Work and Entry (5)
Today you all know that God is leading people onto the right track of life, that He is leading man to take the next step into another age, that He is leading man to transcend this dark old era, out of the flesh, away from the oppression of the forces of darkness and the influence of Satan, so that each and every person may live in a world of freedom. For the sake of a beautiful tomorrow, and so that people may be bolder in their steps tomorrow, the Spirit of God plans everything for man, and in order that man may have greater enjoyment, God devotes all of His efforts in the flesh to preparing the path ahead for man, hastening the arrival of the day for which man longs. Would that you all cherish this beautiful moment; it is no easy feat to come together with God. Although you have never known Him, you have already long since been together with Him. If only everyone could remember these beautiful yet fleeting days forever, and make them their cherished possessions on earth. God’s work has long since been revealed to man—but because people’s hearts are too complicated, and because they have never had any interest in it, God’s work has remained paused upon its original foundation. Their thoughts, notions, and mental outlook, it would seem, remain outdated, so much so that the mental outlook of many of them resembles that of the primitives of ancient times, and has not changed in the slightest. As a result, people are still bewildered and unclear about the work God does. They are even more unclear about what they do and what they should enter into. These things present tremendous difficulties to God’s work and prevent people’s lives from ever moving forward. Because of man’s substance and their poor caliber, they are fundamentally incapable of grasping God’s work, and never treat these things as important. If you wish for progress in your life, you must begin paying attention to the details of your existence, grasping each and every one of them in order to control your entry into life, thoroughly transform the heart of every one of you, and resolve the problems of the emptiness within your hearts and the stale and dreary existence that afflicts you, so that each of you will be renewed from the inside out and truly enjoy a life that is heightened, transcendent, and free. The aim is that each of you will be able to come alive, be revived in your spirit, and come to possess the likeness of a living being. Of all the brothers and sisters you come into contact with, rarely are there any who are vibrant and fresh. They are all like ancient ape men, simple-minded and stupid, apparently without any prospect of development. Even worse, the brothers and sisters I have come in contact with have been as boorish and uncivilized as mountain savages. They know hardly anything about manners, much less any of the basics of how to behave. Many are the young sisters who, though they may look intelligent and decent, and have grown as pretty as flowers, still get themselves up in an “alternative” fashion. One sister’s[a] hair covers her whole face, leaving nothing to be seen of her eyes. Though her facial features are clean and virtuous, her hairstyle is repulsive, giving one a weird feeling, as if she were the number one offender in a juvenile detention center. Her eyes, limpid and bright, like emeralds in water, are offset by her clothing and hairstyle, making them seem like a pair of lanterns, seen suddenly on a pitch-dark night, that flash intermittently with a blinding brilliance that strikes terror into men’s hearts, and yet it also appears as if she is deliberately hiding from someone. When I meet her, she is always devising ways to get away from the “scene,” like a murderer who has just killed someone and, deeply afraid of being found out, is constantly dodging about; so, too, is she like the black Africans who have been slaves for generations and can never raise their heads before others. This spectrum of behaviors, down to the way these people dress and groom themselves, would take several months of work to improve.
