When you’re performing your duty, do you feel that you have a path in the aspect of entry into life? How is your entry into life? It looks like everyone has a lot of energy for performing their duty. Is there anyone that is lacking energy, is slacking off, who is feeling a little bored and finds it a bit dull after performing their duty for too long, and wants to be in a different environment or have a different duty? (Not now.) Then in the aspect of entry into life, have you had any new enlightenment, and new illuminations? Entry into life is a top priority in your belief in God. Performing your duty is also a top priority, but how can you achieve performing your duty well, satisfying God, and performing your duty faithfully? By what path can you reach this? (Pursuing the truth.) What’s the path of pursuing the truth? You must understand the truth, right? What’s the precondition for understanding the truth? You have to put effort into the truth. Some people say: “I’ve put a lot of effort into the truth and understood a lot of it, but when I’m faced with the facts, this truth is ineffective and I can’t use it. Why do I feel that this truth is so lacking in strength? When dealing with issues I encounter, why can’t this truth resolve my difficulties? Why can’t it fit?” When they encounter issues, people think, “How am I so lacking? Why am I so needy? Why am I so pitiful? Why do I seem so helpless? I usually understand quite a lot! I understand a lot of the truth!” When it’s time to speak they have plenty to say, and some people can even recite passages of God’s words. They believe: “I understand a lot of the truth. Every day I listen, write, and take notes. I write in my notebook, remember in my heart and commit to my memory quite a lot of it.” When there’s nothing to do they go through these things and think about them, discuss them and talk about them with others. They think: “Others have fellowship on a passage for a few minutes, but I will train to get up to ten minutes. When others get up to ten minutes, I’ll get up to 20.” Just like learning a foreign language, the more they talk the more they are able to say, and the better they get—the more fluent, the more natural they become. The more they speak the more spiritual they feel they are, and the more they think they understand a lot of the truth and that they are equipped with much of the truth that they should be equipped with. But one day they discover that when they encounter some very small thing, they have some notions, some imagination inside of themselves. They have their own intentions and their own plans. When they encounter some tiny little issue, their corruption, their naturalness emerges. No matter how they pray, however, they are unable to resolve this issue. Other people have fellowship with them, and what do they say? “You don’t need to tell me that. I understand all of these doctrines—I understand them better than you do! On understanding the truth, I understand more than you. On speaking of doctrines, I can do that better than you can. I’ve listened to more sermons than you have, I’ve put more effort in than you have, and I’ve believed in God longer than you have. There’s no need to talk with me about this; I understand all of it.” It’s just that you can’t resolve your difficulties. When your own corrupt disposition, your own intentions, your own desires are about to be released, when they’re about to come out, all the so-called truth that you understand and what other people say to you cannot resolve your actual difficulty. What is this about? Is this a problem that you encounter a lot? (Yes.) Someone asks: “What difficulties do you have in your belief in God?” They say: “Generally, in the life of the church, when there aren’t any issues, I’m not encountering any difficulties, temptations, or serious problems, when I’m not faced with anything that has to do with my own interests, everything is okay. I can get through everything. It’s just when I encounter these types of things, I can’t get through it and I don’t have any way to resolve my own difficulties. This is my greatest difficulty; I don’t really have any others.” So the other person says: “Do you have any difficulties in eating and drinking God’s word?” “No, I eat and drink a set amount of it at a set time every day.” They respond: “Does anyone cause trouble for you in your church life?” “No.” “Do you have any trouble in performing your duty?” “No. The environment, the food and drinks, and the conditions are all good—there aren’t any difficulties.” “Then what’s your greatest difficulty?” “My greatest difficulty is that when I encounter some issue I can’t come out from it; I can’t resolve it.” Some people would say: “Then you don’t understand much of the truth.” They reply: “That’s not true. I always listen to the sermons; I simply must hear every sermon, and I write down all the main points. I understand quite a bit.” And some other people would say: “Then you’re not focused when you eat and drink God’s words.” They think it over and say, “No, that’s not true either. When I eat and drink God’s words I really put my heart into it. Late at night when others are resting, or early in the morning when they haven’t gotten up, I find the quietest place to read His words. Every time I read God’s words I have to pray, seek His guidance, ask for His help and for Him to be with me and quiet my heart. I eat and drink the word of God when it’s most quiet and when I’m in the quietest state. I practice prayer, allow my heart to become quiet, and then eat and drink the word of God. If one were to say that my heart isn’t quiet before God when I’m eating and drinking His word, that wouldn’t be correct.” “Then what is the issue? Is your attitude toward eating and drinking God’s word and performing your duty not correct? In performing your duty, do you have a motive and are you always thinking of gaining blessings? Is it any of these issues?” They think and think, reflect on it, and say: “Always having a motive in performing my duty? Always wanting to gain blessings? That’s not it either. My intentions in performing my duty are very right—I just want to satisfy God. You see, I’ve given up everything. I resigned from my job, left my family, and didn’t take the opportunity to make a lot of money, I just gave that up. Haven’t I put all of my own interests aside? So how can you say that my motive and attitude in performing my duty are not correct? This isn’t right either!” So then what is the issue after all? This is a difficulty that is frequently encountered by people with entry into life in their belief in God, and it is people’s greatest difficulty, right? When you don’t encounter any issues, you may feel that you’ve believed in God for a certain period of time, you have a certain stature, a certain foundation, and when you see that someone else has encountered an issue you can see to the heart of it. And even when you are performing your duty you are able to endure a lot of hardship, pay a large price, and even overcome many of your own difficulties such as fleshly problems, illnesses, and imperfections. You are able to achieve all of this, but the thing that is most difficult to resolve is the corrupt disposition expressed when you encounter an issue.
