How to Pursue the Truth (10) Part One

Today we will continue to fellowship on the content of our last meeting. What was our last meeting’s fellowship about? (Last time, God mainly fellowshipped on two subjects. First, God fellowshipped about the question people raise: “If mankind had not pursued their ideals and desires, then would the world have developed as it has to the present?” Next, God fellowshipped on some of people’s mistaken perspectives and viewpoints about marriage, and then fellowshipped about the correct concept and definition of marriage.) Last time I fellowshipped on a very broad topic—marriage. Marriage is a broad topic which touches on all mankind and permeates the history of human development. This topic touches on people’s everyday life, and it is important for everyone. Last time we fellowshipped on some content touching on this topic, mainly about the origin and formation of marriage, as well as God’s instructions and ordination for both parties in marriage, and the responsibilities and obligations both parties in marriage ought to take upon themselves. What was this content primarily based on? (The biblical record.) This fellowship was based on the words and verses recorded in the Bible, in which after God created mankind, He ordained marriage for them, right? (Right.) Through our last fellowship, and through reading about some of the sayings and doings of God regarding human marriage as recorded in the Bible, do you have an accurate definition of marriage now? Some people say: “We are young, we have no concept of marriage, nor do we have any experience. Defining marriage is awkward for us.” Is it awkward? (No.) It is not awkward. So how should we define marriage? Based on God’s sayings and doings regarding human marriage, should you not have an accurate definition of marriage? (We should.) With regard to marriage, whether or not you are married yourself, you need to have an accurate knowledge of the words of My fellowship now. This is an aspect of the truth you ought to understand. Speaking from this perspective, whether or not you have any experience with marriage, and whether or not you feel any interest in marriage, and whatever calculations and plans you may have had in the past regarding marriage, as long as this matter touches on your pursuit of the truth, you ought to know about it. This is also a matter you ought to see clearly, because it touches on the truth, on human ideas and viewpoints, on people’s pursuit of the truth, and on your principles and path of practice on your road of pursuing the truth. So, whether or not you have experienced marriage before, whether or not you are interested in marriage, or what your marriage situation is, if you want to pursue the truth and attain salvation, then you need to have an accurate knowledge and correct ideas and viewpoints regarding marriage, just as you would with any matters that touch on the truth; you should not resist it in your heart, or wear colored glasses and have notions about it, or deal with it based on your own background and circumstances, or make any choices regarding it. These are all incorrect viewpoints. Marriage, like any other matter, touches on people’s viewpoints, standpoints, and perspectives. If you want to have correct, truth-aligned ideas, viewpoints, perspectives and standpoints on the matter of marriage, then you must have an accurate knowledge and definition of the matter, which all touches on the truth. So, when it comes to marriage, you should have a correct knowledge and understand the truth that God wants people to in this matter. Only by understanding the truth here can you have the correct ideas and viewpoints to face marriage when you get married, or when things arise in your life that touch on the matter of marriage; only then can you have correct standpoints and perspectives on it, and of course, have an accurate path for resolving problems involving marriage. Some people say: “I will never set foot in marriage.” And maybe you never will set foot in it, but you will unavoidably have some ideas and viewpoints about marriage, big or small, right or wrong. Additionally, in your life you will unavoidably encounter some people or things that present problems that involve the matter of marriage, so how will you view and resolve these problems? When these problems that touch on marriage appear, what do you need to do to have accurate ideas, viewpoints, standpoints, and principles of practice? How do you need to act to be in line with God’s will? This is something you ought to understand, something you ought to pursue moving forward. What do I mean when I say that? I mean that there are some people who might think that marriage has nothing to do with them, so they listen inattentively. Is this the right viewpoint? (No.) No. No matter the topic I fellowship about, as long as it touches on the truth, touches on pursuing the truth, and touches on the basis and criteria for viewing people and things, and for comporting oneself and acting, then you should accept it and earnestly, carefully listen. Because this is not common sense, nor is it knowledge, much less is it professional understanding—it is the truth.

