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What is a Dafa Disciple

Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 New York Fa Conference
Li Hongzhi ~ August 29, 2011


(Master enters the hall, everyone stands and applauds enthusiastically.)

Good morning. You’ve all been working hard. (Disciples reply, “Master has been working hard.”) It is you who have truly been working hard, not me. (Everyone laughs) Please be seated.

Dafa disciples are no doubt working very hard. And that’s because the historic responsibility entrusted to you and that you shoulder is so great, and your historic mission dictates that you must, at this critical time, shoulder such a historic responsibility. Dafa disciples came about precisely at the last stage of the cosmos’s cycle of formation, stasis, degeneration, and destruction. Which is to say, whether it be living beings or material things, this is when everything has arrived at the last and worst point, with the manifestations of things being the most complicated and with differentiating good from bad or righteous from evil being the hardest. During such a time, it really gets immensely difficult as Dafa disciples set out to shoulder the mission entrusted to them by history. When I say that Dafa disciples are extraordinary, it is because in a period such as this they have come to save sentient beings, help Master rectify the Fa, and fulfill the mission that each is to personally fulfill—and that is what truly makes you extraordinary. No era of history can compare.

I have said before that Shakyamuni, Jesus, Laozi and the like—as well as several great thinkers, saints, and great divine beings of an even earlier time who came to the earth—were all merely establishing mankind’s culture in the course of history. All of what they taught, the salvation they provided, and the things that they did were simply to leave mankind’s culture with what it must have. The only people who they truly took with them were those beings who they had specifically sent down to help them impart this culture, and even for those ones, it was merely the people’s subordinate souls, which never entered the world. The only ones who can truly accomplish such things—at this final, critical juncture in history—are the disciples of Dafa. Beginning with where they originate from, and extending all the way to the process of establishing mighty virtue over the course of history, what Dafa disciples have shouldered has been greater than that of the holy persons of times past. The reason is, this final period is when the real things are being done. From ancient times up to today, from the beginning of the cosmos up until some sixty years ago during the time of the final group of humankind, everything has been perpetually serving to establish the foundation that Fa rectification would require, with people accumulating experiences, and with the thought processes and behavior of beings who would partake in this final phase of history being created. This is what mankind’s history was about. So whether it be Dafa disciples, or whatever beings have some connection with them—all have been serving this purpose, in the course of their reincarnations trying things out and establishing what each one of them would require. The even greater numbers of immeasurable, countless lives in the cosmos who don’t have any direct connection with the Fa-rectification count as beings to be saved; they do not play a part [in Fa-rectification]. Who I’ve been describing are those participants that do have a connection with Fa-rectification.

As you know, I have said before that the people in this world—which encompasses all beings that have a connection with Fa-rectification—are not so ordinary. All have come for the Fa-rectification, were formed for the Fa-rectification, and were forged for the Fa-rectification. Nothing is accidental, and in the future you will see this. Under the spell of illusion in the human world, and as people have gone through a diverse array of different societies over the course of history, they have thought of what they’ve gone through as simply a natural progression of events. But that is not the case. Each period of time has a reason behind it. As you know, I have taught that man’s thinking, back when gods first created man, didn’t have the capacity to respond to nature or society, and had very poor survival skills. Since man didn’t understand anything when first created, the sound of thunder would frighten him and send him scurrying for a cave to hide in; or when rainstorms came, he wouldn’t know to avoid them, or might even be at a total loss as to what was going on. So, over time, man gradually learned how to respond to the natural environment. Afterwards, gods ceaselessly went about imparting to man cultures of every sort, with gods watching, along the way, to see what kind of person such cultures would produce. In other words, it was an ongoing process of trial-and-error and putting things into practice, with things having ultimately been finalized at a certain point. After an extremely protracted process spanning countless years and that served to finalize things, culture suitable for establishing the kind of thinking and behavior needed at the final stage, and the best things from human culture, were selected. Those would be brought forth during the five thousand years of the final mankind, and be enacted by man. It is precisely the five millennia of Chinese civilization that I am referring to. It is the product of what was established over the course of, and is the culmination of, that protracted historical process. The process was meant to teach people what mode of thinking to use, what structures of thought to form, how to think about the things that they encounter, and what ways of thinking to use to contemplate things.

A person’s thinking directly drives his actions. For example, we’re familiar with the kingdoms of Wei, Shu, and Wu from China’s Three Kingdoms era. And just what specific cultural trait was the history of the Three Kingdoms establishing? “Yi.”(1) The people of that period of history knew what yi was, how yi manifested itself, and the deeper meanings of yi. And what was it that Yue Fei of the Southern Song dynasty was establishing? “Zhong.”(2) [That included establishing] what is meant by zhong, what the concept of zhong entails, how it plays out, and how to respond to and reciprocate it. The course of history has been precisely a process of teaching people how to be human. The entire course of these five thousand years of human history has been a non-stop process of establishing the things that people would require. When the last chapter came, man’s thought processes would have reached a state sufficiently perfect and proper that the gods were satisfied with, and he could be used to perform the culminating scene at this final historic moment. But a question would remain. Namely, as you can imagine, what I have described are a people from a semi-divine culture, people directly created by the divine. So it would follow that the positive elements comprising such a person or man’s culture would outweigh the negative elements. Human beings contain both positive and negative elements from the cosmos, all matter in the Three Realms has both good and evil elements in it, and when gods use matter of the Three Realms to create a human being, naturally there are both good and evil elements present in him. When a person is irrational or loses his temper, it is basically the demon-nature showing; and when a person is kind and rational, and deals with whatever unfolds around him or transpires using kindness, that’s his good elements being exhibited, which is his Buddha-nature. So, people have both of these kinds of elements in them, but this alone is not enough.

