What It Means to Pursue the Truth (16) Part Three

Last time, we fellowshiped on the topic “A gentleman’s word is his bond.” This is a saying Satan uses to corrupt people in terms of moral conduct. The advocacy of this saying has a significant impact on people’s thinking and it, like other sayings on moral conduct, is absurd and does not conform to the facts. No matter what someone says, as long as they do it, then other people think them to have a noble morality and honorable character, and this is both preposterous and laughable. This saying is just the same as other sayings on moral conduct in that they are all preposterous and laughable heresies and fallacies. They can all be referred to like this and can also be defined as being absurd in the extreme and unable to withstand scrutiny. Let’s look today at the saying on moral conduct of “Grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” Before formally fellowshiping on it, have you ever contemplated how to explain this saying? How can its essence be dissected? What poisons does it hold within it? What are the thoughts Satan wishes to instill in people through this saying? What is Satan’s malicious intent? What aspect of human beings does Satan corrupt using this saying? Have you ever contemplated these things? The saying “Grow like a lily from the mud unsullied” can be simply explained as not going along with bad people and being able to protect oneself from bad influences. Whether someone else assesses someone as having grown like a lily from the mud unsullied, or whether that someone wants to grow like a lily from the mud unsullied, what kind of person are they, generally speaking? They claim to be very incorruptible, upright, open and aboveboard, that they are gentlemen with noble moral character, but they see this age, this world, this mankind, and even this country, this imperial court, and this officialdom as not like this. Do these people not usually look at things cynically and feel dissatisfied with reality? They often feel that they have high aspirations but were born at the wrong time, that they have talent but cannot use it. They believe that, whether in officialdom or in society, there are always base people blocking their way, that they have grand, strategic minds, they are stellar individuals, yet no one recognizes their talent or ever lets them handle important tasks. They’re dissatisfied with reality and become cynical, and they say they will “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied,” that they will protect themselves from bad influences and be spotless. To put it bluntly, people like this see themselves as pure and lofty and they are dissatisfied with reality. They don’t necessarily have any true talent or real ability, and the perspectives with which they view people and things and comport themselves and act are not necessarily correct or practical and, of course, they cannot necessarily achieve anything, either. And yet they believe themselves to be set apart from ordinary people, and are always sighing, “All the world is turbid, I alone am pure; all the people are drunk, I alone am sober,” as though disillusioned with the mortal world and often seeing the wickedness and darkness of the world. To be precise, people like this are cynical. They detest the political and commercial sectors, and they detest literary, artistic, and educational circles. They detest intellectuals’ perspectives on their pursuits, and they look down on farmers and on those with religious beliefs. What kind of people are these? Are they not a kind apart? Are they not abnormal in some way? These people have no real ability or learning. If you ask them to do some practical work, they won’t necessarily be equal to the task. They enjoy grumbling, and in their spare time they publish articles and poetry collections to disclose matters of politics, government, society, and individuals of a certain group during a certain period of time. They criticize this today and that tomorrow, they speak eloquently, but get into a mess when they do anything. In the end, they don’t fit in with anyone, they can’t accomplish anything anywhere, and they’re not equal to their job. They mistakenly believe, “I’m so talented! Ordinary people can’t attain to the realm of my thought!” They feel dejected, troubled, and depressed in their hearts. In their free time, they wander around, and whenever they go to some place of historical interest, they holler, “I’m a thwarted genius! I’m a stellar individual, but few there are who can recognize true talent! I have high aspirations, it’s just a shame I was born at the wrong time and I’m down on my luck!” They always believe themselves to be ambitious and full of learning but can never stand out