How to Pursue the Truth (1) Part Two

The various emotions that need to be let go of that we are discussing today are things that are deeply embedded in people’s souls. The effect these things have on you is not a temporary one, but rather their effect is far-reaching and profound. When you are finding it hard to sleep in the middle of the night, when you are all alone, those people, events and things that caused negative emotions to arise in you and that are deeply rooted in your memory float little by little to the surface of your mind. A word, a sound, even a curse, a beating, a scene, a thing, a group of people, or the sequence of an event from start to finish—all these people, events and things from deep in your memory that caused all manner of negative emotions to arise in you play before your mind like a movie. It plays over and over again, until finally and without realizing it you retreat back into those negative emotions hiding deep in your soul, and into that moment that impacted your feelings, your humanity, your personality, and your future life. When you are all alone, when you are up against difficulties, when you have a decision to make, and when you are in despair, you cannot help but curl up into a ball and avoid everyone, retreating into your innermost self to that situation, that event, and that group of people which caused you pain. Even though these people, events and things made you feel attacked and they hurt you, and they planted within you all manner of negative emotions, when you feel downcast and dejected, when you are faced with failure, even when you are being pruned or are rejected by your brothers and sisters, you cannot help but retreat back inside that negative feeling that exerts its influence over your life, whether it be depression, hatred, anger or inferiority. Although these emotions brought you all manner of pain, or else they made you feel uneasy, or they made you cry, or they made you feel irritable, you still cannot stop yourself from always returning to that negative emotion you felt at that moment. When you return to that moment, that negative emotion once again strengthens its influence on you. When this negative emotion affects you, reminds you, and alerts you over and over again, it invisibly disrupts your listening to God’s words and your understanding of the truth principles. When once again these negative emotions rise up in your innermost heart, when they assert their dominance over your thoughts, your interest in the truth will grow weaker, even turning to aversion, or feelings of defiance may arise. Because of the hurt and unfair treatment you have received in the past, you may look upon mankind and society with greater hostility, and hate everything that has happened as well as, of course, everything that will happen in the future. These emotions are manifesting constantly within your heart, and they repeatedly influence your feelings, your state and your condition. They also repeatedly influence how you feel in the performance of your duty, as well as your attitude and views in the performance of your duty and, of course, your motivation and resolve for pursuing the truth. Sometimes you have only just set your determination to pursue the truth and to never feel dejected again, never to believe that you are not good enough and beat a retreat again; however, when a momentary negative emotion fills your heart, your motivation for pursuing the truth may disappear completely, vanishing without a trace in an instant. When your motivation to pursue the truth vanishes without a trace in this kind of situation, you then feel that pursuing the truth is uninteresting and that believing in God and being saved hold no meaning for you. The arising of this kind of feeling and state makes you unwilling to come before God again, unwilling to pray-read God’s words or listen to God’s words, much less, of course, do you have any determination or wish to put God’s words into practice, or become one who pursues the truth. This is the tremendous obstacle and impact these various negative emotions have on people who walk the path of pursuing the truth. More accurately, they cause disruptions and damage to people, and they will from time to time take the shred of confidence you have just managed to muster and the few principles of conduct you have only just understood and turn them to naught. In an instant, they make you unable to perceive in your innermost heart God’s existence, God’s blessings, God’s sovereignty, and His provision for you, and instantly you are filled with any one of these negative emotions. When you are filled with these negative emotions, your corrupt dispositions will instantly take control within you. When you are taken over by your corrupt dispositions, you instantly become a different person and you show a different face to the people, events and things around you. The love you had before is gone, the patience you had before is gone, the energy you had before to suffer and