The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Four: The Way of Humanity


A neophyte to the Order asked, “I happen to live on Kyeryong Mountain, so I have many conversations with representatives of the various religious groups who live on that mountain. They always boast about their own doctrines and mention the Way and its power on every possible occasion, but I still have not heard an explanation that clarifies what that means. So, please, Great Master, teach me the meaning of the Way and its power.” The Founding Master replied, “Now, the fact that you want to know the Way and its power is commendable. However, the ‘Way and its power’ is extraordinarily vast in scale and it is impossible to explain it all in a short period of time. Thus, only after beginning this practice and receiving substantial training will you gradually begin to understand. However, in order to satisfy your curiosity, I will now explain, in broad swath, just the main theme of the Way and its power, so listen carefully!
“Generally speaking, the ‘Way’ (to), to put it simply, is another name for ‘path’ (kil). What we mean by ‘path’ is conducting oneself rightfully in any and all circumstances. Therefore, the conduct of heaven is called the Way of heaven, the conduct of earth is called the Way of earth, and the conduct of human beings is called the Way of humanity. Within this Way of humanity, there are two types of paths: the path of physical conduct and the path of spiritual conduct. Thus, the principle of the Way has but a single root, but its ancillary categories are so numerous that it would be impossible to count them all. Therefore, of these various types of Ways, I’ll take up only the single case of the Way of humanity. Just as the road of our physical movements connects each and every region via a network of main roads and side roads and includes a limitless number of routes that extend through mountains, water, fields, and villages; so too, in the same manner, the path of the dharma of our spiritual conduct progresses everywhere in this and other worlds through a combination of main and side Ways and appears as an infinite number of routes in accordance with the con-ditions of individuals, families, societies, and nations, respectively. However, if I were to offer just a few examples: between parents and children, there is a path for parents and children to follow; between superior and sub-ordinate, a path for superior and subordinate; between husband and wife, a path for husband and wife; among friends, a path for friends; and among fellow countrymen, a path for fellow countrymen. In this manner, for any situation or circumstance you encounter, there is a suitable path for you to take. Regardless of the situation, a person who simply knows this suitable path is a person who knows the Way; and a person who does not is a person who does not know the Way. If we were to speak of the greatest Way of them all, it is the Way that is free from arising and ceasing and the retribution and response of cause and effect-that is our original nature. This Way unifies all the dharmas; heaven, earth, and humanity are founded on it. Hence, a person who knows this Way is said to know the greatest of Ways.”