Editorial: On the Relationship Between Members of the Opposite Sex and the Issue of Marriage
(Minghui.org) Dafa disciples all know that as today's people are drifting along in the big dye vat that is modern society, their standard of thinking has deviated from the standard that gods established for human beings a long time ago. So if a person wants to cultivate, Master first has to remove that person's name from hell. After that, the person can start by behaving as a human being in an upright and dignified manner, based on the standard that gods established for human beings. Then that person becomes a good human being among people step by step, until he becomes an even better human being, all the way until he is able to completely transcend humanness and becomes a Buddha, Dao or God of the high realms.
It has been 12 years since Dafa began to spread in the human world, and Fa-rectification has reached the final stage of the final stage. There are still a few isolated practitioners who have gone along with the extremely warped, degenerated standard of today's people for a long time in terms of their thoughts and conduct when it comes to their relationships with members of the opposite sex, and they still call themselves Dafa disciples. If those people don't wake up and do everything they can to make up for their mistakes, they will lose their final predestined opportunities.
In April of 2003, while explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference, Master for the first time answered a question on the issue of a man and woman having an affair. A problem like this is supposed to be something that a person addresses on his own when he first decides to begin cultivation, not an issue that should exist among Dafa cultivators as a group. In the past, in the community of cultivators, whether it was the Buddha School, the Dao School, or the Qimen practice, such a problem was not allowed to exist. If anyone dared to break the rule, he would be considered a wretch and permanently expelled from that school of practice. Yet during last year's Metropolitan New York Fa Conference, while harshly scolding those people who still make mistakes when it comes to their relationships with members of the opposite sex and doing things that "make them undeserving of even the title 'Dafa student'! They don't even deserve to be called 'human beings,' and yet they still call themselves 'Dafa disciples'," Master still repeated again and again his hope for those people to strive to improve and not force Master to give up on them.
Master's benevolence in saving all sentient beings has touched everyone deeply. At that time, the people who had these problems were all strongly shaken and determined to correct themselves. Almost a year has gone by, yet some people still don't have the urgent desire to correct themselves completely, some people are still struggling with themselves and going back and forth, and some people are still trying to find excuses for themselves. Such people who don't know the true meaning of self-respect and self-worth are present both inside and outside of Mainland China. Even though there are very few of them, they are still soiling Dafa's reputation and having a very bad influence. Actually when it comes to making mistakes on relationships between members of the opposite sex, even in a human society where morality has degenerated badly, it is still looked down upon by ordinary people who insist on acting in an upright manner and conducting themselves well. Genuine Dafa disciples would be even less apt to condone those dirty thoughts and actions. The old forces wouldn't let go of people who have this kind of problem because they have found the biggest excuse to "test" them.
Under the environment in Mainland China where the persecution is still going on, those few isolated individuals who fall under the above category have caused very serious damage to their local situations. For example, when few isolated individuals at a certain place in Liaoning Province developed this situation, the people who were involved and others around them were unable to obtain clear understandings on this subject from the perspective of Fa-rectification cultivation in a timely manner and developed many conflicts, which resulted in all kinds of losses to the local truth-clarification activities. Members of a certain team in a city nearby also had problems with people having affairs, which resulted in continuous xinxing conflicts. The conflicts became very big, to the point where team members were arrested by police. People who persecute Dafa also used it as an excuse to slander Dafa. Similar situations also occurred in the region around Benxi, which resulted in the vast majority of local practitioners being arrested. It took several months before Benxi practitioners were able to resume their activities to produce truth-clarifying materials and resume their work to clarify the truth. In addition, because their xinxing couldn't meet the basic standard of a cultivator, those people who have problems with relationships between members of the opposite sex are usually also quite attached to fame and self-interest, and tend to be self-centered. They are often selfish and wasteful when it comes to spending money or resources.
Such isolated individuals also exist in Mainland China outside of truth-clarifying material sites. They also exist outside of Mainland China. Even though they haven't caused direct damage to many Dafa disciples and even people of the world the way that those at material sites do, the nature of their behavior is the same. They are all piling on immense amounts of karma onto themselves. At the same time, they are also soiling Dafa disciples' reputation and their actions are an insult to Dafa. Even if they put themselves among Dafa disciples, they are unable to play the role of validating the Fa the way that Dafa disciples do. They're facing the issue of whether they can be responsible to their own lives.
Cultivation is voluntary. For those who don't want to correct themselves or say they want to correct themselves but are still searching for excuses not to correct themselves, we don't want to say anything more to them here. We would like to say a few more words to those who have the genuine desire to correct themselves but face very strong obstacles.
First, every single person who wants to correct oneself decides to do so in the face of Master's solemn warning and boundless benevolence. But in order to truly solve the problem, the person needs to not only know that it is the requirement from Master, the person must also memorize all the relevant teachings from Master, take them to heart, and truly learn to understand why Master made such a requirement from the perspective of Fa principles. Only then, can such a person completely correct himself. When necessary, a person should also send righteous thoughts more frequently to cleanse himself or herself while concentrating on eliminating his or her warped notions and thought karma.
Second, one should study the relevant teachings of Master on how to behave as a human being and the standard for a cultivator
In "Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference," Master told us,
"In fact, today's human race would have been destroyed a long time ago if it weren't for the Fa-rectification. The standard of the human race's thinking is already at a level lower than hell."