from the crowd or be placed in a high position by anyone in power, and so they become cynical and dissatisfied, they look down on everyone, until ultimately they wind up all alone. Isn’t that pitiful? To put it bluntly, people like this are a mad bunch of people who are pompous, extremely aloof, and dissatisfied with reality, and they always feel unsuccessful. Actually, these people are nothing, they cannot accomplish anything, they do everything badly, and when they learn a little knowledge, they show off by talking endlessly about it. In ancient times, such people recited poetry, wrote odes, and showed off their literary skills, with a pedantic look about them. Nowadays, people like this have many more opportunities to show off. They can make their own media, post comments on blogs, and so on. In some countries with relatively free social systems, they frequently expose the dark side of various industries, such as the dark and evil aspects of the literary, artistic, commercial, political, and cultural sectors. All day, they criticize this and belittle that, believing themselves so very talented. The origin of their doing all these things is their belief that everything about them is good and right, and that they have reached greatness, glory, and correctness. To be precise, they protect themselves from bad influences and “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” They believe they see everything clearly, that they can understand everything. They use veiled criticism against anyone who does anything, and they look upon them with scorn and disdain. They always have something to say about whatever anyone does, and they criticize and belittle them. In reality, they have no idea what they themselves are, they’ve never known what perspective and standpoint to take that are correct and proper when they say things. They just know how to be loose-tongued and clever-tongued. Are there many people like this in society? (Yes.) What are these people? To say it precisely, they are a mad bunch of people who are pompous and who see themselves as pure and lofty. There have been many people like this throughout history, right? (Yes.) How should you describe and define these people? Are they not idealists? To be precise, these people are idealists. They are unwilling to live in the current real living environment, and their heads are constantly in the clouds, filled with ethereal, empty, invisible and intangible things. They live in a non-existent and ethereal world—these people are called idealists. So, what perspective do they take to rate other people? They take the moral high ground, and their starting point for rating other people is, “I can see your evil and dark side clearly and expose it. Being able to expose the bad and wicked things you do proves that I am not like you.” The underlying meaning here is, “I ‘grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.’ You’ve all been contaminated by this evil trend; you are not good people.” Is this not them seeing themselves as pure and lofty? Is this not them overrating themselves and being pompous? Is this not a disguised attempt to elevate themselves under the guise of criticizing reality, exposing the dark side of society, and being dissatisfied with reality? (It is.) So, how do we define such people? There is a folk saying that goes, “I’ve met shameless people before, but I’ve never met anyone as shameless as you.” Doesn’t this describe these people? (It does.) They are shameless. They have mouths that talk only about right and wrong, and eyes that see only the shortcomings and flaws of others. With their clever mouths, they publicly expose others’ shortcomings and flaws, and through doing so they express their own views and show other people how they protect themselves from bad influences, and how unique, and noble they are. Are they really noble? Are they really unique? They’re just the same as everyone else. No matter what methods other people use to pursue fame and gain, their methods are obvious. These people, however, assume dignified airs, and their exposure and criticism of others serve as topics and springboards by which they elevate and promote themselves, and they use these means to become famous and influential. Are they not also pursuing fame and gain? Aren’t their goals just the same? Are the results not just the same? They just use different means and methods, that’s all. It’s just like insulting someone using polite language and insulting them using coarse language, the insulting nature is still just the same. Other people become famous in one way, and these people become famous in another way—the final result is the same, as is the intent, the purpose, and the motivation, so there is no difference at all.