pay the price, to endure hardships and work hard, is gone, the motivation you used to have to skip a meal and sleep a little less in order to perform your duty well is gone, and what takes its place is hostility toward every single person. What is the primary source of this hostility you feel for everyone? It comes from your corrupt disposition, but also the situations, the people, the events and the things that you have experienced in the past that have caused negative emotions to arise in you. You say, “I tolerate others, but who tolerates me? I show others understanding, but who shows understanding to me? Not even my parents or my brothers and sisters show me any understanding! Other people all make mistakes, so I can too! Other people vent negativity when being pruned, so why can’t I? Other people can jockey for influence and position, so why can’t I? If you can, so can I! Other people cheat and try to shirk their responsibilities when performing their duties, so I will too. Other people don’t pursue the truth, so neither will I. Other people act without principles, so I will too. Other people don’t protect the interests of God’s house, so neither will I. I’m just going to follow what everyone else does. What’s wrong with that?” What kind of manifestation is this? Whether we look at it in terms of your thoughts or the disposition you reveal, it is nothing less than a 180-degree turn, as though you have become someone else. What is happening here? The root cause is that you have undergone a change within. You may look the same on the surface and your daily routine is unchanged, your tone of speech is unchanged, your appearance is unchanged, and no one is leading you on or inciting you behind the scenes, so why the sudden surge of emotion? One reason is that it is caused by the negative emotions planted deep inside your heart. Someone who always harbors the negative feelings of hatred and anger inside them will, when their state is good, often come before God to pray, read God’s words, and will ensure that everything proceeds normally when pursuing the truth and performing their duty. If they encounter something that is not to their liking, or they encounter some setback, failure or embarrassment in work or life, or they suffer some loss of face or harm to their interests, the hatred and anger brought about by the negative emotions inside them cause them to become frenzied with rage and go berserk. Perhaps they previously experienced some events that were out of the ordinary, such as being mistreated, or randomly beaten by evildoers, or having their property seized, or being bullied or even humiliated by wicked people; some people may have had colleagues or superiors make things difficult for them at work, and some people may have suffered discrimination and unfair treatment from classmates and teachers in school due to their poor academic performance, poor conditions at home, or because their parents were farmers and from the lower class of society, and so on. When a person suffers all kinds of unfair treatment in society, when their human rights are stripped away, or when their interests are expropriated or their property is taken away from them, the seeds of hatred naturally become sown in the depths of their heart, and as a matter of course they will carry this hatred into the way they approach society, mankind, and even their own family, and their friends and relatives. The views of those who have hatred sown in their hearts are influenced by this hatred, and their emotions also will naturally be colored by it.

Once hatred has taken root deep within a person’s heart, it naturally becomes an emotion, and when someone lives within this emotion of hatred, their perspective on mankind and on any matter is no longer proper. Their views on people and things become skewed and contrary to how they would normally be. They become unable to correctly comprehend any normal and proper person, event, or thing, and they will also judge and condemn them. They always look for an opportunity to vent their grievances and hatred. They hope that, one day, they will have power and influence, and that they will be able to set all these grievances to rights and exact vengeance on those who have bullied and hurt them in the past. For the time being, however, they have no suitable way to achieve this, so ultimately some of them will come to believe in God. After they have begun to believe in God, they think, “Oh, I now believe in God and I can now hold my head up high. I will let God decide things for me so that those wicked people get their just deserts. This is great!” So, now that they believe in God, they bury their hatred and anger deep down inside, they give their all to expend themselves, pay the price, suffer, run around and work in God’s house, hoping that one day their efforts will bring them good luck and turn things around, and that, when the day comes that they become stronger and no longer weak, they will make sure those who have