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July 19, 1998: How important is justice for human society?

The word justice has existed in the world created by mankind. Here we can feel the significance of how important justice is for human society. However, both then and now, few people have an accurate understanding of justice. There were no people who really knew what role what exists in justice plays in human society. For that reason, societies where justice is missing often appear. The society where justice cannot see the light has emerged.

Justice can be defined as the light that brightens human society.

According to historical observations, in a society where justice is missing, various peculiar phenomena were occurring. Such a society was rampant with injustice, corruption, and deceit, leading to the rise of corrupt officials and eventually leading to its collapse. Conversely, a society with a strong foundation of justice can be described as one where injustice, corruption, deceit, and opportunism find it difficult to take root."

If humanity forgets justice, a bright world will remain elusive through any alternative. In every human society, justice is an essential and indispensable teaching. However, due to a lack of people truly understanding justice in the world, examples of correctly explaining and teaching justice are rare.

Today marks the first occasion in 50 years since the founding of this nation and in 4,000 years since our people first planted roots and lived on this land, where we address the topic of justice for the first time. It is something that each of you should remember.

Even if numerous laws are enacted in an attempt to create a good society, it is impossible to achieve when justice is nonexistent. Instead, it leads to peculiar phenomena that make life in that society even more challenging. People still fail to realize this fact.

Let me illustrate how frightening a society without justice is and how challenging life can be in such a society by using the example of China's ancient history. Once, Confucius and his disciples crossed a deep mountain, and in the desolate mountains, they heard the sorrowful weeping of a woman. Confucius, curious about the story of a woman crying in a place where no one lived, sent one of his disciples to inquire and find out about her situation.

“Why are you crying so sorrowfully all alone in this deep mountain?”

"Last year, a tiger appeared and took away my son, and this year, the same tiger appeared again and took away my husband. So, I am crying here, having made tombs for my son and husband."

“Why did you suffer such a thing by living deep in the mountains instead of living in a place where many people live?”

"It is reported that the woman gave an unexpected answer to this question."

"In these mountains, there may be tigers, but there are no corrupt officials."

To that woman, corrupt officials were more scary than tigers. It is said that upon hearing this, Confucius taught in front of his disciples that the tyranny of corrupt officials is more terrifying than that of a wild animal such as a tiger. This underscores the importance of justice as a crucial teaching for maintaining human society.

Today, in countries where justice shines, corruption or injustice is hard to find, and the quality of its members is high. There are several countries in the world where such conditions prevail. Conversely, there are societies where many people suffer due to the loss of justice even more than that.

What is the difference between operating in broad daylight and operating in complete darkness? Even if there is a trap in a dark place, you cannot see it. In other words, in a society where justice is missing, everything must be questioned. Having doubts is the way to protect yourself. For someone to live with faith in a society where justice is missing means that they are making a big mistake to themselves."

"I feel a profound sense of sadness every time I look at our society. Every time I look at our society, I feel very sad. This is because even though our society today is becoming increasingly wrong, no one knows the truth and therefore is able to reveal it.

In recent times, there have been commemorations marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the nation, with newspapers featuring various articles promoting the catchphrase of building a new country. Television has also broadcast numerous programs in relation to this occasion. However, the content of these materials has mostly consisted of expressing their own thoughts and opinions.

The fact we need to remember is that there is meaning in the world, and the events in the world are orchestrated by that meaning. All phenomena manifest according to that meaning. The meaning is created and manifested by events within the principle. Therefore, insisting on one's own thoughts without considering the essence of the world seems truly foolish. If justice were firmly established in our society, no one would ever assert their own thoughts or claim things unknown to them in front of the public.

In order to improve human quality, we must never go against the meaning of the world or what exists in principles of the world. However, that is not the case in our society today. If there is no justice in this land, those with abilities will have nothing to do. In a society without justice, right and wrong disappear. When right and wrong vanish, those who move society become those with power. Where justice stands, the ruler must study the people’s face. However, the ruler of a society where justice has disappeared has no need to listen to the people. In such a society, the law does not serve to reveal the truth of things or the law of truth, but turns into a tool for the ruler to rule. Rulers can use the law to do whatever they want. In such a society, the incompetent attach themselves to power, gaining influence. Consequently, the world is doomed to ruin. We must not take such matters lightly.

Justice is illuminating human society, that is, revealing what exists within society. The most essential element to sustain human society is justice. It is crucial not to let that important element be missing. In a society without justice, nothing can be achieved.

In the case of a car, if the device that transmits power is removed, the car cannot function properly. Justice is the fundamental force that generates significant power in a national society. Living without acknowledging justice is like abandoning the hope of living rightly. How can education or business management be conducted properly in a society without justice? It's not possible. Even if someone holds a degree from a prestigious university, if they cannot properly understand existing matters, where can they be of use? It refers to a person who knows nothing about what exists.

