(Minghui.org) As a Westerner, nothing saddens me more than the effects of Communist Party culture on our community of practitioners.

To me, these things really represent the insidious nature of the old forces, because they use practitioners’ human sides to create a negative view of our practice in the eyes of non-practitioners. I think this aspect of the old forces’ involvement is completely avoidable if we pay attention to the Fa teachings and cultivate compassion.

I would like to talk about a problem in the way practitioners interact with other people, and how, in my understanding, this problem stems from an attitude we have about ourselves which can affect how people perceive Falun Dafa.

Master said:

“Through cultivation his moral character will elevate, and once he has learned to discern what is truly good from evil, and virtue from vice, and he goes beyond the human plane, he will see and gain access to the realities of the universe as well as the lives of other planes and dimensions.” (“On Dafa,” Zhuan Falun)

To me this means that as we cultivate, we will be able to discern clearly what is good and bad, and naturally become the kind of being that reflects what is good because this is what happens when we assimilate to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Some practitioners, however, once they feel that they clearly see the sinfulness in society, may look down on others as if they themselves were so great, forgetting that until they complete their cultivation, they are only human beings cultivating. They would not have understood these principles were it not for the immense mercy of Master Li and Dafa.

Without Master and Dafa, we would be as clueless about the true picture of the universe as any other human being in society. This should make us humble, not prideful.

Practitioners with that mindset will inevitably give the impression that those who learn Dafa believe they are superior to everyone else, and no one would think that people like that are admirable, let alone good.

This creates a big problem when people like that try to clarify the facts, because no one thinks well of them. If they then say how Falun Dafa turned them into a good person, others may compare what they say with how they act and end up with a bad impression of Falun Dafa.

Although this habit of looking down on other people is not limited to Party culture, Party culture pushes it to the extreme. It is a very serious problem, because the old forces designed their tactics precisely to keep practitioners from succeeding in cultivation and make it impossible to save sentient beings.

In my understanding, the old forces have designed this mentality to create a pernicious situation that is extremely hard to get out of.

One of the reasons that makes this attitude of superiority so difficult to overcome is that we cultivate our attachments one layer at a time, so we are bound to encounter issues more than once in our cultivation. We then feel as if attachments that we’ve already dealt with are surfacing again.

Once a practitioner’s personality fuses with this notion of looking down on others but he then experiences the same problem that he is looking down on, he faces a strange situation in which he has to look down on himself.

I think this is one of the main reasons why practitioners don’t cherish themselves when they make mistakes, and take a long time to pick themselves back up. They get depressed and come across as ineffectual.

When we subscribe to these notions, we may believe that human beings who manifest incorrect states are truly worthless and don’t deserve salvation. This notion doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it is intimately tied to the belief that we ourselves are worthless and not deserving of Master’s salvation.

This is a fundamental problem that goes against Master’s wish to save sentient beings. If there was truly no way for the Fa to be rectified and beings saved, Master would not have come. If there was truly no way for us to cultivate and attain the Way, there would have been no need for Master to give us the opportunity to hear the Fa and cultivate.

An alternative to the notions that the old forces want us to subscribe to is very simple. Instead of using our understanding of the Fa to look down on ourselves when we make mistakes, we should use our understanding of the Fa to have compassion for ourselves. Instead of using our understanding of the Fa to look down on people who engage in destructive behavior, we should use that understanding to truly have compassion for them.

Cultivators know how hard it is to disentangle ourselves from human attachments. We should see our experiences as reasons to be compassionate instead of looking down on those who are still entangled in them.

When you empathize with others’ predicaments, people will see that you are a good person without your having to say anything.

They will sense that you truly care about them rather than appearing to look down on them by telling them what is good or bad. When you have compassion for them, they will truly believe you when you say that Dafa is good.

I believe that is not possible unless you first and foremost have compassion for yourself, because your relationship to yourself is the most essential one you have. If you don’t think you are worthy of salvation, how could you ever have what it takes to extend salvation to anyone else?

I think some practitioners would disagree by saying that you can’t improve if you are not hard on yourself and have high standards.

However, having compassion for yourself has nothing to do with being lax about your standards. It has to do with the way you consider yourself fundamentally and how you treat yourself when you make mistakes on your path.

The old forces believe that if you make mistakes and can’t live up to their high standards, the way to enlighten you is by persecuting you. I think it is essentially what practitioners who look down on others do as well, because there is nothing in their attitude that would allow others to understand the truth about Dafa—or that reflects Master’s compassion.

Master said:

“So if you don’t do well you will be left with regrets. And I especially want to remind our veteran Dafa disciples not to slack off. You have gone through so many long and grueling years to make it to this day, and it really hasn’t been easy! Do you not know to value and cherish yourselves? I certainly cherish you! And divine beings do too! (Applause.) So all the more so should you value and cherish yourselves.” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.")

If we truly cherish ourselves, we will be able to truly cherish others, which negates what the old forces are trying to do with their extreme Party culture notions of looking down on others.

Category: Improving Oneself