Speaking of a “corrupt disposition,” this is a term that people understand and are familiar with, but what really is a corrupt disposition? What really are expressions of a corrupt disposition? What thoughts come out of a corrupt disposition? What kinds of actions come out of a corrupt disposition? This may be something that not every person is clear on, right? (Right.) Let’s first put this aside and talk about a corrupt disposition. If someone isn’t clear on and doesn’t understand what a corrupt disposition is, if they don’t know what kinds of actions are an expression of a corrupt disposition, then won’t they frequently live according to a corrupt disposition while believing that they are putting the truth into practice? Is that a possibility? Does this type of situation exist? (Yes.) If you do not know or absolutely do not understand what a corrupt disposition is, can you achieve understanding of yourself? Can you achieve understanding of your own corrupt nature? (No.) You can’t achieve it—this is certain. So if you don’t know what a corrupt disposition is, will you be able to know which actions are practicing the truth, which actions are right or wrong? Do you understand what I’m saying? What is understanding, and what is not understanding? Give it a little thought—what’s the standard? In your hearts, what makes you believe that you’ve understood it or not? What is understanding, and what is not understanding? Do you know? (Just now when listening to God’s fellowship, I thought back to my own experience. There have been times that I haven’t understood the truth and I’ve relied on my own corrupt disposition in my actions, believing that I was putting the truth into practice. When I think of what I revealed at these times, it seems to fit.) “It fits.” What does this mean? (We can accept it.) What does “we can accept it” refer to? (We’ve experienced some of it.) What does “experienced some of it” refer to? (That is, we truly agree with these words in our hearts.)
Do you understand that the path of entering into life has to do with many kinds of states? “State”—what does this refer to? Go ahead and explain it in your own words. (Every time I encounter an issue or environment, including those people, events and things that God sets up for me, there are perspectives of looking at things and thoughts that are revealed from my life, which can guide and control my words and behavior, and impact some of my choices in how I deal with these environments. These things that are lived out are called states. This is a rough understanding.) Mm, that’s kind of close to home. Who wants to add to this? A state—we mention “states” a lot. “What kind of state are you in?” (I think that a state is when people’s thoughts and ideas are controlled by some kind of corrupt disposition at a certain time or related to a certain issue, and during this time those thoughts and ideas are constantly churning in their heart. Everything that they say and do is subject to the control of this corrupt disposition. For example, when faced with a fairly significant pruning and dealing or some difficulties, they may be in a negative state. Their state may not be normal.) (Any condition that is contrary to God’s word is a state. For example, sometimes I’m homesick and I live within that feeling of thinking about my parents. I’m not faithful in performing my duty. Sometimes after I’m faced with being dealt with and pruned, I’m particularly arrogant and I don’t have an accurate understanding of myself. After that I don’t have confidence in my work, I’m negative, and I regress.) Who else has a thought—go ahead and say it. “State”: doesn’t this word come up frequently? How do you understand it? If you don’t understand it, can you apply it? (Not long ago I was living in a certain state: When I was performing my duty and had some results, I felt that I was really okay, and I lived in a self-satisfied state. I wouldn’t pursue progress. When I encountered difficulties, I would have a spurt of energy for seeking, but when I fell on good times and felt that I was doing well in every aspect, I would live within a state of arrogance and conceitedness. This is what I understand of a state.) (There are some difficulties in my duty and the state that I reveal is complaining about those difficulties. Sometimes I become estranged from God and I can’t treat myself fairly either. It really is like God just said, when faced with an issue, it seems that the truth that I’m generally equipped with just disappears from my mind, and even praying seems to be nothing but carrying out some religious rite. At those times, I fall into negativity. Later, through seeking with my brothers and sisters, eating and drinking God’s word, and praying to God more, it seems that my energy rises again. However, if I don’t have a clear understanding of this corrupt disposition of mine, when my energy rises I think that I’ve adjusted well, but the truth is that that state hasn’t truly been resolved.)
All the states that you’re talking about are negative and passive aspects of them. Do people have states that are right, that are positive? (Yes.) So then what really is a state? For example, what’s a positive state? (When we want to do our best to satisfy God and we’re able to forsake the flesh and put the truth into practice. These are proactive states.) (And when we persevere, when we get back up after stumbling, and are always striving to do better.) Yes, those are right, good and positive states. So what kind of states are those that you just described? What do they refer to? What was it that you were talking about? Was it what I asked? (No.) Then what was it that you were saying? You define it for yourselves. (Corruption that is revealed, and external states.) (Defining a state as negative thinking, something that is revealed when encountering an issue. This kind of understanding is one-sided.) You’ve spoken about some states, but you have not defined what a state is. So define it now—what is a state? Go ahead and summarize what a state actually is from the states that you described. Isn’t a state a perspective that people have when they encounter an issue? Isn’t it a sort of condition someone is in when they’re faced with something? Doesn’t it refer to their thinking, their positions, and the mood that they live in when they’re in that condition? (Yes.) How many things did I mention? (Perspective, condition, thinking, position, and mood—five.) Is there anything different between these five things? Are there similarities? Aren’t attitude and position about the same? (Yes.) Thoughts and perspectives are also pretty close, but sometimes they’re used in different ways. How about condition and mood? There’s a bit of a difference. But together, all of these words can be used to explain what a state is. So now you explain it—what is a state? (Five things that are revealed when encountering an issue: thinking, condition, mood, and the perspective and position that are revealed.) Take performing your duty as an example—if you’ve been dealt with, and after going through that, you feel really upset and you’re in a negative state. The perspectives, attitudes, and positions revealed from that negative state show that you live within a negative state. At that time, you’ll have a certain kind of attitude. What is that attitude? This has to do with the details of the state. Is this relevant to what you generally experience? (Yes.) This is relevant to human lives. You have all personally experienced this; it has to do with every single person’s daily life. It’s something that people can relate to, something that people can all feel, experience, and encounter every day. So tell Me—what kind of state are you in at those times? For example some people are negative and are in a negative state; what things would be revealed from this negative state? (Misunderstandings, avoidance, making a deterministic judgment about themselves, resignation, and when it’s really serious, refusing to work.) When it’s serious, refusing to work—what is this? Attitude, position, or what? (It’s a type of mood and condition.) Then what is their attitude at that time? (Not very cooperative, oppositional, resistant, and contrary.) And what’s their attitude toward performing their