What It Means to Pursue the Truth (12) Part Two

Looking at it based on the sayings of moral conduct and their essence that we fellowshiped on last time, such sayings in traditional culture conceal the corrupt dispositions and essence of humankind, and of course they also conceal the fact that Satan corrupts humankind. The definitions of men and women in traditional culture that we have fellowshiped on today clearly illustrate another essential aspect of sayings on moral conduct. What essence is that? These sayings about moral conduct not only confuse, mislead, and confine people’s thinking, but of course they also instill people with the wrong concepts and views about various people, matters, and things. This is a fact, and another essential aspect of the sayings on moral conduct that are advocated by Satan. How can this assertion be proved? Are not the definitions of men and women in the sayings about moral conduct that we fellowshiped on just now sufficient to illustrate this point? (Yes.) They are indeed sufficient to illustrate this point. Sayings about moral conduct only talk about right and wrong behavior, and good and bad practices, and only talk superficially about good and bad, right and wrong. They don’t let people know what is positive and negative, good and bad, right and wrong when it comes to people, matters, and things. The things they make people abide by are not correct criteria or principles for conduct and behavior that accord with humanity or that are beneficial to people. Regardless of whether these sayings on moral conduct violate the natural laws of humanity, or whether people are willing to abide by them or not, they compel people to cling rigidly to dogma without distinguishing between right and wrong, good and bad. If you fail to abide by them, society will revile and condemn you, and you will even revile yourself. Is this a true portrait of how traditional culture confines human thinking? This is precisely a true reflection of how traditional culture confines human thinking. Once traditional culture gives rise to new sayings, requirements, and rules, or shapes public opinion, or establishes a trend or convention in society, then you will inevitably be carried along by this trend or convention, and not dare to say “no” or refuse, let alone raise any doubts and different opinions. You can only commit to it, otherwise you will be scorned and castigated by society, and even reviled by public opinion and condemned by humankind. What are the consequences of being reviled and condemned? You will no longer be able to face being around people, because you will have no dignity, because you cannot adhere to social ethics, you have no morals, and you do not have the moral conduct that traditional culture demands, and so you will have no social standing. What are the consequences of having no social standing? That you will not be worthy of living in this society, and all facets of your human rights will be stripped away, even to the point that your right to live, your right to speak, and your right to perform your obligations will be curbed and restricted. This is how traditional culture impacts on and threatens humankind. Everyone is its victim, and of course everyone is also its enforcer. You fall victim to these public opinions, you naturally also fall victim to all the various people in society, and at the same time you also fall victim to your own acceptance of traditional culture. In the final analysis, you fall victim to these things of traditional culture. Do these things in traditional culture have a big impact on humankind? (Yes.) For example, if a woman is the subject of rumors that she is not virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, and that she is not a good woman, then whenever she subsequently goes to start a new job or join any group, as soon as people become aware of the stories about her, and listen to the gossipmongers and judge her, she will not be regarded as a good woman in anyone’s eyes. Once this situation arises, it will be difficult for her to make her way or survive in society. Some people even have no alternative but to conceal their identity and relocate to a different city or environment. Is public opinion powerful? (Yes.) This invisible force can ruin and ravage anyone and trample them underfoot. For example, if you believe in God, it is obviously difficult for you to survive in the social environment of China. Why is it so hard to survive? Because once you believe in God, perform your duty and expend yourself for Him, sometimes you inevitably won’t get round to caring for your family, and those unbelieving devils will spread rumors that you are “not leading a normal life,” “abandoning your family,” “running off with someone,” and so on and so forth. Although these claims don’t accord with the facts, and are all speculation and false rumors, once you are the subject of these accusations, you will be in a very difficult predicament. Whenever you go shopping, people will give you funny looks, and mutter and pass