The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism

Part Two : Doctrine

Chapter Two: The Fourfold Grace

Section Four: The Grace of Laws

Section Four: The Grace of Laws

A. The Principle of Indebtedness to Laws

If we wish most easily to understand the grace we have received from laws, we must consider whether we could live in tranquility and order without laws that regulate self cultivation for individuals, domestic affairs for families, social order for societies, national order for nations, and global order for the world. Then, anyone would acknowledge that it is not possible. And if we cannot live without laws, then where would there be a grace greater than that?
As a rule, what we call laws are equitable rules of the human Way and of justice. If these rules shine on individuals, individuals will be helped; if they are applied to families, families will be helped; if they are applied to societies, societies will be helped; if they are applied to nations, nations will be helped; and if they are applide to the world, the world will be helped.

B. The Gist of Indebtedness to Laws

1. Sages appear in response to the times, enabling us, through religion and morality, to follow the right road.
2. Laws enable us to protect our lives and to foster knowledge by allowing us both to establish institutions for scholars, farmers, artisans, and merchants, as well as to exert ourselves in edification and admonition.
3. Laws enable us to live peacefully by reproving injustice and promoting justice through distinguishing right and wrong, benefit and harm, and by thus maintaining tranquility and order.

C. The Principle of Gratitude to Laws

If we are indebted to a statute of prohibition in a law, then we should comply with that Way and if we are indebted to a statute of exhortation, then we should comply with that Way.

D. An Agenda for Gratitude to Laws

1. As an individual, study and practice laws that regulate self-cultivation.
2. As a family, study and practice laws that regulate the family.
3. As a society, study and practice laws that regulate the society.
4. As a nation, study and practice laws that govern the nation.
5. As a world, study and practice laws that govern the world.

E. Ingratitude to Laws
Ingratitude to laws means either not knowing the meaning of indebtedness, gratitude, or ingratitude or, even while knowing it, not practicing gratitude.

F. The Consequences of Gratitude to Laws

If we show gratitude to laws, then we will receive the protection of laws, so that gradually restrictions will vanish and freedom will be gained; our own personal character will improve; the world too will be in good order; and scholars, farmers, artisans, and merchants will advance, so that a world of matchless comfort will be created and, furthermore, we shall have requited as well the grace of legislation and administration.

G. The Consequences of Ingratitude to Laws

If we are ungrateful to laws, laws will not pardon us either and we will suffer confinement and constraints; our own personal character will degenerate; and the world too will become disordered until it becomes a chaotic battleground.