What It Means to Pursue the Truth (4) Part One

Let us start by recalling what we fellowshiped on at our last gathering. (At our last gathering, we fellowshiped on the topic of “what it means to pursue the truth.” We first focused on this question: “Given that the things people hold to be good and right are not the truth, why do people still cling to those things as if they were the truth and think that in doing so, they are pursuing the truth?” You laid out three reasons for this. You mainly talked about the first of those, which was what those things are, exactly, that people hold to be good and right in their notions.) At our last gathering, we mainly fellowshiped about the first reason. We spoke of things that people hold to be good and right in their notions, and we split those things into two broad categories: the first being “good behaviors,” the second being “good moral conduct.” In total, I gave six examples for the first category of “good behaviors”: being well-educated and sensible, being gentle and refined, being courteous, respecting the old and caring for the young, being amiable, and being approachable. We have not yet fellowshiped about the second category, “good moral conduct.” There are some issues that we must review a little after fellowshiping on them, smoothing out and clarifying the truths and principles of that fellowship, making everything crisp and clear. Doing this will make it easier for you to understand the truth. Our fellowship last time was constituted of some broad sections, as well as some specific examples. It seems like a lot, but really, we just fellowshiped about some specific things within those broad sections, and we broke those specifics down further, so that the fellowship would be a bit clearer and more distinct. We gave six examples of good behaviors, but we did not fellowship in detail about each of them, one by one. Among those examples, being well-educated and sensible is a classic representation of what people hold to be right and good in their notions. We gave a bit more fellowship on this example. The rest are similar to it; you can use a similar method to analyze and discern them.

Today, before we get to the proper content of our fellowship, I will tell you two short stories. Do you like listening to stories? (Yes.) It is not so tiring, listening to a story, and it does not require too much concentration. It is not very strenuous, relatively speaking, and it can be quite interesting. So, listen attentively, and while you listen to the content of the stories, consider also why I am telling them—what specific, central ideas are contained within them, or in other words, what practical things people can gain by listening to them. Alright—let us begin our stories. These are the stories of Xiaoxiao and Xiaoji.

The Stories of Xiaoxiao and Xiaoji

For some time, Xiaoxiao had felt a pain in his eyes, along with blurred vision, sensitivity to light, tears brought about by the wind, the feeling that there was something in his eyes, and other such symptoms. He would rub them, but it did not help much. Xiaoxiao did not know what was wrong with him. He thought, “I’ve never had a problem with my eyes before, and my vision’s fine. What’s happening?” When he looked in the mirror, his eyes looked much the same as before—just a bit redder, and sometimes a little bloodshot. This was baffling to Xiaoxiao, and a bit unsettling. He did not pay the issue too much mind when it first began, but when his symptoms started to come on with increasing frequency, he eventually could not take it any longer. He gave it some thought: “Should I go to the doctor, or try to look it up myself? Finding information on this would be a pain, and I may misdiagnose what the actual problem is. I’d better go straight to the doctor; he’ll be sure to give an accurate diagnosis.” So, Xiaoxiao went to the doctor. The doctor examined him and found no major problems. He prescribed some regular eye-drops and advised Xiaoxiao to take care of his eyes and not to overwork them. Xiaoxiao was very relieved to know there was not a major problem with his eyes. After he got back home, Xiaoxiao used the eye-drops every day, at the times and in the dosage the doctor had ordered him to, and within a few days, his symptoms improved. A great weight was lifted from Xiaoxiao’s heart: He felt that if medicine could cure it, the problem could not be serious. But that feeling did not last for long, and a while later, his symptoms came back. Xiaoxiao upped his eye-drop dosage, and his eyes felt a bit better, and his symptoms were somewhat relieved. But a few days later, his eyes went back to the way they were before, and the symptoms got worse and more frequent. Xiaoxiao could not make sense of it, and he felt another wave of unhappiness rush over him: “What should I do? The medicine the doctor gave me isn’t working. Does this mean there’s something seriously wrong with my eyes? I can’t ignore this.” He decided not to see the doctor again or to