How to Pursue the Truth (13) Part Three

In addition to raising you and providing you with food, clothing, and education, what has your family given you? All it has given you is trouble, right? (Yes.) If you were not born into such a family, all the various conditioning effects that your family has on you may not have existed. The conditioning of your family would not have existed, but the conditioning effects of society would still exist—you cannot escape them. No matter from which perspective you look at it, whether these conditioning effects come from family or from society, these ideas and views basically originate from Satan. It’s just that each family accepts these various sayings from society with different degrees of conviction and placing emphasis on different points. They then use corresponding methods to educate and condition the next generation of their family. Everyone receives all sorts of conditioning to varying degrees, depending on the family they come from. But in fact, these conditioning effects originate from society and from Satan. It’s just that these conditioning effects are instilled deep in people’s minds through the medium of parents’ more concrete words and actions, using more direct methods that make people more amenable to them, so that people accept this conditioning and it becomes their principles and ways of dealing with the world, and it also becomes the basis on which they view people and matters, and comport themselves and act. For example, the idea and view that we just talked about—“When someone beats a gong, listen to its sound; when someone speaks, listen to their voice”—is also a conditioning effect that comes from your family. No matter what kind of conditioning effect their family exerts on them, people view it from the perspective of family members and therefore accept it as a positive thing, and as their own personal talisman, which they use to protect themselves. This is because people think that everything that comes from their parents is the result of their parents’ practice and experience. Of everyone in the world, only their parents would never harm them, and only their parents want them to live a better life and to protect them. Therefore, people accept various ideas and views from their parents without any discernment. In this way, they naturally accept the conditioning of these various ideas and views. Once people have been conditioned by these various ideas and views, they never doubt them or discern them for what they really are, because they often hear their parents say such things. For example, “The parent is always right.” So what does this saying mean? It means that no matter whether your parents are right or wrong, basically because your parents gave birth to you and raised you, as far as you are concerned everything your parents do is right. You cannot judge whether they are right or wrong, nor can you reject them, let alone resist them. This is called filial piety. Even if your parents have done wrong, and even if some of their ideas and views are outdated or mistaken, or the way they educate you and their ideas and views they educate you with are not correct or positive, you mustn’t doubt or reject them, because there is a saying about that—“The parent is always right.” When it comes to parents, you should never discern or evaluate whether they are right or wrong, because as far as children are concerned, their lives and everything they possess come from their parents. No one stands above your parents, so if you have a conscience, you should not criticize them. No matter how wrong, incorrect, or imperfect your parents are, they are still your parents. They are the people who are closest to you, who raised you, the people who treat you best, and the people who gave you life. Does everyone not accept this saying? And precisely because this mentality exists, your parents think they can treat you unscrupulously, and use various methods to steer you toward doing all manner of things, and instill various ideas into you. From their point of view, they think, “My motives are correct, this is for your own good. Everything you have was given to you by me. You were born and raised by me, so however I treat you I cannot be in the wrong, because everything I do is for your own good and I wouldn’t hurt you or harm you.” From children’s perspective, is it right that their attitude toward their parents should be based on this saying, “The parent is always right”? (No, it’s wrong.) It certainly is wrong. So how should you discern this saying? From how many aspects can we dissect the incorrectness of this saying? If we look at it from the perspective of children, their lives and bodies come from their parents, who also have the kindness to raise and educate them, so children should obey their every word, fulfill their filial obligation, and not find fault with their parents. The hidden import of these words is that you should not discern your parents for who they really are. If we analyze it from this perspective, is this view correct? (No, it’s wrong.) How should we treat this matter according to the truth? What would be the correct way of putting it? Are children’s bodies and lives given to them by their parents? (No.) A person’s fleshly body is born of their parents, but where does the parents’ ability to have children come from? (It is given by God and comes from God.) What about a person’s soul? Where does it come from? It also comes from God. So at the root, people are