Being On Our Guard Against Imperceptible Financial Persecution
(Minghui.org) During the past few years I have witnessed a repeating phenomenon: some practitioners were unable let go of the attachment to personal gain and money, which caused the evil forces to find loopholes to pull them down imperceptibly and make them miserable. These practitioners were not able to do the three things well, and in especially bad cases, even gave up cultivation.
Fa-rectification has come to its final stage, and even new practitioners can tell what went wrong in these cases. In the end, the old forces utilized these practitioners' attachments and persecuted them financially. We should be vigilant regarding this subtler form of persecution.
Many practitioners endured heavy pressure to walk upon the path of Fa-rectification, guided by their steadfast faith in Master and Dafa. However, the attachment to personal gain is an obstacle that impedes them from moving any further. If they were afraid of it or unable to recognize it, they would become stuck.
The Origins of the Attachment
We live among ordinary people – a situation where personal gain is in front of us all the time. A practitioner's wealth could be evidence of Falun Gong practitioners' aptitude. And validating the Fa with wealth might not in itself be wrong; some practitioners in China own large companies and may be predestined to validate the Fa with their wealth. They have saved many people with their connections in the business world.
I used to have this thought: if I had money, I could get many things done easily and could get along better with my family and friends, and it would help me clarify the truth to them. I once heard another practitioner say, “I am a practitioner, so I should be rich. I should make a lot of money to show people around me that a practitioner can not only be a good person, but also a rich one.”
I enlightened to the fact that practitioners should not change things according to our own will, nor should we devote too much of our effort to making money. We should take things naturally. If we think about it too much, it might be an attachment that may be exploited as a loophole in our cultivation. We should treat the issues of business, making money and cultivation in a righteous, rational manner.
Some Local Cases of Financial Persecution
Below are a few examples of financial persecution which happened in our local area.
A practitioner and her architect husband owned an architecture company. They would acquire a lot of projects and then contract the work to other companies. Her strong attachment to personal gain caused their company to accumulate a lot of debt; creditors often came to their home to collect payments. This greatly obstructed her cultivation.
Another practitioner owned a specialty store. After it kept losing money for a few years, the practitioner began to do direct sales. Other practitioners tried to stop him, but he did not listen. He has moved to another city now. We heard that he rarely studies the Fa or does the exercises, instead spending all of his time devising ways to make money.
Another practitioner used the money donated to run a Dafa project for his own business. He wanted to pay it back quickly, so he began to trade stocks. He ended up losing all of his principal and falling deeply into debt. He had to go to a southern city to work, hoping to earn more money to pay off both his debt and loans.
A practitioner couple had always spoiled their child materially, giving into whatever he wanted. As a result, their son took on a high interest loan and ended up several million yuan in debt. When the couple learned about it, it was already too late. They had to sell their two buildings to pay off his debt but it still wasn't enough. Now, the husband barely cultivates. He knows that Dafa is good but he could not put his heart into cultivation, and the wife also had to go back to work.
We all shared our thoughts with the couple: their situation was due to the old force's persecution. We should be strict in our own cultivation and not indulge our children. Whenever a bad situation occurs, we should not give up cultivation; instead, we should study the Fa more and find our attachments in order to improve. If we were to give up, we would be following the old forces' arrangements. When we are at our lowest point, we should think of Master. With the limited time left, we should all cultivate ourselves well and be more diligent about doing the three things.
After our sharing, both the husband and wife were able to be more rational.
There are still other practitioners in our local area with similar situations. But they are afraid of losing face and do not want to share their experiences with fellow practitioners.
My Own Experience
My family experienced financial persecution ten years ago. At that time, my wife and I had to leave home to avoid being persecuted, and our salaries were stopped. Our daughter stayed home alone.
One day, my wife went back home. When she got up to send forth righteous thoughts at midnight, she discovered that our daughter had disappeared, leaving only a note that read: “Mother, since you and Father don't have any income, I decided to find work. I won't come back unless I make some money.” My wife wept uncontrollably.
Later, she notified me and I returned home. We thought about why our daughter had left home without saying goodbye. Anything that happens near practitioners is not a coincidence. We realized that we must be not in line with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Why was my wife so sad about it? We discovered that her sentiment toward our daughter was an attachment that was used by the evil forces. We immediately decided to let go of this sentiment and sent forth righteous thoughts. A few days later, our daughter came back on her own.
We did not ask her for an explanation but searched for our own cultivation issues. Master said,
“If in your everyday life all your behavior meets the standard of a cultivator and you don’t use human thinking or notions to understand the Fa, then you are understanding the Fa with rationality and in a sober-minded way, being responsible to yourself.” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
Even though this was a small incident, if we had not used Dafa to measure it, the result would have been hard to deal with and may have severely impacted our cultivation.
When facing financial persecution, we should take care of it based on Dafa's principles instead of every day people's notions. We should search for the root cause and find out why it happened to us. When we find the attachment, we should let it go.
“You won’t lose anything that belongs to you, and you won’t gain anything that does not belong to you. If you do get such things, they will have to be returned.” (Falun Gong)
With such a universal principle supporting us, why are we still so easily moved? Why do we still try so hard to make money?
A Few Thoughts
Many practitioners with the attachment to money and sentiment have experienced interference. Sometimes the interference has lasted a long time.
Parents always want the best for their children, and some even want to leave some inheritance for them. But the money will not last long. A person with money but no virtue is a disaster; a person with virtue will be rewarded with good health and happiness.
The principles within the three realms directly contradict the principles of the cosmos. People are attached to everything here. Within the three realms, fame, personal gain, happiness, wealth and social status are all good things. But according to the righteous principles of the cosmos, it's difficulties, hardships, and troubles that are really the good things. Gods at high levels would love to see people suffering hardships in order to transform their karma into virtue.
The tangible environment here is hardly real: a millionaire won't be able to take his wealth with him after death. So a cultivator should not look at things superficially. We should transform our mindset and let go of all our attachments so we won't get lost. Master told us:
“What’s more, Dafa disciples are cultivating in this 'real' world that brims with temptation, so it becomes even more difficult—and even more important—to change those notions.” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be” from The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
When we let go of our attachments, it does not mean that we lose anything; instead, we obtain more. At this final stage, we should ask ourselves: what did we come to this human world for? If we cannot relinquish our attachments, how could we possibly go home with Master?
The above is merely what I have enlightened to at my level. Please point out anything inappropriate.
Lastly, I would like to close with the following teachings from Master:
“a person absolutely cannot change others’ lives. You can’t even control your own life, let alone the lives of others. No matter how hard a person tries, he’s merely walking down the path of his own existence. Maybe it seems like you’ve obtained something with your efforts, when in fact it was inevitable.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe)
“Do you know how much karma they have, and how they are supposed to go through their lives? Is that something you can control for others? You can’t. Some people might think, “I don’t believe it. If I make a lot of money and get rich, my descendants will inherit it.” I’m not so sure about that. A natural disaster, a calamity, or a fire can take it away, or they might lose it gambling or in some other way. It’s hard to say what might happen. It depends on whether they have the good fortune. If not, they can’t inherit anything. I am just giving you the idea. Each person has his own destiny. It’s not like anyone can change another person’s life. That won’t work.” (“Teaching the Fa and Answering Questions in Guangzhou” from The Law of Zhuan Falun Explained)