Fa Teaching Given in San Francisco

Hongzhi Li
April 6, 1997 ~ San Francisco

We just met in New York, and now, only a few days later, we’re meeting here again today. I originally wanted to give you some time to absorb what I said, since the things I discussed last time were high-level. Actually, if you think carefully about the things I’ve discussed recently, you’ll probably find that they’re much more high-level. I have actually told you the essence. There’s a reason for doing so, namely, you are highly educated. Also, some of you obtained the Fa later, but this group of people who obtained the Fa later is improving quickly; so the requirements for them are also high, and their levels are rising quickly. You feel that it’s harder and that there are more difficulties, that is, there seem to be more tribulations—this is inevitable. Many of the things I’m teaching today have never been discussed before. Since the time for cultivation is very limited, I hope to impart this Fa to you as quickly as possible so you can practice cultivation as quickly as possible and achieve Consummation as quickly as possible.

It was just yesterday that I talked about the following matter. You might know the Chinese tale, Journey to the West. When Tang Monk1 went to the Western Paradise to acquire the scriptures, he went through all kinds of difficulties and hardships; nine times nine, or eighty-one tribulations—missing even one meant that they had to make it up, or it wouldn’t have been acceptable. So it wasn’t easy at all. Today it’s just so easy for you to obtain the Fa. Even if you weren’t in the United States you could just buy a plane ticket and get here in no time. So in comparison, you’re indeed obtaining this Fa rather easily. But it’s not so easy to cultivate. I’ve also considered this: We have to check out whether people can learn the Fa, whether they can obtain the Fa, and how they regard this Fa. This time frame can’t be stretched too long. People still hesitate when it comes to obtaining this Fa, considering and thinking over and over again, “Should I go learn this?” and so on. We’re also thinking about this issue, so I think it’s good that time is a little tight. It’s not that just anyone can obtain this Fa; we believe in predestined relationship (yuan fen). In other words, with time being tight it’s possible that those who aren’t supposed to obtain the Fa won’t be able to get in. A problem could arise with a longer time frame, namely, people who aren’t supposed to obtain the Fa might get in and interfere with us or harm us. Since they would disbelieve, they might act as interference. Of course, our door is wide open—regardless of who you are, we’ll be responsible for you as long as you’re able to learn. But we do need to examine people’s hearts.

The Buddha Fa is broad, immense, and profound. The Fa we’re teaching today goes beyond conventional understandings of the Buddha Fa. We are teaching the Fa of the entire cosmos—the nature of the entire cosmos. Yet within this immense cosmos, each of its levels has its cosmic nature, that is, the principles of the Fa manifested from Zhen-Shan-Ren2 at each realm. And the Fa’s principles at each level are really enormous and complex. If you wanted to explain the principles at one particular level, you might not be able to explain them fully even if you took a whole lifetime—that’s how immense and complex they are. As you know, Buddha Shakyamuni taught the Dharma from the Tathagata level to people and to his cultivating disciples. But after spending his whole lifetime teaching, he had only taught the things of his own cultivation way. Buddha Shakyamuni said that there are eighty-four thousand cultivation ways, and these don’t include the Dao School’s. The Chinese Dao School says that they have thirty-six hundred cultivation ways. And these still don’t include the cultivation ways of the Gods of the Western religions commonly known to us. Besides, the eighty-four thousand cultivation ways that Buddha Shakyamuni talked about are only an understanding at the Tathagata level, within that expanse. Beyond that expanse, there are just so many cultivation ways you couldn’t possibly keep track of them, and there are just so many different Tathagata Buddhas and principles of the Fa that they’ve enlightened to—it’s extremely immense. You could say that the Buddha Fa can’t even be described in terms of vast oceans or seas. However large the cosmos is, that’s however large this Fa is—that’s the idea.

Today, I’m only using human language—the simplest human language of today—to tell you about the general situation of this entire vast and profound cosmos. If you can truly and thoroughly understand this Fa, and can practice cultivation in this Fa, the height and depth of what you’ll experience and enlighten to will be beyond description. As long as you practice cultivation, you’ll gradually experience and enlighten to more and more. The more you read Zhuan Falun,3 the more you’ll understand from it. [Even] if your inborn quality is really good, there’s more than enough for you to cultivate in this Dafa. However high you want to cultivate to, this Fa is immense enough to accommodate that—this Fa is just incredibly broad and immense. As you know, I’ve said in Zhuan Falun that the Fa’s principles contained in there are really extensive. You can see that countless, layers upon layers, of Buddhas, Daos, and Gods are behind each word—they can’t be counted. Since each level has principles of that level, and each level has Buddhas, Daos, and Gods at that level, imagine how vast this Fa is. In fact, I’ve only outlined it for you. Truly understanding it depends on you yourself enlightening, cultivating, and comprehending in your actual cultivation. So I’ll tell you this principle: Make sure you don’t think that it’s enough to have read the book Zhuan Falun and to know the exercises, or that it’s sufficient to think it’s good and to just practice along. If you want to improve yourself, you rely entirely on this book. So you should read it over and over again. As you read the book you are understanding more and improving. Add to that the supplementary means to Consummation—the exercises—and you’ll continually raise your level. So make sure you don’t mistakenly think that [it’s enough] to read it once, think it’s good, practice along with others, and not have stopped practicing. This Fa is extremely important. You must work hard on studying the Fa.

