The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism

Part Two : Doctrine

Chapter Three: The Four Essentials

Section Two: The Primacy of the Wise

A. The Principle of the Primacy of the Wise

Since it is obvious as a basic principle that the wise teach the foolish and the foolish learn from the wise, whenever we wish to learn in any situation, our aim is not to be led on by a system of unreasonable discrimination, but to strive only to attain the goal that we seek.

B. The Gist of Unreasonable Past Systems of Discrimination

1. Discrimination between gentry and commoners.
2. Discrimination between legitimate and illegitimate children.
3. Discrimination between old and young.
4. Discrimination between male and female.
5. Discrimination between different races and ethnic groups.

C. An Agenda for the Primacy of the Wise

1. We should regard as our teacher anyone whose Way of commanding the nature and whose moral conduct in human affairs is superior to our own.
2. We should regard as our teacher anyone whose governance of human affairs is superior to our own.
3. We should regard as our teacher anyone whose knowledge of life is superior to our own.
4. We should regard as our teacher anyone whose scholarship and technical skills are superior to our own.
5. We should regard as our teacher anyone whose common sense of all kinds is superior to our own.
We should not inherently designate as our teachers those who fit any of the above categories, but do so only while we are seeking something.