I just indicated that the process of creating a person is a positive one. People are all innately kind, and quite rational. Then, consider what would happen if when I imparted Dafa during the Fa-rectification one hundred percent of such people, without any exception, all wanted to obtain the Fa as soon as it was made available. And this would have been especially true for Chinese people, who would perhaps have all come to learn and cultivate in Dafa. I would hardly have had to say anything, and quickly it would have spread everywhere. But as you know, the cosmos has reached a terrible state, and the lives of this era should be ended; however, the people of this world were intentionally reared in the way that they were. And behind these people who partake in this affair are massive groups of beings. Each life, each person, is not simple. Behind them is a massive group of beings in the cosmos that they represent. When one person gains salvation, that represents all of the beings behind him gaining salvation in the future. [I say this] because the vast majority of the people on this earth, of today’s people, are heavenly kings who descended to earth, who incarnated here as human beings. So, if all of these lives were to come and learn Dafa, all of them would be saved, including all of the sentient beings that they represent. That would be a good thing, of course, as any life in this cosmos would agree—including countless, enormous kings. However, the ultimate Creator does not see it that way. When something turns bad it is to be destroyed. To Him, creating something new is just as easy as destroying something bad. And as you are aware, there’s a principle in the cosmos: Namely, good and evil have their consequences. This means that whoever does something bad must pay for it. Good deeds lead to favorable returns, while evil ones lead to negative ones. The goal is to settle things. But over the long course of history, lives have not only incurred karmic debts during their interactions with other lives, but also, many lives have unknowingly gone along with and contributed to the downward spiral in the history of the universe, with virtually every life playing a part in this. Everyone shares part of the blame for what is bad. Everyone realizes that things are growing progressively worse, yet nobody has the ability to turn back the tide. Everyone is spiraling downward as part of this process. In other words, according to the law of “formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction,” everything is supposed to be headed toward destruction. This is a law of the cosmos. It’s not a question of compassion. It’s simply a law.

As you know, I have taught that matter is imperishable and that lives reincarnate. And this not only holds true for man, but also holds true in the realms of gods. Man, being under the spell of illusion, cannot see this, and thus finds the prospect of death terrifying. Of course, as Dafa disciples you are clear on these things. The molecules that make up man’s molecular cells are comprised of atoms, and atoms are comprised of even more microcosmic particles, with the energy of particles being greater the more microcosmic they get. We know that when a human body is buried in the earth, its cells, which at the surface layer are comprised of molecules, can rot away. But molecules cannot rot away, can they? Even less so can atoms, right? Then where has that part of you gone? If all of man’s thoughts were simply the product of his own mind thinking at this surface layer, then how is one to explain the things that people sometimes unexpectedly say? It is not always the case that what you say comes only after careful consideration; instead, it is sometimes the you at different levels, spanning from your particles at the surface layer to those comprising you deep in the microcosm, that is at work. The entirety of your being is simultaneously comprised of particles spanning from the most microcosmic of levels to those at the surface, so your being is not merely this extremely simple, superficial layer of cells. In the context of a person’s being, then, the loss of this superficial portion is merely the loss of a layer of outer skin. With reincarnation, a new outer skin is taken on. The true you cannot be rotted away by burial in the earth. That soil cannot break down atoms, or even molecules, for that matter. If one’s atoms were broken apart, it would result in a massive explosion. The force of a nuclear explosion that’s the scope of a human body would be enough to destroy a city. Isn’t that true? Then, where do you go [at death]? Dafa disciples know the answer. So, this is to say that under the illusion of this world, people don’t know what will become of them after they die. But divine beings know very well what happens, and divine beings of greater heights know even better still. They take all of this to be quite natural. New life is generated when a being comes to the final step in the course of his life. They are fully aware of this process. The entire universe thus involves this process of going back and forth that I’m talking about.

What I have described is the historical process of the greater cosmos prior to the end, the process of the countless planes of lives within it, which resembles the metabolic process in the sense that it is a continual process of replacement. But, if the ultimate cosmos—that is, this entity as a whole—if it is doomed, to be dissolved, if it is done for as part of the process of formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction, then think about it: If each of the planes of lives contained in it could no longer reincarnate, their history would cease to exist, they would have no life, no nothing. For the gods, however great their stature may be, that is something utterly terrifying! That is truly something terrifying to the extreme—it would be utter extinction! So many glorious things are in the cosmos as a result of the greater cosmos’s historical process! Look at how things are, even on this tiny little planet of humans. Then, consider all of the countless planets in the cosmos, comprised of particles of different sizes, that have boundless, measureless sentient beings on them—even gods can’t figure out how many lives are there or what glories have been created there! Each person is like a chronicle of history. Each and every person is like a long, lively historical tale. It’s rather amazing to look at all the things that an individual has gone through over his many lifetimes. So, with the cosmos being so massive and its sentient beings numbering so vast, for all of this to be destroyed would be such a shame.