duty? (Negative and slack in their work.) (No motivation.) (Going through the motions.) (Muddling through it.) It has to do with the actual situation. “No motivation” is an empty statement. Don’t just make empty statements—talk about the actual situation. When you’re performing your duty and you’re lacking motivation, what kinds of thoughts do you have that show to others that you’re in that kind of state, that you are living within that type of condition? Do you have experience with what you’re thinking, how you reveal it, and what corrupt disposition you’re revealing? (Yes.) Then what is the corrupt disposition that’s revealed at those times? Is there not a corrupt disposition? (Muddling through and being careless in performing our duty.) No, this is just a determination of it after you’ve done something. Being careless, muddling through—this is a way of doing something. What are you thinking? What leads you to muddle through? You have to dig deep, right? Isn’t there something here? (Yes.) So dig into it—look into yourself, and you will dig down to your corrupt disposition. Muddling through something is what results from that. People see it and think: “This person is muddling through. They’re not doing a good job; they’re negative and resistant.” What kind of thinking leads you to muddle through it and to lose the strength you had before? How you are thinking, those thoughts are your corrupt disposition; what leads you to have those thoughts is your nature. Is that clear? Now tell Me—what are you thinking at those times? (I feel like I’m not doing okay, and I think: “Well, I suppose this is it. There’s nothing more to do.” I complain about my difficulties, then I just bury my head under the covers. The first few days are like that, then gradually I work on figuring it out. Later, I feel like I can’t continue to be like that and I feel ashamed. Only then can I turn back around.) That’s the process of turning around. What are you thinking at the time? (I’m thinking: “It’s over. I guess this is it; this is what my capability is.” I resign myself.) Mm, resignation. “This is what my capability is, but I’m still being dealt with. How great of a task can I handle? I don’t understand that much, don’t I have to learn in order to do this well? It’s not easy for me! I’m really young, and I left my home and my job. Does it seem easy for me? God doesn’t understand humans—His expectations are beyond me! Someone who understands more should do it. This is the way I am and this is all I can accomplish. This is all I can do!” Don’t you frequently say these words and have these thoughts? (Yes.) Everyone has to acknowledge that, right? No one is perfect, no one is an angel. No one is living in a vacuum. Every single person has these thoughts, and this corruption is revealed by everyone. Every person has these things and they frequently live out these things. They often reveal them; they come out a lot. So how do people resolve this? Everyone has these things, frequently reveals them, and often lives in this kind of state. They’re not in control of it; they can’t stop themselves from thinking that way. When they haven’t encountered an issue they’re in a proactive, upward, and positive state. But as soon as they run into a problem those things come out. They appear very naturally, very smoothly and without obstruction, and it can happen at any time, at any place. No one else needs to instigate anything, and it doesn’t need to fester. When faced with some little issue, as soon as they hear, see, or just feel something that isn’t right, this corrupt disposition will be revealed at any time, at any place. Why can it come out at any time and any place? (People aren’t in control of their nature.) What does this prove? People have that kind of nature within them, and their essence is a corrupt satanic disposition. This is something that you’ve already felt, right? A person’s corrupt disposition isn’t forced on them by someone else. It’s not instilled in them by anyone else either, and it’s particularly not taught, urged, or instigated by another person. It’s something that you have within yourself. If this corrupt disposition isn’t resolved, can people live in a right, positive state? Why does this corrupt disposition come out frequently? Since you first started to believe in God until now, since you started to feel that you should change, that you should change these faults, let go of these bad thoughts and do your best to avoid the expression of this corrupt disposition—from when you first had this consciousness until now, how much have you changed these states? Do they come out more or less frequently? Or have they not changed at all? How much they are revealed, and how much they have changed—what does this show? (That there is some change, some progress in experiencing God’s work.) How much, how deeply, and to what degree these states of yours have changed represents to what degree you have entered into life, understood the truth, and entered into the reality of the truth. Do you understand this? People who have some experience of the reality of the truth can probably understand some of this, but those who have yet to be enlightened, who still don’t know what entering into life is probably wouldn’t understand what this means. Why was I just asking you what a state is? Because if you don’t understand what a state is, you won’t know what I’m talking about at all. You will think: “You’re just being bombastic; these are empty words. We don’t know what You mean. We’ll just treat what You’re saying as true and listen to it, and after hearing it do nothing more.” If that’s your perspective, it shows that you don’t have any experience and you don’t understand.
In order to enter into the reality of life, enter into the reality of truth, and have true entry into life, people must grasp many different states, enter into many different states, and understand and grasp many problems that exist within themselves. They must thoroughly understand what kind of state they’re in in their current phase or when they encounter an issue, whether this state is correct or incorrect, what kind of corrupt disposition is revealed when they are in an incorrect state, and what the essence of this corrupt disposition is. People have to understand these things. If you don’t understand and grasp these things, for one, you won’t know where to begin to change yourself, to know yourself; in addition, you won’t know where to begin in eating and drinking the word of God and entering into the truth, right? Don’t you frequently run into this kind of issue where I talk about something, you listen, and just know that it’s a thing, but you don’t know what kind of state it refers to, and you can’t hold yourself up to it? You still haven’t had that experience, right? If you have a bit of experience with something, for example, I talk about some daily thing having to do with people performing their duty, some corrupt disposition revealed while doing their duty, something having to do with people’s intentions, arrogant disposition, muddling through things, and their attitude when performing their duty—if I talk about these things that are relevant to you, that are very close to you, you can probably hold yourselves up to it, but not some of the deeper things. Aren’t there times like this? (Yes.) What can be done if you can’t hold yourselves up to it? If you can’t, then you just listen to it as a doctrine and it just goes right over your head, right? If you can hold yourselves up to it, how should you listen to it? How should you understand it? (As a path for entering into life in our daily lives in the future.) From what kinds of words do you figure out that they are a path for entering into life? (What God just shared in fellowship with us about people’s states. Only if we can grasp our own state will we be able to truly know what kind of condition we are in and how to enter in and practice in the direction that God requires. And we should be able to have discernment regarding our own nature and essence, our perspective on things during a certain period of time, what kind of intentions we have, and if we have a positive mentality or a negative state—this way we will have a path for our own personal practice and entry.)
