How to Pursue the Truth (1)
What topic did we fellowship on at our last gathering? (Why man must pursue the truth.) After we finished fellowshiping, I gave you a homework topic—what was it? (How to pursue the truth.) Have you contemplated on this topic? (God, I have contemplated on it a little. When it comes to how to pursue the truth, it is about examining our outpourings of corruption and corrupt dispositions in all the people, events, and things that we encounter each day, and then seeking the truth to resolve these issues. At the same time, the performance of a duty touches on certain principles, so we must seek relevant truths to understand how to act according to these principles when we are approaching different duties—that is another way that pursuing the truth is practiced.) So for one thing, seeking the truth in one’s daily life, and for another, by seeking the truth principles while fulfilling one’s duty. Are there any other aspects of this pursuit? This should not be a difficult topic, should it? Did you contemplate on “how to pursue the truth”? How did you contemplate on it? Contemplating on this topic should entail spending a certain amount of time thinking about it, and then making notes on the knowledge gained through that contemplation. If you only take a quick look at it and think about it a little, but do not spend time or energy on it, or think about it carefully, that is not contemplation. Contemplating means that you think about the matter seriously, you put real effort into pondering it, you gain some concrete knowledge, and you receive enlightenment and illumination, and you reap some rewards—these are results that are achieved through contemplation. Now, did you really contemplate on this topic? None of you really contemplated on it, did you? Last time, I gave you homework, a topic so that you could prepare, but none of you contemplated on the topic and you did not take it seriously. Were you hoping that I would just spoon-feed you? Or did you think, “This topic is very simple, there’s no depth to it. We’ve already figured it out, so we don’t need to contemplate—we already understand it”? Or is it that you are not interested in questions and matters related to the pursuit of the truth? What is the problem? It cannot be that you are too busy with work, can it? Really, what is the reason? (After listening to God’s questions and reflecting on myself, I think that the main reason is that I do not love the truth. I did not take God’s words seriously, and I did not earnestly contemplate on the truth. I was also hoping to be spoon-fed an answer. I was hoping that once God had finished fellowshiping on the topic, I would be able to understand it. That was the attitude that I had.) Are most people like this? It seems that you are used to being spoon-fed. When it comes to the truth, you are not very meticulous and you do not make much of an effort. You especially love doing things and running around blindly. All you do is idle your time away; you are muddle-headed when dealing with the truth, and you do not take it seriously. That is your true state.
How to pursue the truth is one of the topics most commonly fellowshiped on in God’s house. Most people understand some doctrine about how to pursue the truth, and they know some approaches and ways to practice it. There are some people who have believed in God for a long time who more or less have some real experiences, and they have also experienced failures and falls, and have had negativity and weakness. In the process of pursuing the truth, they have also experienced many ups and downs, and in pursuing the truth, they have learned from their experiences and have some rewards. Naturally, they have also encountered many difficulties and obstructions, as well as various actual problems in their lives or environments. In short, most people have some level of understanding about the pursuit of the truth, whether in form only or through some practical problems, and they also have some doctrinal knowledge of it. Once people have started believing in God or walking the path of the pursuit of the truth, regardless of whether they have really paid a price on that path or if they have only made a little effort in their approach to pursuing the truth, more or less all of them will have some understanding of it. For those who love the truth, this understanding represents genuine and precious rewards, but those who do not pursue the truth have no experience, no learning from their experience, or reward. In sum, the majority of people are moving forward hesitantly and harboring a “wait-and-see” attitude while pursuing the truth, while at the same time experiencing a bit of what it feels like to pursue it. In most people’s thoughts, views, or consciousness, pursuing the truth is a positive thing and of the greatest significance. They think of it as a life goal that people should pursue, and even more than that, as the correct road that they should follow in life. Whether on a theoretical level or based on their real experiences and knowledge, people all regard pursuing the truth as a good thing and the most positive thing. There is no pursuit or path that mankind engages in that can compare to the pursuit of the truth or the path of pursuing it. Pursuing the truth is the only correct road that humans should follow. As a member of the human race, the pursuit of the truth should be the life goal of every person, and they should view it as the correct path for people to follow. Now, how should one pursue the truth? Just now, you brought up some simple, theoretical ideas, which most people would probably agree with. Everyone thinks that these kinds of pursuits and practices relate to pursuing the truth. They believe that the things which specifically relate to pursuing the truth are merely: gaining knowledge of oneself, confessing and repenting, and then finding the truth principles to practice from God’s words, and ultimately, living out His words in one’s everyday life and entering into the truth reality. This is the common understanding and comprehension that most people have of how to pursue the truth. Aside from the methods you can recognize and comprehend, I have summarized some more specific paths and methods of practice for pursuing the truth. Today, we will fellowship in more detail on this matter.
Aside from the few methods you have listed, I have gone into more detail and summarized two methods for how to pursue the truth. One method is “letting go.” Is this simple? (It is simple.) This is neither abstract nor complicated. It is also easy to remember and easy to understand. Of course, practicing it may involve a certain level of difficulty. You see, this method is much simpler than the ones you brought up. What you said was just a stack of theories. They seem lofty and deep and, of course, there is a concrete side to them, but they are much more complicated than what I just told you. The first method is “letting go,” and the second is “devoting yourself.” Just these two methods, four words in total. People can understand them just by looking at them, and people know how to practice them without fellowshiping about them—they are also easy to remember. What is the first method? (Letting go.) The second? (Devoting yourself.) You see? Are they not simple? (They are simple.) They are much more succinct than what you said. What is this called? This is called being incisive. Does using fewer words necessarily mean that something is incisive? (It doesn’t.) Whether or not something is incisive is unimportant. What is crucial is whether the key point is being made and whether it is functional when people put it into practice. Additionally, it is important to look at what results are achieved by practicing it; whether it can resolve people’s practical difficulties; whether it helps people to follow the path of pursuing the truth; whether it allows people to resolve their corrupt dispositions at the source; and whether practicing it helps people to come before God, and accept His words and the truth, thereby achieving the results and goals that the pursuit of the truth is supposed to attain. Is this correct? (It is.) You have now heard these two methods of “letting go” and “devoting yourself,” and you know them. What is the relationship between these two methods and pursuing the truth? Are they linked to those methods you have mentioned, or do they conflict with them? This is still not very clear, is it? (It is still not very clear.) Generally speaking, the specific methods of practicing the pursuit of the truth are the two that I just discussed. Of these two methods, what is the specific content of the first one: letting go? What is the most simple and direct thing you can think of when you hear the words “letting go”? How does one put this method into practice? What are its specific parts and content? (Letting go of one’s corrupt disposition.) What else, aside from one’s corrupt disposition? (Notions and imaginings.) Notions and imaginings, emotions, one’s will, and one’s preferences. What else? (Satanic philosophies for living, mistaken values and outlooks on life.) (One’s intents and desires.) In short, when people try to think of things they should let go of, aside from various behaviors related to corrupt dispositions, they also think of things that make up people’s thoughts and views. So, there are two major parts: One involves corrupt dispositions and the other involves people’s thoughts and views. Aside from these two, what else can you think of? You are perplexed, are you not? What is the reason for this? The reason is that the things that come to your mind immediately are the topics which, in your everyday life since you began believing in God, you frequently encounter and which people often speak about. But as to the problems that no one mentions, which nevertheless exist in people—you do not know them, you are not aware of them, you could not come up with them, and you have also never seen them as problems to contemplate. This is the reason that you are perplexed. I am discussing this with you because I want you to think over and carefully consider the issue we will be fellowshiping on next, and for it to make a deep impression on you.
