My Understanding of Emotion, Lust and Our Notions
(Minghui.org) I recently listened to audio recordings of experience sharing articles written by Dafa practitioners on cultivating xinxing and eliminating the attachment of lust. After I looked inward recently, I had some new understandings of emotion, lust and other notions. I would like to share them with you.
When I sometimes had thoughts of lust, or complaints and other inappropriate feelings, I failed to keep them in check or reject them. They seriously interfered with my Fa study and doing the exercises. My cultivation state took a downturn. When another practitioner mentioned the issue of lust a few days ago, I decided to seriously examine my problem.
Listening to the experience sharing articles repeatedly has slowly cleared my thoughts and strengthened my righteous thoughts. I realized that emotion and lust are materials within the three realms. I failed to reject them because I didn’t see that they were not part of me and I failed to see the serious consequences of not eliminating them.
I began probing for the root of my attachment to emotion and lust. One day, the word “myself” suddenly appeared with “my” magnified significantly. I was confused about the connection between lust and “myself,” but I knew that Master was enlightening me to look further inward. Yet I still didn’t understand their connection at that moment.
I continued listening to the recordings. It dawned on me that my attachment to myself had been well hidden behind my lust. Even though I didn’t want to get married, subconsciously I still wished for that kind of companionship and hoped that someone would love me wholeheartedly. My decision to remain single didn’t mean that I'd let go of my attachment to sentiment and emotion. This gradually led me astray and I slacked off in my cultivation.
I often spent my spare time at work looking at my cell phone, watching online videos and reading novels. My Fa study in the evening was a formality. I couldn’t see the deeper meanings behind Master’s teachings. Sometimes I even spent my spare time in the evening on my cell phone instead of studying the Fa. What I read and watched were all about love and various kinds of emotion.
At deeper levels, my attachment to sentiment and emotion was my attachment to ego, wishing to be pampered, cared about, protected and needed. This attachment only centered on my feelings and comfort. It used my attachment to emotion through my pursuit of love. When I slacked off in my cultivation, my attachment led me to seek gratification from novels and movies about love. My indulgence in this, in turn, continued to feed and strengthen my attachment to ego.
While it’s normal for an ordinary person to wish for love, I found an additional reason for my psychological need. My father died when he was young, and he wasn’t close to me while he was alive. I never had a father’s protective love. After I grew up, my wish for a father’s care shifted to longing for a man’s care and protection.
As I listened to the articles about this, I realized that modern human notions about emotion, love, desire and sexual relationships were forced on us by the old forces. They deviate from the proper relationships between men and women and marriage. The old forces enlarged modern people’s desires and instilled degenerate notions in their minds through movies, television and the media. Their ultimate goal is to destroy mankind and Dafa practitioners. I was polluted by these degenerate notions while reading and watching these contents. My attachment to emotion and lust continued to expand in the process.
Master told us,
“A notion, once formed, will control you for the duration of your life, influencing your thinking and even the full gamut of emotions, such as your happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy. It is formed postnatally...A human being is to be governed by his master soul (zhu yuan-shen). When your master soul becomes lax and is replaced by notions, you have unconditionally surrendered, and your life is now under their control...But it is very hard to vanquish thinking and notions acquired after birth, for that is what cultivation is all about. ” (“Buddha Nature,” Zhuan Falun Volume II)
“In this world a person merely goes about enjoying the course of life. I have said in the past that people are pitiable, for all that a person is doing in this world is merely enjoying the feelings and sensations that are brought to him by living the course of his life. My putting it this way is quite accurate. And why do I say so? Though people think that they are in charge of themselves, deciding what they want to do, the truth is, they are merely pursuing certain feelings as a result of postnatally formed habits and attachments that stem from their likings. And that’s all it is. Whereas what’s really at work, leading that person to want to do something, are factors behind the scenes, which are utilizing the person’s habits, attachments, notions, desires, and such things. Such is the true state of the human body, with the person merely enjoying those feelings and sensations that come about as a result of the life process: when you are given something sweet, you experience the sweetness; given something bitter, you feel the bitterness; given something spicy, you taste the spiciness; you feel awful when suffering befalls you; and you know joy when you are blessed with happiness.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference”)
“What’s a fundamental attachment, then? Human beings acquire many notions in this world and are, as a consequence, driven by these notions to pursue what they yearn for. But when a person comes to this world, it is karmic arrangements that determine his course of life and what will be gained and lost in it. How could a person’s notions determine each stage of his life? So those so-called "beautiful dreams and wishes" become pursuits that can never be realized, despite painful attachments.” (“Towards Consummation,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I used to like such and such kind of person and wish for a certain kind of love. These are my postnatal notions instead of my true self. I’m certain that my attachment to “myself” is reflected in my every thought. My wishful thinking is simply an illusory feeling I pursue and is controlled by my attachment. I realize how pitiful humans are! It’s even more pitiful if a Falun Dafa practitioner doesn’t truly cultivate themselves and allows the false self to guide them!
Finding one’s true self and refusing to be interfered with by postnatal notions is the most important aspect of cultivation. Whenever bad thoughts surface, we have to look inward deeply and see if there are any hidden attachments we haven’t yet identified and eliminated. We have to differentiate which are our attachments and which are our true selves, and eliminate the attachments. Strengthening our main soul is the process of genuine cultivation.
When I meditated and became tranquil, I could tell that emotion, lust and desire were materials in another dimension, and were generated by sentiment. Sentiments couldn’t affect me when I had no intention, but they immediately started manipulating me as soon as I had any intention. Based on my understanding at my level, we can’t completely eliminate all sentiments because then we’d be in a divine state, but we can face them with righteous thoughts and not allow them to interfere with us. Lust and desire are factors associated with human bodies, but cultivators must eliminate them.
The old forces have made malicious and detailed arrangements for us, and enlarged our attachments to emotion, desires and lust. Degenerate beings such as lust also try to interfere. We shouldn’t go along with them and we must send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate them. I recommend the article, “Negating Old Force Arrangements Behind Lust” about this topic.
I was able to identify these notions and attachments due to my recent intensive Fa study and listening to fellow practitioners’ sharing articles. I hope other practitioners with similar issues as mine will also use this approach to make improvements.