created by God, and all of this was preordained by Him. It was God who preordained you to be born into this family. God sent a soul to this family, and then you were born of this family, and you have this predestined relationship with your parents—this was preordained by God. Because of God’s sovereignty and preordination, your parents were able to have you and you were born into this family. This is looking at it from the root. But what if God didn’t preordain things this way? Then your parents would never have had you, and you would never have had this parent-child relationship with them. There would have been no blood relationship, no family affection, and no connection whatsoever. Therefore, it is wrong to say that a person’s life is given to them by their parents. Another aspect is that, looking at it from the child’s perspective, their parents are one generation older than them. But as far as all human beings are concerned, parents are like everyone else, insofar as they are all members of the corrupt human race, and all have the corrupt dispositions of Satan. They are no different from anyone else, and no different from you. Although they physically gave birth to you, and in terms of your flesh-and-blood relationship, they are one generation older than you, nevertheless in terms of the essence of your human dispositions, you are all living under Satan’s power, and you have all been corrupted by Satan and possess corrupt, satanic dispositions. In view of the fact that people all have corrupt, satanic dispositions, the essences of all people are the same. Regardless of differences in seniority, or one’s age, or how early or late one came into this world, in terms of essence, people essentially have the same corrupt dispositions, they are all human beings who have been corrupted by Satan, and are no different in this respect. Regardless of whether their humanity is good or evil, because they have corrupt dispositions, they adopt the same perspectives and standpoints when it comes to viewing people and matters, and approaching the truth. In this sense, there is no difference between them. Also, everyone who lives among this evil human race accepts the various ideas and views that abound in this evil world, whether in terms of words or thoughts, or whether in form or ideology, and accepts all kinds of ideas from Satan, whether through state education or the conditioning of social mores. These things are not in line with the truth at all. There is no truth in them, and people certainly do not understand what the truth is. From this point of view, parents and their children are equal and have the same ideas and views. It’s just that your parents accepted these ideas and views 20 or 30 years previously, whereas you accepted them slightly later. That is to say, given the same social background, as long as you are a normal person, both you and your parents have accepted the same corruption from Satan, the conditioning of social mores, and the same ideas and views that stem from the various evil trends in society. From this point of view, children are the same type as their parents. From God’s point of view, leaving aside the premise that He preordains, predestines, and selects, in God’s eyes, both parents and their children are similar in that they are created beings, and whether they are created beings that worship God or not, they are all collectively known as created beings, and are all accepting of God’s sovereignty, orchestrations, and arrangements. From this point of view, parents and their children actually have equal status in the eyes of God, and they all accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements similarly and equally. This is an objective fact. If they are all chosen by God, they all have equal opportunities to pursue the truth. Of course, they also have equal opportunities to accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and equal opportunities to be saved. Apart from the above similarities, there is only one difference between parents and their children, which is that the parents’ ranking in the so-called family hierarchy is greater than that of their children. What does their ranking in the family hierarchy mean? It means that they are only a generation older, by 20 or 30 years—it’s nothing more than a big age difference. And because of parents’ special status, children must be filial and fulfill their obligations to their parents. This is the only responsibility a person has toward their parents. But because children and parents are all part of the same corrupt human race, parents are not moral exemplars for their children, nor are they a benchmark or role model for their children’s pursuit of the truth, nor are they a role model for their children in terms of worshiping and submitting to God. Of course, parents are not the incarnation of truth. People have no obligation or responsibility to regard their parents as moral exemplars and figures who should be obeyed unconditionally. Children should not be afraid to discern their parents’ conduct, actions, and disposition essence. That is to say, when it comes to handling their own parents, people should not abide by such ideas and views as “The parent is always right.” This view is based on the fact that parents have a special status, in that they gave birth to you under God’s preordination, and are 20, 30 or even 40 or 50 years older than you. It is only from the perspective of this flesh-and-blood relationship, in terms of their status