How to Pursue the Truth (17) Part One

At our last gathering we fellowshipped on letting go of the burdens that come from one’s family. This touched on the topic of letting go of the expectations of one’s parents. These expectations exert a kind of invisible pressure on every person, don’t they? (Yes.) They are one of the burdens that come from people’s families. Letting go of the expectations of your parents means letting go of the pressure and burdens that your parents place on your life, existence, and the path that you take. That is, when the expectations of your parents affect the path that you choose in life, the performance of your duty, your journey down the right path, and your freedom, rights, and instincts, their expectations place a kind of pressure and burden on you. These burdens are things that people should let go of in the course of their lives, existences, and belief in God. Isn’t this content that we have fellowshipped on before? (It is.) Naturally, the expectations of one’s parents touch on a great deal of things, for example, one’s studies, work, marriage, family, and even one’s career, prospects, future, and so on. From the perspective of a parent, every expectation that they have for their child is logical, fair, and reasonable. There isn’t a single parent who doesn’t have expectations for their child. They may have more or they may have less, they may have greater expectations or they may have smaller expectations, or they may have some different expectations for their child during particular times. They hope that their child will get good grades, that things will go well for them in their job, that they’ll receive a good income, and that everything will go smoothly and happily for them when it comes to marriage. Parents even have different expectations with respect to their child’s family, career, prospects, and so on. From the perspective of a parent, these expectations are all very legitimate, but from the perspective of their child, these various expectations interfere with them making the right choices to a great extent, and even interfere with their freedom, and the rights or interests that they have as a normal person. At the same time, these expectations also interfere with them putting their caliber to use in a normal way. In sum, no matter what perspective we look at this from, whether it is from the perspective of a parent, or from the perspective of their child, if parental expectations exceed the scope of what a person with normal humanity can bear, if they go past the scope of what the instincts of a person with normal humanity can achieve, or if they surpass the human rights that a person with normal humanity should possess, or the duties and obligations that God gives people, and so on, then these expectations are improper and unreasonable. Of course, it can also be said that parents should not have these expectations, and that these expectations should not exist. Based on this, children should let go of these parental expectations. That is, when parents take on the perspective or position of a parent, it seems to them that they have the right to expect that their child will do this or do that, and that their child will take a certain path, and choose a certain kind of life, learning environment, or job, marriage, family, and so on. However, as normal humans, parents shouldn’t take on the perspective or position of a parent, they shouldn’t use their identity as a parent to require their child to do anything outside of the scope of their filial obligations or beyond the range of human abilities. They should not even interfere with the various choices their child makes, and they should not force their expectations, their preferences, their deficiencies and dissatisfaction, or any of their interests onto their child. These are things that parents should not do. When parents harbor expectations that they shouldn’t, their child ought to approach those expectations properly. More importantly, their child should be able to discern the nature of these expectations. If you can see clearly that the expectations of your parents are depriving you of your human rights, and that these expectations are a kind of interference or disturbance when it comes to you choosing positive things and the right path, then you should let go of these expectations, and ignore them. You should do this because this is your right, it is the right that God has given every created human, and your parents shouldn’t think that they are entitled to interfere with your life path and your human rights, just because they gave birth to you and are your parents. Therefore, every created being has the right to say “no” to any unreasonable, inappropriate, or even improper parental expectation. You absolutely can refuse to shoulder any of your parents’ expectations. Refusing to accept or shoulder any of your parents’ expectations is the way to practice letting go of their improper expectations.

