Chapter 90. Contemplate the Truth in All Things and You Will Make Progress
You must learn lessons in all things and, in this way, you will then make progress. If you regard every matter as just something to be handled, and when you encounter issues you don’t know to learn the lessons, you don’t know to examine or reflect on yourself, and you don’t know to use the truth to regard this problem and ultimately to use the truth to resolve it then, in the end, no matter how many things you have experienced, you still won’t understand the truth, and will be unable to gain the truth. Look at those astute, savvy people—after living for 30 or 40 years, they are able to understand many philosophic theories about life, they have much common sense about keeping fit and healthy in life, and much common sense concerning the basic necessities, so that they are able to avoid many faults and avoid going down many deviated paths. They can also sum up a lot of experience and many lessons in terms of how to get along with others. Whereas those who are addled, those who are confused, can live for 50 or 60 years and still be all muddle-headed. They are asked: “How can people live healthily?” And they say, “No idea.” They’re muddle-headed. “What can people eat that won’t cause them harm?” “No idea. Anyway, eat three meals a day and you won’t go hungry. It’s enough to have a full belly!” They are asked: “What can people eat to keep them well and so that they don’t get sick?” And they say, “No idea.” They are asked: “After having lived amongst mankind for so many years, what do you perceive mankind to be like?” “Not too good! There are not many good people, and lots of bad people.” They are asked: “Living for so many years, have you had any exceptional experiences?” And they say, “I’ve experienced many things, both great and small.” “So have you summed up how man should live? Does this world have a Ruler?” “No idea. In any case, I believe in Heaven, and the wind and rain are Heaven’s business.” They are so confused about everything, and are they not muddled people? (Yes.) In what states do most of you live? Do you live muddling along without any purpose? Or do you live thoughtfully and considerately? Are you reckoned to be astute? Are you reckoned to be people who understand? (No, we are not.) You’re not reckoned to be astute or to be people who understand? So are you reckoned to be people who seek the truth? (No, we are not.) Why not? Having gotten to this age, have you lived to understand anything? Nothing at all? Have you lived to understand anything to do with life? You haven’t yet, and you can’t reach these things, right? Then your quality is open to question! Ordinarily, when you consider a matter, how many aspects of the matter are you able to consider? How many aspects can you take into consideration?
There was a brother I was chatting with, chatting about things in the outside world. Can you guess what he said? He said, “I haven’t read any newspapers or listened to any news in all these years,” meaning that he was not concerned about these things. The implied meaning was: “By chatting about these things, it seems as though You’re really concerned about these things in the outside world. You seem to read newspapers and listen to the news often.” Tell Me, if you want to understand these things, do you always need to read magazines and newspapers, read the papers every day or follow the daily news? (No.) That brother thought, “You are chatting things in the outside world. It seems like You read newspapers a lot and watch a lot of news.” I said: “I never read newspapers. I occasionally catch a glimpse of the headlines, or someone I’m in contact with chats to Me and I listen to it a bit while we chat, and so I come to know the current affairs. Or occasionally I watch some news to know the current affairs. It’s not necessary to watch or read it every day to be able to chat about it.” That brother thought, “We believe in God and we don’t read newspapers, nor do we watch news on current affairs. We’re not concerned with these things, so we don’t chat about them. We just believe in God.” Then, I said to him, How many truths do you understand in your belief in God? How many matters have you understood? Are you able to understand people? You’re not able to understand people, and you’re not even able to understand the people around you whom you are always in contact with. This is truly “spiritual,” isn’t it? I have discovered something that applies to the majority of you. Can you guess what it is that I have discovered? You certainly won’t know. Most of you seem to be cut off from the outside world after believing in God. You are not concerned with worldly matters and there are many worldly matters that you have no idea about, as though the trends of the world or the great events that are happening now in the world have nothing to do with you at all. From the outside, it looks as though this irrelevance of external matters means you are a member of God’s family, you are one of the believers and that you are a follower of God. If we make inferences from this, then you should be extremely spiritual. But based on your current situations, with regard to the duties that each of you now perform in your belief in God—which involve the professional side and all the truths concerning duties—you understand neither of it! First of all, you do not understand these things, and second of all, you don’t try to. I have been thinking: Most people do believe in God, but they don’t