Now we will fellowship on the two major things related to how one is to pursue the truth: number one, letting go, and number two, devoting yourself. Let us start by fellowshiping on the first thing—letting go. This is not simply the letting go of sentiment, worldly philosophies, self-will, desire for blessings, and other such general interpretations. The practice of “letting go” on which I will fellowship today has a more specific designation and requires that people examine and practice it in their daily lives. What is to be mentioned first regarding letting go? The first thing that people must let go of in their pursuit of the truth are the various human emotions. What do you think of when I mention these various emotions? What do these emotions include? (Hotheadedness, willfulness, and passivity.) Is hotheadedness an emotion? (I understand emotions to mean when people do things while performing their duties according to how they feel. They adopt different attitudes toward things depending on whether they feel good or not.) Are these the emotions I have been talking about? Is this how emotions are to be explained? (God, my understanding of emotions is that they mostly include irritability, annoyance, along with the pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy.) This is an appropriate generalization. So what was mentioned just now about people doing things according to how they feel, is that an emotion? (That is just a manifestation.) It is a kind of manifestation of emotion. Feeling bad, irritable, and downcast—these are all manifestations of emotion, but they are not the definition of emotion at all. So, how should people understand the first thing they need to let go of in the pursuit of the truth—the various emotions? What are people letting go of when they let go of the various emotions? It is to let go of the feelings, thoughts and emotions that arise in various situations and contexts, as well as with various people, events, and things. Some of these emotions become a person’s self-will. And, although some do not become a person’s self-will, they can still often affect that person’s attitude in their actions. So, what do these emotions include? They include, for example, despondency, hatred, anger, irritability, unease, as well as repression, inferiority, and weeping tears of joy—all these can be considered emotions. Are these the concrete manifestations of emotion? (Yes.) Having said this, do you know what an emotion is? Do they have anything to do with the passivity and hotheadedness you mentioned? (No.) They bear no relation. So, what are those things you mentioned? (Corrupt dispositions.) They are a kind of manifestation of corrupt dispositions. Do the emotions I listed just now, the repression, despondency, inferiority, and so on, have anything to do with corrupt dispositions? (The emotions God spoke about just now are unrelated to corrupt dispositions, they do not constitute corrupt dispositions, or else they have not yet reached the level of a corrupt disposition.) So, what are they? They are the pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy of normal humanity, and they are the emotions that arise and the manifestations that are revealed when people encounter certain situations. Some are perhaps brought about by a corrupt disposition, while others have not reached that level and are not that related to corrupt dispositions, yet these things do indeed exist in the thoughts of people. In such circumstances, regardless of what situation people encounter or what the context is, these emotions will naturally often influence their judgment and views to some degree, and they will influence the position that people ought to take and the path they ought to walk. The various emotions we just spoke about are mostly rather negative. Are there any that are rather neutral, that are not so negative or positive? No, there are none that are relatively positive. Depression, despondency, hatred, anger, inferiority, irritability, unease, and repression—these are all quite negative emotions. Can any of these emotions enable people to positively face life, human existence, and the situations they encounter in life? Are there none that are positive? (No.) They are all relatively negative emotions. So which emotions are somewhat better? How about yearning and missing? (They are rather neutral.) Yes, they can be neutral. What else? Nostalgia, longing and cherishing. What do these emotions we are talking about refer to? They are things which often hide in the depths of the human heart and soul; they can often occupy people’s hearts and thoughts and can often affect people’s feelings and their views and attitudes toward doing things. Therefore, whether these emotions are found in people’s real lives, or in their belief in God and pursuit of the truth, they will, to a greater or lesser extent, interfere with or influence people’s everyday lives and affect their attitudes toward their duties. They will also, of course, affect people’s judgment and the position they take when pursuing the truth, and in particular, these rather passive and negative feelings will have a tremendous impact on people. When people develop memories and begin to sense their own diverse emotions, or start to form an awareness that recognizes events and things, the environment, and other people, their various emotions begin to gradually arise and take shape. Once these have taken shape, then as people get older and experience more worldly matters, these emotions gradually become more and more entrenched inside them, within the depths of their heart, becoming the dominant feature of their individual humanity. They gradually direct their individual personality, their pleasure, anger, sorrow and joy, their predilections, as well as their pursuit of goals and direction in life, and so on. That is why these emotions are indispensable to each and every person. Why do I say this? Because once people begin to have a subjective awareness of the environment surrounding them, these emotions gradually influence their pleasure, anger, sorrow and joy, they influence their judgment and cognition of people, events, and things, and they influence their personality. Of course, they will also influence people’s attitudes and views regarding how they face and handle the people, events, and things around them. Even more importantly, these negative emotions influence the ways and principles governing how people comport themselves, as well as the goals they pursue and their baseline for human comportment. You may feel that what I have said is not that easy to understand, that it may be rather abstract. I will give you an example and you may then understand things a little better. For example, there are some people who, as children, were ordinary-looking, inarticulate, and not very quick-witted, causing others in their families and social environments to give rather unfavorable appraisals of them, saying things like: “This kid is dull-witted, slow, and a clumsy speaker. Look at other people’s children, who are so well-spoken that they can wrap people around their little finger. Whereas this kid just pouts all day long. He doesn’t know what to say when meeting people, doesn’t know how to explain or justify himself after doing something wrong, and can’t amuse people. This kid is an idiot.” The parents say this, relatives and friends say this, and their teachers also say this. This environment exerts a certain, invisible pressure on such individuals. Through experiencing these environments, they unconsciously develop a certain kind of mindset. What kind of mindset? They think that they are not good-looking, not very likable, and that others are never happy to see them. They believe that they are not good at studying, are slow, and always feel embarrassed to open their mouths and speak in front of others. They are too embarrassed to say thank you when people give them something, thinking to themselves, “Why am I always so tongue-tied? Why are other people such smooth talkers? I’m just stupid!” Subconsciously, they think they are worthless, but still are unwilling to acknowledge being that worthless, being that stupid. In their hearts they always ask themselves, “Am I really that stupid? Am I really that unpleasant?” Their parents do not like them, and neither do their brothers and sisters, their teachers or their classmates. And occasionally their family members, their relatives and friends say of them, “He is short, his eyes and nose are small, and with looks like that, he will not be successful when he grows up.” So, when they look in the mirror, they see that their eyes are indeed small. In this situation, the resistance, dissatisfaction, unwillingness, and unacceptance in the depths of their heart turn gradually to acceptance and acknowledgment of their own shortcomings, deficiencies, and issues. Although they can accept this reality, a persistent emotion arises in the depths of their heart. What is this emotion called? It is inferiority. People who feel inferior do not know what their strengths are. They just think that they are unlikable, always feel stupid, and do not know how to deal with things. In short, they feel they cannot do anything, are unattractive, are not clever, and have slow reactions. They are unremarkable compared to others and do not get good grades in their studies. After growing up in such an environment, this mindset of inferiority gradually takes over. It turns into a kind of lingering emotion that becomes tangled with your heart and fills your mind. Regardless of whether you are already grown, have gone out into the world, are married and established in your career, and regardless of your social status, this feeling of inferiority that was planted in your environment growing up is impossible to get rid of. Even after you start believing in God and join the church, you still think that you have average looks, have poor intellectual caliber, are inarticulate, and cannot do anything. You think, “I’ll just do what I can. I don’t need to aspire to be a leader, I don’t need to pursue profound truths, I’ll just be content with being the least significant one, and let others treat me however they like.” When antichrists and false leaders appear, you feel unable to discern or expose them, that you are not cut out for doing that. You feel that as long as you yourself are not a false leader or antichrist then that is enough, that as long as you do not cause interruptions and disturbances then that is fine, and that it is enough so long as you can stand in your own position. In the depths of your heart, you feel that you are not good enough and are not as good as other people, that others are perhaps objects for salvation, and that you, at best, are a service-doer, and so you feel you are not up to the task of pursuing the truth. Irrespective of how much truth you are able to understand, you still feel that, seeing as God has predestined you to have the kind of caliber you do and to look the way you do, then perhaps He has predestined you to be merely a service-doer, and that you have nothing to do with pursuing the truth, becoming a leader, becoming someone in a position of responsibility, or being saved; instead, you are willing to be the most insignificant person. This feeling of inferiority is perhaps not inborn in you, but on another level, because of your family environment and the environment you grew up in, you were subjected to moderate blows or improper judgments, and this caused the feeling of inferiority to arise in you. This emotion affects the correct direction of your pursuits, influences the proper aspiration for your pursuits, and it also inhibits your proper pursuits. Once your proper pursuit and the proper determination you should have in your humanity are inhibited, then your motivation to pursue positive things and to pursue the truth is stifled. This stifling is not brought about by your surrounding environment or by any person, and of course God has not determined that you should suffer it, rather it is brought about by a strongly negative emotion deep in your heart. Is this not the case? (It is.)