As for those people in society who proclaim themselves to “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied,” we have defined them as idealists. The characteristics of such people are that they are exceptionally aloof, they think they’re better than anyone else, they regard everyone else as unsatisfactory, and ultimately they conclude that, “You are all mired in the mud and mired in evil trends. I have surpassed you, and I ‘grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.’” This is their pomposity, and this is how dissatisfied with reality they are, as though they themselves are so very holy and clean. In fact, because they are not as capable as others and don’t have the means other people have, because they are always seeking to stand out from the crowd but never get their wish, because they are always pursuing ideal, ethereal, and empty things but are never satisfied and can never bring these things into reality, and because they have no desire to face reality, or to let go of their ideals, and so, in terms of form, they have no alternative but to stay away from official, political, artistic and literary, and cultural circles. Because they’re not welcome in such circles, cannot be accepted, cannot achieve their ambitions, and their ideals and aspirations cannot be realized, in the end they proclaim themselves to “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied,” and say that they swim against the current, that they have a noble moral character, and they use such sayings to console themselves. Do you now know how to discern such people by us fellowshiping on them in this way? What exactly are these people in essence? They’re nothing, yet they’re still pompous. Is this an accurate assessment? (Yes.) People like this have so many ideals, but not one of them can be realized, nor do any of them conform to reality. These things they think of are all vacuous and unrealistic. All day long, these people do no proper work, knowing only to recite poetry and compose odes, criticizing this, belittling that—this is them not doing any proper work, right? Their essence can be seen from their behavior: They have no real talent or learning, their thoughts and views on reality and life are all vacuous, vague, and unrealistic, and that’s why they can follow the fallacy of “Grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” They strive to be like this, hoping that more people will be like this, too—this is wrong. If people are like this, then what can they achieve? To be precise, people like this are without a genuine goal or direction in life, without true belief, without true choice in life, and without the correct path of practice. All day long, their thoughts are wild and unrestrained, they entertain all sorts of outlandish ideas, their minds are filled with chaotic, empty, and unrealistic things, none of which are realistic, and these people are in fact a kind apart from mankind. Their thinking is both vacuous and incredibly absurd and extreme. Regardless of what group of people they are in, or whether they are upper class, middle class, or lower class in society, they never get along with others and can never be accepted by people. Why is this? It’s because their thinking, their pursuits, and the perspectives by which they view people and things are extreme and of a different kind. To be polite, these people are idealists, but to be precise, they are mentally ill and mentally abnormal. Tell Me, can mentally ill people get along well with normal people? Not only can they not get along well with their friends and work colleagues, but they can’t even get along well with their own families. When these people put forward their views and statements, other people feel awkward and fed up, and they don’t want to hear them at all. These statements hold no water and don’t work in real life. In real life, the difficulties people face can arise within themselves, they can arise out of people’s objective environments, or they can involve the main daily necessities of life—how should these things be faced, handled, and resolved? In terms of minor difficulties, there are those which involve the main daily necessities of life, while in terms of major difficulties, there are those which relate to people’s outlook on life, their rules for living, the path they follow, and their beliefs, and it is these problems which are the most real. Yet these idealists always want to detach themselves from these problems and never want to live in real-life situations. Their views, perspectives, and starting point from which they view people and things are not based on these real problems, but are rather wild and unconstrained. You never know what they’re thinking, as though they think the thoughts of aliens, things people here on earth have never heard before, things which sound abnormal to them. Who wants to hear someone saying abnormal things? When people first meet this person and hear them speak, they may feel that what they’re saying is really fresh and new, more insightful and cleverer than what ordinary people say. But after a while, they realize that it’s all just nonsense, so no one pays attention to that person anymore, they pay no heed to them, and nothing they say enters either their ears or their hearts. Is that person able to perceive it when other people adopt such an attitude toward them? They become aware of it as time passes, and in their heart they think, “No one likes me, what’s up with that? Why don’t they like me? Sigh, I’m a stellar individual, but few there are who can recognize true talent!” You see, they are always pompous, always believing themselves to be talented, clever, and capable, when in fact they’re nothing. No matter what group of people they find themselves in, the final result and end for them is always rejection. This is caused by them following the saying “Grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” If you have ever wanted to be like this, then I tell you to stop right there, as these people are not normal. If your thinking and the reason of your humanity are normal, then you should do what you ought to do and what you can do, and not seek to be one of those who “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” These people are a degenerate and different kind of human being, and they are not normal.

