Recognizing My Ego Problem
(Minghui.org) During these past six months I kept running into bottlenecks while working with practitioners on two projects. I felt that their technical ability was lacking. They rejected my idea which I felt was better. In my mind, this prevented me from exercising my abilities and negatively impacted the overall outcome of the projects. My attitude became negative. And when I became busy in my job, in the end, I had little input in these projects.
A local practitioner recently passed away. He felt that he had cultivated well and had done a lot to validate Dafa, so he refused to listen to other practitioners' suggestions. He only went through the motions when he studied the Fa.
He had been a diligent practitioner, but his body began experiencing symptoms of sickness. He was in great agony at the end and passed away. I witnessed the whole process. I felt that because he had done some things to validate Dafa, in his mind, he had added to his achievements. He also felt that everyone was inferior to him. Step by step, he allowed the demonic interference to develop in his mind and he lost his life.
Failing To Recognize My Ego
As practitioners, we know that when we see someone else having an issue, we need to examine ourselves to see if we have a similar attachment. I realized that I also felt overly proud of myself because of my achievements, and I thought highly of myself. I knew that I shouldn't take all the credit because I couldn't have achieved those things without Master's help. But I frequently thought about what I had done throughout the years to validate Dafa and, subconsciously, I often compared my abilities with those of other practitioners. I began to think highly of myself and look down on others.
A couple of days ago, a practitioner told me that the products from one of the projects I was involved in were especially good. However, I didn't share the same feeling. I felt that since I had very little involvement in that project, the quality had dropped dramatically. But the practitioner told me that he felt that the quality was very good, and it would help save people.
When I heard his words, I felt ashamed. Because my thoughts were negative, I considered the product inferior. In fact, the product looked very good; people would be attracted to it and be saved. I thought, “Am I developing demonic interference in my own mind?”
“If each person thinks that he has some skills, they all think that they're capable, each of them thinks that he's right, and they refuse to give ground, then actually, at that point there are problems with those people who won't give ground. What they're thinking is, "This idea of mine can serve the Fa better," and they never think, "I'm showing off." But the old forces will latch on to his not giving ground and constantly strengthen it--"You're right, you're right, what you're doing is exactly right!" So at that time he's not clearheaded. Truly think about yourself rationally and then think about other people's ideas, and I think things will be done well then. Why is it that at those times nobody looks at themselves? Don't worry about losing the chance to implement your own ideas, and even less should you be unwilling to admit that others' are better.
Now a God, he doesn't look at whether your idea was adopted. At those times he looks at whether your attachment was let go of. If you let it go, and your idea wasn't implemented--with regard to that matter you were able to let it go, and were even able to help do it better--then you improved, and you were able to raise your level. What's cultivation? That is cultivation. If you insist on holding your ground and emphasizing your own ideas, then while it may look like it's for the Fa, in fact it's being irrational, and you have not truly thought about it deeply or considered things from all angles more. But of course it won't do if [you don't speak up even when you see others] really not considering problems fully and bringing losses to Dafa, and it really won't do if you spot attachments and impure thoughts. So you need to become more mature in the Fa.” (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
It had been a long time since I studied this Lecture. When I read it again, I was in shock. After I formed an opinion, I never doubted my judgment. I truly felt that it must be obvious to everyone that other practitioners' professional levels were lacking. Now I've realized that the old forces had been reinforcing my thoughts of, “You are right. You are so right!”
Even though I had done several things to validate the Fa, I should not focus on them. Doing things is not equivalent to cultivation, and it doesn't necessarily mean that one has cultivated well. If we are attached to the things that we have done, this attachment may be taken advantage of by the evil.
Now I understand why, in ancient times, being humble was considered one of the greatest merits. In Western culture, there is a saying: “Pride is the devil.”
This is my personal understanding, I've shared this with you as a warning to myself as well as other practitioners. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.