comments behind your back, saying, “This person is religious, lacks womanly virtue, leads an indecent life, and spends all day running off to places. This is a woman who doesn’t focus her energies on leading a normal life. What is she doing running off everywhere? Women should follow the Confucian code of the three obediences and four virtues, and obey their husbands and educate their children.” How would you feel on hearing that? Would you be very angry? What business is it of theirs that you believe in God and perform your duty? It’s none of their business at all, and yet they can treat it like an after-dinner conversation topic, and pass comments and gossip about it like it’s important business. Is this not a phenomenon in society? Is this not a phenomenon that can be seen everywhere? For example, you have a colleague who used to get on well with you, but when they heard that you believe in God, they spread all sorts of gossip about you behind your back, so now many people give you a wide berth, and are no longer on good terms with you. Although you have the same attitude to your work as before, as soon as most people hear this gossip, are you still going to find it easy to make your way in this job? (No, it won’t be easy.) Will people’s attitudes toward you be different from before? (Yes.) What will they all talk about? “This woman doesn’t focus her energies on leading a normal life. What is she doing believing in religion?” and “Why do men believe in religion? Only losers believe in religion! That’s something women do, whereas manly, virile men should focus on their career!” Has anyone said these things? (Yes.) Where do these words come from? What business is it of theirs that you believe in God? People are free to believe what they want, and others have no right to interfere. So why can they talk about you? Why do they indiscriminately criticize you once you start believing in God? To some extent, the frame of reference for their remarks is inevitably based on the ideas and views of traditional culture, and on the national government’s attitude toward faith. Although on the surface they are talking about you, the fact is that they are indiscriminately criticizing you, telling tales, and wantonly condemning you. In any case, the basis for people’s remarks and judgments, as well as for their views and attitudes toward your faith, is influenced to a significant degree by traditional culture and atheistic ideology. Because in addition to teaching people how to be a woman and how to be a man, what are the essential ideas of traditional culture? That there is no Heaven and no God. In other words, these are atheistic ideas and views. Therefore, they reject people with faith, especially those who believe in the true God. If you engage in superstitious activities, belong to some cult, or engage in any religious activities, they might disregard you. If you are superstitious they may still associate with you, but as soon as you start believing in God, reading His words every day, spreading the gospel, performing your duty, and following God, they will become incompatible with you. What is the source of their incompatibility with you? To be exact, one aspect is because they are unbelievers and all follow Satan and belong to Satan; the other aspect is that they look at things according to the ideas and views of traditional culture, and according to the policies and laws of the great red dragon—these are objective facts. Whenever they see people, events, and things that do not conform to the ideas of traditional culture, and whenever they see that believers are the targets of state suppression and are being rounded up, they despise them, indiscriminately criticize, judge and condemn them, and cooperate with the government to monitor and report on people who believe in God. What is the basis for them doing this? It is mainly based on traditional culture, atheistic ideology, and the sinister policies of the great red dragon. For example, they judge people who believe in God, saying: “This is a woman who doesn’t focus her energies on leading a normal life. What is she doing running off everywhere?” and “This is a man who doesn’t pursue a proper career. What is he doing believing in religion? Proper men have far-reaching ambitions. Manly, virile men should focus on their careers!” Think about it, aren’t all these banal statements clearly derived from traditional culture? (Yes.) They are all derived from traditional culture. These banal and mundane people don’t pursue any beliefs, but only pursue eating, drinking and carnal pleasures. Their minds are not only filled with evil trends, but are also deeply bound and confined by these things of traditional culture, whose influence they live under without realizing it, so it’s natural for them to adopt these viewpoints when dealing with anyone and anything. This is something that can happen in any corner of modern society, and is quite normal. This is how things are in a world controlled by Satan, and in an era of evil and fornication.

