On the Topics of Lust and Fear
(Minghui.org) I have recently begun the process of returning to diligent cultivation and have discovered a few things that may help shed some light on the attachments of lust and fear and how to properly remove them and about the interference that they can cause. I thought I would share this process and what I’ve enlightened to, both as a cultivation process for myself to “cement” what I have enlightened to but also to help fellow practitioners that may be struggling with similar issues.
On the topic of lust, Master has said that it is the first thing one must remove in cultivation. The ancients regarded lust as something particularly filthy, and it can lead to other attachments and cause much interference in cultivation. The demon of lust is relentless and will jump at any opportunity to exploit any loopholes in one’s xinxing. It is also easy for the old forces to use the demon of lust as a tool to cause interference in one’s cultivation.
In my own process of removing the attachment to lust, it was something I wasn’t even aware was so filthy when I first began cultivation in Dafa. When I was in grade school, we were taught in my country that “touching our own bodies for sexual pleasure is something natural and everybody does it. Feel free to explore your bodies.” This is a consequence of society’s declining moral values, and when I began enlightening to just how filthy such thoughts are, I could scarcely believe that a teacher was allowed to say such nonsense to 15-year-olds in my country.
In any case, what I noticed when attempting to remove my attachment to lust was that, when I resisted the lustful thoughts and focused on sending forth the righteous thought of “Mie” [“eliminate” in Chinese] to eliminate the interference, it was very often replaced by a sense of fear and dread. Fear of “succumbing to the attachment again” but also fear “that the divine beings above would think less of me for having such thoughts.”
I have since enlightened that these are not my own thoughts to begin with, but are thoughts that formed as I have grew up, ie, they were formed postnatally, after birth. They do not belong to my true self. Therefore, I really have nothing to be ashamed of or afraid of as long as I do my best to subdue and eliminate such interference from the demon of lust, my own desires (which I am saying, in my own understanding, is external to your true nature), and the interference from the old forces.
In order to eliminate any interference from lust, one must be ever vigilant in recognizing such thoughts as external and not belonging to one’s true self. Master teaches us that each being is born in the space of Zhen-Shan-Ren (Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance) and in the space of the universe, adopting the characteristics of the universe. So how could such base, filthy thoughts like lust and sexual desire form in one’s mind? I believe it depends on how one was brought up and educated. Personally, I was never taught while I was growing up that it was wrong to indulge in such thoughts and behavior, so I formed strong notions that it was “normal.” These are, of course, everyday human notions and are something one should remove in cultivation.
The fact that fear often replaces lust, and that lust can lead to other attachments, such as jealousy and the showing-off mentality, is something one should also be aware of and eliminate. Master has said, on the topic of fear:
“The truth is, losing this opportunity of the ages and not fulfilling the real purpose of coming to this world are more terrifying than the attachment of being too ashamed to face others. Cultivation is cultivation, and cultivation is about getting rid of one’s attachments, putting a stop to bad human behavior and all kinds of fears, including the human attachments of being afraid of this and being afraid of that. You went down a wrong path because of your attachments and fears to begin with, and now, when you want to come back, you are again being held back by fear and letting it block your return.
Fear can cause one to make mistakes, and fear can cause one to lose a predestined opportunity. Fear is a death trap on a human being’s journey toward divinity. You have made huge mistakes because of it already, and yet now that you want to correct them you are afraid of people finding out about them. Cultivation is a serious matter. If you keep harboring fears like this, when are you going to stop being held back by fear? To those students in particular who have been covering up all of these things and have seemingly acted better than most other students, if you don’t let go of this attachment, stop your sinful behavior, and get rid of your fears, then no matter how many Dafa disciples’ things you do, you are doing them to cover things up. If you let go of these sins that you have been carrying around and suppressing inside and you make your way back, then everything you do will be clean and part of a Dafa disciple’s cultivation.” (“Pass The Deadly Test” in The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
On that note, I find that, in my own cultivation, having failed the test of lust so many times in the past, the interference is less when I focus on Fa study. When my mind is on studying the Fa, it is like the demon of lust doesn’t dare interfere with me! When I am sending forth righteous thoughts, I find that the interference is sometimes so severe, it wants me to put down my legs and stop cultivating entirely! This is interference because I had not previously fully identified the root cause of the loophole that the old forces and demon of lust were using to cause the interference, namely, I was “lonely” and yearned for “companionship” in the form of a “wife” or “life partner.” A fellow practitioner once said, as I recall from a past phone conversation we had, “If you are lonely, come closer to Master.” When I tried to do this, calling out to Shifu (Teacher/Father) in my mind, I found that I was being held back by shame and fear. “Cultivation is serious!” and one must follow the “Law of Non-Omission.”
Master has said, again on the topic of fear:
“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)” in “Essentials for Further Advancement II”
This article is my own understanding on lust and fear, and I hope that it can help fellow practitioners who are struggling, like I was, to find some peace of mind and strong righteous thoughts on the matter of eliminating the attachments of lust and fear.
As my level is limited, please point out anything inappropriate.
Category: Improving Oneself