On the surface, inferiority is an emotion that manifests in people; but in fact, the root cause of it is this society, mankind, and the environment people live in. It is also brought about by people’s own objective reasons. It goes without saying that society and mankind come from Satan, because all of mankind lies under the power of the evil one, deeply corrupted by Satan, and no one can possibly teach the next generation in accordance with the truth or with the teachings of God, but rather does so in accordance with the things that come from Satan. Therefore, the consequence of teaching the next generation and mankind the things of Satan, besides corrupting the dispositions and essence of people, is that it causes negative emotions to arise in people. If the negative emotions that arise are temporary, then they will not have a tremendous effect on a person’s life. However, if a negative emotion becomes deeply rooted within the innermost heart and soul of a person and it becomes indelibly stuck there, if they are completely unable to forget about it or get rid of it, then it will necessarily affect that person’s every decision, the way they approach all manner of people, events, and things, what they choose when faced with major matters of principle, and the path they will walk in their life—this is the effect real human society has on every single person. The other aspect is people’s own objective reasons. That is, the education and teachings people receive as they grow up, all the thoughts and ideas along with the ways to comport oneself that they accept, as well as the various human sayings, all come from Satan, to the point where people have no ability to handle and dispel these issues they encounter from the correct perspective and standpoint. Therefore, unknowingly under the influence of this harsh environment, and being oppressed and controlled by it, man can do nothing but develop various negative emotions and use them to try to resist problems they have no ability to resolve, change, or dispel. Let us take the feeling of inferiority as an example. Your parents, teachers, your elders, and others around you all have an unrealistic assessment of your caliber, humanity, and personality, and ultimately what this does to you is attack you, persecute you, stifle you, restrain you, and bind you. Finally, when you do not have the strength to resist anymore, you have no choice but to choose a life of silently accepting insults and humiliation, silently accepting, against your better judgment, this kind of unfair and unjust reality. When you accept this reality, the emotions that ultimately arise in you are not happy, satisfied, positive or progressive ones; you do not live with more motivation and direction, much less do you pursue the accurate and correct goals for human life, but rather a profound feeling of inferiority arises in you. When this emotion arises in you, you feel you have nowhere to turn. When you encounter an issue that requires you to express a view, you will consider what you want to say and the view you wish to express in your innermost heart who knows how many times, yet you still cannot bring yourself to speak it out loud. When someone expresses the same view that you hold, you allow yourself to feel an affirmation in your heart, confirmation that you are not worse than other people. But when the same situation happens again, you still say to yourself, “I can’t speak casually, do anything rash, or make myself a laughingstock. I’m no good, I’m stupid, I’m foolish, I’m an idiot. I need to learn how to hide and just listen, not speak.” From this we can see that, from the point when the feeling of inferiority arises to when it becomes deeply entrenched within a person’s innermost heart, are they not then deprived of their free will and of the legitimate rights bestowed upon them by God? (Yes.) They have been deprived of these things. Who exactly has deprived them of these things? You cannot say for sure, right? None of you can say for sure. This is because, throughout this whole process, you are not only the victim but also the perpetrator—you are the victim of other people, and you are also the victim of yourself. Why is that? I said just now that one reason for the inferiority that arises in you comes from your own objective reasons. Since you began to have self-awareness, your basis for judging events and things has had its source in the corruption of Satan, and these views are instilled in you by society and mankind and are not taught to you by God. Therefore, regardless of when or in what context your feelings of inferiority arose, and regardless of the extent to which your feelings of inferiority have developed, you are helplessly bound and controlled by these feelings, and you use these ways instilled in you by Satan in your approach to the people, events, and things around you. When feelings of inferiority are implanted deeply in your heart, they not only have a profound effect on you, they also dominate your views on people and things, and your comportment and actions. So, how do those who are dominated by feelings of inferiority perceive people and things? They regard other people as better than themselves, and they also view antichrists as being better than themselves. Even though antichrists have evil dispositions and are of poor humanity, they still treat them as people to emulate and role models to learn from. They even say to themselves, “Look, although they have a bad disposition and evil humanity, they are gifted and are more capable in work than me. They can comfortably display their abilities in front of others and speak in front of so many people without blushing or having heart palpitations. They’ve really got guts. I can’t match up to them. I’m just not brave enough.” What brought this on? It must be said that part of the reason is that your feelings of inferiority have affected your judgment of people’s essences, as well as your perspective and standpoint when it comes to viewing other people. Is this not the case? (It is.) So how do feelings of inferiority affect how you comport yourself? You tell yourself: “I was born stupid, with no gifts or strengths, and I am slow to learn everything. Look at that person: Although they sometimes cause disruptions and disturbances, and act arbitrarily and recklessly, at least they are gifted and have strengths. Wherever you go, they’re the kind of person that people want to make use of, and I’m not.” Whenever anything happens, the first thing you do is pass a verdict on yourself and close yourself off. Whatever the issue is, you retreat and avoid taking initiative, and you fear taking on responsibility. You tell yourself, “I was born stupid. No matter where I go, no one likes me. I can’t stick my neck out, I mustn’t show off my minuscule abilities. If someone recommends me, that proves that I’m alright. But if no one recommends me, then it wouldn’t do for me to take the initiative to say that I can take on the job and do it well. If I’m not confident about it, I can’t say that I am—what if I mess it up, what would I do then? What if I got dealt with? I’d be so ashamed! Wouldn’t that be humiliating? I can’t let that happen to me.” Take a look—has it not affected your comportment? To a certain extent, your attitude toward how you comport yourself is influenced and controlled by your feelings of inferiority. To a certain extent, it can be called a consequence of your feelings of inferiority.
Under the influence of this feeling of inferiority, how does it affect how you regard the various kinds of people, whether they are people with humanity, with so-so humanity, or with no humanity or evil humanity? None of your views on people is in accord with the truth or with God’s words, much less do they meet God’s requirements. At the same time, under the influence of this feeling of inferiority, you choose to conduct yourself carefully, cautiously and timidly, and most of the time you are passive and dejected. You have no get-up-and-go determination or motivation, and when you do have some positive and active inclination and wish to take on a little work, you think, “Is this not me being arrogant? Am I not pushing myself forward? Am I not flaunting myself? Am I not showing off? Is this not my desire for status?” You cannot figure out what exactly is the nature of your own actions. The legitimate needs, aspirations, determination and desires of humanity, as well as that which you can strive to achieve, that which is proper and that which you ought to be doing, you will turn these things over many times and ponder them many times in your heart. When you are unable to sleep at night, you will contemplate over and over again, “Should I take on that work? Oh, but I’m not good enough, I dare not do it. I’m stupid and dumb. I don’t have the gifts that person has, nor the caliber!” When you are eating, you think, “They eat three meals a day and perform their duty well, and their life has value. I eat three meals a day but do not perform my duty well, and my life has no value whatsoever. I’m indebted to God, and to my brothers and sisters! I don’t deserve and shouldn’t eat even one plate of food.” When someone is too cowardly, they are worthless, and they are not able to accomplish anything. No matter what happens to them, when cowardly people meet with some difficulty, they shrink back. Why do they do this? One reason is that this is caused by their feeling of inferiority. Because they feel inferior, they do not dare to go before people, they cannot even take on the obligations and responsibilities they ought to take on, nor can they take on what they are actually capable of achieving within the scope of their own ability and caliber, and within the scope of the experience of their own humanity. This feeling of inferiority affects every aspect of their humanity, it affects their personality and, of course, it also affects their character. When around other people, they seldom express their own views, and you hardly ever hear them clarify their own standpoint or opinion. When they encounter an issue, they dare not speak, but instead constantly shrink back and retreat. When there are few people there, they feel brave enough to sit among them, but when there are a lot of people there, they look for a corner and head for where the lighting is dim, not daring to come among other people. Whenever they feel they would like to positively and actively say something and express their own views and opinions to show that what they think is right, they do not even have the courage to do that. Whenever they have such ideas, their feeling of inferiority comes pouring out all at once, and it controls them, stifles them, telling them, “Don’t say anything, you’re no good. Don’t express your views, just keep your ideas to yourself. If there is anything in your heart you really want to say, just make a note of it on the computer and ruminate on it by yourself. You must not let anyone else know about it. What if you said something wrong? It would be so embarrassing!” This voice keeps telling you not to do this, not to do that, not to say this, not to say that, causing you to swallow back down every word you wish to say. When there is something you want to say that you have turned over in your heart for a long time, you beat a retreat and dare not say it, or else you feel embarrassed to say it, believing that you ought not to do it, and if you do it then you feel as though you have broken some rule or violated the law. And when one day you do actively express your own view, deep inside you feel incomparably perturbed and uneasy. Even though this feeling of great unease gradually fades, your feeling of inferiority slowly smothers the ideas, intentions and plans you have for wanting to speak, wanting to express your own views, wanting to be a normal person, and wanting to be just like everyone else. Those who don’t understand you believe you are a person of few words, quiet, shy of character, someone who does not like to stand out from the crowd. When you speak in front of lots of other people, you feel embarrassed and your face turns red; you are somewhat introverted, and only you, in actuality, know that you feel inferior. Your heart is filled with this feeling of inferiority and this feeling has been around for a long time, it is not some temporary feeling. Rather, it tightly controls your thoughts from deep inside your soul, it tightly seals your lips, and so regardless of how correctly you understand things, or what views and opinions you have toward people, events and things, you dare only to think and turn things over in your own heart, never daring to speak out loud. Whether other people might approve of what you say, or correct and criticize you, you will not dare to face or see such an outcome. Why is this? It is because your feeling of inferiority is inside you, telling you, “Don’t do that, you’re just not up to it. You don’t have that kind of caliber, you don’t have that kind of reality, you shouldn’t do that, that’s just not you. Don’t do anything or think anything now. You’ll only be the real you by living in inferiority. You’re not qualified to pursue the truth or to open up your heart and say what you want and connect with others like other people do. And it’s because you’re no good, you’re not as good as they are.” This feeling of inferiority guides people’s thinking inside their minds; it inhibits them from fulfilling the obligations a normal person should perform and from living the life of normal humanity they should be living, while it also directs the ways and means, and the direction and goals of how they regard people and things, how they comport themselves and act. Even if they believe they should be an honest person and they enjoy being an honest person, yet they never dare to express their desire to be an honest person in words or deeds in order to enter into the life of being an honest person. Because of their feeling of inferiority, they do not even dare to be an honest person—they are totally devoid of courage. When they do say something honest, they hurriedly look at the people around them, and think, “Is anyone forming an opinion of me? Will they think, ‘Are you trying to be an honest person? Don’t you just want to be an honest person so you can be saved? Isn’t this just the desire to be blessed?’ Oh no, I don’t dare say anything. They can all speak honestly, it’s just me who can’t. I’m not qualified like they are, I’m on the lowest rung.” We can see from these specific manifestations and revelations that once this one negative emotion—the feeling of inferiority—begins to take effect and has laid down roots in people’s innermost hearts, then unless they pursue the truth it will be very difficult for them to uproot it and break away from its control, and they will be controlled by it in everything they do. Even though this feeling cannot be said to be a corrupt disposition, it has already caused a severely negative effect; it severely harms their humanity and has a great negative impact on the various emotions and the speech and actions of their normal humanity, with very serious consequences. Its minor influence is to affect their character, their predilections and their aspirations; its major influence is to affect their objectives and direction in life. From the causes of this feeling of inferiority, from its process and from the consequences it brings to a person, from whichever aspect you look at it, is it not something that people should let go? (Yes.) Some people say, “I don’t think I’m inferior and I’m not under any kind of control. No one has ever provoked me or belittled me, nor has anyone ever stifled me. I live very freely, so doesn’t that mean that I do not have this feeling of inferiority?” Is that correct? (No, sometimes we still have that feeling of inferiority.) You may still have it, to a greater or lesser extent. It may not dominate your innermost heart, but in some scenarios it can arise in a moment. For example, you bump into someone you idolize, someone much more talented than you, someone with more special skills and gifts than you, someone more domineering than you, someone more overbearing than you, someone more wicked than you, someone taller and more attractive than you, someone with status in society, someone rich, someone with more education and with higher status than you, someone who is older and has believed in God for longer, someone with more experience and reality in their belief in God, and then you cannot stop your feeling of inferiority from arising. When this feeling arises, your “living very freely” vanishes, you become timid and you lose your nerve, you ponder how to phrase your words, your facial expression becomes unnatural, you feel restrained in your words and movements, and you begin to package yourself. These and other manifestations happen because of the arising of your feeling of inferiority. Of course, this feeling of inferiority is momentary, and when this feeling arises, you just need to examine yourself, be discerning, and not be controlled by it.
The various emotions that need to be let go of that we are discussing today are things that are deeply embedded in people’s souls. The effect these things have on you is not a temporary one, but rather their effect is far-reaching and profound. When you are finding it hard to sleep in the middle of the night, when you are all alone, those people, events and things that caused negative emotions to arise in you and that are deeply rooted in your memory float little by little to the surface of your mind. A word, a sound, even a curse, a beating, a scene, a thing, a group of people, or the sequence of an event from start to finish—all these people, events and things from deep in your memory that caused all manner of negative emotions to arise in you play before your mind like a movie. It plays over and over again, until finally and without realizing it you retreat back into those negative emotions hiding deep in your soul, and into that moment that impacted your feelings, your humanity, your personality, and your future life. When you are all alone, when you are up against difficulties, when you have a decision to make, and when you are in despair, you cannot help but curl up into a ball and avoid everyone, retreating into your innermost self to that situation, that event, and that group of people which caused you pain. Even though these people, events and things made you feel attacked and they hurt you, and they planted within you all manner of negative emotions, when you feel downcast and dejected, when you are faced with failure, even when you are being pruned and dealt with or are rejected by your brothers and sisters, you cannot help but retreat back inside that negative feeling that exerts its influence over your life, whether it be depression, hatred, anger or inferiority. Although these emotions brought you all manner of pain, or else they made you feel uneasy, or they made you cry, or they made you feel irritable, you still cannot stop yourself from always returning to that negative emotion you felt at that moment. When you return to that moment, that negative emotion once again strengthens its influence on you. When this negative emotion affects you, reminds you, and alerts you over and over again, it invisibly disrupts your listening to God’s words and your understanding of the truth principles. When once again these negative emotions rise up in your innermost heart, when they assert their dominance over your thoughts, your interest in the truth will grow weaker, even turning to aversion, or feelings of defiance may arise. Because of the hurt and unfair treatment you have received in the past, you may look upon mankind and society with greater hostility, and hate everything that has happened as well as, of course, everything that will happen in the future. These emotions are manifesting constantly within your heart, and they repeatedly influence your feelings, your state and your condition. They also repeatedly influence how you feel in the performance of your duty, as well as your attitude and views in the performance of your duty and, of course, your motivation and resolve for pursuing the truth. Sometimes you have only just set your determination to pursue the truth and to never feel dejected again, never to believe that you are not good enough and beat a retreat again; however, when a momentary negative emotion fills your heart, your motivation for pursuing the truth may disappear completely, vanishing without a trace in an instant. When your motivation to pursue the truth vanishes without a trace in this kind of situation, you then feel that pursuing the truth is uninteresting and that believing in God and being saved hold no meaning for you. The arising of this kind of feeling and state makes you unwilling to come before God again, unwilling to pray-read God’s words or listen to God’s words, much less, of course, do you have any determination or wish to put God’s words into practice, or become one who pursues the truth. This is the tremendous obstacle and impact these various negative emotions have on people who walk the path of pursuing the truth. More accurately, they cause disruptions and damage to people, and they will from time to time take the shred of confidence you have just managed to muster and the few principles of conduct you have only just understood and turn them to naught. In an instant, they make you unable to perceive in your innermost heart God’s existence, God’s blessings, God’s sovereignty, and His provision for you, and instantly you are filled with any one of these negative emotions. When you are filled with these negative emotions, your corrupt dispositions will instantly take control within you. When you are taken over by your corrupt dispositions, you instantly become a different person and you show a different face to the people, events and things around you. The love you had before is gone, the patience you had before is gone, the energy you had before to suffer and pay the price, to endure hardships and work hard, is gone, the motivation you used to have to skip a meal and sleep a little less in order to perform your duty well is gone, and what takes its place is hostility toward every single person. What is the primary source of this hostility you feel for everyone? It comes from your corrupt disposition, but also the situations, the people, the events and the things that you have experienced in the past that have caused negative emotions to arise in you. You say, “I tolerate others, but who tolerates me? I show others understanding, but who shows understanding to me? Not even my parents or my brothers and sisters show me any understanding! Other people all make mistakes, so I can too! Other people vent negativity when being dealt with and pruned, so why can’t I? Other people can jockey for influence and position, so why can’t I? If you can, so can I! Other people cheat and try to shirk their responsibilities when performing their duties, so I will too. Other people don’t pursue the truth, so neither will I. Other people act without principles, so I will too. Other people don’t protect the interests of God’s house, so neither will I. I’m just going to follow what everyone else does. What’s wrong with that?” What kind of manifestation is this? Whether we look at it in terms of your thoughts or the disposition you reveal, it is nothing less than a 180-degree turn, as though you have become someone else. What is happening here? The root cause is that you have undergone a change within. You may look the same on the surface and your daily routine is unchanged, your tone of speech is unchanged, your appearance is unchanged, and no one is leading you on or inciting you behind the scenes, so why the sudden surge of emotion? One reason is that it is caused by the negative emotions planted deep inside your heart. Someone who always harbors the negative feelings of hatred and anger inside them will, when their state is good, often come before God to pray, read God’s words, and will ensure that everything proceeds normally when pursuing the truth and performing their duty. If they encounter something that is not to their liking, or they encounter some setback, failure or embarrassment in work or life, or they suffer some loss of face or harm to their interests, the hatred and anger brought about by the negative emotions inside them cause them to become frenzied with rage and go berserk. Perhaps they previously experienced some events that were out of the ordinary, such as being mistreated, or randomly beaten by evildoers, or having their property seized, or being bullied or even humiliated by wicked people; some people may have had colleagues or superiors make things difficult for them at work, and some people may have suffered discrimination and unfair treatment from classmates and teachers in school due to their poor academic performance, poor conditions at home, or because their parents were farmers and from the lower class of society, and so on. When a person suffers all kinds of unfair treatment in society, when their human rights are stripped away, or when their interests are expropriated or their property is taken away from them, the seeds of hatred naturally become sown in the depths of their heart, and as a matter of course they will carry this hatred into the way they approach society, mankind, and even their own family, and their friends and relatives. The views of those who have hatred sown in their hearts are influenced by this hatred, and their emotions also will naturally be colored by it.