Once we’ve finished dissecting the essence of people who “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied,” let’s talk about the problems of dissatisfaction with reality and cynicism which we mentioned when we exposed these people. Some people believe, “We believe in God so we should understand the dark side of society and the evil trends in society, and not follow them. We also have to understand politics, the wickedness of mankind, the various common practices of mankind, and all the dark and evil things of mankind that are present at different times, in different corners of the world, and among different races and groups. By doing this, we will develop discernment.” Is this what God requires of man? Before we fellowship on this topic, some of you may have made this your pursuit, but now I tell you clearly, this is not something you must do, and it is not what God requires of you. You are not required to understand this world, this society, and humankind, or this political, commercial, literary, or religious sector, or any common practice that hails from society, or the operating method of any group or force in society, and so on—this is not a lesson you need to learn. You don’t need to be dissatisfied with reality, and you don’t need to protect yourself from bad influences. This is not the standpoint or perspective you should take, and it is not the view you should adopt. God has chosen you and allowed you to believe in and follow Him; He does not ask you to be anti-mankind, anti-society, anti-politics, or anti-state, nor does He ask you to oppose any group, race, or religion. He just simply asks you to follow Him and reject Satan, to come before Him and accept and obey His words, to follow His way, and to fear Him and shun evil. God has never asked that you be anti-mankind, anti-society, or anti-state. To be more precise, God has never asked you to oppose a certain government, a certain social or political system, or a certain political policy—God has never asked you to do any such thing. Some people say, “All of mankind rejects us, opposes us, and persecutes us. Is it wrong for us to rise up and oppose them and fight against them? They are all against us, so why can’t we be against them?” No matter how you think or act personally, or what kind of views you hold personally concerning society, the world, and national political systems, that is your own business and it has nothing to do with the way God asks you to follow, nor anything to do with God’s teachings or requirements. Some people say, “Since You say these things have nothing to do with God’s teachings, that they are not what God requires of us and not what God asks us to do, why then does God expose Satan, social trends, the dark side of society, and even religion?” God exposes these things only so that you can understand them, as these things God exposes are related to people’s corrupt dispositions and to the God-defying views and notions people have. Therefore, in this kind of situation, we must necessarily fellowship on such topics and use such examples, the purpose being to allow people to be able to more accurately and practically know the satanic dispositions revealed by corrupt mankind, and to discern all the different fallacious thoughts and views and God-defying notions which Satan instills in them, and that’s all. This is not done so that people can personally oppose politics, oppose society, and oppose mankind. God never asked people to be dissatisfied with reality, to be cynical, or to protect themselves from bad influences. Some people say, “Even though God never asked me to be like this, I only believe in God because I’m cynical and dissatisfied with reality, because I feel that there is fairness and righteousness in God’s house and that the truth holds sway here, and because I’m treated fairly here.” That’s your business and it has nothing to do with what God requires. Of course, everyone comes to believe in God for different reasons: Some people believe in God to gain blessings, some to escape the disasters, some to have their sickness cured, some to have a good destination in the future; and then there are some who are dissatisfied with reality, dissatisfied with the world, dissatisfied with society, or have been treated unfairly in society, and so come to God’s house seeking comfort and shelter. Everyone’s views on belief in God and their original intent or motivation for their belief in God are different. There are also those who are without these things in their hearts, who just want to believe in God and feel that believing in God is a good thing. In any case, when those people who are cynical and dissatisfied with reality come to believe in God, God doesn’t commend them or treat them kindly just because they are gifted or talented in some small way. This is because they do not accept the truth, they are exceedingly arrogant, self-righteous, and contemptuous of others, and people like this find it incredibly difficult to accept the truth. You should harbor no hope for such people, nor should you be such people yourselves. I tell you only to be honest, to pursue the truth, to obey God’s words, and to fear God and shun evil. Therefore, never believe that just because you are dissatisfied with society and understand it clearly, or that because you previously engaged in some special industry and have a deeper understanding of that industry’s dark side, that you have capital and stature in your belief in God, that God loves you, that you meet God’s required standards, or that you are a qualified created being. If you do believe such a thing, then I say you are wrong, the views by which you are measuring the situation are wrong, the perspective from which you are seeing things is wrong, and the standpoint you are taking is wrong. Why do I say this? I say it because the standpoint you are taking and the perspective and views by which you view people and things are not based on God’s words and do not have the truth as their criterion. If you always take the perspective of worldly people and feel dissatisfied with reality and cynical, then you will detest them, you will want to fight and struggle against them, to reason with them and debate with them about what is right and what is wrong; you will want to change mankind, change society, and even change the political system of a country. There are even some people who will want to expose the dark side of their nation’s political elite, believing that by doing so they are rejecting Satan and practicing the truth. This is all wrong. No matter how many things go on within the spheres of the political elite, within business circles, or within artistic and literary circles, none of it has anything whatsoever to do with your pursuit of the truth. No matter how much you know about such things, it’s all useless, and it doesn’t demonstrate that you know Satan’s essence or that you can reject Satan in your innermost heart. No matter how much you know or understand such things, and no matter how specific, how true, or how accurate your understanding is, this does not demonstrate that you are practicing the truth, that you are knowing yourself, or that you are dissecting the satanic thoughts and views within yourself, nor does this demonstrate that you love God’s words and the truth, much less does it demonstrate that you fear God. Don’t think that just because you understand a little about society, or you know the insider rules of an industry or some hearsay most people don’t know about, that because you are cynical and dissatisfied with society and you have the courage to expose society’s dark side, that you are a noble and honorable person, a cut above the rest, and that you “grow like a lily from the mud unsullied.” God doesn’t want people like that.

