What It Means to Pursue the Truth (7) Part Three
Next, I will fellowship on the saying, “Sacrifice your own interests for the sake of others.” This saying refers to a virtue in Chinese traditional culture that is seen by people as noble and great. Of course, these opinions are a bit exaggerated and unrealistic, but regardless, it is universally recognized as a virtue. Whenever anyone hears about this virtue, their minds conjure up certain scenes such as: people putting food onto each other’s plates when eating together and leaving the best food for others; people allowing others to go in front of them when in line at the grocery store; people letting others buy tickets first at the train station or the airport; people yielding to others when walking or driving and letting them go first…. These are all such “beautiful” examples of “all for one, and one for all.” Each one of these scenes shows how warm, harmonious, happy, and peaceful, society and the world are. The level of happiness is so high that it is off the charts. If someone asks them, “Why are you so happy?” they reply, “Chinese traditional culture advocates for sacrificing one’s own interest for the sake of others. We all put this idea into practice, and it is not at all difficult for us to do so. We just feel so blessed.” Have such scenes crossed your minds? (Yes.) Where can these scenes be found? They can be found in the spring festival paintings that used to be posted on walls during Chinese New Year before the 1990s. They can be found in people’s minds and even in so-called mirages, or castles in the sky. In short, such scenes do not exist in real life. “Sacrifice your own interests for the sake of others” is, of course, also a demand made by moralists with regard to moral criteria. It is a saying regarding man’s moral conduct which demands that people should first consider others over themselves before acting. They should first consider other people’s interests and not their own. They should think about others and learn to sacrifice themselves—that is, they must abandon their own interests, demands, desires, and ambitions, and even go so far as to abandon all that is theirs and think of others first. Regardless of whether this demand is achievable by man, it must first be asked: What kind of people are the ones proposing this view? Do they understand humanity? Do they understand the instincts and humanity essence of this creature that is man? They do not have the slightest understanding. The people who put forward this saying must have been extremely foolish to place the unrealistic demand to sacrifice one’s interest for the sake of others on the likes of man, a selfish creature that not only has thoughts and free will, but is also full of ambitions and desires. Regardless of whether people are capable of achieving this demand, given people’s essence and instincts as creatures, the moralists who advanced this demand were truly inhumane. Why do I say they were inhumane? For instance, when someone is hungry, they will instinctually feel their own hunger and will not consider whether someone else is hungry. They will say, “I’m hungry, I want to eat something.” They first think of “I.” This is normal, natural, and appropriate. No one who is hungry themselves will go against their true feelings and ask, “What do you want to eat?” Is it normal for someone to ask another what they want to eat when they themselves are hungry? (No.) At night, when someone is tired and exhausted, they will say, “I’m tired. I want to go to sleep.” No one will say, “I’m tired, so can you go to bed and sleep for me? When you sleep, I feel less tired.” Would that not be abnormal if they expressed themselves in this manner? (Yes.) Everything that people are capable of thinking and doing instinctually is all for their own sakes. They are already doing quite well if they are able to take care of themselves—this is human instinct. If you are able to live independently, having reached the point where you can live and handle matters on your own, can take care of yourself, know to go to a doctor when you get sick, understand how to recover from illness, and know how to resolve all the issues and difficulties that arise in life, then you are already doing quite well. However, sacrificing your own interests for the sake of others requires you to abandon these necessities that you have in favor of the interests of others; to do nothing for yourself, instead being required to consider first the interests of others and do everything for the sake of others—is this not inhumane? As I see it, this downright deprives people of their right to live. The basic necessities of life are something you should handle on your own, so why should others sacrifice their own interests to do these things and handle them for you? What kind of person would that make you? Are you somehow mentally challenged, disabled, or a pet? These are all things that people should do instinctually—why should others abandon the things they ought to be doing and sacrifice their energy to do these things for you? Is that appropriate? Is not this requirement to sacrifice one’s interest for the sake of others just some big talk? (Yes.) How does this talk sound, and where does it come from? Is it not borne out of these so-called moralists lacking the slightest understanding of man’s instincts, needs, and essence, and their eagerness to boast about their moral superiority? (Yes.) Is this not inhumane? (Yes.) If everyone sacrificed their own interests for the sake of others, then how would they handle their own affairs? Do you really see everyone else as disabled, incapable of managing their own lives, as idiots, mentally challenged, or imbeciles? If you do not, then why must you abandon your own interests for the sake of others, and demand that others abandon their own interests for you? Even some disabled people do not want others to lend them a helping hand, but instead want to earn their own living and manage their own lives—they do not need others to pay an extra price for them or give them any additional help. They want others to treat them properly; it is a way for them to preserve their dignity. What they need from others is respect, not sympathy and pity. This is even more so the case for those who can take care of themselves, right? Thus, this requirement to sacrifice your own interests for the sake of others does not hold up in My view. It violates man’s instincts and the sense of his conscience, and is, at the very least, inhumane. Even if the aim is to maintain social norms, public order, and normal interpersonal relationships, there’s no need to demand in this unreasonable and inhumane manner that everyone go against their will and live for others. Wouldn’t it be a bit twisted and abnormal if people lived for others and not themselves?