Let us return and continue fellowshipping on the subject of marriage. What should the definition of marriage be? Based on the ordination and arrangements of God in regard to marriage, as well as His exhortations and instructions to both married parties that I fellowshipped on last time, your concept and definition of marriage should not be muddled; rather, it should be clear and unequivocal. Marriage should be the uniting of one man and one woman under the ordination and arrangements of God. This is the composition of marriage, which has preconditions. Under the ordination and arrangements of God, one man and one woman united constitutes a marriage. Is that not the case? (It is.) Is such a definition of marriage not theoretically accurate? (It is.) Why say it is accurate? How can you be sure it is accurate? Because it is based on the biblical record, and it has indications that can be followed. The biblical record clearly explains the origins of marriage. This is the definition of marriage. On the foundation of this clear definition of marriage, let us take a look at what are the duties that each party in marriage takes on themselves. Did the Bible passages we read at the last meeting not clearly record this? (They did.) The simplest of all the duties each party in marriage takes on is to accompany and help one another. Then, what was God’s instruction to the woman? (God said to the woman: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16).) This is the original way of speaking in the Bible. Using our modern words, God’s instruction to the woman was her duty. What was that duty? To bear children, to raise them, and to take care of her husband and adore him. This was God’s instruction to the woman. So what duty did God instruct the man to do? As the head of the house, the man must bear the burden of family life and provide for the family by the sweat of his brow. He must also bear the burden of managing the family members, his woman, and his own life. This is God’s division of duties between women and men. You should be clear and definite on the duties of men and women. This is the definition and formation of marriage, as well as the responsibilities both parties should take upon themselves and the obligations they should fulfill. This is marriage itself and the real content thereof. Are there any negative things in the content we have discussed regarding marriage? (No.) There are no negative things in it. It is all maximally pure, in line with the truth, and in line with the facts, and it is in line with the basis of God’s words. With biblical records as the foundation, the matter of marriage becomes very definite and clear to modern people; we do not need to lay down too many preconditions or use too many words to speak of the origin of marriage. It is not necessary. The definition of marriage is clear, and the duties that both parties in marriage should take on themselves, and the obligations they should fulfill, are clear and definite. Once one is clear and definite on these things, what effect does that have on one’s pursuit of the truth? What is the meaning behind understanding the definition and composition of marriage and the duties of both parties? That is to say, what are the results that fellowshipping on this content has on people, and what are the effects that it causes? To speak colloquially, what good does it do you to listen to this content? (It allows us to have a correct and truth-aligned viewpoint for looking at things when we face marriage, or when we look at marriage; we will not be influenced or misguided by wicked trends or the ideas inculcated by Satan.) This is one positive effect. Does fellowshipping on the definition and formation of marriage and the duties of both parties allow people to have correct ideas and viewpoints regarding marriage? (Yes.) When a person has correct ideas and viewpoints, do the benefits and positive effects of this allow them to establish a correct view of marriage in their consciousness? Once someone has a correct view of marriage and correct ideas and viewpoints, do they have a certain resistance and immunity to opposing, negative ideas and viewpoints, which belong to wicked trends? (Yes they do.) What does this resistance and immunity refer to? It means that, at the very least, you have discernment when it comes to some wicked ideas and viewpoints regarding marriage that come from the world and society. Once you have discernment, you will no longer look at marriage based on the ideas and viewpoints that come from the wicked trends of the world, nor will you accept those ideas and viewpoints. So what is the benefit to you in not accepting those ideas and viewpoints? It is that those ideas and viewpoints will not control your perspectives and actions regarding marriage, and will no longer corrupt you, nor will they seed in you those wicked ideas and viewpoints; therefore, you will not look at marriage by following the wicked trends of the world, nor will you be carried off by those wicked trends, so you will be able to stand firm in your testimony on the matter of marriage. So in a certain sense, will you have already given up some of those satanic, worldly ideas, viewpoints, and perspectives regarding marriage? (Yes.) After people have an accurate definition of marriage, they are able to let go of some of their pursuits, ideals, and desires regarding marriage, but is it enough to stop there? Are they able to completely let go of their pursuits, ideals, and desires regarding marriage? It is not nearly enough. They have nothing more than an accurate definition and concept of marriage, merely an initial, basic concept and knowledge of marriage in their thoughts. But the various ideas, viewpoints, and topics that the world and society disseminate regarding marriage will still influence your ideas and viewpoints, and affect your perspectives—and even actions—regarding marriage. So up to the present, after having an accurate definition of marriage, people are still unable to totally and completely let go of their pursuits, ideals, and desires regarding marriage. So next, should we not fellowship about the various pursuits, ideals, and desires that arise in people regarding marriage? (Yes we should.)