consult him about his eye troubles this time. Instead, he chose to solve the problem on his own. He went online and found all sorts of videos and information relating to his symptoms. Most of them said that these problems were caused by the improper use of one’s eyes, that he needed to take care of his eyes, and that it was even more important for him to use them properly. Xiaoxiao felt that this advice was not helpful, and that it could not solve his problem. So, he continued looking for information. One day, he came upon a resource that said his symptoms may be caused by a retinal hemorrhage, which could be a precursor to glaucoma. It was also possible that his symptoms could develop into cataracts as they progressed. When Xiaoxiao read the words “glaucoma” and “cataracts,” it set his head abuzz. Everything went black and he nearly fainted, his heart was thumping in his chest. “Oh, God, what is happening? Am I really going to have glaucoma and cataracts? I’ve heard that cataracts require surgery, and that if you have glaucoma, you’re likely to go blind! That would be the end of me, wouldn’t it? I’m still young and if I do go blind, how will I, as a blind person, get through the rest of my life? What would I have to look forward to from there? Wouldn’t I have to spend my life in darkness?” When Xiaoxiao looked at the words “glaucoma” and “cataracts” on the page, he found that he could not sit still anymore. He was distraught, and he was plunging deeper into depression and despondency. He did not know what to do, or how he would face the days to come. He was filled with sadness and everything that lay before him was lost in a haze. In the face of this problem, Xiaoxiao fell completely into despair. He lost interest in living, and he could not muster the energy to perform his duty. He did not want to go back to the doctor or mention his eye problems to other people. Of course, he was afraid of people learning that he was going to develop glaucoma or cataracts. And just like that, Xiaoxiao passed day after day, in depression, negativity, and confusion. He did not dare to make predictions or plans for his future, because to him, the future was a terrible, heartbreaking thing. He lived his days in depression and despair, in a dreadful mood. He did not want to pray or read God’s words, and he certainly did not want to speak with other people. It was as if he had become a completely different person. After a few days of this, Xiaoxiao had a sudden thought: “This is a sorry condition that I seem to be in. Since my future is bleak and God, instead of protecting me, allowed me to get this disease, why should I keep performing my duty properly? Life is short; why don’t I take the opportunity, while my eyesight is still good, to do some of the things that I like and treat myself? Why should my life be so exhausting? Why should I hurt myself and treat myself so badly?” And so, when Xiaoxiao was not sleeping, eating, or working, he spent most of his time on the internet, playing games, watching videos, binge-watching shows, and when he went out, he even took his phone with him and played games on it incessantly. He spent his days engrossed in the world of the internet. Naturally, as he did so, the pain in his eyes got worse and worse, and his symptoms became more severe, too. When he could not stand it anymore, he used some of his eye-drops to relieve his symptoms, and when they got a bit better, he would re-immerse himself in the internet, watching the things that he liked. This was his way to alleviate the fear and terror deep in his heart, and this was his way to pass the time, to get through his days. Whenever his eyes hurt and his symptoms got worse, Xiaoxiao would subconsciously look at the people around him and think, “Other people use their eyes like I do. Why don’t their eyes get red, and tear up all the time, and feel like there’s something stuck in them? Why am I the one with this disease? Isn’t this God playing favorites? I have expended myself so much for God; why won’t He protect me? God is so unfair! Why is everyone else lucky enough to gain God’s protection, yet I can’t? Why does all the rotten luck always fall to me?” The more Xiaoxiao thought, the angrier and more annoyed he became, and the angrier he got, the more he wanted to use online entertainment and pastimes to dispel his bitterness and anger. He wanted to be rid of his eye disease as soon as possible, but the more he wanted to get rid of his bitterness and anger, the less joy and peace he had, and the more unlucky he felt, no matter how engrossed he became in the internet. And in his heart, he complained about God being unfair. Days went by like this, one after another. Xiaoxiao’s eye problem did not get any better, and his mood got worse and worse. Against that backdrop, Xiaoxiao felt all the more powerless and unlucky. Xiaoxiao’s life went on like this. No one could help him, and he sought no help. He just went through every day in a haze, depressed, and powerless.

