The Old Forces Are Gigantic Impediments to Our Cultivation: Reflection After Reading Master's Article “Be Clearheaded” (Part 2)
(Minghui.org) (Continued from Part 1)
[Editor's Note: Master has told practitioners about the existence of the old forces repeatedly. However, as practitioners are cultivating in the maze, many still have a limited understanding about the old forces. They are unable to enlighten to the level of Master's expectation because of many historical and present day reasons. Moreover, some practitioners with warped understanding constantly spread misleading information to interfere with the cultivation environment. Those practitioners with extreme views were interfered with and generated thoughts that were contradictory to Dafa's standards. However, they were unaware of this. There are also practitioners who always use a simple black-white logic to judge things. All these phenomena have hindered practitioners from reaching a rational understanding of the old forces and breaking through that interference. Thus, some practitioners cannot meet Master's requirements.
For example, some practitioners had the thought that “the old forces arranged some people to be in key positions,” so they came up with the nonsense “no need to follow any notification from the Minghui website or the Falun Dafa Associations.” When we heard about this subject the first time, did we immediately know that it was not in line with Dafa requirements? Or were we befuddled and did not put a stop to it? When someone boasted about how high they enlightened to or that the old forces no longer existed, were we clear concerning Master's teaching and did we keep our hearts unmoved? When we were overwhelmed by interference and tests, could we tell from where our thoughts originated – from our true selves, imposed by the old forces, or from our attachments and mindsets developed during prior lives? Then, how should we break through the situation? We need to use the guidance of Dafa. There were countless interferences, some real, some fake, or some complicated. They were all opportunities for practitioners to pass tests and improve themselves. Real gold is not afraid of fire, thus making it pure gold. We hope that practitioners help each other and are more diligent in the Fa.]
Old Forces Are Responsible for the Unprecedented Persecution
One of the crimes committed by the old forces is the unprecedented persecution, played out in this century. If there was no persecution, all lives' issues would have been resolved harmoniously. That was what Master had wanted.
“This persecution is just too evil, and the things arranged by the old forces are just too evil. Everything I've established in 200 million years has been destroyed by them and they’ve gotten things into this shape.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
Old Forces' Persecution of Practitioners Outside China
The old forces have not let up in their persecution of Dafa practitioners, even outside China. As a matter of fact, the culprits responsible for persecuting practitioners inside and outside China are the same factors, however manifested in different forms, and that is why it confused many people.
Although the democratic societies outside China protects their citizens' basic human rights, the old forces orchestrated detailed arrangements affecting Dafa practitioners, seeking every opportunity to persecute, and manipulate every single human heart to persecute practitioners, and interfere with practitioners achieving the goal of cultivation.
Issues Creating Loopholes Exploited by the Old Forces
Karma Elimination Interference
“Currently, whether it is karma elimination or interference from evil factors, that is all the work of the old forces. It’s all the same—they are just called different names.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference”)
The old forces have arranged the path for each Dafa practitioner. They take advantage of practitioners' loopholes in cultivation to create tribulations, even if it means destroying sentient beings. They use very sinister means to manipulate practitioners' attachments, enlarge them, drag practitioners down, and then take their lives.
To achieve their goals, the old forces make practitioners come down with sickness karma, and even take their life. The old forces may cause car accidents, or incidents for practitioners who are still attached to lust. They may even arrange opportunities for practitioners, who are attached to financial gains, to come across a fraudulent scheme. For those who still have the attachment of showing off, the old forces arrange for them the illusion that they have obtained supernormal abilities, and reached a very high cultivation level. Then, the old forces manipulate these practitioners to interfere with others.
By doing so, the old forces can achieve three goals. First, to create a negative impact on practitioners, which shakes their faith in Dafa. Secondly, it is to destroy the cultivation environment, which allows them to eliminate practitioners whom they believe are not meeting the standard. Lastly, they may stir up trouble so that they can take control.
They manipulate the notion that the overseas environment is more relaxing and comfortable. Thus, a practitioner wanting to reach higher realms must break through a complicated environment. There will be more interference by the old forces, and a more severe persecution for a diligent practitioner.
“Except for newer students, from July 20 of 1999 on, Master hasn't created any personal cultivation tests for you, and that's because overall your personal cultivation has changed in every respect so that it's in the direction of saving sentient beings and validating Dafa.” (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
Practitioners who passed away might have walked on the path arranged by the old forces.