Justice can be compared to light. If justice disappears, darkness will exist. What can you see and learn in the darkness? In the darkness, you can only dream and have the things in it.

Last night on a TV program, there was a statement. ‘Over 50 years, education in Korea has expanded quantitatively the most in the world.’ In other words, it has produced the highest number of students. It granted the most diplomas. It has been successful in attracting a large number of students. The problem is what was actually taught in the process of attracting so many students and awarding them diplomas. My argument is, "How can you entrust what exists to someone who cannot see what exists?" That's our argument.

You often hear this.

“Does justice feed you? Does the law of truth feed you?”

At that time, I said this in front of people.

"How can we expect to lead a righteous life from ourselves if we cannot see what exists in the darkness?"

It is an impossible task. When exposed to mainstream media today, one can observe various organizations and companies advocating for Do-Deok(道德, cf.morality) and conscience. However, the question I want to ask is how there can be individuals who know conscience and understand Do-Deok in a society where justice has gone missing. Are there people in this country who know what Do-Deok is? I absolutely don't believe there are. Why is that so? How can you know Do-Deok when it has never been taught? Are people in this country aware of Do-Deok? The advice to always consider Do-Deok as important exists, but there has never been a time when Do-Deok was taught. In elementary school Do-Deok textbooks, it is mentioned that General Yi Sun-sin fought in front of Hansan Island. That, too, can be a kind of teaching. It is a great lesson to bravely confront the enemy on the front lines when the country is in difficulty. However, through such teaching, it is impossible to help people have an understanding of Do-Deok.

People recognize that Western philosophy and Eastern philosophy are different. When I meet philosophers, I ask them what the definition of philosophy is. No one has ever given me a proper answer to that question. It's because there hasn't been an occasion where people learned philosophy from someone who truly knows philosophy. The same applies to Do-Deok(道德, cf.morality). How can you expect someone to know Do-Deok(道德) if they haven't learned what it is?

Western people say that love is the best teaching. In Eastern cultures such as Korea and China, love is taught as Do-Deok. In other words, they teach it using the term Do-Deok.’ However, the reason why Western people say love and Eastern people say morality is because of the differences in social environments and teachings in each world.

The Chinese characters for Do-Deok are respectively path (道) and virtue (德). What is Deok, virtue? Is it not righteous behavior? ‘It is through right actions that we create the path for humanity.’ ‘Leaving a significant lesson in human society.’ This is precisely morality. What about love? Love is to bless. If Way and Virtue(道德) is leaving a good teaching in the world through right actions, this is also a blessing. In the end, the definition of love is a blessing, and the definition of morality is also a blessing. The difference is a matter of language. In English, 5 is called 'five.' In Korean, 5 is called ‘da-sut(다섯)’ or ‘oh(오).' It's just a difference in terminology.

It has always been true that in a society where justice does not exist, Way and Virtue(道德) also does not exist. If justice does not exist, how can one properly know what exists? If one cannot properly know what exists, how can they handle it correctly? That is the reason why justice must be alive in human society. It is the hope of those who seek to live their lives in the right way.

Laws are not necessary. If justice exists even without laws, in such a society, where everyone values fairness, deceit, fraud, and corruption would not occur. Conversely, no matter how many laws there are, if justice is absent, the society will be dominated by dishonesty, corruption, the rise of corrupt officials, fraud, and falsehoods. As mentioned before, the question is how can righteous individuals accomplish significant tasks when justice is absent. It implies that those with corrupt minds, harboring distorted thoughts, can ruin the world. Such examples can be easily observed in any society, past, present, or future.

The greatest misfortune of our society is that people do not have a sufficient understanding of justice and do not properly understand Way and Virtue(道德).

I'll share an interesting story and then take questions. A few years ago, I traveled to several countries in Europe. Whenever I visited a country, I would go to newspapers or broadcasting stations and ask them to introduce me to the most knowledgeable person in that country who could be a source of pride. As a result, I met a person named Boyd in Hungary, who is known as one of the top philosophers in Europe. He demonstrated excellent eloquence. Not wanting to waste time merely discussing without seeing the existing situation, I asked him a question.

"I would like to ask a simple question to confirm your ability to understand the world. Would it be impolite for me to ask a question?"

“What is the question?”

“The word that people use the most in their lives is love. “What do you think about the word love, how did you learn it, and how do you teach it to others?”

At that time, he said the following.

"Love is something that cannot be expressed in words."

When I heard that answer, I smiled. Because he didn't know about love.

“If you think love is something unspeakable, you don’t know anything about love.”

He couldn’t say anything.

"Then, would you like to hear how I am giving my love for the sake of people?"