Why does Master say that "the standard of the human race's thinking is already at a level lower than hell?" If a person who wants to correct himself can't answer this question, he must make up the lesson of the moral standard of a human being. It is because cultivation begins from being a good person among ordinary people. But being "a good person" isn't determined by the moral standards of the modern humankind. It is determined by the standard established by gods. If one continues to incorrectly look at the standard that is lower than that of human beings as the standard for human beings, he will hold himself back at a realm lower than that of a human being. If a person wakes up upon "the great disclosure of the truth," it will be already too late.
Those people who break the rule when it comes to relationships between members of the opposite sex frequently think that people in today's society "all behave like that" and compared to many people, they are doing pretty well. Isn't this the same as what Master pointed out in Zhuan Falun,
"When some people do bad things and you point it out to them, they don't even believe you-they really can't believe they're doing something wrong. Some people size themselves up with the fallen moral standard, and they think they're better than other people. That's because even the standard for measuring has changed."
On this point, Master clearly points out in Zhuan Falun that
"but it doesn't matter how mankind's moral standard changes, the nature of the universe doesn't change, and it is the only standard for determining who's good and who's bad. So to be a cultivator you have to take the nature of the universe as your guide for improving yourself. You can't go by ordinary people's standards. If you want to return to your original, true self, if you want to raise your level by cultivating, you have to live by this standard."
Cultivation depends on one's own efforts. If one truly wants to cultivate, he should take the initiative to ask himself to do things according to the teaching of Master and assimilate to Dafa.
The moral standard of modern humankind has become extremely degenerated. Because they see it all the time, people who fall down alongside modern humankind are not aware of it. Actually if one makes even the most casual comparison to what took place in the past, he will see how much the human moral standard has fallen. The things that people in the past viewed as crimes and extremely shameful acts are now viewed as things that bring immense pleasure and are extremely fashionable. For example, when it comes to members of the opposite sex, modern people usually put emphasis on looks and sex appeal, and take character and self-restraints lightly. They take having a relationship with members of the opposite sex as casually as having a meal or a drink of water. They act shamelessly in order to satisfy their lust, and there are even those who engage in homosexual activities. But what kind of moral standard did people in the past use with regard to members of the opposite sex? Ancient Chinese people stressed that members of the opposite sex shouldn't touch each other. They thought those who tried to use sexual appeal to draw attention to themselves are flighty and unrestrained. Even a husband and a wife should "respect each other like honored guests and treat each other as friends." They viewed "sex games" as "shame of a husband and wife." The above are just a few examples.
When it comes to the marital relationship, modern people universally view the feelings that the husband and the wife have toward each other as the key for maintaining a marriage. Some people feel there is nothing wrong with getting a divorce when someone else comes along. Yet the Bible told people that humans are created by God and when a man and a woman get together they become one; once God arranges two people to be husband and wife, they can't go their separate ways on their own; any man who divorces his wife and marries someone else is committing adultery and letting down his wife; if a wife abandons her husband and marries someone else, she too is committing adultery. Having unsanctioned sexual activities (including premarital sexual activities) is also strictly forbidden and detested by God. Yahweh told men that they couldn't abandon their wives unless they were unfaithful. The old Eastern culture that is passed down by gods views an unhappy marriage as the result of both parties having karma. Instead of finding excuses to get away from each other, the two people should pay back the karmic debt that they owe while going through conflicts in their marriage. From this, we can see that "emotional discord" isn't an excuse condoned by gods for a divorce.
As for the ceremony that should be held to mark a marriage, Master pointed out in his Fa lecture during the U.S. East Coast Fa Conference in March of 1999,
"In the past, in China, when people got married, they needed the approval of both heaven and earth. That was why getting married was called 'bowing to heaven and earth.' They needed acceptance from parents-they had to bow to their parents. In Western societies, they needed it to be accepted by their Lord and God. So they went to church and pledged to the Lord. The Lord or God would have been your witness, testifying to your union. In today's Western societies, these norms have been broken. Without ceremonies, two people can just move in together. Without any restrictions, when they're happy, they're together-if not, one can just find another partner. This is unacceptable. As students of Dafa, you should at least understand this little bit of principle. Sexual freedom in the West has created a tremendous amount of karma. It appears to me that people coming from the East are even worse. You have to pay attention to these matters. Humans are said to have declined-isn't it a problem if cultivators do even worse than everyday people? At least allow ordinary human society to consider you a legal husband and wife."
From this, one can see that a solemn ceremony is linked to the inner meaning of a marriage as something bestowed upon by gods.
We'd like to stress one last point. To those who are still in a mess when it comes to their relationships with members of the opposite sex and are committing crimes against gods, this is a serious warning: the benevolence and dignity of Dafa exist side by side, and each person chooses his own future. If you still don't cherish Master's benevolence, upon the great disclosure of the truth and losing your predestined opportunities, you will be placed at a position that you chose for yourselves, a position that is lower than that of the humankind. What awaits you in the future is endless regret and paying back the debt. Do you really want to lose your eternal future and that of all the sentient beings who depend on you for the sake of that little bit of degenerated so-called "enjoyment" that is in front of you in the human world?
January 26, 2004