and their ranking in the family hierarchy, that they are different from their children. But because of this difference, people regard their parents as having no faults whatsoever. Is this right? This is wrong, irrational, and does not accord with the truth. Some people wonder how one should treat one’s parents, given that parents and children have this flesh-and-blood relationship. If parents believe in God, they should be treated accordingly as believers; if they do not believe in God, they should be treated accordingly as unbelievers. Whatever kind of people the parents are, they should be treated according to the corresponding truth principles. If they are devils, you should say that they are devils. If they have no humanity, you should say that they have no humanity. If the ideas and views they teach you are not in line with the truth, you don’t have to listen to these things or accept them, and you can even discern them for what they are and expose them. If your parents say, “I’m doing it for your own good,” and throw a tantrum and kick up a fuss, will you care? (No, I won’t care.) If your parents don’t believe, just don’t pay them any mind, and leave it at that. If they make such a big fuss, you will see that they are devils and nothing less. These truths concerning faith in God are the ideas and views that people most need to accept. They can’t accept them or take them on board, so just what kind of things are they? They don’t understand God’s words, so they’re subhuman, right? You have to think like this: “Although you are my parents, you have no humanity. Having been born to you, I truly feel ashamed! Now I can discern you for who you really are. You don’t have human spirit within you, you don’t understand the truth, you can’t even listen to such obvious and simple doctrines, and yet you still make thoughtless comments and say slanderous things. I understand that now, and I have made a clean break with you in my heart. But on the outside, I still have to humor you, and I still have to fulfill some of my responsibilities and obligations as your child. If I have the means to do so, I will buy you some healthcare products, but if I don’t have the means, I will come back to visit you, and that is all. I will not refute your opinions, whatever you say. You are absurd, and I’ll just let you be that way. What is there to say to devils such as you, who are impervious to reason? Out of consideration for the fact that you gave birth to me and all the years you spent raising me, I will keep coming to visit you and take care of you. Otherwise, I wouldn’t pay attention to you at all, and I wouldn’t want to see you for as long as I live.” Why don’t you want to see them again or have anything to do with them? Because you understand the truth, and you have seen through to their essence, and seen through all the various fallacious ideas and views that they have, and from these fallacious ideas and views you perceive their stupidity, intransigence, and wickedness, and see clearly that they are devils, and so you are averse to them and disgusted by them, and don’t want to see them. It’s only because of that little bit of conscience inside you that you feel compelled to fulfill some of your responsibilities and filial duties as a son or daughter, so you visit them during the New Year and on bank holidays, and leave it at that. As long as they haven’t impeded you from believing in God or doing your duty, go visit them when you have time. If you really don’t want to see them, just call them to ask how they are, send them some money through the mail every now and then, and buy them a few useful things. Whether it be taking care of them, visiting them, buying them clothes, showing concern for their wellbeing, or looking after them when they are sick—all this is just fulfilling one’s filial obligations and satisfying one’s own needs in terms of one’s feelings and conscience. That’s all it is, and it does not count as practicing the truth. No matter how disgusted you are with them, or how well you can see through to their essence, as long as they are alive, you must fulfill your necessary obligations as a son or daughter and bear the necessary responsibilities. Your parents took care of you when you were young, and when they get old, you must take care of them as long as you have the means to. Let them nag you if they want to. As long as you don’t listen to the ideas and views they try to instill in you, and don’t accept what they say, and don’t let them disturb or constrain you, then it’s totally fine, and proves that you have grown in stature and that you are already standing firm in your testimony before God. He will not condemn you because you are caring for them and He will not say, “Why are you so sentimental? You have accepted the truth and are pursuing it, so how can you still take care of them?” This is the most basic responsibility and obligation by which you should comport yourself, which is to fulfill your obligations as long as conditions permit. This does not mean that you are being sentimental, and God will not condemn you for it. Of course, in this world, aside from your parents, who are the people to whom you should fulfill your obligations and responsibilities, you have no responsibilities and obligations to anyone else—not to your siblings, your buddies, or to your various aunts and uncles. You have no obligation or responsibility to do anything to please them, or cotton up to them, or help them. Is this not so? (Yes.)

