How to Pursue the Truth (7)
During this season, our main topic of fellowship has been “How to Pursue the Truth.” We previously summarized two principles of practice for pursuing the truth. What is the first principle? (The first principle is letting go, and the second is dedicating.) The first principle is letting go, and the second is dedicating. We have not finished fellowshiping about the topic of “letting go.” What is the first theme of “letting go”? (Letting go of various negative emotions.) What did we mainly fellowship about in terms of letting go of various negative emotions? We mainly fellowshiped about and revealed the negative emotions that people experience, that is, what types of negative emotions often accompany people in their daily lives and on their life path, as well as how to let go of them. These negative emotions manifest as a kind of feeling within people, but in reality, they are triggered by various erroneous thoughts and beliefs which people hold. Various negative emotions are triggered due to different thoughts and viewpoints in people and are revealed and exhibited in them. Based on the issues of negative emotions we fellowshiped about earlier, the various behaviors of people, and their various thoughts and viewpoints, what problems do you see? In other words, by dissecting the external manifestations of various negative emotions, can you perceive some underlying essence to people’s thoughts? When negative emotions are exhibited in a person, if we delve deeper and carefully dissect them, we can observe their various incorrect views, perspectives, and attitudes toward people, events, and things hidden within those negative emotions, and even see their approaches to handling and resolving various people, matters, and things from within them, right? (Right.) So, from the various times we have fellowshiped about dissecting these negative emotions, can we say that people’s various erroneous, fallacious, biased, negative, and adverse thoughts and viewpoints are concealed within their negative emotions? Can we say that? (Yes, we can.) What did I just say? (God just said that people’s various erroneous, fallacious, biased, negative, and adverse thoughts and viewpoints are concealed within their negative emotions.) Have you understood Me clearly? (Yes, I have understood You.) If we don’t fellowship about these negative emotions, people may not pay much attention to the temporary or long-term negative emotions that come to the surface. However, after dissecting the various thoughts and viewpoints hidden within negative emotions, do people acknowledge this fact? Various negative thoughts and viewpoints are concealed within people’s different negative emotions. In other words, when a person experiences negative emotions, on the surface, these may appear as certain feelings. They might vent their emotions, say depressing things, spread lifelessness and bring about certain negative results, or do things that are relatively extreme. This is what is revealed outwardly. However, behind these manifestations of negative emotions and extreme behaviors, there actually exist various negative thoughts and viewpoints in people. Therefore, although we have been discussing negative emotions during this period, in reality, we are dissecting people’s various negative thoughts and viewpoints by exposing and dissecting their different negative emotions. Why do we expose these thoughts and viewpoints? Do these negative thoughts and viewpoints only affect people’s emotions? Is it solely because they give rise to negative emotions in people? No. These erroneous thoughts and viewpoints do not only influence one’s emotions and pursuits; however, their emotions and external behaviors are what people can see and perceive. Therefore, we use the simple and convenient method of dissecting negative emotions to expose people’s various negative, adverse, and inappropriate thoughts and viewpoints. We expose these thoughts, viewpoints, and negative emotions because these thoughts and viewpoints are related to people’s perspective and stance toward viewing people and things, comporting themselves, and acting in real life. They also have to do with people’s survival goals and direction, and naturally also with their views on life. Hence, we have carried out this exposure of certain negative emotions. Regardless, the main purpose of fellowshiping about various negative emotions is to expose, dissect, and resolve people’s various erroneous, negative, and adverse thoughts and viewpoints. By our revealing these negative thoughts and viewpoints, people will be able to clearly recognize the incorrect views, attitudes, and perspectives that exist in their thoughts toward various people, events, and things. This helps to resolve the various negative emotions caused by these erroneous thoughts and viewpoints and thus allows people to recognize and see through these erroneous thoughts and viewpoints, after which they can seek the correct path, let go of them, and completely abandon them. The ultimate goal is to develop the ability to face, approach, handle, and resolve various people, events, and things one encounters in their day-to-day life or over the course of their life with the correct thoughts and viewpoints. In summary, what is the desired outcome? It is to enable people to recognize and see through the various negative thoughts present within themselves, and after recognizing them, to continuously change and correct these erroneous thoughts and viewpoints in their lives and life paths, to seek, accept, or submit to the correct thoughts and viewpoints that align with the truth, and ultimately to live and comport themselves with the right thoughts and viewpoints. That is the purpose. Do you agree? (Yes.) On the surface, we expose people’s negative emotions, but in fact, we expose their erroneous thoughts and viewpoints toward different people, events, and things. It aims to enable people to use the correct thoughts and viewpoints when encountering various people, events and things to face and handle them, and ultimately act in accordance with the truth principles when viewing people and things, comporting themselves, and acting. Doesn’t this return to the theme of “How to Pursue the Truth”? (Yes.)
Fellowshiping about letting go of various negative emotions ultimately still returns to the broader topic of “How to Pursue the Truth,” without deviating from the main theme, right? (Yes.) At first, some people may think, “Letting go of various negative emotions doesn’t seem to have much to do with pursuing the truth. Negative emotions are just temporary moods or momentary thoughts and ideas.” If it’s a momentary thought or a temporary mood, it doesn’t fall within the scope of the negative emotions we are fellowshiping about. These negative emotions involve issues of principle and substance related to how people view others and things, and how they comport themselves and act. They involve the correct viewpoints, stances, and principles that people should uphold in life, as well as their views on life and ways of living. The ultimate purpose of fellowshiping about these is to enable people, when faced with various matters in life, to no longer handle these matters with their naturalness or hotheadedness, or to deal with these issues using their corrupt dispositions. It also means of course they won’t handle these problems based on the various satanic philosophies instilled in them by society. Instead, they will approach them in the right way, with the conscience and reason that a person should at least possess when dealing with the problems encountered in life. Furthermore, under the basic conditions of normal human conscience and reason, they will treat the various people, events, and things involved and encountered in life and existence according to God’s words, the truth, and the various principles taught by God. Fellowshiping about and dissecting various negative emotions is intended for the sake of achieving this objective. Do you understand? (Yes, I understand.) Tell Me. (God’s objective in fellowshiping about and dissecting these negative emotions is to enable people to discern and turn around the erroneous thoughts and viewpoints within their negative emotions, thereby letting go of these negative emotions and relying on conscience and reason to correctly handle and deal with the various people, events, and things they encounter in life according to God’s words and the truth principles. This allows them to gradually change their view on life, to view people and things based on the truth, to comport themselves and act in accordance with the truth, and to live out their normal humanity.) If I didn’t fellowship about or dissect these negative emotions, if I neither fellowshiped about nor exposed people’s various negative thoughts and viewpoints, then when people encountered problems in their daily lives, they would often take the wrong stance and perspective, facing, handling, and resolving these matters with erroneous thoughts and viewpoints. In this way, to a large extent, people would often be constrained, bound and controlled by these negative thoughts, unable to handle various problems in life according to God’s requirements or the principles and methods revealed in God’s words. Of course, if a person has the correct thoughts and viewpoints toward various people, events, and things, as well as the right perspective and stance, it will greatly assist them, when they encounter these people, events, and things, to handle them with the correct perspective, or at least within the scope of normal human conscience and reason, and avoid handling various issues in a hotheaded way or according to their corrupt dispositions, which can lead to unnecessary trouble and bring about unwanted consequences. For example, how a person approaches the future, illness, family, marriage, affections, money, relationships between people, and their own talents, as well as their social status and worth, and other similar issues, is based on what they have heard, learned, or been influenced and affected by in their family or society before coming to an understanding of the truth, not to mention some experiences or methods they have come up with themselves. Each person has their own unique way of approaching things, and each person emphasizes a certain attitude when dealing with matters. Of course, there is a common factor in the different ways people approach things, in that they are all dominated and governed by negative, adverse, erroneous, or biased thoughts and viewpoints. Their ultimate aim is to achieve their own fame, fortune, and self-interest. To be more specific, these thoughts and viewpoints come from the instillation and teachings of Satan. It can also be said that they originate from the various erroneous thoughts and viewpoints that Satan spreads, advocates, and nurtures throughout humankind. Under the direction of these erroneous thoughts and viewpoints, people unconsciously use them to protect themselves and ensure the maximization of their own interests. They try their best to utilize these various thoughts and viewpoints that originate from society and the world to safeguard themselves and seek the maximization of their own benefits in order to attain their self-interests. Of course, this quest for attainment stops at nothing and goes beyond moral boundaries as well as conscience and reason. Therefore, under the direction of these negative emotions and negative thoughts and viewpoints, the ultimate result of how people view others and things and how they comport themselves and act can only lead to mutual exploitation, deception, harm, and conflicts among people. Eventually, under the direction, bondage, or enticement of various negative thoughts and viewpoints, people will drift further away from God’s requirements, or even from the principles of how to comport oneself and act as taught by God. It can also be said that under the direction and enticement of various negative thoughts, people will never truly gain the truth or enter into the reality of practicing the truth as required by God. It also becomes difficult for them to abide by the principle of basing their views on people and things and their comportment and actions on God’s words, with the truth as their criterion. Therefore, as people resolve their own negative emotions, in actuality they are also required to let go of various negative thoughts and viewpoints. Only when people recognize