In which circumstances is the requirement to sacrifice one’s own interests for the sake of others applicable? One such circumstance is when parents act for the sake of their children. This is likely to be done for only a limited time. Before the children become adults, parents should do their best to look after them. To raise their children into adulthood and ensure they live healthy, happy, and joyous lives, parents sacrifice their youth, expend their energy, put aside pleasures of the flesh, and even sacrifice their careers and hobbies. They do all of this for their children. This is a responsibility. Why must parents fulfill this responsibility? Because every parent has an obligation to raise their children. It is their unshirkable responsibility. However, people do not have this obligation to society and humankind. If you take care of yourself, do not cause trouble, and do not make trouble for other people, then you are already doing quite well. There is another circumstance where people with physical impairments are unable to look after themselves and require their parents, siblings, and even social welfare organizations to assist them in their lives and help them survive. Another special circumstance is when people or regions are struck by a natural disaster, and they cannot survive without emergency relief. This is a case where they need the help of others. Are there any other circumstances besides these, in which people should sacrifice their own interests for the sake of helping others? Perhaps not. In real life, society is fiercely competitive, and if one does not put every last bit of mental energy into doing one’s work well, it is difficult to get by, to survive. Humankind is incapable of sacrificing their own interests for the sake of others; it is already quite good if they can ensure their own survival and not infringe upon the interests of others. In fact, the true countenance of mankind is even more accurately reflected by the conflicts and vengeful killings in which they engage amidst the social context and circumstances of real life. In sporting events, you see that when athletes exert every last ounce of energy to show who they are and ultimately emerge victorious, not one of them will say, “I don’t want the title of champion. I think you should have it.” No one would ever do that. It is people’s instinct to compete to be first, to be the best, and to be on top. In reality, people are simply incapable of sacrificing their own interests for the sake of others. It is not within man’s instincts to have this need or will to sacrifice his interests for the sake of others. Given man’s essence and nature, he can and will only act for himself. If a person acts for their own interests and, in so doing, is able to take the right path, this is a good thing, and this person can be considered a good creation among men. If, in acting in your own self-interest, you are able to take the right path, pursue the truth and positive things, and have a positive influence on the people around you, you are already doing quite well. Promoting and advancing the idea of sacrificing one’s own interests for the sake of others is nothing more than big talk. It does not align with the needs of man, much less the current state of humankind. Despite the fact that the requirement to sacrifice one’s interests for the sake of others does not align with reality and is inhumane, it still holds a certain place deep within people’s hearts, and, to varying degrees, their thoughts are still influenced and fettered by it. When people only act for themselves, do not act for others, do not help others, or do not think of others or show consideration for them, they often feel condemned at heart. They feel an invisible pressure and sometimes even the critical eyes of others staring at them. Such feelings all arise due to the influence of traditional moral ideology rooted deep within their hearts. Have you also been influenced to varying degrees by traditional culture mandating you must sacrifice your own interests for the sake of others? (Yes.) Many people still approve of the requirements that traditional culture has, and if someone is able to abide by these requirements, people will think well of them and no one will reproach or oppose them, no matter how many of these requirements they fulfill. If someone were to see a person watch someone fall down in the street and not go help them up, everyone would be unhappy with that person, saying that person is so inhumane. This shows that the standards required by traditional culture that are applied to men hold a certain place in people’s hearts. So, if a person is measured based on these things from traditional culture, is it accurate? Those who do not understand the truth will never be able to fully understand this issue. It could be said that traditional culture has been a part of human life for millennia, but what effect has it actually achieved? Has it changed the spiritual outlook of mankind? Has it brought civilization and progress to society? Has it solved issues of public safety in society? Has it been successful in educating mankind? It has solved none of these. Traditional culture has not been effective at all, so we can safely say that its required standards that are applied to man cannot be considered criteria—they are merely constraints meant to bind people’s hands and feet, restrict their thoughts, and regulate their behavior. They make it so that no matter where man goes, he is well-behaved, follows the rules, has a semblance of humanity, respects the elderly, cares for the young, and knows how to respect seniority. They make it so a person does not upset others by appearing naive and impolite. At most, all these standards do is get people to appear a bit more presentable and