Was I clear in what I said about the claim that “The parent is always right”? (Yes.) Who are parents? (Corrupt humans.) That’s right, parents are corrupt humans. If you sometimes miss your parents, and think, “How have my parents been getting on these past two years? Have they missed me? Have they retired? Do they have any difficulties in life? Do they have anyone to take care of them when they are sick?” Let’s say you are thinking these things and you also ponder, “The parent is always right. My parents used to beat me and scold me because they were exasperated that I couldn’t live up to their expectations, and because they loved me with such zeal. My parents are better than anyone, they are the ones who love me the most in the world. Now that I think about my parents’ bad qualities, I no longer see them as bad qualities, because the parent is always right.” And the more you think about this, the more you want to see them. Is it good to think like this? (No, it isn’t.) No, it isn’t. How should you think? You ponder on it: “My parents beat me, scolded me, and hurt my self-esteem when I was a child. They never said a kind word or encouraged me. They forced me to study, and also forced me to learn dancing and singing, and to study for Math Olympiads—all things that I don’t like. My parents really were annoying. Now I believe in God and I am set free. I left home to perform my duty before I’d even finished college. It’s God who is good. I don’t miss my parents. They prevented me from believing in God. My parents are devils.” Then you ponder again, “That’s not right. The parent is always right. My parents are the people who are closest to me, so it’s only right to miss them.” Is it right to think this? (No, it’s wrong.) So what’s the right way to think? (We used to think that no matter what our parents do, they do it out of consideration for us, and that they are good to us in everything they do, and that they will never harm us. God’s fellowshipping just now has made me realize that my parents are also corrupt humans, who have accepted various ideas and views from Satan. Unwittingly, our parents have instilled many satanic views into us, causing us to deviate too far from the truth in our comportment and actions, and to live by satanic philosophies. Now that I have some discernment about what is in my parents’ hearts, I will miss them and think about them much less.) In dealing with your parents, you should first rationally step outside of this blood relationship and discern your parents using the truths you have already accepted and understood. Discern your parents based on their thoughts, views, and motives regarding conduct, and on their principles and methods of conduct, which will confirm that they too are people corrupted by Satan. View them and discern them from the perspective of truth, rather than always thinking that your parents are lofty, selfless, and kind to you, and if you look at them that way, you will never discover what issues they have. Don’t view your parents from the perspective of your family ties, or your role as a son or daughter. Step outside of this sphere and look at how they deal with the world, with the truth, and with people, matters, and things. Also, more specifically, look at the ideas and views that your parents have conditioned into you as regards how you should view people and things, and how you should comport yourself and act—this is how you should recognize and discern them. In this way, their human qualities and the fact that they have been corrupted by Satan will become clear little by little. What kind of people are they? If they aren’t believers, what is their attitude toward people who do believe in God? If they are believers, what is their attitude toward the truth? Are they people who pursue the truth? Do they love the truth? Do they like positive things? What is their outlook on life and the world? And so on. If you can discern your parents based on these things, you will have a clear idea. Once these matters are clear, the lofty, noble, and unshakable status of your parents in your mind will change. And when it changes, the motherly and fatherly love shown by your parents—along with their specific words and actions, and those lofty images you hold of them—will no longer be so deeply imprinted in your mind. The selflessness and greatness of your parents’ love for you, as well as their devotion in taking care of you, protecting you, and even doting on you, will imperceptibly cease to occupy an important position in your mind. People often say, “My parents love me so much. Whenever I’m away from home, my mom always asks me, ‘Have you eaten? Are you eating at regular times?’ Dad always asks, ‘Have you got enough money? If you don’t have any money, I’ll send you a bit more.’ And I say, ‘I have money, there’s no need,’ and Dad replies, ‘No, that won’t do, even though you say you have money, I will send you some anyway.’” The fact is that your parents live frugally and are reluctant to spend money on themselves. They use their money to support you, so that you have a bit more spending money when you are away from home. Your mom and dad always say, “Be frugal at home but carry some extra money while traveling. Take a bit more with you when you’re out and about. If you don’t have enough money, just tell me, and I’ll send you some or add it onto your card.” Your parents’ selfless concern, consideration, care, and even smothering and pampering will always be an indelible mark of their selfless dedication in your eyes. This selfless dedication has become a powerful, warm feeling deep in your heart that bonds the relationship between you and them. It makes you unable to let go of them, and it makes you worry about them, keep fretting about them, constantly miss them, and it even makes you constantly willing to be trapped in this sentiment and blackmailed by their affections. Just what kind of phenomenon is this? Your parents’ love is indeed selfless. No matter how much your parents care for you, or no matter whether they scrimp and save just to give you money to spend, or buy you all the things you need, it may be a blessing for you now, but it won’t be a good thing for you in the long run. The more selfless they are, and the better they treat you, and the more they care about you, the less able you are to detach yourself from this affection and to let it go or forget it, and the more you miss them. When you fail to do your filial duty or fulfill any obligations to them, you will feel even more sorry for them. Under these circumstances, you don’t have the heart to discern them, or to forget their love and dedication and everything they have done for you, or to deem all of that unworthy of mention—this is the effect of your conscience. Does your conscience represent the truth? (No, it does not.) Why are your parents like this toward you? Because they have affections for you. So can their kindness to you represent their humanity essence? Can it represent their attitude toward the truth? No, it cannot. It’s just like mothers who always say, “You are my own flesh and blood, I sweated and slaved to raise you. How can I not know what you are thinking in your heart?” They are good to you due to these close family ties and this flesh-and-blood relationship, but are they really being good to you? Is this really their true face? Is it a true expression of their humanity essence? Not necessarily. Because you are related to them by blood, they think that they should be good to you out of a sense of duty. But you, as their child, think that they are good to you out of kindness, and feel unable to ever repay them. If you cannot repay their kindness in full, or even the tiniest fraction of it, your conscience will condemn you. Does the feeling you get when your conscience condemns you accord with the truth? In other words, if they were not your parents, but were instead ordinary people interacting with you normally within a group, would they treat you this way? (No.) They most certainly would not. If they were not your parents and had no blood relationship with you, their manner and attitude toward you would be different in various ways. They would definitely not care for you, protect you, smother you, look after you, or selflessly dedicate anything to you. So how would they treat you? Maybe they would bully you because you are young and have no social experience, or discriminate against you because of your low standing and status, and always speak to you in a bureaucratic tone and try to educate you; or maybe they would think you are average-looking, and if you talked to them, they wouldn’t pay you any attention, and you couldn’t measure up to them; or maybe they wouldn’t see you as being of any use, and they wouldn’t socialize with you or have anything to do with you; or maybe they would think you are guileless, so if they wanted to know about some matter, they would always start by asking you and trying to get the answers out of you; or maybe they would want to take unfair advantage of you somehow, such as whenever you buy some bargain, they would always want you to share it with them, or want to take some of it; or maybe, when you fall over in the street and need their hand to help you up, they wouldn’t even look at you, and would instead kick out at you; or maybe when you get on the bus, if you don’t give up your seat to them, they would say, “I’m so old, why won’t you give up your seat for me? Why are you such an ignorant youngster? Didn’t your parents teach you any manners!” And they would even give you a telling-off. If this is the case, you need to explore whether the maternal love and fatherly love hidden deep in your heart are a true revelation of their humanity. You are often moved by their selfless devotion to you and by their great maternal love and fatherly love, and you are greatly attached to them, miss them, and constantly want to repay them with your own life. What is the reason for this? If it’s just born out of conscience, then the problem is not that deep and can be remedied. But if it’s born out of affection for them, then it’s very troublesome. You’ll get stuck deeper and deeper in it and won’t be able to pull yourself out. You will often be stuck in this affection and miss your parents, and sometimes you will even betray God in order to repay your parents’ kindness. For example, what would you do if you heard that your parents were severely ill in hospital, or that something serious had happened to them and they were in some difficulty that they couldn’t get out of and were anguished and brokenhearted, or if you heard news that your parents were about to pass away? At that time, there’s no way of knowing whether your affections would dominate your conscience, or whether the truth and God’s words that He has taught you would steer your conscience into making a decision of some sort. The outcome of these matters depends on how you tend to view the relationship between parents and children, how much you have entered into the truth of how to treat parents, how much you can see through them, how