The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Six: Doubts Clarified


Cho Chŏn’gwon asked, “I once witnessed someone being punished because he cut down or injured some old trees near our village. Was he punished because even insentient things also exercise the influences of cause and effect?” The Founding Master said, “He was not punished because of a cause-and-effect relationship with those trees. During the past era of darkness (yin), there were countless ghosts and spirits who could not find bodies, so they took refuge in old trees, tutelary shrines, or famous mountains and great rivers, receiving much devotion from foolish people. If a person whose energy was weaker than theirs disturbed them, then they would have illnesses or punishments brought upon that person. However, now that the world is progressing toward an era of brightness (yang), from now on those spirits will not dare to harm humans.”