On Altruism and Selfishness
(Minghui.org) Thus far, I have come to the understanding from my Fa study that the foundation or characteristic of the origin of life in one particular universe within the old universes is “emptiness,” namely, what Taoists call “nothingness.” It is based on the law of “formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction,” which is the pinnacle of the old universes' wisdom.
In the history of cultivation, whether Buddhists or Taoists, they all regard reaching still-water-like tranquility as the highest realm of cultivation. Because the universe was built on selfishness and egoism, the mentality of all the lives inside it is selfish. The more they move, the quicker they reach degeneration and destruction. This is why, throughout history, cultivation has always been carried out in tranquility, rather than through movement.
By contrast, the Falun Dafa we are learning based on the ultimate characteristic of the universe. The standpoint for life is “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” Moreover, the mentality and motive of the lives are altruistic. What we want to assimilate ourselves to is this Fa and this standard.
When man can get rid of all postnatal notions in the old universe, his improper thoughts are purged and a true self will surface. However, this true self is still one that entails the mutation of the old universe and the deviation from the Fa. He still needs to continue with the assimilation and rectification process following the higher requirements of Dafa.
Teacher told us in Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Switzerland:
“So three thousand universes of this size continually multiply and expand the range; they continually multiply and expand the system. At roughly the one-thousandth layer, the boundary of this first cosmic body system is reached. But even that expanse is not the only one: In the vast cosmos it is still a particle, and particles of that level, too, pervade the immense cosmos. Beyond the expanse is a state of complete emptiness. And just how empty? If any substance in this system were to enter it, it would be the same as self-disintegration. That’s because any substance within the range of this system has life, characteristic features, and thought. To enter into a microscopic emptiness of that kind would be as if the particle could no longer sustain thought and life. It would instantly disintegrate. In other words, anything that fell into it would disintegrate. Explaining the concept this way makes it easy for us to understand. Beyond that expanse of emptiness, however, there are actually yet other cosmic bodies of even larger expanses. But all the same, the lives in this realm can’t possibly move a single step toward going there, since factors of an even more microscopic nature exist at more, and even still more, microscopic levels. Over in the even larger expanses, however, the concepts of matter and life are different in that cosmic body—the concept of matter no longer exists. Within the range of cosmic bodies, the number of layers of universes is not the same, but each and every cosmic body is composed of the most microscopic and elementary particles. And all of the elementary particles are formed from the nature of the cosmos, Zhen, Shan, Ren.”
The deeper meanings of Dafa are gigantic. It is not just to reach a true self without any delusions or improper thoughts. Neither does cultivation end, even if he achieves the state of “emptiness.” In cultivation among ordinary people, he needs to achieve a true self whose base is altruistic and who conforms to the ultimate characteristic of the universe.
As I understand it, as far as the old laws and principles go on the human level, the lives derived from the characteristic of “emptiness” or “nothingness” are often those symbolic of inner purity and innocence. However, the lives derived from the characteristic of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are often those well-rounded talents among elites.
Take for example the lotus flower that grows up out of the mud but is not soiled by it. An old-universe lotus flower grows out of the silt and it is unable to change the environment of the silt. Under the old universe's law of “formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction,” the flower will sooner or later be contaminated. However, suppose there is another lotus flower of the new universe that grows among a group of lotus flowers. They can compassionately point out one another's shortcomings and look inward in the face of conflicts. They have formed a harmonious environment. The positive factors are strengthening all of them. Therefore, they have broken away from the law of “formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction.”
Then, looking at it from the perspective of realm and outcome, although he can maintain his mental state of “emptiness” when he encounters any conflicts, he can only maintain his own purity. However, for cultivation from an altruistic base, a higher wisdom, a more altruistic compassion, and a more patient and enduring resilience are required. In practicing his true cultivation, he has to face different situations and save people in different environments. Only when he does the three things can he improve himself completely and harmonize by himself “altruistic” wisdom and abilities. This is how he follows the path arranged by Teacher.
The old universe is, by nature, selfishness-based. All the lives derived from its realm, amiable or malignant, cherish the common standpoint of selfishness. The mechanism for the old universe to protect itself is based on elimination, namely, it relies on an eliminating mechanism to protect its entire system and functioning. It will wipe out those cultivators it deems not good enough.
This is because it thinks it is more pure than the practitioners who cultivate their way up. Thus, it does what it does to protect itself. Because of its realm and wisdom, elimination is the only way it knows, because it does not have a clue about the means in the new universe where one can compassionately help another truly from the perspective of others.
Teacher has asked the old forces why they have sabotaged the Fa. They replied to Teacher by saying that they only knew what they knew. They did not lie. Indeed, their wisdom has limited them.
Hopefully, nobody will be obsessed with the so-called true self, false self, and non-self anymore. Like many principles and concepts in the old universe, throwing such terms around can easily confuse people.
Some practitioners with a strong pursuit for fame have come up with a question and answer format. This is seriously interfering with the Fa. It would be better to direct the practitioners who ask questions to study the Fa and genuinely cultivate themselves.
It is important to cultivate solidly by following the new universe's standard of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and doing the three things Teacher requires us to do. We can enlighten to and attain all our realms. Solid cultivation can pave the way for us.
The above is my personal understanding. Please compassionately point out anything inappropriate.