This cosmos is so vast and its structure is so complex. I’ve told you about the composition of dimensions. For example, matter is composed of molecules and even more microscopic particles. The dimension that we know of is also composed of these particles. Today, the particles known to science include molecules, atoms, neutrons, atomic nuclei, and electrons; and then there are quarks and neutrinos. What’s further down is unknown to today’s science. So what I’ve said is that the realm of each level of these particles is what we call the plane of that level. Actually, particles aren’t distributed on a plane; instead, within a given level, they exist everywhere—not on a plane. Humankind doesn’t have a term for it, so we’ll just call it a plane; this is the only way we can describe it. Right within that realm—within that layer of particles’ realm—a dimension is formed. Between particles are dimensions, and inside particles themselves are also dimensions. Yet particles can also make up particles of different sizes. Then, among the particles of different sizes that are composed of one particular particle are again dimensions. This is the concept of dimensions that I explained to you last time.

I’ve always said that between atoms and molecules is a vast dimension. We humans live between the layer of the largest particles made up of molecules, and planets that we see, which are a layer of particles. Humans live in that dimension. A planet is also a particle. Going further, the Milky Way galaxy also has an outer shell. Might the Milky Way galaxy and the countless other galaxies spread throughout the cosmos form a dimension? They’re also interrelated. Then beyond the galaxies, there is still another cosmic expanse—then is this cosmic expanse a layer of particles? It sure is a layer of particles. The cosmos is incredibly vast—there’s simply no way to describe how vast it is. Furthermore, three thousand universes like the one we inhabit make up a larger layer of universe, which has an outer shell and is a particle of a universe of an even larger layer. Yet the particles I just talked about was expanding from just one point. As a matter of fact, particles of each layer are spread throughout the entire cosmos. Yet even what I just described are only two layers of universes and you already find it mind-boggling. In fact, the future humankind’s science won’t be able to know this, either—humankind will never be able to know things that high-level. Even with the extent we discussed to, that layer of particles is but a speck of dust—a tiny speck of dust—in this vast cosmos. Think about how enormous this cosmos is! This is the type of dimension I’ve been telling you about all along.

Last time I again discussed the composition of dimensions. In addition to the type of dimensions between atoms and molecules and between planets and molecules, the atomic particles in each layer also make up particles of different sizes. Then between the layers of these different-sized particles are again dimensions. Take molecules, for example: We normally know that there’s a dimension between molecules and atoms. If atoms are to make up molecules, many atoms need to be arranged together to make up a molecule. Then, between a layer of larger particles composed of fewer atomic particles and [another layer of] larger particles composed of more atomic particles is yet another level of dimension. As I’ve said, molecules can form any thing at the outermost surface—things like what we humans can see, such as steel, iron, water, air, wood, and our human bodies. This is the layer of matter at the surface that humans can see, and it’s composed of the layer of the largest particles that are composed of molecules. Yet molecules also make up a second, counting downward, layer of particles that are slightly smaller than these largest molecular particles. They can also make up a third, counting downward, layer of particles—all of these are composed of molecules, because molecules can make up particles of different sizes. Then among them are also dimensions, so this cosmos is extremely complex. There’s more to this, because within each level of dimension there are also vertical ones, that is, dimensions of different levels. In other words, there are dimensions of different levels that are like the many layers of heavens understood by religions. In addition, in dimensions at different levels there also exist different unitary paradises. It’s extremely complex. I’ve only told you about a common phenomenon.

As a matter of fact, besides this type of dimension, there’s also a type of coarse dimension, that is, the dimension at the outermost surface. I often tell you… of course, someone also asked me last time about what I meant in one of my articles in Essentials for Diligent Progress by, “human society is exactly in the very middle, in the outermost layer, and at the outermost surface.” As for the meaning of “the outermost surface,” according to the principle of this cosmos, there is no outside or inside, nor is there the concept of big and small as understood by humankind. The concepts are completely different from those of us humans. Today I’ll discuss this “outside.” Why do I say humankind is at the most peripheral surface and is most outside? What’s meant by this? Put another way, in addition to the kind of dimension I’ve talked about before, there exists another kind of dimension, which, just like the one we humans live in today, is completely different from those where Gods are. The dimensions I talked about before are all composed of more microscopic high-energy matter, whereas the dimension I’m talking about today is composed of surface matter. Inside this surface matter there also exist many, many different elements and different particles. This very special surface dimension is just like us humans: In your body there are cells of different sizes, which can also be called particles. At the surface of each cell is a layer of skin. Then all the way out to the skins that make up particles of the skin at the surface of our human body, the skins of the particles at the surface of the human body make up humans’ flesh skin at the surface. At an extremely microscopic level this skin is also an extremely vast dimension. Body tissue formed by the skins of the particles inside the body is completely different from the structure at the surface. The cosmos is the same way. Of course, it’s very complex. What’s the dimension that we humans inhabit like? Let’s say all of it is composed of particles. Regardless of how big or small the particles are, each particle has an outer shell.

