(Minghui.org) I was bothered by a trivial thing at work one day, and I became upset and unhappy. I looked inward to find the source of my unhappiness.

I realized that I've spent my entire life vacillating between feeling happy and unhappy. I've been immersed in human likes and dislikes, and I've been manipulated by these feelings. I judge everything based on my attachments, and I've always been self-centered. Although I talk about denying the old forces' arrangements, I've actually been going along with them in a subtle way.

I would like to share my understanding on this issue.

I discovered that I like to get compliments. When others praise me, I'm happy and feel good. When I hear good news, I feel happy and excited, and I want to show off. When I'm in a good mood, it's easy to deal with conflicts. Because there is no pressure, I can treat people nicely and be tolerant and it's easy to forbear. Since my attachments aren’t being ruffled, it looks like I'm cultivating very diligently.

Realizing My Critical Nature

However, as soon as I'm criticized or hear bad news, I'm unhappy. Not only am I in a bad mood, but I also complain that others do not handle things well or speak nicely. I look down on them or even verbally attack those who criticize me. I have also developed a bad habit of pretending to be nice to people I have a bad opinion of. I hide my true feelings of anger or jealousy. Isn't this a manifestation of demon nature?

Because of the severe persecution, my environment is stressful and it's easy to get angry. I tend to argue with people and rarely think about this persecution with the mindset of a practitioner. Instead, I'm frequently angry and I complain, and my personality has become negative and introverted. I lack confidence and avoid talking to others, and I don't know how to handle my day to day challenges with wisdom. Whenever one of my deeply hidden attachments is provoked, I lose control and get furious. I have an attachment to saving face, and if I lose face in front of others, I'm depressed.

Whenever I tried to look inward for the source of these attachments, I always failed. Instead, I kept making excuses and covering them up, so that I could pretend that everything was fine. As a result, I made the same mistakes over and over again.

Entangled in Emotion

I'd been entangled in emotion for several years and measured everything based on my mood. If one cultivates based on whether one feels happy or unhappy, is one truly cultivating? How can one enlighten to the Fa's principles and develop righteous thoughts this way?

So, what causes our feelings of happiness or unhappiness? Today, I suddenly understood: it comes from emotion and selfishness, which was arranged by the old forces for the three realms. This qing--or attachment to emotion--is running everything in the human world so that the old forces can interfere with our righteous thoughts. It is this selfishness, the fundamental nature of the old universe, that keeps us from fully trusting Master and the Fa and doing the three things well. This selfishness also keeps us from completely denying the old forces' arrangements.

Why do non-practitioners pursue happiness and dream about living easy and carefree lives? It's because they don't want to suffer. They don't want to deal with conflicts or be in pain. They don't want to challenge themselves or set aside their selfish human nature. When people are unhappy, they become anxious or disappointed or feel despair. All they can think of is, “I was wronged” and “How unfairly I've been treated!” Many times they lash out and lose control, get angry, and seek revenge. When they do this, their thoughts are very negative and even demonic.

Recognizing Selfishness

Placing one's self interests first causes people to be unable to endure any criticism or loss, and they cannot restrain themselves. When everything is based on selfishness, one cannot be selfless. Master said:

“But the layers upon layers of beings have become impure, and even the last being has become impure. When they're helping me, at the same time they hide their selfish intention of protecting themselves. They all want to change others but not themselves--no one wants to change himself--and they even try to preserve as much as possible the things they're attached to and won't let go of.” (Touring North America to Teach the Fa)

The old forces have imposed this selfishness, which they themselves cannot handle, on the human world and arranged it for Dafa disciples. “I come first” is many people's motto. Selfishness is the focus of people's lives and is a social norm. Since it's the way people live, non-practitioners do not see it.

However, as Dafa cultivators, we need to be extraordinary people and step out of the fundamental nature of the old universe. Master told us in “Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature:” “whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” (Essentials for Future Advancement). This is the only way we can enter the new universe. As Dafa disciples during the Fa-rectification period, we can only improve after we can break out of selfishness.

People will be saved if we can clarify the truth and completely disintegrate the old forces' mechanisms that keep selfishness up and running. When a person understands that Dafa is their hope for being saved they will sincerely exclaim, “Falun Dafa is good.”