The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Two: Doctrine


The Founding Master addressed the congregation at a meditation hall in Yŏngsan, “Even though it is said that the world today is an age marked by an unprecedentedly developed civilization that did not exist before, we should not become intoxicated by the externally dazzling and convenient material civilization, but must consider well the corresponding defects and future consequences. In today’s world, the farther civilization advances externally, the deeper the source of illness becomes internally, so that we will soon fall into a terminal state unless we do something about it. This cannot but deeply worry people who are concerned about the morality of the world. What kind of illnesses, then, has the world today caught? First is the illness of money. People who have come to feel that they first must have money in order to achieve all the pleasures and desires of human life consider money to be more important than integrity and honor. For this reason, all our moral sensibilities have degenerated and our friendships have declined. This is indeed a serious illness. Second is the illness of resentment. Each individual, family, society, and nation does not acknowledge its own faults, but only looks for those of others. They are unaware of the grace they have received from others and remember only what they have done for others, and thus have endless conflicts, both great and small, deriving from their hatred and resentment. This is indeed a serious illness. Third is the illness of dependency. This illness is more serious in this country [Korea] because of the harmful effect of several hundred years of bookish enfeeblement. The children of wealthy families tended to pass their days idly, without doing any work, and if one happened to have a rich relative or friend, one would try to depend on that person, leading to a situation in which ten people were living off of one person’s wealth. This is indeed a serious illness. Fourth is the illness of a reluctance to learn. Ninety percent of a person’s character is formed through what he or she has learned. Like a bee collecting honey, one must humbly learn from others the knowledge one requires regardless of the other person’s social class or field. Many people in this world, however, lose the chance to learn because of their conceit. This is indeed a serious illness. Fifth is the illness of a reluctance to teach. No matter how much knowledge one may have, if one does not know how to apply that knowledge or to transmit it to the next generation, it would be no different than not having that knowledge. There are many people in this world who, if they gain a little knowledge, become conceited and arrogant and do not deign to associate with people of lesser knowledge. This is indeed a serious illness. Sixth is the illness of a lack of public spirit. Over many thousands of years in the past, the notion of selfishness has hardened in people’s minds like a mountain of silver or a wall of iron, and it is rare to find people to begin with who work for the benefit of the greater public. Even those who, because of their attraction to temporary fame, start out professing to work for the public ultimately fail and abandon their work because of their selfishness. Therefore, all public service institutions and organizations are becoming impoverished. This is indeed a serious illness.”