I’ll bring this fellowship about the definition of marriage to a close. Next, we’ll fellowship about how to let go of the various pursuits, ideals, and desires that arise because of marriage. First off, let us fellowship about people’s various fantasies regarding marriage. When I mention fantasies, I mean the pictures that people imagine in their heads. These pictures have not yet become factual; they are just imaginings triggered by people’s daily lives or the circumstances they encounter. These imaginings form images and illusions in people’s heads, even becoming their pursuits, ideals, and desires regarding marriage. So, in order to let go of your pursuits, ideals, and desires regarding marriage, you should first let go of the various fantasies that were once or have been seeded in your mind and in the depths of your heart. This is the first thing you need to do to let go of your pursuits, ideals, and desires regarding marriage—that is, let go of your various fantasies of marriage. So let us first talk about what fantasies people have about marriage. The various opinions about marriage from ancient people hundreds or thousands of years ago are too far removed from the present, so we will not go into those. We will speak instead about what modern people’s fresh, popular, fashionable, and mainstream opinions and actions are regarding marriage; these things influence you, causing you to continually have all kinds of fantasies arise in the depths of your hearts or in your minds regarding marriage. First, some opinions regarding marriage become popular in society, and then various works of literature carry the ideas and opinions of the authors regarding marriage; as these works of literature are turned into television programs and films for the screen, they even more vividly expound upon people’s various opinions about marriage, their various pursuits, ideals, and desires about it. Whether more or less, visibly or invisibly, these things are continually instilled into you. Before you have any accurate concept of marriage, these societal opinions and messages about marriage create preconceptions in you and are accepted by you; then you start to fantasize about how your own marriage will be, and what your other half will be like. Whether you accept these messages through television programs, films, and novels, or through your social circles and the people in your life—regardless of the source, these messages all come from humans, society, and the world, or to speak accurately, they evolve and develop from wicked trends. Of course, to speak even more accurately, they come from Satan. Is this not the case? (It is.) In this process, regardless of what kind of ideas and viewpoints about marriage you have accepted, the fact is, while accepting various ideas and viewpoints about marriage, you are continually fantasizing about marriage in your thoughts. These fantasies all revolve around one thing. Do you know what it is? (Romantic love.) In society right now, the more popular or mainstream message revolves around speaking about marriage in terms of romantic love; the happiness of a marriage depends on the existence of romantic love, and whether or not husband and wife are in love with one another. These opinions of society concerning marriage—these things which permeate people’s thoughts and the depths of their souls—are primarily about romantic love. These opinions are instilled into people, causing them to develop all kinds of fantasies about marriage. For example, they fantasize about who the person they love will be, what kind of person they will be, and what their requirements of a marriage partner are. In particular, there are multifaceted messages that come from society, which say they certainly need to love that person and that that person needs to love them back, that only this is true romantic love, that only true romantic love can lead to marriage, that only marriage based on romantic love is good and happy, and that a marriage without romantic love is immoral. So, before they have found the person they will love, everyone prepares to find romantic love, making advance arrangements for marriage, preparing for the day in which they encounter the person they love so they can recklessly pursue their love, and realize their love. Right? (Right.) In the past, people did not speak of romantic love, nor did they speak of so-called freedom of marriage, or that love is guiltless, that love is supreme. At that time, people felt shy talking about marriage, love, and romance. Especially when it involved the opposite sex, people would feel embarrassed, they would blush and their hearts would race, or they would have a hard time speaking. Today, people’s attitudes have changed. When they see others discussing romance and marriage so calmly and confidently, they also want to be such a person, discussing romance and marriage freely and openly, without a red face or a racing heart. Moreover, they want to be able