Chapter 69. Only With the Truth as Their Life Can People Live a Life of Value
The Truth Is an Indispensable Principle and Direction for How People Live and How They Conduct Themselves
In all that they do, people should not be blind, and they should not be overambitious, or reach for what is beyond their grasp. They must be pragmatic, measured and deliberate, they must have clear objectives, and take things one step at a time. In this way, everything you do or learn will be of practical use. You might not have a very strong theoretical foundation, and you might not have a lot of specialist knowledge—but you are able to do things that are practical, and which have a practical effect, and that’s good enough. You must take each step as it comes, first clarifying your objectives. What do you say, is there a connection between the pursuit of the truth and one’s actions and the performance of one’s duty? (There is.) What is the connection? Since you believe there to be a connection with pursuing the truth, let’s discuss about it—what is the connection with the pursuit of the truth? Is pursuing the truth any different from anything you do? What is the truth? Is it a skill? (No.) Is it an academic discipline? (No.) What exactly is the truth? (The reality of positive things.) The reality of positive things—that’s quite right. So, when it comes to each person, and when it comes to the life and living of each person, what is the truth? (It is the principle by which people act and the objective that they pursue.) That’s half right. Keep going, you’re getting closer. (The truth is what should be pursued by people who are normal, and it is the principle by which people’s actions are measured.) People’s actions are inseparable from the truth, yes? Having believed in God for all this time, and having performed your duty for all this time, do you feel that the truth is an indispensable principle and direction for the way people live and conduct themselves? Do you understand what I just said? What exactly is the truth? (The truth is an indispensable principle and direction for the way people live and conduct themselves.) Have a think about this—consider what these words mean. First of all, you must be sure that the truth is not an academic discipline, or a form of knowledge, or any kind of doctrine—much less is it a set of rules and regulation, or a law. It is not any sort of skill or academic discipline, and it is not theory.
What is the truth’s relation to the way people conduct themselves? (The truth is the principle and the direction for how they conduct themselves.) So what standards does God ask for how people conduct themselves? Does He ask that they be someone great, someone famous, someone who is superhuman, or an alien? Or that they be people who are noble, or who are ethical and of good quality? Or that they be educated, and understand the “five stresses, four points of beauty and three loves”? Being civilized, polite, and hygiene-conscious—are these the standards by which people of normal humanity live? These are the standards set by the Chinese Communist Party: being civilized, not swearing, being refined and not vulgar in speech, being polite, being respectful toward teachers and the elderly…. Does this hodgepodge bear any relation to the truth? It obviously doesn’t, yes? Does it bear any relation to how you conduct yourself? (No.) So what are the standards that God requires for how people conduct themselves? (Be honest.) Be honest—what else? (Pursue the truth.) Anything else? (Possess insight and rationality.) (Have humanity, character, and dignity.) Have character, have dignity, have a conscience, be rational, have a heart that is obedient to God and loves God—what else? (Revere God.) Yes, what God wants ultimately is that people revere Him; that’s what’s most important. What do all these things that people are capable of achieving relate to? (The truth.) They all relate to the truth. When people try and put them into practice, if they are able to achieve them, then what kind of person are they? (A real person.) What does being a real person refer to? And how does God define who a real person is? You’re unclear about this, it’s confusing to you—when I go into more detail, you’re baffled. If I didn’t, you’d all know about “pursuing the truth” “entering the reality of the truth” “performing one’s duty” “faithfully expending” “forsaking all for God,” and you’d enthusiastically cry out these slogans, but once I got serious with you, it turned out that these words aren’t systematic or specific enough, that you’re muddle-headed and have half-baked knowledge.
In God’s eyes, real people are those who possess the reality of the truth. God defines the standards for real people as follows: In addition to walking in the way of God—fearing God and shunning evil—they are those who have normal humanity, which means possessing the truth and entering the reality of the truth. What do you say, is God demanding in His requirements of people? (No.) And why is He not demanding? (Because these things can be achieved by normal people.) Yes, they can all be achieved by normal people, and they must all be possessed by normal people. God asks that people achieve these things, and enter these things, but do people currently possess such normal humanity? (No.) They surely don’t, yes? Since God asks that people equip themselves with these things, and put them into practice and enter them, then they surely do not possess them. And so, prior to possessing normal humanity, your behavior is surely sloppy and muddleheaded, you run around like a headless chicken, being irrational, aimless, blind, and without standards in much that you do. And what causes this lack of standards? Is it caused by people not understanding the truth, not having entered into the reality of the truth, and not having gained the truth? (Yes.) Are you sure? (Yes.) So think a little more; look at what these words are referring to. Do you think what I said is correct? You must understand the meaning of these words, and you must be able to hold them up against yourselves. Now that you’ve heard these words, give them some thought. What do you say, with only knowledge and academic disciplines, with only politeness and manners, or the understanding of many rules—do these bear any relation to the standards that God requires of man? They do not. And so, what do the standards that God requires of man relate to? (Whether or not people possess normal humanity, whether or not they possess the reality of the truth.) These are two major things: Possessing the reality of the truth, and possessing normal humanity. What is the relationship between the reality of the truth and normal humanity? (People who have the reality of the truth are able to live out normal humanity.) Yes, that’s right! You understand their relationship. See how, after you listen a while, and I provide some guidance, you’re able to understand a lot, yes? If we had not communed in this way today, could you have given these things any consideration? (No.) And so can you try to learn? If you’re incapable of learning, this will be problematic. So did you learn something just now? (We did.)