When it comes to letting go of parental expectations, what truths should people understand? That is, do you know what truths letting go of the expectations of one’s parents is based on, or what truth principles it adheres to? If you believe that your parents are the closest people in the world to you, that they are your bosses and your leaders, that they are the people who gave birth to you and raised you, who provided you with food, clothes, a home, and transportation, who brought you up, and that they are your benefactors, will it be easy for you to let go of their expectations? (No.) If you believe these things, you will be very likely to approach your parents’ expectations from a fleshly perspective, and it will be hard for you to let go of any of their inappropriate and unreasonable expectations. You will be bound and suppressed by their expectations. Even if you feel dissatisfied and unwilling in your heart, you will not have the power to break free from these expectations, and you will have no choice but to let them take their natural course. Why will you have to let them take their natural course? Because if you were to let go of your parents’ expectations, and to ignore or reject any of their expectations, you would feel that you were an unfilial child, that you were ungrateful, that you’d let your parents down, and that you weren’t a good person. If you take a fleshly perspective, you’ll do everything you can to utilize your conscience to repay your parents’ kindness, to make sure that the suffering your parents endured for your sake wasn’t endured for nothing, and you will also want to realize their expectations. You will try hard to accomplish everything they ask you to do, to avoid disappointing them, to do right by them, and you will make the decision to care for them when they’re old, to ensure that their last years are happy, and you will even think a little bit further, to handling their funerals, satisfying them at the same time as satisfying your own desire to be a filial child. While living in this world, people are influenced by various kinds of public opinion and social climates, as well as different thoughts and views that are popular in society. If people do not understand the truth, they can only view these things from the perspective of fleshly feelings, and at the same time, they can only handle these things from that perspective. During this period, you will think that your parents do many things that a parent shouldn’t do, to the extent that you will even feel contempt and aversion in the depths of your heart toward some of your parents’ actions and behavior, as well as toward their humanity, character, and their methods and ways of doing things, but you will still want to be a filial child to honor them and satisfy them, and you won’t dare to neglect them in any way. You will do this in one respect to avoid being spurned by society, and in another respect to satisfy the needs of your conscience. These views were all impressed upon you by mankind and society, so it will be very hard for you to handle your parents’ expectations and your relationship with them in a rational way. You will be forced to approach them as a filial child, to not protest against any of your parents’ actions; you will have no other choice, you will only be able to do this, and as such, it will be even harder for you to let go of your parents’ expectations. If you truly let go of them within your heart, then you will still need to bear another burden or pressure, which is the condemnation of society, your extended family, and your close family. You will even need to bear the condemnation, denunciation, curses, and scorn that come from the depths of your heart, which say that you are nothing, that you are not a filial child, that you are ungrateful, or even things such as, “You are an uncaring ingrate, you are a disobedient thing, your mother didn’t raise you properly” that people in secular society say—in other words, all kinds of unpleasant things. If you don’t understand the truth, you will fall into this kind of predicament. That is, when you let go of your parents’ expectations in the depths of your heart in a rational way, or when you reluctantly let go of them, another kind of burden or pressure will arise deep within your heart; this pressure comes from society and from the effect of your conscience. So, how can you let go of your parents’ expectations? There is a path for solving this problem. It is not difficult—people need to put effort into the truth, and come before God to seek and understand the truth, then the problem will be resolved. So, what aspect of the truth do you need to understand in order to not fear being burdened with the condemnation of public opinion, or the condemnation of your conscience in the depths of your heart, or the denunciation and verbal abuse of your parents when you are letting go of your parents’ expectations? (That we are just created beings before God. In this world, we should not just fulfill our responsibilities toward our parents, more importantly, we must do our duties well and fulfill our obligations. If we can see through to this, perhaps we will not be too influenced by our parents or the condemnation of public opinion when we let go of our parents’ expectations in the future.) Who else will speak about this? (Last time, God fellowshipped about how, when we leave our homes to perform our duties, in one respect it is due to objective circumstances—we must leave our parents in order to do our duties, so we cannot take care of them—it is not that we are choosing to leave them because we are avoiding our responsibilities. In another respect, we leave our homes because God has called us to perform our duties, so we cannot accompany our parents, but we still worry about them—this is different from us not wanting to fulfill our responsibilities to them and not being filial.) These two reasons are truths and facts that people should understand. If people understand these things, when they let go of their parents’ expectations, they will feel a little bit calmer and more at peace in the depths of their hearts, but can this resolve this problem from the root? If it weren’t for the influence of greater external circumstances, would your fate be linked to that of your parents? If you didn’t believe in God, and you worked and passed your days in a normal manner, would you definitely be able to accompany your parents? Would you definitely be able to be a filial child? Would you definitely be able to stay by their sides and repay their kindness? (Not necessarily.) Is there any person who acts only in order to repay their parents’ kindness throughout their whole life? (No.) There are no people who are like that. Therefore, you should come to know this matter and see through to its essence from a different perspective. This is the deeper truth that you ought to understand within this matter. It is also a fact, and more than that, it is the essence of these things. What are the truths that you should understand within letting go of the expectations of your parents? In one respect, you should understand that your parents are not your creditors; in another respect, you should understand that your parents are not the masters of your life or your fate. Is this not the truth? (It is.) If you understand these two truths, will it not be easier for you to let go of your parents’ expectations? (It will.)

