The Danger of Having a Competitive Mentality
(Minghui.org) I recently enlightened to the fact that many attachments are closely intertwined with a competitive mentality, such as: complaining, feeling unbalanced, gossiping, backstabbing, resentment, and seeking revenge.
If this competitive mentality is not dealt with, how will our illness karma be removed, our xinxing improve, or our energy grow?
This competitive mindset can also foster our demon nature, make us jealous, and put us at risk of being persecuted. We must be perennially alert to the seriousness of this human attachment!
Cultivators Must Remove Their Competitive Mentality
Practitioners who were once filled with a lot of self-importance–before practicing Falun Gong–all talked about how stressed, fatigued, and unwell they felt.
“Ordinary people can’t grasp this truth, so they compete and fight when there’s something to gain at stake.”
“Out in the ordinary world you compete with other people for your reputation and profit, so you can’t sleep well, you can’t enjoy your food, and you’ve wrecked your body. When your body is looked at in another dimension even each of your bones is black.”
“When a person fights to benefit himself, he’ll do a lot of bad things, and then he’ll owe a lot of things.” (Zhuan Falun)
There was once a lay Buddhist who had cultivated for dozens of years. When his daughter was diagnosed with cancer, he asked his master why misfortune had befallen him. The master replied, “It's because you have a bad temper and your words often hurt others.”
Ordinary people fight for personal gain out of self-interest. However, if a practitioner behaves like this, he's actually worse than an ordinary person. Think about it: If we don't get rid of our competitive mentality, what's the point of studying the Fa or practicing the exercises?
Some practitioners passed away due to their competitive mentality and bad temper. Since they acted like ordinary people–and Master cannot remove the karma for an ordinary person–they attracted great misfortune into their lives.
I know a practitioner who ran a small, local business. She didn't pay attention to cultivating her heart nature and often quarreled with her customers. She later died of cancer.
Another practitioner I know was a former government official. She often argued with others, even when they kindly pointed out her attachments. She also rarely practiced the five Falun Gong exercises. One day, she got into a big argument with her daughter. The next day she passed away due to cancer.
Shouting, having a hot temper, and cursing at others are all manifestations of a competitive mentality. If we don't get rid of this attachment, it will control us and invite untold tribulations into our lives.
Master reminded us,
“If an ordinary person’s ailment could really be rooted out, then a non-cultivating, ordinary person would walk off without any ailment, but he’d still be an ordinary person, and he’d go on fighting for his own benefit just like other ordinary people. How could you just go and eliminate his karma? That’s definitely not allowed.”
“So why is it that some people do qigong exercises for a long time but don’t get their health back? That’s because qigong is cultivation, and it’s a higher thing, it’s not like ordinary people’s exercises. So you have to take character seriously if you’re going to get well or increase your gong.” (Zhuan Falun)
When faced with a disagreement, a competitive person's first thought will be to fight.
However, if he doesn't endure, his karma won't be transformed into virtue, his heart nature won't improve, and his mind won't be calm.
If we fight with someone during the day, it'll be hard for us to calm down while doing the sitting meditation at night. Likewise, if a person takes his interactions with others lightly, he'll usually have a calm mind.
If a practitioner doesn't improve his xinxing, not only will his energy potency not grow, but he'll be prone to competing and fighting with others. Remember, without tolerance, there is no virtue or enlightenment!
“But as soon as they were back out in the real world they’d be a different person, they’d go back to their old ways, and fight and compete with ordinary people for profit and to make a name for themselves. Do you think their gong could grow? Not even an inch.”
“... you’re over there fighting tooth and nail to benefit yourself, and you want to increase your gong? Forget it! Aren’t you just like an ordinary person, then? You think you could increase your gong? That’s why you have to focus on character cultivation. That’s what it takes for your gong to grow, and that’s what it takes for your level to rise.”
“If you can’t even get over little things, and you lose your temper, then forget about gong.” (Zhuan Falun)
If a practitioner doesn't get rid of his competitive mentality, he'll argue with others and give the old forces an excuse to persecute him, or even end his life. All of this was carefully arranged by the old forces eons ago.
For example, in October 2017, more than 50 practitioners were arrested at the same time in Shuangcheng District, China.