To break through the old forces' arrangements with righteous thoughts, practitioners must cultivate solidly. If they still have human attachments, the old forces will firmly hold on to these human attachments and persecute practitioners.
Interference of Practitioners with Strong Human Attachments
Some practitioners are strongly attached to ordinary people's pursuits, such as fame, and financial gains. These attachments are easily manipulated by the old forces, which allows them to destroy the cultivation and the Fa rectification environment.
Practitioners who want to be in control, have strong desires, are competitive, want to establish a clique, demand to be in power or be influential, and enjoy gossiping, are not genuinely cultivating, and are hypocritical. The practitioners' weakness is not knowing how to look inside, yet accuses others for not searching inside.
“Only people within the group can have an adverse effect. Whoever does these things is not a Dafa disciple, so don’t regard him as a Dafa disciple no matter how long he has cultivated for.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference”)
Taking the Fa as Teacher
The old forces latch on to the loopholes concerning practitioners' fondness of “following suit,” and their excuse is that these practitioners still admire, and want to be part of ordinary people's society. Thus, they cannot be considered genuine practitioners.
“Cultivators can't take other human beings as their role models. They must take the Fa as the teacher!” (Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York)
Every Dafa practitioner is a cultivator. Genuine practitioners take the Fa as their Teacher. We must be very clear about that.
Doing the Three Things Well
Master repeatedly emphasized the importance of studying the Fa, and practitioners are fully aware that they must follow Master's requirements. When the old forces see that the interference they have devised have no effect, they manipulate practitioners' attachments. They desire for the practitioner to gradually deviate from the Fa – these practitioners only study the Fa at home, and do not go out to clarify the truth about Dafa to save sentient beings.
Master tells us to study the Fa, because it guides our cultivation, and that a righteous cultivation state will allow us to assimilate to the Fa. Besides, practitioners have the historic task of assisting Master in the saving of sentient beings. Master asks us to do the three things well -- studying the Fa is only one of them.
Master said, “Cultivation is the cornerstone of what we do, and saving people is our responsibility.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)
Those who study the Fa well clearly understand that the Fa is the foundation of everything in this universe. The standard that conforms to a given realm needs to be achieved to reach that realm
If one's brain is filled with things from the old universe, and the human heart holds onto notions, conventional thinking, and karma, the old forces will not let go and grasp tightly.
If you assimilate to the Fa, these things will be eliminated. As long as these particular issues are there, it is difficult to assimilate to the Fa. Therefore, the old forces will do everything in their power to stop you and try to interfere with you. Simply reading Dafa books does not suffice for practitioners' cultivation.
Human Hearts Create Problems When Clarifying the Truth
Clarifying the facts about Dafa to people is noble, and saving sentient beings is an issue in which the old forces dare not interfere. Nonetheless, the old forces use practitioners' human hearts to set barriers for them. They are oblivious that their interference negatively impacts saving sentient beings.
To help people quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), some practitioners are driven by their strong attachment of achieving a certain number each day. Therefore, they argue with people who refuse to quit the CCP. These practitioners are strongly attached to competitiveness, which results in their listeners turning hostile toward Dafa.
Some practitioners have attachments of zealotry and showing off when they reach a certain “quota.” Some report false figures, and are only interested in results, regardless of the ability of ordinary people to understand and accept what they were told.
“Anybody who talks too high when he clarifies the facts is being irrational and doing harm. And if he doesn't listen to words of caution and is too attached, he might do even worse bad things and be taken advantage of by demons. When you've truly committed those kinds of sins demons might take you down.” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference” from Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. III)
Every Dafa practitioner must use the Fa to assure that he or she will not use human hearts, sentiments and notions when doing the three things.
Prohibited: Fundraising Among Practitioners
The old forces will also take advantage of and use the respect and gratitude of practitioners towards Master. Some people said, “I saw Master, and Master told me to do this,” or “Master told me this, and this is what Master wanted,” and so on. The most often used reasoning is to use Master’s name to engage in illegal fundraising among practitioners. They even claimed, “This is Master’s project, and it will be handed over to Master in the future,” and so on, to get donations from mainland practitioners.
Master has warned us on multiple occasions not to organize fundraising activities among practitioners.