First, we will talk about this aspect of the truth: “Your parents are not your creditors.” Your parents are not your creditors—what does this refer to? Does it not refer to the kindness that your parents showed you by raising you? (Yes.) Your parents showed you kindness by raising you, so it’s very hard for you to let go of your relationship with them. You think that you have to repay their kindness, otherwise, you’d be an unfilial child; you believe that you must show them filial piety, that you must obey their every word, that you must satisfy their every wish and demand, and furthermore not let them down—this, you believe, is repaying their kindness. Of course, some people have good jobs and earn good wages, and they give their parents some material pleasures and a great material life, allowing their parents to bask in their light, and enabling them to live better lives. For example, say that you buy your parents a house and a car, you take them to luxury restaurants to eat delicacies of every kind, and you bring them on trips to tourist destinations and book luxurious hotels for them, in order to make them happy and to let them enjoy these things. You do all of these things to repay your parents’ kindness, to make your parents feel that they got something in return for raising you and loving you, and that you haven’t let them down. In one respect, you do this for your parents to see, in another respect, you do this for the people around you to see, for society to see, and at the same time you are doing your utmost to satisfy the needs of your conscience. No matter which way you look at it, no matter what it is you are trying to satisfy, in any case, all of these actions are done, to a great extent, to repay your parents’ kindness, and the essence of these actions is to repay the kindness that your parents showed you by raising you. So, why is it that you have this idea about repaying your parents’ kindness? It is because you believe that your parents gave birth to you, and that it wasn’t easy for them to raise you; in this way your parents imperceptibly become your creditors. You think that you owe your parents, and that you must repay your parents. You believe that only by repaying them will you have humanity, and be a truly filial child, and that repaying them is the moral standard that a person should possess. So, these ideas, views, and actions, arise, in essence, because you believe that you owe your parents, and that you must repay them; to a great extent, your parents are your creditors, that is, you believe that you owe them a debt for the kindness that they have shown you. Now that you have the ability to pay them back and recompense them, you do so—according to your abilities, you use money and affection to recompense them. So, is doing this a display of true humanity? Is it a true principle of practice? (It isn’t.) Why do I say that your parents aren’t your creditors? Since “Your parents are not your creditors” is the truth, if you regard your parents as your benefactors and creditors, and if everything you do is to recompense them for their kindness, is this idea and view right? (No.) Was that “no” not spoken very reluctantly? Which of these statements is the truth: “Your parents are not your creditors” or “Your parents are your benefactors, and you must recompense them”? (“Your parents are not your creditors” is the truth.) Since “Your parents are not your creditors” is the truth, then is the statement “Your parents are your benefactors, and you must recompense them” the truth? (No.) Does it not conflict with the statement: “Your parents are not your creditors”? (It does.) It’s not important which of these statements makes your conscience feel condemned—what is important? What’s important is which of these statements is the truth. You must accept the statement that is the truth, even if it makes your conscience feel uncomfortable and accused, because it is the truth. Although the statement “Your parents are your benefactors, and you must recompense them” accords with man’s moral standards of humanity, and with the awareness of man’s conscience, it is not the truth. Even though this statement makes your conscience feel satisfied and comfortable, you must let go of it. This is the attitude that you must possess when it comes to accepting the truth. So, between “Your parents are not your creditors” and “Your parents are your benefactors, and you must recompense them,” which statement sounds more comfortable, more in line with humanity and the sense of your conscience, and more in line with the moral standards of humanity? (The second statement.) Why the second statement? Because it caters to and satisfies man’s emotional needs. However, it is not the truth, and it is loathed by God. So, does the statement “Your parents are not your creditors” make people feel uncomfortable? (Yes.) What do people feel and sense after hearing this statement? (That it is a bit lacking in conscience.) They feel that it lacks a bit of human feeling, don’t they? (Yes.) Some people say, “If a person doesn’t have human feelings, are they still human?”