How is possession of the reality of the truth manifested in people’s actions and conduct? And how is it manifested in their performance of their duty and living out? What are the manifestations? (When one performs their duty, they are not perfunctory; there are principles to how they deal with things, and their motivation is to satisfy God.) What is the relationship to people’s living out and their conduct? (Their living out is as God requires: They have a heart that is honest, obedient to God, reverential toward God, and loving toward God.) Those are some of them; do others have anything else to add? (While performing their duty, they are able to be faithful to God, and are not perfunctory; in their living out, they are able to be honest; when something happens to them, they are able to have a heart that is obedient to God, fears God, and loves God.) Take one of these manifestations of living out the reality of the truth, for example not being perfunctory in the performance of one’s duty and being faithful to God—in your mind, how must you think to be able to attain faithfulness unto God? How must you think to be able to solve being perfunctory? What kind of psychology and state must you possess in order to be capable of attaining this reality of the truth and living out this reality of the truth, do you know? (In matters of principle, or when we have a different opinion from our brothers and sisters, and when there is arrogance and conceit within us, when we insist on others hearing what we have to say, we should be able to put ourselves aside and accept what is right, we should be able to cooperate with God, we should be able to pray, and to accept the things that are positive, and put aside those ambitions and desires, those impurities, within us.) (In whatever we do, we must have the right motives, and these motives must correspond with the truth.) What are motives that correspond with the truth? (In whatever we do, we should be able to seek standards that correspond with the truth, and everything we do should be satisfactory to God and beneficial to our brothers and sisters.) Does any of you have something to add based on your understanding? In your day-to-day actions and performance of your duty, your brains must stay active, yes? (We must not rely on our own preferences or imagination.) This is one small aspect—what else is there? (Not relying on that which is held high and admired by Satan; seeking God’s requirements.) And how do you seek? What motivates you to seek? (That God’s will can be carried out, and what God asks for achieved.) Do you ordinarily have such great resolution? Do you have such grand aspirations and objectives? (No, we don’t.) So, ordinarily, what are you thinking in your heart? How do you defeat your own corrupt disposition, and your own momentary selfish desires or motivations? How do you turn your back on these things? (By thinking of not interrupting or interfering with God’s work.) Just this standard? (Through conscience.) It appears that you don’t ordinarily look close enough at these things; as soon as you’re occupied, you forget them—with the result that you perform your duty, and make an effort, but you do not gain the truth. And in this, have you not lost out? And so, how can this matter be solved? Is it easy to solve? (We haven’t paid a price, we haven’t been diligent, we haven’t been detailed in holding things up against the truth, or been detailed in our cooperation.) That’s what’s going on here; you only pay attention to your actions, and getting on with things, and you overlook entry into life. What consequence will likely be caused by ignoring the most fundamental and major of all things? Do you know? (Walking the path of Paul.) Anything else? (Wasting time.) (Ultimately not knowing God and living in one’s own conceptions.) All correct—anything else? (Forfeiting oneself.) You haven’t understood the most important thing of all. (Not gaining the truth.) Hmm, isn’t this what’s most important of all? (Yes.) If they have not gained the truth, are people able to live out the truth? What causes them to not gain the truth? (Not holding their lives or actions up against the truth.) Isn’t this what people regret most after having believed in God for many years? Is this not their greatest loss? If they haven’t gained the truth, then their belief has been in vain. What does it mean by “their belief has been in vain”? They have not gained blessings? (They have not gained God, and have not gained life.) “They have not gained life”—that’s doctrine. And if people haven’t gained the truth, does this mean they haven’t gained salvation? (Yes.) What does salvation refer to? (Gaining the truth.) Is not having gained salvation the most regretful thing of all? And so, is salvation your primary objective in believing in God, is it what you wish to come true in your heart more than anything else? And does this wish have any connection to gaining the truth? (Yes.) How great a connection? The greatest connection of all, yes?
So now all of you have a think: How can you gain the truth? You gain the truth after understanding the truth and entering the reality of the truth. When you enter the reality of the truth and gain the truth, you can be saved. Only those who are saved are true creatures of God, and only they are approved of by God. God wants people’s hearts, but if they don’t understand the truth, and have not gained the truth, would you say that they can give their hearts to God? Is it easy for them to give their hearts to God? (It isn’t.) Why is that? (God holds no attraction to them, their own satanic, personal things take precedence in them.) Thus, could such people be compatible with God? (They could not.) And so what kind of people are they? (They still belong to Satan.) These people reveal their conceptions, corruption, disobedience, and opposition in everything. When you are with God, or when you are doing something, if you are without the reality of the truth, have not entered into the reality of the truth, have no grasp of principle, and have not gained the truth, then when it comes to everything you do and think, even though nothing is revealed externally, the depths of your heart harbor hostility to God, and you are incapable of being compatible with God. And so, what is the only path to being able to achieve salvation and compatibility with God? (Pursuing the truth.) Pursuing the truth and gaining the truth. Is there a second path that people can choose? (No.) Are you sure? (Yes.) Some people say, “I will put in extra effort, I will try harder, I will forsake and give up more things, I will contribute more.” Could this have any effect, could it stand in for gaining the truth and understanding the truth? It could not. You understand this in theory, yes?