That was Xiaoxiao’s story. We will finish it here. Next is Xiaoji’s story.

While performing his duty, Xiaoji encountered the same problem as Xiaoxiao. His vision got blurry, and his eyes often felt swollen and sore. This was frequently accompanied by the sensation that there was something stuck in his eyes, and his eyes did not feel any better after he rubbed them. He thought, “What’s going on here? My eyes used to be great; I’ve never been to an eye doctor before. What has been happening to them recently? Could there be a problem with my eyes?” When he looked in the mirror, his eyes did not look any different than before. He just felt a burning sensation in his eyes, and when he blinked hard, they felt even sorer and swollen, and they began to water. Xiaoji felt that there was something wrong with his eyes, and he thought, “Eye problems are a big deal. I shouldn’t ignore this. Even so, I don’t feel that bad, and it hasn’t affected my life or my duty. Things have been so busy with the church’s work recently, and going to the doctor would have repercussions on my duty. I’ll just look for information about it when I have free time.” After making this decision, Xiaoji sought out relevant information when he had some time away from his duty, and he learned that there was no major problem with his eyes—his discomfort came from long-term, over-use of his eyes. With proper eye use, appropriate care, and some suitable exercises, his eyes would go back to normal. Xiaoji was very happy when he read that. “It’s not a major problem, so there’s no need to be too worried about it. This source says that I’ve got to use my eyes properly and exercise them correctly—so, I’ll just look into how to use my eyes properly and what exercises I should do to get them back to normal.” He then sought out more relevant information and from it, he picked a few methods and approaches that suited his situation. From then on, in addition to his normal life and performing his duty, Xiaoji had a new job: the work of caring for his eyes. He practiced the eye-care techniques that he had learned every day. As he tried them out, he felt out whether they were alleviating the symptoms that his eyes had exhibited. After a period of testing them out and trying them, Xiaoji felt that some of the methods were workable, while others were good only in theory, not in practice—they could not fix his problems, at least. And so, based on his findings from that initial period, Xiaoji picked a few methods and techniques for maintaining eye-health that worked for him. He practiced proper eye-use and eye care every day, whenever it would not delay his duty to do so. After a while, Xiaoji’s eyes really did feel better and better; his previous symptoms—redness, soreness, the burning sensation, and so on—slowly began to fade, and they occurred less and less frequently. Xiaoji felt very fortunate. “Thanks be to God for His leadership. This is His grace and His guidance.” Though his eyes exhibited fewer problems and his symptoms were getting less severe, Xiaoji continued to practice those eye-care methods and using his eyes correctly, without slacking off. And after a while, his eyes returned entirely back to normal. From his experience, Xiaoji learned some ways to keep his eyes healthy, and he also learned how to use his eyes and live correctly. He added some positive, commonsense knowledge to his repertoire in life. Xiaoji was very happy. He felt that though he had experienced some ups and downs and had some unusual experiences, he had ultimately gained some precious life experience from it. Whenever someone around him said that their eyes hurt, that they were puffy and sore, Xiaoji would tell them candidly about his experience and the approaches and techniques that he had used. With Xiaoji’s help, those experiencing symptoms of eye problems also learned ways and methods to use their eyes correctly and to keep their eyes healthy. Xiaoji was happy, and he was of great help to the people around him. And so, over that time, Xiaoji and the others gained some commonsense knowledge that people ought to have in their lives as humans. Everyone worked and performed their duties together, happily and joyfully. Xiaoji did not succumb to negativity or powerlessness because of his eye problem, nor did he ever complain about his bad luck. Though he saw some of the alarming claims when looking for information that Xiaoxiao did, he did not pay them too much mind. Instead, he actively and properly resolved his problem. When the same thing happened to Xiaoxiao, he fell repeatedly into depression, into powerlessness and confusion. Xiaoji, on the other hand, not only avoided falling into depression and confusion, he also did not get caught up in resentment against God—and he even gained from these events a more beneficial, active, and positive attitude toward life. He helped himself, and he helped others.

