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Do Not in Any Way Try to Change Others
The most complicate and most troublesome relation in the world is that between husband and wife, the most saddening and most disappointing relation is that between husband and wife, and the most yearned and most despairing relation in the world is also that between husband and wife. To maintain this relationship, one should be neither too soft nor too tough, neither too close nor too estranged, neither too powerful nor too weak, and neither too indifferent nor too intimate. This relation may look as illusive as thin strands of silk, as hot as fire, and as cold as ice. It is almost impossible to straighten out what is entwined in the relation, and very difficult to explain it in a clear and logical manner.
The relation between husband and wife begins with a comedy but ends in tragedy. Don't be fooled by the report of many couples that have developed love in childhood and sustained it all through their lives. This is only an appearance put up under the control and check of various factors. The marriage and the relation between husband and wife is in essence a tragedy.
The source of the tragedy is not the lack of money or poverty, is not wealth and rank, is not parents or children, and is not the involvement of a third party or the differences in characters and interests. The source of the problem lies in the fact that both husband and wife intends to change the other party according to their own values and wills.
The wife always want to change the husband according to her own values and wills, while the husband always want to impose his own values on the wife. What is the result? Neither the husband not the wife can change each other, and the so-called change is only temporary compromise and suppression in consideration of various factors.
The desire to change others is the beginning of tragedy.
Let's ask people who have been husbands and wives or are now husbands and wives if they have changes the other party. The more you want to change the other party, the worse the relations between husband and wife will be. Don't you think so?
Why is the desire to change others the beginning of tragedy?
"It is more difficult to change man's natural disposition than to change rivers and mountains". It is a painful thing to change one's natural disposition, not only for the person that asks others to change but also for the person asked to make the change. It is extremely arduous, painful and also perverse to nature to change rats into cats, cats into dogs, dogs into men, and man into another self.
In addition, because of each individual's predestined relations and evolutions in previous life and transmigration, people each have their own peculiar track of life and LIFE, which is a plot of screenplay that has already been written and their own life. That we want to change others is actually paramount to changing the track of other people's life and LIFE and going against Tao. The result is just imaginable. All the effort can only prove to be futile and will lead to tragedy.
If husband and wife who are mutually related in interests and deeply in love with each other cannot change each other, then it would be more difficult for people in other interpersonal relations to change reach other. The parents' attempt to change their children and vice versa, the friends', neighbour ' and relatives' attempt to change each other--all these will end in tragedy.
Jesus Christ, Buddha Sakyamuni, and celestial Lao Tze have left us with many teachings, but they had never attempted to change any body, they were simply reasoning with us and offering guidance to us. Only devils and their offspring desire to force their will upon others.
Men should never attempt to do anything to change others or do anything that may be a strain on energy and does not produce good results. Man should not do anything impossible, should not cause tragedy to himself or other people, especially between husband and wife, between parents and children, and between friends and lovers, between masters and disciples, and between teachers and students. The best approach is: I respect your will, your choice, your hobbies and interests, and your character. If we are compatible with each other, we can get along with each other happily and joyfully, if not we just go our different ways. If we vary too greatly in views, we can break up in good manners and follow our respective ways.
Do not attempt to change any other creatures and LIVES (including man, of course) except yourself.
The more intimate the relations between men are, the more important it is for them to respect each other's will and character. Be sure not to try to change the other party with your own values and outlook on life. Do not attempt to impose your own will into the other party, otherwise, you may become estranged and part company, each going your different ways,no matter how close you have been to reach other.
How can we prove that we ourselves are right? There is no way to prove. "What seems to be a misfortune may be a blessing in disguise". Even if someone has suffered a misfortune, how we can know the meaning and value implied in such “misfortune", how can we know that such "misfortune" may actually turn out to be a blessing?
The conclusion: Do not try to change or transform the other, and just change yourself if you cannot endure. In this way, you will not create tragedy, and in this way, you may enjoy more intimate relations, in this way, you will have broader space to utilize your talents, in this way, you will have the mien of a celestial being.