refined—in reality, this has nothing to do with people’s essence and is only good for gaining a momentary approval from others and satisfying one’s vanity. You feel so delighted when people tell you what a good person you are for running errands for them. When you show that you can care for the young and elderly by giving up your seat for them on the bus, and others say what a good kid you are, and that you are the nation’s future, you also feel delighted. You also delight when you are lining up to buy tickets and you let someone behind you buy theirs first, and others praise you for being thoughtful. After following a few rules and displaying a few acts of good behavior, you feel that you are of noble character. If you believe that you are of a higher status than others after a few one-off good deeds—is this not foolish? This foolishness can cause you to lose your way and your reason. It is not worthwhile to spend too much time fellowshiping about this saying of moral conduct to sacrifice your own interests for the sake of others. The problems associated with it are fairly easy to discern, because it warps and distorts people’s humanity, character, and dignity to such a large degree. It makes them become more insincere, impractical, self-satisfied, and less capable of knowing how they should live, how to discern people, events, and things in real life, and how to deal with the various problems that befall them in real life. People are only capable of lending some help and relieving others of their worries and problems, but lose their bearings on the path they should take in life, are manipulated by Satan and become the subject of its mockery—is this not a mark of humiliation? In any case, this so-called moral standard of sacrificing one’s own interests for the sake of others is an insincere and perverse saying. Of course, in this regard, God just demands of men that they fulfill the obligations, responsibilities, and duties with which they have been charged, that they do not cause hurt, harm, or detriment to people, and that they act in a way where others can profit and benefit—that is good enough. God does not demand that people take on any extra responsibilities or obligations. If you can fulfill all your work, duties, obligations, and responsibilities, you are already doing well—is that not simple? (Yes.) This is easily accomplished. Given that it is so simple and everyone understands it, there is no need to fellowship about it in more detail.
Next, I will discuss the statement on moral conduct, “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral.” The difference between this statement and the other required standards for moral conduct is that this standard is directed specifically at women. “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral” is an inhumane and impractical demand of women proposed by so-called moralists. Why do I say that? This standard demands that all women, be they daughters or wives, must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral. In order to be considered a good and respectable woman, they must practice this kind of moral conduct and possess this moral character. What this implies to men is that women must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, whereas men do not—men need not be virtuous or kind, and much less do they need to be gentle or moral. What must men do? If their wives fail to be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, they can divorce them or abandon them. If a man cannot bear to abandon his wife, what should he do? He should turn her into a virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral woman—this is his responsibility and obligation. Men’s societal responsibility is to strictly oversee, guide and supervise women. They must thoroughly embody their roles as superiors, they must suppress virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral women, serve as their lords and heads of house, and make sure that women do what they ought to and fulfill their rightful obligations. Men, by contrast, do not need to practice this kind of moral conduct—they are an exception to this rule. Given that men are an exception to this rule, this claim on moral conduct is just a standard by which men can judge women. That is, when a man wants to marry a woman with good moral conduct, how should he judge the woman? He can just determine whether the woman is virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral. If she is virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, he can marry her—if she is not, then he should not marry her. If he were to marry such a woman, others would look down on her and even say that she was not a good person. So, what specific requirements do moralists say that women must fulfill in order to be considered virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral? Do these adjectives have specific meanings? There is a great deal of meaning behind each of the four words “virtuous,” “kind,” “gentle,” and “moral,” and not one of these traits is easy for anyone to live up to. No man or intellectual can live up to these traits, and yet they demand that ordinary women do so—this is incredibly unfair to women. So, what are the basic behaviors and specific forms of moral conduct that women must display in order to be considered virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral? Firstly, women must never set foot outside the inner chambers of their residence, and they must bind their feet to a length of around four inches, which is less than the length of a small child’s palm. This restricts women and ensures that they cannot go wherever they please. Before marriage, women are not allowed out of the inner chambers of their residence, must confine themselves to their cloistered