Re-Thinking the Issue of Jealousy
Master said, "A wicked person is born of jealousy. Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself. A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion. With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy. An enlightened person has no attachments at all. He quietly observes the people of the world deluded by illusions." ("Realms" from Essentials for Further Advancement) In the past, my understanding of jealousy was narrow-minded. I thought that jealousy is like what we usually call the "red-eye syndrome."1 I had not tried to understand jealousy more deeply based on the Fa. Recently, when disagreements occurred between fellow practitioners and me, I calmly thought through the disagreements and came to realize that jealousy is not limited to only one attachment; it includes many factors, and it is an assortment of things from a person's bad side.
If one is entangled in a conflict and cannot let go for a prolonged period, strictly speaking, he is behaving like a wicked person no matter what he has done or said, or if it is right or wrong. The reason that he keeps arguing and won't let go is because he attaches himself too strongly to the flawed reasoning or mistakes of others. Looking from another angle, isn't he attached to his own reasoning or being right? Isn't it obviously an attachment to "oneself"? How can one, if overly attached to his own things, avoid arguing angrily when in conflict? When arguing angrily he would surely feel unfairly treated. The feeling of unfairness would again intensify the conflict. At that moment if one could not rationally examine oneself, he would get even angrier, and to relieve the anger he may do bad things. Then, in this conflict, hasn't he behaved like a wicked person?
From a different perspective, why should one focus on other people's faults, shortcomings, or mistakes and not let go of it? Why shouldn't he look at others' strengths and where they are right, and appreciate these things? This is a telling reflection of one's realm. If one's mind is filled with other's faults, then it is just like a principle Master taught us, "A person is like a container, and he is whatever he contains." ("Melt Into the Fa", Essentials for Further Advancement) If all that is contained in one's mind are other people's faults, shortcomings, and mistakes, and these faults, shortcomings, and mistakes have penetrated the depths of his mind, then can he have a pure thought? If a living being can let go of others' faults, be magnanimous and tolerant, and from the bottom of his heart sincerely and benevolently accept others' strengths, he is then a great being. Isn't this the mentality that we should have as a Dafa practitioner?
As for jealousy, I think it is not simply a question of whether we can get rid of it. If we judge and deal with things using a jealous mentality, we are seriously limiting ourselves from achieving further and higher understandings, and preventing ourselves from fundamentally changing this bad state of mind. Furthermore, if one tightly catches other's faults and does not let go, where can his Shan2 come from? "Shan is the manifestation of the nature of the universe at different levels and in different dimensions. It is also the fundamental nature of Great Enlightened Beings." ("A Brief Explanation of Shan," Falun Dafa Essentials for Further Advancement) If one is cultivating Shan, shouldn't he first have a magnanimous and tolerant mentality when judging things?
Master talked many times about achieving "benevolent solutions" to the things when teaching the Fa. He taught us to have "the benevolence that can melt steel." ("Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference") My understanding is that this is also a requirement set by Master for a Dafa practitioner's state of mind when facing conflicts. "A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion. With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy." ("Realms," Falun Dafa Essentials for Further Advancement) I understand that resentment also arises from jealousy. If one has too much resentment, how can he understand the cultivation state of "takes hardship as joy"! Now I understand that, in the current Fa-rectification period, especially when in conflict with fellow practitioners, limiting oneself only to finding and discarding individual attachments is far from enough. We are required to use a benevolent person's mind to deal with the conflict, recognize the root of the conflict and resolve the conflict with the wisdom of an enlightened being. This is perhaps to break the old forces' arrangement in the process of elevating our realms.
This is my personal understanding, please benevolently point out anything inappropriate. Let us encourage each other with Master's poem.
"A wicked person is born of jealousy.
Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.
A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion.
With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy.
An enlightened person has no attachments at all.
He quietly observes the people of the world deluded by illusions."
1: "Red-eye syndrome" -- used here to describe a person, when seeing other people doing better than he is, feels uneven and uncomfortable, and thinks that he should be the one who is doing better.
2: Shan -- "Compassion," "Benevolence," "Kindness," or "Goodness."