Sayings about moral conduct not only instill wrong concepts and views in people, but also encourage and incite them to follow some extreme thoughts and adopt some extreme behaviors in particular contexts and circumstances. For example, as mentioned earlier, “I’d take a bullet for a friend” is the kind of requirement that Satan puts forward on the pretext of regulating people’s moral conduct when it comes to dealing with their friends. Obviously, sayings on this aspect of moral conduct are intended to make people have irrational and unreasonable thoughts and views when dealing with their friends, and even prompt them to carelessly give up their lives for their friends. This is an extreme and excessive requirement that Satan places on human beings in regard to moral conduct. The fact is that there are some other sayings about moral conduct which are similar to “I’d take a bullet for a friend,” and which likewise require people to adopt extreme behaviors. These are all inhumane and irrational sayings. At the same time as instilling people with the ideas and views of traditional culture, Satan also requires people to abide by these irrational thoughts and inhumane sayings, and also makes them rigidly adhere to these ideas and practices. It could be said that this is tantamount to toying with and ruining humankind! What sayings are they? For example, the two sayings “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” and “The silkworms of spring weave till they die, and candles burn out till their tears run dry” tell people—in a more explicit way than “I’d take a bullet for a friend”—not to cherish life, and that life should be squandered in this way. When people are required to give up their lives, they shouldn’t cherish life too much, but must instead adhere to the sayings “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” and “The silkworms of spring weave till they die, and candles burn out till their tears run dry.” You more or less all understand the literal meaning of these two sayings on moral conduct, but what exactly are they proclaiming and instigating? For whom should you “bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day”? For whom should “the silkworms of spring weave till they die, and candles burn out till their tears run dry”? People should question and reflect on themselves: Is it meaningful to do what these sayings suggest? Such sayings first delude and benumb your mind, disturbing your vision, then strip away your human rights, guiding you in the wrong direction, giving you the wrong definitions and viewpoints, and thereafter compelling you to give up your youth and life for this country, society, and nation, or for a career or for love. In this way, humans unwittingly give up their lives to Satan in a muddled, dazed state, and furthermore they do so willingly and without complaints or regrets. Only at the very moment when they give up their lives do they understand everything, and feel cheated that they are doing it for pointless reasons, but it’s too late, and there is no time left for regrets. Thus, they spend their lives being deluded, fooled, destroyed, ruined, and trampled underfoot by Satan, and in the end, the most precious thing they have—life—is also taken away. This is the consequence of human beings being educated with sayings on moral conduct in traditional culture, and it fully proves what a wretched fate awaits those who live under the dominion of Satan and are deceived and fooled by it. What words are there to describe the various tactics Satan uses in treating humankind? To start with, there is “benumb,” “delude,” and what else? Tell Me some. (Fool, ruin, trample on, ravage.) There is also “incite,” “entice,” “demand one’s life,” and finally, “toy with people and devour them.” This is the result of Satan’s corruption of people. People live under Satan’s dominion and according to satanic dispositions. Were it not for God expressing the truth and doing the work of judgment and chastisement to save people, wouldn’t all of humankind be devastated, devoured and destroyed by Satan?

What things in traditional culture does humankind proclaim? What does “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” mean? The main requirement of this saying is that whenever people do things, they should be sincere and diligent, give their all, and do their utmost until they die. Who exactly are people serving by doing this? Of course it is society, their native land, and the nation. So who wields control over this society, this native land, and this nation? Undoubtedly it is Satan and devil kings. So what are the aims that Satan and the devil kings want to achieve in using traditional culture to delude people? One is to make the country powerful and the nation prosperous, and another is to make people bring honor to their ancestors and be remembered for generations to come. That way, people will feel that there is no greater honor than to do all these things, and they will be grateful to the devil kings, and willing to give up their lives for the nation, for society, and for the motherland. In reality, all they are doing is serving Satan and the devil kings, and serving the dominant positions of Satan and the devil kings, and giving up their precious life for them. If, rather than telling people to perform their duty as a created being with all their heart, mind, and strength, and live out the likeness of a human being, the sayings of traditional culture instead ask people to die for the sake of the country, for devil kings, or for some other cause, then they are deluding people. On the surface, they tell people to do their part for the country and the nation, using words that are high-sounding and plausible, but the fact is that they compel people to dedicate a lifetime of effort, and even sacrifice their life, in order to serve the dominant positions of Satan and devil kings. Is this not deluding, fooling, and harming people? The various sayings advanced by traditional culture do not demand of people how they should live out normal humanity in real life, nor how to fulfill