the various erroneous thoughts and viewpoints within themselves can they let go of every kind of negative emotion. Of course, as people let go of various negative thoughts and viewpoints, their negative emotions are also largely resolved. For example, let’s consider the depressive emotions we fellowshiped about earlier. In simple terms, if a person gives rise to these negative emotions because they constantly feel that their fate is bad, then when they hold onto the thoughts and viewpoints that their fate is bad, they unconsciously sink into the emotion of depression. Moreover, their subjective consciousness increasingly reinforces the belief that their fate is bad. Whenever they encounter something slightly difficult or challenging, they think, “Oh, my fate is bad.” They attribute it to their bad fate. As a result, they live in the negative emotions of despair, self-abandonment, and depression. If people can correctly face the various difficulties they encounter in life or seek the truth when negative thoughts and viewpoints arise, relying on God’s words to face them, recognizing what human destiny is all about, and believing that their fate is in God’s hands and that He is in control, they can then approach these adversities, challenges, obstacles, and difficulties in life correctly, or understand these struggles correctly. In doing so, does their thought and viewpoint of having a bad fate change any? At the same time, do they gain a proper stance to face these problems? (Yes.) When people have the right stance in confronting these issues, their feelings of depression gradually improve, changing from severe to moderate, transitioning from moderate to mild, until from a mild state they dissipate completely and disappear from their being. Consequently, their feelings of depression cease to exist. What is the reason for this? It is because their previously held thought and viewpoint of “My fate is bad” undergoes a transformation. After it is corrected, they no longer view their fate with a sense of depression but approach issues with a proactive and optimistic attitude, the methods of God’s teachings, and the perspective of the essence of destiny He has revealed to humanity. Therefore, when faced with the same problem they encountered before, they no longer view their destiny through the thoughts and viewpoints of having a bad fate, and they no longer resist or rebel against these issues with feelings of depression. Although initially they may ignore or handle them with indifference, over time, as they delve deeper into the pursuit of truth and grow in stature, as their perspective and stance in viewing people and things become increasingly correct, their feelings of depression not only disappear, but they also become more proactive and optimistic. Eventually, they gain a complete understanding and clear insight into the nature of human destiny. They can handle and approach these matters correctly with an attitude or reality of submission to God’s orchestration. At that point, they have completely let go of their feelings of depression. Letting go of negative emotions is such a process, it is a significant topic in life. In summary, when a negative emotion takes root deep within a person’s heart or influences how they view people and things, and how they comport themselves and act, it is without doubt more than just a simple negative emotion. Behind it lies an incorrect thought or viewpoint regarding this, that, or another matter. In such cases, what you need to do is not only analyze the source of the negative emotions but, more importantly, examine the hidden killer within your negative emotions. This hidden element is a negative thought or viewpoint that has deeply rooted itself within your heart over a long period, a wrong or erroneous thought or viewpoint toward dealing with things. In terms of erroneous and negative aspects, this thought or viewpoint definitely contradicts the truth and stands in opposition to it. At this point, your task is not simply to think about, dissect, and become acquainted with it, but rather to thoroughly understand the harm it poses to you, the control and bondage it exerts over you, and the negative impact it has on your pursuit of truth. Therefore, what you need to do is to expose, dissect, and recognize various negative thoughts and viewpoints; at the same time, you must seek God’s words to discern and see through to them according to the truth principles fellowshiped about by God, replace your erroneous or negative thoughts and viewpoints with the truth and completely resolve the negative emotions that have been entangling you. This is the path to resolving negative emotions.
Some people say, “I haven’t noticed any negative emotions in myself so far.” Don’t worry, sooner or later, at the right time, in the appropriate environment, or when you reach the appropriate age or a special significant juncture in life, these negative emotions will naturally emerge. You don’t have to consciously look or dig for them; more or less, to some extent they exist in everyone’s hearts. That’s because people live in the human world, no one approaches anything like a computer would, without bringing their own thoughts and viewpoints into consideration, and people’s thoughts are active, they are like a container capable of receiving positive and negative things. Unfortunately, long before people started accepting positive thoughts and viewpoints, they already accepted various erroneous and incorrect thoughts and viewpoints from Satan, society, and the corrupt humankind. These incorrect thoughts and viewpoints have filled the depths of people’s souls, severely impacting and interfering with their daily lives and life paths. Therefore, at the same time as various negative thoughts and viewpoints accompany people’s lives and their existence, various negative emotions also accompany their lives and the path of their existence. So, regardless of the individual, one day you will discover that not only do you have a few temporary negative emotions, you have many. Not only do you possess one negative thought or viewpoint, numerous negative thoughts and viewpoints exist in you simultaneously. Although they have yet to be revealed, it is only because there is no suitable environment, appropriate time, or trigger that might cause you to expose your erroneous thoughts and viewpoints or vent and reveal your negative emotions, or that environment or time has not yet arrived. If one of these factors comes into play, it will act as a fuse, igniting your negative emotions and negative thoughts and viewpoints so that they explode. You will involuntarily be influenced, controlled, and bound by them. They may even become an obstruction for you and influence your choices. It is only a matter of time. It’s because the various negative emotions we have fellowshiped about are issues that may be encountered in people’s life or on the path of their existence, and they are realistic problems faced by every person in their life or existence. They are not empty but concrete. Because these negative emotions directly involve the principles one should uphold and the outlook on survival they should have, it is necessary for us to carefully dig into and dissect these issues.
Previously, we fellowshiped about the negative emotion of “repression.” How many times did we fellowship about the issue of “repression”? (We fellowshiped about it twice.) What did we fellowship about the first time? (The first time we fellowshiped about how people often cannot do as they please, giving rise to negative emotions of repression. The second time, we fellowshiped about how people cannot utilize their expertise and often live in a state of repressed negative emotions.) We fellowshiped about these two aspects. From them, can we say that behind these two types of repression, there are similarly hidden thoughts and viewpoints regarding how people approach life? The first type, which stems from the inability to do as one pleases, represents what kind of thought or viewpoint? It is the mindset of always wanting to be willful and irresponsible, doing things based on impulse, mood, feeling, and interest, without understanding the need to take on responsibility. Isn’t this a certain attitude people adopt toward life? (Yes.) It is also a survival method. Is this a positive attitude and survival method? (No.) It is not positive. People always want to live as they please, doing things willfully based on mood, interest, and hobbies. This is not the correct way of living; it is negative and needs to be resolved. Of course, the negative emotions arising from this negative attitude and survival method should be resolved even more so. The other type is negative emotions of repression that emerge from the inability to utilize one’s own expertise. When people cannot demonstrate their expertise, showcase themselves, reflect their individual value, receive validation from others, or satisfy their own preferences, they feel unhappy, melancholy, and repressed. Is this a correct method and perspective of existing? (No.) Incorrect things ought to be changed and the truth should be sought in order to resolve them and replace them with the right way that aligns with the truth and normal humanity. We previously fellowshiped about these two reasons behind the emergence of repressive emotions, such as the inability to do as one pleases and the inability to utilize one’s expertise. There is another reason for the emergence of repressive emotions, can you think of what it is? What are some other things related to one’s own existential viewpoint that can make people feel repressed? Not sure? Another reason is feeling repressed and giving rise to negative emotions of repression because one cannot fulfill their ideals and desires. Think about this for a moment, does this issue of repression exist? Is it a real problem for humans? (Yes.) The people we discussed earlier who wish to do as they please tend to be more self-centered and willful. Their attitude toward life is characterized by acting on their impulses and doing whatever they want. They prefer to lord themselves over others and are not suited to living in a community. Their survival method is to make everyone else revolve around them, and they are selfish and unable to live in harmony or collaborate harmoniously with others. The second type of person who gives rise to repression is someone who always wants to show off, to put themselves on display, who thinks they are all that’s necessary, and never gives others the space to exist. As long as they possess a bit of expertise or talent, they’ll want to exhibit it regardless of whether the environment is suitable or whether their expertise is valuable or can be used in God’s house. This kind of person also tends to emphasize individualism, right? Are all of these involved in people’s survival methods? (Yes.) Both these methods of living and survival are incorrect. Now, let’s return to the negative emotions of repression we discussed earlier that arise from not being able to fulfill one’s ideals and desires. Regardless of the occasion, environment, or period, and no matter what kind of work they engage in, they always center on the goal of realizing their own ideals and desires, making it their standard. If they cannot realize or accomplish this purpose, they feel repressed and sad. Isn’t this also a survival method for a certain type of person? (Yes.) This is also a survival method for certain people. So, what is the main thought or viewpoint of those who live by this survival method? It is that as long as they have ideals and desires, regardless of where they are or what they are doing, their purpose is to realize their own ideals and desires. This is their survival method and their goal. Regardless of the price others have to pay or the sacrifices others have to make, regardless of how many people have to bear the burden or sacrifice their own personal interests for their ideals and desires, they will pursue the goal of realizing their own ideals and desires without giving up. They are even willing to step on the shoulders of others or sacrifice others’ interests without hesitation. If they cannot achieve this goal, they feel repressed. Is this kind of thought or viewpoint correct? (No.) What is wrong with it? (It’s too selfish!) Is the term “selfish” positive or negative? (It’s negative.) It is a negative and an adverse thing, so it must be resolved based on the truth.