After hearing those words, his face brightened, and he asked me to go ahead and speak. I said this.

“I teach justice and conscience to people I meet in order to love the world and to make people in the world love the human world. “This is the only love I give to the world.”

And then I explained.

“Justice is the way to brighten the world, and conscience is the way to brighten the mind. If humanity can live with a bright mind in a bright human world, what greater blessing can there be than that? “Love is what makes the world blessed.”

From then on, he treated me not as someone he had just met but with respect as a mentor. He handed me his business card and asked for mine. Then, he said,

“Can I ask you a question when I encounter difficult problems?”

I said it's good. I don't believe that when I mention the word 'justice' to you, you will immediately engrave in your hearts how important that word is. This is because I believe that even though the word justice exists, you have never thought about it or heard about it from other people about the important role it plays in maintaining human society.

I mentioned it a little while ago. If only justice stands, there is no need for laws. What's the point of having laws when there is no justice? If what exists cannot be properly revealed, how can laws be important? If there is no justice, how can we properly reveal what exists? What can we see in a dark world? In pitch darkness without the moon or stars, it's common sense that nothing can be seen. How can you tell what someone else is doing is right or wrong when you can't see anything? This is a statement that goes against reason.

For a long time, we have lived as a weak nation because we haven't been able to establish justice strongly in our society. As a nation in human society, we can revive through human activities. In darkness, activities are naturally constrained. How can wealth be created and great power created amidst diminished activity? We have suffered hundreds of invasions from outside throughout history. Why were there so many invasions? Because we were weak. It happened because we were weak. If we had power, we would not have had to face invasions.

Our ancestors disregarded this very point. They recited the sayings of Confucius and Mencius but neglected all the precious things. Even though they taught ethics, they didn't properly teach Way and Virtue(道德). It's like asking to create an answer for the problem '○+5=□' without providing the number corresponding to '○'—the answer would vary depending on the person, wouldn't it? So ethics cannot be established. Without Way and Virtue(道德), how can ethics be established? That creates hypocrites. Without justice, how can Way and Virtue(道德) be established, and without Way and Virtue(道德), how can ethics be established? It's deceit.

Where are the parents who think their children will kill them? However, there are instances where parents end up losing their lives at the hands of their own children. Where are the people who want to kill their parents? A momentary impulse or a wrong thought can lead to this enormous tragedy. This signifies the absence of proper teachings in that society. When humans are ignorant, they can have any thoughts, misunderstandings, and engage in any actions—that's the nature of human cognition.

The important thing is that if justice is lost and love is not properly taught, humans are no different from animals. This means that human thinking is no different from animal thinking, except that it has consciousness and can make plans and execute those plans. It is essential to always bear this in mind and not forget it. If we forget this fact, hope will disappear from this land.

Since you have heard about the role of justice here today, you could have come to understand to some extent how precious a place justice holds in human society. Due to the absence of justice, we have been unable to trust people for far too long and have fallen victim to various falsehoods. The important thing is that there is always a problem and a solution within the problem. You must be aware that if you are unaware of the problem, you won't know the problem and you won't know the answer.

Things in the world come into existence and change due to existing meaning and new things come into existence by the things.

There is a saying that reform is needed in our society today. No matter how much we reform politics, the judiciary, the administration, and society, if there is no justice, new corruption, injustice, and new greed will be created, yielding everything to fraud and lies. So, you must remember that nothing can be achieved in a society immersed in darkness without justice.

No matter how big a statue people make and they pray in front of it and put in all the effort, it will not make good fruit produced in the field. If you make the surrounding environment better, such as by providing adequate water and nutrients to the land and weeding at the right time, you can obtain good fruits. You must keep in mind that you can never obtain good fruit through prayer or ritual events.

The most important thing to consider is enlightenment. Without enlightenment, the waves of justice will not rise again on this land. When we correctly understand and know what exists, we can see important issues and solve them. All solutions arise from problems. All outcomes are created from causes. With this meaning alone, humanity has existed in the world.

Good teaching is not just about conveying problems to people but providing enlightenment that enables them to thoroughly understand the problems and see what exists within them. This is true education. To establish such an education system, one must break free from falsehood. However, living a life free from falsehood in a dark world is not an easy task for anyone.

I will now take questions regarding any parts of what I said today that may not have been well understood. If there were aspects that were unclear to you, it indicates that my explanation may not have been sufficient for your understanding. Therefore, I will reexamine the issue and provide further clarification to ensure a thorough understanding.

I will take questions. And please remember that creating many questions and asking them here is a way of helping yourself and others.

Whoishim Jung: You mentioned the importance of enlightenment, but I'm not quite sure what enlightenment is. Could you please explain what one should learn before attaining enlightenment?