—if people don’t have human feelings, are they human? The statement “Your parents are not your creditors” sounds like it lacks human feeling, but it is a fact. If you approach your relationship with your parents in a rational manner, you will discover that the statement “Your parents are not your creditors” has clearly explained the relationship that every person has with their parents from the very root, and the essence and root of interpersonal relationships. Even though it makes your conscience uncomfortable, and it doesn’t satisfy your emotional needs, it is still a fact, and it is still a truth. This truth can enable you to approach the kindness that your parents showed you by raising you in a rational way, and in the correct way. It can also enable you to approach any of your parents’ expectations in a rational and correct way. Naturally, it is even more capable of enabling you to approach your relationship with your parents in a rational and correct way. If you can approach your relationship with your parents like that, then you can handle it in a rational way. Some people say: “These truths are very well put, and they sound very impassioned, but why is it that when people hear them, they feel a little impossible to achieve? Especially ‘Your parents are not your creditors’—why is it that after hearing this truth people feel that their relationship with their parents is increasingly distant and estranged? Why do they feel that there is no affection between them and their parents?” Is the truth deliberately trying to distance people from one another? Is the truth intentionally trying to cut ties between people and their parents? (No.) So, what results can be achieved by understanding this truth? (Understanding this truth can enable us to see our relationship with our parents for what it really is—this truth tells us the true nature of this matter.) That’s correct, it enables you to see the true nature of this matter, to approach and handle these things rationally, and to not live within your affections or within fleshly interpersonal relationships, right?

Let’s talk about how “Your parents are not your creditors” should be interpreted. Your parents are not your creditors—isn’t this a fact? (It is.) Since it is a fact, it’s proper for us to explain the matters contained within it. Let’s look at the matter of your parents giving birth to you. Who was it that chose for them to give birth to you: you or your parents? Who chose whom? If you look at this from God’s perspective, the answer is: neither of you. Neither you nor your parents chose for them to give birth to you. If you look at the root of this matter, this was ordained by God. We’ll put this topic to one side for now, as this matter is easy for people to understand. From your perspective, you were passively born to your parents, without having any choice in the matter. From the perspective of your parents, they gave birth to you through their own independent will, right? In other words, putting aside God’s ordination, when it comes to the matter of giving birth to you, it was your parents who had all the power. They chose to give birth to you, and they called all the shots. You did not choose for them to give birth to you, you were passively born to them, and you didn’t have any choice in the matter. So, since your parents had all the power, and they chose to give birth to you, they have an obligation and a responsibility to bring you up, to raise you into an adult, to supply you with an education, with food, clothes, and money—this is their responsibility and obligation, and it is what they ought to do. Whereas you were always passive during the period that they were raising you, you didn’t have the right to choose—you had to be raised by them. Because you were young, you didn’t have the capacity to raise yourself, you had no choice but to be passively brought up by your parents. You were raised in the way that your parents chose, if they gave you nice food and drinks, then you ate and drank nice food and drinks. If your parents provided you with a living environment where you survived off chaff and wild plants, then you survived off chaff and wild plants. In any case, when you were being raised, you were passive, and your parents were fulfilling their responsibility. It’s the same as your parents caring for a flower. Since they want to care for a flower, they should fertilize it, water it, and make sure that it gets sunlight. So, regarding people, no matter whether your parents looked after you meticulously or took great care of you, in any case, they were just fulfilling their responsibility and obligation. Regardless of the reason why they raised you, it was their responsibility—because they gave birth to you, they should take responsibility for you. Based on this, can everything that your parents did for you be considered kindness? It can’t, right? (That’s right.) Your parents fulfilling their responsibility to you doesn’t count as kindness, so if they fulfill their responsibility toward a flower or a plant, watering it and fertilizing it, does that count as kindness? (No.) That is even further from being kindness. Flowers and plants grow better outside—if they’re planted in the ground, with wind, sun, and rainwater, they thrive. They don’t grow as well when they’re planted in a pot indoors as they do outside, but wherever they are, they’re living, right? No matter where they are, it has been ordained by God. You are a living person, and God takes responsibility for every life, enabling it to survive, and to follow the law that all created beings