My Understanding of the Perceptual and the Rational

Some elderly practitioners, after practising Falun Dafa for a period of time, have quickly recovered from serious illnesses. Some of these were long-term patients. A few had even been diagnosed with "fatal" illnesses before starting to practice. Many non-practitioners have since commented that Falun Dafa has extraordinary power. These comments have had large-scale positive effects on society.

Attaining Falun Dafa in this way is a very good start, because having strong personal feelings sets a solid background for one's future practise, but this issue has its negative side also. Having such strong feelings may later become one's biggest barrier while upgrading toward rational enlightenment with Falun Dafa.

Even though some practitioners have been practising Falun Dafa for many years, there are those who have only gained a perceptual understanding of it thus far. Viewed from the surface, this is not apparent. It is hidden deep in their minds where it is hard to recognise. As the Fa-rectification advances rapidly, especially this year when evil spirits, dark minions, and rotten demons are facing their immediate deaths, such attachments have provided the evil forces an opportunity to rampantly persecute these practitioners.

In one recent example, a practitioner showed serious "illness karma" and was in a "critical" health condition a number of times. Through studying the Falun Gong teachings and sharing with fellow practitioners, he was able to realise that during this special period, such things as "illness karma" are due to the persecution by the old forces. While this was happening, the practitioner looked inward in search of the cause of his problems. On several occasions, when he went into "critical" condition, fellow practitioners circled him to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate all the evil spirits that were persecuting him. This helped for one or two days, but then his situation worsened once more. After discussions amongst practitioners, we found he had a big attachment: a deep ordinary person's feeling of gratitude toward both Teacher and Falun Dafa.

Before practising Falun Dafa, the practitioner had a fatal disease, which disappeared when he started to practise. Since that time, he has held a deep sense of gratitude toward Teacher and Falun Dafa. He frequently says, "Falun Dafa and Teacher have given me a second life." Though he has practised for over ten years, he has still not advanced to a rational level of understanding what is taught in Falun Dafa. When he suffered from persecution in the form of illness, he did not realise that feelings of gratitude could become his biggest attachment. While Falun Dafa could cure his illness, his attachment to it could also provide the evil forces a perfect opportunity to persecute him.

My understanding is this: Teacher asks us to assimilate to Falun Dafa; that is, to Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance; to negate the old forces and their acts of persecution with our righteous thoughts and actions; and to validate Falun Dafa through our cultivation, not just by showing gratitude to Teacher.

During this process, when the practitioner kept righteous thoughts, and with the help of fellow practitioners who also sent forth righteous thoughts to help him, his physical well-being returned very quickly. When his feelings of gratitude emerged, his physical health situation grew even worse than previously. When he later came to understand what was happening, he saw that he needed to get rid of his deeply rooted feeling of gratitude to progress in his cultivation. In the following, I will share with you my understanding of what is perceptual and what is rational.

I started practising Falun Dafa in 1996. At the beginning, I thought, "Falun Dafa is so good. It enables people to have good health, it upgrades their morality, it makes society more secure, etc, etc." Just like one fellow practitioner said, "It has benefits for everyone and does no one any harm."

After a period of practise, I found my understanding to be too shallow. I realised that Falun Dafa is far superior to current scientific understandings. It reveals the truth of the universe and lets people become better and better. It is also a heavenly law, a Buddha law, that helps people upgrade themselves to higher levels. As I studied and practised more, my good feelings toward Falun Dafa turned into admiration and gratitude to Teacher. Gradually, deep in my mind, I came to know that Teacher is compassionate and great. As time went by, these feelings became stronger and stronger.

As I studied Falun Dafa more deeply, I enlightened more and more to its meaning. One day, when I realised Teacher is teaching us a bigger law than Buddha Law from the viewpoint of Buddha, I felt encircled by Teacher's boundless compassion. At that moment, tears of happiness streamed down my face. I understood that gratitude to Falun Dafa and Teacher is the sentimental feeling of an ordinary person, which includes both mental concepts and complicated, impure motives.

Since July 20th, 1999, due to my human mentality and lack of deep understanding of Falun Dafa, I have made many mistakes. But, wherever I am, whether it be in a detention centre, jail or forced labour camp, my faith in Teacher has never changed. No force exists that could change it. With such unshakable faith I have overcome many difficulties and hardships. Through cultivation and reading Teacher's new articles, I have gotten a better and clearer understanding of our duties and responsibilities as Falun Dafa practitioners, and also about how to do our jobs better. As I realised more things, my thoughts become wider and broader, as did my understanding of Teacher's compassion and the true meaning of Falun Dafa. My spirit keeps on changing for the better, giving me feelings beyond what words can describe.

My experience of this never-ending process of upgrading, described just from one angle, is that no matter how highly I regard Falun Dafa or however high the esteem in which I hold Teacher, those are only understandings of one level and not the entire truth of Falun Dafa. Impure things have actually existed during all different periods, and only through having purer and more rational minds can we experience the greater beauty and power of Falun Dafa. After so many years of cultivation, my biggest enlightenment is this: Only when we no longer hold onto concepts and attachments, including any sentimental attachment to Teacher, can we finally come to understand Falun Dafa more rationally. I am not a good writer, so fellow practitioners please correct my mistakes.

Finally let me use quotes from two of Teacher's articles to encourage us:

"Some people think that Dafa is in keeping with their own understanding of science; some people think that it agrees with their own code of conduct; some people think that it speaks to their own dissatisfaction with politics; some people think that Dafa can salvage humankind's degenerate morals; some people think that Dafa can cure their illnesses; some people think that Dafa and Master are righteous, and so on and so forth. It isn't wrong for human beings in this world to yearn with these attachments for beautiful dreams and wishes. But a cultivator definitely shouldn't be that way. You may start on the path of Dafa with those thoughts, yet over the course of cultivation you need to regard yourself as a cultivator. During the course of cultivation, however, through reading the books, studying the Fa, and diligently making progress, you should clearly recognise what your thoughts were when you first came to Dafa. After cultivating for a period of time, are your thoughts still the same? Are you continuing on the path because of those human attachments? If so, you cannot be counted as my disciple. It means that you haven't gotten rid of your fundamental attachments and that you are unable to understand the Fa from the Fa. Those who have been weeded out during the evil tests that Dafa has encountered in China are all people who have not gotten rid of those attachments. At the same time, they have had a negative effect on Dafa." ("Towards Consummation")

"It has been four years since I began teaching Dafa. Some students' xinxing and level of realm have improved slowly; they remain at the perceptual stage in their understanding of me and Dafa, always being grateful towards me for the changes in their bodies and for the manifestation of supernormal abilities--that is an ordinary human mindset. If you do not want to change your human state and rationally rise to a true understanding of Dafa, you will miss the opportunity. If you do not change the human logic that you, as an ordinary human, have formed deep in your bones over thousands of years, you will be unable to break away from this superficial human shell and reach Consummation. You cannot always count on me to eliminate karma for you while you fail to truly progress in comprehending the Fa and rise above human understandings and notions. Your ways of thinking, your understanding, and your appreciation towards me and Dafa are the product of ordinary human thinking. But what I'm teaching you is in fact moving beyond ordinary humans to a rational, true understanding of Dafa!

"In practising cultivation, you are not making real, solid progress on your own, which would effect great, fundamental changes internally. Instead, you rely on my power and take advantage of powerful external factors. This can never transform your human nature into Buddha-nature. If every one of you can understand the Fa from the depths of your mind, that will truly be the manifestation of the Fa whose power knows no boundary--the reappearance of the mighty Buddha Fa in the human world!" ("Cautionary Advice," Essentials for Further Advancement)

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