The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Thirteen: On the Order


Upon returning to Pongnae Hermitage from Yŏngsan, the Founding Master said to several of his disciples, “On my way back, I happened to take a look around a market. That morning, an earthenware dealer arrived at the market carrying a load of pots, while another person showed up carrying only an empty A-frame backpack. When they left the market, the earthenware dealer had sold all his wares and left with an empty A-frame, but the person who came with an empty A-frame left with a load of earthenware. Both men seemed to be satisfied. As I was watching them, I thought to myself that originally the earthenware dealer had not come to the market to serve the man with the A-frame, nor had the man with the A-frame arrived for the sake of the dealer, and yet each man had acquired what he sought and, in the end, both men enjoyed the same type of happiness. This is the principle of mutual reliance and mutual foundation. On another occasion, a person became angry at a store owner’s arrogance and walked out without buying anything; people sneered at him, saying that he seemed to have come to the market not to buy things but to be catered to. Another person ignored the store owner’s attitude and just bought the things he needed without making any mistakes; the people around him all thought him sensible and complimented him as a person of substance. As I witnessed these incidents, it suddenly occurred to me that this was like your lives in the Order, and I both smiled and sighed to myself. You should try to use this story to gain deep understanding.”