much of an understanding you have as regards the nature essence of humankind, and how much of an understanding you have as regards the quality and essence of your parents’ humanity, as well as their corrupt dispositions. Most importantly, the outcome of these matters depends on how you treat relationships at family level, and the correct views you should hold—these are the various truths you should equip yourself with before any of these matters befall you. Everyone else—relatives and friends, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and other outsiders—can be easily let go of, as they do not occupy an important position in one’s affections. These people can easily be let go of, but parents are the exception. Parents alone are one’s closest relatives in the world. They are the people who play an important role in one’s life and have a significant impact during one’s lifetime, so it’s not easy to let go of them. If today you have gained some clear understanding of the various thoughts that the conditioning of your family gives rise to, it may help you let go of your affections toward your parents, because the conditioning effects exerted on you by your family as a whole only amount to intangible claims, whereas the most specific conditioning actually comes from your parents. One sentence from your parents, or their attitude toward doing something, or the ways and means by which they handle something—these are the most accurate ways to describe how you are conditioned. Once you have variously discerned and recognized in a specific way the ideas, actions, and sayings that your parents have conditioned into you, you will have an accurate evaluation and knowledge of the essence of your parents’ role, character, outlook on life, and ways of doing things. Once you have this accurate evaluation and knowledge, imperceptibly your perception of your parents’ role will gradually change from positive to negative in your mind. Once you perceive your parents’ role to be wholly negative, then you can gradually let go of your sentimental crutches, spiritual attachment, and the various kinds of great love they have for you. By that time, you will feel that the image you had of your parents deep within your heart used to be so lofty, rather like that in the essay “My Father’s Back,” which you studied in your school textbook, as well as in that popular song from many years ago, “Mom Is the Best in the World,” which was a Taiwanese movie theme song and caught on throughout Chinese-speaking society—these are ways in which society and the world educate humankind. When you don’t realize the essence or the true face behind these things, you feel that these methods of education are positive. Based on your existing humanity, they give you a greater recognition of and belief in the greatness of your parents’ love for you, and consequently they leave you with an impression deep in your heart that your parents’ love is selfless, great, and sacrosanct. Therefore, no matter how bad your parents are, their love is still selfless and great. To you this is an indisputable fact that no one can deny, and no one can say a bad word about your parents. Consequently, you don’t want to discern or expose them, and at the same time, you also want to keep a certain place for them deep in your heart, because you believe that parental love is forever above all else, flawless, great, and sacrosanct, and that no one can deny that. This is the baseline of your conscience and comportment. If someone says that parental love is not great or flawless, you will put up a desperate fight against them—this is irrational. Before people understand the truth, the influence of their conscience will prompt them to hold on to some traditional ideas and views, or also give rise to some new ideas and views. However, looking at it from the perspective of truth, these ideas and views are often irrational. Once you understand the truth, you can deal with these things within the scope of normal rationality. Therefore, humanity is possessed of both conscience and reason. If conscience cannot reach or measure up to these things, or they are not regulated or positive under the effects of conscience, then people can use rationality to regulate and correct them. So how do people achieve rationality? People have to understand the truth. Once people understand the truth, they will treat everything, choose everything, and discern everything more precisely and accurately. Thus they will achieve true rationality, and reach the point where reason transcends conscience. This is a manifestation of what happens after a person has entered into the truth reality. You may not really understand these words now, but you will understand them once you have real experience and understand the truth. Does this saying “The parent is always right” come from rationality or conscience? It is not rational, it originates from one’s affections under the influence of conscience. So is this saying rational? No, it is irrational. Why is it irrational? Because it originates from one’s affections, and it is not in accordance with the truth. So, at what point are you able to view and treat parents rationally? When you understand the truth and you have seen through to the essence and root of this matter. Once you have done that, you will no longer treat your parents according to the influence of conscience, affections will no longer play a role, neither will conscience, and you will be able to view and treat your parents according to the truth—this is being rational.

