(Minghui.org) Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa, said,

“Whether it be all the gods in history who came down to save people, all the heroic figures who emerged in each nation, or all the different cultures that arose in history, they all came about for Dafa's final manifestation among mankind today. And for that purpose the culture for understanding Dafa was established among human beings, and the characteristics of different cultures were created, as were the ways of different cultures.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Washington DC Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VI)

My understanding is that many stories from the past—especially those related to cultivation—can be helpful to us as practitioners. Many of us have grown up with an atheistic worldview and don't have a good understanding of traditional values or what it means to cultivate. The stories of individuals like Sakyamuni, Milarepa, and Moses can help us bridge this gap.

Here, I would like to share some understandings that I enlightened to after reading the story of Moses.

Our Abilities and Our Mission

Moses was born during a massacre. Fearing the growing numbers of their Hebrew slaves, the Egyptians ordered all the newborn Hebrew boys to be drowned in the River Nile.

In order to save him, Moses' mother placed the infant Moses into a basket and sent him floating down the Nile, where he was found and adopted by the Pharaoh's daughter and made an Egyptian prince.

One day, to oppose the unfair treatment of his own people, he killed an Egyptian guard and was forced to flee into the desert, where he eventually became a shepherd.

After 40 years as a shepherd, Moses heard the voice of God from a bush that flamed but did not burn. God asked Moses to return to Egypt and lead the people of Israel to a land of prosperity, but Moses was hesitant.

“Who am I that I should go to the Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” he asked.

God replied, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you.”

But Moses was still not confident; he was worried that people might not listen to him. So God promised him three miracles to convince the Israelites. Moses then said he was not eloquent—rather, he was “slow of speech and of tongue.” Even after God said, “I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall speak,” Moses still insisted that He send someone else.

God then told Moses that his brother Aaron could speak to the people in Moses' place, although God’s orders would still only go to Moses.

This story tells us that when the Divine chooses someone for a mission, that person will be equipped with the all necessary abilities. Since all of these abilities are from the Divine, this person doesn't need to worry if his or her abilities are enough.

We Dafa practitioners should be even beyond that mentality. Master said,

“With such an enormous Fa here, the Fa will be with you when your thoughts are righteous, and this is the greatest assurance.” (“Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)

I think genuine Dafa disciples are all familiar with this experience. As long as we have righteous thoughts, we can achieve anything needed—especially for saving people. If we doubt our own abilities, this means that we don't have full faith in the Fa and have not understood the true meaning of Fa-rectification period cultivation.

Of course, this doesn't mean that we should become attached to our own abilities and develop demonic interference from our own minds. This would be the other extreme.

In fact, as the savior of the Israelites, Moses never boasted about his own abilities. He humbly obeyed God’s orders and followed His words. He also begged for God's mercy on the Israelites' behalf when God wanted to punish them. In the end, he completed his mission, leading the Israelites out of Egypt so that their offspring could enter Canaan.

However, Moses himself did not enter Canaan. This is due to a tribulation on his cultivation path that we'll discuss later.

Miracles May Enlighten People But Not Necessarily Save Them

When Moses went back to Egypt and asked that the Hebrews be freed, Pharaoh did not allow them to leave. Through Moses, God then brought ten plagues upon Egypt: of blood, frogs, gnats, flies, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and, finally, the plague that brought death to all Egyptian firstborns.

Several times, the Pharaoh had agreed to let the Hebrews go, but each time, he changed his mind as soon as peace returned to his land. It wasn't until the tenth plague that the Pharaoh finally allowed the Hebrews to leave—and even then, it was only a matter of time before he changed his mind again and sent an army after the Hebrews after they left.

Trapped between Pharaoh's army and the Red Sea, God gave Moses another miracle and parted the Red Sea for the Hebrews, allowing them to pass unharmed while drowning Pharaoh's army.

This part of the story shows that the effect of miracles on people who have lots of karma is short-lived and superficial. It's because these people do not know or understand the inner meaning behind the miracles. The ten plagues did not make the Pharaoh believe in God.