How should one resolve these repressed emotions that arise from being unable to fulfill their ideals and desires? Let’s first examine the various ideals and desires that people have. How about starting our fellowship from there? (Alright.) Starting our fellowship from what ideals and desires people have makes it easier for people to understand and follow a clear train of thought. So, let’s first take a look at the ideals and desires that people have. Some ideals and desires are realistic, while others are unrealistic. Some people have idealistic ideals, while others have realistic ones. Should we first fellowship about the ideals of idealists or the ideals of realists? (The realistic ones.) The realistic ones. What about unrealistic ideals? Should we fellowship about them or not? If we don’t fellowship about them, will people be aware of them? (They won’t be aware.) If they won’t be aware of them without fellowshiping, then we truly need to fellowship about them. Often, even without fellowshiping, people can perceive the ideals of realists. These things exist in everyone’s thoughts and consciousness. Some ideals and desires remain unchanged from childhood to adulthood, regardless of whether they are realized or not, while others change with age. As people grow older and their knowledge, horizon, and experience expand, their ideals and desires constantly change. They become more realistic, closer to real life, and more specific. For example, some people wanted to become a singer when they were young, but as they grew up, they realized they couldn’t stay in tune, so becoming a singer was not realistic. Then they thought about becoming an actor. Several years later, they looked in the mirror and realized they weren’t very attractive. Although they were slightly taller, they weren’t good at acting, and their expressions didn’t look very natural. Being an actor was also unrealistic. So, they thought about becoming a director instead, so they could direct movies for actors. When they reached their twenties and had to choose a major in college, their ideal changed into becoming a director. After graduation, when they received their diploma for directing and entered the real world, they realized that being a director required fame and prestige, required qualifications, as well as financial resources, which they lacked in every respect. No one would hire them as a director. Therefore, they had to settle for less and find their way in the film industry, perhaps as a script supervisor or a production coordinator. Over time, they thought, “Being a producer might suit me. I enjoy being busy and raising money, I can speak well, and I’m reasonably good-looking. People don’t find me irritating, and I can communicate well with others and win their favor. Producing might be a good fit for me.” You see, their ideal gradually changed. Why did it change? It initially changed because their thoughts gradually matured, their perception of things became more accurate, more objective and practical. Then, living in the real world, based on their real-life environment and the practical needs and pressures of life, their previous ideals were gradually altered by that environment. At a dead end, unable to become a director, they chose to become a producer instead. But did becoming a producer actually realize their ideals or not? They couldn’t quite figure it out themselves. Anyway, once they started, they did it for about ten years, or even until retirement. This is a general overview of the ideals of realists.
We were just discussing how people’s ideals can be divided into the ideals of idealists and the ideals of realists, these two categories. Let’s begin talking about the ideals of idealists. The ideals of realists should be easy to distinguish. The ideals of idealists, on the other hand, are not very concrete and are somewhat distant from real life. They are also far removed from the practical matters involved in human survival, such as daily necessities. These ideals have concrete concepts but lack a specific landing point. You could say that these ideals and desires are fantasies, relatively empty and detached from human nature. Some can be considered abstract, and some are even ideals and desires that arise from a fragmented personality. What are the ideals of idealists? Idealism should be easy to understand. It is a daydream, a fantasy, unrelated to the practical matters of daily necessities in real life. For example, being a poet, an immortal poet, wandering the earth; or being a swordsman, a knight-errant, also wandering the earth, remaining unmarried and childless, free from the entanglement of life’s trivialities, free from the worry of daily necessities, living easy and relaxed, drifting here and there, always aspiring to become immortal and escape from real life. Is this the ideal of an idealist? (Yes.) Do any of you have such thoughts? (No.) What about those famous poets in China’s past who used to get drunk and write poetry? Were they idealists or realists? (Idealists.) The ideas they advocated were the fantasies and daydreams of idealists. They were always drifting here and there, and spoke in vague and uncertain terms, imagining how beautiful the world was, how peaceful humankind could be, how people could coexist in harmony. They detached themselves from the conscience, reason, and life necessities of normal humanity. They divorced themselves from these real-life issues and imagined a utopian or imaginary realm that was completely disconnected from reality. They envisioned themselves as beings within that realm, living in that space. Isn’t this the ideal of an idealist? There is a poem from the past, and one of the lines reads “I’d like to ride the wind and fly home.” What was the title of that poem? (“Water Melody.”) Read the lines of that poem. (“I’d like to ride the wind and fly home. I’m afraid it’s too cold in the sky, with the jade-palace being too high. Dancing to my shadow, I feel no longer the mortal tie.”) What does he mean by saying, “Dancing to my shadow, I feel no longer the mortal tie”? Do these two lines convey the repressive and resentful emotions of an idealist whose ideals could not be achieved or realized? Are they something expressed under this repressive emotion? What is the focus of this? Which sentence indicates the environment and background in which he found himself at that time? Is it “I’m afraid it’s too cold in the sky”? (Yes.) He was exposing the darkness and evil of officialdom, a corrupt place to be in. He wanted to be like an immortal, to escape such an environment and situation. Wouldn’t it be enough for him to simply quit being an official? Could it be that he wanted to change this environment? He was dissatisfied with such an environment, feeling that it did not match the environment of the ideal life he envisioned, and he felt repressed deep within. This is a type of ideal that an idealist has. The ideals of idealists mostly tend toward fantasies, they are unrealistic and abstract, disconnected from real life. It’s as if they live in another world outside the material realm, in an independent and individual space, indulging in fantasies and detached from reality. Just like some people living in modern society, they always want to dress in ancient clothing, style their hair in ancient ways, and speak in an ancient language. They think, “Ah, that kind of life is too wonderful! Just like an immortal, drifting and wandering, free from the troubles of the physical body, free from the various hardships of real life. In that kind of living environment, there is no oppression, no exploitation, no worries. People are equal, helping and living in harmony with one another. How beautiful and desirable are those ideal living conditions!” Among unbelievers, there are some who pursue these things. Some people sing similar songs or write similar poems, or put on similar performances. As a result, people yearn even more for that other world that idealists dream of. And when some people sing these songs or put on these shows, the more they sing, the more melancholy their mood becomes, the more they long for and cling to that ideal world. What happens in the end? Some people, after singing for a long time, feel that they can’t escape their worries. No matter how much they sing, they still can’t feel the warmth of human world. No matter how much they sing, they still feel that the imagined realm of their idealism is better. They become disillusioned with the world, no longer wanting to live in this human realm, and they ultimately make a firm decision to go to that ideal world in their own way. Some swallow poison, some jump off buildings, some strangle themselves with their leggings, and some become monks and pursue spiritual practice. In their words, they have seen through the illusion of worldly attachments. In fact, there is no need to resort to such extreme measures and methods to resolve their disillusionment with the world. There are many ways to address such problems and difficulties, but because they fail to perceive the underlying essence of these issues, they ultimately choose extreme methods to address these difficulties and escape from them in order to achieve the purpose of realizing their ideals. This represents some of the idealists who dwell among unbelievers and their problems.
In the house of God, in the church, are there people who have similar ideals? Certainly, you just haven’t discovered them yet, so I’ll tell you about them. There are individuals who, while in the secular world, yearn for an ideal society of peace, harmony, tranquility, and equality for all, as the idealists among unbelievers do. This ideal society is like the utopias depicted by some poets or authors, though, of course, more often it’s like some spaces, ways of life, or living environments that exist within people’s ideal worlds. These people, driven by such needs and ideals, unconsciously seek out their own faith in order to realize their ideals. While searching, they discover that believing in God is a good path and a fine choice of faith. Carrying their ideals with them, they come into the house of God, hoping to experience warmth, care, and being treasured and looked after among people, and of course, they hope even more to feel God’s great love and protection. They enter God’s house with their ideals, and whether they fulfill their duties or not, in any case, their ideals remain unchanged—they always carry and hold their ideals within them. From beginning to end, their ideals can be described as follows: Upon entering the house of God, they hope that it is a place where they can feel warmth, where they can enjoy warmth, happiness, and well-being. They hope that it is a place without any strife, suspicion, or discrimination between people, a place where there is no bullying, deceit, harm being done, or exclusion happening among people. These are basically the ideals that can be found in the minds of such idealists. That is, they envision a place where people treat each other like machines, devoid of life and any thoughts, smiling, nodding, and bowing mechanically when they meet to show friendliness, to show that there is no hostility. In this ideal place, there is great love between people, and they can care for, treasure, look after, help, understand, and accommodate one another, and even shield and cover up for each other. These are all some of the things that idealists idealize and dream about. For example, when idealists enter the house of God, their ideal and hope is that older people might be respected, treasured, looked after, and given meticulous attention and care by the younger ones. Besides respect, they also hope that people will use honorific titles, addressing brothers as “Big Uncle So-and-So,” “Uncle This-or-That,” or “Uncle So-and-So,” and their sisters as “Grandmother Such-and-Such,” “Aunt So-and-So,” or “Sister So-and-So”—basically, with everyone having their own form of address. They hope that people will be especially cordial, harmonious, and courteous to each other externally, and that no one will have any ill-will or any bad or evil things either on the surface or deep within their hearts. They hope that if anyone makes a mistake or encounters difficulties, everybody can extend a helping hand to assist them, and furthermore, also supply them with deep care and tolerance. Especially when it comes to those who are weak, and to those relatively guileless people who are easily bullied or oppressed by others in the world—they hope even more so that when such people come into the church, to the house of God, they can receive meticulous care, attention, and special treatment. As these idealists say, when they came into the house of God, they wished that everyone would be happy and well, and they hoped that since they all believed in God, they’d be a big family and siblings together. They think that there should be no bullying, no punishing, no harm being done. They believe that if a problem arises, there should be no disputes or anger among people, and that instead everyone should treat each other calmly, and with great patience and helpfulness, that they should always make others feel comfortable, and that each person should only show their best and kindest side to others, while keeping their evil or bad side to themselves. They believe that people should treat each other like machines, that they should not hold any negative views or opinions about other people, and much less do anything negative to one another; they think that people should have good intentions toward others, and that this proverb puts it well, “The good have peaceful lives.” They think that only this is the true house of God and the true church. However, the ideals of these idealists have yet to be realized. In their place, God’s house focuses on principles, emphasizing mutual help and support among people, and requiring everyone to treat all kinds of people based on the truth principles and God’s words. God’s house has even put forward some requirements that are “inconsiderate” toward people, like distinguishing between different types of people, and treating them differently. God’s house also requires that people stand up to expose and deal with anyone they see harming the interests of the house of God, violating the work arrangements, or going against the principles, so that the interests of the house of God may be safeguarded, and it does not permit people to shield or cover up for anyone based on feelings. Of course, God’s house has also established various levels of leadership. In one respect, God’s house requires leaders at all levels to take care of the day-to-day work of the church. In another, it requires them to strictly supervise, manage, and follow up on various tasks, while also staying informed about, understanding, and paying attention to the states and church life of different kinds of individuals at all times, observing the attitudes and tendencies they have while fulfilling their duties, and making reasonable and appropriate adjustments when necessary. Of course, God’s house also requires leaders and workers to strictly deal with and prune any individuals they discover going against the work arrangements of God’s house or violating the principles and disrupting and disturbing the church’s work, issuing warnings for minor offenses, and handling more serious cases appropriately. In this context, some people have been cleansed away, expelled, or had their names struck off. Of course, when people come into the house of God to fulfill various duties and engage in various tasks, many of them hear, see, or experience the chastisement and judgment that comes from God’s words; furthermore, they experience being dealt with and pruned by leaders of different ranks. These different environments and matters that people encounter in God’s house are completely different from the ideal house of God and church envisioned by idealists, to the extent that they are enormously outside of their expectations, and this causes them to feel a significant amount of pressure deep within their hearts. In one respect, they find the various occurrences that appear in the church, or the church’s methods and principles for handling problems, to be inconceivable. In another respect, repressive emotions arise within the depths of their hearts due to their ideals and their misconceptions about positive things, the church, and God’s house. After these repressive emotions arise, because they fail to promptly correct their erroneous thoughts and viewpoints, or see through to and clearly recognize the problems with their ideals, many notions consequently start to emerge within them. In addition, since they are unable to understand the truth or to use the truth to resolve these notions, they start to take root deep in their thoughts or in the depths of their souls, causing their repressive emotions to be constantly amplified and to become increasingly severe. In reality, God, the house of God, the church, believers, and Christians are all incompatible with the idyllic paradise, heaven, or utopia imagined by these idealists in their ideals. As a result, the repression that lies deep within their hearts continues to accumulate constantly, and they have no way to free themselves from it. Are there people like this in the church? (Yes.)
