The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Nine: Sending on Spirits in Transition


Taegŏ asked again, “Once people die, they dwell in a different place from the present world. Can their numinous consciousnesses still come and go between the two worlds at will as if they had not died?” The Founding Master said, “The conscious mind is not different before one’s birth or after one’s death, but there is a difference in the goings and comings of a spirit that is bound by greed, hatred, and delusion and a spirit that has subjugated them. The spirit that is bound by greed, hatred, and delusion will be bound to its attached mind at the time of death, and thus will not be able to come and go freely. Cloaked by the karmic power of ignorance, the spirit only finds light where its mind is attached and ends up being dragged to that place. When it receives a new body, its vision is all perverted so that animals and insects appear beautiful. Consequently, it plants itself in the womb of an animal or insect through sexual attraction and becomes conceived there without being aware of it, as if in a dream. Or, even should it choose parents who will give it birth in the destiny of human beings, it is planted in the womb through sexual attraction. Or, if one has made a vow for a specific karmic reward but fails to receive a human body, the spirit receives in the realm of animals and insects something similar to the reward so resolved upon. Thus, it is not free in birth or death, and receives immeasurable suffering from being reincarnated without respite among the six rebirth destinies by being dragged into the twelvefold chain of causal conditioning. On the other hand, because the spirit that has subjugated greed, hatred, and delusion is not bound to its attachments at the time of its death, it is able to come and go freely, to see and think correctly, and, since it distinguishes between appropriate and inappropriate places, it is not bound by its karma. When it receives a new body, this occurs as is appropriate, with perfect composure. Also, when it enters the womb, it plants itself in consideration of its grateful love for its new parents. Whatever vows one has made will be realized in both great and small matters as the karmic rewards of one’s resolution. Thus, the spirit is free in birth and death, and, it moves about without ever being dragged around by transmigration within the six rebirth destinies, turning at will the twelvefold chain of causal conditioning.”