their responsibilities and duties, but rather, they demand of people what kind of moral conduct they should display within the framework of society at large, that is to say, under Satan’s dominion. Likewise, the saying on moral conduct “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” is also a tenet put forward to compel human beings to be loyal to society, to the nation, and especially to their native land. This kind of tenet requires people to bend themselves to serving the nation, their native land, and society, and to strive to do their utmost until their dying day. Only those who are assiduous and give their all until their dying day are considered noble, virtuous, and worthy of being revered and commemorated by future generations. The first part of this saying, “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost,” means to be assiduous and give your all. Is there any problem with this phrase? If we look at it from the perspective of human instinct and the scope of what humanity can accomplish, there are no major issues with this phrase. It requires people to be diligent and give their all when doing things or undertaking a cause. There is basically nothing wrong with this attitude, which is relatively in line with the standard of normal humanity, and people should have this kind of attitude when doing things. This is a relatively positive thing. That is to say, when doing something, you just need to be assiduous, give your all, fulfill your responsibilities and obligations, and live up to your conscience. For any person with normal humanity, conscience and sense, there is nothing more normal than this, and it is not an excessive demand. But what is excessive? It is the part that requires people not to stop “until their dying day.” There is a problem with the phrase “until your dying day,” which is that, not only must you be assiduous and give your all, but you must also offer up your life, and can only stop if you die, otherwise you cannot stop. It means you must sacrifice your life and a lifetime of effort. You cannot have selfish motives, and you cannot give up as long as you live. If you give up halfway rather than persevering until death, then this is not considered to be good moral conduct. This is a standard for measuring people’s moral conduct in traditional culture. If, in doing something, a person was already assiduous and gave it their all within the scope of what they could achieve and for as long as they were willing to do it, but just didn’t keep doing it until death, and gave up halfway and chose to undertake another cause or to rest and take care of themselves in their later years, this is not “bending to a task and striving to do your utmost until your dying day,” so this person is not possessed of good moral conduct. How is that as a standard? Is it right or wrong? (Wrong.) Obviously, this standard does not accord with the instincts of normal humanity and the rights that normal people are entitled to. It doesn’t just require people to be assiduous, to give their all, and nothing more, but rather, it compels people to keep going and not stop until they die—this is what it demands of people. No matter how assiduous you are, or how much you strive to give your all when doing something, as soon as you give up halfway because you are unwilling to continue, then you are not someone with good moral conduct; whereas, if you exert an average level of diligence and don’t give your all, but keep going until death, then you are a person of good moral conduct. Is this a standard for measuring people’s moral conduct in traditional culture? (Yes.) This is indeed a standard for measuring people’s moral conduct in traditional culture. Looking at it in this way, does the requirement “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” meet the needs of normal humanity? Is this fair and humane as far as people are concerned? (No, it is unfair and inhumane.) Why do you say that? (It is not a requirement that is put forward within the scope of normal humanity, it is something that people are unwilling to choose, and it also goes against conscience and sense.) The main meaning of this standard is that it requires people to give up personal choices, and personal desires and ideals. If your qualities and talents can be put to serve society, the human race, the nation, your native land, and the rulers, then you should obey unconditionally, and you should have no other choices. You should give up your life to society, to the nation, to your native land, and even to the rulers, until you die. There can be no alternatives to the cause you must undertake in this life—you cannot have any other choices. You can only live for the sake of the nation, the human race, society, your native land, and even the rulers. You can only serve them, and you must not have any personal aspirations, let alone selfish motives. You must not only give up your youth and devote your energy, but you must also give up your life, and that is the only way you can be a person of good moral conduct. What does humankind call such good moral conduct? Greater righteousness. What, then, is another way to express “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day”? How about the saying “Great chivalrous heroes do their part for their country and people,” which is commonly heard? It states that so-called great chivalrous heroes must do their part for their country and their people. Must they do it for their family, parents, wives and children, brothers and sisters? Must they do it to fulfill their responsibilities and duties as a person? No. Rather, they must be loyal to and devote themselves to the country and the nation. This is another way of saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day.” Being assiduous and giving your all, which the requirement “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” talks about, is just a saying that people can accept, and which is used to induce people to willingly “do their utmost until their dying day.” Who is the object of this lifelong dedication? (The country and