People want to be saved, so why is it so onerous for them to pursue the truth? Some people say they’re too arrogant, some say they’re confused, some say they always overlook it, some say they’re too busy and don’t have time—which of these reasons is right? (None of them is the principal reason. It is because they do not love the truth.) If you say that they don’t love the truth, then those who have given up their family and career, who have suffered much and given their all to performing their duty, will feel a little wronged: “If we don’t love the truth, and do not love positive things, then how could we be sitting here today?” “Does not love the truth”—this has become nothing but a formality of each of you, but what is the real reason? What is the objective reason behind this? Is there an objective reason? (They didn’t deliberately devote their efforts to seeking the truth.) (They weren’t clear about their life goals and direction.) (They only understood the doctrine, but didn’t spend any effort actually putting God’s words into practice in performing their duty and in their lives.) In this, there is the following objective reason: On the one hand, in their hearts people don’t understand what the truth is, and are unclear about the concept of the truth; on the other, most people wish to pursue the truth, but they don’t know how to—they have no path or direction. As time goes on, exerting strength in performing their duty, just carrying on doing things—these become the objectives of people’s pursuit of the truth, they become a substitute for pursuing the truth. Is this an objective reason? In one regard, subjectively speaking, most people haven’t put a lot of effort into this area; in another regard, see how, when I just asked you some questions, you were unclear about the relationship between various aspects of the truth—you simply had nothing to say. This shows Me that when it comes to pursuing the truth, most people don’t have any path; they wish to pursue, to grasp the various principles, to understand what the reality of the truth is, and to enter into the reality of the truth, but they don’t know how to enter, they have no way or path. They see pursuing the truth as very mysterious and hard to achieve, much harder than learning a skill, isn’t that so?
In fact, there’s nothing mysterious about pursuing the truth, and gaining the truth is not like trying to get an ox up a tree, it is not onerous, and it involves no difficulty. The simplest way is this: Whatever you understand from the literal meaning of God’s words, start from this. For example, God asks that people be honest, and you are someone who pursues the truth, who loves the truth, who is willing to put the truth into practice, and who is willing to gain the truth and enter the reality of the truth. When you read in God’s words that God requires people to be honest, your understanding is that being honest means not lying or saying anything false, and so you say to yourself, “Well then, I’ll start from what I understand: I’ll be honest, and won’t say anything false.” So with what kind of people will you not say anything false? In all things, you will say nothing false, and regardless of who you’re speaking to, you won’t say anything that is untrue. This is what people are able to understand, yes? Not lying, not deceiving adults and children alike, and especially not deceiving God. This is what people believe to be the first and very least standard that they must be able to attain and what they are able to comprehend. So start with this. When you start with this, is it difficult in the beginning? Tell Me where the difficulty lies—you’ve likely experienced this, yes? (Some things are hard to open up about, I can’t speak of them in front of others, it’s hard to put aside my pride and vanity, I always want others to think well of me. I feel that if I speak of these things, others will see through me, will have figured me out. Under these circumstances, I’m unwilling to speak up.) You are unwilling to speak of and open up about these things, yes? When you realize you have this problem, how do you practice? This is what’s difficult. When you become aware of this difficulty, in your heart do you think, “I thought it would be easy to be honest, it’s actually not—it’s a lot of effort”? You fail at the first attempt to speak honest words, then you fail a second time, and you think to yourself: “I can’t carry on like this.” Is that what you do? (Yes.) Some people think: “Tell the truth? Be honest? That’s pretty difficult, but don’t I just have to not tell lies? I can do that!” After speaking honest words, they have a think, and say to themselves: “That didn’t take much effort, there was nothing to it; in this, have I not put the truth into practice?” They think they did OK, that they’re being honest. Is it actually that simple? (No.) What things are within their hearts? (In their hearts, they’re deceitful, and they also have their own motivations.)