put their energy into the truth, so what do they put their energy into? They ponder and put their energy into the path of false spirituality. When someone puts their energy into the path of false spirituality, then what will the consequences be for them? You see, you cut yourselves off from worldly things and you cut all contact with them. But in God’s family you are muddle-headed about things to do with belief in God and about all the truths to do with belief in God; you don’t take them seriously and you do not understand them. Right? (Yes.) I don’t demand that you understand everything or that you are entirely clear on the principles of performing every duty. But at the very least you should have a grasp of the principles of the truth to practice in your own work, in the things within your range, within your duties and within your own job, right? So do you have a grasp of these principles? (No.) We can say accurately and objectively that you haven’t yet grasped these principles. Therefore, what do most people seek whilst performing their duties? For the things they seek, are the motives, or the ways and methods in which they seek, correct most of the time? Are the things they focus on correct or not? (No, they are not.)
Have you all seen the movie about revealing the mystery of the Bible? Even if you haven’t seen it many times, you have all seen it once, right? (Yes.) So how can you still have this unrealistic worship of the Bible? In addition to your worship, when you watched that movie, didn’t you think: “Do I worship the Bible? If I read the Bible, do I have an accurate appraisal of the Bible? Is there a place for the Bible within me? And if there is a place for the Bible within me, is that not at odds with the truth?” Have you ever dissected yourselves like this? Have you ever tried to check yourselves against this? (I checked this after God spoke last time.) And after you’d checked it last time you just left it there. So when you encountered this issue previously, how come you didn’t turn inward and mull it over, and say: “Why do we have to make this movie? Why do we have to expose this?” Is this targeted at religion? The target of every movie is not actually clear-cut; the people they are aimed at are not just those who have not accepted God’s work of the last days, and they are not aimed at religious people. Is exposing the Pharisees aimed at the Pharisees? Do you have the same expressions and reveal the same things as the Pharisees? (Yes.) So, when you see the exposure of the Pharisees, are you able to check yourselves against the Pharisees? (Yes.) Can you say that you also seem to have these actions of the Pharisees and their ways of seeking, that you also seek in that way? And when this idea comes to you, you just leave it there. Don’t you continue to seek or dig even deeper? Haven’t you ever checked yourselves against them? (Many times, I just check myself superficially, and I do not truly dig deeper, I just stop there.) Therefore, you just never understand the truth and this is where you fall short. You are able to check yourselves against these things, but then you just leave it there and you don’t dig any deeper. Dig deeper and touch upon the details of life, and you will then be able to discover problems in your disposition; when you discover the problems in your disposition you will then know how to seek the truth and how to resolve your disposition. When you know how to resolve the problems in your disposition, when you have a path to follow, you will take notice of your every action, your every thought, every way you do things, what things make them up and whether or not these things are corrupt dispositions; and you will then be able to make effort with the ways you do things. This is something that happens internally. Bit by bit, it comes down to your thoughts, your ideas, your intentions—it comes down to these things; and when it comes down to these things, you will then know what your own corrupt dispositions are. You will gradually come to acknowledge the corrupt dispositions within you, your arrogance, deceit and hardness—you will be able to match up to them. This is the path of seeking the truth. Therefore, when you talk ordinarily—and this includes fellowshiping and when discussing matters—most of what you say rests at the level of talking in superficial ways, and on letters and doctrines; you just linger at this level. What is the reason for this, in the final analysis? Do you know? (We don’t try to get to the bottom of things.) When you don’t dig deep into things, you don’t acknowledge your corrupt dispositions within these things, and you are unaware of them. You are unable to realize things at this level, you just recognize that you also have that way of doing things, and that you are like that too, and then you leave it there. You are unaware, and cannot say, “There is a problem with my disposition, and I have to apply the truth to resolve it. So, when is this disposition revealed? What external ways of doing things make people see that these are the results of this disposition?” You have never deliberated this issue and you have never contemplated it, right? (Right.) Therefore, you have heard many sermons, and no matter how many sermons or what kind of sermons you have heard, when they get to you they ultimately change into a few words—just simple, summarized, regulated doctrines. When people are always talking about doctrines, they then think they have gained the truth, when in fact they haven’t.