Once hatred has taken root deep within a person’s heart, it naturally becomes an emotion, and when someone lives within this emotion of hatred, their perspective on mankind and on any matter is no longer proper. Their views on people and things become skewed and contrary to how they would normally be. They become unable to correctly comprehend any normal and proper person, event, or thing, and they will also judge and condemn them. They always look for an opportunity to vent their grievances and hatred. They hope that, one day, they will have power and influence, and that they will be able to set all these grievances to rights and exact vengeance on those who have bullied and hurt them in the past. For the time being, however, they have no suitable way to achieve this, so ultimately some of them will come to believe in God. After they have begun to believe in God, they think, “Oh, I now believe in God and I can now hold my head up high. I will let God decide things for me so that those wicked people get their just deserts. This is great!” So, now that they believe in God, they bury their hatred and anger deep down inside, they give their all to expend themselves, pay the price, suffer, run around and work in God’s house, hoping that one day their efforts will bring them good luck and turn things around, and that, when the day comes that they become stronger and no longer weak, they will make sure those who have bullied them and so humiliated them are punished. Their purpose in doing all this is to witness with their own eyes the punishment and retribution exacted upon those who have caused them such endless pain and humiliation. They carry this emotion into their belief in God, paying the price, and expending themselves. On the surface it seems as though they never complain or desire or require anything, that they just wholeheartedly throw themselves into performing their duty in God’s house, and that no amount of suffering is too great. In reality, however, those emotions of hatred and anger inside their innermost heart remain unresolved and they have not let them go. The moment someone gives them their opinion and reveals their corrupt disposition, immediately they subconsciously flee back into their emotions of hatred and anger in order to face and solve this problem. They think, “Are you disparaging me? Are you trying to bully me because you think I’m guileless? So many people bully me, but just you wait and see what end is in store for them!” Someone just has to say something about them and they hurt them, even if it is unintentional. But if that person touches upon some sore point, their emotions of hatred and anger are stirred, causing them to unconsciously flee back into feeling hateful about everything. It is clear that this viewpoint, this emotion, has affected their perspective on and attitude toward people and things, and the ways and means in which they comport themselves and act. Regardless of who raises legitimate opinions and suggestions to them, they always think, “They’re looking down on me and wish to bully me. Do they think I’m easily pushed around?” They use this viewpoint and this way of doing things to deal with the situation, and all the while their emotions of hatred and anger become more entrenched in their heart. Once the emotions of hatred and anger become deeply embedded in their innermost heart, they grow continually, and the person continually uses them to face all manner of people, events and things, and they also constantly remind themselves that they have to hate everyone and that no one is nice to them. Even if they believe for a moment that someone is good to them, they will very soon tell themselves involuntarily and subconsciously, “Don’t think like that. Apart from God who is truly good, there are no good people. Everyone gloats at your misfortunes and no one wishes you well. They think you’re guileless so they bully you, and when they see you succeed at something they just flatter you and try to ingratiate themselves to you. So don’t believe anyone and don’t look upon anyone with kindness. You must be guarded and suspicious with other people.” Whenever someone says a word to them, they analyze it, thinking, “Is he coming for me? Why did he say that? Is he trying to attack me and get even with me for something? Is he trying to push me around?” These feelings of suspicion, hatred and anger repeatedly remind them and make them subconsciously use these feelings in their approach to and in dealing with every kind of person, event, and thing, and yet they themselves are totally unaware that these are all types of negative emotion. These negative emotions exert tight control over their judgment and tightly bind their thinking, and they prevent them from viewing any person, event or thing from the correct perspective or standpoint. When one starts living under the sway of these negative emotions, it becomes very difficult to escape their control. Before someone lets go of these negative emotions, they unknowingly live within them, looking out from them at people, events and things, approaching people, events and things with the wrong views that have arisen from these negative emotions. First, this inevitably leads to extremism, suspicion, doubt and even hotheadedness, and they will also look on others with hostility and attack them. These negative emotions direct the person’s thoughts and views within their heart, and they direct their every word and deed. That is why, when this person becomes mired in these negative emotions, if they are someone who pursues the truth, these negative emotions give rise to obstacles in and have an impact on their heart and mind, and so they practice the truth a lot less. Because of the adulteration, disruption and damage caused by these negative emotions, there is a limit to the truth they are able to put into practice and, when they encounter some situation, they are always influenced by their feelings. Of course, the most important effect is that they fall under the influence of these various negative emotions, and therefore practicing the truth becomes exhausting for them. They are unable to make use of the conscience and reason of normal humanity, nor the free will and instinct created by God, nor the truth principles man should practice and adhere to in their approach to the people and things around them, and in their judgment of the people and things around them.
From these things I have spoken about up to now, whichever way you look at it, it is clear that various negative emotions occupy the minds of every single person to a greater or lesser extent. Because they occupy people’s minds, a certain amount of difficulty will arise as they practice the truth. That is why, as they go through the process of pursuing the truth, people must continually let go of the people, events and things which cause negative emotions to arise in them. For example, the negative emotion of inferiority that we discussed earlier. Regardless of what situation caused your feeling of inferiority to arise or who or what event caused it to arise, you should harbor the correct understanding toward your own caliber, your strengths, your talents, and the quality of your own humanity. It is not right to feel inferior, nor is it right to feel superior—they are both negative emotions. Inferiority can bind your actions, bind your thoughts, and influence your views and standpoint. Similarly, superiority has this negative effect, too. Therefore, whether it is inferiority or another negative emotion, you should harbor the correct understanding toward the interpretations that lead to the arising of this emotion. Firstly, you should understand that those interpretations are incorrect, and whether it is regarding your caliber, your talent, or the quality of your humanity, the assessments and conclusions they make about you are always wrong. So, how can you accurately evaluate and know yourself, and break away from the feeling of inferiority? You should take God’s words as the basis for gaining knowledge of yourself, learning what your humanity, caliber, and talent are like, and what strengths you have. For example, suppose that you used to like singing and did it well, but some people kept criticizing you and belittling you, saying that you were tone-deaf and that your singing was out of tune, so now you feel that you cannot sing well and no longer dare to do it in front of others. Because those worldly, muddle-headed, and mediocre people made inaccurate evaluations and judgments about you, the rights that your humanity deserves were curtailed, and your talent was stifled. As a result, you do not dare to even sing a song, and you are only brave enough to let go and sing out loud when no one is around or you are just by yourself. Because you ordinarily feel so horribly repressed, when you are not alone you dare not sing a song; you dare to sing only when you are alone, enjoying the time when you can sing out loud and clear, and what a wonderful, liberating time that is! Is that not so? Because of the harm that people have done to you, you do not know or cannot see clearly what it is that you can actually do, what you are good at, and what you are not good at. In this kind of situation, you must make a correct evaluation and take the correct measure of yourself according to God’s words. You should establish what you have learned and where your strengths lie, and go out and do whatever it is that you can do; as for those things which you cannot do, your shortcomings and deficiencies, you should reflect on and know them, and you should also accurately evaluate and know what your caliber is like, and whether it is good or bad. If you cannot understand or gain clear knowledge of your own problems, then ask the people around you with understanding to make an appraisal of you. Regardless of whether what they say is accurate, it will at least give you something to reference and consider and will enable you to have a basic judgment or characterization of yourself. You can then solve the essential problem of negative emotions like inferiority, and gradually emerge from them. Such feelings of inferiority are easy to resolve if one can discern them, awaken to them, and seek the truth.