boudoirs, and must not show their faces in public. If they can abide by these rules, then they possess the moral character of a virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral unmarried woman. After marrying, a woman must show filial obedience to her parents-in-law and treat her husband’s other relatives graciously. No matter how her husband’s family treats her or abuses her, she must put up with the hardship and criticism, like a faithful workhorse. Not only must she serve all members of the family, both young and old, she must also bear children to carry on the ancestral line, and all without the slightest complaint. No matter how much she is beaten or suffers wrongs at the hands of their parents-in-law and no matter how fatigued she gets and how hard she must work, she can never complain to her husband about any of this. No matter how much she is bullied by her parents-in-law, she cannot let anyone outside the family know and spread any gossip about her family. No matter how she has been wronged, she cannot speak out and must swallow the insults and humiliation silently. Not only must she put up with hardship and criticism, but she must also learn to meekly submit to oppression, stifle her indignation, and endure humiliation and the burden of responsibility—she must learn the arts of endurance and forbearance. Whatever fine foods there might be at a meal, she must first let other members of the family eat them; to show her filial obedience, she must first allow her parents-in-law to eat, then her husband and children. After everyone else has eaten and all the fine food is gone, she is left to fill her stomach with whatever leftovers remain. In addition to the requirements I have just discussed, in modern times, women are also expected to “handle the family’s affairs both inside and outside the home.” When I heard this phrase, I wondered, what are all the men doing if women are expected to handle the family’s affairs both inside and outside the home? Women must cook for the whole family, do chores and take care of the children at home, and go out into the fields and do laboring—they have to excel both at home and outside it, by getting all these jobs done. By contrast, men only have to go to work, then come home and idle away their time in pleasure and do not do any domestic chores. If something angers them at work, they take it out on their wife and children—is this fair? What have you observed from these matters I have discussed? No one places any demands on the moral conduct of men, yet women are expected to handle the family’s affairs inside and outside the home on top of maintaining a virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral character. How many women are able to fulfill such requirements? Is it not unfair to make such demands of women? If a woman makes the slightest mistake, she is beaten, insulted, and might even be abandoned by her husband. Women just have to endure all of this, and if they really cannot take it any longer, they can only choose to commit suicide. Is it not kind of oppressive to specifically make such inhumane demands of women, when they are physically weaker, and less powerful and physically capable than men? Of the women here today, would you not find it excessive if people made such demands of you in real life? Are men really meant to have control over women? Are they meant to be their slavemasters and drive them to endure hardship? Given this perverse state of affairs, can we not conclude that the saying “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral” is effectively causing rifts in society? Is it not clearly elevating men’s status in society, while intentionally diminishing the status of women? This requirement causes men and women to firmly believe that the latter’s social status and value to society is lesser than, rather than equal to, that of men. Therefore, women ought to be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, suffer mistreatment, and be discriminated against, humiliated, and deprived of human rights in society. By contrast, it is taken for granted that men should be the head of the household and reasonably demand that women be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral. Is this not intentionally causing conflict within society? Is this not intentionally creating rifts within society? Will not some women rise up in revolt after suffering mistreatment over a long period of time? (Yes.) Wherever injustice occurs, there will be revolt. Is this saying about moral conduct fair and just to women? At the very least, it is not fair and just to women—it just gives license to men to act even more brazenly, deepens the divides in society, increases men’s status in society and diminishes the status of women, while also depriving women even more of their right to exist, and subtly exacerbating the inequality in status of men and women in society. I can summarize the role women play at home and in society at large, as well as the kind of moral conduct they display, in just two words: punching bag. The saying regarding moral conduct that “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral” demands that women respect the family elders, love and care for junior members of the family, be particularly deferential to their husbands, and wait on them hand and foot. They must handle all the family’s affairs inside and outside the home, and no matter how many hardships they endure, they can never complain—is this not depriving women of their rights? (Yes.) This is depriving women of their freedom, their right to free speech, and their right to live. Is it humane to deprive women of all their rights and still demand that they fulfill their responsibilities? This is tantamount to trampling on women and casting a scourge on them!