the nation.) So who represents the country and the nation? (The rulers.) That’s right, it’s the rulers. No one person or independent group can represent the country and the nation. Only the rulers can be called the spokespeople for the country and the nation. On the surface, the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” doesn’t tell people that they must assiduously do their part for the country, the nation, and the rulers, and give their all until they die. Nevertheless, the fact is that it compels people to dedicate their lives to rulers and devil kings until they die. This saying is not targeted at just any nonentity in society or among humankind; it is targeted at all those people who can make great contributions to society, to the human race, to their native land, to the nation, and especially to the rulers. In any dynasty, in any era, and in any nation, there are always some people with special gifts, abilities, and talents who are “appropriated” by society, and exploited and revered by rulers. Because of their special talents and abilities, and because they can put their talents and strengths to good use within society, the nation, their native land and the dominion of the rulers, in the eyes of these rulers they are often regarded as the kind of person who can assist them to rule humankind more effectively, and to better stabilize society and pacify public sentiment. This kind of person is often exploited by rulers, who hope that such people have no “lesser self” but only a “greater self,” and that they can put their chivalrous spirit to good use and become great chivalrous heroes who have only the country and the people in their hearts, and that they can constantly worry about the country and the people, and even that they can bend to the task and strive to do their utmost until their dying day. If they can really do this, if they can assiduously serve the country and the people with all their strength, and are even willing to do it until death, then they undoubtedly become a capable aide to some ruler, and are even recognized as the pride of the nation or society, or even of the entire human race, during a certain era. Whenever there is such a group of people in society during a certain era, or there is a handful of righteous loyalists who are feted as great chivalrous heroes, and who can bend themselves to the task of serving society, humankind, their native land, the nation, and the ruler, striving to do their utmost until their dying day, then this era is considered by humankind to be a glorious era of history.

How many great chivalrous heroes in Chinese history were able to bend to the task of serving their country and people, and strove to do their utmost until their dying day? Can you name some of them? (Qu Yuan, Zhuge Liang, Yue Fei, and so on.) In Chinese history, there are really a handful of famous figures who were able to worry about the country and the people, bend to the task of serving their country and nation and ensuring the survival of the people, and strive to do their utmost until their dying day. In every era of history, in China and beyond, whether in the political arena or among the general population, there are people—be they politicians or roving knights—who adhere to such traditional cultural sayings as “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day.” Such people are able to scrupulously abide by the requirement “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” and are also able to rigorously adhere to this idea of serving the country and the people, and worrying about the country and the people. They are able to adhere to such sayings on moral conduct, and strictly require themselves to do these things. Of course, they do it for their fame, so that people remember them in the future. That’s one aspect. The other aspect, it has to be said, is that these behaviors emerge as a result of such people being inculcated and influenced by the ideas of traditional culture. So are these requirements that traditional culture places on people appropriate from the perspective of humanity? (No.) Why are they not appropriate? No matter how much ability a person has, or how gifted, talented, or knowledgeable they are, their identity and instinct are those of a human being, and it is impossible for them to go beyond this scope. They are just a bit more gifted and have a bit more quality than others, and rise above the average person in terms of their viewpoints on things, and have more diverse and flexible ways of doing things, and are more efficient, and achieve better results—that’s all. But no matter how efficient they are, or how good their results, they are still nothing more than common people in terms of their identity and status. Why do I say that they are still common people? Because a person who lives in the flesh, no matter how sharp their mind, or how gifted or high-caliber they are, only ever follows the laws of survival of created human beings, and nothing more than this. Take dogs, for example. However tall, short, fat or thin they are, or whatever breed they are, or however old they are, whenever they come into contact with any other dog, they usually distinguish that dog’s sex, personality, and attitude toward them by smelling its scent. This method of communication is dogs’ survival instinct, and it is also one of the laws and rules for dogs’ survival, which are formulated by God. Similarly, people also survive within the laws formulated by God. No matter how sharp-witted or knowledgeable you are, no matter how high-caliber or talented you are, no matter how able you are, or how great your endeavors, every day you must have six to eight hours’ sleep, and eat three square meals. You will feel hungry if you miss a meal, and thirsty if you don’t drink enough. You must also exercise regularly to stay healthy. As you get older, your vision will become blurry and all sorts of ailments may befall you. This is the normal, natural law of birth, aging, illness and death, and it is ordained by God. No one can break this law, nor escape it. Based on