The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism

Part Two : Doctrine

Chapter Four: The Threefold Study

Section Three: Choice in Action (Chagŏp Ch’wisa)

A. The Essential Purport of Choice in Action

“Action” (chagŏp) means the functioning of the six sense organs of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind in whatever one does. “Choice” (ch’wisa) means choosing what is right and forsaking what is wrong.

B. The Objective of Choice in Action

Even if we have gained the power of Cultivation that comes from Cultivating the Spirit and the power of Inquiry that comes from Inquiry into Human Affairs and Universal Principles, Cultivation and Inquiry will come to naught and will hardly gain any real efficacy, if we cannot put them into practice in actual operations. This would be like a tree that has a good trunk, branches, flowers, and leaves, but that bears no fruit.
As a rule, why is it that we human beings do not practice the good even while knowing the good and do not put an end to evil even while knowing the evil, so that we forsake the tranquil paradise and fall into the perilous sea of suffering? This is because we either are deficient in our practice due to our ignorance of what is right or wrong in actual situations; or because - even though we know what is right or wrong - we cannot control our desires, which flare up like a fire; or because we are enticed by habits that are solid like iron or stone, so that we do not put into practice our choice of the good and forsaking of the evil. Therefore, our aim is to work at putting into practice the choice of the right at all costs and the forsaking of the wrong at all costs, so that we may avoid the odious sea of suffering and welcome the yearned-for paradise.

C. The Consequences of Choice in Action

If we continue for a long time with the work of Choice in Action, we will gain the power of putting into practice the valiant choice of the right and the valiant forsaking of the wrong in applying ourselves in any situation, and ultimately will gain the power of Choice.