Have I been clear in fellowshipping on the problem of how to treat parents? (Yes.) This is an important matter. Family members all say, “The parent is always right,” and you don’t know whether it’s right or not, so you just accept it. Then whenever your parents do something that is out of line, you ponder and think, “People say ‘The parent is always right,’ so how can I say that my parents are not right? What happens in the family stays in the family, don’t tell others about it, just put up with it.” In addition to the conditioning effects of this incorrect saying—“The parent is always right”—there is another saying: “What happens in the family stays in the family.” So you think, “Who is there to blame for my own parents? I can’t tell outsiders about this shameful thing. I must keep it under wraps. What’s the point in being serious with my parents?” These conditioning effects from family are ever-present in people’s daily lives, in their life path, and in the course of their existence. Before people understand the truth and gain the truth, they view people and things, and comport themselves and act based on these various ideas and views that are conditioned into them by their family. They are often swayed, disturbed, constrained, and bound hand and foot by these thoughts. They are even guided by these thoughts, and often misjudge people and do the wrong things, as well as frequently violating God’s words and the truth. Even if people have listened to many of God’s words, and even if they often pray-read God’s words and fellowship on them, because these views that their family has conditioned into them are deeply rooted in their thoughts and in their hearts, they have no discernment of these views, nor any ability to resist them. Even while they are receiving the teachings and provision of God’s words, they are still swayed by these thoughts, which also guide their words, deeds, and way of living. Therefore, under the unconscious guidance of these thoughts that are conditioned into them by their family, people often cannot stop themselves from violating God’s words and the truth principles. And yet, they still think that they are practicing the truth and pursuing the truth. Little do they know that these various sayings that are conditioned into them by their family simply do not accord with the truth. What is even more serious is that these sayings conditioned into people by their family lead them to the path of violating the truth over and over again, and yet they don’t even know it. Therefore, if you want to pursue the truth and enter into the truth reality, you should first clearly discern and recognize the various conditioning effects that come from your family, and then make an effort to rid yourself of these various thoughts that are conditioned into you by your family. Of course, it can definitely be said that you must break with your family’s conditioning. Don’t think that because you come from that family, you have to do this or live that way. You have no responsibility or obligation to inherit your family’s traditions or inherit its various ways and means of doing things and acting. Your life comes from God. Today you have been chosen by God, and the goal you want to pursue is that of salvation, so you cannot use the various ideas conditioned into you by your family as the basis for your views on people and things, your comportment, and your actions. Instead, you must view people and things, and comport yourself and act based on God’s words and His various teachings. Only in this way can you achieve salvation in the end. Of course, the conditioning effects exerted by family are not limited to the ones listed here. I have mentioned just a few of them. There are many different kinds of family education that come from different families, different clans, different societies, different races, and different religions, and which condition the thoughts of human beings in all sorts of ways. No matter what race or religious culture this various thought conditioning comes from, as long as it does not accord with the truth, and as long as it does not come from God but from people, then it should be let go of, and it is something that people should break away from. They should not adhere to it, let alone inherit it. These things are all things that people should abandon and cast off. Only this way can people truly embark on the path of pursuing the truth and enter into the truth reality.

These sayings we have fellowshipped on that come from the conditioning of one’s family are in one sense representative, and in another sense, they are often talked about among people. As for some special and non-representative sayings, we will not talk about those now. What do you think about our fellowshipping on the topic of family? Has it been beneficial in some way? (Yes, it has.) Is it necessary to fellowship on this topic? (Yes.) Everyone has a family and is conditioned by their family. The things that family instills into you are all poison and spiritual opium, and make you suffer quite bitterly. When your parents instilled these things into you, you felt really wonderful at the time, rather like taking opium. You felt comfortable all over, as if you had entered into a blissful world. But after a while the effects wore off, so you have to keep looking for this kind of stimulation. This spiritual opium brings you no end of trouble and disturbance. To this day, it is really difficult for you to get rid of, and is not something that can be cast off in a short time. If people want to let go of these conditioned ideas and views, they must spend some time and energy identifying them, peeling back the layers to recognize them clearly and see through them. Then, whenever related matters crop up, they must be able to let go of these things, rebel against them, and not act according to the principles of such ideas and views, but rather, practice and do things according to the way that God teaches people. These few words sound simple, but they may take 20 or 30 years, or even a lifetime for people to put into practice. It may be that you will spend your whole lifetime fighting against the ideas and views produced by those sayings that are instilled into you by your family, and cutting yourself off from these ideas and views, and breaking away from them. To do this, you must expend your feelings and energy, and also undergo some physical hardships. You must also have a tremendous desire for God and a will that thirsts for and pursues the truth. Only by possessing these things can you gradually achieve change and gradually enter into the truth reality. This is how difficult it is to gain the truth and life. When people have listened to many sermons, they understand some doctrines regarding faith in God, but it is not easy for them to truly achieve understanding of the truth and be able to discern the conditioning effects of family and the ideas and views of unbelievers. Even if you can understand the truth after listening to sermons, entering into the truth reality is not something that happens overnight, right? (Right.) Okay, here ends our fellowship for today. Goodbye!

February 25, 2023

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