Some people say, “Oh, why does the house of God always talk about accepting judgment and chastisement? How can believers in God still face being dealt with and pruned? Oh, why does the house of God expel people? There is no love in it at all! How can such things happen in ‘heaven on earth’? How can antichrists appear in the church? How can there be occurrences of antichrists repressing and punishing others? In the church, in God’s house, how can people expose and analyze one another? How can there be disputes? How can there be jealousy and conflict? What is going on? Since we have come into the house of God, there should be love among us, and we should all be able to help one another. How can these things still occur?” Are there many people with these ideas? Many people view the house of God through the lens of their imaginations. Now, tell Me, are these imaginings and interpretations objective? (No, they are not objective.) Where do they lack objectivity? (Humanity is deeply corrupt, and those whom God saves all have corrupt dispositions, so they will inevitably reveal corruption in their interactions with others. There will be jealousy and conflict, and there will be incidents of bullying and suppression. These things are bound to happen. The things imagined by idealists like these do not exist. Furthermore, in order to safeguard the church life and work, the church will deal with and prune people based on the truth principles, or adjust and replace people, or clear out and expel evil people and nonbelievers—this is in accordance with the principles. That is because when people act according to their corrupt dispositions, they disrupt and disturb the work of the church. It would be unrealistic if the church did not take measures like dealing with and pruning, or replacing and removing such people.) It is unrealistic, which is why these people’s ideas are the ideals of idealists. None of them are realistic, they are all empty and imagined, right? Even now, such people still don’t understand why they should believe in God. Some people say, “Believing in God is good. Believing in God means doing good things and being a good person.” Is this statement correct? (No, it is not correct.) “Believers in God should have good intentions in their hearts.” Is this statement correct? (No, it is not correct.) Having good intentions in one’s heart—what kind of statement is this? Can you have good intentions simply by wanting to? Do you have good intentions? Is having good intentions in one’s heart a principle of human comportment? It is just a slogan, a doctrine. It is an empty thing. When your own interests aren’t involved, you can say this quite nicely, thinking, “I have good intentions in my heart, I don’t bully, harm, cheat, or take advantage of others.” But when your own interests, status, and pride are involved, will the statement “having good intentions in one’s heart” be capable of restraining you? Can it solve your corrupt disposition? (No, it cannot.) Therefore, this statement is empty; it is not the truth. The truth is able to expose the essence of your corrupt disposition, it can expose and dissect the essence and true nature of the kind of things that you do, and determine and condemn the essence of these things that you do and of the disposition you reveal. Then it provides you with the appropriate path and principles to change your way of living and the way you comport yourself and act. In this way, if people can accept the truth and change their way of living, then their corrupt dispositions can be resolved; it is not urging people to have good intentions in their hearts that can do this, only the truth can. The truth resolves one’s corrupt dispositions not by providing slogans, doctrines, or regulations and rules, but by giving them principles, criteria, and directions for how to comport themselves. It uses these principles, criteria, and directions to supplant and replace people’s corrupt disposition. When people’s principles, criteria, and directions for how to comport themselves change and are corrected, all the various erroneous ideas and wrong thoughts in their minds naturally change as well. When a person understands and gains the truth, their thoughts change accordingly. It is not a matter of having good intentions in one’s heart but of a change in the source of their thoughts, in their disposition, and in their essence. What is revealed and lived out by such a person becomes positive. The direction, manner, and source of how they comport themselves all undergo a change. Their speech and actions have God’s words as their basis and criterion, and they can live out normal humanity. So, is it still necessary to simply tell them to “have good intentions in their hearts”? Is it useful? That statement is empty; it cannot resolve any problems at all. After idealists come into the house of God, the church, their ideals still cannot be realized, and they feel repressed in their hearts because of this. It’s like how some idealists go deep within the government or society and then find that their ideals cannot be realized or fulfilled. As a result, they often feel disheartened. After some people become officials or emperors, they feel very pleased with themselves and become deeply arrogant, just like that line in a poem that says, “A strong wind rises, the clouds are scattered.” How does the next line go? (“Now that my might rules all within the seas, I return to my homeland.”) You see, their words sound strange. They possess a kind of emotion that people with normal humanity and reason find hard to understand. These idealists always speak in a lofty tone. What does it mean to speak in a lofty tone? It means they never face reality or solve real problems in anything they do. They don’t understand what reality is, they are always driven by emotions. When these people come into the house of God, no matter how much of the truth they hear, they don’t understand what it means to believe in God or the significance of believing in God. They don’t comprehend the value of the truth, let alone the value of pursuing it. What they always pursue is the ideals of idealists. Their dream is for the house of God to one day be as they envision, where people treat each other with respect, live harmoniously together, get along very well with each other, and treasure, look after, cherish, help, and thank one another. Where people say nice things and words of blessing to each other, without any unpleasant or hurtful words, or words that expose people’s corrupt essence, or any disputes, or people exposing and dealing with one another. No matter how much of the truth they hear, these people still do not understand the meaning of believing in God, or what God’s requirements are, and what kind of person God wants people to be. Not only do they not understand these things, but they also hope even more that one day they can enjoy the idealistic treatment they desire in God’s house. If they don’t receive such treatment, they feel that there is no place in the house of God where their ideals may be realized, nor any opportunity to realize them. Therefore, some people often think about giving up while feeling repressed, saying, “Believing in God feels boring and empty. Believers in God do not help, cherish, and respect each other in the same way those who believe in Buddhism do. And believers in God are always discussing the truth and the principles, they often talk about discernment in interpersonal relationships, there is the occasional exposure and criticism, and they even frequently encounter being dealt with and pruned. This is not the kind of life I want.” If they didn’t have their ideals and the thread of hope that they will get into heaven, idealists like this could leave the church at any time and find another path. So, tell Me, are these people of God’s house? Are they suited to remain in the house of God? (No, they are not.) Where do you think they should go? (They are suited to join the monastic life.) They could go to Buddhist or Taoist temples, either would be fine. They don’t feel repressed in the secular world but feel particularly repressed in the house of God, they feel that they don’t have the opportunity to realize their ideals or a space to put them to use. Therefore, these people are very suited to places filled with wreaths of smoke and the continual burning of incense. Those places are quiet, and they don’t teach you how you ought to comport yourself. They don’t expose your various erroneous thoughts and viewpoints, and they don’t expose or deal with your corrupt disposition. There is distance and respect between people there. People don’t exchange more than a few words a day, and there aren’t any disputes. You’re under nobody’s supervision or regulation. You’ll live a self-sufficient life there, barely encountering strangers throughout the year. You won’t have to worry about daily affairs. If you need something for your physical sustenance, you can take a small bowl or a begging bowl and beg for alms from the general populace, and get some food to eat, without needing to earn money. In those places, all worldly troubles disappear. People treat each other very kindly, and no one argues with anyone else. If there are any disagreements, they remain in people’s hearts. Days are spent in ease and comfort. This is what is known as the land of ultimate bliss, it is the place of idealist’s ideals, and the place where idealists can realize their ideals. These people should live in the place of their imagining, not in the church. For people like them, there are too many things to do in the church. Every day, they must read God’s words, attend gatherings, learn each of the principles, and fellowship on the truth and on understanding their own corrupt dispositions all the time; some people, who act based on their corrupt dispositions and violate the principles, face being dealt with and pruned, and a few people even encounter these things frequently. These people feel particularly repressed and unhappy here. The church is not their ideal environment. They believe that instead of using up their time or wasting their youth in this place, it would be better to go live in a place that they like a bit sooner. They think that there is no need to use up their time here, constantly feeling repressed and leading an uncomfortable, joyless, and unhappy life. This is the only typical manifestation of the ideals of idealists that we will cover. There is nothing much to say about these people. No matter how much of the truth you fellowship with them, they will not listen to it. All day they indulge in fantasies, and the things they think about are all very unrealistic and vague, and are just too far removed from normal humanity. They think about these things all day long and cannot communicate with normal people. Normal people also cannot understand the stuff their world is made of. Therefore, no matter what kind of thoughts and viewpoints these people hold, their ideals are hollow. Because their ideals are hollow, their thoughts and viewpoints are naturally hollow as well. They are not worth dissecting or digging into very deeply. Since they are hollow, let them continue to be so. These people can go wherever they want, and the house of God will not interfere. If they are willing to stay in the house of God and fulfill a bit of their duties or render service, as long as they don’t cause a disturbance or do evil, we will meet their needs and give them the opportunity to repent. In short, as long as they remain amicable toward the brothers and sisters, toward the house of God, and toward the church, there is no need for us to handle this type of person, unless they themselves express a desire to leave. If that’s the case, let us welcome this with open arms, alright? (Alright.) That’s settled, then.