abide by. But as a person, you live in the environment that your parents raise you in, so you should grow up and exist in that environment. You living in that environment is on a larger scale due to God’s ordination; on a smaller scale, it is due to your parents raising you, right? In any case, by raising you your parents are fulfilling a responsibility and an obligation. Raising you into an adult is their obligation and responsibility, and this cannot be called kindness. If it cannot be called kindness, then is it not something that you ought to enjoy? (It is.) This is a kind of right that you should enjoy. You should be raised by your parents, because before you reach adulthood, the role that you play is that of a child being brought up. Therefore, your parents are just fulfilling a kind of responsibility toward you, and you are just receiving it, but you are certainly not receiving grace or kindness from them. For any living creature, bearing and looking after children, reproducing, and raising the next generation is a kind of responsibility. For example, birds, cows, sheep, and even tigers have to take care of their offspring after they reproduce. There are no living creatures that do not raise their offspring. It’s possible that there are some exceptions, but there are not many of them. It’s a natural phenomenon in the existence of living creatures, it’s an instinct for living creatures, and it cannot be attributed to kindness. They are just abiding by a law that the Creator set out for animals and for mankind. Therefore, your parents raising you isn’t a kind of kindness. Based on this, it can be said that your parents are not your creditors. They are fulfilling their responsibility to you. No matter how much effort and money they spend on you, they should not ask you to recompense them, because this is their responsibility as parents. Since it is a responsibility and an obligation, it should be free, and they should not ask for compensation. By raising you, your parents were just fulfilling their responsibility and obligation, and this should be unpaid, and it should not be a transaction. So, you do not need to approach your parents or handle your relationship with them according to the idea of recompensing them. If you do treat your parents, pay them back, and handle your relationship with them according to this idea, that is inhumane. At the same time, it is likely to make you restrained and bound by your fleshly feelings, and it will be hard for you to emerge from these entanglements, to the extent that you might even lose your way. Your parents are not your creditors, so you have no obligation to realize all of their expectations. You have no obligation to foot the bill for their expectations. That is to say, they can have their own expectations. You have your own choices, and the life path and destiny that God has set out for you, which have nothing to do with your parents. So, when one of your parents says: “You’re an unfilial child. You haven’t come back to see me for so many years, and it’s been so many days since you last called me. I’m sick and there’s no one to care for me. I really raised you for nothing. You truly are an uncaring ingrate, and a thankless child!” if you don’t understand the truth “Your parents are not your creditors,” hearing these words will be as painful as a knife piercing your heart, and your conscience will feel condemned. Every one of these words will embed itself in your heart, and make you feel ashamed to face your parent, indebted to your parent, and full of guilt toward them. When your parent says that you are an uncaring ingrate, you will really feel: “They’re absolutely right. They raised me to this age, and they haven’t been able to bask in any of my light. Now they’re sick, and they hoped that I could stay by their bedside, serving them and accompanying them. They needed me to repay their kindness, and I wasn’t there. I really am an uncaring ingrate!” You will classify yourself as an uncaring ingrate—is that reasonable? Are you an uncaring ingrate? If you hadn’t left your home to perform your duty elsewhere, and you had stayed by your parent’s side, could you have prevented them from getting sick? (No.) Can you control whether your parents live or die? Can you control whether they are rich or poor? (No.) Whatever illness your parents get, it won’t be because they were so exhausted from raising you, or because they missed you; they especially won’t contract any of those major, serious, and possibly fatal illnesses because of you. That is their fate, and it has nothing to do with you. No matter how filial you are, the most you can achieve is to reduce their fleshly suffering and burdens a little, but as for when they get sick, what illness they contract, when they die, and where they die—do these things have anything to do with you? No, they don’t. If you’re filial, if you’re not an uncaring ingrate, and you spend all day with them, watching over them, will they not get sick? Will they not die? If they’re going to get sick, won’t they get sick anyway? If they’re going to die, won’t they die anyway? Isn’t that right? If your parents had said that you were an uncaring ingrate, that you had no conscience, and that you were a thankless child, would you have felt upset? (Yes.) What about now? (I wouldn’t feel upset now.) So, how was this