“The coordinators in Shuangcheng were very capable and could easily handle different projects. But some of them found it hard to cooperate with others in the group. Filled with jealousy and Communist Party culture, some formed their own little group. Not only was there in-fighting and friction between the various groups, but some practitioners even attacked each other.” (from “Reflection on the arrest incident in Shuancheng District,” in Number 829 of Minghui Weekly)
If we look within, get rid of our jealousy and competitive mentality, cultivate ourselves well, be sincere, inclusive, and tolerant of each other, our one body will be as indestructible as diamond. Thus, the old forces won't have any excuse to persecute us.
“But this problem also shows up among true cultivators who don’t admit that other people are good and don’t get rid of their competitiveness. They’re likely to get jealous.” (Zhuan Falun)
If we don't get rid of our competitive mentality, our demon nature will naturally grow, along with our jealousy. If we do get rid of this human mindset, not only won't we be bothered by loss or gain, we'll also become more compassionate.
Master taught us,
“Everyday people all have both demon-nature and Buddha-nature. Demon-nature will take effect once a person’s mind is not righteous.” ( “Stability of the Fa” in Essentials For Further Advancement)
“One’s demon-nature is viciousness, and it manifests as killing, stealing and robbing, selfishness, wicked thoughts, sowing discord, stirring up troubles by spreading rumors, jealousy, wickedness, anger, laziness, incest and so on.” (“Buddha-Nature and Demon-Nature” in Essentials For Further Advancement)“If a cultivator does not get rid of his demon-nature through cultivation, his gong will be badly disordered and he will attain nothing or follow a demonic path.” ( “Buddha-Nature and Demon-Nature” in Essentials For Further Advancement)
Master also said,
“If he doesn’t get rid of his attachment to being competitive and he always stays this way, then after being stuck for years he still won’t be able to go beyond this level, even after it’s dragged on like that for years. The result will be that he can’t practice anymore, and his physical body won’t be able to take it, either, he’ll have spent just too much energy, and in the worst case scenario he could even be left powerless.” (from Zhuan Falun)
Hard to Detect
The attachment to being competitive is sometimes hidden and therefore hard to detect. However, it often manifests as the propensity to counter others' ideas; the need to constantly advise others; a domineering personality; not letting others voice their opinion; getting angry when being criticized; attacking others for their views; emphasizing or promoting oneself; defending oneself or one's motives; trying to convince others of our righteousness, innocence, or competence; and making excuses for our words and deeds.
The attachment to being competitive is intimately tied to our human notions and karma. This attachment is actually a demon in another dimension with an ugly angry, and vicious nature. It follows our main consciousness and encourages us to be competitive, to fight back, and to seek revenge, thus accruing karma.
Whenever we face a conflict, this demon will appear and exert its influence over us. It will try to make us both angry and indignant so that we lose control.
It wants us to be devoid of righteous thoughts so that our level and energy potency drops. What is its motive? It yearns to see us think and act in a demonic way so that we become demons ourselves!
If we don't recognize its influence in our lives and eliminate it, it will inevitably follow and control us.
Improving Our Character
“But if your mind is always thinking about disagreeing with other people, fighting over this, over that, then I’d say once you run into a problem you’ll start fighting. I guarantee it. So, when you get into a conflict, I’d say it’s meant to transform the black matter in your body into white matter, into virtue.”
“Right in the thick of this complicated ordinary people’s environment you’re clearheaded, you get shortchanged while you know full well what’s happening, and when other folks compromise your best interests you don’t fight tooth and nail like they do, and you’re taken advantage of while all kinds of things try to drag your character down. In a grueling environment like this you temper your will, you improve your character, and here, with all kinds of bad thoughts from ordinary people preying on you, you manage to come out of it detached.” (Zhuan Falun)
I noticed that when faced with a conflict, my first thought was to fight and compete with the other party, even though I knew it was wrong. I also couldn't get it off my mind and felt uneasy afterward.
This indicates that I was still being controlled by my competitive mentality. Only by being perennially aware of our thoughts can we weaken and destroy this attachment.
I also enlightened to the fact that we should not compete and fight when we get into a disagreement since karma is being transformed at that time. Although ordinary people live for fame and self-interest, practitioners should get rid of these human attachments.
We usually compete and fight out of selfishness and self-interest. If we're truly selfless, we'll have little or no human desires, thus we won't compete with others. I think that all practitioners need to constantly look within and work hard to get rid of the last vestiges of their selfishness!