Before attaining enlightenment or in the pursuit of enlightenment, what you should learn is love. To learn love, you must first learn justice. Loving others without understanding what exists is akin to waiting for others to deceive you.

We must know what exists to be able to bless it; how can we bless something we are unaware of? The most significant study we should undertake before attaining enlightenment is love. I told you that love is the act of blessing. Just properly understanding this one phrase today would already be a significant study.

If asked what love is, there is no one who knows the answer. Similarly, if you demand answers to questions like, "What is love?" "What is the law of truth?" "What is justice?" "What is philosophy?" or ask for a definition of philosophy, no one knows.

I say, "Love is the act of blessing." By blessing, we ourselves become blessed. When you bless the land, the land yields good fruits for you. The land gives blessings to us.

Having a good mind is the path to making oneself better. However, even if you have a good mind and want to do good deeds, if you cannot produce positive results, it is merely unrequited love. There are times when, in attempting to bless someone else, you end up being deceived in the process. Even if we want to do good things, not understanding them accurately can lead to deception. It is crucial to always bear in mind that such matters are highly important when engaging in the things of the world.

Next question? If you do not have enough understanding, feel free to continue asking questions about that specific part.

Bugun Choi: When you mentioned earlier, "Human behavior when not understood can lead to any bad actions; it is human thinking," how should we understand that kind of thinking?

Thinking refers to making judgments. If the criterion for judgment or thinking is incorrect, wrong judgments can be made. If judgments are incorrect, it can lead to bad behavior.

If people continuously hear lies they can be addicted to those lies and there are times when those lies feel like the law of truth or truthfulness. In such situations, people often make wrong judgments.

These days, you often hear the phrase, “It’s a paradise for ghosts.” It suggests that there are many ghosts in the world. Where do these ghosts come from? Where did they originate? Most of the people who believe in religion are not reincarnated when they die. When people die, if they do not reach eternity or a heavenly realm, they are reincarnated. A seed should be sown when it is healthy to grow into a good sprout. A seed in a state where all vitality has drained, due to not being reincarnated directly, would find it difficult to sprout properly when sown. In the end, incorrect teachings have misguided the posthumous world of people, resulting in tremendous spiritual losses. All the answers lie directly within the problems. When you observe what exists, within it, there is everything that can become a new problem, and within all those problems lies the answer.

During my travels, the reason why I never felt stuck when receiving questions from many people is that the answers were always within the problems. Conversely, when people couldn't answer my questions, it was because they couldn't see the problems accurately.

Please continue to ask questions.

Whoishim Jung: Could you please differentiate wisdom and knowledge?

Wisdom refers to the perspective that exists within oneself, and knowledge refers to what one receives from others and accumulates within oneself. There is a huge difference between wisdom and knowledge. In fact, there is a lot of wrong knowledge. Wisdom gives us the ability to recognize the wrongness and escape from it. I always tell people this. ‘Talented people are nurtured, but geniuses are born from themselves. No matter how many talented people you gather, you cannot match the ability of a genius.’ It can be said that a genius has wisdom and a talented person has knowledge. No matter how much knowledge you have, if you do not have eyes to see the world, that knowledge cannot contribute much to human society. I believe that there will be no major errors in the understanding of the distinction between wisdom and knowledge.


A next question please.

In Catholicism and Protestantism, love is emphasized; in the Buddhist tradition, compassion is stressed; and in Confucianism, morality is advocated. Despite these variations, there have been many assertions about issues falling within the realm of justice. Throughout our country's history, people have desired a society with justice. However, with you gathering dozens of followers here, advocating and teaching love and justice, it's challenging to assess the extent of the impact on society. If there are practical methods you suggest to implement a society with Way and Virtue(道德), love, and justice, please share them.

I will answer your question. It's mentioned that Protestantism and Catholicism teach about love, but we need to verify if that is indeed true. The first thing to confirm is whether they have a genuine understanding of love and if they are teaching it. The second is to check whether there is teaching worthy of blessings within their teachings. If there is no teaching within their guidance that can bless the human world, then their actions are hypocritical. It is false.

It is said that Buddhism teaches compassion, but what is the definition of compassion? The definition of compassion is not just forgiving wrongs but enlightening the ignorant so that they can live a righteous life. It is about blessing them to lead a proper life. You need to verify whether such teachings exist in Buddhism to understand how valuable and important the movement I am engaged in is.

If there are people who want to implement Way and Virtue(道德) in this land, it is crucial to verify whether they truly understand Way and Virtue(道德) or not. Speaking about things one does not even know can only create problems in society.

The most important issue is that when you enlighten one person, that person will enlighten another. Truly blessing the world lies in properly teaching things as they are. The path of good fortune and misfortune is within what exists. Depending on how something is done, all outcomes will be different.

Do you have any more questions? None? If not, we can stop here.

-The end-"

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