this, no matter how capable you are, and irrespective of your caliber and talent, you are still a common person. Even if you could put on wings and fly two circles around the sky, in the end you must still come back down to earth and walk around on two legs, and rest when tired, eat when hungry, and drink when thirsty. This is human instinct, and this instinct is what God has ordained for you. You can never change it, nor can you escape it. No matter how great your abilities, you cannot violate this law, and you cannot go beyond this scope. Therefore, no matter how capable people are, their identity and status as people do not change, and neither do their identity and status as created beings. Even if you can make contributions to humankind that are just that little bit special and outstanding, you are still a human being, and whenever you encounter danger, you will still feel fearful and panicked, go weak at the knees, and even lose control over your bodily functions. Why might you behave like this? Because you are human. Since you are human, you have these behaviors that human beings ought to have. These are the laws of nature, and no one can escape them. Just because you have made many outstanding contributions, it certainly doesn’t mean that you become superhuman, or extraordinary, or cease to be a normal person. All of that is impossible. Therefore, even supposing you can bend to the task of serving the country and nation, and strive to do your utmost until your dying day, because you live within the scope of normal humanity you will have to bear a very great pressure deep down in your heart! You require yourself to worry about the country and the people all day long, and to make room for the whole population and country in your heart, in the belief that the size of the stage is determined by the size of your heart—but is that the case? (No.) A person will never become different from ordinary people solely by thinking outside the box, nor will they be different from or superior to ordinary people, or be permitted to violate the rules of normal humanity and the laws of survival just because they have special gifts or talents, or because they have made outstanding contributions to the human race. Therefore, this requirement placed on humankind to “bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” is very inhumane. Even if a person has greater talent and ideas than ordinary people, or better foresight and judgment, or is better than ordinary people at dealing with matters, or better at viewing and reading people—or no matter how they are better than ordinary people—they live in the flesh and must still follow the laws and rules of survival of normal humanity. Since they must abide by the laws and rules of survival of normal humanity, is it not inhumane to make unrealistic demands on them, which do not conform to humanity? Is it not trampling on their humanity in a way? (Yes.) Some people say: “With these gifts and talents that Heaven has given me, I am extraordinary, and no ordinary person. I should keep everything under heaven in my heart—the people, the nation, my native land, and the world.” Let Me tell you that keeping these things in your heart is an extra burden, imposed on you by the ruling class and Satan, so by doing this you are putting yourself on the path of doom. If you want to keep the world, the people, the nation, your native land, and the ideals and desires of the rulers in your heart, then you will die an early death. If you keep these things in your heart, it is like perching on a powder keg and sitting on a sack of explosives. It is a very dangerous thing to do, and totally meaningless. When you hold these things in your heart, you make demands on yourself, by thinking “I must bend to the task and strive to do my utmost until my dying day. I must contribute to the great cause of the nation and humankind, and I must give up my life to the human race.” Having such great and lofty ambitions will only lead you to a premature end, an unnatural death, or total ruin. Think about it, how many of those famous historical figures who kept the world in their hearts died a happy death? Some committed suicide by throwing themselves into the river, some were executed by rulers, some were beheaded on the guillotine, and some were throttled to death with rope. Is it possible for human beings to keep the world in their hearts? Are the great causes of one’s native land, the prosperity of the nation, the destiny of the country, and the fate of humankind things that one can carry on their shoulders and make room for in their heart? If you can make room in your heart for your parents and children, your nearest and dearest, your own responsibilities and the mission entrusted to you by Heaven, then you are already doing very well, and are already fulfilling your responsibilities. You needn’t worry yourself about the country and the people, and you don’t need to be a great chivalrous hero. Who are those people who always want to keep the world, the nation, and their native land in their hearts? They are all overambitious people who overestimate their abilities. Is your heart really so big? Are you not being overambitious? Where exactly does your ambition come from? What can you do once you keep these things in your heart? Whose destiny can you manipulate and control? You can’t even control your own destiny, and yet you want to keep the world, the nation, and humankind in your heart. Is this not the ambition of Satan? So, for those who regard themselves as able people, scrupulously abiding by the requirement to “bend to the task and strive to do their utmost until their dying day” is following the path to ruin, it is seeking death! Whoever wants to worry about the country and the people, and bend to the task of serving the people and their native land, and strive to do their utmost until their dying day, is heading for their doom. Are these people lovable? (No, they are not lovable.) Not only are these people not lovable, but they are even a bit pathetic and laughable, and really foolish to the extreme!