What is the main difficulty in being honest? And what stops you being honest? (Having my own imaginings and wishes inside me, being unwilling to forsake my own interests, being unable to completely give myself over, not clearly seeing what is positive, and what is negative, and having no great liking for things that are positive.) So what do you say, some people do have a great liking for positive things—are they able to put being honest into practice from the off, without exception? (They aren’t.) It’s not that easy, yes? And so, to enter into the reality of the truth of being honest you have to train for quite a while. Basically, those who do not love the truth have no intention of putting it into practice. For them, it’s enough to be aware of the truth about being honest after reading God’s words, and that’s all. They never lay themselves bare, and they never have any intention of being honest or speaking honest words. There is hardness in their hearts, and they persist in giving pride of place to their own interests, face, and motivations. They only pay lip service to being honest, and nothing more—they never have intention of putting it into practice. Those who genuinely love the truth and plan to put it into practice begin to train. At the start, they feel it’s difficult: “When I spoke this time I tried to save face, and didn’t speak the truth. I came up short, and that’s not OK! Next time I’ll keep trying.” The next time, they do better, and the time after that they do even better. Each time is better than the last, until the day comes when they finally speak of what they really wish to say within their hearts, without hiding anything, when they are finally someone who is well and truly honest. In their hearts, these people feel they have finally become honest—but this is only the start. In the future, they must do even better, they must be someone who is honest both in their hearts and externally. During this period, will there be a change in their various states, and in the thoughts and motivations within their hearts? (Yes.) What will change? Tell Me. (At times, they’ll feel that speaking honest words will be harmful to their own interests, but if they do it once, and see that the effect is not as they had imagined, there will be a shift in their feelings toward telling the truth, and they’ll try to put it into practice again, and in this way, bit-by-bit, there will be changes.) In the process of becoming honest, when they train to enter the reality of the truth of being honest, do people continually discover their own corruption? People are corrupt, they are deceitful, they have motivations, they always have living thoughts, they have selfish ideas, and they always think of their own pride, vanity, and interests. It is onerous for them to speak honestly, even if it was only two words, and they are unable to speak up even after holding back for ages. People are controlled by these things, they live in corruption, and they are surely not beloved by God or wanted by God. In them there is corruption, and compared to the holiness of God they fall far short, yes? Does the process of putting being honest into practice make you acknowledge that man is corrupt? And when you acknowledge that man is corrupt, do you hope that you will become one of the honest people desired by God and be able to satisfy God? But after a while, when people inevitably find themselves incapable of attaining what they understand as the standard for being honest, what do they think in their hearts? What perturbations will there be in their states? And how will this be manifested? (They’ll feel that putting the truth into practice is hard.) Of course, they’ll undoubtedly say that putting the truth into practice is hard. (They’ll hate themselves.) And will they have a real and correct knowledge of man’s corrupt disposition and the true state of affairs revealed by God? When you have the correct understanding, do you feel, from the depths of your heart, that you should say, “Amen, God’s words are so right”? And when you feel that God’s words are so right, and what people need, will you feel that God’s words are really the truth, and can truly be the life of man? Are you capable of having such experiences? (Yes.) When you have reached that point—when you acknowledge that all of the words spoken from God’s mouth are the truth, and what people need—will you feel that God is able to save you? Will you realize that? (Yes.) When you feel that God is able to save you, will you feel in your heart that God is worthy of people’s trust, that people must rely on God, and be incapable of leaving God? And will these feelings be genuine? Are they a yearning born within your heart—a genuine yearning, a genuine looking to Him?
See how, in something as small as the reality of the truth of being honest, if people are truly able to enter and are truly diligent in putting this into practice, then during the process of putting it into practice, during the process of growing and changing, they will unconsciously gain these things. In this way, you will unwittingly sense how, in setting such a seemingly unremarkable standard and requirement for people, God causes them to gain these things, and you will feel just how practical God is. In their conceptions, people believe this: Being honest isn’t a big deal. How could this be the truth? People’s arrogant disposition makes this the first thing they feel, their first reaction. “That’s wrong! This isn’t the truth, it’s just some minor truism, it’s not deep at all. It’s nothing like those profound, unfathomable things spoken of in great works and by famous people. How could this be the truth?” But when you have genuinely experienced and appreciated these words, the effect will change your life. Is this not so? (Yes.) And will the changes be great? (They will.) Just how big? (People will voluntarily pursue putting this truth into practice; before, they paid it no heed, but now in their hearts they feel that they need it.) Will it make people feel their own insignificance? (Yes.) Will it make them feel they are so lowly, that mankind is so insignificant, and that mankind is so arrogant and ignorant? God makes such a simple demand of people—one which seems unremarkable to them—and they look upon this requirement that God has made of them with contempt. But when they put it into practice, what does it show when a modern person, who seems so high and mighty, who is knowledgeable and educated, finds it so onerous? (People are so arrogant and incompetent.) People are nothing, and they have nothing. This alone is sufficient to bring about thorough changes in your understanding and conceptions, to make you know man’s corruption, that man is corrupt, and the ilk of Satan. The more you put it into practice, the more you will feel how lovable and practical God is. People see the work that God does and the words that He utters as simple and easy to understand, not deep and unfathomable—but they bring people life, and allow them to be saved. Is this not true? (Yes.) Do you have any experience of this? Putting the truth into practice is simple: Take these words and put them into practice in accordance with their literal meaning. As you do so, without you realizing it, there will be a shift in your spiritual state, your life will grow, and your knowledge of God and relationship with God will move forward, and not stay in the same place. But if you take these words as some beautiful or magnificent external accouterments of the belief in God, then you will never feel such things, and will never gain these things—this is the reality of it.