Of course, be this cosmic law as it may, compassion is a trait of righteous gods. That is not to say that simply wishing to do some good counts as compassion. When someone is seized by a whim and acts on it, that doesn’t count as compassion. Rather, in that case it stems from the person’s likings. Or put more bluntly, it’s out of attachment. True compassion doesn’t have any selfishness mixed in, and one will, when dealing with anyone, or sentient beings in general, look at things with righteous thoughts and loving kindness. It was thus that many gods, many kings of different planes of extraordinarily great heights in the cosmos, upon seeing the end of the universe, wanted to save the cosmos’s sentient beings. And how would they save them? Renewal via Fa-rectification must begin from the lowest plane of the cosmos and rectify from bottom to top. A great many representative lives in this cosmos were made to incarnate as human beings. But beings capable of playing a representative role are by no means average beings. They are definitely kings of different universes, who represent their worlds, universes, or cosmic bodies. But the universe that such a being represents belongs to a system. A cosmic body has a circulation to it, which goes from its lower universes to its higher ones, with its system corresponding to the systems of those of even higher planes, with kings still greater than them residing above. And then above the systems at even higher planes there are still greater systems and kings. But no matter the height, they all belong to the same system. But he who is at the highest point might not come here. Then what’s to be done? A rather suitable representative, who will represent the countless sentient beings in that enormous system of theirs, is dispatched and incarnates as a human being.

As I’m describing this to you, you might be thinking, “Well, from what I see, there is nothing great about the people in this world. You see people of every form and description, with some even being slovenly. Some people in the countryside live really tough lives, while some city folk are quite snobbish and behave distastefully, and there are plenty of young folks who try to look ‘cool.’” That’s just the way of human society. Not everyone can work at some major corporation, or be a boss, so some people have to fill those other roles. Only a small number of people can become artists or stars. It’s the same with everything else. Having different social classes is a form that human society takes, but these are not the ranks of those beings. So, no being is simple, despite their outward appearance. You might discover that a garbage collector, if you look back [at his previous lives], was formerly a massive god in the cosmos who, under the illusion here, and in the course of his reincarnations, has become completely lost—lost to the point that he remembers nothing. [The illusion] is such that many beings, in the course of reincarnating, are resentful about their lots in life, and know nothing about the mission that brought them here.

And that is but one illustration. The people in this world today, including most of those in the different social classes, don’t know what they came to this world for, and busy themselves striving to make a career. This is especially true for those who’ve had a taste of success. They are so pleased with themselves, forgetting who they are. And when they think that they’re really good at some things, they get completely carried away; and if they feel that their lives are not so great, they are filled with anger and resentment towards the world. But that is not what your being needs, in fact. You mustn’t get so caught up in such things. What is important, instead, is to recover your true self. In this time period, amidst the larger course of history, what takes place in one’s life has causal reasons behind it. Strictly speaking, what manifests in your life today is the karmic returns of whatever wrongs or good things you did in your previous lives. As I just indicated, this is how the cosmos works. That’s the case, no matter what stratum of society you are in and no matter what your occupation may be—good is rewarded with good returns, and evil with bad returns. This law is present throughout the Three Realms, at whatever level it may be. So, having arrived at the final phase, at this time, man’s thinking—particularly when it is a human society at the final phase of the cosmos’s formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction cycle—has become more complicated. Thus, at this time it is Dafa disciples who are needed to awaken the world’s people and save them in this complex environment.

What makes things even more difficult is that right now the wicked, evil-to-the-core, regime of the CCP exists in China. Why would such a regime appear in human society, much less a regime like this, which is deformed? Everyone in the cosmos, from top to bottom, opposes it. All of them consider it a monstrosity. The reasoning of the wicked party’s members is not normal. Then what accounts for this? Nothing is as simple as it appears. This too was something that the old forces of the cosmos intentionally planned. I said earlier that human culture is something that was planned by gods, and was the product of their rearing human beings. And after true, classical culture was formed, people’s thinking would have been righteous across the board, they would have been good-natured from their very core, and everyone would have been considerate of others in their actions. Once such people arrived at the final stage, they would have all made a positive choice. Everyone would have obtained the Fa. But to the old forces of the cosmos, it would have been too easy for people to obtain the Fa, for sentient beings to be saved. There is the law of “good and evil have their consequences” in the Three Realms, and so certain gods couldn’t bear such a prospect and applied this principle to the extreme. Their thinking was, “The cosmos is no good anymore, so how could lives be allowed to gain salvation so easily? How could so many lives be allowed to enter the future?” Thus, an enormous, vast array of factors have kept sentient beings from being saved. The fact that the old forces think that way shows that the Fa principles of the old cosmos have reached the stage of degeneration and destruction. The old forces decided that during the final process, lives would have to make a choice, a choice that would be exceedingly difficult to make, for everything should be ending, and moreover, the world’s morals have become a mess. So how are the people supposed to make the choice if they want to enter the future? This is exceedingly difficult. The bar has been set very high.

