Readers find reassurance that goodness is the key to a blessed life and future in “How Humankind Came To Be,” an article by Falun Gong founder Mr. Li Hongzhi.
Janice Abernethy, a retired schoolteacher and author of children’s books, believes that one should do what’s right, regardless of one’s spiritual beliefs.
“I like the fact that [Falun Gong believes in] doing the right thing, being good and kind, and helping people,” the 62-year-old, based in Pennsylvania, told The Epoch Times.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline involving meditative exercises and moral teachings based on three principles: truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Mr. Li introduced Falun Gong to the public in China back in 1992.
Though raised Catholic, Abernethy believes that one can practice spirituality in everyday life without attending church or having intermediaries. While reading Mr. Li’s article, she found many ideas that lined up with the Bible and her own personal views.
“Caring about other people is everything … it doesn’t seem like there are a lot of religions that just say that,” said Abernethy.
“But this one, the way [Mr. Li] was speaking, the way he laid it out, it was like, ‘wow, that’s my religion,’” she concluded.
Mr. Li’s idea that good deeds are rewarded also resonated with Abernethy, which makes sense as a “really fair way for life to be.”
Life Beyond Death
Upon reading Mr. Li’s article, Margaret Spiller, a retired letter carrier for the USPS, felt confirmation that she has been leading a good life.
“I always believed that you should be a good person. And don’t go around harming your fellow human beings in any way. But [this article] made me think … maybe I should be an even better person,” Spiller, based in Virginia, told The Epoch Times.
Brought up Catholic, the 70-year-old said that the idea of reincarnation discussed by Mr. Li in his article helped her feel better about death, especially since her husband recently passed away.
Spiller says she tries to be as good a person as she can, without expecting to be compensated for it, which gives her peace of mind about her future life. “I suppose our spirits will go to the next realm. [It’s] supposed to be beautiful, right? I’m curious,” she said.
In Mr. Li’s article, he postulates the idea that pain and trouble exist for people to cultivate their moral character. Spiller agrees.
“Adversity builds character,” she said. “Everybody goes through pain, unhappiness, sadness, through so many terrible things. But you have to look at it as though it’s going to make a better person out of you after the experience,” she added.
She also believes difficulties can be tests God puts us through to see how we react.
“When things go bad in your life, if you just stop and think for a minute, it could be that you’re being tested by God,” she explained.
Spiller further expressed unease about evil in this world. “There are so many people that are in control of this world, and they are evil … They’re allowing the wrong things to happen and people who are in control are doing terrible things,” she said.
“I read about how the Chinese Communist Party puts people who practice Falun Gong … in jail and then they use them for organ transplants. [They] cut them open while they’re still alive,” she said.
“When I heard about that, I was sick to my stomach. How do you do things like that? How can anybody be so heartless, so cold?” she asked herself.
Falun Gong gained popularity in China during the 1990s, with estimates putting the number of adherents at 70 million to 100 million. The communist regime, fearing the number of practitioners posed a threat to its authoritarian control, initiated a sweeping campaign aimed at eradicating the practice starting on July 20, 1999, a program that continues today.
Detained adherents also have been victims of forced organ harvesting, which has resulted in an untold number of practitioners being killed for their organs to supply the organ transplant market in China.
“I just think that if [Mr. Li’s] article was read to a lot of people and spread all through the earth, if a lot of people would just pay attention for a few minutes and listen to this article … maybe some people would catch on and stop the madness,” she concluded.
Gary Bai contributed to this article.