So from Me saying these things, have you been able to figure anything out? (We have to contemplate the truth more, and when we encounter issues we mustn’t just check ourselves on the surface of issues and then be done with it. We must delve into the issue and contemplate it carefully, ponder it carefully, contemplate the essence of the truth, and dig down inside ourselves to the deeper things of our natures.) What’s the purpose of digging down into your natures? (To recognize our corrupt dispositions, and to use the corresponding truths to resolve them.) Yes, that’s right. Only in this way will you be able to understand the practical side of the truth, what it means, and only in this way will you know why the words of God are the truth. If you don’t contemplate in this way, but merely make effort with doctrine and focus on doctrine, then God’s words will forever be doctrine to you. What is doctrine? Is doctrine life? (No.) What’s the difference between talking about doctrine and reciting Buddhist sutras? Is there any difference? (No.) In actual fact, always talking about doctrine is similar to what the Buddhists do. They hold forward one hand, and then what do they recite? (They recite things like the great compassion mantra and “Namo Amitabha.”) Amitabha. Saying Amitabha over and over. Is there a difference between the doctrine you talk about and this mantra? You see, Buddhists always say “The Buddha said: To save one person’s life is better than building a seven-story pagoda.” Buddhists say this, don’t they? But when it comes time to save someone, do they really save them? They won’t necessarily save someone every time. They may save someone when their own life is not at risk or when they don’t have to make too much effort, and when they’ve saved someone, then that’s that; they may perhaps not save someone when their own life or personal interests are at risk. These words they say are just a line from their sutras, right? Then is there a difference between the doctrines you always speak of and the sutras they recite? (No.) Since you started believing in God, has an unbeliever said to you: “What are you leaving for? Going to recite sutras again?” Has anyone said this to you? (Yes.) You go to a meeting and someone mocks you, saying: “What are you leaving for? Going to recite sutras again?” Do you get angry? (Yes.) Why? (God is the One I believe in. When someone says I’m going to recite sutras, it’s as though my belief is like believing in the Buddha and I have a kind of feeling of being humiliated.) You just feel humiliated and uncomfortable, right? So why don’t you check yourselves against this and ponder it, and think, “Am I reciting sutras? What is reciting sutras?” Have you ever recited sutras? (No.) Isn’t your speaking of letters and doctrines every day not reciting sutras? (No, it isn’t.) Really? (Yes, it is.) Actually, in loose terms, it is reciting sutras. There is no difference; it’s the same thing under a different name. How can you not talk about letters and doctrines? How can you transform letters and doctrines into your reality? Have you found the path to do this? (By experiencing God’s words, contemplating the implied meaning within God’s words, and only by genuinely checking oneself against God’s words can one understand them more deeply, understand what meaning these words have exactly, and what they are referring to.) Are you capable of experiencing in this way? (I experience God’s words and receive them only in a comparatively shallow way. I’m incapable of deeper understandings. When I encounter issues, I will compare myself against God’s words, and see what type of nature this aspect of my corrupt disposition pertains to.) This will depend on your own gradual understanding. I will not go any further, and have you come to understand My words somewhat? (Yes.) What does “yes” mean? (We have come to understand a little, and we know how to do things in the future.) “Yes” means that you have a slight prospect of a solution, and that you can glimpse the path forward, right? (Yes.) Then this is great!