It is quite obvious that the moralists who imposed this requirement on women, and cast a scourge on them in the process, were men and not women. Women would not choose to trample down their own kind, so it was certainly the work of men. They worried that if women became too capable, gained too much authority and had too much freedom, they would become men’s equals unless they were put under strict supervision and control. Gradually, capable women would gain higher status than men, stop doing their duties in the household, and this—they believed—would impact on domestic harmony. If individual households lacked harmony, then society as a whole would become disharmonious and this was worrying for the country’s rulers. You see, no matter what we discuss, the conversation always seems to return to the ruling class. They harbor evil intentions and wish to deal with women and take action against them—this is inhumane. They demand that, whether at home or in society at large, women must be utterly obedient, meekly submit to oppression, humble and degrade themselves, swallow all insults, be well-educated and sensible, meek and considerate, and put up with all hardship and criticism, and so on. Clearly, they just expect women to be like punching bags and doormats—if they were to do all this, would they still be human? If they really were able to abide by all these demands, they would not be human; they would be like the idols worshiped by unbelievers that do not eat or drink, are detached from worldly material concerns, never get angry, and have no personality. Or they might be like puppets or machines that do not think or react autonomously. Any actual person will have opinions and viewpoints on the sayings and restrictions of the outside world—they could not possibly meekly submit to all oppression. This is why women’s rights movements have emerged in the modern era. Women’s status in society has gradually risen in the last hundred or so years, and they have finally broken free of the fetters that once bound them. For how many years were women subjected to this bondage? In East Asia, they were subjugated for at least many thousands of years. This bondage was incredibly cruel and brutal—their feet were bound to the point that they could not even walk and no one ever defended these women against injustice. I have heard that in the 17th and 18th centuries, some Western countries and regions also put certain restrictions on women’s freedom. How did they restrict women in those days? They made them wear hoop skirts that were fixed to their waists with metal clasps and propped up with heavy, pendulous metal rings. This made it very inconvenient for women to leave the house or walk around and dramatically reduced their mobility. Women therefore found it very difficult to walk longer distances or to leave their homes. What did women do in these difficult circumstances? All they could do was acquiesce in silence and stay at home, and they could not walk longer distances. Going outside to walk around, see the sights, broaden their horizons, or visit friends was out of the question. This was the method used in Western society to restrict women—it didn’t want women leaving the house and coming into contact with whomever they wanted. In those days, men could ride their horse-drawn carriages wherever they wanted without any limitations, yet women were subject to all kinds of restrictions when leaving the house. In the modern age, fewer and fewer restrictions are now placed on women: Foot-binding has been outlawed and oriental women are free to choose who they want to be in a relationship with. Women are relatively liberated now and are gradually emerging from the shadow of bondage. As they have emerged from this shadow, they have entered society and have slowly begun to take on their fair share of responsibility. Women have achieved relatively high status in society, and enjoy more rights and privileges than before. Gradually, female prime ministers and presidents have started getting elected in certain countries. Is it a good or bad thing for humanity that women’s status is gradually increasing? At the very least, this increase in status has allowed women a measure of freedom and liberation—this is certainly good as far as women are concerned. Is it beneficial to society for women to be free and have the right to express themselves? Actually, it is beneficial; women happen to be capable of doing many things that men either do not do well or do not want to do. Women excel in many lines of work. These days, women can not only drive cars, they also can fly airplanes. Some women are also serving as officials or presidents presiding over the affairs of nations, and they are doing their jobs just as well as men—this is a clear reflection that women are equal to men. Now the rights that women should enjoy are being fully promoted and protected, which is a normal phenomenon. Of course, it is proper that women should enjoy their own rights, but it is only now, after the situation had been distorted for thousands of years, that it has once again become the norm, and that equality between men and women has basically been achieved. Looking at it from the perspective of real life, women are gradually increasing their presence in all social classes and in all industries. What does this tell us? It tells us that women with all kinds of different specializations are gradually putting their talents to play and contributing value to humankind and society. No matter how one looks at this situation, it is certainly of benefit to mankind. If women’s rights and status in society had not been restored, what kind of work would they be doing? They would be at home aiding their husbands and teaching their children, attending to the affairs of the household, and exercising their virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral conduct—they would not be able to fulfill their societal responsibilities at all. Now that their rights are being promoted and protected, women can contribute to society normally, and mankind has enjoyed the benefit of the value and contributions that women have brought to society. From this fact, it is entirely certain that men and women are equals, and that men should not belittle or mistreat women, and that women’s social status should be increased, which all signifies that society is improving. Mankind has a more insightful, correct, and regulated understanding of gender now, and as a result, women have begun to crop up in jobs that people used to think they were incapable of doing. Not only are female workers now often employed in private enterprises, but it has become common for women to fill positions in scientific research departments, and the proportion of women serving in national leadership roles is also increasing. We have also all heard of female writers, singers, entrepreneurs, and scientists, many women have become champions and runners-up in sporting events, and there have even been female heroines in times of war, all of which proves that women are just as able as their male counterparts. The proportion of women employed in every industry is increasing and this is relatively normal. Across all trades and professions in contemporary society, there is less and less bias against women, society is fairer and there is true equality between men and women. Women are no longer constrained and judged by phrases and criteria of moral conduct like “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral” or “A woman must confine herself to her cloistered boudoir.” Women’s rights are relatively more protected now, truly reflecting the social climate of gender equality.
