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Collective Life is the Best Way to Cultivate Tao
The extent of a person's self-refinery and self-improvement can be best examined by the collective life.
What most ascetics in the world cultivate is only pet phrase, and method of argument, just like an armchair strategist who divorces from reality and acts blindly.
One cannot prove sufficiently that he or she has really promoted his or her spiritual nature or that he or she has a more perfect structure of LIFE simply by judging how long one has engaged in self-cultivation, how many books on self-improvement one has read, how many books on self-refinery and self-improvement one has written, how beautiful the article is, how convincingly one has been talking, how long one has stayed in churches or temples, and how many activities one has taken part in or how many beautiful words one has said on network forums for self-cultivation.
Many people have deep theoretical knowledge and can talk eloquently, but when it comes to practical problems they often handle them in an approach that runs counter to what they have preached. They talk eloquently to others only to fish for fame and compliments and will not let themselves be guided by what they have talked.
To know what level of cultivation and refinery one has attained, he or she must undergo the process of verification in real life. And participating in collective life offers the simplest, most direct, and most effective way of verification.
Suppose 100 people are living together a communist life, the soul of each person will be reflected incisively and vividly. The moral character of a person can be seen clearly in the collective life.
Generally speaking, in a small family people will maintain a clean and tidy family environment, but once living in a collective these same people who maintain a clean and tidy family environment will change. The dirty public toilet is just one example. At home people are most frugal in the use of water, electricity, toilet paper, and the like, however, once in a collective they will not be so frugal, on the contrary they may be very lavish.
The core of self-refinery and self-cultivation is nature, love and Tao. Now people know that love is one core component of self-refinery and self-cultivation. It is extremely easy to talk about love in network, in speeches, and in articles, but can love be shown when a practical problem arises..In such a situation will one love others in the same manner that he loves himself?
It is one matter for one person to live all by oneself, but quite a different one for two people to live together. Living in a small family is different from living in a big family. A person with a beautiful heart and soul can live naturally and peacefully either by oneself or in a collective, while a person with a flawed heart and soul may live normally all by oneself, but will have trouble when living with another person, and is totally incompatible with a collective life, where he or she may become the source of disputes.
The lack of collective life in this world has made it difficult for people to quickly optimize their souls. Without the tempering and test of collective life, it will be difficult for a person to perfect his or her soul. Without the examination of collective life, no one can be clear whether his or her soul is relatively perfect.
Collective life is the best venue for the cultivation of Tao. Without collective life, all one's cultivation and self-refinery may prove only to be futile pet phrases, no matter how long he or she has been engaged in self-cultivation (including the practice of various skills), no matter how proficient he or she is in theory, or no matter how many profound mysteries he or she has grasped, because he or she does not know where the cultivation is leading.
The selfish person has absolutely no luck to enter the paradise.
Whether one is selfish or not will become clear once the person enters the collective life. Collective life may easily reveal what level one has reached in self-refinery and self-improvement.
In addition, "a solitary figure may vary in moral character". To retain Tao, one must temper oneself in collective life.
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