Those were the stories of Xiaoxiao and Xiaoji. You have now heard both of their stories. Have you understood them? Which of them do you like: Xiaoxiao or Xiaoji? (Xiaoji.) So, what is bad about Xiaoxiao? (When things befell him, he wasn’t able to face them properly. He was negative and resistant.) To be negative and resistant is to bring about one’s own destruction. When things befall other people, they can seek the truth to resolve them, but when something befell Xiaoxiao, he was not able to seek the truth, he opted for negativity and resistance. He was courting his own ruin. Information may be advanced nowadays, but in this satanic world, lies and trickery abound. The world is full of lies and trickery. When facing any issue or any kind of information in this chaotic world, people must have wisdom, they must be intelligent and perceptive, and they must be discerning. They must filter different kinds of information stringently, from a proper standpoint. People must not readily believe any claim, and they must certainly not readily accept any kind of information. In Satan’s world, people all lie, and liars are never held accountable. They tell their lies and that is it. No one in this world denounces lies; no one denounces trickery. Man’s heart is difficult to fathom, and behind every liar, there is an intent and a goal. For instance, you see the doctor, and he says, “Your disease needs to be treated quickly. If we don’t, it may develop into cancer!” If you are timid, you will be afraid: “Oh no! It may develop into cancer! Let’s treat it right away!” And as a result, the more you try to cure it, the worse it grows, and you wind up in the hospital. What the doctor actually said was that your disease may develop into cancer, which means that it is not yet cancer, yet you misunderstood this to mean that it must be treated urgently as if it were cancer. Are you not courting death by doing this? If you treat it as cancer, then the more you try to cure it, the quicker you will die. Would you be able to survive much longer, then? (No.) What you are sick with is not, in fact, cancer, so why would the doctor tell you that if you do not treat it, it will develop into cancer? He says this in order to cheat you out of money, to get you to treat your disease as if it were a serious one. If you knew it was a minor ailment, you would not try to cure it, and he would not be able to get your money. When many doctors see their patients, they grab hold of them, like a demon grabs hold of a person, and they hold on tightly and they do not let go. This is a common approach that most doctors use with their patients. They begin by telling you how renowned they are, how good they are at medicine, how many people they have cured, what diseases they have cured, and how long they have been practicing medicine. They get you to trust them, to sit straight down and accept their treatment. Then, they tell you you are going to contract a major illness, and that if you do not undergo treatment, you may die. Everybody dies, but will it really be this disease that kills you? Not necessarily. The life and death of every person are in God’s hands. It is He who decides them, not doctors. Doctors often use this ploy to trick people. Those who are timid and death-fearing seek medical advice everywhere and let doctors make pronouncements about their health. If their doctor says that they have a chance of developing cancer, they believe them, and they rush to let the doctor treat it, to dispel the risk of them dying from cancer. Are they not just scaring themselves? (They are.) We will stop talking about doctors now and continue speaking about Xiaoxiao and Xiaoji. Their perspectives, viewpoints, and stances regarding everything that happens around them could not be more different. Xiaoxiao is nothing but a bundle of negativity, whereas Xiaoji is able to approach things that befall him properly. He has the reason and judgment of normal humanity and he faces things in an active way. He also keeps on performing his duty. The two of them could not be more different. When something befalls Xiaoxiao, he writes the situation off as hopeless, and acts recklessly. He does not seek the proper method and means to address it, and he is also undiscerning, muddled, foolish, pig-headed, and intransigent—and quite malicious, too. When he gets sick, or when he encounters some difficulty, or something bad happens to him, he hopes that it will happen to everyone else, too. He hates God for not protecting him, and he wishes to vent his anger. But he does not dare to vent and take out his anger on others, so he vents his rage and takes out his anger on himself. Is this not a vicious disposition? (It is.) To be resentful, hateful, and envious when some small thing does not go your way—that is viciousness. When something befalls Xiaoji, he has the reason and judgment of normal humanity. He has the wisdom and He makes the choices that someone with normal humanity ought to. Though Xiaoji had the same ailment as Xiaoxiao, his problem was resolved in the end, whereas Xiaoxiao was never able to resolve his problem, and it deteriorated steadily and grew ever more intense. Xiaoxiao’s problem is a serious one, and it is not merely one of fleshly sickness—he exposed the disposition that lay in the depths of his heart; he exposed his own stubbornness, intransigence, foolishness, and maliciousness. That is the difference between the two of them. If you have more detailed knowledge and understanding of how these two people live, as well as their attitudes and methods for dealing with things, you can continue fellowshiping about it later, holding yourself up against it for comparison, and derive a lesson from it. Of course, you should enter into things in an active way, like Xiaoji. You should approach life properly, and strive to view people and things, and to comport yourself and act according to God’s words, with the truth as your criterion, such that you become one who pursues the truth. You must not be like Xiaoxiao. Is that not so? (It is.) That is how you should pursue and practice.

