83. What is the “ferry to God’s kingdom”? Can it be seen? (& Q84 to Q88)

The phrase “ferry to God’s kingdom” is a parable. Actually, it refers to Tien-Tao, which cannot be seen.

Why would it take on the name
“ferry to God’s kingdom”?

It is because humans are in the sea of sufferings. When humans are alive, they are lost. After they die, they are tried in the Underworld.

Then they take one of the six paths in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. As this perpetuates, they sow a variety of causes and receive a variety of effects, like riding endless tides and waves in the ocean.

They cannot find a way to escape and suffer through the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth in great pain.

Isn’t this the sea of sufferings?

However, if a person becomes a practitioner of Tao, he treats the physical world as an imaginary flower, fame and wealth as dreams, and his wife and children as emotional burdens.

He understands that all matters and phenomena cannot endure, and upon their destruction, their existence becomes nil; the true existence is in the Void, for the Void is eternal. Thus, he has no struggle nor obstacle in his way.

Isn’t this the same as if he has boarded the ferry to God’s kingdom?

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84. There are many religions nowadays, but are they all “ferry to God’s kingdom”?

There are indeed many religious nowadays, but not every one of these religions can be said as the “ferry to God’s kingdom”. Even though they are not regarded as the “ferry to God’s kingdom”, they all teach people to be good.

So some practice zen and meditation, some recite sutras and Dharmas, some exercise with instruments, and yet some practice magic crafts and occult arts. They come in many forms, varieties, and terminologies. All in all,

there are only two ways,
the good and the evil.

There is a saying,

“Crank the Windlass three times,
one can enter any door. 37
He who finds the right door
becomes a Buddha.
He who cannot find the right door
ends up with worries.”

It all depends on each individual’s wisdom and fate. The Confucian quote,

“Learn extensively,
question meticulously,
think thoroughly,
discern clearly,
and practice tenaciously.”

is an advice to those who are seeking the “ferry to God’s kingdom.”

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85. What is a wise man?

The word wisdom means understanding the Truth. Only the wise know to practice Tao, to learn the teaching of the Saints, to seek the Enlightened Teacher with Tien-Ming, 1

  • to perform good deeds,
  • to repent his sins,
  • to practice Tao by retreating from the society in solitude or living in the society, and
  • to understand the law of karma and the existence of the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

He knows by nature all of these as he knows there is a sun in the sky and to use a lamp in the dark.

A wise person will repent and practice Tao as soon as he learns about karma. He will;

  • correct all his bad habits,
  • perform good deeds,
  • speak only of the Truth,
  • practice only Tao,
  • take only what he justly deserves,
  • think of only righteous thoughts,
  • be honest, and
  • have an everlasting reputation by establishing his virtues.
In brief,

the wise devote to spreading benevolence, justice, virtues, and Tien-Tao. Once he attains Tao, he then helps others to cultivate their virtues and attain Tao, hoping everyone can become a Saint or a Sage and return to God’s kingdom.

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86. What is a fool?

Foolishness means a lack of wisdom. The nature of a fool is dim. Since his nature is dim, a fool does not know the Lord of the universe, the existence of Heaven and Hell, or believe in the six paths of reincarnation.

All he knows is to quest for lust and drinks, take lives to satisfy his desires for delicacies and appetite. Throughout his life, he has taken many lives. Since he took these lives, he has to repay each and every one of them.

Thus, he, in turn, will reincarnate into this world and be eaten by those whom he ate before. As a result, all these parties are forever trapped in the vicious cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

Why?

All animals that a fool eats were once humans, and were his relatives for many lives. The relationship among them could be reciprocative or antagonistic. Through many cycles of birth, death, and rebirth, they went on different paths according to their deeds, and some become animals.

When a fool kills for food, he is killing those who once were his parents, or eating those who once were his relatives. Since they are trapped in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, they don’t recognize each other and the retaliation goes on forever.

This is why Chang-jie, the one who invented the Chinese characters, created the word “meat” as a pot with two persons: one inside, and the other outside.

Meat - a person eating a person?
“Meat” in Chinese character- a person eating a person?

The saying,

“You repay half a pound
when you eat eight ounces.
It all sums up to man eating man.”

depicts fully the meaning of the word “meat“.

In summary,

a fool’s actions lead him to lose his chance to be reborn as a human. Once a fool loses his chance to be reborn as a human, he would suffer numerous miseries.

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87. What is a lost person?

A lost person means one who is confused and not bright. The lost is addicted to the material world and enjoys materialism.

He spoils his sensual organs and indulges in sights, smells, sounds, tastes, feelings, and thought. He practices hedonism and falls into evil. All he seeks after is the current enjoyments and they neglect the sufferings he will confront after death.

He is lost in the process of seeking after the short and the temporary. By abandoning his conscience, he joins materialism. Even the Saints and Sages cannot save him.

Thus he loses his True Self and is drowned in the sea of sufferings forever. Once he enters the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, he cannot recover for numerous miseries. That is a lost person.

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88. What is an awakened person?

To be awakened is to come to the realization of one’s True Self. A person becomes awakened when he realizes that his True Nature is that of a Buddha.

He longs for returning to
God’s kingdom
and dedicates to practice Tao.

He makes sure that whatever he says, acts, and thinks are faultless. He maintains tranquility in his sensual organs. He gives convenience to others.

He makes no distinction between himself and others. He conveys Tien-Tao to others so that all, including himself, can become Buddhas.

An awakened lives in the adulterated society, yet he is not tainted by emotions and desires.

  • He devotes himself to the spreading of Tao to the world, transforming Hell into Heaven.
  • He points out Tien-Tao to those who are lost so that they can also realize their True Selves.
  • He acts according to Tao.
  • He takes ferrying those who are predestined to encounter Tien-Tao as his mission.
  • He vows to save the world out of his mercifulness.

This kind of person is an awakened person.

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