Beware the Addiction to Electronic Devices
(Minghui.org) Nowadays, electronic devices are taking up a lot of our time and changing our lives in subtle ways. People are unknowingly manipulated and controlled by them every day.
Some young people have become addicted to playing video games, leaving their young children at home to starve to death. Others have gone on their phones for so long that they've gone blind. Many more people have gotten lost in virtual worlds.
TVs, computers, and mobile phones take advantage of our human attachments and interfere with our cultivation, our righteous thoughts, and our relationship with the Fa. How should we deal with their interference?
A veteran practitioner became addicted to reading an Internet novel and could not free himself from it. He became sleepy when sending forth righteous thoughts and studying the Fa. He later collided with a car while riding his bike. After he recovered from his injuries, he continued to read the novel and even used a flashlight to read it under his bed covers at night. He was later arrested for practicing Falun Gong and had his house ransacked.
Another veteran practitioner who had good enlightenment quality had his liver disease cured after practicing Dafa. However, he became addicted to video games in his seventies. He passed away from ascites two years later.
A young practitioner with good xinxing watches TV almost every day and studies the Fa less and less. One day, I dreamed that she gave birth to a handicapped child. When I woke up, I realized that this was a hint that her paradise has become incomplete. It is such a pity–she has good inborn quality, and her parents also cultivate, but all this has gone to waste since she watches TV obsessively.
Another young practitioner saw that when his mother turned off Master's lectures and focused on her phone, a Buddha that had been by his mother’s side disappeared, only to be replaced by a ghost with an evil grin.
“I told her what I just saw, so she turned off her phone and resumed listening to the Fa lecture. The Buddha immediately reappeared, emanating a magnificent golden aura, while the ghosts disappeared,” he said.
A person playing with his phone can destroy himself. If everyone in a group of cultivators watches TV, plays video games, and idles on their phones, this will negatively impact the whole group's performance. The time can instead be used to study the Fa, send forth righteous thoughts, and save sentient beings so that the whole body of cultivators can elevate. If the time is spent on electronics, it will waste time and feed human attachments.
Understanding The Danger
First of all, all three behaviors are time-consuming. One episode of a drama is 40 minutes long, one game often takes a few hours, and one can't put down the phone after picking it up. Our brains and eyes become addicted to these screens as they suck away our free time bit by bit.
“This is aliens’ technology, and demons are utilizing it to get you hooked, get you to abandon everything you have, and have you devote yourself to it. It’s wasting your life, yet you are loath to put it down! Even from the perspective of being human you are not right, let alone in cultivation.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
There have been many examples of practitioners studying the Fa less and falling asleep while sending forth righteous thoughts after playing with their phones.
Secondly, these behaviors strengthen our demon nature. The devices are alien technology and are used by the old forces to interfere with people. To remove demon nature is hard, but to give in to it is easy. When a cultivator’s demon nature increases, it's easy for him or her to be destroyed.
“People may say that it doesn’t matter what they see with their eyes, and that they can just stop looking at something if they no longer want to see it. But that’s not true. When your vision makes contact with something, that thing has entered. That’s because any thing can replicate itself in other dimensions, so the longer you look at something, the more it enters.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference” in Teaching the Fa at the Conference XI)
Moreover, we could easily face persecution as a result of these demons. When a cultivator takes less time to cultivate, he naturally possesses fewer righteous thoughts and more demon nature. He will be more like an ordinary person and stray further from Master and the righteous path.
“Because he wants to cultivate, though, the evil will try to stop him from cultivating. And when you don't cultivate solidly you become a target for the evil's persecution.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York”)
Master also said,
“It is very difficult to truly save a person, yet so very easy to ruin a person. Once your mind is not right, you will be ruined at once.” (Zhuan Falun)
Because of this, we really must understand the danger of getting addicted to electronic devices. While they will not jump out to fight you or use a knife to kill you, these demons can attract you, trap you, and wear you down. We really can't underestimate their impact.
Using Electronics Devices Cautiously
Buddhism talks about “precept, samadhi, wisdom.” Only by abandoning attachments can one be in trance and attain wisdom.
As cultivators, we must pay attention when studying the Fa and be in a tranquil state when sending forth righteous thoughts and meditating. Only by cutting off the source of desire can one reduce the interference.
Firstly, when we study the Fa, we should switch off the devices and calm our minds.
Master said in Zhuan Falun that “everything in other dimensions is alive.” These devices are alive and densely packed with demons. When we switch off the devices, we cut off the source and keep them from entering our dimensional field. The old forces control these demons to lure, confuse and destroy us. It may only take one glance.
Next, we should kick the habit of using the devices every day in excess. The demons in these things are fiercer than those in alcohol and lust but are more concealed and seductive. We should treat this habit the same way we do smoking, drinking, and lust. One may feel terrible at first, but as long as one has a serious attitude and self-control, there will not be any gaps for the demons to exploit, and they will disappear.
