Rising from the Sludge But Remaining Unsullied
(Minghui.org) After reading an article on Minghui about thought karma and human notions, I'd also like to share some of my understandings.
“I’d like to give you my take on what people normally refer to as “addiction.” In the medical sciences it’s believed that addiction occurs when the part of the nervous system associated with addictive behaviors is stimulated and develops to a sufficient degree. But that’s not it. What’s happening, then? Over time, that addictive substance accumulates, and forms inside of your body an identical version of you that comes to control you. Because it is composed of strong attachment, and has your appearance, it has an equally strong desire to control you; it was formed out of strong desires, after all.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference,” Team Yellow Translation)
I enlightened from the above teaching that karma often results from our human notions, which we can become addicted to if we fail to improve ourselves and eliminate the notions. While cultivating in the secular world – filled with all kinds of temptations, we must remind ourselves that the human notions are not truly us and we cannot allow them to contaminate and control us.
Our thoughts and emotions can develop into thought karma. The more we live in the human world, the more and stronger our thought karma becomes. It can even become dominant. As we cultivate xinxing, we are continually eliminating the thought karma. But when the karma aggregates and reaches a certain density, it develops its own life and does not want to die. Therefore, it will do everything in its power to strengthen itself by exposing us to television programs and contents on our electronic devices that are filled with the allure of fame, personal gain, and emotions. As practitioners, we must differentiate what we truly want from what we don't, and proactively reject the external influence.
“Once it transpires, one will be tested to see if one can overcome such bad thoughts on one’s own. If one is determined, the karma can be eliminated.” (Zhuan Falun)
Our current cultivation practice is different from past cultivation in temples. At that time, cultivators were forcibly isolated from the secular world in order to let go of their attachments. However, the old way of cultivation was more of a formality and it was inevitably a much slower cultivation process. Master has pointed out that the key is to cultivate our heart instead of just minding formalities. We face the temptations of fame, personal gain and emotions all the time. As we work to let go of our attachments in this complex human world, our progress is rather solid.
After we achieve consummation, we would find human notions and behaviors meaningless beyond this world. What humans care about is worth nothing at higher levels. Looking down at human emotions from higher levels: what good is it? This is also part of the reason that Master separates our cultivated side from the rest of us once we have reached higher levels. If the cultivated side is not isolated, we would not be able to live in this world, as we would consider everything filthy. Yet since our cultivation has not been completed, emotions and thought karma can become dominant and lead to attachment to personal gain, yearning for a harmonious marriage, and all kinds of other attachments.
When people encounter something difficult, they may react even before they get a chance to think it through because their human notions and reflexes are well established and dominant. Most people think they have made their own decisions, when in fact it may be their notions, attachments, thought karma, and in some cases even animal possession, controlling their minds and actions. As practitioners, as our cultivated sides are separated from us, we cannot allow our human notions to control us.
I have encountered situations where I said or did certain things in my daily life without much thought. Later I regretted those things once I studied the Fa. It was due to my human notions taking the lead in doing things. Master has taught us the Fa. We should assimilate to the Fa and keep it in our minds at all times. This way when we encounter difficulties, our first thought would be that we are practitioners. Considering ourselves genuine practitioners, we will be able to conduct ourselves according to the Fa, even though we may not maintain the best cultivation state at all times.
As we let go of human notions, our righteous minds will become more dominant. Also, although we cannot see it, countless divine beings are by the side of practitioners. More importantly, Master is by our side all the time, guiding us and helping us resolve all kinds of difficult situations as long as our minds are on the Fa.
“If a cultivator can let go of the thought of life and death under any circumstance, evil is sure to be afraid of him. If every student is able to do this, evil will of itself no longer exist. All of you are already aware of the principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition. If you are not afraid, the factor that would make you afraid will cease to exist. This is not to be self-imposed, but is achieved by truly and calmly letting go of it.” (“Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)”, Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Nothing is accidental in cultivation and everything in life is related to our cultivation. Once we find where to improve in our cultivation when encountering a conflict and improve accordingly, such a conflict will be resolved because it is meant to be a test and a chance for us to improve. On the contrary, if we resort to our human notions and experiences in the face of difficulties, we will go back down to the human level and won't be able to pass that test.
“When some of you mainland students were severely persecuted you reached a point where you no longer took yourselves as Dafa disciples. Your head was full of ordinary human thoughts. While being persecuted, you were attached to an ordinary person's life of comfort. Then how could you be treated as a divine being?” (“Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005”)
Master has the ability to transform us but it has to be done based on our own choice. Master has been very clear in the Fa. However, the Fa principles have not always entered my heart although I had read them multiple times. It might be because my human notions and mindset were dominant, which prevented my assimilating to the Fa and eliminating the thought karma.
I am determined to become a golden lotus flower, growing out of a filthy environment, free of any contamination.
The above is my personal understanding to share with fellow practitioners for mutual encouragement and improvement.