Do Not Be Destroyed by Addiction to Entertainment
(Minghui.org) In his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, educator Neil Postman said that the public in the contemporary world is addicted to amusement created by modern electronic media. He points out that people have gradually lost the ability to think logically and modern electronic media may lead to the destruction of civilization.
Postman said traditional print culture is more rational. It can broaden people’s vision, sharpen the ability of logical analysis, and improve sound judgment.
With the invention of the television and photography, however, print lost its monopoly. People now have ways of getting irrelevant information instantaneously. They became incapable of dealing with difficult abstractions and interpretations. Once television became ubiquitous, said Postman, the decline of cultural discourse rapidly became apparent. Because TV is a form of entertainment media, all information has now become entertainment.
I think appropriate entertainment can help relieve stress; however, addiction to entertainment will make a practitioner give up his cultivation and forget about his vows. Addiction to entertainment can eventually destroy a practitioner.
Some practitioners waste hours watching TV shows, playing games like mahjong, or pursuing hobbies. While indulging themselves, they are wasting precious time for cultivation. The more time they spend on entertainment, the more addicted they become, and the weaker their desire to cultivate becomes.
A practitioner I know plays mahjong for hours. When other practitioners pointed out that she was wasting time, she said defensively, “I read Zhuan Falun today, and I posted a truth-clarification poster.” She thought reading Zhuan Falun for one hour and posting one poster was good enough. She thought she should relax and enjoy the rest of her day.
Another practitioner enjoyed reading novels. She even reads in bed. She was later arrested and sentenced to heavy terms. A university teacher in his 70s was addicted to playing video games. He developed cancer and died a year later. Another practitioner moved to the countryside and raised chickens and ducks to relieve his anxiety and boredom.
At first, one practitioner was very diligent. She even went to Beijing and held up a truth-clarification banner. She saw gods and Buddhas on her way there. Afterwards, however, she gave up cultivation and indulged in watching TV and other forms of entertainment. She used to be healthy and full of energy but now has several ailments.
“Cultivation and Fa-rectification are serious. Whether you are able to treasure this period of time is, in fact, a matter of whether you can be responsible to yourselves. This period of time will not last long, but it can forge the mighty virtue of magnificent Enlightened Beings, Buddhas, Daos, and Gods of different levels, and even Lords of different levels. It can also destroy overnight a cultivator who has reached a really high level but who has become less strict with himself.” (“Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
We should take responsibility for ourselves and hold ourselves to high standards. Some diligent fellow practitioners tirelessly do the three things. Some recited the Fa even when they were imprisoned. We should catch up with them, stop squandering our precious time, and take the title, “Dafa Disciple” seriously.
We are now at the critical moment in the progress of Fa-rectification. Beings in every dimension are anxiously watching everything that happens in this world, at this moment. We will have deep regrets in the future if we waste our time entertaining ourselves instead of assisting Master in Fa-rectification and saving people. A non-diligent practitioner cannot become the god of his universe.
Entertainment is stress-free and comfortable. While watching television, there is no need to endure hardship, no need to go through tribulations or look inward. Some practitioners just wanted to relax a little in the beginning. However, once they indulge themselves, they find it difficult to extricate themselves. It's like taking drugs. Excessive entertainment itself is an arrangement of the old forces, and its purpose is to destroy cultivators.
“Today’s people can’t tell whether their actions stem from their own thoughts or the control of negative factors. On the surface your actions might seem natural, and you may even think that there’s nothing unusual about the source of your thoughts. But you don’t even know, and you couldn’t tell, which thoughts are from your own mind and which are the doing of outside factors. They steer your desires and feed your obsessions, whatever they may be. It’s really just terribly hard to cultivate in these circumstances! Truly hard!” (Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public)
The more people sleep, the lazier they become. The more comfortable people are, the more they begin pursuing comfort. When a practitioner pursues comfort and seeks entertainment, he is developing his demon nature.
“Everyday people all have both demon-nature and Buddha-nature. Demon-nature will take effect once a person’s mind is not righteous.” (“Stability of the Fa,” Essentials For Further Advancement)
When it comes to cultivation, it is not an exaggeration to say addiction to entertainment will destroy a practitioner. Attachment to entertainment is a test in front of us at every moment.
Master said repeatedly,
“As Dafa disciples, you mustn’t let up in your own cultivation.” (Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference)
Master also said,
“I know that among the practitioners seated here, some are not diligent, and some aren’t diligent whatsoever. But Master is thinking: what are you going to do with yourself? Why can’t you have righteous thoughts? Isn’t Master here to save you? Isn’t this Fa here to save you? And moreover, you shoulder the responsibility of saving others. But if you don’t even handle yourself well, what’s going to happen? If you don’t fulfill the vows that you made to gods, the consequences will be what is set forth in your own vows.” (Fa Teaching at the 2013 Western U.S. Fa Conference)
We must be clearheaded and remember that we are here to cultivate ourselves and save people, not to enjoy ourselves and be entertained. We must be strict with ourselves and be diligent.
Fellow practitioners, let us be diligent together.