Additionally, we have to increase our self-discipline and control the amount of time that we use our phones. In mainland China, there is a private high school that requires students to hand in their phones during school days. They only get to use their phones on one day during the weekend. Due to the strict control, the students perform better than average, and the school has become well-known for this technique.
If we instead increase the amount of time we allot to doing the three things, our cultivation state would also improve.
“This society is already a mess, and on the Internet all bad things are stirred in, just like demons, circulating. Whatever goes in is stirred in there or mixed in there, disrupting society, the human mind, and morality, and changing people's living state—the good and the bad are all jumbled together.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
Cherishing The Opportunity to Cultivate
We have only one chance for cultivation in the Fa-rectification period. Only those who seize the opportunity have a chance to return to their origin.
“Because people have dropped into the maze on their own, they should be eliminated. You are given another opportunity to return from the maze to your origin. If you are able to return to the origin, then you return. If you cannot return, then you will continue the cycle of reincarnation and destruction.” (Zhuan Falun)
Master has done everything possible for us to cultivate well, but the old forces deliberately make us mess up. If we don't cherish our opportunity and be diligent, we are walking the path arranged by the old forces–destroying ourselves, our sentient beings, and our paradise.
Some practitioners can maintain strong righteous thoughts amid the persecution, but they are unable to free themselves when it comes to their phones. As with boiling a frog in warm water; disaster might happen when you least expect it to. The number of cultivators being destroyed for wanting to have fun might exceed the number of practitioners who were persecuted to death, as the former is more concealed.
Master said at the end of Zhuan Falun,
“I hope that after going home everyone will make the best use of his or her time for genuine cultivation.”
What do the old forces intend to accomplish by inundating society with electronic devices? It is to cause upheaval in the world and make us lose ourselves so that we do not make good use of our time, which ultimately leads to destroying cultivators and undermining Master's Fa-rectification.
When we pick up our phones or sit in front of our television or computers to relax, I hope that everyone will recite Master's Fa:
“If you don’t firmly hold to your faith you will gain nothing in this life. No one knows when there will be another chance. It’s very hard!” (“Determination” in Essentials For Further Advancement)
When one realizes how rare this chance is, one would not be so addicted to phones.
To have a strong, solid foundation in cultivation, one must spend more time studying the Fa. Only by truly devoting the time and energy to save people can we assist Master to rectify the Fa. If instead, we give up hours and hours of cultivation to these devices but still talk about consummation, it is merely paying lip service and deceiving ourselves. Only by using what time we have on cultivation and seizing every chance to improve are we really cherishing this opportunity to cultivate.
In ancient times, the imperial court was once plagued by Da Ji. More recently, sham qigong made a mess in China. Right now, the addiction to electronic devices is changing the world. When these influences are compared side by side, it is easy to see which one is the most powerful, rampant, and deadly.
“Cultivation is extremely arduous and very serious. If you are being even a bit careless, you may stumble and become ruined at once. Therefore, one’s mind must be righteous.” (Zhuan Falun)
When the attachment of wanting to play emerge, we have to quickly detect it, grab hold of it, and destroy it so that we won't be lured into the trap. Any notions of unwillingness or inability to let go of these devices are interference and not our real righteous thoughts.
When our main consciousness is very strong and determined to let these attachments go, we can experience freedom and be rational. We are our real selves when we can enlighten to the Fa principles, find our true nature, and save sentient beings with righteous thoughts, free from demonic influence.
Let's think about it: would Gods and Buddhas get addicted to watching TV, playing games, or using their phones? They are busy protecting sentient beings and guarding their worlds. They would not be deceived by demons into losing their righteous thoughts, rationality, and responsibility.
Some cultivators in the past made themselves deaf and blind so they would not be interfered with and could calm down to cultivate.
“The complicated environment, in my view, is instead a good thing. The more complicated it is, the greater the individuals it will produce. If one can elevate oneself above and beyond it, one’s cultivation will be the most solid.” (Zhuan Falun)
We must use high standards to regulate ourselves and do the three things well. If we succeed, our cultivation will be rare, solid, and valuable, and we can naturally elevate ourselves above and beyond any interference. On the contrary, if we keep playing games with ourselves, we'll only end up tricking ourselves in the end.
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference” in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
When one studies and memorizes more Fa, one will have fewer desires.
Studying the Fa can be assimilated into every aspect of daily life. One can do it while sitting on the bus or doing housework. After I started to recite Master’s new articles while washing my face or walking, layers of Fa principles are continuously displayed to me. Moreover, one will improve faster and be calmer the more one’s mind is filled with the Fa.
We have reincarnated thousands of times before this era, having waited eons to find the righteous Fa. We came to the human world to take a short walk. We would lose this rare and precious opportunity if we become addicted to a mere toy. If we forget our vows, we would not live up to the thousands of years of waiting, the expectations of our sentient beings, the privilege of a human body.
When we pick up our phones and cannot let go, please think back to what Master said:
“Opportunity knocks but once. Once the illusion that you cannot let go of disappears, you will realize what you have lost.” (“Practicing Cultivation After Retirement” in Essentials For Further Advancement)