Understanding Injustice and Improving
(Minghui.org) After I began practicing Falun Dafa, my attachment to money and materialistic gain was difficult to eliminate. It kept surfacing throughout most of the conflicts and tribulations I've experienced. Although on the surface incidents and events occurring around me appeared to have nothing to do with my attachment it surfaced whenever I dug deeper.
My Attachment Flares Up
My emotions were recently stirred up after listening to an experience-sharing article. A practitioner's younger brother is quite well off financially. He already owned two cars but wanted to purchase an SUV. So he asked their mother for some money that he knew she had. Their mother not only gave the brother 50,000 yuan of her own money but also phoned this practitioner and asked her to lend her brother some money. The practitioner lent her brother the only money she had, 10,000 yuan. The brother did not want to repay her, instead, he asked their mother to repay her. Her mother did not want to repay her either. Her excuse was her nephew needed to go to a university, so he should be given 5,000 yuan and the remaining 5,000 yuan she would keep and return as a Chinese New Year gift to this practitioner's son. Unfortunately, the money was never given to the son; instead, her mother promised to repay it with interest whenever the practitioner's son got married.
The story stoked my feelings of injustice. I was outraged! I could not help myself even though I knew my reaction was out of place. Really, how could the mother possibly behave so badly?
My emotions were uncontrollably stirred up by the story because I had a similar experience.
My younger brother and my niece also borrowed money from me but neither had any intention of repaying it. My husband's niece did the same thing but I did manage to get the money back because her husband had a very high paying job – he paid more in income tax than my husband and I earned together. I was so angry with them. How could they not repay the money they owed!
I knew that these things are opportunities for me to rid myself of my attachment to materialistic gains, in particular, my attachment to money. However, I never succeeded in passing these tests and always ended up feeling devastated. I've experienced similar tests repeatedly but never improved. I felt it was time to eliminate this attachment.
Truly Examining Myself
I thought of Master's words: “The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” ('Drive Out Interference' from Essentials for Further Advancement Vol II)
I thought that I should start by identifying where I went wrong, from the standpoint of the Fa.
Why did I feel angry and outraged when I experienced these situations or heard about them happening to others? I felt it provoked my attachment to materialistic gains and other feelings such as jealousy, combativeness and resentment. An enlightened being would certainly not have reacted the way I did. An enlightened being's thoughts are divine, not human. My reaction to the practitioner's story was based on human notions of right and wrong.
I analyzed my reactions in order to identify human thinking behind them.
A mother should treat all her children equally, not favoring one over the others. It was obvious that the practitioner's mother favored the younger brother.
The mother should have understood her daughter's financial limitations but she completely ignored that and only thought about her son.
What is owed must be repaid but the mother and the brother had no intention of repaying the practitioner.
The mother spends the daughter's money as she wishes.
No one should demand money from their parents but the brother had no consideration for the mother's financial situation.
This practitioner's story riled up my indignation and sense of injustice, and I totally forgot that I was a cultivator. Master said, “As a cultivator, if you don't have a strong will, if you can't control yourself, then you will not be able to do this.” ('Lecture Nine', Zhuan Falun)
Master also said, “Everything has its karmic relationship.” ('Lecture Four', Zhuan Falun)
This karmic relationship is not from only this lifetime but accumulated over many lifetimes. These relationships are the basis for the arrangements of a person's life and whatever occurs in his lifetime. Nothing that happens to us is by chance especially those things that have a deep emotional impact on us.
The arrangements are made so that you can repay your karma. The repayment can be pleasant or painful. For example, if you hurt or killed someone in a past life, in return you will suffer in this life such as being swindled out of money or robbed, or killed by that person. Nothing in this lifetime is unfair; what is owed must be repaid.
The same principle applies to us cultivators but what we have to repay is very minimal. Since we want to cultivate and complete our cultivation in this lifetime, karma accumulated from our many lifetimes will have to be resolved all at once. Therefore Master has helped us by resolving the bulk of our karma and left only that tiny bit for us to eliminate ourselves. Master arranged everything that occurs to us in this life so we will have opportunities to improve our character.
However badly ordinary people treat us, we must not forget the principles of the Fa.
We all get what we deserve. This principle is the law of the universe and governs every human being's life. Whatever we get or that we do not get has absolutely nothing to do with our struggles to achieve things. No amount of wishing, striving or scheming will get us anything.
Ordinary people don't know better because they only go by human thinking and logic. However, as cultivators, we must go beyond the realm of human thinking and evaluate things from the standpoint of the Fa.
A few years ago, I read an experience-sharing article which deeply impressed me. A practitioner bought a car for over 100,000 yuan but a week later it was stolen. Other practitioners urged him to report the theft to the police. His response was, “If I owe the car thief a debt then let the car be the repayment; if I don't owe him anything then he'll give me a lot of virtue by stealing my car.” This practitioner was not upset about the loss but the police returned the car to him after catching the thief.
Master wants us to set aside our human thinking. If we can do that we will not be lacking in anything because whatever we need will be given to us by Master, who is capable of anything!
Even though I have come to the above understanding of the Fa, I know it's not easy to completely let go of my attachment to worldly things.