We only seem to see men demanding that women be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, but we never see women demanding the same of men. This is a terribly unfair way to treat women, and even somewhat selfish, despicable, and shameless. One could also say that it is illegal and abusive to treat women like this. In contemporary society, many countries have established laws prohibiting the abuse of women and children. In fact, God does not have anything specific to say regarding mankind’s genders, because both men and women are God’s creations and derive from God. To use a phrase spoken by humankind, “Both the palm and the back of the hand are made of flesh”—God has no particular bias toward men or women, nor does He make distinct demands of one or the other gender, they are both the same. Therefore, God uses the same few standards to judge you regardless of whether you are male or female—He will look at what kind of humanity essence you have, what path you walk, what your attitude is toward the truth, whether you love the truth, whether you have a God-fearing heart, and whether you can submit to Him. When choosing someone and cultivating them to do a certain duty or carry out a certain responsibility, God does not look at whether they are a man or a woman. God promotes and uses people, regardless of whether they are male or female, by looking at whether they have conscience and reason, whether they have acceptable caliber, whether they accept the truth and what path they walk on. Of course, when saving and perfecting mankind, God does not pause to consider their gender. If you are a woman, God does not consider whether you are virtuous, kind, gentle, or moral, or whether you are well-behaved, and He does not evaluate men based upon their virility and masculinity—these are not the standards by which God evaluates men and women. Yet, among the ranks of corrupted mankind, there are always those who discriminate against women, who place certain immoral and inhumane demands on women to deprive them of their rights, of their rightful social status, of the value they should have to society, and who endeavor to restrict and constrain women’s positive development and existence within society, warping their psychological mindsets. This leads women to live their entire lives in a depressed and anguished state, with no choice but to endure a humiliating lifestyle in these twisted and unhealthy social and moral environments. The only reason why this has occurred is because society and the whole world are controlled by Satan, and all manner of demons are wantonly deceiving and corrupting mankind. As a result, people fail to see the true light, do not seek God, and instead unwillingly or unknowingly live under Satan’s trickery and manipulation, unable to extricate themselves. Their only way out is to seek, His appearance and His work in order to achieve understanding of the truth and be capable of clearly seeing and discerning various fallacies, heresies, lies, and preposterous claims that all derive from Satan and evil mankind. Only then will they be able to break free from these constraints, pressures, and influences. And only by viewing people and things and comporting oneself and acting according to God’s words and the truth is one able to live out a human semblance, live with dignity, live in the light, do what one ought to do, fulfill the obligations one should fulfill and, of course, contribute one’s value, and complete one’s mission in life with God’s leadership and guided by correct thoughts and views—is it not very meaningful to live this way? (Yes, it is.) As you reflect back on how Satan has used the saying “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral” to place demands on women and restrict, control, and even enslave them for many millennia, what kind of feelings do you have? When all of you women hear people bring up the phrase “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral,” do you immediately feel opposed to it and say, “Don’t bring that up! It has nothing to do with me. Although I am a woman, God’s words say that this phrase has nothing to do with women”? Some men will say: “If it has nothing to do with you, then who is this phrase directed at? Are you not a woman?” And you will reply: “I am a woman, that is the truth. But those words do not come from God, they are not the truth. Those words come from the devil and from mankind, they trample women down and deprive them of the right to life. Those words are inhumane and unfair to women. I am rising up in resistance!” Rising up in resistance is actually not necessary. All you need to do is have the right approach to these kinds of phrases, reject them, and not be influenced and constrained by them. If, in the future, someone says to you, “You don’t look like a woman, and you speak so coarsely, like a man. Who would ever want to marry you?” how should you reply? You can say, “If no one marries me, so be it. Do you really mean to say that the only way to live with dignity is to be married? Do you mean to say that only women who are virtuous, kind, gentle, moral, and loved by all are real women? That can’t be right—virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral should not be the words by which women are truly defined. Women should not be defined by their gender, and their humanity should not be judged based upon whether they are virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral, but rather, they should be judged using the standards by which God evaluates man’s humanity. This is the fair and objective way to evaluate them.” Do you now have a basic understanding of this saying, “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral”? My fellowshiping should by now have made clear the relevant truths of this saying and the correct viewpoints with which people should approach it.