Today what I’m actually telling you about is this outer shell. But although with these outer shells particles envelop particles, particles envelop particles, and some particles may appear to be inside—the Earth is at the central position—they in fact all belong to the outside. This is why I say that humans are at the outermost. They all belong to the outermost, because they’re all associated with the shell of the outermost surface. The skin-shell is an independent system. The cosmos has a largest outer shell, and all of them are associated with this largest outer shell. This dimension in which the flesh bodies of our humankind exist is also in this form. This dimension has its own characteristics; it is totally different from the Gods’ paradises or the dimensions I discussed before. Yet the origins of all matter in the cosmos come from these dimensions.

Someone asked me today about burning incense. I said that after the substance on this side has vanished, the object on the other side is set free and released. At the same time, the object on this side can then go over to that side. So the substance on this side is quite precious to that side. This is because through being burned the substance on this side has already been transformed, and it’s different from the substance when it was on this side. I’ve said this before: If you could bring back up a handful of soil after cultivating on the earth, those up above would think that you’re remarkable. That’s the idea. They say that gold is everywhere in the Paradise of Ultimate Bliss. So if you went to the Paradise of Ultimate Bliss and found that there wasn’t a single piece of rock or a single speck of dust over there, then perhaps the little bit you took over there from this material world would be most precious. We humans have a saying that what’s scarce is precious and that what’s rare is remarkable. Of course, in reality that isn’t necessarily the case. I was just making a point. This is because all matter on that side actually originates from here. Of course, it’s not that there’s a need for us humans to specifically do this. The mechanisms in the cosmos are at play.

Let me talk more about this surface world, namely, the planets that we see with our eyes. Yet every planet also has its other dimensions—numerous dimensions formed by particles of different sizes. Yet the surface dimension that is composed of the largest particles is its shell, or its outermost surface. Just now I used the human body to make an analogy. Using the cosmos to make an analogy, the universe that we humans live in is the outer shell of the cosmos.

The cosmos is incredibly immense, and we’re actually also in the middle of the cosmos. Yet I’ve just said that although particles seem to be enveloped by different particles, you are actually still on the outside, because the structure, the matter, and the associations of this dimension where you exist are like the systems of the dimensions on the outside, and are restrained by the dimensions on the outside—this is the situation. In addition, as I mentioned, Buddha Shakyamuni said that one grain of sand contains three thousand worlds. In fact, Buddha Shakyamuni was saying that the microscopic dimensions formed at the surface of sand particles contain many, many different worlds. But let me tell you more explicitly today: The sand’s outer shell—the skin—and the outer shells of the particles at each layer, which make up the grains of sand, are in the same system as our material dimension on this side. Many, many lives within the particles of different sizes composed of molecules have exactly the same shape and form as our humankind. In other words, the people inside grains of sand are exactly the same as us humans—there are black-skinned people, white-skinned people, and yellow-skinned people. And in the future you’ll find it odd that their clothing isn’t too much different from that of our ancient people. What’s more, at a more microscopic level of their world, another kind of overall change takes place, and this kind of change has never been discussed before. That is, different microscopic worlds also have certain cosmic expanses. What I just talked about were the cosmic expanses composed of sand particles.

Those lives existing in the microscopic worlds that we talked about belong to another system—a system of lives in another cosmic body, where they also have their Buddhas, Daos, Gods, humans, animals, substances, mountains, water, sky, earth, air, and all of the matter that exists in their microscopic universes. And there also exist more microscopic and still more microscopic worlds like this. That’s why in the past many of our cultivators saw Buddhas emerging from microscopic worlds—out of the microscopic worlds of a tiny grain of sand, soil, or stone. Those Buddhas can also make themselves large. In the system smaller than that one there are also Buddhas, Daos, Gods, and humans, and those Buddhas can also transform themselves and come forth into our world since they’re Buddhas. How large can they make themselves? At most, they can become as large as the Milky Way galaxy. When they turn small, they simply vanish from sight. Since they are Buddhas of those microscopic worlds, they’re totally different from the Buddhas of our cosmic body. But they have the same appearances, and the requirements for cultivation are also the same. They are equally great. They’re also subject to the Zhen-Shan-Ren Fa that runs through from top to bottom just the same.