Some people think, “Aren’t Gods and Buddhas merciful to humans, though?” When mankind has come to this point, human thinking cannot be applied in weighing such matters. The gods of the old forces certainly don’t think that way. If you want to be saved, to gain deliverance, you must, amidst the temptations of this present society that focuses on the here and now, make the right choice. Only then will you make it through. And if you don’t pass, then you won’t be saved. As you may recall, I often say that “An opening has been made in the net.”(3) If people were to pass the test on their own, how could they possibly do so? Master has long known that the old forces would do this, and so I arranged for Dafa disciples to save sentient beings. The old forces created what in this world is the wicked party’s regime, with the intent to make things difficult for sentient beings. Along with this, they cooked up a slew of crazy theories as well as modern ideas and things of that sort, making this world terribly complicated, with both good and bad things in it. At the same time, they added to the mix certain warped factors as well as alien biotechnology, so as to disorder man’s traditional, proper thinking. In Western society, it was basically enough for them to just get some evil and sinister things up and running. But in China that wasn’t enough. They took it further, turning right into wrong and wrong into good, with the idea being that in such trying circumstances, one would have to make the choice that decides salvation. So why were things made so hard in China? I have shared with you before that the kings at even higher planes, the kings of each of the ethnicities of mankind throughout history, those who were of high levels in the cosmos, all reincarnated in China. It became the focal point. And that is why the degree of difficulty that people there would have to face when making the choice was increased. This is because the old forces saw that as soon as such people gained salvation, probably so too would the ethnic group that they represent, or even, in some cases, the entire group of lives of the massive universe that they represent. Think about what a huge thing that would be. So, the old forces made the ordeals that these people would have to face the biggest of all. Just looking at the Chinese people, in recent times they have been damaged and ruined to the point where they look just awful, with even their external form turning shorter and smaller and their looks becoming quite unattractive. Whereas people in history always projected a healthy countenance and had an upright air about them. They looked pretty good. The change has come about from the difficulty in China being increased in recent times, with bad things being instilled in people. Whatever is loaded into a person’s mind will for sure affect his outer appearance. For example, if you put something square into a bag, by looking at the outer appearance you will be able to tell; if you put something round into it, you’ll also be able to tell that from the outer appearance. Meaning, whatever kind of thinking is loaded into a person will be visible from the outer appearance. When someone is before me, or not just me—there’s much more to human society than we imagine, with many people out there having supernormal powers—one look is all it takes and you know what kind of thinking and behavior predominates in him, and what he likes, for it’s all draped right there on his face—and it’s even present in his bodily form.

Then, if you want people to be able to gain salvation when circumstances are this difficult, what’s to be done? They are not able to tell good from bad, and on top of that are the numerous media entities publicizing society’s trends, despite those trends not necessarily being good. It’s just that while everyone has been doing the same thing, the media has been there to help push things along. Then think about it, how could people tell good from bad? There’s not more than a handful of people among all of humankind who truly have good and kind thoughts in their minds, who are holding fast and are unmoved by all of it. Then isn’t everything done for? And wouldn’t all the things that were arranged long ago have been for naught? Yet the Three Realms were created exactly for this affair. So what’s to be done?

What I just said means that nobody can say putting an opening in the net is wrong. So, how is an opening left in the net? If one is going to break the old forces’ interference, one needs people who can jog a person’s memory, who can point things out and make him understand, who can awaken him, and who can explain to him the truth about the past and today’s world. It’s actually very hard to do much of anything in human society, for any move from the positive [elements] stirs up the old, negative, and bad elements. And of course, conversely, any move from the negative elements stirs up the positive elements. Good and evil are balanced among humankind, and it’s actually hard for a person to do anything in this world. There are many supernatural beings here in this human world, and each is capable of solving issues related to mankind. So, given that a single supernatural being could do such things, why don’t they? They know, and see clearly, that everything has an arrangement to it, and that no matter how good a given thing that they do may be, it will impact something else, and that that other thing will indirectly impact—like the way branches extend out from a tree—a great range of things. That would be violating the arrangements of higher gods, and would even serve to change what was arranged for mankind’s history—something nobody dares to change at will.

So it is during this time that Dafa disciples have come about. However, modern people have accumulated major karmic debts in the course of their reincarnations in history, so if you want to save people and clarify the truth, if you want to save that person, there are a great number of lives behind him who won’t let him be saved. That’s because those lives hate the person, since previously, or in some other incarnation, they were taken advantage of by him, killed by him, or abused by him, and the harm done might have caused them tremendous misery. People know nothing at this moment about the things they did out of ignorance, while lost in illusion or desire, during their reincarnations. The fact is, over the long course of history, each and every person has come to have a body saddled with karmic debt, and everyone is under illusion. As soon as someone truly wants to save such a person, and really wants to rescue the person as a being, the lives that were harmed by the person won’t stand for it. Since this is the case, there will be interference and a great deal of obstacles that arise as you go about saving the world’s people and before you can get them to realize the truth. Barriers of every possible sort obstruct people. And if you want to save a lot of people or if what you are attempting is significant in scale, the entire social environment will come to be characterized by such a phenomenon.