Before they came to believe in God, some people were timid and hesitant, not daring to expose society’s dark side, not having the courage to do it. Now that they believe in God, they feel that they have God emboldening them and backing them up, and so they’re not afraid anymore to expose such things. There are even some who go abroad to democratic countries and dare to expose some of the evil doings of the demon that is the CCP. These people then feel they understand the truth, that they have stature and have faith in God. These are all wrong thoughts and views, and it is pointless for them to pursue these things. Whether you’re dissatisfied with reality and cynical, whether you’re a cut above the rest of society, and whether you’re someone who “grows like a lily from the mud unsullied,” none of it matters to God; He does not look at such things. What does God look at? God first looks at whether or not you recognize the thoughts and views that come from Satan in your innermost heart and, once you’ve recognized them, whether you expose them and are open about them to others, and whether you reject them once you understand them clearly. Moreover, God looks at whether or not you consciously pursue the truth in real life, whether you consciously seek the truth principles in how you view people and things and conduct yourself and act, and what exactly your attitude toward the truth is. This is something you must be clear about in your heart. Some people enjoy discussing the past and present, speaking profusely and forcefully about historical court intrigues, outlining in great detail what great events happened in which period within political spheres, what the substantive issues were, and who played a part at key moments, and so on and so forth. They then think they have stature, that they’re upright and have a strong sense of justice, saying, “You see, I’m so dissatisfied with society. My gaze penetrates the darkness of officialdom, and I understand it so profoundly and thoroughly!” What’s the use in saying such things? Who are you trying to butter up? God? Are you showing off how intellectual you are and that you know about so many things? Saying these things is useless. I’ve never looked at any worthless trash online, nor have I ever been interested in any kind of news or tidings. Why don’t I look at these things? Because it’s aggravating and disgusting. Some people believe that once they come to believe in God, they must have a sense of justice, and they often pass comment on and are full of hot air about famous people, celebrities, and politicians, and they bring these people’s private lives to light, hoping to open up everyone’s eyes. They feel like they’re jacks of all trades, wise guys, that they know all secrets, and that they’re so very clever, knowledgeable, and upright. What’s the use in knowing such things? Does it show that you’re practicing the truth? Does it show that you’ve understood the truth? Does it show that you have stature? (No.) You can’t stop talking about those things in society, but can you say anything about how to do the things right before your eyes and the duty you’re supposed to do in conformity with truth principles? You cannot; you have nothing to say. No matter how much you know about those things in society, it doesn’t demonstrate that you understand the truth or that you have real stature. Don’t think that just because you can see through fake news and fallacies that you have stature, that you have renounced the world and rejected Satan, that you no longer fall in with Satan, and that you have faith in God and are loyal to Him—these are all fallacious views, and none of them represent life at all. If you think, “Is it not the case that the more dissatisfied with reality I am, the more I expose the great red dragon, the more I hate the great red dragon, the more I hate the world and the more cynical I am, the happier God is and the more He likes me?” then you’re wrong. The more you pursue those things and the more you follow that path, the less God likes you and the more He grows tired of you. Why is it that the more you pursue those worldly things the less God likes you? It’s because you are not following the right path and not doing proper work. So, when you have some time, you can read God’s words more, listen to hymns, listen to life experiential testimonies of your brothers and sisters, and everyone can contemplate and fellowship on God’s words together. Don’t ask about tittle-tattle that has nothing to do with your life entry or your pursuit of salvation. That is done by people with nothing better to do. The way society develops, what course the world will take, how filthy and evil humankind is and how dark politics is—have these things anything to do with you? Would you attain salvation if society and the world weren’t dark, evil, and filthy? (No.) Those things have nothing to do with you whatsoever. Whether or not you can attain salvation is related only to how much of the truth you accept and understand, how much of the truth reality you enter into, and it’s related to how well you perform your duty—it’s related only to these few things. Don’t frequently pass comment on famous people and celebrities, exposing celebrities’ disgraceful and dirty behavior to pass the time, showing off how clever you are and how you are a cut above the rest. Those are stupid things to do; don’t be someone like that. That is someone who doesn’t do any proper work and doesn’t walk the right path.