This cosmos is just incredibly wondrous. And in much, much, much smaller worlds than these there are more cosmic bodies in which smaller Buddhas, Daos, Gods, humans, and matter exist. But it’s not that beings exist only in one grain of sand; instead, they’re spread throughout all matter, different-sized particles—inside or outside—and the shells of all particles in the cosmos. I just discussed things towards the microscopic levels. When this immense cosmic body reaches a certain point, it goes beyond the expanse of this cosmic body of ours. The scope of this cosmic body can’t be encompassed by the term “universe,” as it’s completely different from that concept. When the cosmos reaches a certain boundary, it all of a sudden hits an emptiness where nothing exists. Going further beyond, one finds the existence of a larger cosmic body, which is totally different from this cosmic body of ours. The cosmic body I’m talking about goes completely beyond the concept of this universe. So the Buddhas, Daos, and Gods in that larger cosmic body are especially huge. They see us just like we see the Buddhas, Daos, Gods, humans, and things in a microscopic world or a microscopic cosmic body. So they belong to yet another system, which is incredibly huge. Not to mention the way they see us humans, they look at this cosmic body of ours the way we look at unearthed relics. They find it peculiar, wondrous, quite good, and interesting. They also think that these beings are limitlessly wondrous. This tiny little cosmic body is also full of life—they also see it this way. But they don’t have the concepts within the expanse of this cosmic body that are held by beings like us—not at all. In their eyes you’re a microorganism and have nothing to do with them. That’s why many of our cultivators often feel the same way when they see scenes in rocks, sand, or even smaller microscopic particles.

When the Third Eye4 (tianmu) of some of our students opens, they see mountains and rivers in their Third Eye, and that they are running outwards—running outwards at a high speed. They run past many, many mountains and rivers, and even many, many cities—they keep running out from within their Third Eye. The scenes you see—I can tell you—don’t come from the outside: They are truly the forms of existence in the world composed of the cells inside your head and the more microscopic particles. I often say that if you can see, you might find many cities in a single hair, and trains and cars might be running inside them. This sounds really inconceivable. This world is just an extremely immense and complex world like this, and is entirely different from the understanding of our modern science. I often say that today’s science has developed on a flawed understanding and a wrong basis since its establishment. So it is confined to that framework alone. As for true science, from what we’ve really learned of the universe, life, and matter, today’s science can’t be considered a science because the wondrousness of the universe could never be discovered by following the path of this science. Humankind believes that only humans are the sole beings in the universe—they’re just extremely pitiful, pitiful to this extent. Aliens have in fact visited our earth and their visits have even been captured in photos, yet people still don’t believe in their existence. It’s because people have been restrained by this science. Those emotionally driven people aren’t doing research, and are not being sensible. They’re only willing to believe things that have already been accepted, they disregard whether something is truly correct, and are only willing to believe things they’ve learned from books. This is the form of dimensions that I’ve discussed. Since the human language is quite limited I’ve found it hard to explain. I wonder, did all of you understand it? (Applause)

The Buddhas, Daos, and Gods that we know, we humans, and all matter that we see exist in dimensions that contain countless universes—innumerable universes—that can’t be counted even with the unit of zhao. This cosmic expanse is that enormous. This is one independent system. Then beyond this expanse there exists a larger cosmic body, which is another independent system. Then beyond that system there exist larger, even larger, and even larger, larger systems—this is how immense the cosmos is. And in the microscopic world it’s extremely, extremely, extremely microscopic. Where we humans live is just about at the central position—whether viewed from a macroscopic perspective or a microscopic perspective, the human world is almost in the middle. Yet different particles form different dimensions. In addition to this, there are also surface worlds composed of special, different particles. You know, when I was in China, some students asked about why when some disciples’ Main Spirits (yuanshen) left their bodies and traveled in the space of this material dimension of ours, they didn’t see Buddhas’ paradises or Gods’ paradises. All of what they saw were real scenes of this material dimension of ours. Why didn’t they see Gods? It’s because they entered this skin-shell kind of dimension, which is a dimension where humans live; it’s in the form of a material dimension like ours—that’s the situation they saw. This is the form of existence of the type of dimension that I talked about.

We also have some students who’ve asked me: “How did human life come about?” Since I’ve mentioned the origin of matter before, I’ll talk about this question as well. Don’t think that I’m talking about science—the Buddha Fa encompasses everything. I’ve spoken before about the origin of matter. What’s the origin? I haven’t told you what the origin of matter is. Though I can’t tell you about the origin of all different cosmic bodies I just talked about that are so immense, I can, however, tell you what the origin is of the matter and beings that exist in different realms within this cosmic body of ours. Actually, the origin of matter is water. The water that’s the origin of the cosmos is not everyday people’s water on Earth. Why do I say that water is the origin of matter? Whenever the most microscopic matter of different levels reaches a certain point there’s no more matter. Once there’s no matter, the particles of matter cease to exist. Looking further, one finds a situation: One finds something without material particles and that is tranquil—I usually call it still water. It’s also called the origin—lifeless water. If you toss something into it there won’t be any ripples. Sound vibrations won’t cause waves, either—it’s completely motionless. Yet the most fundamental composition of matter comes from this type of water.

How does the composition work? There’s the Fa in this cosmos. This Fa is the Zhen-Shan-Ren that we talk about. This nature of the cosmos combines that water into the most initial, the most microscopic, and the most primal unitary particles of matter, which can also be called the most primal particles. Yet each of them is unitary; it’s nothing, just like a water bubble. Then two primal particles are combined to form a bigger primal particle. And then the two groups of two-in-one particles are combined to form an even bigger particle. These combinations continue until particles at different levels form the various substances’ outer shape, beings, matter, air, and light, water, and time that are necessary for existence, and so on and so forth. Particles can have different ways of combining, which today we call arrangement sequences.