The ideals of idealists tend to be hollow, while those of realists are much more practical and closely aligned with people’s lives and actual environments. Of course, they also relate more concretely to questions of human life and existence, including questions of settling down and starting one’s life. Settling down and starting one’s life involves the skills, abilities, and talents people acquire, the various types of education they receive, and their gifts, capabilities, and expertise. The ideals of realists encompass these aspects. In the realm of realists’ ideals, whether aimed at improving their living conditions or satisfying their own spiritual world, these ideals manifest concretely in people’s real lives. For instance, some people possess leadership abilities and enjoy being in the limelight. They may excel in public speaking or verbal communication, or have a keen understanding of people and adeptness in utilizing them, which can be more aptly described as ordering people about. Consequently, people like this are particularly fond of holding office, assuming leadership roles, or working in human resources. Once aware of their aptitude in these areas, they aspire to be leaders or organizers among people, overseeing tasks and personnel or even directing a certain task. Their primary ideal is to become leaders. Of course, this is how they act in society. When they enter the house of God, they perceive it as a religious organization, a unique one at that. After joining the church, their ideals remain unchanged. Their ideals are unaffected by changes in the environment or background in which they live. They bring with them the same ideal of leadership into the house of God. Their desire is to hold leadership positions in God’s house, such as leading a church, being responsible for a specific level, or leading a group. This is their ideal. However, because work arrangements in God’s house have principles and regulations for selecting leaders or workers, and these people fail to meet the qualifications required, even if they occasionally participate in the leadership selection process for a specific level, they ultimately cannot achieve their ideal and become the leaders they aspire to be. The more they are unable to attain leadership or do their ideal job, the more their ideals stir within them, intensifying their longing for leadership. Consequently, they exert great effort in various endeavors, be it among their brothers and sisters or in front of higher-level leaders, to showcase themselves, make themselves look outstanding and exceptional, and make sure their talents are recognized. They may even compromise their own conscience to cater to the preferences of their brothers and sisters, doing or saying certain things and purposefully manifesting certain behaviors in order to conform to the leadership requirements set by the work arrangements of God’s house. However, despite their persistent efforts, they are still unable to achieve their ideals of becoming leaders. There are those who feel disheartened, lost, and disconnected from themselves. The negative emotions of repression they had previously experienced intensify when they believe in God but cannot accept the truth or find solutions to their problems. They have always desired to hold office and be leaders, and these ideals had already sprouted in their hearts even before they came to believe in God. Because they were unable to realize their ideals, there was always an invisible sense of repression deep within them. Even after entering the house of God, where their ideals still cannot be realized, the feelings of repression within them grow stronger and heavier. These people grow resentful because their leadership abilities are not being utilized, and they feel unfortunate, disappointed, and repressed because their ideals cannot be achieved. Since their ideals remain unfulfilled, they feel a sense of injustice within themselves. As they have no outlet for their abilities, they become disheartened about life and the path ahead. Consequently, in their daily lives, they often carry a feeling of repression while doing various tasks. Some people, even after many efforts and attempts, still cannot become leaders or achieve their ideal. In such situations, they begin to resort to various means to vent their emotions and release or convey their repression. Of course, some who believe in God while still holding on to their ideals to hold office obtain their hearts’ desire and become leaders in the church. However, they are unable to fulfill their duties as leaders according to God’s requirements and the arrangements of God’s house. At the same time, they find themselves reluctantly fulfilling these leadership roles under the demands and supervision of God’s house and of their brothers and sisters. Although they have achieved their ideals and are doing the things they ideally wished to do, they still feel repressed. This is because they are leading based on the foundation of realizing their personal ideals, and even though they may appear to externally or superficially be fulfilling the tasks required by the house of God, their ideals go far beyond these responsibilities. Their ambitions, ideals, desires, and vision extend far beyond the scope of their current roles. Due to the work arrangements of the house of God and God’s requirements, their actions and thoughts, as well as their plans and intentions, are bound and restricted. Therefore, even after assuming leadership positions, they still feel repressed. What is the cause of these problems? It is because, despite becoming leaders, they continue to pursue the realization of their own ideals and the promises they have made in their own ideals. However, serving as leaders in the house of God or in the church does not realize their ideals and desires, and their feelings become mixed and contradict each other. Due to these conflicts and their inability to let go of their own ideals and pursuits, they often feel repressed deep within and unable to find release. This is one type of person. In the house of God, among these idealists, there are those who fight for their ideals but still cannot achieve them, and there are also those who fight for and eventually realize their ideals but still feel repressed. Regardless of which situation they find themselves in, these are people who have not given up on their ideals and still continue to pursue them while fulfilling their duties and living their lives in the house of God.
There are also others who possess a talent for writing, verbal communication, and literature. They hope to express their thoughts through their literary skills and, at the same time, showcase these skills and make people notice their ability, value, and contribution to the house of God. Their ideal is to pursue becoming an outstanding and qualified writer and intellectual. When they enter the house of God and begin to fulfill text-based duties, they feel that they have found a place to utilize their abilities. They eagerly demonstrate their strengths and talents to realize their ideal of becoming writers and intellectuals. Although they continue fulfilling their duties, they do not give up on their ideals. In their fulfillment of duties, it can be said that 80 to 90 percent of it is based on their ideals, in other words, the motivation for fulfilling their duties comes from their pursuit of and hope for these ideals. Consequently, the fulfillment of duties for people like this is quite adulterated, making it difficult for them to meet the standards of fulfilling duties according to the truth principles and the required standards of God. They do not come into the house of God solely to fulfill their duties, rather they hope to take advantage of the opportunity of fulfilling their duties to display their own talents, longing to achieve their ideals and demonstrate their value through the exhibition of their talents. Hence, their greatest obstacle in fulfilling their duties to standard is their ideals, that is, their process of fulfilling duties is mixed up with personal preferences and their thoughts and perspectives on various people, events, and things. Some people have an understanding of certain professional skills or have a certain talent, for example, some understand computer technology and enjoy working as computer engineers. They wear glasses, dress professionally, and most characteristically, carry laptops that are unique or that others seldom see. No matter where they go, they sit there with their laptops and open them up to check information on different webpages and handle various problems with the computer, all with a professional flair. In short, a professional perspective, bearing, speech, and manner is what they demand of themselves and flaunt before others, striving to become professionals in the computer engineering industry. After entering God’s house, these people finally realize their ideal and perform tasks related to computer technology. They are constantly studying technology and updating their skills, diligently identifying and solving various problems, with the purpose of keeping up with industry trends and the promotion and publication of new information in their field. People like this have a particular interest in and understanding of a specific professional skill, making them professionals and experts. Consequently, their ideal is to become professionals, and they hope that the house of God will place them in an important position, esteem them, and rely on them. Of course, in God’s house and in the present period, most people like this have indeed utilized their strengths and achieved their ideals. However, while realizing their ideals, have these people considered whether they are fulfilling their duties or pursuing their own ideals in doing their work? It’s not entirely clear, is it? The work they engage in is specialized, complex, and painstaking. However, the skills they possess fall far short of the house of God’s requirements for this work. Therefore, while pursuing their own ideals and fulfilling their duties, they feel somewhat restricted and controlled. These people, due to the ideals they have in their hearts, may feel a certain level of repression when faced with the various truths of believing in God and the principles of fulfilling duties. A portion of people are like this.
