Disclaimer: The translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won’t be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比，怎么写，都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.
In cultivation, one must strive to achieve proper fruition. If one keeps on being distracted and confused, that isn’t cultivation; it’s acting insane and losing their mind. That’s why if a cultivator is obsessed with experiencing special phenomena, such as dreaming of going to heaven or see the Bodhisattvas, then your inner demons could manifest by pretending to be them. Some people can’t dream about Master; they don’t have the karmic affinity to see him in their dreams. But if they are obsessed about it, then it could be their inner demons playing tricks on their mind. For example, if the wife threatened to divorce her husband and ran off if the husband still loved her, he would run into the streets to look for her. He saw someone far off that looks like his wife, and he came up to the woman. The woman replied, “Who are you?” It was actually the wrong person. That’s what it's like.
If a cultivator is obsessed with experiencing special phenomena, they would be possessed by their inner demons. Then even if they cultivated very well, the most they could ascend to is the Asura Realm and not the Heavenly Realm. That’s why if you want to become a Bodhisattva, even if you see some spiritual manifestations such as dreaming about the Bodhisattvas, you must not believe that it’s true. You must only trust that your efforts in cultivation will bear fruit. Also, don’t go around telling others, “I’ve already cultivated very well. My level of spirituality is already at the Bodhisattva’s level.” That is a big lie.
If a person is obsessed with a title, then they would attract their inner demons. Or, if you think that you’re incredible, then your inner demons will manifest. Why so? It’s because you developed arrogance and pridefulness. You thought that you’re already attained fruition, so your desires begin to bubble. Many people said, “Master, I had a dream. In that dream, somebody told me that three months, I would be able to see many things.” So they waited. Then after three months had passed, nothing has happened. So the greater their desire and expectations were, the greater their disappointment is afterwards when what they expected doesn’t happen. Many people follow Master because they thought they would become famous. But because they didn’t, they betrayed him. Many people were very sincere when they first started to pray to the Bodhisattvas. “Guan Yin Bodhisattva, please help me.” But because they didn’t get what they prayed for, they begin to develop thoughts like, “Since Guan Yin Bodhisattva doesn’t care about me, I’ll stop practising Buddhism.” Because they were disappointed, they gradually betray the Bodhisattvas. The reason is actually very simple; it’s all due to karma. The Bodhisattvas can help you, but only if you had the karmic foundations beforehand and also, you had put in the effort. Many people are constantly disappointed, as if an inner demon of disappointment possesses them. In contrast, some people got what they wanted and are constantly happy as if an inner demon of happiness possesses them. That’s why if one is not careful, they’ll become possessed.
Buddhists should properly know and see things as it is. If they don’t, then they will deviate. When they deviate, they will be possessed by their inner demons. How does one avoid it? It’s to properly know and see things as it is. We know how beneficial the Buddha-Dharma is to us, so we should properly cultivate it, and we won’t deviate. If you listened to the Buddha-Dharma from others, you might have thoughts like, “Is this Buddha-Dharma okay? Why are my prayers inefficacious?” Then you might develop deviated views. Buddhists should use what they see as the standard. You have your own ability to comprehend, and you are the clearest about it. Don’t be so influenced by others, do you understand?
First, you should properly know and see things as it is. Then gradually turn your view of the subject into empty-views, so it seems empty and false. But some possessed people can’t properly know and see things as it is, let alone turn it into empty-views, so their mind continues to be unclear. This ‘emptiness’, in fact, is an emptiness from one’s experience. It’s still unclear. This kind of empty-view is one where one thinks that everything is empty and meaningless and has a nihilistic connotation. So it isn’t an emptiness born from awakenment, but an emptiness born from attachment. What is emptiness born from awakenment? It’s when you understand that life is short and fleeting like a dream, so you must do the most you can to learn and practise Buddhism in this short time span. What is emptiness born from attachment? It’s when you understand that life is limited in time, and no matter how capable or accomplished you are, you will still die. So what’s the point of cultivating? I might as well indulge in whatever I fancy! Isn’t that also a kind of emptiness? So you attract the inner demon of emptiness. Their inner demon of emptiness normally possesses those who are obsessed with the theory of fate. When that happens, it will cause you to lose respect towards your master and the Buddha-Dharma. You don’t care anymore, and in the end, you become arrogant and look down on the precepts.
Observe yourself. When you’re still practising Buddhism with Master, you would be respectful towards him and the Bodhisattvas. But when you decide to stop, then when Master criticises you, you would say, “So what?” When we were little, we were very respectful towards our parents. When they punish us, we won’t fight back. But if one day you decide that you don’t care about them anymore, you will retaliate if your father punishes you. If your mother scolds you, you will scold her back. The mother says, “You dare to fight back?” “Yes,” you reply. You’ve become empty because you don’t care anymore. You’re indifferent. But in reality, you’ve turned arrogant and have looked down on the precepts. The Buddha-Dharma expounds that all forms are illusionary. That statement is based on the principles of proper thoughts and emptiness born from awakenment, not emptiness based on biased views. Those who have deviated would misinterpret the Buddhist classics, behave recklessly, indulge and start to become lazy. They no longer try to improve themselves and may even think of committing suicide. “The Bodhisattvas expounded that everything in the Human Realm is false. I have seen through it, so I’m indifferent now.” How one interprets this depends on whether one possesses the right thoughts or deviated thoughts.
If one is constantly suspicious of others, they will attract their inner demons of suspiciousness to lie in wait. They possess those who are highly doubtful of others. They keep on thinking, “He’s always treating me badly. It must be him who’s slandering me or badmouthing about me,” or, “He’s thinking of harming me!” All of these are symptoms of mental illness, but in reality, they are possessed. From a psychological perspective, it’s called paranoia. It’s the persistent feeling that people are ‘out to get them’.
There was an old man who had a television of which the screen kept on staggering. Occasionally, It would also make a lot of various noises. His wife suspected that their telephones and other electrical devices might have been tapped. She keeps mentioning it every day for two years. Then one windy day, a storm caused a nearby tree to collapse onto their balcony and wrecked the property. People from the local council came to chop and remove the tree. Afterwards, the television was back to normal, and it was no longer making strange noises. That old man mentioned it to Master and said how his wife seemed paranoid in the last two years. People who wear many layers of clothes might not be hiding a grenade, is that right? “He’s giving me something to drink. Would he poison me? What’s his intention?” For example, a married couple argued earlier during the day, and the wife brings out the dishes for dinner. Even though the dishes are the same as usual, but that night, the husband complained, “You intentionally made the dishes small, so I have less to eat!” They keep thinking that’s others want to get them. One of Master’s disciples was like that. When she fought with her son, you would think, “See, you’re giving me garbage to eat.” It was the same kind of bread that they ate a couple of days ago.
There are still over fifty kinds of inner demons. It’s scary. If you’re not careful, they would possess you. That’s how inner demons manifest from the distracting thoughts of Buddhists. If you got out of your apartment and thought, “Would I encounter a foreign spirit?” And suddenly, the lift you’re in stuttered for a moment and acting abnormal, then you think that you have. But in reality, it was just a coincidence. But due to that distracting thought, your inner demon manifests. Master tells you, those who are possessed normally believe that they’re normal. Just like how drunkards don’t believe that they’re drunk. Instead, they doubt others and think that they have a problem. That’s why when two people argue, they are actually possessed. They scream at each other just like two demons, yet neither recognises that they have a problem. That’s why those who argue have a mental problem.