To those who have suffered unequal treatment, who have been mistreated and discriminated against in society, in their various professions, and in various environments, are the feelings of hatred and anger that arise in them easy to resolve? (Yes.) How are they resolved? (They must regard all people, events and things according to God’s words, let go of these negative emotions of hatred and anger, and let go of the people, events and things that have hurt them in the past.) “Letting go” are just words—how do you let go? For example, a woman dates a man and ends up being tricked into bed by him and cheated into giving him money, and whenever she thinks of this she feels a sudden uprush of anger, and when this anger arises she clenches her fists and her innermost heart is filled with hatred. She thinks of that man’s face, she thinks of everything he said, she thinks of everything he did which hurt her, and the more she thinks of these things, the angrier she gets, the more furious she gets, the more the rage burns, and the more her hatred grows. She keeps thinking of it and no longer wants to do her duty, and she feels worse and worse, telling herself not to rest but to just keep working and talking with other people, and when she cannot sleep at night, she must rely on sleeping pills to fall asleep. She dares not be alone or let her heart rest. The moment she finds herself alone, the moment she takes a rest, this hatred rushes up in her and she wants to take revenge, to make the one who hurt her die, and the more unpleasant the death the better. If one day she does actually hear the news that that man has died a tragic death, only then is she able to let go of her feelings of hatred and anger. Think about it: If he really did die, if he got his just deserts and was punished, would you be able to expunge that event that caused the hatred and anger to arise and that memory that is buried so deep in your innermost heart? Would you really be able to let go of the hatred of that event? Could it truly disappear? (No.) So, is making that person who hurt you disappear and suffer punishment, or die a most unpleasant death, or suffer retribution, or come to a bad end the way to resolve hatred and anger? Is it the way to let go of hatred and anger? (No.) And so, some people say, “When you discover that you’re harboring these emotions of hatred and anger, you should let them go.” Is this the path of practice? (No.) So what is it when someone says, “You should let them go”? (It is doctrine.) Right, it is doctrine, not the path of practice. I have just told you how to resolve the feeling of inferiority, and this is one way to let go of inferiority. Do you now have the path of practice? (Yes.) So how do you let go of hatred and anger? Is it the path of practice to not think about them? (No.) Some people say to expel them from your memory—is this the way to solve the problem? Would it mean that you have let these things go? (N0, it wouldn’t.) Shaking your heads, closing your eyes and not thinking of anything, or keeping yourselves busy is not the way to solve this problem, and this is not the correct path of practice to let go of these negative emotions. So what specifically is the path of practice? How can you let these things go? How can you resolve this matter? Do you have a good method of doing this? To let go of these things, you must face them, not hide from them or flee from them. Are you not afraid of being alone? Are you not afraid of recalling this event? Are you not afraid that someone will reopen your wound? So face it, and take all those people, events and things that have wounded you and caused you to feel hatred and anger in the past, and all those people who have left a deep impression on you and whom you can remember, and write them all down, discern their humanity one by one according to God’s words, know their dispositions, dissect, reveal and know their essence, and see what exactly those people are. Your final conclusion—the only conclusion you can come to—will be that those people are all evil, they are demons, and not people! No matter what method they use to hurt you or entrap you and cause you harm, their essence is that of demons, not people, and they are absolutely not objects chosen by God. There are none among those people who are capable of coming to God’s house, whereas you are God’s chosen. You are now able to listen to sermons in God’s house, perform your duty in God’s house, and you can come before God—this is God raising you up and showing you kindness. Those people, on the other hand, have never been regarded as people in the eyes of God. That is why, once you have begun to believe in God, you should put distance between yourself and them. If you still wish to associate with them, you will certainly be unable to prevail against them, and you will be oppressed and punished by them, discriminated against and insulted by them, harmed by them, even abused by them. Everything they do demonstrates what demons do and what Satan does. If you enjoy associating with them and fighting with them, then you are not a person either. You are the same as them, and you are capable of doing the same things as them. This is because demons not only entrap people, but also do harm to each other—this is the nature of a demon. Seeing as you have been chosen by God and you belong to mankind whom God created, how could demons not pick on you? How could they not hurt you and entrap you? They harm everyone. They do harm to each other, so even more so they will not let up or leave people alone! This demonstrates that this world and mankind are demonic and are inundated through and through with the deeds of Satan. It is incredibly difficult to be a good person, and it is also incredibly difficult to just be an ordinary person who does not want to be pushed around by anyone. You try to avoid it, but you cannot. This is how the world is. From understanding enough to be able to start school, to entering into society and starting work, all the way up to death, who has never been pushed around during their lifetime, or deceived and persecuted? There is absolutely no one like this. No matter how skilled or capable you are, there will always be someone more formidable than you to push you around. The difference is, however, that everyone has different philosophies for living. Some people endure and resign themselves to adversity, but some are different. After experiencing being deceived many times, and having been bullied to the point where they cannot bear it anymore and having suffered too severely, emotions such as hatred and anger arise in them, and they hate both mankind and society. Once you have seen clearly the essence and nature of those who harm you and have seen that their essence is that of demons, the hatred and anger you feel are no longer directed toward people, but toward demons, and is your hatred not then lessened? (Yes.) Your hatred is somewhat lessened. And what is the advantage of it being somewhat lessened? It is that, when you encounter that kind of situation again, you will not get emotional again and will not regard the situation in a hotheaded way. Instead, you will regard it correctly, you will discern and approach it using God’s words and the truth, you will regard those who once again cause you harm from the standpoint of the conscience and reason of humanity, and you will use the way God has taught you, the way and principles God has told you, in your approach to them. When you approach them using the way God has told you, hatred and anger will not arise in you again, but rather you will come to know the corruption of mankind, know the face of demons, and confirm and verify that God’s words are the truth in a much more profound and progressive way. When you use God’s words and the way God has told you, the way He has taught you, to view such a matter as this, then this matter will not only not harm you again, and not only will it not cause your hatred and anger to deepen, but on the contrary, it will cause the hatred and anger inside your innermost heart to gradually lessen, and as you experience this kind of matter again and again, your stature will grow, and your disposition will change.