The evil CCP’s persecution of Dafa disciples during these years is not just the product of factors from the evil CCP. In fact, relatively speaking those are small to a pathetic degree. All of the bad elements of the cosmos have been thrust down here, every single one of them, and there are so many of them in every dimension, just innumerably many. Many gods were just stupefied upon seeing this, thinking, “What should we do with all this? Who would dare touch this?” Saving a single person is related to an enormous scope of lives in the cosmos. That’s how big the impact is. Then how big is it with 100 million people? As you know, back when Jesus was saving people—he was devoted to saving people—yet why was he crucified? And Jesus was just saving his own people! His people had incurred karmic debts during their reincarnations, and he didn’t have the means to resolve those. Since the beings of the cosmos that Jesus faced were lives of tremendous sizes, countless in number, and beings of great heights, with beings of even greater heights and of simply immeasurable proportions included in the mix—and so large were they that even the average god wouldn’t be able to know their height—and with these, too, numbering countless many, what could he possibly do if they wanted to make him repay people’s debts and wouldn’t let him off? One could never free oneself from that. At the end of his life, Jesus pleaded to Jehovah, “May I be spared crucifixion?” But there was nothing Jehovah could do either. Jesus was left with no choice but to use his own blood, his human life, and endure suffering to pay them back. Only this way could he be freed. That’s how hard it was. If Dafa disciples want to save the lives of the cosmos, if they want to save sentient beings in this complex setting of society at the final stage, can you imagine how hard that is? If you could see it—truly see it—it would be simply too frightening. But, as long as you go by Dafa, go by what Master has told you, you will have a path to walk, and that will be something nobody can change. But the path will be very narrow—narrow to the extent that only if you are extremely righteous will things work out and will you manage to save people. Only if you can go about things in an extremely righteous manner will there be no problems.

Master has been watching over you as you have walked this path during these years. I used to often write short essays, which you refer to as jingwen. I was continually correcting you in your cultivation, telling you what to do. Later, I knew that you had matured over time, and so I couldn’t write so often anymore. If I were to write more often than I have, the old forces wouldn’t stand for it. No, Master doesn’t fear them. It’s that I didn’t want to see them make things even more complicated. They hold that if I were to teach more it would equate to doing things for you, to carrying you along, which wouldn’t work; it has to be you walking your own path, and you pulling through on your own. The old forces had already done evil to the extent that they had, and I wanted to have Dafa disciples seize the opportunity to establish themselves, for it would be simply magnificent if they could emerge from an ordeal as great as this. It would be simply phenomenal if you could do well in this affair. But if this undertaking was finished and that was the end of it, that wouldn’t be fair to Dafa disciples. Since the groups of lives behind those who you save are indeed so large, then what should the future bring for Dafa disciples? This will give rise to a being of an even higher level and greater caliber—a god of even greater caliber, of even greater magnificence. If the old forces were to see that beings of such stature were being made, and yet all of it was thanks to Master carrying you along, would they see it as you yourselves having achieved that? They would insist upon you walking the path yourselves. It is thus all the harder to, while being subjected to ordeals imposed by the old forces, manage to walk the path correctly. And this is even more so for the Dafa disciples in mainland China. For them, amidst the tremendously harsh persecution, every single thought and idea is critical. Whether you’ve done well or not; whether or not you’ve been susceptible to being persecuted; whether or not you’ve handled things correctly and to what degree you have been persecuted—all of this is directly connected to how you have walked your path and how you have thought about things. Things are extremely difficult for Dafa disciples, and, because it is during the final phase of the world, when the setting is at its most complex, that Dafa disciples are making their way out, cultivating their way out, and even saving others, Dafa disciples can thus establish themselves as beings of such greatness and such high levels. It is because the old forces are interfering that what you are doing is both magnificent and really hard.

Many ordinary people don’t realize what Dafa disciples are doing. It’s not something that can be explained in just a few passing words. If you tell someone that the cosmos has arrived at the final stage of its cycle of formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction, they are even less likely to believe you. So we can’t say such things. What we have to do is to awaken people from a positive, or good, angle. We can’t insist on telling the person which path he must take. Rather, after becoming clear on things, the person will see two paths laid out before him, and make a choice. Some people’s minds have turned awfully bad, and they can no longer accept good things. Naturally, such people choose what is bad, evil, modern, or warped, and follow the old cosmos into oblivion. Only those who can be awakened, who can realize which life path they should be taking hereafter, and who understand what people have come to this world for—only these kinds of people can truly be saved.