When people eat baozi, does anyone say, “When I eat this baozi, I’m just going to eat the outside”? That’s not eating baozi. When people eat baozi, it is mainly in order to eat the filling—it’s only a baozi if they eat the filling. If they never eat any filling, then they’re eating a mantou, or a steamed bun. People eat baozi primarily so that they can eat the filling. And so what about putting the truth into practice? (Putting God’s words into practice. Feeling, appreciating, and experiencing God’s words.) What is the aim of putting the truth into practice? I’ll tell you: It’s mainly in order to gain the truth. Let Me talk of details with you, if I do that you’ll understand; if I speak in generalities, you might not get it. Look, being honest is a truth—everyone acknowledges that, no one denies it. And when you put that into practice, you’ll think, “This isn’t easy!” Having lived all these years, you feel you’re pretty honest—you’re pretty honest in your treatment of others and handling of things, have never done anything sneaky or dishonest, and have never been a wheeler-dealer, nor are you disingenuous and insincere like the unbelievers. And the result? You hit a wall as soon as you begin putting the truth into practice. “Am I so dishonest? I’m honest! I take an honest attitude in my treatment of others; even my parents say I’m an honest child, as did my teachers at school—how could it be that as soon as I come before God and try to be honest, I stop being honest? Am I honest or not?” Is this the start of entering into the reality of the truth? If you keep putting this into practice, you’ll think to yourself: “Oh, it’s not easy being honest. It looks as if I’m not honest. I feel there is ‘honesty’ within my life. I live amid honesty each day, and I’m honest—but why is it so onerous for me as soon as I try to be honest in detail, why is it so tiring? Why can’t I do it?” After reflecting on this, you say to yourself: “If I can’t do that, then I’m not honest.” Has there been a change here? (Yes.) What change? (They have come to know themselves.) They have come to know themselves. And in this, have they grown? And gained something? (Yes.) And so, if you do not put this kind of truth into practice, could you have such a knowledge of yourself? Could you have gained these things? (No.) And why not? (Because we think we are honest.) That’s not right. Some people say: “When I see that God says for us to be honest—‘you’re all deceitful’—I admit it, amen, right, yes, I’m deceitful, do I not admit it?” What’s the difference between this and true acknowledgment? (It is not real. They haven’t appreciated what kind of thoughts and responses they have inside when they truly try to be honest.) They don’t understand what it means to be deceitful. Above all they don’t know what a deceitful person is, and have not held these words up against themselves; they acknowledge them in word only, saying, “This is what it is.” For example, someone says to you: “You’re so short.” You think about it, and reply: “Yes, I am short.” “How do you know you’re short?” “I don’t wear large clothes, I wear a small size.” Does this count as truly knowing that you are short? When do people know that they really are short? Is there anyone who’s short among you? Do they now realize that they’re short—do they know from the depths of their hearts that they really are short, that they’re not tall? They remove a piece of clothing and have a look: “This clothing’s small, it would appear I really am short.” Does this count as true acknowledgment? (It does not.) It does not. So speak up, let’s see whether you’ve any experience of this, whether you’ve ever lived it. (When I’m with my brothers and sisters, I discover that the brothers and sisters are taller than me. I have a deep appreciation of how I’m not tall enough to reach the pull switch for the light. Turning the light on is very difficult for me.) So you discover that you’re short; but before you try to reach the pull switch, do you feel in the depths of your heart that you’re short? From what time do you begin to realize that you’re short? (When I see that most people are taller than me, and I can’t reach the pull switch.) See—is this an easy process? Without such an environment, would you think you weren’t short? (Yes.) This is what it means to experience.
It’s the same with putting the truth into practice. When you truly discover that you’re deceitful, that it isn’t easy to put being honest into practice, and that you require God’s salvation, you require God’s leadership, you require God’s provision, and you also require God’s discipline and chastening, judgment and chastisement to allow you to enter this reality of the truth; when you have such yearning and longing; when you have such a wish, you will think to yourself and ask: “How can I be honest? What are the words of someone who is honest? What actions are the manifestation of someone who is honest?” Are these the things that should be pondered by someone who is rational? And when you ponder them, you are not living in a vacuum, yes? Even if you’re not performing your duty, you’re still living in a crowd of people; every day you speak and interact with people, every day you do things. For example, when you meet someone and they ask you, “Where are you going?” “I’m going for a walk.” Such is the lie you tell; in fact, you want to go to the games arcade. After a while, you say to yourself: “This isn’t right, I wanted to go to the games arcade—but I said to go for a stroll. Were those words not false? Were they not deceitful? How am I being honest?” Without knowing it, you realize that being honest isn’t easy; it’s so natural to say things that are untrue, they come so smoothly, without care or consideration. You open your mouth and out they come, requiring no thought. Everything you say is false. It all happens so easily! At such times, what will be felt by people who have heart and spirit? What reaction will there be in their hearts and the states of their life? (Their conscience will feel uneasy, there will be accusations against their conscience.) That’s right. They want to be honest, but every day they say things that are false, and in this they are accused. People with heart and spirit are accused, and in their conscience they feel reproached. And where does this reproach come from? Unconsciously, they feel it in their humanity and conscience. When they have such feelings, has there been some change in them? And have they grown? (Yes.) And, before, could they sense that they were deceitful? Could they feel they were bad? (No.) From sensing nothing to the start of recrimination, to feeling it wrong to speak false words, to, after saying such words, them feeling