For thousands of years, the Chinese people have led the life of slaves, and this has so constrained their thoughts, concepts, life, language, behavior, and actions that they have been left without the slightest freedom. Several thousand years of history have taken vital people possessed of a spirit and worn them down into something akin to corpses bereft of a spirit. Many are those who live under the butcher’s knife of Satan, many are those who live in homes like the lairs of beasts, many are those who eat the same food as oxen or horses, and many are those who lie, insensate and in disarray, in the “netherworld.” In outward appearance, people are no different from primitive man, their place of rest is like a hell, and for companions they are surrounded by all manner of filthy demons and evil spirits. On the outside, human beings appear to be higher “animals”; in fact, they live and reside with filthy demons. Without anyone to tend to them, people live inside Satan’s ambuscade, caught in its toils with no way of escape. Rather than saying that they gather with their loved ones in cozy homes, living happy and fulfilling lives, one should say that human beings live in Hades, dealing with demons and associating with devils. In fact, people are still bound by Satan, they live where filthy demons gather, and they are manipulated by these filthy demons, as if their beds were a place for their corpses to slumber on, as if they were a cozy nest. On entering their home, the courtyard is cold and lonely, a chill wind whistling through the dry branches. Opening the door to the “living space,” the room is pitch black—you could stretch out your hand and not see your fingers. A little light leaks in through a crack in the door, which makes the room feel even more gloomy and terrible. From time to time, rats emit strange squeaks, as if making merry. All within the room is repulsive and frightening, like a house that used to be occupied by someone who has just been put into a coffin. The bed, quilts, and the unremarkable little cabinet in the room are all covered in dust, on the ground several little stools bare their fangs and brandish their claws, and spider webs hang on the walls. A mirror sits on the table, a wooden comb next to it. Walking toward the mirror, you pick up a candle and light it. You see that the mirror is covered in dust, creating a kind of “make-up” on people’s reflections[b] so that they look like they have just come out of a tomb. The comb is full of hairs. All these things are old and crude, and seem as if they have just been used by someone who just died. Looking at the comb, one feels as if there might be a corpse laid to the side. The hairs in the comb, without blood circulating in them, have the smell of the dead about them. A chill wind enters through the crack in the door, as if a ghost is squeezing through the crack, returning to inhabit the room. There is an oppressive chill about the room, and suddenly, a stench as of a rotting corpse, and at this moment it can be seen that there are a jumble of things hanging about the walls, on the bed is disheveled bedding, dirty and smelly, there is grain in the corner, the cabinet is coated with dust, the floor is covered with twigs and dirt, and so on—as if they have just been used by a dead person, lurching forward, gnashing their teeth and clawing at the air. It is enough to give you the shivers. There is not a vestige of life anywhere in the room, all is dark and damp, like the Hades and hell spoken of by God. This is just like a man’s tomb, with the unpainted cabinet, stools, window frames, and doors clothed in mourning attire and paying silent tribute to the dead. Man has been living in this netherworld for several decades, or several centuries, or even several millennia, going out early and returning late. They emerge from their “tomb” at first light, when the cocks are crowing, and, looking up at the sky and glancing down at the ground, they start their day’s activities. When the sun drops behind the mountains, they drag their tired body back to the “tomb”; by the time they have filled their belly it is dusk. Then, having finished making their preparations for leaving the “tomb” again tomorrow, they put out the light, which seems to be emitting the radiance of phosphorescent fires. At this time, all that can be seen beneath the moonlight are grave mounds spreading like little hillocks into every corner. From within the “tombs” emanates the occasional sound of snores, rising and falling. People all lie fast asleep, and the filthy demons and ghosts too all seem to be resting peacefully. From time to time, one hears crows cawing from far off—the sound of these desolate cries on a still and silent night such as this is enough to send shivers down your spine and make your hair stand on end…. Who knows how many years man has spent in such settings, dying and being reborn; who knows how long they have remained in the human world where people and ghosts mingle, and what is more, who knows how many times they have bidden farewell to the world. In this hell on earth men lead happy lives, as if they are without a single word of complaint, for they have long since grown accustomed to life in Hades. And so, people are fascinated by this place where filthy demons reside, as if the filthy demons are their friends and companions, as if the world of man is a band of hoodlums—for man’s original substance has long since vanished without a whisper, it has disappeared without a trace. People’s appearance has something of a filthy demon about it; more than that, their actions are manipulated by filthy demons. Today, they look no different from filthy demons, as if they were birthed from filthy demons. Moreover, people are also extremely loving toward, and supportive of, their ancestors. No one knows that man has long since been so downtrodden by Satan that they have become like gorillas in the mountains. Their bloodshot eyes hold an imploring look, and in the dim light that shines from them is a faint vestige of a filthy demon’s baleful malice. Their faces are covered in wrinkles, cracked like the bark of a pine tree, their mouths protrude outward, as if fashioned by Satan, their ears are coated in grime inside and out, their backs are arched, their legs struggle to support their bodies, and their bony arms swing rhythmically back and forth. It is as if they are nothing but skin and bone, but then again they are also as fat as a mountain bear. Inside and out, they are groomed and dressed like an ape from ancient times—it is as if, today, these apes have yet to fully evolve into the shape of modern man, so backward are they!