There is another group of people who are involved in spreading the gospel. They aspire to become leaders in evangelism, to be the first, and to lead and excel in any church they are a part of, never content to be left behind. Although they fulfill their duties and carry out their work, their pursuit is of their own ideals and the goals they plan and envision, which have nothing to do with faith in God or the truth. When these goals and ideals are exposed and labeled, or they face certain obstacles, and these people realize that their ideals cannot be realized nor their value demonstrated, they feel particularly repressed and dissatisfied. Many of them wish to receive affirmation and validation while pursuing their ideals. When they do not receive these things, or when the cost of their efforts does not bring immediate returns, they feel that it isn’t worth it, that it’s unfair, and so they feel repressed. Don’t they exhibit such behaviors? (Yes, they do.) Among those involved in spreading the gospel, there are some who have always wanted to be qualified and exemplary preachers or evangelists. When they hear so-and-so, a famous evangelist and preacher, they are filled with envy and hope that one day they too can be like this, commemorated and praised by future generations, and remembered by God. They always want to preach in their own idealized way, using their ideal as their goal and motivation to become a preacher and gain fame or be remembered by future generations in the house of God. This is their ideal. However, in God’s house there are strict requirements for any task, and principles with which God has told people to do this task. Consequently, these individuals feel repressed because they cannot become the kind of evangelists they idealized, they are often under supervision and regulation, and there is follow-up and inquiry from the leaders and workers regarding their work. There are also those who, because they possess special skills or talents, keep pursuing their ideals after coming into God’s house. For example, among those who are actors, some are skilled in performing and have a basic understanding of acting techniques. They aspire to become an ideal actor, hoping that one day they might be like the famous actors popular among unbelievers: bigshots, stars, like kings and queens. However, in the house of God, the disposition and manifestation of corruption in this regard are always exposed, and there are specific requirements and principles for actors. Even after gaining some renown as actors, they’re still unable to become celebrities whom people worship and follow, which leads them to feeling repressed. They say, “God’s house is troublesome. They’re always restricting people in everything. What’s wrong with following the example of celebrities? What’s wrong with dressing uniquely, with a bit of personality and requirements?” Due to the requirements for actors’ costumes and specific performances in God’s house, in their eyes there is always conflict and incompatibility between these requirements and their ideal of becoming celebrities and bigshots. Consequently, they feel deeply upset in their hearts, thinking, “Why is it so difficult to realize my ideals? Why in God’s house do I encounter obstacles at every turn?” When they experience such thoughts or these expectations are not met, they feel repressed. Behind this feeling of repression is their belief that their ideals are legitimate and hold value. They also believe that there is nothing wrong with pursuing their ideals, that it is their right to do so, and consequently, repressive emotions begin to emerge within them. For example, some directors feel that after directing several movies they have gained quite a bit of experience. They believe that their films are worthy of being shown, and have improved in terms of cinematography, editing, actor performances, and similar management of all kinds, compared to before. After receiving guidance from the Above, their films finally meet the appropriate standards and are released on time. This seems to confirm that their pursuit of becoming a qualified director is a suitable, legitimate, and necessary aspiration. However, while pursuing their goal of becoming a qualified director, some of their unprincipled ideas, viewpoints, and actions are often rejected, overturned, or go unacknowledged. They may even often face pruning and dealing with. This gives them a sense of repression deep in their hearts, and they say, “Why is it so difficult to be a director in God’s house? Look at those directors in the world of unbelievers, how glamorous they are. They have people serving them tea, pouring drinks for them, and even washing their feet. In God’s house, being a director lacks status and panache, and no one regards or admires us. Why are we always being pruned and dealt with? No matter what we do, it’s never right. How repressive! We have our own ideas, viewpoints, and professional abilities, so why are we always being dealt with? Is it wrong to pursue our own ideals, or is it possible that the pursuit of our ideals is illegitimate? Why is realizing our ideals so difficult? It’s so repressive!” No matter which way they think about it, they still feel repressed. There are also certain singers who say, “In God’s house, I don’t pursue anything other than being a qualified singer, singing well, showcasing my own style, and being loved by everyone who listens to me.” However, God’s house often puts forth various requirements and principles for singing hymns, and these singers are often pruned and dealt with for frequently violating those requirements. When they are not being dealt with, they feel that they can realize their ideals smoothly. But when they are dealt with and experience a few setbacks, they feel that their efforts and achievements during that period seem to have been invalidated, and they are back to square one. This gives rise to a feeling of repression deep in their hearts, and they say, “Ah, it is truly difficult to realize my ideals! The world is wide, yet there seems to be no place for me. It’s the same in God’s house. Why is pursuing my own career so difficult? Why is it so difficult to do the things I want to do? No one gives me the green light, I encounter obstacles at every turn, and I’m constantly being pruned and dealt with. All of this is truly challenging and repressive! In the world of unbelievers, they are always scheming and fighting with each other, and there are career obstacles everywhere, so it’s normal to feel repressed. But why do I still feel repressed when I come into God’s house with my ideals?” Those who engage in various tasks in God’s house often encounter setbacks in the process of pursuing their ideals, are frequently invalidated, are often pruned and dealt with, and often fail to receive recognition. After passively experiencing these things, they unknowingly fall into low spirits, feeling like their life might as well be over and that it’s impossible to realize their ideals. Before coming into God’s house they used to think, “I carry my own ideals and aspirations with me. I have my own desires, and in God’s house there are infinite possibilities. I can become a qualified director, actor, writer, or even a qualified dancer, singer, or musician.” While they were unable to showcase their talents and achieve their ideals, they believed that God’s house would provide them with their own stage, with a vast space where their ideals, dreams and aspirations could come true. They felt that the stage in God’s house was especially large. However, after so many years, they wonder, “Why do I feel like the stage is shrinking beneath my feet? Why is my world shrinking? The possibility of realizing my ideals seems increasingly remote and even impossible. What is happening?” At this point, these people still won’t give up on their ideals or question the correctness of these ideals and desires. They still carry these ideals and desires into the fulfillment of their duties. Consequently, people’s repressive emotions accompany them everywhere, whether while pursuing their ideals and desires or as they carry out their real duties. For those who carry repressive emotions, or who cannot let go of them, the contradiction between these two cannot be reconciled. They carry a sense of repression into both the pursuit of their ideals and desires and the fulfillment of their duties. So, no matter what, people are constantly adjusting themselves, constantly pursuing their ideals and dreams while fulfilling their duties. You can also say that people fulfill their duties with a contradictory attitude, feeling repressed and reluctant the whole time. But in order to realize their ideals and desires, to demonstrate their value and pursue these ideals and desires, they have no choice but to fulfill their duties. They are not sure why they’re doing it, what they’re seeking to gain, what purpose they’re trying to achieve, trying to pursue, or trying to realize. It becomes increasingly unclear to them, and the road ahead seems more and more unclear. In such a state, isn’t it difficult for them to let go of or resolve their repressive emotions? (Yes.)
Having fellowshiped up to this point, let’s continue fellowshiping about how people should understand and perceive the relationship between their ideals, desires, and their duties. First, let’s talk about ideals, specifically the ideals of those people we mentioned earlier. Is it appropriate for people to pursue the realization of their own ideals in God’s house? (No, it is not appropriate.) What is the nature of the issue? Why is it inappropriate? (By pursuing the realization of their ideals while fulfilling their duties, they are showcasing themselves and establishing their own careers, rather than pursuing the fulfillment of their duties as created beings.) Tell Me, is it improper to pursue the realization of one’s own ideals and desires? (Yes, it is improper.) If you say it is improper, does this deprive one of their human rights? (No, it doesn’t.) Then what’s the problem? (When people believe in God, they should pursue the truth and follow the path that God’s words point out for them to pursue. If they only pursue their own desires and ideals, they are pursuing what their flesh desires, which is an ideology instilled by Satan.) In the world, it is considered proper to pursue the realization of one’s own ideals. Regardless of what ideals you pursue, it’s fine as long as they’re legal and don’t cross any moral boundaries. Nobody questions anything, and you don’t get caught up in matters of right or wrong. You pursue whatever you may personally prefer, and if you get it, if you reach your goal, then you are successful; but if you miss, if you fail, that is your own affair. However, when you enter God’s house, a special place, regardless of what ideals and desires you carry with you, you should let go of all of them. Why is that? The pursuit of ideals and desires, regardless of what you pursue specifically—let’s just talk about the pursuit itself—its course of action and the path it takes all revolve around egoism, self-interest, status, and reputation. These things are all what it revolves around. In other words, when people pursue the realization of their ideals, the only beneficiary is themselves. Is it righteous for a person to pursue the realization of their ideals for the sake of status, reputation, vanity, and physical interests? (No, it is not.) For the sake of personal and private ideals, thoughts, and desires, the methods and approaches they adopt are all self-centered and focused on personal gain. If we measure them against the truth, they are neither righteous nor legitimate. People should let go of them, isn’t