On Jan. 20, 2023, founder of the spiritual practice Falun Gong — Master Li Hongzhi — published an article titled “How Mankind Came to Be.”
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (法輪大法), is a traditional Chinese discipline that combines meditation and gentle exercises with a moral philosophy centered on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance (真善忍).
An estimated 100 million people started practicing Falun Gong following Master Li’s first public instruction in Northeast China. Since then, the practice has spread to more than 100 countries around the world.
Here, with authorization from Master Li and on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, Vision Times presents the full text of the article in translation from the original Chinese.
How Humankind Came to Be
First, let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Chinese New Year!
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Since it’s the new year, I should have said a few festive words that everyone likes to hear, but I see danger is getting closer and closer to mankind. Because of this, Gods and Buddhas asked me to tell all beings in the world a few words that the Gods wish to say. Every word reveals heavenly secrets, and the purpose is for people to know the truth and be given another opportunity to be saved.
Why is there mankind? From formation to the end times, the universe goes through a long process in four stages: formation, stability, degeneration, and destruction. Once the universe reaches the end times in the final process of “destruction,” everything in the cosmic realm, including the universe we live in, will disintegrate into nonexistence in an instant! All lives will be completely annihilated!
When a person dies, only the physical body on the surface has decayed through aging, and the original soul (the true self does not die) will reincarnate in the next life. The universe has formation, stability, degeneration, and destruction, and human beings have birth, aging, sickness, and death—these are the laws of the universe. Even Gods go through this process, only they take a very long time; the greater Gods go through an even longer process. Their birth and death have no pain, and they remain cognizant throughout the process; it’s just like putting on a different jacket. In other words, beings will not die in normal situations. If the universe and the cosmic realm disintegrate at the last stage of formation, stability, degeneration, and destruction, beings will no longer reincarnate, and all lives and matter will cease to exist, with all turning to dust and returning to the void. Right now, the human world is experiencing the last stage of “destruction” in the process of formation, stability, degeneration, and destruction. Everything in the end times will turn bad, so destruction will occur, and that’s why human society is in such a chaos. People have no benevolent thoughts, are sexually promiscuous, psychologically perverse, there is rampant drug abuse, and a disbelief in God—chaotic phenomena have emerged en masse. This is inevitable at the end times of the cosmic realm—it has arrived at such a time!
The Creator cherishes Gods and all of the lives that are kind and beautiful, as well as the wonderful creations in the cosmic realm, and therefore, during the early stage of “degeneration” led some Gods to come to the outermost layer of the cosmic realm (generally called “beyond the Fa realm”) where there were no Gods, and created Earth. Earth cannot exist on its own and must rely on a circulating system of lives and creatures formed in a corresponding cosmic structure. For this, the Creator built a large expanse outside Earth; Gods called it the Three Realms. Before salvation at the end times begins, no Gods, no matter how high their levels are, can enter or exit the Three Realms at will without the Creator’s permission. Within the scope of the Three Realms, there are three major levels. The “realm of desire” covers all beings, including humans, on Earth; the second realm beyond the realm of desire is the “realm of form”; the next level up is the third realm called the “formless realm.” Each realm is higher and better than the last, but none can compare to the heavenly kingdoms in the Fa realm and beyond the Fa realm. The heaven mankind often refers to is the heaven in the form and formless realms within the Three Realms. Since each realm has ten levels of heaven, in the Three Realms, there are altogether thirty-three levels of heaven including the three realms themselves. Human beings are in the realm of desire, and this is the lowest level where the environment is the most hostile. Human lives are painfully short; the most dreadful is that the human world has no righteous principles; human principles in the universe are the opposite (except the Fa principles that Gods taught humans). For example, the victorious become kings, power is obtained through wars, the strong are heroes, and so on. In the eyes of the divine, none of these are righteous principles as power is obtained through killing and robbery. The universe and Gods are not like that, but in the human world, they are necessary and feasible since these are the principles in the human realm, which are the “opposite principles” when compared to the principles in the universe. Therefore, to return to heaven, one must follow the righteous principles to “cultivate” oneself. Some people live a slightly better life than others, and they feel pretty good about it. That is humans comparing themselves to other humans in this realm, when in fact their lives exist in the garbage dump of the cosmos—nothing more. The Three Realms are built at the outermost layer of the universe in the cosmic realm, and are made of the lowest, coarsest, and filthiest particles such as molecules and atoms. In the eyes of Gods, this is where garbage is disposed of in the universe. This is why Gods consider the layer of molecular particles as dirt or mud and this is the lowest place. This is the original meaning of the religious expression “God created humans with mud.” In fact, it was this layer of material made of molecules that was used to create human beings.
It was at the behest of the Creator that Gods created human beings. Different Gods created humans of different appearances according to their own images, so there are people of the white race, the yellow race, the black race, and so on. Their only difference is in the outer form, and their inherent life was all given by the Creator. That’s why they share common values. The Creator asked the Gods to create humans so He would use them at the end times to save all beings in the cosmos, including Gods.
