The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Four: The Way of Humanity


Yi Ch’unp’ung asked, “The other day my son was up in the mountains and was badly startled by a hunter’s misfire. Had an unfortunate accident occurred at the time, I am not clear as to the choice in action I should have made in handling that matter.” The Founding Master said, “Tell me your thoughts.” Ch’unp’ung said, “Since laws are intended to regulate such matters, I would have reported the facts to the law and expressed my feelings as a father.” The Founding Master asked Song Chŏkpyŏk, who said, “All things result from the workings of cause and effect. I would consider the matter also to be a result of cause and effect and take no legal action.” The Founding Master next asked Oh Ch’anggŏn, who said, “If I were not a practitioner, I would definitely have appealed to the law. But instead, I would have considered the matter to be the mandate of heaven and would have let the whole thing go.” The Founding Master said, “None of your three explanations hews to the Middle Way. The current statutory system requires people to register at the government office if a person is born or dies. What is more, when a person suffers an unforeseen accident or unexpectedly dies, a witness to the incident has an obligation to report it to the government office even if he has no relation to the victim. Since that law applies even to unrelated people, how much more would it be the case for the father? Therefore I would, as a citizen and a father, immediately report the details to the government office. I would subsequently entrust the matter to the office that regulates the law and consider it to be out of my hands.”