that certain? (Yes, it is.) They should let go, let go of egoism, let go of personal ideals and desires. This is seen from the perspective of the essence of the paths people take—pursuing the realization of one’s own ideals and desires is not a positive thing, it has been negated. That is one aspect. Now let’s discuss another aspect, what kind of venue is God’s house, the church, regardless of its name? What kind of place is it? What is the essence of the church, God’s house? First, from a theoretical perspective, it is not the world, society, or any human corporation or organization in society. It does not belong to the world or to mankind. Why was it established? What was the reason for its appearance and existence? The reason is because of God and His work, right? (Yes.) The church, God’s house, exists because of God’s presence and His work. Therefore, is the church, God’s house, a place to showcase personal talents and fulfill personal ideals, aspirations, and desires? (No, it is not.) Clearly, it is not. The church, God’s house, exists because of God’s presence and the presence of His work. As such, it is not a place to demonstrate personal talents or realize personal ideals, aspirations, and desires. It does not revolve around life in the flesh, fleshly prospects, fame and fortune, status, reputation, and so on—it does not work for these. Neither did it emerge or exist because of the material fame, status, enjoyment, or prospects of humans. So, what kind of place is it then? Since the church, God’s house, was established because of God’s presence and the presence of His work, isn’t it supposed to carry out God’s will, proclaim His words, and bear witness to Him? (Yes.) Isn’t this the truth? (Yes.) The church, God’s house, exists because of the presence of God and His work, so it can only carry out God’s will, proclaim His words, and bear witness to Him. It has nothing to do with personal status, fame, prospects, or any other interests. The principles that govern any and all work done by the church, God’s house, should be based on God’s words, His requirements, and His teachings. Broadly speaking, it can be said to revolve around God’s will and His work; specifically, around expanding the gospel of the kingdom and bearing witness to and proclaiming His word. Is that correct? (Yes.) Apart from carrying out God’s will, proclaiming His words, and bearing witness to Him, is there something even more important to the church, God’s house? (It is the place where God’s chosen people experience His work, receive cleansing, and obtain salvation.) You’ve hit the nail on the head. The church, God’s house, is a place where God’s will is carried out, His word proclaimed, He is borne witness to, and most importantly, it is a place where people can receive salvation. Have you remembered that? (Yes, I have.) Read it. (The church, God’s house, is a place where God’s will is carried out, His word proclaimed, He is borne witness to, and God’s chosen people receive cleansing and salvation.) The church, God’s house, is a place where God’s will is carried out, His word proclaimed, He is borne witness to, and His chosen people receive cleansing and salvation. It is such a place. In a place like this, is there any task or project, no matter what it may be, that aligns with the fulfillment of personal ideals and desires? There is no work or project serving the purpose of fulfilling personal ideals and desires, nor does any aspect of these exist for the realization of personal ideals and desires. Therefore, should personal ideals and desires exist in God’s house? (They should not.) They should not, because personal ideals and desires are in conflict with any work that God wishes to do in the church. Personal ideals and desires contradict any work that is done in the church. They contradict the truth, deviate from God’s will, from the proclamation of His words, from bearing witness to Him, and from the work of cleansing and salvation for God’s chosen people. Regardless of one’s ideals, as long as they are personal ideals and desires, they will hinder people from following God’s will, and affect or hinder the proclamation of His words and bearing witness to Him. Of course, as long as they are personal ideals and desires, they cannot allow people to receive cleansing and salvation. It is not just a matter of contradiction between the two sides, they run fundamentally counter to each other. While pursuing your own ideals and desires, you obstruct the carrying out of God’s will, the work of proclaiming His words and bearing witness to Him, as well as people’s and of course your own salvation. In short, no matter what people’s ideals are, they are not to do God’s will and cannot achieve the actual result of absolute submission to God. When people pursue their ideals and desires, their ultimate purpose is not to understand the truth, or understand how to comport themselves, how to satisfy God’s will, and how to perform their duties well and fulfill their role as created beings. It is not for people to have true fear of and submission to God. On the contrary, the more one’s ideals and desires are realized, the farther one drifts from God and the closer one gets to Satan. Similarly, the more one pursues their ideals and achieves them, the more rebellious against God one’s heart becomes, the farther one moves away from God, and in the end, when one is able to fulfill their ideals as they wish and realize and satisfy their desires, they grow more disdainful of God, His sovereignty, and everything about Him. They may even walk the path of denying, resisting, and standing in opposition to God. This is the final outcome.
After understanding what God’s house, the church, is, people should also understand what attitude and stance to adopt as they live and survive in God’s house as a member of it. Some people have said, “You won’t let us pursue the realization of our own ideals or realize our own desires.” I am not restricting you from pursuing your own ideals; I am telling you how to appropriately live in God’s house, how to appropriately take a proper stance and fulfill your duties in God’s house as a created being. If you insist on pursuing the realization of your own ideals, then I can be straightforward and say: Please leave! The church is not a place for you to pursue the realization of your ideals. Outside of God’s house, you can do anything in your ideals you want to do and pursue your own ideals and aspirations. All you have to do is leave God’s house, and no one will interfere with what you do. However, the church, God’s house, is not a suitable place for you to pursue the realization of your ideals. To put it more precisely, it is impossible for you to pursue your own ideals and desires in this place. Should you stay in God’s house, the church, for even a day, don’t even think about realizing or pursuing your own ideals. If you say, “I give up on my own ideals. I am willing to fulfill my duties according to God’s requirements and become a competent created being,” then this would be acceptable. You could fulfill your duties according to your place and according to rules in God’s house. But if you insist on pursuing and realizing your own ideals, aiming to not live your life in vain, then you can give up your duties and leave God’s house. Or you can write a statement, saying, “I voluntarily withdraw from The Church of Almighty God to pursue the realization of my own ideals and desires. The world is wide, and there must be a place for me there. Farewell.” That way, you can leave in a way that’s proper and fitting and pursue your own ideals. However, if you say, “I would rather give up my own ideals, fulfill my duties in God’s house, be a competent created being, and pursue salvation,” then we can find some common ground between us. Since you wish to remain peacefully in God’s house as a member, you should first learn how to be a good created being and fulfill your duties according to your place. In God’s house, you would then become a created being that lives up to its name. Created being is your outward identity and title, and it should come with specific manifestations and substance. It’s not just about having the title; but since you are a created being, you should fulfill the duties of a created being. Since you are a created being, you should fulfill the responsibilities of such. So, what are the duties and responsibilities of a created being? God’s word clearly lays out the duties, obligations, and responsibilities of created beings, doesn’t it? From today onward, you are a genuine member of God’s house, that is to say, you acknowledge yourself as one of the created beings of God. Consequently, from today, you should reconsider your life plans. You should no longer pursue but should let go of the ideals, desires, and goals you previously set for your life. Instead, you should change your identity and perspective in order to plan the life goals and direction that a created being should have. First and foremost, your goals and direction should not be to become a leader, or to lead or excel in any industry, or to become a renowned figure who carries out a certain task or masters a particular skill. Your goal should be to accept your duty from God, that is, to know what work you should be doing now, at this moment, and to understand what duty you need to fulfill. You need to ask what God requires of you and what duty has been arranged for you in His house. You should understand and gain clarity on the principles that should be understood, laid hold of, and followed regarding that duty. If you can’t remember them, you can write them down on paper or record them on your computer. Take the time to review them and ponder over them. As a member of creation, your primary life goal should be to fulfill your duty as a created being and be a competent created being. This is the most fundamental life goal you should have. Second and more specific is how to fulfill your duty as a created being and be a competent created being. Of course, any goals or directions related to your reputation, status, vanity, future, and so on should be relinquished. Some may ask, “Why should we give them up?” It’s simple. Pursuing fame, wealth, and status will hinder the carrying out of God’s will, disrupt certain work in God’s house or the church, and even undermine certain work of the church. It will impact the spreading of God’s word, bearing witness to God, and, most seriously, people receiving salvation. In order to fulfill your duty competently and become a competent created being, you can set goals and summarize your experiences in any way you want, but you should never pursue the realization of your own ideals. Your ideals should not become intermixed in any of the principles or approaches you take in fulfilling your duty. In order to fulfill your duty competently and become a competent created being, you should seek principles within God’s words and a more accurate path of practice, rather than summing up your own personal ideas and opportunities outside of God’s words. These principles of practice ultimately revolve around how to be a competent created being and fulfill your duty. Everything is centered on understanding the truth, fulfilling your duty as a created being, and ultimately understanding the principles to abide by when facing various people, events, and things in the process of fulfilling your duty or in your daily life. Is this clear? (Yes.) Of course, if you fulfill your duty according to the requirements and principles of God’s house, and strive to be a competent created being, you can achieve these results. However, if you pursue the realization of your own ideals, you will never receive God’s approval.