As a person, you must fulfill your obligations and responsibilities within the family, properly play your role and fulfill your responsibilities in any social or ethnic group, abide by the laws and regulations of society, and act rationally, rather than say high-sounding things. Doing what people can and should do—this is what is appropriate. As for the family, society, country, and people, you don’t need to bend to the task of serving them and strive to do your utmost until your dying day. You only need to do your duty in God’s family with all your heart, mind, and strength, and nothing more. How then should you do your duty? It is enough to follow God’s words and abide by the truth principles as required by God. You don’t need to keep God’s will, His chosen people, His management plan, His three-stage work, and His work of saving humankind in your heart all day long. It’s not necessary to hold these things in your heart. Why isn’t it necessary? Because you are an ordinary person, a nonentity, and because you are a created being in God’s hands, the stance you should adopt and the responsibility you should bear is to honestly perform your duty, accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements, submit to all that God orchestrates, and that is enough. Is this requirement excessive? (No, it isn’t.) Does God ask you to sacrifice your life? (No.) God does not require you to sacrifice your life, whereas this saying on moral conduct requires that “as long as you have even the smallest modicum of ability, heart, and chivalrous spirit, then you should step forward and bend to the task of serving your native land, and serving the nation. Give up your life, abandon your family and relatives, abandon your responsibilities. Place yourself in the midst of this society, among this human race, and take on the great cause of the nation, the great cause of reviving the country, and the great cause of saving all humankind, until you die.” Is this an extreme requirement? (Yes.) Once humans accept extreme ideas such as these, they believe themselves to be lofty. Particularly in the case of some people with special talents and especially big ambitions and desires, they seek to go down in history, and be remembered for generations to come, and require themselves to undertake some cause in this life, so they especially value and venerate the views of traditional culture. Just like the sayings “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day,” and “Death may be weightier than Mount Tai, or lighter than a feather,” which are put forward by traditional culture, such people are determined to be weightier than Mount Tai. What is meant by the saying “Death may be weightier than Mount Tai”? It’s not about dying for insignificant gains, nor is it for the sake of leading the life of an ordinary person, or fulfilling the duty of a created being, or following the laws of nature. Rather, it’s about dying for the great cause of humankind, for the revival of the nation, for the prosperity of the country, and for the development of society, and to steer the course of humankind. These unrealistic thoughts of humans have thrust them into the eye of the storm. Is this any way for people to live happily? (No.) They will not live happily. Once people live in the eye of the storm, they think and act differently from ordinary people, and also chase after different things. They want to enact their ambitious plans, accomplish major undertakings and great exploits, and achieve big things with a wave of their arm. Gradually some people get into politics, because only the political arena can satisfy their desires and ambitions. Some people say: “The political arena is too murky, I won’t get involved in politics, but I still have this desire to contribute something to the just cause of humankind.” So they join a nonpolitical organization. Some others say: “I won’t join a nonpolitical organization. I’ll be a lone hero, putting my expertise to best use by robbing the rich to help the poor, and specializing in killing corrupt officials, local tyrants, evil gentry, wicked police, bandits and bullies, and helping the common people and the poor.” No matter which path they take, they do it under the influence of traditional culture, and none are the right path. No matter how much people’s expressions accord with social trends and popular tastes, they are inevitably influenced by traditional culture, because humankind always regards expressions such as “worry about the country and the people,” “keep everything under heaven in one’s heart,” “great chivalrous heroes,” and “the just cause of one’s native land” as goals to pursue and devote themselves to, bending to the task and striving to do their utmost until their dying day. This is the reality of the situation. Has anyone ever said, “What I want in life is to become a farmer, bending to the task and striving to do my utmost until my dying day”? Has anyone ever said, “I’ll herd cattle and sheep for the rest of my life, bending to the task and striving to do my utmost until my dying day”? Has anyone used this saying in these circumstances? (No.) People use the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” with a kind of ambition and unrealistic desire, using this pleasant-sounding rhetoric to conceal the desires and ambitions inside themselves. Of course, the saying “Bend to a task and strive to do your utmost until your dying day” has also spawned such unrealistic and perverted thoughts and practices as worrying about the country and the people, and having everything under heaven in one’s heart, which have harmed a significant number of idealists and visionaries.

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