to openly confess their feelings when they come upon the person they want to pursue, to pour out their heart; they even fantasize about all kinds of scenes for courting or being courted, and even more, they fantasize about what kind of person the one they will love and pursue will be. Women fantasize that the person they pursue will be a Prince Charming, at least 1.8 meters tall, a witty conversationalist, refined, well-educated, with a good family background, and even better, that he will have a car and a house, social standing, a certain amount of wealth, and so on. As for men, they fantasize that their other half will be a fair-skinned beauty, a superwoman who can shine at social gatherings as well as in the kitchen. They even fantasize that their other half will be a beautiful and wealthy woman, and so much the better if she has a solid family background. Then people will say that the two of them joining together are like Romeo and Juliet, like a perfect couple or a match made in heaven, a couple that bystanders envy, that never argues or gets angry at each other, that would never quibble for any reason, that love one another deeply—like couples in the movies who swear to love each other until the seas run dry and the rocks turn to dust, to grow old together, to never dislike or avoid one another, to never give up on one another, and to never leave one another. Women fantasize that one day they will enter into the hall of matrimony with the one they love, and then with the blessing of the minister, they will exchange rings, exchange vows, swearing solemn pledges of love, committing to live this life with one another and to not leave or forsake each other regardless of sickness or poverty. Men also fantasize that one day they will enter the hall of matrimony with the woman they love, and with the blessing of the minister exchange rings and make their promises, swearing that no matter how old or ugly their new bride gets, they will not leave or forsake her, and that they will give her the most wonderful, happy marriage, and make her the happiest woman on earth. Men and women all fantasize like this, pursue like this, and in their real lives, they continually learn all kinds of pursuits, ideals, and desires about marriage. At the same time, they also endlessly repeat these fantasies in the depths of their hearts, hoping that one day their fantasies will play out in their real lives, making them no longer a kind of ideal or desire, but rather something real. Under the influence of modern life and the conditioning of all kinds of societal messages and information, each woman hopes to wear a white wedding dress and become the world’s most beautiful bride, the world’s happiest woman; she also hopes to wear her very own diamond ring, which must certainly exceed one carat, and must be of the finest purity. It can have no flaws, and her most beloved man must place it on her finger. This is a woman’s marriage fantasy. For one thing, she has some fantasies regarding the form of getting married; for another, she also has all kinds of fantasies about married life, hoping that the man she loves will not fail to live up to her expectations, that he will love her just as deeply in marriage as when they first fell in love, that he will not love another woman, that he will give her a happy life, make good on his commitment, and that until the seas dry up and the rocks turn to dust, they will stay together in this life and the next. For yet another thing, she also has all kinds of fantasies and requirements regarding the person she falls in love with. At the very least, he must be a Prince Charming, if not on a white horse, then on a black one. It is certainly this level of prince-like quality that a woman has in mind for her ideal man—how romantic and grand that would be, how happy her life would become. The basis of these fantasies that people develop regarding marriage is from society, their social groups, or all kinds of messages, all kinds of books, works of literature, and films; add to that some of those slightly bourgeois elements in their hearts which align with their own preferences, and so they fantasize about all kinds of people to fall in love with, all kinds of lovers, all kinds of marital forms and lives. In short, people’s various fantasies are all based on society’s understanding of marriage, interpretation of marriage, and various opinions on marriage. Women are like this, and men are the same. Men’s various pursuits of marriage are no less than those of women. A man also hopes to find a girl he likes, who is virtuous, gentle, good, and considerate, who treats him with care and affection, and who is dependent on him like a little bird, who is unerringly devoted to him, who does not disdain any of his flaws or shortcomings, who would even accept all his shortcomings and flaws, who, when he feels disheartened or frustrated, and when he fails, would reach out a hand to help and support him, and then