If people persistently pursue the realization of their own ideals without following the path of pursuing the truth, they will ultimately become more arrogant, selfish, aggressive, ferocious, and greedy. What else? They will also grow increasingly inflated and full of themselves. However, when people give up pursuing the realization of their own ideals and desires, and instead pursue an understanding of various truths as well as various aspects of God’s words and criteria of the truth concerning how to view people and things, comport themselves, and take action, they will live with more of a human likeness. When carrying out various tasks or experiencing different environments, they will no longer feel lost and confused as before. Moreover, they will no longer be trapped in negative emotions as they often used to be, unable to extricate themselves, constrained and bound by negative thoughts and emotions, eventually leading to being controlled and covered by various negative emotions. Pursuing the realization of their own ideals and desires only takes people further away from the principles both of God’s words and of accurately becoming competent created beings. They are unaware of how to submit to God’s arrangements and orchestrations, and have no understanding of what human life, aging, illness, and death are all about. They don’t know how to handle hatred or deal with various negative emotions. Of course, they are also clueless about how to navigate the people, events, and things that come into their lives. When faced with various people, events, and things, they are helpless, filled with confusion, and at a loss. In the end, they can only allow negative emotions and thoughts and viewpoints to spread and develop in their hearts, allowing themselves to be controlled and bound by them. Furthermore, led by these negative emotions or thoughts and viewpoints, they may also engage in extreme behaviors, or do things that harm themselves and others, creating unthinkable consequences. Such actions obstruct people’s legitimate pursuits and damage the conscience and reason they should have. Therefore, the most important thing now is for people to examine deep within their hearts what are the things they still yearn for, and what are the things that belong to the flesh, to the world, and to the interests of the flesh, such as fame, prestige, reputation, status, wealth, and so on, that they still yearn for, still need, and are unable to see through, and that frequently bind and tempt them. They may even be deeply trapped by these things or have a deep admiration for them, and with a slight misstep, they could be easily captured by them at any time and in any place. In that case, these things are their ideals. Once they achieve these ideals, that is when they become their downfall and the source of their demise. How do you view this matter? (People should examine deep within their hearts what things they still yearn for. They need to see through things such as fleshly and worldly fame, prestige, reputation, status, wealth, and so on; otherwise, they might easily be captured by them.) They can be captured by them, right? So, these things of the flesh are very dangerous. If you cannot see through them, you will always be in danger of being influenced or even captured by them. So, the most crucial thing for you to do now is to dissect and understand these fleshly things I mentioned earlier based on God’s words and the truth. Once you can dig them up and discern them, you should let go of them and invest your body, mind, and energy into becoming an ordinary created being, as well as into your current duties and work. Stop seeing yourself as a special or invincible person, or someone with extraordinary talents or abilities. You are just an insignificant individual. How insignificant? Among all the created beings and all things created by God, you are merely one of them, the most ordinary one. To what extent are you ordinary? You are as common as any blade of grass, as any tree, mountain, drop of water, or even a grain of sand on the shore. There’s nothing for you to boast about, nothing worthy of admiration. That’s how ordinary you are. Moreover, if there still exist the images of idols, grand figures, celebrities, great people standing tall in the depth of your heart, or certain things that you envy, you should remove and let go of them. You should see through to their nature essence, and return to the path of being an ordinary created being. Being an ordinary created being and fulfilling your duties is the most fundamental thing you should do. Then, you should return to this topic of pursuing the truth and put more effort into the truth. Try to minimize your exposure to external news, information, events, and celebrity profiles. It’s best to avoid anything that could reignite the desire to realize your own ideals. Now, you need to distance yourself from people, events, and things that are of no benefit to you and are negative. Isolate yourself from them and try to steer clear of everything in this complicated and chaotic world. Even if they pose no threat or temptation to you, you should still distance yourself from them. Just like how Moses lived in the wilderness for forty years; wasn’t he still able to live well? In the end, despite his poor speaking ability, he was chosen by God, which was the most honorable thing in his life. It wasn’t anything bad. Therefore, first and foremost, recover your heart deep within your thoughts, and deep in your thoughts you should possess a mindset of hungering and thirsting for righteousness that pursues the truth in your faith. You need to have such a plan, such a will and a desire, rather than constantly dwelling on your ideals or putting continuous efforts and contemplation into whether or not you can achieve them. You should completely sever your attachment to previous ideals and desires, and strive to be a competent and ordinary created being. Being a part of ordinary creation is not a bad thing. Why do I say this? It is actually a good thing. From the moment you start to let go of your fleshly ideals and desires, from the moment you make a firm decision to be an ordinary created being without any special status, position, or worth, it means you have the willingness and determination to fully submit yourself under God’s dominion, under the dominion of the Creator, allowing God to orchestrate and rule over your life. You have the willingness to obey, to give up and cast aside personal ideals and desires, to let God be your Lord and rule over your destiny, to become a competent created being with such a mindset, and to fulfill your duty well with such a mindset and attitude. This is the life outlook you should have. Is this correct? Is this the truth? (Yes.) What do your life goals and the direction of your life center on? (Fulfilling the duties of a created being.) That is the most basic thing. What else? (The pursuit of becoming an ordinary created being.) Anything else? (Pursuing the truth to attain salvation.) That’s another one. Anything else? (Centering on God’s words and putting more effort into the truth.) That’s a little more concrete, isn’t it? All of your life goals and the direction of your life should revolve around God’s words, and you should put more effort into the truth. Take the enthusiasm you had before in pursuing vague ideals and redirect it toward reading God’s words and pondering the truth, and see if you will make progress toward the truth. If you have truly made progress toward the truth, there will be specific manifestations in yourself. That is, when faced with various people, events, and things involving human thoughts and viewpoints, as well as principles, you will no longer feel at a loss, confused, perplexed, or bewildered. Instead, you will pray to God, be guided by His words, have a calm and steadfast heart, and know how to act in a way that submits to God and meets His will. That is when you will truly be on the right path in life. Many people make slow progress in their lives because, in the process of fulfilling their duties, they always pursue their own ideals, fame, status, and the life goals they imagine, and wish to receive blessings while satisfying their fleshly desires. As a result, they cannot fulfill their duties in a down-to-earth manner, and they do not experience true life entry. From start to finish, they are unable to share a genuine experiential testimony. Consequently, no matter how long they have been fulfilling their duties, their progress entering into life and the truth remains minimal, and they bear little fruit. If you truly devoted yourself to fulfilling your duties, putting all your energy into the pursuit of the truth and working hard toward the truth, you would not find yourself in the current state, stature, and condition you are in. It is because people usually focus only on mundane tasks, professional work, and the task at hand, and the underlying essence of these activities is to fulfill personal desires and aspirations while realizing their own ideals. What are these ideals? It is that people always want to find themselves in their work, and having won certain achievements, earned certain results, and gained recognition from others, at the same time they always want to realize their dreams and the goals of their pursuit in order to demonstrate their own value. Then they feel fulfilled. However, this is not the pursuit of truth; it is merely satisfying the emptiness within themselves and using work to enrich their lives. Isn’t this the way it is? (Yes.) Therefore, no matter how long a person labors or how much work they have done, it is all unrelated to the truth. They still don’t understand the truth and are far from pursuing it. In terms of the principles related to their work responsibilities, people still have no entry or understanding. Consequently, you feel exhausted and wonder, “Why are we always being dealt with? We put in a lot of effort, endured a lot of hardships, and paid a heavy price. Why are we still being dealt with?” It is because you don’t understand the principles. You have never understood or grasped the principles, nor have you put any effort into them. In other words, you haven’t put effort into the truth, into God’s words. You simply follow a few rules and act according to your own imagination. You always live in a world of your own ideals and notions, and everything you do is irrelevant to the truth. You are pursuing your own career, not doing God’s will. So, you still don’t understand the principles in God’s words, and in the end, some people are labeled as being service-doers, and some feel wronged. What is the reason they feel wronged? It is because they think that their suffering and paying a price is equivalent to practicing the truth. Actually, their suffering and paying a price is just enduring some hardship. It is not practicing the truth or following God’s way. More accurately, it has nothing to do with practicing the truth; it is just exerting effort and doing work. Is merely exerting effort and doing work fulfilling your duties competently? Is it being a competent created being? (No.) There is distance and a gap between these two.
Regarding the topic of letting go of negative emotions of repression, let’s stop our fellowship here for today. Can you clearly see these problems that arise for those people who feel repressed because they cannot achieve their own ideals and desires? (Yes, it is clear.) What’s clear? Let’s summarize a little. First, let’s talk about what ideals are. The ideals being dissected here are negative, they are not legitimate or positive things. What are ideals? Use precise language to provide a definition for “ideals.” (They are empty thoughts that deviate from normal human conscience and reason, that humans imagine for themselves but do not align with reality. They are not real.) What you have mentioned are the ideals of idealists. How would you define ideals in general? Can you define them? Are they difficult to define? What are the pursued goals that people establish for their own status, reputation, and prospects? (The pursued goals established by people for their own status, reputation, and prospects are ideals.) Is this definition correct? (Yes.) The pursued goals established for people’s own status, reputation, prospects, and interests are ideals and desires. Is this the broad definition of ideals as referred to by unbelievers? We are defining it based on its underlying essence, right? (Yes.) Regardless of the specific type of ideals, whether they are lofty, lowly, or average, they are all pursued goals established by people for their own interests. These goals are their ideals or desires. Isn’t this the ideal of those whom we fellowshiped about and dissected in the previous examples? The pursued goals established by people for their own status, reputation, prospects, interests, and so on, are ideals and desires. Those who pursue ideals and desires but cannot realize them often feel repressed within the church. These people feel repressed. Think for a minute, are you also in such a state and situation? Do you also often live in such a condition, with such emotions? If you have these emotions, what are you striving for? It is for your own status, reputation, prospects, and interests. The ideals and pursued goals you have established are often restricted and hindered by the truth and positive things—they are not able to be realized. As a result, you feel unhappy and live with emotions of repression. Is that not it? (Yes.) This is the issue of human ideals. First, we dissected human ideals, and then what did we fellowship about? We fellowshiped that the church, God’s house, is not the place for people to fulfill their ideals. Then we fellowshiped about the correct goals that people should pursue in their faith in God, how to be a competent created being, and how to fulfill the duties of a created being. Is that not it? (Yes.) The main purpose of fellowshiping about these things is to tell people how to choose and how to treat their ideals and duties. People should abandon their improper ideals, while their duties are what they should pay for in this life and devote their entire lives to. The duties of a created being are positive things, while human ideals are not and should not be held on to but relinquished. What people should hold on to and pursue is to become a competent created being and fulfill their duties as such. So, what should people do when their ideals conflict with their duties? (They should let go of their own ideals and abandon them.) They should abandon their ideals and hold on to their duties. No matter when or to what age they may live, what people should do and what they should pursue must revolve around how to fulfill the duties of a created being and achieve submission to God, His words, and the truth. Only through such a practice can one live a meaningful and valuable life, right? (Yes.) Alright, let’s conclude our fellowship here for today. Goodbye!
December 10, 2022