bullied them and so humiliated them are punished. Their purpose in doing all this is to witness with their own eyes the punishment and retribution exacted upon those who have caused them such endless pain and humiliation. They carry this emotion into their belief in God, paying the price, and expending themselves. On the surface it seems as though they never complain or desire or require anything, that they just wholeheartedly throw themselves into performing their duty in God’s house, and that no amount of suffering is too great. In reality, however, those emotions of hatred and anger inside their innermost heart remain unresolved and they have not let them go. The moment someone gives them their opinion and reveals their corrupt disposition, immediately they subconsciously flee back into their emotions of hatred and anger in order to face and solve this problem. They think, “Are you disparaging me? Are you trying to bully me because you think I’m guileless? So many people bully me, but just you wait and see what end is in store for them!” Someone just has to say something about them and they hurt them, even if it is unintentional. But if that person touches upon some sore point, their emotions of hatred and anger are stirred, causing them to unconsciously flee back into feeling hateful about everything. It is clear that this viewpoint, this emotion, has affected their perspective on and attitude toward people and things, and the ways and means in which they comport themselves and act. Regardless of who raises legitimate opinions and suggestions to them, they always think, “They’re looking down on me and wish to bully me. Do they think I’m easily pushed around?” They use this viewpoint and this way of doing things to deal with the situation, and all the while their emotions of hatred and anger become more entrenched in their heart. Once the emotions of hatred and anger become deeply embedded in their innermost heart, they grow continually, and the person continually uses them to face all manner of people, events and things, and they also constantly remind themselves that they have to hate everyone and that no one is nice to them. Even if they believe for a moment that someone is good to them, they will very soon tell themselves involuntarily and subconsciously, “Don’t think like that. Apart from God who is truly good, there are no good people. Everyone gloats at your misfortunes and no one wishes you well. They think you’re guileless so they bully you, and when they see you succeed at something they just flatter you and try to ingratiate themselves to you. So don’t believe anyone and don’t look upon anyone with kindness. You must be guarded and suspicious with other people.” Whenever someone says a word to them, they analyze it, thinking, “Is he coming for me? Why did he say that? Is he trying to attack me and get even with me for something? Is he trying to push me around?” These feelings of suspicion, hatred and anger repeatedly remind them and make them subconsciously use these feelings in their approach to and in dealing with every kind of person, event, and thing, and yet they themselves are totally unaware that these are all types of negative emotion. These negative emotions exert tight control over their judgment and tightly bind their thinking, and they prevent them from viewing any person, event or thing from the correct perspective or standpoint. When one starts living under the sway of these negative emotions, it becomes very difficult to escape their control. Before someone lets go of these negative emotions, they unknowingly live within them, looking out from them at people, events and things, approaching people, events and things with the wrong views that have arisen from these negative emotions. First, this inevitably leads to extremism, suspicion, doubt and even hotheadedness, and they will also look on others with hostility and attack them. These negative emotions direct the person’s thoughts and views within their heart, and they direct their every word and deed. That is why, when this person becomes mired in these negative emotions, if they are someone who pursues the truth, these negative emotions give rise to obstacles in and have an impact on their heart and mind, and so they practice the truth a lot less. Because of the adulteration, disruption and damage caused by these negative emotions, there is a limit to the truth they are able to put into practice and, when they encounter some situation, they are always influenced by their feelings. Of course, the most important effect is that they fall under the influence of these various negative emotions, and therefore practicing the truth becomes exhausting for them. They are unable to make use of the conscience and reason of normal humanity, nor the free will and instinct created by God, nor the truth principles man should practice and adhere to in their approach to the people and things around them, and in their judgment of the people and things around them.