The many miracles that the Hebrews themselves witnessed did not lead to their steadfast faith in God, either. When they saw the Red Sea part, the miracle that occurred when they were in danger and despair, they thanked God. But when they later encountered difficulties in the desert once again, they lost faith and grew resentful.

From this I had a better understanding of what Master meant when he said,

“Supernatural skills are but petty means,The Great Fa must be the basis of everything.”(“Seeking the Righteous Fa,” Hong Yin)

I also understood why Master does not demonstrate supernormal abilities; it's because people can only be saved if they change their hearts and want to improve themselves. This principle is the same for cultivators: although supernormal abilities can help us gain confidence, having them doesn't necessarily mean you can make it in cultivation, because xinxing is the only indicator of our level.

The Harm of Resentment

Although Moses suffered tremendously for the Israelites and protected them many times with his own life, he was not given the respect and gratitude that he deserved. Instead, the Israelites complained about and argued with him. On one occasion, they even plotted to stone Moses and Aaron.

At that moment, God intervened. And if Moses hadn't pleaded on their behalf, God would have destroyed them. God pardoned the Israelites once again but decreed that those who had witnessed the miracles—the ten plagues in Egypt, parting of the Red Sea, and more—would not be admitted into the promised land of Canaan.

“... of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell,” He said, “But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected.”

This left the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for the next 40 years.

For an everyday person, grumbling and resentment can be normal. But for practitioners, it is taboo. This is especially pertinent to some of us since we grew up in the Chinese Communist Party culture, and it's everywhere. At its core is hatred, brutality, and lies. Some practitioners influenced by it make a habit of complaining bitterly, seething with jealousy and hatred.

While the Israelites’ resentment bought them an extra four decades in the desert, modern-day practitioners have also experienced difficulties due to their jealousy, along with the complaints and hatred that it breeds. These include illness tribulations and even loss of life.

When working on projects, our negativity also makes the working and cultivation environment less desirable, which impacts how we collaborate and how our projects grow. Some projects have even ended as a result. There are quite a few examples of this, so we have to take this seriously.

We Need to Broaden Our Capacity to Achieve Our Mission

The ending of Moses' story is surprising: Although he was chosen to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, he was barred from entering Canaan himself.

Back when they first left Egypt, the Israelites didn't have water to drink. When Moses asked God for help, God told him to strike a rock with his staff. Moses followed God's instructions and, sure enough, the people got water.

Near the end of their 40-year peregrination, the group ran out of water once again.

“Why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink,” the people complained.

Hearing this made Moses angry. He asked God what to do. This time, God instructed him to tell a rock to produce water.

But the furious Moses first told the people, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” He then struck the rock twice to get water.

Because of his anger and his failure to credit God for the deed, Moses and Aaron were not allowed to enter Canaan.

“Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them,” said God.

From an ordinary person’s point of view, Moses had every reason to be angry—he was already 120 years old and had led the Hebrews for 40 years by that point. Nonetheless, his people kept complaining. But from a cultivator's point of view, it was all an opportunity for him to enlarge his capacity and fulfill his responsibility.

I think we as Dafa practitioners are also in a similar situation. If we can endure and be considerate of others during conflicts, our situation can change for the better. Otherwise, it may be difficult to solve the problem.

This lesson is a serious one. Anger can make us lose rationality and forget our mission.

Master said,

“Know that what I have been describing is a common pitfall. Spiritual practice is extremely demanding and a serious affair. Even just being a little careless might prove to be your undoing and ruin you in no time. So it’s imperative that your thinking be right.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

Therefore, we as Dafa practitioners should follow Master’s teaching, remain diligent, and constantly improve our xinxing to fulfill our mission.

Editor's note: Views expressed in this article represent the author's own opinions, for which the author is solely responsible. Readers should evaluate the article's merits on their own.

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Category: Perspective