The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism

Part Two : Doctrine

Chapter Three: The Four Essentials

Section One: Developing Self-Power

A. The Principle of Developing Self-Power

Unless we are helpless infants, decrepit oldsters, or seriously ill, in all other cases our aim is to develop self-power as a practice, so that while fulfilling the personal duties and responsibilities incumbent on human beings, we also, as best we can, give succor to people who lack self-power.

B. The Gist of the Life of Dependency in the Past

1. If parents, siblings, spouses, children, or other relatives lived better than oneself, one would propose to live idly, depending on them. And if they would not listen to demands for such support, one would propose to live in the same household with them. Also, if one borrowed money from someone and could not repay it, then one’s entire family would be ruined trying to repay that debt.
2. A woman depended on her parents in her youth, on her husband after marriage, and on her children in her old age. Also, due to her unequal rights, she was not able to receive an education like that of men. She also did not enjoy the rights of social intercourse and did not have the right to inherit property. She also could not avoid facing constraints in whatever she did or did not do with her own body and mind.

C. An Agenda for the Encouragement of the Dependent by the Self-Reliant

1. When people who have self-power make an improper request for support, they should not be granted that support.
2. When we as parents are dividing our inheritance among the children, we should distribute it to all without regard to who is the eldest son, younger son, or daughter, except in the case of those who would be unable to retain that property.
3. After marriage, each spouse should maintain financial independence. Furthermore, the primary concern should go beyond love alone and extend also to fulfilling their respective duties and responsibilities.
4. We should handle all other matters according to the circumstances and the law and, not discriminating between men and women as in the past, should treat everyone according to what they do.

D. An Agenda for the Development of Self-Power

1. Regardless of whether we are men or women, we should not live a life of dependency as in the past, unless we cannot help but be dependent due to infancy, old age, or illness.
2. Women too, just like men, should receive an education that will allow them to function actively in human society.
3. Men and women should all work diligently at their occupations to gain freedom in their lives and should share equally their duties and responsibilities toward family and nation.
4. A younger son also should discharge his filial duties to the parents both during their lifetimes and after their deaths, just as did the eldest son in the past.