Now, we will take a look back at what we fellowshiped on at our last gathering. We talked about the first aspect of things that people hold in their notions to be right and good—good behaviors—and we listed six examples of good behaviors. All of them were things promoted by traditional culture, and good behaviors that people like in their real lives. Can you tell Me what they were? (Being well-educated and sensible, being gentle and refined, being courteous, respecting the old and caring for the young, being amiable, and being approachable.) We did not give any other examples. It may be there are some differences from the six representative good behaviors put forward by traditional Chinese culture within the traditional cultures of other countries, but we will not list these. Last time we fellowshiped on and analyzed some of the specific content of these six good behaviors. Overall, these external good behaviors do not represent the positive things within humanity, and much less do they represent that a person’s disposition has changed—they certainly do not prove that someone understands the truth and lives out its reality. They are merely external behaviors that can be seen by man. Simply put, they are man’s external manifestations. These external manifestations and outpourings are merely formalities that happen when people interact, get along with each other, and live with each other. What does “formalities” refer to? It refers to the most superficial things that put people at ease when they see them. They represent nothing of people’s essence, nor their thoughts and views, nor their attitude toward positive things, and less still do they represent people’s attitude toward the truth. The requirements and standards of evaluation that mankind has regarding external behaviors are just formalities that people can comprehend and achieve. They have nothing whatsoever to do with man’s essence. However amiable or approachable people may seem on the surface, and no matter how much others like, respect, revere, and worship the external behaviors that they live out, it does not mean that they have humanity, nor does it mean that their nature and essence are good, or loving of positive things, or possessed of a sense of righteousness, and, of course, less still does it mean that they are people who can pursue the truth. All of the good behaviors that have been summarized by mankind are no more than some external manifestations and lived out things that mankind promotes in order to differentiate itself from other forms of life. For example, being well-educated and sensible, being gentle and refined, and being courteous—these good behaviors only show that a person is externally quite well-behaved, polite, educated, and cultured, unlike animals, which follow no rules. People wipe their mouths with their hands or napkins after they eat or drink, cleaning themselves up a little. If you tried to wipe a dog’s mouth after it ate or drank, it would not be happy about it. Animals do not understand such things. Why do people, then? Because people are “higher animals,” so they ought to understand these things. So, these good behaviors are just what man uses to regulate the behavior of the biological group that is mankind, and they do no more than differentiate mankind from lower forms of life. They have nothing at all to do with comportment, or the pursuit of truth, or worshiping God. This means that though you may outwardly live up to the standards and requirements of being well-educated and sensible, being gentle and refined, and so on, though you may have these good behaviors, it does not mean that you are someone who has humanity, or someone who possesses the truth, or someone who fears God and shuns evil. It does not mean any of those things at all. On the contrary, it only means that after going through the system of behavioral education, and of the norms of etiquette, your speech, and facial expressions, bearing, and so forth have become a bit more disciplined. It shows that you are better than animals and have a bit of human likeness—but it does not show you to be someone who pursues the truth. It may even be said that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the pursuit of truth. That you are possessed of these good behaviors does not at all mean that you possess the right conditions for pursuing the truth, and less still does it mean that you have already entered into the reality of the truth and gained the truth. It is completely undemonstrative of those things.