From these things I have spoken about up to now, whichever way you look at it, it is clear that various negative emotions occupy the minds of every single person to a greater or lesser extent. Because they occupy people’s minds, a certain amount of difficulty will arise as they practice the truth. That is why, as they go through the process of pursuing the truth, people must continually let go of the people, events and things which cause negative emotions to arise in them. For example, the negative emotion of inferiority that we discussed earlier. Regardless of what situation caused your feeling of inferiority to arise or who or what event caused it to arise, you should harbor the correct understanding toward your own caliber, your strengths, your talents, and the quality of your own humanity. It is not right to feel inferior, nor is it right to feel superior—they are both negative emotions. Inferiority can bind your actions, bind your thoughts, and influence your views and standpoint. Similarly, superiority has this negative effect, too. Therefore, whether it is inferiority or another negative emotion, you should harbor the correct understanding toward the interpretations that lead to the arising of this emotion. Firstly, you should understand that those interpretations are incorrect, and whether it is regarding your caliber, your talent, or the quality of your humanity, the assessments and conclusions they make about you are always wrong. So, how can you accurately evaluate and know yourself, and break away from the feeling of inferiority? You should take God’s words as the basis for gaining knowledge of yourself, learning what your humanity, caliber, and talent are like, and what strengths you have. For example, suppose that you used to like singing and did it well, but some people kept criticizing you and belittling you, saying that you were tone-deaf and that your singing was out of tune, so now you feel that you cannot sing well and no longer dare to do it in front of others. Because those worldly, muddle-headed, and mediocre people made inaccurate evaluations and judgments about you, the rights that your humanity deserves were curtailed, and your talent was stifled. As a result, you do not dare to even sing a song, and you are only brave enough to let go and sing out loud when no one is around or you are just by yourself. Because you ordinarily feel so horribly repressed, when you are not alone you dare not sing a song; you dare to sing only when you are alone, enjoying the time when you can sing out loud and clear, and what a wonderful, liberating time that is! Is that not so? Because of the harm that people have done to you, you do not know or cannot see clearly what it is that you can actually do, what you are good at, and what you are not good at. In this kind of situation, you must make a correct evaluation and take the correct measure of yourself according to God’s words. You should establish what you have learned and where your strengths lie, and go out and do whatever it is that you can do; as for those things which you cannot do, your shortcomings and deficiencies, you should reflect on and know them, and you should also accurately evaluate and know what your caliber is like, and whether it is good or bad. If you cannot understand or gain clear knowledge of your own problems, then ask the people around you with understanding to make an appraisal of you. Regardless of whether what they say is accurate, it will at least give you something to reference and consider and will enable you to have a basic judgment or characterization of yourself. You can then solve the essential problem of negative emotions like inferiority, and gradually emerge from them. Such feelings of inferiority are easy to resolve if one can discern them, awaken to them, and seek the truth.

To those who have suffered unequal treatment, who have been mistreated and discriminated against in society, in their various professions, and in various environments, are the feelings of hatred and anger that arise in them easy to resolve? (Yes.) How are they resolved? (They must regard all people, events and things according to God’s words, let go of these negative emotions of hatred and anger, and let go of the people, events and things that have hurt them in the past.) “Letting go” are just words—how do you let go? For example, a woman dates a man and ends up being tricked into bed by him and cheated into giving him money, and whenever she thinks of this she feels a sudden uprush of anger, and when this anger arises she clenches her fists and her innermost heart is filled with hatred. She thinks of that man’s face, she thinks of everything he said, she thinks of everything he did which hurt her, and the more she thinks of these things, the angrier she gets, the more furious she gets, the more the rage burns, and the more her hatred grows. She keeps thinking of it and no longer wants to do her duty, and she feels worse and worse, telling herself not to rest but to just keep working and talking with other people, and when she cannot sleep at night, she must rely on sleeping pills to fall asleep. She dares not be alone or let her heart rest. The moment she finds herself alone, the moment she takes a rest, this hatred rushes up in her and she wants to take revenge, to make the one who hurt her die, and the more unpleasant the death the better. If one day she does actually hear the news that that man has died a tragic death, only then is she able to let go of her feelings of hatred and anger. Think about it: If he really did die, if he got his just deserts and was punished, would you be able to expunge that event that caused the hatred and anger to arise and that memory that is buried so deep in your innermost heart? Would you really be able to let go of the hatred of that event? Could it truly disappear? (No.) So, is making that person who hurt you disappear and suffer punishment, or die a most unpleasant death, or suffer retribution, or come to a bad end the way to resolve hatred and anger? Is