Particles’ arrangement sequences are different, which causes the differences in the surface matter of that realm. Continually combining into bigger and bigger particles in this way, from the microcosmos to the macrocosmos, they ultimately combine into what we humans know today as neutrinos, quarks, electrons, protons, atomic nuclei, atoms, and molecules, combining into the surface matter that we know, up to even larger cosmic bodies. At the point when this surface matter is composed, since its arrangement sequences are diverse the differences in surface matter are quite large. But we all know that wood is composed of molecules, iron is composed of molecules, and plastic, too, is composed of molecules. Even the water in our dimension is formed by microscopic water combining into larger particles and these larger particles, in turn, forming into water molecules. So we say that since the surface matter is formed from the more microscopic, I can tell you, the entire cosmos that we’re able to understand is composed of water—and this water is of extremely high density and is totally motionless. This is what it’s composed of.

You might have heard of the ancient myths about some Daoists who could extract water from rocks. I can tell you that even though this sounds like something unexplainable with concepts from our modern human thinking or with modern science—they think that you’re telling a myth or some incredible tale—I’ll tell you that it is indeed true because all matter is composed of water. Water can even be extracted from steel or iron, and these can even be dissolved into water. No matter how hard the matter, its basic particles are composed of water. If one understands the Buddha Fa’s divine power from this perspective, I think it won’t be difficult to understand. It has that much power—it can return it to primal matter. The form that I just talked about is hierarchical—in different major levels there are different kinds of waters like this.

We’ve also found another situation. As I just said, this water of ours comes from that very microscopic water that forms particles of larger layers, eventually forming water molecules and the water in our world. Then, couldn’t the water that is the origin of different levels form layers of particles larger than those in the human material world? And then go on to form water at that level? Actually, as I just said, I can’t tell you what this cosmos ultimately is. But I can tell you that at different levels there exist different origins of matter—in other words, different waters as origins of matter. The higher the level, the higher the density of the water, which can form different particles, different waters, and different beings in different dimensions. As you know, the human body, steel, iron, and everything are beings and things in this dimension of ours. In other words, the beings that we understand and that humans can come into contact with, and the beings that humans can see with their eyes, actually also come from water. It’s just that it is the water of the human world, that is, this human water at the most surface, composed of that motionless, original water. That distance is already very large. And the beings and substances that our human eyes can see are also composed of this water. As you know, if you squeeze and squeeze a piece of vegetable in your hands, nothing but water will be left in the end. The same is true with fruit. Now scientists say that seventy percent of the human body is water. But they don’t know that even bones and hair are composed of water molecules, only they’re made up of particles composed of the more microscopic water. Actually, they’re all water; it’s just that they’re composed of more microscopic particles. Everything in this material dimension of ours is made up of water.

Microscopic matter can form substances of different appearances, due to the particles’ different arrangement sequences. If you can perform magic… Of course, in the past many people performed magic, turning water into ice, or one thing into another. It sounds inconceivable, but it’s really not at all inconceivable. When you’re able to change the molecular arrangement sequences of something, it will become something else. So how do you change the appearance of something? Of course, the appearance is even easier to change, and once the appearance changes it becomes something else. The higher the level of a Buddha, a Dao, or a God, the more of this power he has. As you know, humans are very deficient. How deficient? If humans want to accomplish something or do something, they need to use their hands and feet—they need to use physical labor to get it done. But Buddhas don’t. Buddhas only need to think—the thought alone is enough, because Buddhas have a lot of divine powers, many supernormal abilities, and they also have their own powerful gong. Each microscopic particle of that gong is in the Buddhas’ own image, and those microscopic particles are made up of more microscopic particles, all of which are in their image. Think about it, their gong goes out the moment their thought emerges. Starting from the extremely microscopic level, it changes the structures of particles of different levels. And the time they use is that of the fastest dimension, so it’s done instantly. Buddhas do things very quickly, as they aren’t restrained by this dimension and time of ours. They instantly change an object from its very foundation into something else. This is how Buddha Fa’s divine power takes effect. Why does the object change the moment a Buddha thinks? When a Buddha thinks, both the countless particles and immeasurable wisdom of his gong are simultaneously making changes at every level, the overall [gong] is also making changes for everything he wants to do, and the larger grains of his gong are also changing the surface of the object. From an object’s most basic particles to its surface particles, his gong is simultaneously changing it from the microscopic to the surface. He then makes that thing happen in just an instant—he gets it done instantly. Nothing turns into something, as he’s able to combine molecules and particles in the air into an object you can see—this is turning nothing into something. Why is Buddha Fa’s divine power so mighty? Humankind’s science and technology could never reach this point.

