The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Four: The Way of Humanity


The Founding Master was explaining the meaning of “being content with poverty and rejoicing in the Way”: “Generally speaking, poverty refers to an insufficiency of some sort. If one’s facial appearance falls short, it is poverty of the face; if one’s learning falls short, it is poverty of learning; if one’s property falls short, it is poverty of material assets. The saying ‘being content with one’s lot’ means being comfortable with one’s given portion in every aspect. If one is not content with one’s existing poverty and struggles to avoid it unreasonably, then one will only become more anxious and increase one’s suffering, instead. If poverty is unavoidable, accept it with equanimity, and take pleasure in preparing for future wisdom and merit. The reason, however, that those who are content with their lot come to rejoice in the Way is because they understand that whatever poverty and suffering they receive now will change into merit and happiness in the future; furthermore, they derive pleasure from the fact that the functioning of their mind never digresses from the truth and their power of cultivation is able to enter the genuine realm that transcends suffering and happiness. Since ancient times, sages and philosophers have all understood this principle and applied such a state of mind in their actual lives; and thus, while living in poverty, they lived an unparalleled life of rejoicing in the Way.”