses that I have incurred.”

Looking back, how many of us who have written solemn statements can honestly say that we've done well and worked hard to make up for the losses? If we fail to pay sufficient attention to our promise, we will inevitably keep stumbling.

It is not a trivial thing to write something for the Chinese authorities one day, then write a solemn statement the next day. If we don't put our promises into action, we are only fooling ourselves in the end.

Since the Fa-rectification is drawing to a close, we need to set even stricter requirements for ourselves, and be responsible to all sentient beings. We truly must realize the seriousness of our solemn statements. Once we miss this opportunity of a lifetime, it will be too late for regret!