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Donggeun Yoo

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The Four Essentials
9/7/2010 11:45:20 PM

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
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.


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 ofDiscrimination
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


Section Three : Educating Others’ Children

A. The Principle of Educating Others’ Children
If educational institutions are narrowly focussed or their spirit does not transcend the boundary between self and others, then the world’s civilization will be held back. Therefore, our aim is to advance the world’s civilization by expanding educational institutions, transcending the boundary between self and others, and widely educating all the latecomers, and to enable all fellow beings to live a paradisial life.

B. The Gist of Faults of Education in the Past
1.The lack of active commitment and encouragement in government and society regarding education.
2. An educational system in which women and lower-class people could not even conceive of receiving an education.
3. At the individual level, the dearth of people who have widely made manifest the benefits of the education they received.
4. The rarity of an exchange of ideas regarding education due to inconveniences in the organs of the press and communications.
5. As the spirit of education could not transcend the boundary between self and others, where there were wealthy persons without children, they tried just to have their own child and, failing in that, neglected to teach at all; while the poor, despite being eager to educate their own children, could not teach them due to financial inability.

C. An Agenda for Educating Others’ Children
1. We, who have come upon an opportunity for the above-mentioned faults of education to be removed, should help all educational institutions as best we can in order to educate even others’ children as if they were our own, whether we have children or not and, as far as circumstances permit, should educate at least a few people, just as if we ourselves had given birth to them.
2. The nation and society too should widely establish educational institutions and actively promote education.
3. A religious order, society, nation, and the world should recognize people who are carrying out this agenda for educating others’ children and should honor and reward them according to their achievements.


Section Four : Venerating the Public-Spirited

A. The Principle of Venerating the Public-Spirited
If the world cordially venerates the public-spirited, many will appear to serve the world. If the nation cordially venerates the public-spirited, many will appear to serve the nation. If society or religious orders cordially venerate the public-spirited, many will appear to serve society or religious orders. Hence, let us venerate them according to their achievements, in the way that a child is filial toward its parents, people who from various standpoints have served the world, the nation, society, and religious orders. Let each of us also, by modeling ourselves wholeheartedly on that spirit of public service, be actively engaged in public service.

B. The Gist of Faults in Public Service Activities in the Past
1. A dearth of specialized education for scholars, farmers, artisans, and merchants, which was to provide the principles of life and the foundation for public well-being.
2. A dearth of institutional facilities for scholars, farmers, artisans, and merchants.
3. The inability to make religious doctrines and institutions accessible to the masses.
4. A dearth of recognition toward the public-spirited by either government or society.
5. The inability of all types of education to gain self-power or to abandon other-power.
6. Excessive concern with personal profit even at the expense of others and being enticed by remoteness and closeness, intimacy and distance.
7. A dearth of experience and common sense.
8. A dearth of people who understood the difference between receiving veneration from the family for dedication to the family and receiving veneration from the masses for dedication to the public.

C. An Agenda for Venerating the Public-Spirited
1. We who now have come upon an opportunity to remove the above-mentioned faults of public service activities should distinguish between family and public service activities and, all things being equal, should engage in public service activities by transcending the boundary between self and others.
2. We should support those who have dedicated themselves to public service on behalf of the people when they become feeble with age and, after they have passed away, should act as their bereaved offspring and pay for their funerals and enshrine their portraits and life histories to commemorate them for a long time, in accordance with their achievements.

http://www.wonbuddhism.org/

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Donggeun Yoo

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RE: The Four Essentials
3/3/2011 11:30:47 PM

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RE: The Four Essentials
3/20/2011 1:16:31 AM
this is a fantasy,not the way it really is in North America.No concern exists for the good of all.leaders do not give a dam about you except when self-interest is in play.When a governing body abuses self power and kills its own citizens a people must take action to protect their life and the children.You are not what your educated and my guess is that the intellectuals can be a mean nurotic bunch and an uneducated person can be very wise.The intelligent people created this mess we live in by miscreating knowledge in making bombs and all sorts of hazards.The people are always mislead and never told the truth and when a people lose their sense of truth the game is over.
Gregg Andely
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