That understanding people’s corrupt disposition is important is a very general statement. Understanding a corrupt disposition is important, but there is a pathway to understanding it. That is, when you encounter an issue, what are your own perspective and attitude, what kind of thoughts do you have, what position are you looking at and handling the problem from? Through these things you can understand yourself; you can know yourself. What’s the goal of knowing yourself? It’s to better grasp your own state, and to achieve a change in your disposition. So what phase are you in now? Do you understand what kind of state you’re in during different periods of time or when you encounter different issues? How much do you understand it? Have you put effort into this? Have you studied it? Have you had any entering in in this aspect? To what degree have you entered in? (I know a little bit, but during the process of practicing sometimes I’m able to practice, and sometimes I can’t. Sometimes my attitude is really rigid and my heart won’t turn around for a long time; I’m in a state of struggle. I don’t recognize some of my states, or my recognition is very shallow—I only know some superficial aspects. Sometimes I don’t treat it like a serious issue, but have a cavalier attitude toward it.) (Before, I probably didn’t know when I was in a particular state. I wasn’t conscious of it. After a period of time of experience I have a little consciousness, and I know what state I’m in, but I still don’t have a path of practice. This is the phase that I’m in.) Hm, tell us more about that. (Sometimes when I encounter a big problem, I have a grasp on some of what I’m revealing. When I’m faced with some details, some minor little things, it’s really easy for me to ignore it and not gain a grasp on it. Sometimes I’m not even aware of the fact that I’m living in that state.) Which occurs more frequently, being aware of it or being unaware of it? (I’m unaware of it a little bit more of the time.) What kind of condition are you in when you’re unaware? Under what circumstances are you not aware? (For example, in some small things, I reveal a corrupt disposition and live relying on it in spite of myself. During that time I’m in a condition of unawareness.) (It seems that “unawareness” is when someone sees something as a task to go do, but they don’t link it to entry into life or a corrupt disposition at all. So when they do something, even if they reveal self-righteousness or some other kind of corrupt disposition, they don’t realize that at all. This is because the person is just doing something. They’re not connecting it to God’s words or entry into life. This way they are prone to unawareness.) Mm, this is a type of state, seeing performing your duty as performing a task, a type of work, duty, or responsibility. That is, doing it in a numbed state, not linking it to entry into life. This is the most common state. You are just doing something, merely seeing it as something to get done, not seeing it as a path or a method for entry into life. Isn’t that so? Just like a job, some people go to work as a way to just get by, and earn money to feed their families. Some people see their work as a career and it’s tied up with their entire life. They connect it with their interests, hobbies, ideals and goals in life. Some people treat it like a responsibility, something that they have to do. They are very punctual, work from nine to five, and it’s just to earn a few bucks. They earn their money, and then they are able to go back home and take care of their family. They don’t have a mind to have goals or ideals in their life, or to undertake a career. They are disconnected from humanity. Aren’t most of you in a state like this? Disconnected from entering into life, from belief in God, and even though you have some ceremonial sort of prayer and understanding of yourself, or have a spiritual life, eating and drinking God’s words, gathering together, or sometimes joining in fellowship, it’s just going through the motions. Otherwise, after a while you may wonder: “Do I still believe in God? Am I still one of His believers? Am I still a part of them?” Only when you have a little of guilt will you look back and think about the issue of entry into life. The rest of the time you mostly just do things according to your own whims. When you’re happy and light-hearted you do things a little better, but if you’ve had bad dreams and didn’t sleep well, putting you in a bad mood, that can take over your mood for a week or ten days. And it also impacts the results from performing your duty. You don’t have any awareness, you just blindly go through it. Isn’t that right? Things go by this way and you’ve wasted ten days, two weeks, and you get by just muddling through like this. When living in this kind of state, isn’t your entry into life just stagnating? (Yes.) If your entry into life is in stagnation, can the things that you do and the duty that you perform in front of God satisfy Him? (They can’t.) Is it so absolute? At times, you may believe for a while: “There’s never been any problem with doing things this way, so I’ll just do it this way. I haven’t made any major mistakes, I haven’t overstepped any bounds, I haven’t violated any principles, and I haven’t done any obvious evil or bad things that offend God’s disposition. I perform my duty just like an old ox—I put my head down and plow forward, I don’t delay my work, and I never give up on the task at hand. My heart isn’t idle. Performing my duty this way is fine.” This in and of itself is a way of just muddling through your faith in God; it is an attitude of disinterest and laziness, right? If suddenly you do something wrong or violate a principle and you are dealt with, you feel: “Ugh, judgment and chastisement have come upon me.” Then you are awakened and you’re able to get your spirits up for a couple of days. During those couple of days, is that a proper state of entering into life? As soon as you are subject to pruning and being dealt with, you show some change, as if you’re being prodded to take one more step, to move forward. Does moving forward a bit have any impact on your entry into life? From the outside it looks as if you’ve taken a step forward and that you’ve taken in a bit of the pruning and being dealt with, the judgment and chastisement. However, looking from personal subjectivity, if someone absolutely does not understand, does not grasp, has never dug into their own corrupt disposition as well as all of their corrupt states, which are negative and dark, and they have never resolved these issues, will they be capable of achieving a proper state of entry into life? Can they enter into the reality of the truth? (They can’t.)