problem resolved? (Because God fellowshipped that whether our parents get sick or not and whether they live or die has nothing to do with us, it’s all ordained by God. If we stay by their sides, we couldn’t do anything, so, if they say that we are uncaring ingrates, this has nothing to do with us.) Regardless of whether your parents call you an uncaring ingrate, at least you are doing the duty of a created being before the Creator. As long as you are not an uncaring ingrate in God’s eyes, that’s enough. It doesn’t matter what people say. What your parents say about you isn’t necessarily true, and what they say isn’t useful. You need to take God’s words as your basis. If God says that you are an adequate created being, then it doesn’t matter if people call you an uncaring ingrate, they cannot accomplish anything. It is just that people will be impacted by these insults due to the effect of their consciences, or when they do not understand the truth and their stature is small, and they’ll be in a bit of a bad mood, and feel a little depressed, but when they return before God, all of this will be resolved, and won’t pose a problem for them anymore. Has the matter of repaying the kindness of one’s parents not been resolved? Do you understand this matter? (Yes.) What is the fact that people need to understand here? Raising you is your parents’ responsibility. They chose to give birth to you, so they have a responsibility and an obligation to bring you up. By raising you into an adult, they are fulfilling their responsibility and their obligation. You do not owe them anything, so you do not need to recompense them. You don’t need to recompense them—this clearly shows that your parents are not your creditors, and that you do not need to do anything for them in return for their kindness. If your circumstances allow you to fulfill a bit of your responsibility to them, then do so. If your environment and your objective circumstances do not permit you to fulfill your obligation toward them, then you don’t need to give it too much thought, and you shouldn’t think that you are indebted to them, because your parents are not your creditors. No matter if you show filial piety to your parents, or fulfill your responsibility to them, you are just assuming the perspective of a child and fulfilling a bit of your responsibility to the people who once birthed and raised you. But you certainly cannot do this from the perspective of recompensing them, or from the perspective of “Your parents are your benefactors, and you must recompense them, you must repay their kindness.”

There is a saying in the world of unbelievers: “Crows repay their mothers by feeding them, and lambs kneel to receive milk from their mothers.” There’s also this saying: “An unfilial person is lower than a beast.” How grandiose these sayings sound! Actually, the phenomena that the first saying mentions, crows repaying their mothers by feeding them, and lambs kneeling to receive milk from their mothers, really do exist, these are facts. However, they are simply phenomena within the animal world. They are merely a kind of law that God has established for various living creatures, and by which all kinds of living creatures, including humans, abide. The fact that all kinds of living creatures abide by this law further demonstrates that all living creatures are created by God. No living creature can break this law, and no living creature can transcend it. Even relatively ferocious carnivores like lions and tigers nurture their offspring and do not bite them before they reach adulthood. This is an animal instinct. No matter which species they are, whether they are ferocious or kind and gentle, all animals possess this instinct. All kinds of creatures, including humans, can only continue to multiply and survive by abiding by this instinct and this law. If they didn’t abide by this law, or didn’t have this law and this instinct, they wouldn’t be able to multiply and survive. The biological chain wouldn’t exist, and neither would this world. Isn’t that true? (Yes.) Crows repaying their mothers by feeding them, and lambs kneeling to receive milk from their mothers demonstrates precisely that the animal world abides by this kind of law. All kinds of living creatures have this instinct. Once offspring are born, they are cared for and nurtured by the females or males of the species until they become adults. All kinds of living creatures are able to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations to their offspring, conscientiously and dutifully raising the next generation. This should be even more the case for humans. Humans are called higher animals by mankind—if they cannot abide by this law, and lack this instinct, then humans are lower than animals, aren’t they? Therefore, no matter how much your parents nurtured you while they were raising you, and how much they fulfilled their responsibility to you, they were only doing what they ought to within the scope of the abilities of a created human—it was their instinct. Just look at birds, for more than a month before mating season, they are constantly looking for a safe place to make their nests. Male and female birds go out in shifts, carrying different kinds of plants, feathers, and twigs to start building their nests in relatively dense trees. The little nests built by various kinds