“Over the past few years there have been people in mainland China collecting funds without permission. They have been collecting money from students with the excuse of helping New Tang Dynasty, The Epoch Times, and other media outlets run by students outside of China. This cannot be done.” (“On the Issue of Collecting Funds” from The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
“I absolutely forbid any collection of funds--you cannot solicit or collect funds from the students, nor can you solicit funds from the public like other religions do. We don't do any of those things.” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)
“I have sternly told the practitioners involved in Fei Tian College’s construction project that they are not allowed to raise money among practitioners! Some of our practitioners accept other practitioners’ money, or ask practitioners for money in the name of fundraising for Dafa projects, yet they don’t have financial and accounting management in place and have used the money recklessly. Some people are swindling others. Some started off with good intentions, but when they started seeing lots of money they began to hoard it for themselves. Or in some cases people kept a portion for themselves and gave the remainder to practitioners or Dafa projects. These problems… I wonder what’s going to become of you in the future?” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)
“Some people have repeatedly cheated our Dafa disciples out of money. They collect funds and swindle Dafa disciples in the name of all kinds of alleged causes.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)
“When you donate to or financially support someone, you must know and be perfectly clear on what he is doing with the money. Otherwise you cannot do it. If you give someone money, it amounts to supporting him in his actions, and you stand to be at fault as well. Therefore, the old forces won’t regard you as having been duped. Instead, they will see you as being in cahoots with the other party and supporting him. So you absolutely must be careful with these things.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)
Old Forces Thrust Is Directed Against “Influential” Practitioners
The old forces have a great interest and put more attention on using the attachments of influential practitioners, because it allows them to create tribulations for more practitioners. When the old forces find that these practitioners have attachments, they will even be ecstatic and will never let go of the opportunity to persecute them.
I have noticed that fellow practitioners have conflicts with, and even fight with each other. Some formed cliques and excluded those whom they do not like. Some have selfish thoughts when doing Dafa projects; while others do not “take the Fa as Teacher.” Then, there are those that believe that Dafa projects granted them power, and are addicted to it. In fact, practitioners in charge of Dafa projects, and coordinators are all ordinary cultivators. Practitioners in these positions must remember that letting go of attachments is of greatest importance. If they are not aware, they will fall in the trap arranged by the old forces.
“As a Dafa disciple, whether in your personal cultivation you’ve cultivated well or poorly is one thing, but if you don’t handle these significant things well, these Dafa disciples’ things, in the future the old forces will go after you to settle the score in a big way. You absolutely must pay attention to this. Don’t think, 'Since I’m in this position, I can make all the decisions now.' Your responsibilities are likewise tremendous, and if you handle things poorly the problem will also be tremendous. It’s not acceptable if your motives are off by even just a bit.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference”)
“Speaking from another angle, my disciples, when the old forces are able to do what they want to do, isn't that because you've silently consented to what they want to do?” (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festivalat the U.S. West Fa Conference)
Forgotten One's Original Home
I often hear that so and so practitioners were celebrities and heroes in history in their past lives. Some practitioners are eager to pass on these rumors, as they still have serious attachments of curiosity and showing off. Some practitioners thus become well-known, and are admired by others. These practitioners may develop strong attachments, and be under the delusion that their origin and levels are higher than those of others. The more they have this mindset, the easier for the old forces to enlarge these attachments. They will eventually cause these practitioners to become enlightened on the evil path.
“It has been said, 'When I come to this ordinary human society, it’s just like checking into a hotel for a few days. Then I leave in a hurry.' Some people are just obsessed with this place and have forgotten their own homes.” (Zhuan Falun)
No matter how well-known, or how great some were in history, it happened in the human world. It is true that they assisted Master in developing traditional culture, but they were all roles played on the stage of the human world. These roles do not represent the practitioners' cultivation state in this era. Nothing in this world is worthy of nostalgia for Dafa practitioners.
Master uses the metaphor “checking into a hotel” when describing the life in the ordinary human world. Perhaps you have lived in a five-star hotel or a simple hostel. You may have been a beggar in one of your past lives. Today you show off because of living in a five-star hotel, but have you forgotten about the time when you wandered on the streets begging for food? The danger is that you may not be aware that this attachment is being used by the old forces. They may have been feeding you with a lot of false information to lead you astray.
The old forces have done many bad things and interfered with Dafa practitioners. A genuine practitioner should be able to find traces of old forces' interference on his or her cultivation path.
I am hoping to use this article to expose the old forces and clarify the facts, so that more practitioners will awaken and be alerted to the old forces' persecution.
(To be continued)