The power of Buddha Fa cannot be achieved by humankind through scientific and technological means, because it’s impossible for humans to elevate morality in stride with advances in science and technology—it’s impossible. In addition, in developing this science and technology, humans always have very strong attachments to accomplishing something, which violates the principles of the Fa of the cosmos. So it’s impossible for their xinxing to reach that high. Moreover, humans have various emotions and desires, and all kinds of attachments: the competitive urge, jealousy, elation, greediness, etc. If science and technology could really become that advanced, star wars would break out in the universe—there could really be cosmic wars. But Buddhas, Daos, and Gods won’t permit it—they absolutely cannot allow humans to bring turmoil to the cosmos, so Gods are restraining humankind. Humankind’s science and technology aren’t allowed to reach a level that high without an improvement in morality—it’s absolutely impossible.

I often say that humankind has gone through different historical periods before arriving at this day. In other words, many, many times humankind was wiped out after experiencing catastrophes at different points in history. And then a new humankind would emerge. We’ve arrived at today after different cycles like this. Why? Cultivation circles have found this situation: Every time humankind was at a dangerous stage or was eliminated by history, it was a time when humankind’s morality was extremely degenerate. Some people talk about how great Greek culture was, but where did those people go? Today something from Greek culture can be found: The elements of Greek culture that have been left are definitely from the final period of Greek civilization’s development, and we’ve found that there was homosexuality in it as well, along with promiscuous sex, and in addition, life was really extravagant and wasteful, corrupt, and terribly degenerate; we can see that humankind had already deteriorated terribly. Why did it disappear? Because its morality was no longer good enough. Humans can’t be called human just because they have a human appearance. Why aren’t ghosts called human? After all, they only have one less layer of particles than you. And why can’t monkeys and gorillas be called humans? Because humans not only have human limbs and a torso, but also human moral standards and moral values. If humans lose their moral values, moral standards, and code of conduct, they’re no longer human. So today’s human society… to be frank, I can tell you that Gods no longer consider humans human. Think about it: Aren’t humans in a dangerous state? Your government permits something, your country permits it, your nation permits it, and even you approve it in your thinking, but it isn’t necessarily good. That’s why if you look at today’s society you can see that drug use, drug trafficking, drug making, sex changes, homosexuality, sexual freedom, organized crime, etc., emerge in an endless stream. Selfishness and desires have made people enemies of one another and without any righteous thoughts. All kinds of phenomena of a degenerate human society abound. So-called modern art, so-called rock and roll, the demon-nature that bursts forth on the soccer field, and things like these are in all trades and professions. These things pervade every aspect of society. The deterioration of the human mind has inverted people’s values: They regard good as bad, and bad as good—people’s values have been inverted. Forcefully getting money, renown, and self-interest, advocating the philosophy of struggle [among people], glorifying leaders of organized crime... Would you say these are still humans?

I see the way today’s high school students wear their pants, with belts tied on their buttocks, a bunch of stuff dangling like intestines down below on their legs and feet, and with part of their belts hanging out. Their heads are shaved bald on both sides, leaving the top like the edge of a roof. Still others leave only one strip of hair in the middle like monsters, and they think it looks good. But does it really look good? If you evaluate it carefully, you’ll find that they don’t have any concept of what’s aesthetic. Women dress in black, wear demon-like hairstyles, and are stone-faced just like ghosts in the underworld. This is because people’s values have become inverted. With demons stirring up disorder, humankind has taken dark and gloomy things as beautiful.

As I said the other day, the uglier are the monster-like, demon-like, and ghost-like toys, the faster they sell, and nobody buys pretty dolls. People’s values have completely changed. Think about it, everyone: Isn’t this scary? The development of humankind is truly cyclical. There’s only one way to prevent this sort of thing from happening: Maintain human morals. As you’ve seen, these days social problems arise one after another and no government is able to solve them. Ethnic problems, problems between countries, conflicts among nationalities, conflicts within nationalities, numerous causes of crimes in society... all governments find them a headache and nobody can solve them. Why can’t they solve them? Because all their methods seek only to resolve the phenomena from within the phenomena. But when one phenomenon is restrained, a worse phenomenon occurs. Then when you restrain that one, an even worse phenomenon arises. The laws humankind has made are in fact mechanically restricting people and sealing them off, including the lawmakers themselves. Humans are continuously sealing themselves off. They seal off and seal off to the point that they’re left with no way out in the end. When too many laws are made, humans are controlled like animals and have no way out; then no one can come up with any solution.

But I can tell you that the root cause of all humankind’s ills is in fact the degeneration of human morality. Without starting there, none of humankind’s problems can be solved. Starting from that, all of humankind’s problems can be solved. Isn’t that true? Think about it, everyone: If each individual deep down inside requires himself to be a good person, is able to exercise self-restraint, and considers others in everything he does, not harming others and instead thinking about whether others can handle it, imagine what society would be like. Would laws be needed? Would police be needed? Everyone would be restraining and disciplining himself. But political propaganda and ruling by force can’t make morality return either—they only achieve the opposite. The world has developed to this day, where everyone regards the legal system as good. Actually, it’s the last resort when there’s no way out. Humankind has developed for several thousand years. There were never this many laws in the past, there was only the simple “King’s Law,” and virtue (de) was the criterion for judging good and bad. Yet the morality of ancient people was much higher than that of today. People today think that ancient people weren’t good. Actually, that’s because you’re viewing ancient people with modern people’s degenerate notions. The people in the past were no less intelligent than people today. The part of the human brain that can be used has never expanded; it’s just that people today consider themselves so great and consider themselves so smart.