I have been asked, “After the Fa-rectification ends one day, next will be the Fa’s rectification of the human world. What will the future hold?” To which I’ve replied, “People will feel close to whomever they come across.” “Oh,” then they think, “this means people’s moral values will have improved, that’s great.” Indeed, that’s the only way they can interpret it. No matter how much people’s values improved, why would people necessarily feel so close to whomever they came across? It may be because normally they won’t see another human being for dozens of miles around. So they will feel close to whomever they see. I will tell you, many prophecies, no matter which religion they are from—be they the Buddhist, Daoist, or Christian ones, which you are familiar with—or whatever the case, all have talked about what today’s world would be like. Some people dismiss them, though, thinking that [what those prophecies refer to] is still quite far off. That may be true. It’s fine for them to go by what they believe. But Dafa disciples are fulfilling their vows, and that means doing what they can to awaken people.

As you know, never before in history was mankind such a mess, and never was it complex to such a degree. Man thinks that it [has arrived at this point] due to scientific and technological progress, which is a natural course that human society follows. But could anything be simply due to chance? Science and technology and the human tradition are two different courses, existing concurrently in human society. Which course you choose and travel down is precisely a choice given to man. I just indicated that good and evil are something that each person is choosing between, and these two courses will be left for mankind in the future. Many people who have been influenced by modern thinking want to break from the divine, and refuse to admit that man was created by the divine. People might think they’re powerful, but as you just saw in the likes of yesterday’s hurricane, man is really insignificant before the forces of nature. If the cosmic catastrophe were to truly arrive, he would be finished. Moreover, if man’s science and technology were to lose its energy source, today’s society would immediately be paralyzed, and modern science and technology would promptly collapse. Even alien life forms, whose technology is remarkably advanced, must seek salvation through Fa-rectification amidst the cosmic cycle of formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction.

So that is what’s laid out before mankind. But it really is just terribly hard for Dafa disciples, in a setting such as this, a world so complex, to save people. Perhaps you’re too busy sometimes to ponder such things, but Master sees things with crystalclarity. That’s why I often think, “What is a Dafa disciple? Who is worthy of being a Dafa disciple?” If one doesn’t have the requisite predestined relationship, he really cannot come in, and this is the case for those who have just come in, as well. It isn’t the persecution and the wicked CCP’s lies about Dafa disciples that have, for all these years, prevented people from coming in. That’s not the case. Haven’t there always been people entering? So that is not the cause. And besides, everyone knows that the wicked CCP is bad. Many people really don’t believe a thing it says. The true reason is that those gods have been blocking people, not letting them become Dafa disciples. They absolutely won’t let anyone in if he is not worthy. This manifests as people themselves saying that they don’t want to become a part of it; as the circumstances around them preventing them from coming in, with people saying this and that and asking them not to go; as their not being able to set aside things that are bothering them; or as one difficulty or another, something not working for them, or their not being able to let go of something. All of which results in their not being able to come in.

Indeed, do you realize something? You are Dafa disciples, and countless beings above, beings simply limitless in number, envy you. If today I were to offer any high-level god, no matter his greatness, the chance to come and be a Dafa disciple, he would leap at the opportunity in a split second—the instant my words reached him he would come. He would be simply elated, for everyone who is aware knows that this way he could not only save himself, but also the countless sentient beings of his world. That is simply the most extraordinary thing in the future cosmos. (Applause) But that’s not feasible. Dafa disciples have established the requisite mighty virtue over the course of their reincarnations in this world throughout history. In the beginning, many people came to Dafa disciples’ practice sites. But nobody knew who some of them were, as they’d be gone in the blink of an eye after the exercises were over. Many a god truly wants to be a Dafa disciple, but cannot.

Dafa disciples go about their lives alongside ordinary people as part of the illusory ordinary society, and are really susceptible to drifting along with the tide in their way of thinking, at least in some regards. If you can’t manage to conduct yourselves according to Dafa when you do things, can’t manage to think things over with righteous thoughts, or are not on the Fa in dealing with problems, then you are an ordinary person. There isn’t any difference, then. Your appearance is ordinary, the setting in which you lead your life is ordinary, and your job is ordinary. Even if you are involved in Dafa disciples’ projects, in the heavens above there are no such things as television stations, nor do gods have newspapers. Those are forms in ordinary human society. If you don’t use righteous thoughts to guide yourself, and if you cannot manage to conduct yourself and look at the world and others according to the standard of a cultivator, like a Dafa disciple does, then you are the same as an ordinary person.

