“Around the time the Heavenly Amnesty List was announced, I sensed that someone was reminding me: “You need to cast off errors.” Sometimes I would repent, thinking over things I had done. Even in my dreams I felt someone was scolding me, and upon awakening I felt much relieved. I clearly saw mistakes I had committed due to flaws in my personality.” These are the words of Striver Min-jun.
When the Heavenly Amnesty List was drawn up, Striver Jing-gui felt that “karmic forces were dissolved. I was more at ease.” But since the list came out, some strivers have met with traumatic events that require adjustment and change.
Because of a fraud lawsuit that went to court after the list came out, several court appearances put her through a mental ordeal she had to cope with. Of this learning experience she said, “I wouldn’t say that karmic forces were dissolved by my heightened rezhun(1). I had set my sights on a higher standard than my rezhun of striving was ready for, so I went through a struggle before I could truly absorb non-physical empowerment.”
As the cycle of destiny moves into Nascence, the crux of epochal rescue falls on the power of striving to purify human hearts. As for the mission to save self and others in this era, it rests even more with each rescue-bringing messenger belonging to our engaged(2) Tiandi Jiao.
In order to undertake this mission of rescue, some strivers who appeared on the List have been going through trials: some of them got sick; some had accidents, some were faced with difficult predicaments. But all of these cathartic conditions are acts of generosity from the non-physical realm. This lets strivers reflect on their temperament and habits, so they may recover their purity of spirit and heighten their rezhun. They complement this with cultivation: quiet sitting to nurture the mind, repentance to cleanse mind, prayer chants to temper the mind, scripture reading to replenish the mind. They need to meet Heaven’s amnesty halfway, so they can shoulder a greater mission in the future.
Strivers have been struck by feelings like this: “Recently, without being able to stop, I get into emotional antagonisms with other people. For the past half-month I’ve had a hard time sleeping at night because of the emotions bubbling up. One night while lying in bed I seemed to hear someone scolding me. ‘Things have gotten to this point: isn’t it time to repent in earnest?’ This one sentence went straight to my heart. I took a hard look at myself, and that was what it took to see my selfishness. People had hurt me and defied me in the past, so I was using righteous-sounding reasons to hurt and ostracize other people. It dawned on me that what other people said was true: I was unresponsive and only cared about myself. Other people invested feelings in me repeatedly, and I kept hurting them with my refusals. What I did made other people give up on me, but I started resenting them for being heartless. My fate was stuck in a repeating loop of antagonism that was hurtful to myself and others. I wondered whether I had ever fully put my feelings into relationships and work. This realization saddened me to the point of weeping. All these years I had let down the people around me. I genuinely wish to admit it and make amends.”
Level of Cultivation Is Revealed in a Moment
The crux lies in spiritual uplift and breakthrough, which will change our view about appearing on this Heavenly List.
Some strivers put it this way: “I may not be on the Heavenly Amnesty List, but I know I have been striving. I sense the concern of non-physical teachers for me more than ever. Besides, in my social relations people have a different opinion of me. I think this is Heavenly Amnesty for me too!”
Other strivers have this to say: “Looking at it in another way, this Heavenly Amnesty List is just a descriptive term. The striving we do in Tiandi Jiao, the striving for Heavenly Amnesty Year, has always been to change and renew ourselves here and now while doing prayer chants, or meditation, or repentance. If we don’t approach it in that spirit, having our names on the list would not mean much.”
Some also realize that “having your name on the Amnesty List is one last spiritual trial of the Heavenly Amnesty Year. If my name is not on the list, will I lose conviction and stop striving at the Hall? Will I compare my place on the list with others? Cultivating the Dao is cultivating the heart-mind, that is, it is the source from which thoughts emerge. These thoughts are a warning to me that my power of striving needs to be stronger. I have not done a good job cultivating my heart, if it is still pushed around by outside circumstance.”
If you do not appear on the Roll, it is easy to take it as a setback and think: “What did I do wrong? Didn’t I strive enough? Is the Heavenly Amnesty List fair? Why didn’t the local Hall recommend my name? Why did people get on the list who didn’t come to the Hall? I strived more than so-and-so; why is his name ranked higher than mine?” But think of it this way: You are responsible for your own cultivation. You know your awareness and what you have gained. Ask yourself whether you have carried out amnesty toward yourself and others in your daily actions. If you have done this, then what does it matter if your name is not on the Roll. Couldn’t it be that the immortals are concerned for us, giving us a setback so we can assess the firmness of our faith? Cultivating the Dao is an aspiration of many lifetimes. Momentary frustration or recognition are insignificant.
The Heavenly Amnesty List is like an exclamation mark added at the end of Heavenly Amnesty Year. Issuing this List will usher in a new surge of striving and witnessing, so that together we can take Heavenly Amnesty to a new stage. In each person’s spiritual growth, awareness of the Lord’s loving compassion and generosity is what matters. The great door of Heavenly Amnesty is open to all strivers in Tiandi Jiao. All it takes is a new turn of thought to get Heavenly Amnesty.
(1) Rezhun refers to our balance of critical energy in self cultivation.
(2) Here the Chinese term yingyuan literally means “responding to the epoch.”