Anyone who has kept a cat or a dog as a pet will feel that there is something lovable about them. A few cats and dogs actually have some manners. When some cats want to go into their master’s room, they will meow a few times at the door before entering. They will not go in if their master says nothing, they will only enter once their owner says: “Come in.” Even cats can practice this kind of etiquette, they know to ask permission before entering their master’s room. Is that not a sort of good behavior? If even animals can possess this kind of good behavior, how much higher can the good behaviors that people possess make them than animals? This is the minimum level of common sense that people ought to possess—it does not need to be taught, it is a very normal thing. People may feel that this kind of good behavior is relatively appropriate, and it may make them feel somewhat more comfortable, but does living out these good behaviors represent the quality or essence of their humanity? (No.) It does not. They are merely rules and methods that one should have in their actions—they have nothing at all to do with the quality and essence of one’s humanity. Take cats and dogs, for instance—what do they have in common? When people give them something to eat, they express intimacy and gratitude. They possess this kind of conduct, and they can exhibit this kind of behavior. What is different about them is that one of them specializes in catching mice, while the other specializes in guarding the house. A cat may leave its master at any time and any place; and when there is fun to be had, a cat will forget its master and pay them no mind. A dog will never leave its master; if it identifies you as its master, then even if it changes owners, it will still recognize you and treat you as its master. That is the difference between cats and dogs, in terms of the moral quality of their behavior and their essence. Now, let’s talk about people. Among the behaviors that man believes to be good, like being well-educated and sensible, being courteous, being approachable, and so on, though there are some that surpass the behavior of other species—meaning that what man is able to do exceeds the capabilities of other species—these are no more than external behaviors and rules, they are simply approaches that are meant to regulate people’s behavior and differentiate them from other forms of life. Possessing these good behaviors may make people feel that they are different from or better than other forms of life, but the fact is that in some respects, people behave worse than animals. Take respecting the old and caring for the young, for instance. In the animal kingdom, wolves do this better than people. In a wolfpack, adult wolves will care for a pup, no matter who it belongs to. They will not bully it or harm it. This, man fails to do, and in this way, mankind is worse than a pack of wolves. What sort of respect for the old and care for the young does mankind possess? Are people truly capable of achieving this? Most people are not capable of “caring for the young,” people are not possessed of that sort of good behavior, which means that they do not possess that kind of humanity. For example: When a child is with their parents, people will be quite amiable and approachable when speaking to that child—but when their parents are not there, people’s demonic side pours forth. If the child speaks to them, they will ignore them, or even find the child disagreeable and abuse them. How wicked they are! In many countries in the world, child trafficking is not uncommon—it is a global problem. If people do not even possess the good behavior of respecting the old and caring for the young, and they feel no pang of conscience when they bully children, tell Me, what kind of humanity is that? They still pretend to respect the old and care for the young, but this is just a facade. Why do I give this example? Because even though mankind has put forward these good behaviors and proposed these requirements and standards for people’s behavior, man’s corrupt essence can never be changed, regardless of whether people are capable of achieving them, or how many good behaviors they possess. The criteria for man’s views on people and things, and for his comportment and actions, arise entirely from corrupt mankind’s thoughts and views, and they are determined by corrupt dispositions. Though the requirements and standards that mankind has put forward are recognized as good and high standards, are people capable of achieving them? (No.) That is a problem. Even if a person acts a bit better outwardly, and is rewarded and recognized for it, that, too, is adulterated with pretense and trickery, because, as everyone acknowledges, doing a bit of good is easy—what is hard is doing good for a lifetime. If they are truly a good person, why is it so hard for them to do good things? So, no person can live up to mankind’s so-called “good” and recognized standards. It is all bragging, fraud, and fiction. Even if people can outwardly fulfill a few of these standards and possess a bit of good behavior—like being well-educated and sensible, being gentle