What is a cultivator? People used to hold that they could become divine beings if they shaved their heads and took up the monastic life. But could that be right? Absolutely not. That only amounted to a difference from how ordinary people, or others, looked. And ordinary people did see them as different. Afterwards, they would cultivate their minds, for their minds were in fact the same as ordinary people’s, since they lived in society, amidst contaminating things and what are called the “seven emotions and six desires.” But is it limited to just those? In modern society it’s not just seven emotions and six desires, but more like seventy emotions and sixty desires, right? There are desires of every possible sort. Take the attachments and feelings people have towards computers, cell phones, and iPods—was there ever anything like that in the past? (People laugh) That’s how today’s society is, and so it is all the more complicated. Any kind of cultivation that has assumed a form was just a superficial form. The cultivation of Dafa disciples, and the type of environment and the places where you practice cultivation, are set up in society. Since human society was created and shaped entirely for the Fa-rectification, think about it, could the problems society faces be as simple as they seem? I have shared with you before that a person can cultivate in any job or profession. Indeed, the conflicts and tensions that you encounter or whatever it may be are all meant to test your mind, and to see: Can you handle it in a manner befitting a cultivator? Is how you handle it worthy of a Dafa disciple? That’s what cultivation is, isn’t it? Could ordinary people handle things this way, or see things this way? When you meet with a conflict, it doesn’t matter whether you are in the right. You should be asking yourself, “What on my part isn’t right in this situation? Might it really be that there is something wrong on my part?” You should all be thinking this way, with your first thought being to scrutinize yourself to try to find the problem. Whoever is not like this is not in fact a true cultivator of Dafa. It is a magical tool in our cultivation. This is a distinguishing feature of our Dafa disciples’ cultivation. Whatever it is that you encounter, the first thought should be to scrutinize yourself, and it’s called “looking within.” The Buddhist religion actually takes this approach as well. Don’t they make a practice of “cultivating the mind”? Of looking within? Haven’t they discussed these matters as well? Though they haven’t said much about it, and haven’t hit on the key issue, they nevertheless do speak similarly.

All of what I was just discussing was meant, in fact, to tell you that the responsibility Dafa disciples shoulder is great. What is a “Dafa disciple”? It hasn’t been that long since our last Fa conference. Althoughlast time I addressed some problems that a number of students have, whether one does well or not involves a process. Since that’s the case, we’re not going to get into how people have been doing since the last Fa conference. I’ll just say that Dafa disciples shouldn’t treat Master’s Fa-teaching as something novel to hear, and go listening for new revelations and interesting things from Master. Of course, you won’t think of it that way. But really, after Master finishes speaking you must reflect on it. As Dafa disciples, you must give it thought.

Currently there are still some students who fall terribly short in terms of cooperating together. And not just short—it even goes so far as to sabotage one another. I will tell you, regardless of what your thinking is, anytime you serve to sabotage a Dafa disciple’s project or something that Dafa disciples should do, you are acting as a demon. It doesn’t matter that you may be thinking, “I’m a Dafa disciple, and I have done a lot.” The old forces are nevertheless writing entries into your ledger, one by one.

Do you realize something? My Dafa disciples, your righteous thoughts do have an effect. And the combined effect of each of you together is powerful beyond compare. The reason you can’t achieve such an effect is that your faith is lacking, and your righteous thoughts aren’t strong enough. With so many Dafa disciples around the globe sending righteous thoughts at the same time, 100 million plus Dafa disciples sending righteous thoughts together at the same time globally, would that not be terrifying to the evil and the old forces? To the gods, it would be a truly magnificent sight. What power! Even with just one Dafa disciple, if your righteous thoughts are strong, the power is enough to split a mountain—just one thought will do it. Under the illusion here, you cannot perceive your own power, but that’s not of great consequence. When you are not cooperating well together, and your righteous thoughts aren’t strong enough, this will cause your mind to, while sending righteous thoughts, dwell on attachments that lead you to look outward, rather than inward, in cultivation. It can even lead you to feel indignant, and get mad whenever you think about someone. Then tell me, what’s the point of your sending righteous thoughts? They are not going to achieve a positive effect, and you will be revealing all of your thoughts, opinions, and attachments to the gods of the entire cosmos. When that thought goes out, all of that gets put on display for the entire cosmos to see—for all to see how you are. Then think about it, it would be odd if the old forces didn’t persecute you. So when they persecute you, there is nothing Master can do, for they have a handle to grab onto: “Look at this being and what he’s like. Is this your disciple? He’s so lacking. Shouldn’t we straighten him out? You don’t want to straighten him out and yet he’s affecting us and affecting others, so we’d better straighten him out fast!” What I think is: The only path that lies before you, the disciples of Dafa, is one of real cultivation. There is no other path.

I’ve seen recently that the Dafa disciples in mainland China have become more and more sober, and clear, amidst the persecution, and they are doing better and better. However, the Dafa disciples around the world, as circumstances have improved, have let up. Some people seem to be lacking enthusiasm in whatever they do, never mind in how they cooperate. They don’t cooperate, they contest against one another, they’re not willing to accept others’ ideas, and they’re even really rude in their speech and manner. They’re really nothing like a Dafa disciple. It pains Master’s heart to see this. You have come through the harshest of persecutions, and the gods envy you, but you don’t know to cherish this. The course of what you went through won’t play out again, as we have arrived at the last phase of the finale. I said a few moments ago that many people want to become Dafa disciples, but that it’s tremendously difficult to enter now. There is another reason, the largest of all, namely, that the harshest of tests, of persecutions, which has targeted Dafa disciples, has already reached the tail end. The kind of massive pressure, or hardship, that engulfs the entire world, or the kind of test that examines whether you have the courage to cultivate and whether you can take the right path—that part of history has passed and is no more. Whoever wants to come and be a Dafa disciple will be blocked very severely by the old forces. They will do their utmost not to let people enter. You have made it through despite such difficult circumstances, and have proven yourselves to be outstanding. The mighty virtue you are entitled to is already yours. Letting up at this point, allowing yourselves to slide downward, is something that really shouldn’t happen.