As for the essence of the saying on moral conduct, “Grow like a lily from the mud unsullied,” we’ve pretty much now fellowshiped about it and dissected it. Moreover, haven’t we now fellowshiped clearly on the attitude and views for how one conducts oneself posited by this saying, as well as what God’s requirements and attitude are? (We have.) Do you also now understand the path people should follow? (We do.) Is the cynicism we’re talking about here a positive thing? Is dissatisfaction with reality a positive thing? Is protecting yourself from bad influences a positive thing? (No.) None of these are positive things. We can say with certainty that these are not foundations for you to comport yourself and act upon, they should not become foundations for you to comport yourself and act upon, much less should they become principles for you to comport yourself and act upon. Therefore, these are things you should let go of and reject. You should clearly discern and entirely relinquish these sayings and theories which come from traditional culture, and you should not take these specious things as the truth or confuse them with the truth. This is because, no matter how many years these things have been circulating among humankind, or how deep their roots go among humankind, they cannot stand for a moment before the truth. They are simply not positive things and simply do not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the truth. These things have no positive effect on people at all; not only can they not lead people and bring them to the correct path but, on the contrary, they lead people onto one wrong path after another, making people more aloof and shameless, less self-aware and reasonable, and making God detest them and feel disgusted by them. If you let go of these things, let go of these notions, let go of these thoughts and views, these methods and foundations on how to view people and things and comport yourself and act which come from Satan, and come before God and view people and things and comport yourself and act wholly according to God’s words, then these things will have no effect on you. As for the issue of being dissatisfied with reality and feeling cynical, God doesn’t need you to put in effort trying to understand or learn about what darkness lurks in society. You only need to know wholly and in essence that the world and humankind have been corrupted by Satan and that they lie in the clutches of the evil one. Whether it is social trends, customs, traditional culture, knowledge, education—on any level, regarding any aspect, or in any industry—it is all filled with Satan’s thoughts and views and its heresies and fallacies. No matter which country, ethnicity, or which group of people or organization in society, neither the truth nor God’s words hold sway over them; of course, it’s even less likely that fairness or righteousness can be seen among them. This is certain, and as long as you simply know this, then that’s enough. Apart from this, the most important thing is to quiet your heart and further equip yourself with God’s words, and to recognize within yourself the heresies and fallacies, thoughts and views that come from Satan. Only with genuine understanding of these things can you truly see through them; only when you truly see through them can you genuinely reject them and let them go; and only when you have genuinely let them go can you have unmitigated acceptance of and submission to the truth. In this way, the path you follow will be the right one, and it will be illuminated. Your goal will also be the right one, and your attainment of salvation in the end will be an undisputable fact. That’s why you absolutely must not allow the heresies, fallacies, thoughts, and views which Satan instills in you to muddle your thoughts and cloud your eyes; you must not be cynical and dissatisfied with reality and in this way become numb and deceive both yourself and others. Instead, you must pursue the truth, gain the truth as your life, live out the likeness of a true human being, and perform your duty well. This is your proper job, and it is the path you should now follow. As for the state of society, the country, or any industry, those things have nothing to do with you. Why is that? Because they have no effect on your pursuit of the truth, they bear no relation to your pursuit of the truth, no relation to your end, and no relation to your attainment of salvation. Understand? (Yes.) Once you’ve understood this, you should be clear on how to pursue the truth and gain life.

July 14, 2022

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