and refined, being courteous, respecting the old and caring for the young, being amiable, and being approachable—though people can do and possess a few of these things, it is only for a short time, temporarily, or in some passing environment. They only possess these manifestations when they need to. As soon as something touches on their status, pride, wealth, interests, or even their fate and their prospects, their nature and ferocious inner self will burst forth. They will no longer appear well-educated and sensible, gentle and refined, courteous, respectful toward older people and caring toward the young, amiable, or approachable. Instead, they will fight and scheme against one another, each trying to outwit the other, framing and killing each other. Such things happen all too often—for the sake of their interests, their status, or their authority, friends, relatives, and even fathers and sons will try to massacre each other until only one of them is left standing. The miserable situation that exists between people is clear to see. That is why being well-educated and sensible, being gentle and refined, being courteous, respecting the old and caring for the young, being amiable, and being approachable can only be called the products of passing circumstances. No person can truly live them out—not even the sages and great men worshiped by the Chinese were capable of these things. So, these teachings and theories are all absurd. They are all pure nonsense. People who pursue the truth are able to resolve matters that touch on their personal interests according to God’s words, and with the truth as their criterion, and they are able to practice the truth and submit to God. In this way, the reality of the truth that they possess surpasses the standards for good behavior acknowledged by mankind. Those who do not pursue the truth cannot break through the barrier of their own interests, and as such, they cannot put the truth into practice. They cannot even uphold rules like good behaviors. What, then, are the basis and criteria for their views on people and things, and for their comportment and actions? Certainly, they are just rules and doctrines, they are Satan’s philosophies and laws, and not God’s word or the truth. This is because those people do not accept the truth, and they are only looking out for their own interests, so naturally, they cannot put the truth into practice. They cannot even uphold good behaviors—they try to fake it, but they cannot keep up their disguises. In this, they expose their true colors. For the sake of their own interests, they will struggle, snatch, and rob, they will plot, scheme, and engage in trickery, they will punish others, and even kill someone. They can do all of these vicious things—is their nature not exposed in that? And when their nature is exposed, others can easily see the intents and bases for their words and actions; others can tell that those people are living entirely by Satan’s philosophies, that the basis for their views on people and things, and for their comportment and actions, is Satan’s philosophies. For example: “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “Money makes the world go round,” “Where there is life there is hope,” “A small mind makes no gentleman, a real man is not without venom,” “If you’re unkind, I won’t be fair,” “Give them a taste of their own medicine,” and so on—these satanic lines of logic and laws take charge within people. When people live by these things, good behaviors like being well-educated and sensible, being gentle and refined, being courteous, respecting the old and caring for the young, and so forth become masks that people use to disguise themselves, they become facades. Why do they become facades? Because the foundation and laws that people truly live by are things inculcated in man by Satan, and not the truth. And thus, man’s most rudimentary conscience and morality have no effect on a person who does not love the truth. When something happens that is connected to their interests, their true self will burst forth, and at that time people will see their real face. People will say with shock, “But aren’t they usually so gentle, courteous, and gentlemanly? Why is it that when something befalls them, they seem to turn into an entirely different person?” In fact, that person did not change; it is just that their true self had not been revealed and exposed until then. When things do not touch on their interests and before the gloves come off, everything they do is trickery and a disguise. The laws and basis of their existence that they reveal when their interests are affected or threatened, and when they stop disguising themselves, are their nature, their essence, and who they really are. So, whatever sort of good behaviors a person has—no matter how impeccable their external behavior seems to other people—it does not mean that they are someone who pursues the truth and loves positive things. At the very least, it does not mean that they have normal humanity, and less still does it mean that they are trustworthy or worth interacting with.

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