uncomfortable in their hearts, ill at ease, disquieted, feeling accused—and when they have reached this point, have they changed? When they are accused, what path will those who possess normality and rationality generally choose to take, and what principles will they choose to behave by? (Not saying anything false, not wishing to be that kind of person.) In general, in their subjective humanity—their instincts—the first thing they will do is to free themselves from accusation and approach, for their subjective desire is to be honest. But they can’t do that, it’s onerous—and this is the negative aspect. When, in the positive aspect, they have no way out, in the negative aspect they wish to release themselves from such accusations. And what do they do? They speak less, and they wish to speak no more false words. But it is very difficult for them to positively and actively speak honest words and do honest things. When they have freed themselves of such accusations, there is new recrimination within their hearts: “I can’t never speak, there’s deception within me, my motivations are wrong, am I not still trying to deceive people? If I always try and deceive people, then I’m still being deceitful, and I’m not good! How could I be like this? I’m not honest!” They accuse themselves like this—does their life grow? And does its growth to how it is today show that, step-by-step people are trying positively and proactively to be honest, and are turning their backs on the motivations and conceptions of the flesh? In this, are they changing? (Yes.) And so, is having changed to this extent a long way from being honest? How far is it from being honest? (The direction is right.) Is this easy to put into practice? At such times, what action will those who are possessed of rationality and normal humanity choose to take, what will they do in order to reverse their own negative state, to bring peace and joy to their hearts, and live before God? (Shun evil, and do nothing that cannot be made public.) Not doing this is evasion, they are avoiding putting the truth into practice. In the positive aspect, how will people cooperate in trying to be honest, and actively putting it into practice, do you know? (Opening up and laying themselves bare.) That’s the first step. They will open up and lay themselves bare. They ponder: “It’s uncomfortable for me to keep it in, so I’ll open up, I’ll adopt this method and see what happens.” What kind of people do they generally open up to? Do most people have to choose who they open up to? “I get along well with this person, he won’t reveal my secrets after I’ve told him, he won’t bring any shame upon me.” And how do they feel after laying themselves bare? (They feel steadfast in their hearts.) In their hearts, they feel liberated. That’s the word that unbelievers use, “liberated.” They feel steadfast. And at the same time as feeling steadfast, they are joyous in their hearts, and think to themselves: “That was great. Although I purposely selected someone, after this first step of entering the truth I feel different, it’s beautiful! I enjoyed it!” They have tasted putting the truth into practice, they’ve felt the benefits of putting the truth into practice. In this, have they begun entering the reality of the truth? Is entry into a state such as this a good thing, or something routine? (It’s a good thing.) It’s not bad, yes? It’s not easy being able to enter to this extent. They have to break through numerous difficulties and obstacles, they have to go over and over these things in their heads: “Shall I speak these words? Who do I speak them to? What do I say? Oh, it’s so hard inside, it’s so oppressive, I feel like I can’t breathe! How can I feel joyous and happy within my heart, how can I feel more comfortable, and enjoy a bit more?” In the end they choose the path of selecting several people to open up to, to tell the words within their hearts, and they feel happy, and at peace, they don’t feel accused in their conscience. It’s not easy for people to take this step.
Once you have taken the first step, things get better and better, and on the whole, your entry into life moves in a benign direction. There are struggles, obstacles, negativity, weakness, and many failures during this period, but above all, when people take the first step they break free from the restraints of the bondage of their corrupt disposition. Isn’t that right? (Yes.) And what do they generally do after that? Before most people, they lay themselves bare by speaking honestly, and they also reveal themselves—the lies they have told, the bad things they have done, their motivations and conceptions. This is progress. And what about after that? After that, every time they lie, every time they are deceitful, every time they do something underhand, or something treacherous or tricky, they feel uneasy. Each time they do such things they do not let themselves off easily, and they actively reflect upon in what other things they have been deceitful or underhand, what other things are the manifestation of them not being honest. In this, are they progressing toward the right path? Is such a state that of entry into the reality of the truth? (Yes.) Sure? (Sure.) Is this process that of experiencing being honest? (Yes.) And is this process that of experiencing God’s words? (Yes.) And so is this process the process of experiencing and accepting the truth? Is it the process by which people rid themselves of their corrupt dispositions? Is it the process of accepting God’s salvation? (Yes.) It is all of those. What do people do after that? And when they do it, are they more positive and proactive? (Yes.) So tell Me, how is this positivity and proactiveness manifested? (People think before they act, and they put right the motivations for everything they do.) It looks as if you haven’t experienced to this point yet—and what does it show that you have yet to experience to this extent? Are you a long way off being honest? (Yes.) Going forward, people will become more positive and proactive. They will reflect upon every detail of what they say and do, upon all the words they have ever said, all of their motivations, the corrupt disposition within them, and their own conceptions. When that happens, they will discover more and more things that are deep within them, things that are hidden, and things that they have never been aware of. When they discover these things, in their hearts people yearn for God’s help, and hope that they are able to rely on God and His guidance to solve these difficulties, after which things get better and better. At such times, when people sense how their corrupt disposition, their deceitfulness, motivations, and other things that oppose God are deeply