Society’s development has also been arranged by Gods. They allow you to have modern machinery, modern equipment, and modern conveniences when you develop to this stage. Didn’t ancient people think of making these? It’s just that Gods didn’t arrange it to happen at that stage. Modern people are no more intelligent than ancient people. Yet oftentimes the more developed material things are, the more people get caught up in this material reality. They think these are remarkable accomplishments, that the ancient people couldn’t make them, and that we modern people are almost as well off as immortals—you took a flight from Europe yesterday, and here you are in the States—just like immortals. Let me tell you that all these existed long ago in this vast cosmos—they have long existed in other worlds. People became bad and dropped here where humankind is—to this earth. All human minds have consciousness from before birth—it’s just that they aren’t aware of them themselves. That “through scientific and technological means,” that “how advanced our science and technology are,” those “planes and cars that have been developed,” those “modern things”… Actually, let me tell you that all of this is only because those things of the past have been stored in your consciousness, and that in this garbage heap you’ve made things out of the garbage—out of the coarse material at the outermost surface. And humans think these are pretty good. Of course, humankind has dropped down this way. Since they have become bad, they’ve dropped to this stage and have to endure hardship. Then humankind’s development can’t proceed in whatever way humans wish, and humans aren’t allowed to do whatever they want or whatever makes them feel comfortable—that’s absolutely unacceptable. That’s why humans are in a dangerous situation. While you have this person talking about catastrophes and that person talking about catastrophes, I never talk about those things, and it’s no use. I don’t discuss whether they exist. Even if they do, they will have nothing to do with our practitioners or good people. But we’ve indeed seen that as humans have come to the present stage, when they aren’t able to solve their problems and run into trouble—which causes humankind to have no way out—it’s indeed caused by humankind’s moral degeneration. Since we were talking about the formation of beings and about dimensions, we’ve in turn discussed humankind. Matter can form humans because when particles combine into different substances, they combine into humans’ different substances at the surface. When molecules’ arrangement sequence is that of the particles of bones, the surface substance is bone. When their arrangement sequence is that of the molecules of flesh, they are flesh. They are whatever arrangement sequence they assume. And this constitutes your being—it’s simple when it’s spelled out.

Just now I talked about another issue. Many, many people say that Gods created humans. Some have talked about how humans are made of clay. We won’t talk specifically about how humans are created—in fact, there are all kinds of ways. One single thought of a greater God can create you. Everything is alive. After creating your external appearance, your internal organs are created. Humans think that the human body is extremely complex, but for Gods with great wisdom and great enlightenment, it’s a trivial matter. With the emergence of just one thought a Buddha can create your internal organs with matter at an extremely microscopic level, he can make them instantly. Whenever something is formed a life is infused into it. Of course, humans also have Assistant Spirits (fu yuanshen); many, many lives come together to form a human being. This is what happens.

In the past, people in scientific circles always liked to pain themselves splitting hairs over whether the chicken or the egg came first. I’d say neither the chicken nor the egg. It’s simply that microscopic matter makes up macroscopic matter, small particles make up larger ones, and things that can’t even be called matter make up matter. Although volume-wise the particles composing the larger beings’ bodies are different from those of ours, and therefore the sizes of the outer shapes are different, the arrangement sequences of the particles at the surface of the matter that constitutes the existence of beings—regardless of how large or small they are—are the same. For example, if every particle of the body of the humans of a larger layer is composed of the layer of particles that are planets, its flesh has the same arrangement as the molecular arrangement of our human body. In other words, the planets’ arrangement sequence is the same as our molecular arrangement sequence that makes up flesh. So humans of a smaller—or even smaller—layer are formed the same way. That’s all I’ll say about this.

As of today, the structure of this cosmos has been broadly explained. Of course, the details can’t be told. Some people have asked me, “Teacher,5 we want to know how Buddhas live.” I’ve replied, “Then cultivate yourself into a Buddha.” It’s because humans aren’t allowed to know how Buddhas live. Humans absolutely do not have the concept. If I were to tell you, you’d treat them with human elation and human thoughts and logic, which would be the same as insulting them and disrespecting them. So we can’t tell you specifically. I can only tell you in broad terms with the limited human language. In fact, it couldn’t have been more appropriate for us to choose Chinese as the language for teaching this today, because Chinese is the most expressive and has the most inner meanings of any language in the world. Nothing could be expressed if English or another language were used. I’ve used some local dialect in order to explain it. Since the standardized modern Chinese is also unable to explain things clearly, you might have noticed in my words local expressions, which can describe things exactly, and that my choice of words is unconventional; the new style of bagu6 writing doesn’t contain deeper inner meanings. If it weren’t done this way there would’ve been no way to express things.

