Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Twelve: The Way of Public-Spiritedness


25. In May of 1954 (W.E. 39), the Master said further, “Though we may work together for the Order in the same fundamental spirit of public-spiritedness, the ways in which that spirit is executed in actual situations may be superior or inferior and have strengths and weaknesses. Always choose superior methods by taking a broad perspective and follow them well. The same matter can become either large or small depending on how it is presented. Hence, the basics of governance in a religious order are to take care of all matters with ease by making them as small as possible and to handle them on the basis of right principles. Pursuing development by creating factions is not as good as being unified. Whether they are men or women, young or old, if they unify their energies and mutually encourage each other on good things so that they forge ahead, while mutually giving advice and rectifying bad things, with the sole aim of developing this Order in whatever manner possible—wouldn’t that be enough? If the male community does not think only of itself but eagerly cooperates with the female community, and the female community does the same for the male community, and if the laity and ordained devotees, old and young, also do the same, then right principles will prevail and matters will go well. How beautiful and liberal a custom this would be for a religious order! The sole criterion should be what is right or wrong in a specific matter, not whether it concerns men or women, old or young. The sole criterion should be the greater principle, not discriminations between self and others, intimate and distant. An individual’s strengths and faults should be encouraged or rectified at the personal level; do not shift the blame to the whole community and argue about its rightness or wrongness. If our male and female devotees proceed in all matters in this fashion by making harmony and righteousness their criteria, then this Order will develop continuously without factions.”