Some people say: “In every kind of thing I do in performing my duty I’m able to grasp the principles. Isn’t this understanding the truth, and entering into the reality of the truth?” Rules are easy to keep and external practices are easy to uphold. For example, you have to go to bed every evening by ten, and get up every morning no later than five, your sleep is determined based on this principle, and it is simply between those times. That’s the principle. If you have to be punctual that’s something you can achieve, but if you have to truly understand the significance and value of that punctuality, would you be able to do that? (No.) Why not? (Because people do not have that kind of intention themselves. They’re passive; they’re driven, bound, or pushed by something outside of themselves. It’s a mandatory measure.) So then what’s the issue that hasn’t been resolved here? (Lacking an attitude of subjectivity.) That’s not right. If you are asked to go to sleep at ten at night and get up at five in the morning, do you have some opinion about that? (Yes.) And what opinion is that? (It’s too early to get up.) So where does this idea that it’s too early come from? (The flesh.) It comes from the flesh. Then why would someone say “it’s too early”? There’s a kind of thinking that that comes from. What kind of thinking is it? (Lazy thinking.) What drives lazy thinking? Just “lazy” doesn’t have anything to do with a corrupt disposition. Being lazy, not wanting to endure hardships—does this have to do with a corrupt disposition? (Yes.) What kind of corrupt disposition? People will have a certain opinion about getting up at five. How about getting up at ten? (No opinion.) No opinion—you’re all thrilled. “This is great, I can sleep until I wake up naturally!” People aren’t willing to get up at five, they have an opinion about it: “Why do I always have to get up so early? Other people get up at eight or later; why do we get up at five? It’s too early!” People are happy if they get up at ten: “Ah, that’s so wonderful! I finally don’t have to get up early, getting up early every day is tiring! I no longer need to rush to start working after I get up. Starting work after 12, in the afternoon, is better, more comfortable!” So of these two—one makes someone happy, the other makes someone unhappy—which is right? (Neither one.) Neither one is right—what’s going on with that? (They both contain personal intentions and aims.) (There’s no measurable criteria. If it’s in line with someone’s own fleshly interests they’re happy; otherwise, they’re upset.) You feel great when you personally benefit, but getting up at five always irks you. Neither one of these displays is good, right? (Right.) So what would be a “good” time to get up? Eight? If you have people get up at eight, some slackers still don’t want to get up. They think: “Eight is so early! Even the birds aren’t singing! Let me sleep a little longer.” Then they fall back asleep and sleep until 12—they’re groggy and disoriented. This is how most people would like to pass their days, right? Let’s take this to talk about people’s corrupt disposition. What actually is this kind of corrupt disposition? First, let’s talk about whether the majority of corrupt dispositions are good or bad? Are there good ones? Are there positive ones? (No.) Why not? (Because a corrupt disposition is not positive. It’s in conflict with anything positive.) On this term, of course there’s nothing good about it. It’s all corrupt, and if you take it apart, analyze it, break it down, there’s certainly nothing good about it. “Corrupt disposition”: in and of itself, the word “corrupt” is clearly not a positive term, but a derogatory term. There’s really nothing good about the words, but in essence—what actually is a corrupt disposition? So let’s take this issue of getting up at five or at ten as an example—you’ll understand a little better. What’s getting up at five for? If you wake up at five, won’t you be able to go to sleep early, at ten? (Yes.) So when it’s time to go to bed, can you go to sleep as soon as you lie down? (Yes.) You’re not likely to have a hard time sleeping. First of all, this kind of sleep schedule is very well-suited to people’s biological clocks; it’s in line with laws of nature for the human body. If you get up earlier, you can go to sleep earlier. By going to bed early you don’t need to stay up late—this is good for people’s health. But are people willing to accept this schedule? It’s difficult for them to accept it. Why is that so? No one wants to get up early. At five in the morning, you’re sleeping really well, warmly nestled in your bed. If you get up it’s still cold and dark outside—it’s completely boring, there’s nothing fun to do, and you don’t have an appetite. From every physical and emotional aspect, it’s really uncomfortable. It’s not enjoyable. But in reality, getting up at that time is good for people’s health; it’s just that people themselves can’t accept it. Then if you get up at ten? Based on your body’s natural laws, if you get up at ten in the morning, what time would you get sleepy? (Two or three in the morning.) Not until two or three in the morning, right? If you get up at ten in the morning, if you have to go to bed at ten at night, will you be able to fall asleep? (No.) What do you do if you can’t fall asleep? (Just lie there.) Just lie there—is anyone that well-behaved? Someone isn’t sleepy, so they start thinking: “Where can I go do something, something fun?” Isn’t that right? This is the lifestyle of modern people. Mess with this, mess with that, don’t go to sleep. What is this called? Not doing what you should, just messing around. And at what time will someone finally want to go to sleep? After midnight, right? If someone doesn’t go to sleep by the time it’s past midnight they have to prop their eyes open. They hurry up and go to bed, and as soon as they lie down they’re asleep. Once they’re asleep they don’t want to get up. When they’ve gone to sleep too late and you wake them up at five, they say: “I need to sleep just a little longer.” If you wake them up at eight, they say: “Just a little longer.” They sleep until eleven or twelve—they can’t get up. Once they do get up, someone says to them: “Where did you go?” “I didn’t go anywhere.” “If you didn’t go anywhere, why do you have such dark circles under your eyes? What happened?” Would you say that this kind of lifestyle, these rules, are beneficial for people? When this has gone on for a while, is it good or is it bad? (It’s bad.) This is actually something that I don’t really need to say; most people have experienced it. When you stay up too late you’re tired in the morning, you don’t want to get out of bed, and you’re sleepy after you get up. If you get up too late, you can’t sleep at night. What do you do if you can’t sleep? You stay up and putter around. Once this kind of vicious cycle has gone on for a while, your body’s natural, normal metabolism will be out of balance.