As for saving sentient beings and clarifying the truth, a lot of people haven’t done it in depth. They’ll say just a few words to people, thinking “Listen or don’t listen, just do whatever you like. You don’t want to listen, fine!” and they will go on to find the next person. In whatever you do you should carry it through to the end, do it well, and if you intend to save someone, then go ahead and save him. When someone is placed before you, there isn’t a choice—you’re wrong if you become selective in terms of saving people. As long as he is someone you run into, you should save him, regardless of his position or social status, or whether he be the president or a beggar. In the eyes of gods, beings are equal. Social status is just a distinction made in human society. My hope is that Dafa disciples can all be like how they were with each other in the old times, and as diligent as before when you first obtained the Fa. There used to be a Buddhist saying, the idea of which was: If you can be like you have just begun, all the way from the beginning to the end, you will surely achieve Consummation. (Applause)

You cultivate amidst ordinary human society, and have Fa conferences, and you can share and exchange ideas with each other. But as you know, those who cultivated in caves would die in there if they failed at their cultivation. They had nobody with whom to discuss what they were going through, and nobody to talk to. They had to make it through by way of correct enlightening on their own. And if they didn’t make it through, they were done for. How hard that was! Most frightening of all was the prolonged loneliness. What do people fear most of all? Loneliness. Loneliness can drive a person crazy; loneliness can lead a person to forget everything from before; and loneliness can even cause one to forget how to speak. It is the most terrible form of hardship. People talk about so-and-so sitting facing a wall for nine years, or someone for thirteen years, with some sitting there for a hundred years. You don’t have that kind of loneliness. You just have to ensure that you are like a Dafa disciple from start to finish.

Master was a little hard on you today. It was meant to help you become more vigilant and alert. When you seek to save the world’s people, you try to get them to awaken so that you can save them. Well, you too need to get clear, to wake up. It’s a problem if you forget about your cultivation because of doing too many things. You are cultivators. I’m not talking about your past, what you once were, or what you display on the surface. I am talking about your core and the meaning of your life, the responsibility you shoulder, and your historic mission. Only thus are you truly a Dafa disciple.

I know that with your many projects and with what you are doing to save people, some of you have done extraordinarily well, and overall you have done very well and had a big impact. I recognize that you have done what you’re supposed to in helping Master rectify the Fa. I just hope that you will manage to do even better. Our path is narrow. If you go off course ever so slightly, there will be problems. I don’t want to see you experiencing problems, nor do I want anyone to be sliding downward in their cultivation. Even less do I want to see you slack off in your cultivation because circumstances are changing for the better. All of this was brought about by you, and there are still many things that lie ahead—and that will be the case all the way until the day you reach Consummation. You have already passed through the hardest part. What is left won’t be so trying. You just need to do even better with it. The more hopeless things may seem, it’s possible hope will appear right before your eyes. Especially during those times when you are feeling so bored, perhaps you are in fact establishing your mighty virtue. I hope that you can really manage to cooperate well, have strong enough righteous thoughts, look within when you run into things, and be enthusiastic like you were when you first took up cultivation. Don’t be like ordinary people, whose fleeting enthusiasm fades after a few minutes and then disappears altogether.

When you are working together and experience friction, it is because of human attachments. That is part of one’s cultivation state and process, and absolutely not because someone is truly no good. A person’s good side can’t be seen anymore, as it has been separated. What you see will always be the side that has not been cultivated yet. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a compassionate heart, or should look at people in rigid ways. I’ve said again and again that you cannot see a cultivator’s good side. That side is simply terrific, and has met the standard. And what does it mean to “meet the standard”? It is the standard of a god. Whereas the part of him that hasn’t been successfully cultivated yet, that part is going to seem worse as it works its way up and gets closer to the surface. But, maybe that person has cultivated very well. I hope that you all cherish yourselves, cherish others, and cherish this environment that you have. Cherishing the path that you travel is cherishing yourselves.

That’s all I had to say. I hope that your Fa conference is a big success. In the conference many people will be sharing about their cultivation process, their cultivation state, and how they have approached the various things that they’ve encountered with the righteous thoughts of a Dafa disciple. When you hear these things, don’t just treat them like some story. That is the path that someone has walked in cultivation, the same kind of path that you have walked. I hope to see you regaining your enthusiasm and getting back to your best cultivation state. That’s all for today. Thank you all. (All stand and applaud enthusiastically.)

(1) /Yi: devotion and being responsible to others based on human relationships and ties (such as friends, relatives, etc.), a sense of justice, righteousness, and responsibility.

(2) /Zhong: loyalty (to one's country, cause, king, or a higher authority) with complete dedication and tireless effort.

(3) Alternatively translated as, “A way out has been given.”