The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Four: The Way of Humanity


There was a wealthy man who, after saving his poor neighbors by releasing some money and grain in a famine year, kept wishing he would be eulogized for his virtue. The villagers conferred and erected a stele, but the man was still dissatisfied, so he spent more of his own money to erect a new stele and to construct a tremendous stele pavilion. The villagers thought his actions ludicrous, so there were many criticisms and disparaging remarks made. Kim Kwangsŏn heard about this and presented it during a conversation session. The Founding Master listened and said, “This is a living scripture about warning people who compulsively seek honor. Although that person did this deed in order to enhance his reputation, didn’t he actually lose even his previous reputation, not to speak of enhancing it? Thus, a foolish person in seeking honor only damages it instead; a wise person does not intentionally seek to be honored; instead, merely by performing proper actions, great honor naturally comes to him.”