of birds are all incredibly sturdy and intricate. For the sake of their offspring, birds expend all this effort making nests and building shelters. After they have built their nests and it comes time for incubation, there’s always a bird in each nest; the male and female birds are on alternating shifts for 24 hours a day, and they are incredibly attentive—when one of them returns, the other flies away soon after. Not long after this, some chicks hatch and poke their heads out of their shells, and you can hear them start to chirp in their trees. The adult birds fly back and forth, now returning to feed their chicks some worms, now returning again to feed them something else, showing incredible attentiveness. After a couple of months, some of the baby birds have grown a little, and can stand on the brim of their nests and flap their wings; their parents fly back and forth, taking shifts feeding and guarding their chicks. One year, I saw a crow in the sky, holding a chick in its mouth. That chick cried out very miserably, more or less calling out for help. The crow was in front, flying with the chick in its mouth, and there was a pair of adult birds chasing behind it. Those two birds were also crying out miserably, and in the end the crow flew far away. The chick probably would have died anyway, regardless of whether its parents had been able to catch up with the crow. Those two adult birds that followed behind it cried and shrieked so much that it alarmed the people on the ground—how miserable do you think their cries must have been? In fact, they surely didn’t have just one baby. They must have had three or four baby birds in their nest, but when one was carried away, they chased behind it, crying and shrieking. That is how the animal and biological world is—living creatures are able to nurture their offspring tirelessly. Birds fly back and build new nests every year, they do the same things every year; they incubate their chicks, feed them, and teach them how to fly. While the chicks are practicing flying, they do not fly very high, and sometimes they fall to the ground. We’ve even saved them a few times, and hurried to put them back into their nests. Their parents teach them every day, and someday or another all of those chicks will leave their nests and fly away, leaving behind empty nests. The next year, new pairs of birds come to build nests, incubate their eggs, and raise their chicks. All kinds of living creatures and animals possess these instincts and laws, and they abide by them very well, carrying them out to perfection. This is something that no person can destroy. There are also some special animals, like tigers and lions. When these animals reach adulthood, they leave their parents, and some males even become rivals, biting, contending, and fighting as necessary. This is normal, it is a law. They are not very affectionate, and they do not live amid their feelings like people do, saying: “I have to repay their kindness, I have to recompense them—I have to obey my parents. If I don’t show filial piety to them, other people will condemn me, berate me, and criticize me behind my back. I couldn’t bear that!” Such things are not said in the animal world. Why do people say such things? Because in society and within groups of people, there are various incorrect ideas and consensuses. After people have been influenced, corroded, and rotted by these things, different ways of interpreting and dealing with the parent-child relationship arise within them, and they ultimately treat their parents as their creditors—creditors that they will never be able to repay their whole lives. There are even some people who feel guilty for their whole lives after their parents die, and think themselves unworthy of their parents’ kindness, because of one thing they did that didn’t make their parents happy or didn’t go the way their parents wanted it to. Tell Me, is this not excessive? People live amid their feelings, so they can only be encroached upon and disturbed by various ideas stemming from these feelings. People live in an environment that is colored by the ideology of corrupt mankind, so they are encroached upon and disturbed by various fallacious ideas, which makes their lives exhausting and less simple than those of other living creatures. However, right now, because God is working, and because He is expressing the truth to tell people the true nature of all these facts, and to enable them to understand the truth, after you come to understand the truth, these fallacious ideas and views will no longer burden you, and they will no longer serve as a guide for how you handle your relationship with your parents. At this point, your life will become more relaxed. Living a relaxed life does not mean that you will not know what your responsibilities and obligations are—you will still know these things. It just depends on which perspective and methods you choose to approach your responsibilities and obligations with. One path is to take the route of feelings, and to deal with these things based on emotional means, and the methods, ideas, and views that Satan guides man toward. The other path is to deal with these things based on the words that God has taught man. When people handle these matters according to Satan’s fallacious ideas and views, they can only live within the entanglements of