it the way to let go of hatred and anger? (No.) And so, some people say, “When you discover that you’re harboring these emotions of hatred and anger, you should let them go.” Is this the path of practice? (No.) So what is it when someone says, “You should let them go”? (It is doctrine.) Right, it is doctrine, not the path of practice. I have just told you how to resolve the feeling of inferiority, and this is one way to let go of inferiority. Do you now have the path of practice? (Yes.) So how do you let go of hatred and anger? Is it the path of practice to not think about them? (No.) Some people say to expel them from your memory—is this the way to solve the problem? Would it mean that you have let these things go? (No, it wouldn’t.) Shaking your heads, closing your eyes and not thinking of anything, or keeping yourselves busy is not the way to solve this problem, and this is not the correct path of practice to let go of these negative emotions. So what specifically is the path of practice? How can you let these things go? How can you resolve this matter? Do you have a good method of doing this? To let go of these things, you must face them, not hide from them or flee from them. Are you not afraid of being alone? Are you not afraid of recalling this event? Are you not afraid that someone will reopen your wound? So face it, and take all those people, events and things that have wounded you and caused you to feel hatred and anger in the past, and all those people who have left a deep impression on you and whom you can remember, and write them all down, discern their humanity one by one according to God’s words, know their dispositions, dissect, reveal and know their essence, and see what exactly those people are. Your final conclusion—the only conclusion you can come to—will be that those people are all evil, they are demons, and not people! No matter what method they use to hurt you or entrap you and cause you harm, their essence is that of demons, not people, and they are absolutely not objects chosen by God. There are none among those people who are capable of coming to God’s house, whereas you are God’s chosen. You are now able to listen to sermons in God’s house, perform your duty in God’s house, and you can come before God—this is God raising you up and showing you kindness. Those people, on the other hand, have never been regarded as people in the eyes of God. That is why, once you have begun to believe in God, you should put distance between yourself and them. If you still wish to associate with them, you will certainly be unable to prevail against them, and you will be oppressed and punished by them, discriminated against and insulted by them, harmed by them, even abused by them. Everything they do demonstrates what demons do and what Satan does. If you enjoy associating with them and fighting with them, then you are not a person either. You are the same as them, and you are capable of doing the same things as them. This is because demons not only entrap people, but also do harm to each other—this is the nature of a demon. Seeing as you have been chosen by God and you belong to mankind whom God created, how could demons not pick on you? How could they not hurt you and entrap you? They harm everyone. They do harm to each other, so even more so they will not let up or leave people alone! This demonstrates that this world and mankind are demonic and are inundated through and through with the deeds of Satan. It is incredibly difficult to be a good person, and it is also incredibly difficult to just be an ordinary person who does not want to be pushed around by anyone. You try to avoid it, but you cannot. This is how the world is. From understanding enough to be able to start school, to entering into society and starting work, all the way up to death, who has never been pushed around during their lifetime, or deceived and persecuted? There is absolutely no one like this. No matter how skilled or capable you are, there will always be someone more formidable than you to push you around. The difference is, however, that everyone has different philosophies for living. Some people endure and resign themselves to adversity, but some are different. After experiencing being deceived many times, and having been bullied to the point where they cannot bear it anymore and having suffered too severely, emotions such as hatred and anger arise in them, and they hate both mankind and society. Once you have seen clearly the essence and nature of those who harm you and have seen that their essence is that of demons, the hatred and anger you feel are no longer directed toward people, but toward demons, and is your hatred not then lessened? (Yes.) Your hatred is somewhat lessened. And what is the advantage of it being somewhat lessened? It is that, when you encounter that kind of situation again, you will not get emotional again and will not regard the situation in a hotheaded way. Instead, you will regard it correctly, you will discern and approach it using God’s words and the truth, you will regard those who once again cause you harm from the standpoint of the conscience and reason of humanity, and you will use the way God has taught you, the way and principles God has told you, in your approach to them. When you approach them using the way God has told you, hatred and anger will not arise in you again, but rather you will come to know the corruption of mankind, know the face of demons, and confirm and verify that God’s words are the truth in a much more profound and progressive way. When you use God’s words and the way God has told you, the way He has taught you, to view such a matter as this, then this matter will not only not harm you again, and not only will it not cause your hatred and anger to deepen, but on the contrary, it will cause the hatred and anger inside your innermost heart to gradually lessen, and as you experience this kind of matter again and again, your stature will grow, and your disposition will change.

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