Am I Gold or Sand?
(Minghui.org) There was an article on Minghui.org “Legends for People of the Future”. It said:
“There are many people cultivating the Tao on Emei Mountain, but ordinary people can't see them. They have the supernormal ability to hide the places they stay from the outside, just as it is portrayed in some fairy stories. Starting halfway down from the Mountaintop were those who had cultivated for two to three hundred years; the longest was just under five hundred years. This was the largest group, and their Gongzhu (Energy Column) could only reach a little higher than halfway up the Mountain.”
“...Above the halfway point of the Mountain, the number of cultivators became gradually less and less, while the cultivators became older and older. They had all been cultivating for over 2000 years. Their Gongzhu's were all beyond the Milky Way, and some had even gone beyond the level of Tathagata. But they were still cultivating, as they had not yet reached consummation.”
Our human bodies are made to suffer. Although many people want to follow a cultivation practice, it is difficult because the more attachments you have, the more suffering you have to go through to get rid of them.
Many people give up cultivation practice because they can't tolerate the hardships they encounter. Therefore, few people reach the top of “Emei Mountain.”
The same is true with Falun Dafa practitioners. What Master taught in Zhuan Falun is Fa principles. These principles can help a cultivator become a divine being. Yet, there are people who want to cultivate, but they can't let go of fame, the desire for obtaining benefits, or other attachments.
However, cultivation in Falun Dafa is serious. You can't become a divine being if you don't believe in Master and the Fa and if you do not act according to the Fa requirements. Master said:
“Cultivation practice is like great waves sifting the sand: What remains is gold.” (“For Whom do You Practice Cultivation?” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
There was a local practitioner who died en route to a hospital. She was listening to one of Master's lectures through earphones when she died.
Other practitioners who also had sickness karma gave up when they saw that a practitioner as diligent as she had died. They understood the Fa principles, but they couldn't act accordingly. They thought it was more realistic and feasible to go to a hospital than to suffer. Some of them started taking medication and some even went to the hospital for treatment.
Cultivation practice is about taking the Fa as teacher and cultivating ourselves. Reaching consummation depends entirely on ourselves and whether, in the end, we are gold or sand. It is not inconceivable for people to die while cultivating. Those who died before reaching consummation are not necessarily just sand; but their passing away can sift the sand and give other practitioners opportunities to improve.
The above is my personal understanding. Please correct me if there is anything inappropriate.