[主页]->[独立中文笔会]->[曾铮文集]->[髒與淨的相對論The Relativity of Cleanness and Dirtiness & How Do I Bec]
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髒與淨的相對論The Relativity of Cleanness and Dirtiness & How Do I Bec

   The other day I shared a story about my 12 year old daughter stopped me from smashing cockroaches by saying that “they’ve been our neighbors no matter what”.
   A friend left a comment and said that she could hardly regard cockroaches as “neighbors”, as she felt they were dirty.

   Well, in the real world, it is perfectly reasonable to think that cockroaches are dirty and to even try to get rid of them one way or the other.
   However, as someone whose thoughts often drift out of this world, I do have some “alternative” insights and even real-world experiences to share.
   First of all, if we put a cockroach in front of a newborn baby, will the baby feel anything about this cockroach? Probably not. He or she might just curiously stare at it without any fixed notions.
   However, when we grow older and start to “learn” things, we begin to form various notions. As time goes by, when we gain more and more “knowledge”, or become more and more experienced in this world, we accumulate so many notions that gradually our true nature and wisdom are buried by those postnatally acquired notions. When our notions become too strong, we might be totally controlled by; and live for our notions instead of ourselves.
   But most of the time, we may not know this.
   So, when we think cockroaches are dirty, we certain would feel it is difficult to regard them as our “neighbors”. However, if we can change our notion and regard them as our “neighbors” first, we may no long feel that they are dirty. That’s why I said that my daughter’s one sentence had changed my perspectives forever.
   Secondly, “dirtiness” and “cleanness” are actually relative concepts. Many different ethnicities share a same legend: God(It was a Goddess, Nüwa, for Chinese people) created man from clay. So in the eyes of God, man lives in a world of “clay”. We can also understand it as the space between the stars and the molecules. For lives at higher realms, for example, for those who live at more microscopic, and therefore “cleaner” worlds, everything and everywhere in this human world is dirty. If this really is the case, what is the point for us to compare who is a little bit “cleaner”?
   Thirdly, sometimes we are afraid of or dislike dirty things because we think that they will cause illnesses. If we are not afraid of getting ill, we may stop fearing the dirtiness.
   And here is my true story.
   I began to practice Falun Gong in 1997 in Beijing; and recovered from all my diseases very soon. More importantly, I gained a very deep understanding of the root cause of people’s illnesses and bad fortunes; as well as how to get rid of them. And a “side effect” of this was, that I no longer feared dirtiness.
   For example, Beijing’s tap water was not drinkable, and bottled water or water dispensers were still no where to be seen in 1997. So people usually stored boiled water with thermoses.
   For me, boiled water was too hot to drink in summer; and it took too long to have it cool down naturally. So it was always a problem for me to get cool and drinkable water in summer.
   After I took up Falun Gong, I started to think: Since no illness can touch me now, why should I bother whether there are bacteria in the tap water? They cannot do me any harm any way.
   Therefore, from 1997, I started drinking tap water in summer; and felt quite good. I never encountered any problems because of this.
   In 2001, I ended up being incarcerated in Beijing Female Forced Labor Camp due the Chinese Communist Party’s overwhelming persecution of Falun Gong. Apart from all the other brutal torture, eating itself was also a problem: The food was too hot, too salty, and the meal time was too short. Therefore, for a very long period of time, eating was itself a torture.
   One day when I was forced to remove the trash as a punishment for not giving up Falun Gong, I spotted a small used mineral water bottle buried in the stinky srubbish. I quickly picked it up and put it inside my pocket.
   In the labor camp, everything was strictly regulated, including when and how many times one was allowed to use the restroom. When it was the restroom time, all the inmates from the same cell went together, with everybody watching everybody else’s whole process of “doing the business”, as there was no closed space inside the restroom so that nobody had the chance to commit suicide.
   So, after we finished using the restroom (together with everybody else), I always filled my small bottle with tap water; and put it back into my pocket.
   When the meal time came; and food was provided, I quickly poured all the water into my bowl, stirred and mixed everything with my spoon, and then ate with all my might. In this way the food was immediately cooled down; and much less salty.
   One day a police officer saw what I was doing; and exclaimed in alarm, “My Goodness! How dare you! Won’t you suffer from diarrheas by eating like this?”
   I smiled back at her and calmly said, “No, I won’t.”

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