Man lives side by side with the animals, and they get along harmoniously, without disputes or verbal disagreements. Man is fastidious in his care and concern for the animals, and the animals exist for the sake of man’s survival, expressly for his benefit, without any advantage to themselves and in complete and total obedience to man. To all appearances, the relationship between man and beast is a close and harmonious one—and filthy demons, it would seem, are the perfect combination of man and beast. Thus, man and the filthy demons on earth are even more intimate and inseparable: Though apart from the filthy demons, man remains connected to them; meanwhile, the filthy demons hold nothing back from man, and “devote” all they have to them. Daily, people cavort in the “palace of the king of hell,” frolicking in the company of the “king of hell” (their ancestor) and being manipulated by it, so that, today, people have become caked in grime, and, after spending so much time in Hades, have long since stopped wishing to return to the “world of the living.” Thus, as soon as they see the light, and behold the demands of God, and God’s character, and His work, they feel jittery and anxious, still yearning to return to the netherworld and reside with ghosts. Long ago they forgot God, and so they have ever wandered in the graveyard. When I meet a person, I try to talk to her, and only at this time do I discover that the person standing before Me is not human at all. Her hair is unkempt, her face filthy, and there is something wolf-like about her toothy smile. So, too, does she seem to have the awkwardness of a ghost that has just emerged from the tomb and beheld man of the living world. This person is always trying to form her lips into a smile; it appears both insidious and sinister. When she smiles at Me, it is as if she has got something to say but cannot seem to find the words, and so all she can do is stand to one side, looking blank and stupid. Seen from behind, she seems to present the “mighty image of the Chinese laboring people”; at these moments she appears even more loathsome, recalling the image of the descendants of the legendary Yan Huang/Yan Wang of old[c] that people speak of. When I question her, she lowers her head in silence. It takes her a long time to reply, and she is very inhibited when she does so. She cannot keep her hands still, and sucks her two fingers like a cat. Only now do I realize that man’s hands look as if they have just been picking through rubbish, with ragged nails so discolored that one would never know that they were supposed to be white, “slender” nails thickly lined with dirt. Even more disgusting, the backs of their hands look like the skin of a chicken that has just been plucked. The lines across their hands are almost all impregnated with the price of the blood and sweat of man’s labors, within each is something that looks like dirt, seemingly exuding the “aroma of the soil,” the better to represent the preciousness and praiseworthiness of man’s spirit of suffering—so that this spirit of suffering has even been deeply embedded in each of the lines on man’s hands. From head to toe, none of the clothing man wears looks anything like an animal’s pelt, but little do they know that, be they ever so “honorable,” their value is actually less than a fox’s fur—less, even, than a single peacock’s feather, for their clothing has long since made them so ugly that they look worse than a pig and a dog. Her skimpy top dangles halfway down her back, and her trouser legs—like chicken intestines—fully expose her ugliness to the bright sunlight. They are short and narrow, as if for the sake of showing that her feet have long since been unbound: They are big feet, no longer the “three-inch golden lotuses” of the old society. This person’s dress is too westernized, but also too cheap. When I meet with her, she is always bashful, her face flushing crimson, and she is unable to raise her head at all, as if she has been trodden down by filthy demons, and cannot bring herself to look people in the face anymore. Dust covers man’s face. This dust, which has fallen from the sky, appears to fall all unfairly upon man’s face, making it look like sparrow’s down. Man’s eyes are like a sparrow’s, too: small and dry, without any brightness. When people talk, their speech is habitually halting and evasive, loathsome and disgusting to others. Yet many extol such people as “representatives of the nation.” Is this not a joke? God wishes to change people, to save them, to rescue them from the tomb of death, that they may escape from the life they lead in Hades and in hell.
1. “Black Africans” refers to black people who were cursed by God, who have been slaves for generations.
2. “A band of hoodlums” refers to mankind’s corruption, and how there are no holy human beings among mankind.
3. “Evolve into” refers to the ape men’s “evolution” into the shape of the people of today. The intent is satirical: There is, in fact, no such thing as a theory of ancient apes transitioning into human beings who walk upright.
4. “Close” is used mockingly.
5. “Harmonious” is used mockingly.
a. The original text reads “Her.”
b. The original text reads “people’s faces.”
c. “Yan” and “Huang” are the names of two mythological emperors who were among China’s first culture-givers. “Yan Wang” is the Chinese name for the “king of hell.” “Yan Huang” and “Yan Wang” are almost homophonous when pronounced in Mandarin.