their feelings, and they are never able to distinguish right from wrong. Under these circumstances, they have no choice but to live in a snare, always tangled up with matters such as, “You’re right, I’m wrong. You’ve given me more; I’ve given you less. You’re ungrateful. You’ve done too much for me.” Consequently, there is never a time when they speak clearly. However, after people understand the truth, and when they escape from their erroneous ideas and views, and from the web of feelings, these matters become simple to them. If you abide by a truth principle, idea, or view that is correct and comes from God, your life will become very relaxed. Neither public opinion, nor the awareness of your conscience, nor the burden of your feelings will impede how you handle your relationship with your parents anymore; by contrast, these things will enable you to face this relationship in a correct and rational way. If you act according to the truth principles that God has given man, even if people criticize you behind your back, you will still feel peace and calm in the depths of your heart, and it will have no effect on you. At the very least, you will not berate yourself for being an uncaring ingrate or feel the accusation of your conscience anymore in the depths of your heart. This is because you will know that all of your actions are carried out in accordance with the methods that God has taught you, and that you are listening to and submitting to God’s words, and following His way. Listening to God’s words and following His way is the sense of conscience that people ought to possess most of all. You will only be a true person when you can do these things. If you have not accomplished these things, then you are an uncaring ingrate. Isn’t that the case? (It is.) Do you see this matter clearly now? Seeing it clearly is one aspect of this; if people can gradually see through this matter and put the truth into practice, that’s another. In order to see this matter clearly, people must experience things for a period of time. If people wish to see this fact and essence clearly, and to reach the point where they handle matters with principles, this cannot be accomplished in a short time, because people must first cast off the influence of all kinds of fallacious and wicked ideas and views. Another, more important aspect of this is that they must be able to resolve the constraints and influence of their own conscience and feelings; in particular, they must pass the hurdle of their own feelings. Say that you acknowledge in theory that God’s word is the truth and that it is correct, and you know, in theory, that the fallacious ideas and views that Satan instills in people are wrong, but you just cannot get over the hurdle of your feelings, and you always feel bad for your parents, thinking that they have shown you too much kindness, that they have expended, and done, and suffered too much for you, that the shadows of everything your parents have done for you, everything that they have said, and even every price they have paid for you are still vivid in your mind. Each of these hurdles will be a very important juncture for you, and it will not be easy for you to get past them. In fact, the hardest hurdle for you to pass will be yourself. If you can get past hurdle after hurdle, then you will be able to thoroughly let go of the feelings you have toward your parents from your very heart. I am not fellowshipping on this to make you betray your parents, and I am certainly not doing it to make you draw boundaries between you and your parents—we’re not starting a movement, there is no need to draw any boundaries. I am fellowshipping on this just to impart a correct understanding of these matters to you, and to help you to accept a correct idea and view. In addition, I am fellowshipping on this so that when these things befall you, you will not be troubled by them, or bound by them hand and foot, and more importantly, when you encounter these things, they will not impact your performance of the duty of a created being. In this way, My fellowship will achieve its goal. Of course, can people, who live in the flesh, reach the point where they harbor none of these things in their minds, and where there are no emotional entanglements between them and their parents? That would be impossible. In this world, apart from their parents, people also have their children—these are the two closest fleshly relationships among people. It is impossible to completely sever the bond between a parent and a child. I am not trying to make you go through a formality of declaring that you will cut ties with your parents, and that you will never associate with them again. I am trying to help you handle your relationship with them in the correct way. These things are difficult, aren’t they? As your understanding of the truth deepens, and as you grow in age, the difficulty of these things will gradually reduce and decline. When people are in their 20s, they feel a different level of attachment toward their parents compared to when they are 30 or 40 years old. This attachment becomes even more subdued after they turn 50 years old, and there’s no need to speak about when people reach 60 or 70 years old. By that time the attachment is even lighter—it changes as people grow older.

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