There is another saying which goes: “When drinking the water of a well, one should never forget who dug it.” I do not want to fellowship on this saying. Why do I not want to fellowship on this saying? This saying is similar in nature to the phrase “Sacrifice your own interests for the sake of others,” and there is something a bit perverse about it as well. How inconvenient would it be if one had to commemorate the digger of a well every time they went to take water from it? Some wells are adorned with red ribbons and talismans—would it not be a bit odd if people also burnt incense and made offerings of fruit there? Compared with the phrase “When drinking the water of a well, one should never forget who dug it,” I much prefer the saying, “Future generations enjoy the shade of trees that were planted by past generations,” because this saying reflects a reality that people can actually personally experience and live through. It takes ten to twenty years for a planted tree to grow to the size where it can provide shade, so the person who planted the tree will not be able to rest in its shade for long, and only subsequent generations will benefit from it throughout their whole lives. This is the natural order of things. By contrast, there is something slightly neurotic about memorializing the digger of a well every time one drinks water from it. Would it not appear a bit mental if every person had to commemorate and remember the digger of the well every time they came to draw water? If there were a drought that year and many people needed to draw water from that well, would it not prevent people from getting their water and cooking food, if everyone had to stand there and reflect on the well-digger prior to drawing water? Would this be really necessary? It would just hold everyone up. Does the well-digger’s soul reside by the well? Can he hear their commemoration? None of this can be confirmed. So this phrase, “When drinking the water of a well, one should never forget who dug it” is absurd and totally meaningless. Chinese traditional culture has proposed many such sayings with regard to moral conduct, the majority of which are absurd, and this particular saying is even more absurd than most. Who was it that dug the well? For whom did he dig it and why? Did he really dig the well for the sake of all people and later generations? Not necessarily. He just did it for himself and to allow his family to have access to drinking water—there was no consideration for later generations. Is it not, then, deceiving and misguiding people to make all later generations commemorate and give thanks to the well-digger and make them think that he dug it for all people? Therefore, the person who proposed this saying was just forcing their own thoughts and viewpoints onto others and compelling them to accept their ideas. This is immoral and will make even more people feel disgust, revulsion and loathing toward such a saying. Those who promote this kind of saying just have certain intellectual impairments that make it inevitable that they will say and do certain ridiculous things. What effects do ideas and views from traditional culture, like the sayings “When drinking the water of a well, one should never forget who dug it” and “The kindness of a drop of water should be repaid with a gushing spring,” have upon people? What do educated people and those with a little bit of knowledge gain from these sayings in traditional culture? Have they actually become good people? Have they lived out a human semblance? Absolutely not. These morality experts who worship traditional culture sit on their high perches at the pinnacle of morality and make moral demands on people that do not accord in the slightest with the true state of their lives—this is immoral and inhumane to all who live on this earth. The moral viewpoints from traditional culture that they promote can turn someone with fairly normal rationality into someone with an abnormal sense of reason, who is capable of saying things that others will find unthinkable and inscrutable. Such people’s humanity is warped and their minds perverted. It is no wonder, then, that many Chinese people tend to say things at sporting events, public venues and in official settings that are a bit off and that people struggle to fathom. Everything they say is empty, ridiculous theory and does not contain the slightest bit of sincere or practical speech. This is the authentic proof, the result of Satan’s corruption of mankind, and the consequence of Chinese people being educated by traditional culture for many millennia. All of this has turned people who lived sincerely and authentically into people who deal in falsehoods, and who excel at disguising and masking themselves to deceive others, people who appear to be incredibly cultured and capable of eloquently opining on theory, yet who, in reality, have warped mentalities and are incapable of speaking sensibly or interacting and communicating with people—they are basically all of this nature. Strictly speaking, such people are verging on mental illness. If you cannot accept these words, I encourage you to experience them. This concludes today’s fellowship.
April 2, 2022