As for how exactly you are to let go of that past hatred and anger we have been discussing, one aspect is to see clearly these so-called non-humans, to see clearly that their nature essence is that of the devil Satan, their essence is harmful to people, their essence is identical to and shares the same source as that of the devil Satan and the great red dragon, they entrap you, they cause you harm, just as Satan corrupts mankind. Once you understand this point, do you not then let go somewhat of your emotions of hatred and anger? (Yes.) Some people say, “It’s not enough to just understand these things. Sometimes I get sad just thinking about it!” What should you do when you feel sad? Can you be without any sadness at all? Scars always leave their marks, but having these marks is not necessarily a bad thing. It is precisely these phenomena of unfairness in society, and these people, events and things that cause hatred and anger to arise in you, that allow you to sense the unfairness in society, that allow you to sense the malevolence, maliciousness and evil of mankind, and that allow you to sense the unfairness and desolation of the world, thereby causing the desire to yearn for the light and the longing for the Savior to save you from all this suffering to arise in you. So, is there a context to this desire? (Yes.) Does this desire come easily? (No.) If you had never been harmed among mankind or in society, you would think that there are many good people around. If you go out and trip over and someone comes to help you up, or you go shopping but do not have enough money and the person next to you helps you out, or you lose your purse and someone finds it and returns it to you, you will think there are many good people around. In this frame of mind and with you having this understanding of society, how much understanding will you have toward the meaning of God’s salvation of mankind or the necessity of God doing the work of salvation? How great will your desire be for the Savior to come and save you from the sea of suffering? You will not want it much, will you? It would just be a kind of wish, a kind of fantasy. The more someone undergoes hardship and suffering in the world, suffering all manner of unfair treatment, or, to put it another way, the longer someone has lived in this society and among people, someone in whom profound hatred and anger has arisen toward mankind and society, the more they will wish for God to bring this evil age to an end as soon as possible, to destroy this evil mankind as soon as possible, to save them from the sea of suffering as soon as possible, to exact retribution on the evil and to protect the good—is that not so? (It is.) So now, at this point, you ponder, “Oh, I really must thank those demons. I must thank them for their unfair treatment and for discriminating against me, insulting me and oppressing me. It is their evil deeds and the harm they’ve caused me that have forced me to come before God, that have made me not hanker after the world or life among these people anymore, and that have made me willing to come to God’s house, to come before God, to willingly expend myself for God, to devote my whole life, to live a life of meaning, and not to associate with evil people anymore. Otherwise, I would still be just like them, following worldly trends, and pursuing fame and gain, the good life, pleasures of the flesh, and a wonderful future. Now I believe in God, so there is no need to walk that crooked path any longer. I don’t look at them with hostility anymore. I see clearly who they have always been. They are there to render service, foils to God’s work. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to see exactly what the essence of this world and this mankind is, and would still be thinking that this world and this mankind are more and more wonderful. Now that I have undergone this suffering, I will no longer place my aspirations and hopes in this world or in the hands of any great person. Instead, I hope for God’s kingdom to come, and for the fairness and righteousness of God to take power.” By contemplating in this way, are your emotions of hatred and anger not gradually eased? (They are.) They are eased. And have your perspective and views on people, events and things within your heart not undergone a change? Does this not signify that the path you will walk in the future, your choices, and your objectives are gradually undergoing a change, and that you are gradually turning toward pursuing the correct goals and direction? (Yes.) You bring to mind the things that have happened in the past that broke your heart and which have caused you to hate the world and, once you have clearly seen their meaning and essence, your heart becomes filled with gratitude to God. When you become filled with gratitude, do you not then immerse yourself in enjoyment of it? Do you not then think, “Those unbelievers who don’t believe in God are still being deceived, harmed and devoured by the king of devils itself, Satan. It’s so pitiful! If I didn’t believe in God and hadn’t come before God, I’d be just like them, pursuing the world, rushing around trying to get fame, gain, and status, going through so much suffering and it never occurring to me to change course. I’d be immersed in inescapable sin—how sad! Now that I believe in God, I understand the truth and can see through this matter. The path people should follow is that in pursuit of the truth—this is most valuable, most meaningful. Now that God has shown me such kindness so that I no longer have to undergo that suffering, I will set my determination to follow God till the end, to listen to His words, to live in accordance with His words, and no longer live like I did before, when I wasn’t living like a human being at all.” You see, this good aspiration has arisen, right? Have not the correct goals and life direction gradually taken shape within people’s thoughts and awareness? And are they not now able to embark upon the right path in life? (They are.) So, when these positive emotions and aspirations arise, is it still necessary to think about those negative emotions? After thinking them through for a while or thinking them over several times until you understand them, when these matters no longer disturb your mind or control the path you walk then, without being aware of it, you let go of these emotions of hatred and anger, they no longer occupy your heart and, over time, you resolve the issue of your corrupt disposition. Does the matter of resolving your corrupt disposition relate to pursuing the truth? (Yes.) And does that not mean that you have embarked upon the right path in life? It is not difficult to embark upon the right path; first you must let go of all your various views on the world, one’s humanity, and mankind which do not accord with the facts. How can you see clearly these views which do not accord with the facts? How can you resolve them? These views which do not accord with the facts lie hidden within the emotions of your heart, and they direct the judgment and thinking of your humanity, as well as your character, your speech and actions, as well as, of course, your conscience and reason. More importantly, they direct and influence your objectives in life and the path you walk. Therefore, let go of all negative emotions and let go of all emotions that have control over you—this is the first step you should practice in pursuing the truth. First resolve the issue of the various negative emotions, resolve them as you discover them, and leave no trouble behind. When these issues are resolved, you will no longer be shackled, carrying these negative emotions with you in your pursuit of the truth, and you will be able to seek the truth and resolve it when you reveal a corrupt disposition. Is this an easy thing to achieve? It is not actually that easy.
While I have been fellowshiping and dissecting these negative emotions, have you been applying what I say to yourselves? Some people say, “I’m young and I don’t have much life experience. I’ve never undergone any setbacks or failures or experienced any trauma. Doesn’t that mean that I don’t have any negative emotions?” Everyone has them; everyone will encounter many difficulties and will be liable to give rise to negative emotions. For example, because of the background of society’s evil trends in this age, many children are growing up in single parent households, some without the love of a mother, some without the love of a father. If anyone is without the love of a mother or a father, they can be considered to be missing something. Irrespective of the age you are at which you lose your father’s or mother’s love, from the perspective of normal humanity, it will have an impact on you to a greater or lesser extent. Some people will close themselves off, some will feel inferior, some will become irritable, some will have a feeling of unease and insecurity, and some will discriminate against and avoid the opposite sex. In any case, those who grow up in this particular environment will, to a greater or lesser extent, develop some abnormalities within their normal humanity. In modern parlance, they get a bit distorted. For example, girls who grow up without a father’s love will be relatively inexperienced when it comes to men. They have to learn how to take care of their own basic needs from a young age, and even carry the heavy burden of the family’s finances and the various tasks that need to be performed, just as their mothers do, unwittingly learning early to worry about and take care of things, or protect themselves, their mothers and their families. They have a strong awareness regarding self-protection and will also have very strong feelings of inferiority. Without being aware of it, once they have grown up in this particular environment, they will unconsciously feel in their innermost heart as though they have some deficiency and this is the feeling they have, regardless of whether or not this feeling has ever severely affected their judgment or decisions in the past. In short, once a person is fully grown, there will be some negative emotions that direct their thoughts which have been there for a long time, and there will always be a reason for them being there. For example, if some boys who grow up in single parent households have no father but only a mother, they learn from an early age how to take on household chores alongside their mothers, their characters become somewhat maternal. They enjoy looking after girls and feel a sympathy with them, they feel inclusive toward girls and enjoy protecting women, and they feel relatively prejudiced against men. There are some who even feel deep inside a kind of faint dislike and aversion for men, they discriminate against them, believing that men are all feckless and irresponsible, and that they do not do what is right and proper. Of course, there are some among these people who are pretty normal. It is unavoidable, however, that there will be some who have some particular, unrealistic or inappropriate thoughts about men or women, and these all have deficiencies and faults in their humanity. If someone discovers that you have a problem like this and they point it out to you, or if you discover and come to know that you have this kind of serious negative emotion yourself through self-examination, and that it is already affecting your choices and practice in how you view people and things, and how you comport yourself and act, then you should reflect on and know yourself. You should discern and resolve this negative emotion in the light of God’s words, strive to cast off the bonds, the control and the influence of this negative emotion, fight to prevent the pleasure, anger, sorrow, joy, thinking, judgment, conscience and reason of your humanity from becoming distorted, taken to extremes or taken beyond their limits. What else? Once you have striven to prevent these things from happening, you will be able to live a normal life with the conscience and reason of normal humanity and with the instincts and free will of normal humanity that God has granted to man. That is, you strive to keep your thoughts, instincts, free will, capacity for judgment, and your conscience and reason within the scope of normal humanity prescribed by God. Therefore, whatever negative emotion is controlling you, you have a problem with that aspect of your normal humanity. You understand this, right? (Yes.)
People’s pursuit of the truth is achieved on the basis of the normal conscience, reason, instinct and free will of normal humanity, and the range of normal human emotions. You see, within the scope of normal humanity given to man by God, there is nothing extreme, nothing excessive, nothing distorted, and there is no split or perversion of personality. How is being excessive manifested? Always thinking you are no good, that you are nothing—is this not excessive? Is this not unrealistic? (It is.) Blindly holding men in high regard, believing that men are good, that men are more capable than women, that women are incompetent, that women are no good, that they are not as able as men and that, taken as a whole, they are not as good as men—is this not excessive? (It is.) How is taking things to extremes manifested? It is always wanting to go beyond what you can instinctively achieve and always wanting to push your limits. Some people see others sleep five hours a night and then go on to be able to work normally for a whole day, so then they must sleep for four hours a night and see how many days they can last. Some people see others eat two meals a day and have an abundance of energy, able to keep working all day, so then they must eat one meal a day—is this not physically harmful? What’s the point of always trying to appear more capable than you are? What are you competing with your own flesh for? Some people in their fifties have loose teeth and cannot even chew bones or bite sugarcane anymore. They say, “Don’t worry, I can lose a couple of teeth, no problem, I’ll just keep chewing! I must overcome this difficulty. If I don’t try to overcome it, then I’m just weak and useless!” Is this not taking things to extremes? (Yes, it is.) You feel you have to achieve that which you cannot achieve and which your humanity cannot instinctively attain. You cannot attain them with your talent, wisdom, or stature, or with the things you have learned, or with your age and gender, but even though you cannot attain them, you still feel you must. Some women exaggerate their strengths, saying, “Us women can do what men can do. Men can construct buildings, and so can we; men can fly planes, and so can we; men can be boxers, and so can we; men can carry two hundred pounds in a sack, and so can we.” But in the end, they are crushed so much by it that they spit blood. Are they still trying to appear more able than they are? Is this not extreme? Is this not excessive? These manifestations are all extreme and excessive. Absurd people often consider problems and view people, events, and things in this way, and this is also how they approach and solve issues. Therefore, if people want to resolve these excessive manifestations, they must first make an end of and let go of those extreme things. The most serious of these things are the various extreme emotions within their innermost hearts. Under certain circumstances, these emotions frequently cause them to have extreme thoughts and use extreme methods, thereby causing them to go astray. These extreme emotions not only cause people to look foolish, ignorant, and stupid, but they make them go astray and suffer loss. God wants a normal person who pursues the truth, not an absurd, excessive and extreme person to pursue the truth. Why is this? People who are absurd and extreme are not capable of understanding things correctly, much less of purely understanding the truth. People who are fallacious and extreme also use extreme ways to understand, approach and practice the truth—this is very dangerous and troublesome for them. They will suffer great loss, and it also seriously dishonors God. God does not need you to push your limits, or to use extreme and radical methods to practice the truth. Rather, under circumstances wherein your humanity is normal in all respects, and within the scope of humanity of that which you can understand and achieve, He wants you to put God’s words into practice, practice the truth, and meet His demands. The final goal is for your corrupt disposition to change, to gradually rectify and change all your thoughts and views, to increasingly deepen your understanding of the corrupt dispositions of man and your knowledge of God, and thereby make your submission to God more and more concrete and real—this is how you will attain salvation.
