The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Three: Practice


The Founding Master said, “Who among you has discovered a scripture that can be read over and over again without end? Most people consider only the ‘four books and three classics’ of Confucianism, the ‘eighty-thousand pages of sūtras’ of Buddhism, and the books of other religions to be scripture, but don’t recognize the great scripture that is open right here and now. How regrettable it is! If people look at this world in the right spirit, there will be nothing in it that is not scripture. When you open your eyes, you will be seeing scripture; when you listen, you will be hearing scripture; when you speak, you will be reciting scripture; when you act, you will be applying scripture. Anytime and anywhere, this scripture will unfold without end. Generally speaking, what we call ‘scripture’ explains the two aspects of human affairs and universal principles. Human affairs are to be analyzed in terms of right and wrong, benefit and harm; universal principles in terms of great and small, being and nonbeing. Hence, scripture guides us to choose the right direction in our lives and to follow the Way of humanity. Even if you look at all the scriptures of Confucianism and Buddhism, and all the writings of other religions, they will not diverge from this. However, human affairs and universal principles do not derive from the written word; rather, the whole world is in fact human affairs and universal principles. Our entire human life is contained within them: we are born, live, die, and then are reborn again within human affairs and universal principles. Thus, our lives have a profound and inescapable relationship to human affairs and universal principles, and the world is an open scripture on human affairs and universal principles. In this scripture, we must critically observe the numerous human affairs that are right and wrong, wholesome and unwholesome, so that we may choose and carry out righteous and beneficial affairs and abandon wrongful and detrimental affairs. We must also critically examine all the principles of great and small, being and nonbeing, and awaken to their root. If we do so, what else could this world be but a great scripture? Therefore, I ask you first to read well the living scripture of reality, before reading all the numerous and prolix written scriptures.”