Then, why did the Creator have the various Gods create human beings in such an inferior environment? Because this is the lowest level in the universe, it is the place with the most suffering. Suffering enables one to cultivate; suffering allows one to atone for sins and karma. Amid suffering, if one can still remain kind, be grateful, and be a good person, one is elevating oneself. Furthermore, salvation is a bottom-up process—it must start from the lowest place. Beings suffer in this place; there are interpersonal conflicts over interests, the condition of the natural environment is harsh, and people have to labor their minds and bodies for survival, so on and so forth. All these provide beings with the opportunity to elevate themselves and eliminate karma. Suffering can reduce karma—that is for sure. Amid suffering and conflicts, if humans can still remain kind, they will accumulate merit and virtue, and their lives will be elevated.
Upon reaching modern times when the Creator was about to use the human body to save the beings in the universe, the original lives in the human bodies were mostly replaced by humans incarnated from “Gods.” This is because human bodies can eliminate karma through suffering while humans can, in an environment devoid of righteous principles, hold onto the righteous principles taught by Gods and can remain kind—therefore, they can elevate the level of their beings. The end times have come, heaven’s gate in the Three Realms has opened, and the Creator is choosing such beings for deliverance.
Everything in the cosmic realm and the universe has become impure in the process of formation, stability, and degeneration, and has become not as good as the time when it was first created, so everything is heading toward “destruction.” That is to say, everything in the cosmic realm is corrupt, and no being is as good as it was at the beginning. All beings are no longer pure, all have karma, so they will meet destruction. In religion, this kind of sin is called “original sin.” To save the cosmos, the Creator asked a multitude of Gods and Lords to descend to the world and become humans, suffering, improving, reducing sins, and remaking themselves in this environment so they could return to heaven. (Because at the same time as saving beings, the Creator is also remaking the universe.) The new universe is absolutely pure and magnificent. If one can remain kind in the harsh environment, abide by traditional values while facing the attack from modern notions, and still keep faith in the divine amid the onslaught of atheist and evolutionary doctrines—people like this will reach the destiny of being saved and return to heavenly kingdoms. All the chaotic phenomena are the final arrangements by Gods for the purpose of testing if beings can be saved. At the same time, suffering can also reduce karma—all is done for saving people back to heavenly paradises.
That is to say, humans don’t live in the world for the purpose of having so-called achievements in society. People struggle in life, drive hard, and fight for things by any means possible, and this only makes them corrupt. Descending to the world to be a human is for eliminating sins and karma and for cultivating oneself well. Human beings came to the world to be saved, and they came to be human so as to wait for the Creator to save them back to the heavenly kingdoms. While waiting, they have accumulated merit and virtue life after life, and this is the purpose of reincarnation. The chaotic world is for fulfilling all beings. Amid difficulties, however, some people sought Gods’ help but didn’t get what they asked for, so they started to resent Gods. From there, they went further and opposed Gods, and some even follow a demonic path and have incurred new karma. People like this must turn around quickly, seek forgiveness from Gods, and repent to be given a chance. In fact, everything in life, whether or not one should get something, is the result of karmic consequences from the good and bad things one did in the previous lifetime. The number of blessings and the amount of virtue accumulated in the previous lifetime determine the amount of good fortune in this or the next life. With more blessings and virtue, one may exchange them in the next lifetime for high positions and salaries, or for various kinds of fortunes and blessings, including whether one has a happy family and how well one’s children will do. This is the fundamental reason why some are rich, some are poor, some hold high positions, and some have no homes to return to; it is not like the demonic rhetoric of egalitarianism propagated by the evil Communist Party. The universe is just. Beings are rewarded with blessings for good deeds, and will have to pay back for bad deeds, if not in this lifetime, then in the next. This is the absolute principle in the universe! Heaven, Earth, Gods, and the Creator are compassionate to sentient beings. Heaven, Earth, humans, and Gods are all created by the Creator, who absolutely will not treat some beings well and others not well. Causal relationships and karmic retribution—this is the real reason whether or not humans are blessed in life.
Gain or loss appear in reality just like normal phenomena in society, but at the root, they are of the lives’ own creation, the harvest of one’s own sowing. Yet whether one has something or not, gains or loses, will manifest in human society in compliance with the conditions of human society. Therefore, regardless of whether you are poor or rich in life, you should do good deeds, don’t do bad things, remain kind, respect heaven and Gods, and take joy in helping others. In this way you will accumulate blessings and virtue, and will be rewarded in the next life. In the past, the older generation in China often said, one should not complain if suffering a little in this lifetime, and one should do more good deeds and accumulate more virtue, so things will get better in the next life. In other words, if you didn’t do good things or accumulate blessings and virtue in your previous life, it’s no use if you ask for Gods’ help. The universe has its principles, and Gods must also abide by them. If the Gods do what they are not supposed to do, they will also be punished. It’s not as simple as what people think. Do you think Gods must give you what you want? The requirement is that you must have accumulated blessings and virtue from your previous life; you must exchange things with blessings and virtue! This is determined by the Fa principle of the universe. But speaking on a fundamental level, this is not the real purpose of accumulating blessings and virtue. For humans to accumulate blessings and virtue in life is to build up and pave the way for returning to heaven, which is key; it is not for exchanging for the momentary happiness in one human life!
Master Li Hongzhi
On the 29th day of the 11th month in the year of Renyin
January 20, 2023
Translation by Minghui.org with the title “Why There Is Humankind.” Originally published on Vision Times on Jan. 22.