Anyway, let’s take this example. Someone gets up at five and goes to bed at ten. This is a very good rule and it’s good for their health, but people find it unacceptable. There’s a problem with finding it unacceptable. It’s not that they don’t understand this principle, that they’re not familiar with this kind of common sense—they’re very aware of it, so why do they find it unacceptable? Why aren’t people willing to abide by this? Why aren’t people willing to live this way, according to this rule? (People don’t like positive things.) This is slapping a really broad label on this: “Positive things.” Is there another way of putting it? (Satan has corrupted people; when they don’t have something to do they watch TV or play games; these kinds of things suck people in, so they’re not willing to go to bed early and get up early. In the past, late at night people didn’t have anything to do, so they’d be in bed by seven or eight, but now people are sucked into these things so they stay up late. Their biological clocks have been disrupted.) In the past people went to bed early and got up early. They didn’t have a corrupt disposition; a corrupt disposition is particular to modern people and young people. Old men and women don’t have a corrupt disposition, earlier generations don’t have a corrupt disposition—they go to bed early and get up early. Is that the case? You’re once again just fixating on things. I gave you a simple example, but again, you’re fixating on this one thing. Why is that? Why don’t you ever understand what I’ve said? I gave you this example, that people don’t want to go to bed early and they don’t want to wake up early. Why are they this way? This has to do with people’s interests of the flesh. Which ones? You tell Me. (Our own preferences.) (We have to change our lifestyle habits.) It’s related to people’s interests of the flesh—they don’t want to endure hardship, they’re not willing to. They’re not willing to forsake the flesh. Isn’t not wanting to get up early wanting to sleep longer? Isn’t sleeping longer wanting to follow the preferences, the feelings of the flesh? What are the benefits to people who get up early versus people who get up late? It’s whether the flesh feels good or not, it’s fleshly comfort or discomfort. Isn’t that it? (Yes.) When someone gets up early, there’s a conflict with their fleshly comfort, right? (Right.) When this conflict occurs, people feel unwilling, and they have unhappy thoughts. When they have unhappy thoughts, are they willing to accept that getting up early is good for their health? (No.) They won’t accept this—they won’t accept this fact. You see, such a small interest, just a few hours, but people aren’t willing to give it up. They must discipline their body, pray, and work on their own thoughts; they also have to be influenced by their environment. When they see that other people have all gotten up and they’re still lazily sleeping, they think: “This isn’t good, this is embarrassing. I have to hurry up and get out of bed.” They’re forced like this every day—when they get up they’re so miserable. You dig into these thoughts and states of people carefully. What kind of thing leads to all of this? People are greedy for comforts of the flesh; they want to do things according to their own desires. There are also thoughts of laziness and self-indulgence in this. One aspect is that they’re not considering the normal laws of the body, and another aspect is that they’re not considering their own duty. They’re working from their own fleshly interests, right? At its heart, there’s something in people’s corrupt disposition, which is that they always want to indulge their own flesh, to be free of restrictions, and sometimes there are even things that come out of this corrupt disposition of people that are unreasonable. Isn’t that so? Something so small, but it touches on people’s own interests—is this a major interest? (No.) It’s not—how insignificant is it? In reality, this is not a big deal, if people can just exercise self-control they’ll be able to overcome it. But they sleep in, nestle in their warm bed; they revel in it and love being in bed. This tiny little interest is very difficult for people to give up. When this insignificant interest of yours is in conflict with upholding principles, you feel angry and unhappy. You always feel: “Why can’t I ever indulge myself just once? Why can’t I do what I want to just one time? When can I get out of this environment and have a really good sleep, sleep for a week or more?” There are some people who frequently think this way. Don’t you think this is a pitiful way to live? (Yes.) People’s lives are pitiful.
How can this state be resolved? You have to pray every day. Otherwise just set an alarm? This is how it has to be resolved: You must pray. You must pray to be faithful to your duty, you must be able to overcome your own difficulties in the flesh, strive to become more mature, you must not revel in comforts, be able to endure hardship, be faithful to your duty, not do whatever you desire, and learn how to restrain yourself. Is it easy to restrain yourself? (No.) Why not? (Because people aren’t willing to be restrained. They don’t like to be managed; they want to indulge themselves.) People don’t know to restrain themselves, and they are not able to do so. Their capability for self-restraint is lacking. So people are immature—no matter how old they are, they are immature. Someone may say: “You’re an immature person. You’re a full-fledged adult, so how is it that you are unable to restrain yourself? It’s clear that you’re no longer a child, so what’s going on?” They haven’t grown up; they haven’t matured. They’re an incomplete person, right? You see, some small thing, when it touches on someone’s own interests, their corrupt disposition will be revealed. When their corrupt disposition is revealed, the truth is necessary to resolve it. They must enter into the reality of the truth and understand the relevant truth in order to resolve the issue. They have to understand the relevant truth to resolve the issue at hand. Then without even realizing it, they will mature, they will grow up; they will change in this aspect. And when they change, they’ll have more and more strength for overcoming their own difficulties and weaknesses, and overcoming degenerate thoughts of their indulgences and greedy comforts. They’ll no longer be so cowardly or fragile. Have you personally experienced this kind of thing?
I just mentioned a simple example. In a small thing like this, we can see and unearth someone’s corrupt disposition and the things in their thoughts. By unearthing this, can you find out what kind of person you are? By unearthing these corrupt dispositions, is it true that you can unwittingly discover that you truly are a corrupt person, a person without the truth, and that you are not someone who is free of a corrupt disposition? After you have grasped these things you can go ahead and classify yourself and sum up what kind of person you are. Some people say: “By unearthing these corrupt dispositions and understanding my different states, understanding the thoughts that are produced from within me as well as my own perspectives and attitudes when faced with different issues, I see that I am a despicable person.” Some people say that they have seen that they are someone who is not scrupulous in what they do. Some people say that they have seen that they are a malicious person. Some people say that they have seen that they are arrogant and conceited, someone who loves to show off, act high and mighty, and lord over others. After some time of unearthing these things, some people discover that they are a hypocrite, and some people discover that they are a nobody and that they have nothing. They say: “I used to think that I was talented and capable. I was very knowledgeable in my field, but now I’ve found that I’m a nobody and I’m incompetent; I do foolish things and I don’t have any principles.” And some people discover that they are narrow-minded and petty. They are not upright people; they are very sensitive to others, they can’t handle it if someone offends them in passing, or if someone says something that touches on their own interests. They are petty, they are not tolerant, and they do not know to compromise in the least. If you work on this and focus on this, won’t you see results? (Yes.) After getting these results of knowing yourself, won’t this be helpful for your entry into life? (It will be.) How will it help? (When someone has an understanding of their arrogant nature they’ll be able to be a more low-key person.) (If someone has an understanding of themselves they’ll have a heart of seeking. If people don’t face these things they are completely unable to seek, so they don’t know if they are in a state of revealing a corrupt disposition.) (If someone doesn’t understand themselves they don’t know that their own situation is actually very sad. They can’t recognize it. Once they’ve seen it that will produce a state of wanting to free themselves from it, a state of wanting to seek the truth and conduct themselves according to God’s words.) If people feel that they are really great, righteous, generous, talented, tolerant of others, kind, honest, and loyal to others—they are able to find traces of these strengths in themselves—they can find some aspect of these revelations and these realities; on the contrary, if they feel that their own corrupt disposition contains things that can be seen in any normal person—arrogance, conceitedness, hatred, or jealousy, and they feel that these are small problems; if they feel that aside from these little flaws, that they are really perfect, that they are more dignified, loving, and attentive than others, and that they are cleaner and nobler than others—if people always have this kind of internal state, will they be able to have genuine repentance in front of God? (No.) Then under what circumstances are people able to truly come in front of God, understand themselves, genuinely prostrate themselves and say the following? “Oh God, I am a corrupt person. I am a nobody; I am a person who is deeply corrupted by Satan and I cannot control myself. I am someone who cannot put something aside if it touches on my personal interests. I am a selfish and despicable person.” When can they achieve that kind of genuine repentance?
