What One Sees in Others Is a Reflection of Oneself
(Minghui.org) An old Western proverb says, “Man thinks and God laughs.” Milan Kundera, a Czech writer, also cited this proverb in his book The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Ordinary people think the proverb means that human beings often believe they are in control of their own destiny, but ultimately it is God who plans their fate.
As a cultivator, I have a different interpretation of the proverb. Why does it say, “Man thinks and God laughs?” When a man thinks, it corresponds to a very low realm, the human realm, and is motivated by attachments that come from selfishness. Since his starting point and direction are both wrong, how could a human’s thinking not to be laughable to a divine being?
If we apply the same rule in societal relations, especially when people think of a matter based on assumptions rather than facts, it will create a lot of conflicts and misunderstandings.
If a cultivator going through a tribulation doesn’t look inside and stubbornly refuses to consider different opinions, demon nature will be strengthened; it may lead the person to think in extreme ways and hurt people.
To cultivators, conflicts and misunderstandings happen from time to time because cultivators still carry human notions. But if a conflict or misunderstanding persists, a cultivator should be alarmed.
When a cultivator judges people, he or she forms the image of the person based on his or her own standards and worldly notions. Just like a Chinese proverb said, “What one person sees in others is actually a reflection of oneself.”
As a cultivator, my understanding of this proverb is that when we are in a conflict or see a conflict between other people, it is likely a reflection of our own problem. So we should first look at ourselves.
There are always two possibilities, though. One is that Master wants us to see the conflict so we can remind the people involved to act as cultivators. If this is the case, we must use a very kind and compassionate tone to talk about the matter. When the other party can feel our compassion they usually will accept the reminder. However, there is always a possibility that the other party doesn’t want to accept our suggestion. Then it is his or her choice. We shouldn’t force our opinions on others.
The second possibility is that Master wants us to look at ourselves in a mirror and eliminate the attachment that resides within us. I believe this happens the majority of the time when we see or are in a conflict.
If we understand that the problem we see in others is actually a reflection of our own problems, it becomes obvious that we must eliminate the related attachment.
We should respect each others’ understandings while sharing. Understandings on the same matter can vary because cultivators have cultivated to different realms. We shouldn’t corner ourselves where we believe that only one opinion can be correct and all others are wrong.
Nevertheless, those cultivators who only see problems in other people and are eager to so-called teach others how to cultivate, you should be alarmed.