say to him: “Darling, it doesn’t matter, I’m here. There’s nothing we can’t get through together. Don’t be afraid. No matter when, I will always be by your side.” Women have all kinds of requirements of men, and just the same, men have all kinds of requirements of women, so whether men or women, they are looking for their own other half among the crowd, and the basis for searching out their other half is their various fantasies regarding marriage. Of course, a man will more often fantasize about having a firm foothold in society, establishing a career, accruing a certain amount of wealth, and accumulating a certain level of capital, after which he can seek out a better half who is his equal in status, identity, taste, and preferences. As long as he likes her and she is in line with his requirements, he will be willing to do anything for her, even walk over burning coals for her. Of course, speaking a little more realistically, he will buy some nice things for her, satisfy her material needs, buy her a car, a house, a diamond ring, a brand name handbag and clothes. If he has the means, he will also buy a private yacht and a private plane, and will take his beloved woman out to sea just the two of them, or take her to see the world, to travel to the world’s most famous mountains, lands, and scenic places. How wonderful such a life would be. Women pay all kinds of prices for their various marriage fantasies, and in the same way, men strive and work for their various marriage fantasies. Regardless of what kind of fantasy you have regarding marriage, as long as it comes from the world, from the understanding and opinions that corrupt mankind has about marriage, or from the information about marriage that the world and corrupt mankind instill in you, these ideas and viewpoints will to some extent and to some degree influence your life and faith, and will influence your outlook on life and the path you walk through life. This is because marriage is something that no adult can avoid, and it is also an unavoidable topic. Even if you choose to remain single all your life, never getting married, your fantasies about marriage will still exist. You may choose to stay single, but beginning from the moment you had your most rudimentary concept and thoughts regarding marriage, you had all kinds of fantasies about it. These fantasies not only occupy your thoughts, they also flood your daily life and influence your ideas, viewpoints, and choices as you deal with all kinds of things. Put simply, if a woman has a standard for who she falls in love with, then regardless of the maturity or soundness of the standard, she will use it to weigh the goodness and badness of the humanity and character of members of the opposite sex, as well as whether or not those members are the sort she would like to spend time with. This standard is inseparable from the standard by which she chooses a marriage partner. For example, let’s say the kind of man she likes has bold features, a large, square face, and clear skin; he speaks elegantly, with a slight bookish air, and he is fairly polite. In her view of love, she feels good about this kind of man, and she leans more toward this kind of man. So in her life, whether or not such a person is the one she falls in love with, she will certainly feel good about him. I mean that when she comes into contact with such a person, whether his humanity is good or bad, whatever his character is like, whether he is a treacherous person or an evil person, these things are all secondary; these are not the standard she uses to view members of the opposite sex. What is her standard? It is the standard by which she chooses a husband. If her counterpart is in line with the standard she has for choosing a husband, then even if he is not the person she actually chooses as a husband, he is still someone she would like to spend time with. What does this issue illustrate? A person’s view of love—more specifically, a person’s standard regarding a partner in love or marriage—to a large degree influences her view on all members of the opposite sex. When she encounters a man who meets her standard for choosing a husband, she finds everything about him pleasing to the eye, his voice pleasant to hear, and his words and actions comfortable to observe. Even if he is not the one she intends to fall in love with and pursue, she still finds him pleasing to the eye. This pleasantness is where the trouble comes in. Whatever he says, you do not discern whether it is right or wrong; you find everything about him good and right, and think he does everything well. From these good feelings you have about him, you gradually start to admire and worship him. Where does this admiration and worship come from? The source is the standard you use for choosing a partner for love and marriage. On a certain level, this standard misleads how you view other people; more accurately, it blurs the criteria and the grounds you use to view members