embedded in them, they feel that what they need is no longer God’s grace and blessings, or God’s comfort, exhortations, and reminders of them, but God’s discipline and chastening, and His judgment and chastisement. Only then can those deeply embedded things that oppose God, the corrupt disposition of man, and man’s disobedience be resolved. Only when they have come this far will they gladly and willingly accept God’s discipline, chastening, judgment, and chastisement without any complaint. Only when their lives have grown that much, and they have entered to that extent, can people know what God’s discipline is, what His chastening is, and what His judgment and chastisement are, and only then will they know how important God’s judgment and chastisement are for them. When people have accepted God’s judgment and chastisement, and discipline and chastening, they will have unconsciously grown, they will be able to bear their burden, and they will increasingly feel that being honest isn’t that onerous, that it isn’t hard work, that it’s not so difficult, that the obstacles aren’t so great, that it’s increasingly easy. When someone is honest, and able to give their heart to God and be caring of God’s heart, when they don’t need God to keep watch over them, disciplining them and chastening them, and are able to actively practice in accordance with the principles of the truth—at this time, has God gained them? When they’ve come that far, has the truth become the life in them? And once the truth has become their life, can it be said that they have gained the truth? When you have lived out the reality of the truth, and the truth has become your life, you will have gained the truth—do you understand this? (Yes.) This is the process. Is it complicated? (It doesn’t sound complicated.) It doesn’t sound complicated, yes? In fact, it’s a lot simpler than learning a skill. I think learning about computers is pretty complex—you have to keep reading and learning and memorizing. Actually, the truth really isn’t complicated, it’s just that people have made it complex, in their imagination they have made it complex. What do you say, is the process of gaining the truth complicated? Where is the difficulty? (It depends on whether or not people are willing to put the truth into practice.) It’s actually not that difficult. For people who are willing to put the truth into practice, their corrupt disposition isn’t a problem, because the truth is inherently what people ought to achieve, and what they are able to achieve—if not, God wouldn’t say these things. The truth isn’t some fantastic tale, nor some abstruse astronomical theory. It is something that people are able to achieve, which is within their abilities. Would you say that the process of putting the truth into practice is difficult? Is it complex? Is it simpler than making mantou? (Not as simple.) But for Me, it’s more or less like eating a baozi, in that it becomes more delicious and enjoyable the further in you get. People always feel it’s not interesting to put the truth into practice, but that’s because they have yet to get inside it. It’s like eating a baozi as if it’s a mantou, in which case you won’t think it’s delicious. When you eat baozi they become more enjoyable and delicious the further in you get. You never go beyond the outside, beyond doctrine; you don’t practice inward, or pay attention to the various states within, and so you are always incapable of entering into the reality of the truth. If you can’t enter into the reality of the truth, you can’t gain the truth, and if you can’t gain the truth, you’ll feel that the truth isn’t so important or precious to you. This is fact.
Look back at the process of being honest we were just talking about. What is there at each step? Do people ever fall down? Are they ever weak? Are there obstacles? Are there conceptions and imaginings mixed in? (Yes.) And so how great a role does people’s corrupt nature play in this? (It plays a dominant role.) It plays a primary role. But if people keep going forward, is it a problem? It isn’t, nor is it a difficulty. Which stage is the most difficult part in? What’s the most difficult thing about the first step of putting the truth into practice? (Turning one’s back on themselves. Revealing themselves.) Could it be said that what’s most difficult is that, when people put the truth into practice, they see that putting the truth into practice isn’t easy and they come to know just how many corrupt dispositions they have, and how deeply embedded they are? Is this the difficulty? (Yes.) It is not. If you truly understand and know just how deep your corruption goes, that’s a good thing. What’s fearful is when, right from the start, people are muddleheaded, and believe they’re OK, thinking things like, “I’m someone who’s honest,” “I’m ingenuous,” “I’ve got my feet on the ground,” “I’m someone who’s straightforward,” “I’m someone who strives for perfection,” “I’m someone who stays away from vulgarity,” “I’m someone who’s generous and unselfish,” “I’m a good girl,” “I do what I’m told,” “I’m someone who’s very affable,” “I’m someone who’s very likeable,” “I’m someone who loves life,” “I’m someone who’s very warmhearted,” “I’m someone who’s very charitable and likes helping others,” “I’ve never said anything false—as soon as I do my heart starts beating, my face goes red, and my nose starts twitching.” Are those who are able to know their own corruption superior to this? (Yes.) And in what way are they superior? (They are capable of some knowledge of themselves.) Would you say that having knowledge of themselves means that people have made great gains in their entry into life? You must be clear about this: It’s not easy for people to know themselves. Knowing yourself is not a case of looking in a mirror and seeing whether your features are attractive, whether your hair is thick or thin, whether you’re tall or short, whether your nose is big or small—it’s not that. So what is it knowing? Is it knowing whether your character is good or bad? Is it knowing how many strong points you have? Is it knowing whether people look favorably upon you or not? (No.) So what do you mainly know? (We know our own corrupt nature.) You all understand this, yes? Knowing man’s corrupt disposition, knowing the things that oppose God and oppose the truth, and the things which belong to Satan. Some of these things come from knowledge, some come from education, some come from family environment, and some come from people’s conceptions, and from social environment and culture—they come from different places. In the main, they come from the corruption of Satan. Look back on those processes; this is basic process for putting each truth into practice.