Is it meaningful for Me to fellowship on how to let go of the various negative emotions? (Yes.) What is My purpose in doing so? It is so that, regardless of whether these various negative emotions arose a long time ago or whether they are arising right now in the present, you are able to take the correct approach to them, to dispel and resolve them in the right way, to leave these wrong, negative emotions behind, and to gradually come to the point where you no longer become mired in these negative emotions, no matter what happens. When the various negative emotions arise again, you will have awareness and discernment, you will know the harm they do to you and, of course, you must also gradually let go of them. When these emotions arise, you will be able to practice self-restraint and apply wisdom, and you will be able to let them go or seek the truth to resolve and handle them. In any case, they should not affect you adopting the correct ways, the correct attitude, and the correct standpoint in how you view people and things, and how you comport yourself and act. In this way, the obstacles and blockages along your path in pursuit of the truth will grow ever fewer, you will be able to pursue the truth within the scope of normal humanity required by God without disturbance, or with ever fewer disturbances, and you will resolve the corrupt dispositions you reveal in all kinds of situations. Do you now have a way forward regarding how to resolve the various negative emotions? First, examine yourself regarding the corruption you reveal and see whether these negative emotions are influencing you inside and whether you are bringing these negative emotions into how you view people and things, and how you comport yourself and act. In addition, examine the matters that are deeply etched in your memory within your innermost heart and see whether these things that have happened to you have left any scars or marks, and whether they are constantly controlling you to use the correct ways and methods to view people and things, and to comport yourself and act. In this way, when the various negative emotions that arose when you felt hurt in the past are uprooted, then what you should do next is to dissect, discern and resolve them one by one according to the truth. For example, some people have been promoted to become leaders several times, but have several times been replaced or reassigned, and a very negative emotion arises in them. Throughout this process of being promoted and then replaced and reassigned over and over, they never realize why it is happening at all, and therefore never know their own deficiencies and shortcomings, their own corruption, or what the root cause is of the transgressions they commit. They never resolve these issues, and an impression is left deep inside them, and they think, “This is how God’s house makes use of people. When you’re being made use of, you’re raised up, and when you’re not, you’re booted out.” People with this kind of feeling may have a place in society where they can vent, but in God’s house you feel that there is no place where you can vent, no way to vent, and no environment in which to vent, and so all you can do is swallow it down. This swallowing it down is not a real letting go but rather it is you burying it deep inside. There are some people who think that one day they will perform their duty well and, if their brothers and sisters see this, they will select them to be leader again; there are also some who wish to get on with their duty quietly and do not want to be a leader again, and they say, “I won’t be a leader no matter who promotes me. I can’t afford to lose face, and I can’t bear that pain. It’s nothing to do with me who becomes leader, nor who gets replaced. I won’t be leader again, and so I won’t have to endure the hurt and the feeling of being attacked that comes from being replaced. I’ll just do my work well and take on this responsibility, and as for what destination and end lie in wait for me, I give that over into God’s hands—that is up to God.” What kind of emotion is this? It is not entirely accurate to say it is inferiority; I think it is appropriate to call it depression—depression, despondency, being closed off and repressed. They think, “God’s house is a place where justice is upheld, and yet I’m frequently promoted and then replaced. I feel so wronged, but I have no way to argue against it, so I’ll just submit! This is God’s house, where else could I go to argue my case? I’m used to living like this. No one in the world thinks much of me and it’s the same in God’s house. I just won’t think about how things will be in the future.” All day long they are in low spirits, they cannot get interested in anything, they just muddle through everything they do, they do a little of what they can do and nothing else; they do not study, they make no effort, they do not think deeply about anything, and they are unwilling to pay the price. In the end, they run out of energy very quickly, the enthusiasm they had in the beginning cools off, they think nothing has anything to do with them, and who they were before is dead. Is this not despondency? (Yes, it is,) Someone asks them, “How do you feel about being replaced?” They answer, “Well, my caliber is poor. How should I feel? I don’t understand it.” And the other person asks them, “If you were to be chosen again to be leader, would you like to do it?” And they reply, “Oh, what would I want to do that for? It’s not practical! My caliber is poor and I cannot satisfy God’s will.” Saying they are in despair and have given up is not entirely realistic. They just always feel in low spirits, depressed, closed off and despondent. They do not want to say what is in their heart to anyone, they do not want to be open, and they do not want to resolve their own problems, difficulties, corrupt states and corrupt dispositions—they just keep on putting on a brave face. What emotion is this? (Depression.) They also cling to an idea: “I’ll do what God asks me to do and work hard at whatever job the church arranges for me to do. If I can’t finish the job, don’t blame me as it wasn’t me who made me of poor caliber!” Such a person does, in fact, truly believe in God, and they have aspirations. They will never leave God, they will never abandon their duty, and they will always follow God. It is just that they pay no attention to life entry, or to self-reflection, or to resolving their corrupt disposition. What kind of issue is this? Can they gain the truth by believing in this way? Is this not troublesome for them? (Yes, it is.) It is not possible for them to say they do not believe in God, even if they were to be beaten to death. However, because of some particular circumstances, because they have experienced some particular situations and scenarios, and some particular people have said certain things to them, they have been ground down and have wilted so that they cannot stand up again and cannot muster any energy. Does this not show that they have negative emotions? (Yes.) Having negative emotions proves that there is a problem, and when there is a problem, you should resolve it. There is always a way and a path to resolve problems that ought to be resolved—they are not unresolvable. It just depends on whether you can face up to the problem and whether you want to resolve it or not. If you do, then there is no problem so difficult that it cannot be resolved. You come before God and seek the truth in His words, and you can resolve every difficulty. However, not only can your dejection, depression, despondency and repression not help you to resolve your problems but, on the contrary, they can cause your problems to become ever more serious and to get worse and worse. Do you believe this? (Yes.) Therefore, no matter what emotions you are clinging to right now or what emotions you have fallen into now, I hope that you will be able to leave these wrong feelings behind you. No matter what reasons or excuses you have, the moment you fall into an abnormal emotion, you have then fallen into an extreme emotion. When you have fallen into this extreme emotion, it will certainly control your pursuit, and your aspirations and wishes, as well as, of course, the goals you pursue in life, and the consequences of this are severe.
Finally, there is something I would like to tell you: Do not let a minor feeling or a simple, insignificant emotion tangle you up for the rest of your life so that it affects your attainment of salvation and destroys your hope for salvation, understand? (Yes.) This emotion of yours is not only negative, to be more accurate, it is actually in opposition to God and the truth. You might think that this is an emotion within normal humanity, but in God’s eyes, this is not just a simple matter of emotion, but a method of opposition to God. It is a method marked by negative emotions that people use to resist God, God’s words and the truth. Therefore, I hope that, assuming you want to pursue the truth, you will examine yourself thoroughly to see whether you are holding onto these negative emotions and stubbornly, foolishly resisting God and competing with Him. If you have discovered the answer through examination, if you have come to a realization and arrived at a clear awareness, then I ask you to first let go of these emotions. Do not cherish them or hold onto them, for they will destroy you, they will destroy your destination, and they will destroy the opportunity and hope you have in pursuing the truth and attaining salvation. Here is where I will end this fellowship for today.
September 24, 2022