of the opposite sex. His outward appearance matches your aesthetic standards, so no matter what kind of character he has, whether or not his actions are in line with principles, whether or not he has the truth principles, whether or not he pursues the truth, whether or not he has genuine faith and submission to God—these things become very blurred to you, and you’re likely to be emotionally swayed in how you view this person. Because you have good feelings toward this person, and because on an emotional level he satisfies your standard, you see everything he does as good and quite fine; you safeguard him and worship him, to the point that when he does something evil, you do not discern it, nor do you reveal or forsake him. What is the reason for this? It is that your feelings are at play, capturing your heart. As soon as your feelings act up, is it easy for you to do things according to principles? Your feelings have the advantage, so you have no principles. So, the consequences this matter brings about are very serious. Even though he is not the person you are in love with, or is not the person you want to marry, he is still in line with your aesthetics and your emotional needs; under this precondition, you are unavoidably influenced and controlled by your feelings, and it is very hard for you to view this person, deal with the problems that come about in this person, and deal with your own problems based on God’s words. As soon as feelings control you and become the dominating force in you, it is very difficult to break free from the emotional shackles that bind you, to enter into the reality of practicing the truth. So what do I mean by all of this? I mean that everyone has all kinds of fantasies about marriage. This is because you do not live in a vacuum or on another planet, and of course you are not a minor, much less mentally deficient or an idiot; you are an adult, and you have an adult’s ideas. At the same time, you have also involuntarily accepted society’s various opinions about marriage, having accepted the information about marriage that comes from society and from wicked mankind. After accepting these things, you involuntarily fantasize about who your romantic partner will be. What does fantasizing refer to? It means entertaining unrealistic, empty thoughts. Based on what we have now fellowshipped and revealed, it is mainly directed at the various opinions about marriage that come from society and from wicked mankind. Because you do not have a correct, truth-aligned view of marriage, you are unavoidably influenced, corroded, and corrupted by the various opinions about marriage that come from society and from wicked mankind, but you do not know and are not aware. You cannot feel that this is a corrosion, a corruption. Unwittingly, you receive this influence, and unwittingly, you start to think that this is all quite fair and reasonable, and you take it as a matter of course, thinking that these are all ideas that adults ought to have. You will quite naturally turn all this into your own appropriate requirements and appropriate needs—the proper ideas that an adult ought to have. So, from the time that you start receiving these messages, your fantasies about marriage will escalate more and more and become ever deeper. At the same time, your sense of shame about marriage will continually diminish, or one might say, you will feel more and more disinclined to proactively reject these fantasies about marriage. To put it another way, your fantasies regarding your partner in love or the various scenes and things related to marriage will grow more and more involuntary and audacious. Is this not the case? (It is.) The more people accept opinions and information about marriage from society and from wicked mankind, the more bold and unbridled they become in imagining their own marriage, in looking for a partner in love, and pursuing that partner. At the same time, they hope that their lover could be just like a character described in a romance novel, TV drama, or romantic film—that they will love them unconditionally, until the seas dry up and the rocks turn into dust, remaining faithful until death. As for themselves, they also deeply love their partner just like TV dramas and romance novels portray, until the seas dry up and the rocks turn into dust, remaining faithful until death. In short, these fantasies are divorced from the real-world needs of humanity and life. Of course, they are also divorced from the essence of humanity; they are completely incompatible with real life. Just like with anything that people think is good, they are just pleasant thoughts produced by people’s imaginations. Seeing as these thoughts are not in line with God’s definition of marriage and His arrangements for it, people should let go of these ideas and viewpoints which are totally misaligned with the facts, which they ought not to pursue in the first place.

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