For example, some people think that they are very good-looking, very pretty. Some women think that they are beautiful, and some men think that they are very handsome, but one day someone says: “Oh no! You have a mole there! They say that that kind of mole is no good!” That someone didn’t say much and didn’t say anything specific, but it impacts them, hits them hard, and ruins their perfect image in their heart. They feel bad, and say: “I have a mole on my face, but why can’t you see all those moles you have? There are even more things said about those moles that you have!” What’s the reason behind saying that? Why would they say something like this? What kind of state produces these kinds of words and feelings? (Not understanding themselves.) That’s not right. Those kinds of people generally understand themselves. They think: “I’m terrible, my life is a failure, I have bad humanity, I have no humanity!” They understand themselves, so why is it that when they encounter an issue of a tiny little mole, they get so upset, so angry, and they have such a vengeful, vicious state? What causes this? (They feel that they are perfect, so when someone else says they have a mole it offends them.) What in them does it offend? (It’s that the more they feel they’re fine in a certain aspect, the less tolerant they are in that aspect, so they can turn some tiny issue into a big problem.) This is hitting someone’s soft spot. You can’t ruin their perfect image. You absolutely cannot bring up any shortcomings or doubts about anything about them that they think is fine. So what should you say? “You have a mole there, but it’s a nice mole. I’ve heard that a mole there is really auspicious—you’re extremely lucky! You have a good fate; if you didn’t have this mole, you would probably be lacking something in your life. It’s really lucky that you have this mole.” So what would they be thinking at this point? “It’s true—I was already pretty good-looking, and after growing this mole, I think that my fate is not bad. I’m a blessed person. A fortuneteller told me a long time ago that I had good fortune, that it wasn’t bad. See, you’ve noticed. Other people haven’t seen it—they’re blind!” Then that person is happy. Is that the same person as the one who was just angry? (Yes.) So how can one person have two different types of expressions? Which is their corrupt disposition? (Both of them are.) Yes, both of them are. Which one is more despicable? (The second one.) Why is the second one more despicable? (It’s really fake. They have no insight into themselves.) It’s fake, ignorant, foolish, despicable, and filthy, right? If someone says that you have a good fate, does that make it good? Is that within people’s control? Is it something that can be determined by a few words from someone? (No.) Then why are you so happy? This is called foolishness. Why is it called foolishness? This is self-deception. If someone else says something nice about that mole, does that make your fate good? Aren’t you fooling yourself? If someone says a few nice words, perhaps it’s just to flatter you. They know that you like to hear nice things, so they praise you to make you happy, to tease you. How can you be so self-satisfied? You’re afraid it’s not actually good, and you’re not willing to hear something negative. You can’t respect the facts. You don’t know whether you really have a good fate as this life isn’t over. Isn’t that right? (That’s right.) So if someone else says you have a bad fate, why is it so upsetting? You even have thoughts of lashing out, a feeling of hatred and revenge. As soon as they say a couple of nice things, how can you be so happy? You even want to treat them to dinner, saying “You’re such a kind person! Your words are like gold. What you’ve said will certainly become true—I do have a good fate!” They are just beside themselves with joy. Would you say that this kind of person is shameless? They are shameless, foolish, and pitiful. It’s not a nice thing to hear, but it actually is the truth. So where do people’s ignorance and foolishness, different expressions of this kind of ugliness, come from? From their corrupt dispositions. People have desires and wishes for their own fate, whether their future will be happy, and what it will be like. Are these wishes proper or improper? Let’s not worry about whether they’re proper or not. Overall, their attitude toward this matter and what they reveal when they are faced with it are not improper; they are not the reason and conscience that someone with humanity should possess not what someone with normal humanity should live out either. Isn’t that right? (Yes.)
So how should people handle this kind of matter? Some people say: “When someone praises me I won’t say a word, and when they say bad things about me I won’t say a word either. I’ll just be cold!” Isn’t that attitude of neither humility nor arrogance great? “I don’t have a corrupt disposition; I’m free of desires.” What is this? It’s more rational! Look at those with that kind of attitude, they don’t speak, they’re rational, they don’t make any assessments about whether their fate will be good or bad, or if they’ll be blessed or suffer misfortune. And they don’t try to envisage these things either; they allow God to manage it. What kind of attitude is this? You can’t discern this, right? If you encounter that kind of person you won’t be able to see into them. You think: “What do they actually mean? What kind of attitude do they have?” So you try again and say something that sounds even better. You continue on: “I’ve seen that mole of yours in a lot of books. It really is a good mole; I’ve seen it online, too, and I’ve seen a lot of people with moles that look like that. Later, they found good husbands and their families are well off. They have really good lives—they have a lifetime of wealth and good fortune. Really lucky!” You praise them and praise them, and finally, they can’t contain it anymore and say: “Really? Is that true? Then this mole is really valuable; I can’t get rid of it. I nearly had it removed.” They can’t hold back, right? They can’t pretend for long. No matter how well they pretend, they can only do it for a little while, but pretending for a lifetime is not easy. No matter how well you pretend, how well you disguise yourself, you cannot cover your corrupt disposition. Regarding what you feel in your heart, think in your head, and what hopes you have—you can fool people, but you can’t fool God. You can’t fool yourself, either. You may end up not saying anything and the other person doesn’t find anything out, but later on when all is quiet, you’ll think to yourself: “Just like anyone, I don’t want people to say bad things; I’d rather have them praise me a bit.” But no matter what, whether you have revealed that or not, generally speaking, these things that people think, that are produced from within all represent their corrupt disposition, no matter if it’s intense or not, or whether it’s obvious or not. Everything that people naturally reveal is a corrupt disposition. So aren’t these corrupt dispositions revealed very naturally? Can’t they be revealed at any time and any place? As soon as someone isn’t careful they just blurt something out and they lay bare what’s in the deepest recesses of their heart. Then they regret it and think: “Next time I’ll hold my tongue; talking too much causes problems. If I don’t speak, won’t my corrupt disposition not be revealed?” But they do something and once again make a mistake when they’re not careful and reveal a corrupt disposition again. They reveal their own intentions, and once that has been revealed, they think: “How did that happen again?” It can be revealed at any place or any time and you can’t guard against it, right? That’s why, if your corrupt disposition isn’t resolved, there’s no fortress strong enough to guarantee it won’t be revealed.
