(Minghui.org) We know from the Fa that all beings in the Three Realms are soaked in emotion. As for cultivators who have had the wish to transcend the Three Realms, some still indulge in their emotions and linger in their own thoughts of self-pity or other feelings. Their pace of cultivation has slowed down. This even occurs to elderly practitioners, whose emotions are not supposed to be as strong as those of young folks.
This article analyzes different wild thoughts that stem from emotion. The purpose is to help shed light on the source of such thoughts so that cultivators can get rid of the interference.
Pursuit in Emotion
There are both positive and negative sides to emotion. The negative side entails a part that is selfish, whereby people expect returns.
Once people think that they have not gained the deserved return or response, they feel upset. Hatred or resentment can emerge out of love. Among people, one of the most common complaints is: “I was so nice to him, yet he treated me like this!”
It is irrational to pursue such behavior from others. For example, some people are used to their parents being very nice to them. If their parents neglect their feelings on a few occasions, they may become very negative. They take their parents' niceness for granted. Even though parents have taken good care of them for decades, a few incidents may cause resentment.
This occurs between couples as well. On the wife's birthday, the husband may present her with a gift as a nice surprise. This is good. However, if the wife asks for a specific gift and is angry if the request is not fulfilled, the result is different. When the pursuit is too much, it indicates greed.
A person who doesn't know what satisfaction is will be unable to appreciate things. No matter how much he's given, he doesn't think it's enough and is unable to appreciate what he already has. How can he then appreciate his surroundings and others? This is usually the reason for resentment among family members and couples.
Such human attachments exist among cultivators as well. Don't we see some practitioners making requests to Master and essentially asking Master to save them in their preferred ways?
Since emotions go hand in hand with pursuit, then when a pursuit is either fulfilled or unfulfilled, a person may feel either happiness or pain. Any pursuit is a loophole in cultivation. Driven by emotions, beings driven by pursuit are unable to determine if the result of their pursuit was brought about by a Buddha or a demon.
Illusions from Emotional Pursuits
Human beings are often controlled by emotions. Single people fancy lovers and how they will love and take care of him/her. Married people, especially women with young children, often complain about their spouses.
Hardships are common in life. People seek beautiful moments in their memory, literature, or movies and commemorate the moments as eternity. They listen to love songs to obtain comfort. Some even look for satisfaction from movies or TV dramas full of illusions and obscenity. Many even use such illusory moments as references and standards for their love affairs.
If you ask an ordinary person what happiness is, he or she may well search his mind for some movie or TV drama scene.
Driven by emotions, people don't know what they really want. If one doesn't abandon the pursuit of love between a man and a woman, one will continue to hold onto one's standards of an ideal lover.
The above is just my own analysis on wild thoughts from the perspective of the human level. We can only gain more clarity on emotions when we are beyond the Three Realms.
On our journey of cultivation, if one cannot withstand loneliness in a few decades of human life, one will easily arrive at the conclusion of “true love” once one encounters someone he or she admires. If the person is unavailable, one then imagines that the person is perfect and then lingers in sorrow.
If the person is available and the two end up being together, the excitement doesn't last very long. This is because once the pursuit is satisfied, the excitement is gone. After some time, such wild thoughts may crop up again in relation to another person.
From the perspective of a cultivator, no matter how good a person is, it's still just niceness in the human world. It's not beyond the realm of humans.
Focus on Eliminating the Demon of Lust
Men don't have the emotional dependence as women do, so they may not have as much interference from emotions as women do. For male cultivators, eliminating the demon of lust is key.
Once one makes up his mind to stop using one's sexual function in the human body, existence becomes very simple – just using one's life to cultivate.
Our demands and standards for living become quite low. The pursuit of fame and personal gain becomes redundant. Vanity becomes weak, as there isn't much drive or motivation to gain any positive impressions from the opposite sex. Many human attachments disintegrate after letting go of sexual desire.
In this light, what problems can a marriage or divorce solve? None.
Because cultivators know the requirements of the Fa, we are not going to make severe mistakes. However, if the desire is not completely relinquished, then one may watch pornographic images or videos. The demon of lust controls people to feed into lust. Then, the attachment is harder to eliminate. The misbehavior of a cultivator in fact strengthens lust.
The male sexual organ is not completely under the control of our main consciousness. I have observed this during my process of getting rid of my desire. A lot of physiological responses are simply built-in functions of the human body.
Some practitioners want to marry other practitioners because they think that practitioners are purer than ordinary people. However, sometimes the human attachments of cultivators manifest in the same way as ordinary people's.
Master said in “Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference:” “A pure young girl, an innocent girl, is really hard to find nowadays.”
All of China has become this way. A lot of men's lust is out of control nowadays. Non-practitioner husbands with a strong sexual desire are really dragging female practitioners downward in their cultivation. Ordinary people's sexual techniques completely erase the solemnity of a cultivator. Those female practitioners who still want to marry non-practitioners, please reconsider the issue and be responsible for your cultivation. Dating is not as simple as just holding hands.
Cultivating a Pure Mind
Humans live in emotion just like fish in water. If a fish had to adjust to living on land, it would be painful. Therefore, even though we are clear on the principles, emotional thoughts may still pop up in our mind.
When we see fish swimming, it may appear that it is due to the motion of the fish, but they are affected and pushed by the flow of the water. Human beings have never been able to control their own minds.
When we have a pure mind, we will be able to suppress the energy and influence of emotional particles with which our bodies are permeated.
Compassion is different from emotions. It doesn't contain any selfish pursuits or expectation for a reward. Compassion is achieved by getting rid of human attachments.
Master said in “Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference:”
“The greatest manifestation of shan is compassion, and it is an expression of tremendous energy.”
Please allow me to end this article with a quote from Master's lecture “Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students:”
“So then for a human being what's the meaning of life? It's to experience the feeling you get from being attached to self-interest and enjoying the course of a human life soaked in emotion. Think about how pitiful that is, and what kind of feeling that really is. They're happy when they get something and miserable when they lose it; when they eat meat they find it tasty, and when they eat candy they find it sweet... but in the human world there's also bitter, biting, and painful things, there are the feelings young people have which come from emotional attachments, and then there are the feelings people in different social strata have as they chase after, gain, or lose things over the course of their lives--even though those gains and losses aren't something that really come from effort. That's how people are when they live in this world. People are so pitiable! And yet people just can't see through this so-called "reality," nor do they want to.”