I’ll talk about another issue that everyone is very concerned about. Some people have said, “Teacher, I’ve been practicing but I can’t see anything.” Let’s discuss this question of why people are or aren’t able to see. Actually, I already explained this when I spoke about the Third Eye. The requirements for people are high, and the principles are continually elevating. If I explain it further it will surpass that understanding. But I’ll try to connect it with what I said the last time. I’ll explain this to you further.

Most of you in the audience have really good inborn quality. Actually, from the time you took up cultivation practice to today, even if it’s only been a short time, you should have been able to see some things. Because in the book Zhuan Falun we emphasize the strict requirement of removing human attachments, many people don’t dare to see. Many people have seen something dimly but they don’t dare to believe it. Several reasons cause you to be unable to see. The first one is that some people think: “If I see something, it has to be as clear as what I see in this material world. Only then does it count.” This is a really strong obstacle. They always understand this issue with human thoughts and notions. That’s not how it is. When you can really see that clearly you will have attained Enlightenment—you’ll be one hundred percent enlightened. And at that time you’ll see Gods more clearly than you see humans. You’ll be able to see more clearly because in those worlds the sense of stereoscopy is stronger than in ours, the air is clearer than ours, and matter is more real than ours. [Some of us cannot see] precisely because we have this notion that only when you see clearly have you truly seen—but that’s not the way it is. During the course of your cultivation, when you see things, you aren’t allowed to see them that clearly, so you can only see dimly. There’s also a small number of people who can see fairly clearly, but what they see is only a portion—their field of vision is narrow. They can only see a portion clearly. If a person’s field of vision is wide, the things he sees are sure to be relatively blurry—he can’t see that clearly—or he’s only able to see very low and a few dimensions. That’s why we shouldn’t impede ourselves with humans’ so-called realistic, material values. This is one reason. But there are exceptions. The people who are able to see clearly since birth are few, so I won’t talk about this.

Another reason is that with many of you it’s not that you can’t see—you can see—but that you always think it’s an illusion and always think it’s imagined. This is the case sometimes at the beginning stage. Since I mentioned it specifically in Zhuan Falun and told you that you shouldn’t use mind-intent—since what you see will change with your thoughts, with your thinking—some of us can’t balance this relationship well. Along with the factors created by your attachments and elation, there’s another obstacle. What obstacle? Namely, what your mind thinks and the image of the object you see are reflected into the same area of your brain—the effect is produced in the same part of the brain. The images of the things people see aren’t registered in their eyes, but are transmitted through the optic nerve and then seen in the pineal gland area of the brain. However, when an image appears in your mind when you’re thinking about things, the effect is also produced in that area. So this creates a false impression: When you truly see something—since it’s blurry in the first place—you think it’s your imagination. Actually, it isn’t your imagination—you’ve truly seen it.

In the past, many minor cultivation ways specifically asked their disciples to visualize when training them. If you couldn’t see, you would try to visualize; eventually, you’d visualize more and it would become more real, you’d visualize even more and it would become even more real—they trained them this way. It’s difficult to achieve Righteous Attainment by following a minor cultivation way, precisely because they have omissions—this [visualizing] is itself an attachment. You’re asked to see something, but you can’t see; you visualize, try hard to see it carefully, and visualize more with your eyes closed; the more you think, the more real it becomes; and gradually it appears that your visualization makes it real. This is how they trained in the minor cultivation ways. Since those were minor cultivation ways, they didn’t sense that it’s an attachment. After all, they didn’t talk about Consummation.

We take these matters very seriously. Any attachment will affect your reaching Consummation. I’m telling you to be clear about this matter. You probably have taken what you’ve seen as imagined, but you can’t practice like that. For example, if someone saw the Falun7 dimly but thought it was his imagination, if you saw it moving or turning, I can tell you that you saw it. You can give it a try by following what I said, and see what happens. I’m only talking about those disciples who can already see but who’ve thought it was imagined. For those of you who don’t experience this, don’t insist on visualizing—that would be an attachment. I told you this just now to remove your mental barriers. Make sure you don’t become attached—be sure not to get attached to it.

Footnotes: (from the translators)

1 Tang Monk—monk Xuan Zhuang from the Tang Dynasty (618 ad–907 ad).

2 Zhen-Shan-Ren (jhun-shahn-ren)—Zhen (truth, truthfulness); Shan (benevolence, kindness, goodness, compassion); Ren (forbearance, tolerance, endurance, self-control).

3 Zhuan Falun (jwahn fah-luhn)—“Turning the Law Wheel”; the main text of Falun Dafa.

4 Third Eye—sometimes translated as “Celestial Eye,” this term is used flexibly and can refer to the Third Eye system or a particular component of that system.

5 Teacher—(or “Master”) a respectful title of address used in China. When capitalized, it refers to Teacher Li.

6 bagu (bah-goo)—a particular, restricted style of writing.

7 Falun (fah-luhn)—“Law Wheel”

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