The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Four: The Way of Humanity


The Founding Master addressed the congregation: “Today, I will tell you the most important method of guarding the mind and protecting the body, so listen carefully and use it always as a motto for practice in all sensory conditions. The motto is: ‘Never neglect a mind of respect and awe.’ This means that, whenever and wherever you encounter persons or things, treat them always with a mind of respect and awe. When one neglects a mind of respect and awe, then, even in the most intimate and familiar relationships, such as that between parents and children, siblings, and spouses, complaints and resentments will inevitably occur, and even insignificant sensory conditions and trivial things will often cause constraint and injury. This is because, by considering the relationship familiar and the sensory conditions casual, one behaves recklessly by forgetting to maintain respect and awe in one’s mind. For example, if a person tried to steal a box of matches but gets caught by the owner, would the owner let the person go free just because a box of matches is insignificant? Only the most generous owner would stop at just scolding the thief, but other owners would probably humiliate the person. It seems that the owner scolded and humiliated the person because of one box of matches, but on further consideration, it was thief’s own greed for matches that prompted him to steal and to end up demeaning and humiliating himself; his greed derived from forgetting to maintain the mind of respect and awe regarding that one box of matches. Therefore, if a person neglects the mind of respect and awe, then even an unfeeling and insignificant box of matches will exhibit that much power; and how much more so will it be the case for humans, who are more significant beings and who have limitless power? Therefore, I say that we must always maintain respect and awe. If we live righteously by maintaining respect and awe toward all things, then whether we look at the blue sky above or the wide earth below, all things created throughout the entire universe will be for my use and all laws practiced in this world will be mechanisms for my protection. But if I neglect respect and awe and act recklessly, all things in the universe will instead be instruments that harm me, and all the laws in this world ropes that bind me. How is this not to be feared? Thus, I reiterate to you that, as people who have appeared in this turbulent world, if you are to guard your mind and protect your body well, you must engrave this motto deeply on your mind and apply it in whatever you do.”