There’s only one way that allows you to not reveal a corrupt disposition, and that allows you to display rationality, conscience, and reasonableness—to express normal humanity. There’s just one way that can ensure this. What is that way? Is it self-control? (No.) Self-control is not the way, and restraint is not the way. How about being dealt with and pruned sometimes? What that can resolve is limited. Sometimes you’re dealt with and pruned every three to five days and a little bit is resolved, and sometimes you’re dealt with and pruned every ten days or a couple of weeks, and a little bit is resolved again. But at times a year will go by and you don’t face being dealt with, so would corrupt dispositions not be resolved? What can be done? When a corrupt disposition is discovered in someone, they must understand what kind of problem it is, why that corrupt disposition is being revealed, why those kinds of filthy, despicable, foolish, and ignorant actions and thoughts are within them and can even be revealed at any time and any place—it’s embarrassing, shameful, and they feel they’ve lost face and have no dignity. What was I just saying? (How to resolve a corrupt disposition.) Mm, how to resolve a corrupt disposition. First you must recognize and dissect the sources of these corrupt dispositions, and then you have to find the corresponding method of practice. Let’s not be abstract; let’s take the situation we were just talking about. A pretty girl thinks that she’s really good-looking, really beautiful. Then one day someone tells her that she has a mole on her face. She’s not happy. It damages her self-esteem. When her self-esteem is damaged and a corrupt disposition is revealed, what can be done? When encountered with something that contradicts your own ideas, that you don’t want to hear, what can you do? How do you treat this matter? How should you first approach it in order to be someone with humanity and rationality? First you must calm yourself and analyze it: “What does he mean? Is it targeted at me? Does he want to get back at me? Is it that yesterday I didn’t give him face, so today he’s targeting me?” First analyze it and think about it: “Yes! I said something yesterday that was hurtful to him so today he’s targeting me. This isn’t over! An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth! He isn’t kind, so I won’t be just! I have to get back at him!” What is this called? What kind of revelation is this? It’s still revealing a corrupt disposition. If you dissect the essence of this kind of corrupt disposition, isn’t it malicious? It is malicious in character, but what is it in action? She intends to get revenge; she has the intention to get revenge. What is the character of the action of taking revenge? Isn’t it malicious? It does contain a malicious nature. If someone didn’t have a malicious nature, would they want revenge? They wouldn’t; it wouldn’t occur to them. When they think of revenge, what they say is: “You have moles! You have so many moles!” What is this? This is a type of attack. What kind of action is this? Is this attack, this revenge positive or negative? Is it complimentary or derogatory? (Derogatory.) Does anyone think that it’s neutral? (No.) These words are very obvious; they’re easy to distinguish. They’re derogatory. Revenge and attacks are one type of action and revelation which comes from a malicious satanic nature. Is that a corrupt disposition? (Yes.) There’s another thought: “If you’re not kind, I won’t be just! I’ll treat you the same way you treat me. If you’re rude to me I’ll be rude to you as well! If you don’t treat me with dignity, why would I treat you with dignity?” What kind of thought is this? Isn’t this also a thought of revenge? In the views of an ordinary person, isn’t this type of perspective viable, doesn’t it hold water? “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” There’s another one: “A taste of your own medicine.” Among non-believers, these are rationales that hold water, they can be above-board. This is the action of an honorable person. But now as someone who believes in God, as someone who seeks to understand the truth and seeks a change in disposition, would you say that these words are right or wrong? Are these perspectives right or wrong? (Wrong.) Why is that? Where do these things come from? They come from Satan. That is without doubt; there is no question. They come from what part of Satan? A malicious nature. This contains malice, it contains Satan’s malice and its ugly true face. It contains the essence of that nature; it contains the perspectives, thoughts, expressions, speech, and even actions of the essence of that nature. What is the character of these things? Aren’t they of Satan? They are. Are these parts of Satan in line with humanity? Are they in line with the truth, or the reality of the truth? (No.) Are they the actions, the thoughts, and perspectives that followers of God should have? (No.) Then when you do things or think about things that way, or you express those things, do those actions, thoughts, and expressions of yours conform to God’s will? Since these things come from Satan, are they in line with humanity, with conscience and reason? (They’re not.) Now people understand that they’re not in line with these things, but before understanding this, did you believe that these actions and thoughts were presentable? And what else did you believe? You thought: “I’ll get revenge, I’ll show you, and I’ll say these things—I’ll do it out in the open. I’m fair, I’m an honorable person. I’m open and above-board. I hate you, I’ll get my revenge. I’ll tell you a thing or two! I’ll say it in the open. I’ll get you, and I’ll do it in the open. I won’t be a despicable, sneaky person—I’m honorable and my actions are upright!” Wasn’t this what you thought? People’s hearts are full of and occupied with these things, these rationales. They guide people’s thoughts, behaviors, and actions as well as their various states and perspectives. So are they able to understand the truth? On the contrary, don’t people put into practice and uphold these things they believe to be presentable and correct as if they were the truth? (Yes.) So now have you found the source of it? Why can’t people achieve a genuine change in disposition? Why can’t they truly resolve their own difficulties? Continue on this path unearthing these things, and see which things that you believe to be tenable, common principles, and in line with the ways of the world, and see what things you believe are above-board, upright and honorable—see which of all of these excuses, actions, perspectives, and logical thoughts you have allowed into your heart and treated as the truth without believing that they are part of a corrupt disposition. You dig through all of this. Isn’t there more? (There is.)