The truth is something positive. When you encounter the truth, your corrupt disposition is sure to do battle with, and react against it within you. If you always feel you understand the truth, but there has never been a change in the state within you, there is no pain or discomfort, then you’re a long way off from understanding the truth. If someone says, “I think I understand the truth, I think I’ve entered into the reality of the truth,” what are the manifestations of this? The state within their life has begun to change; in their heart, their thoughts, conceptions, the principles by which they act, how they behave and handle things, and the motivations and incentives by which they perform their duty, they’ve all started to change; their heart has feeling, allowing them to sense that they are corrupt, they have selfish desires, they are arrogant, selfish, and greedy, and that they oppose God, have all sorts of desires, that they will do anything for their own interests and fame, and that they are deceitful, and harbor ambitions. This is what it will make them realize. As soon as the truth enters into people, there will be changes in their thoughts and in their hearts. The truth allows their hearts to feel some positive things, which is its role. If you say, “I’ve read and listened to many truths, but no change has ever been caused in my heart, no change has ever occurred there, it’s never provoked any feelings in me,” what does this show? (A lack of experience and knowledge.) This proves that you haven’t entered into the reality of the truth, that you have even no connection with it.
Some people say: “When I had just started believing in God, I cried at the very mention of God, it always made me emotional, I could not sleep in the evening, I felt so moved all night!” Is this the effect caused by understanding the truth? (No.) So what is it? When people have just started believing in God, although there is corruption in them, they have been touched by the work of the Holy Spirit, it has brought them joy, made them feel at peace, made them happy, and caused them to forget their sorrows. But these feelings can never stand in for the changes that the truth brings in people. They can’t replace them; if they could, there would be no need for God to speak these words face-to-face with man, there would be no need for God to express these truths. If, after many years of believing in God, someone still immerses themselves in being touched by the Holy Spirit, and the feeling of peace and joy that the Holy Spirit gives them, and always remains at that stage, is this not troublesome? What kind of people are likely to remain at that stage? (Those who don’t put the truth into practice in detail.) In terms of how long people have believed in God, in general, those who have only believed in God for one or two years are often like this. But after hearing many truths, if they still use that as the capital, and as the standard, then will it be troublesome? What does this mean? (They pursue gaining grace.) (It means that their minds remain closed, that they have yet to find the path to believing in God and pursuing the truth.) Can it be said that people like this are so ignorant, that they are pitiable, childish, and it is not easy for them to gain the truth? When a child of three or five years has a toy in their hand to play with, they’re happy, and that’s normal—but how many thirty-year-olds have you seen running about the streets with a toy in their hand? If a thirty-year-old sat atop a toy car and scooted about the street, pretending they were really driving, that wouldn’t be normal. What kind of person is that, usually? (A simpleton, or an imbecile.) Can an imbecile depart from the years when they always had a toy in their hand? (No.) Why not? Because the intellect of a simpleton or an imbecile has only developed that far, and no matter how old they are—even if they’re sixty—they’ll still be like that. Does this have any connection to age? (No.) It bears no relation to age. So look out for anyone who’s thirty and still runs about the streets with a toy car, with a prop or a toy in their hand, carrying it everywhere they go; stay away from them, they’re likely either a simpleton or someone who’s insane. One type is mad, and the other is mentally deficient, yes? So if someone has believed in God for many years and still keeps talking about how much the Holy Spirit touched them, how many graces God gave them, and if, no matter how many truths they’ve heard, they still don’t say anything about putting the truth into practice and don’t understand anything about putting the truth into practice, not understanding no matter how many assemblies they take part in, what kind of person is this? Things are going to be onerous and difficult for them; this kind of person is going to be in trouble. Are there any among you who have believed in God for many years and still carry a toy in their hand? Having heard so many sermons, do you feel that the truth is very important to you? Have you realized the importance of putting the truth into practice? (We have.) Well then, you’re not idiots or imbeciles, nor do you have mental problems. You’re normal. Putting the truth into practice isn’t something onerous, it’s not abstruse, it’s not abstract, and there’s nothing hard about it. As long as you possess rationality and your humanity is normal, you should be able to achieve putting truth into practice, you should be able to put it into practice. According to this standard, should most people be capable of gaining the truth? Do any one of you feel that you can’t gain it by this means, saying: “I feel it’s onerous for someone like me, I feel like I’m one of those people who are thirty or forty years old and still running about the streets with a toy car in their hand, it’s too much, I can’t do it”? Raise your hand. No one raised their hand—it appears there’s hope for all of you. That’s good, there’s hope for all of you.
In the future, I hope that you’ll ask questions about details of entry into life, saying “I don’t know if this state of mine is OK or not, I have to ask”—asking questions like that—at certain key stages or important places. When you ask questions like these, I know that you’re putting effort into the truth. If you always ask about external practices and things, then you’re up against it, you’ve still got a long way to go. When you have free time, commune amongst yourselves, reflect on these things, and ask: “Is this state of mine right? Is it right for me to always think in that way? Are these conceptions or imaginings, or are they a necessary state and process for putting the truth into practice?” Discuss these things. Ask, “I wish to be honest, is it right for me to open up in this way? Help me out, look at whether my opening up like this is beneficial to everyone else, whether it has drawbacks. Could it cause some people to stumble?” Discuss things like this; in this way, without you realizing it, you and those around you will grow. Everything you say and do must be beneficial for yourself and others.