Some Thoughts about Positive Lessons and Negative Lessons
(Minghui.org) Master had taught about positive lessons and negative lessons many times.
“It seems that people can never learn positive lessons from history. Instead, they always learn from negative lessons for the sake of their own self-interests.” (“The Buddha Fa and Buddhism,” Essentials For Further Advancement)
A positive lesson is something good learned from a hardship. A negative lesson is something bad learned from a hardship. We all make mistakes and we should learn from the mistakes. But some people tend to learn bad lessons.
For example, many corrupt officials are jailed in China. If a jailed official thinks that he was unlucky or he believed his method of covering up the crime was not cunning enough, he has learned a negative lesson. After his release, he will be more cunning and corrupt.
As a practitioner of Falun Dafa cultivation, learning negative lessons can’t improve one’s level.
“But what I hope is that after taking a fall, you will all learn something good from it. Don’t always take away bad things from your experiences. When you learn bad things, you are in fact using human thinking to consider things, and becoming more cunning, and sly, which means you are becoming worse. I have spoken with you before about what a bad person is: he is someone who is cunning. Whereas someone who is kind-hearted and whose thinking is not that complicated is a good person. You need to think about things in a constructive manner, and when you stumble look for the reason as a cultivator would, asking, “Where did I go wrong?” Only by evaluating things with the Fa will you be able to learn good things from your experiences. If you can really manage to do this, things will definitely go well. And if all of you can do so, I don’t believe your project can go wrong. It’s just that you haven’t looked inward, or learned good things. Or in other words, you haven’t talked things over in the manner that Dafa disciples should.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
For example, if a practitioner is arrested, as a diligent practitioner, he or she would first look within to find the loophole that the old forces took advantage of. They would then improve and do better next time. This is the righteous mindset of a practitioner.
On the contrary, if a practitioner thought that he was not smart enough, or should lie next time or was too honest, they would become more and more cunning and would very likely come to deviant understandings and even go over to the evil side.
Some practitioners have a lot of fear and dare not clarify the truth on the street. When they hear that a practitioner was arrested, they feel lucky that they had not talked to people in public, and conclude that it is better to stay at home. Obviously, this is another example of drawing something bad from a lesson.
A genuine practitioner would use the opportunity to reflect and enlighten to the key issue of safety. If one finds the problem, changes it and does better, and lets go of the attachment, one will succeed.
We are cultivating toward higher planes, toward consummation and returning to our heavenly home. Taking bad lessons from errors and mistakes will keep us in the human realm. That is not cultivation practice. The time left for us is very limited. Fellow practitioners, keep a clear mind and be diligent!