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TRACING THE ORIGINS OF CHONDOGYO CHONDOGYO-WHAT KIND OF RELIGION IS IT? CHONDOGYO VIEWED THROUGH CHURCH DOCTRINE CHONDOGYO BELIEF AND PRACTICE THE CHONDOGYO PEOPLE'S MOVEMENT, NATIONAL MOVEMENT, AND CULTURAL MOVEMENT APPENDIX : CHONODOGYO ORGANIZATION AND CANONICAL WRITINGS

Chondogyo viewed through its Religious Objective

Chondogyo viewed through the Core Doctrine








Chondogyo viewed through its Religious Objective

 

Chondogyos ultimate religious objective is in constructing a paradise on earth where all peoples of the world live on equality and freedom after making the world of returning to the origin and becoming one. This is the new beginning of spiritual civilization (Huchongaebyuk, ܣ) that Chondogyo is pursuing.

 

Chondogyo is a religion with very clear religious objectives. Chondogyos religious objectives are supporting the nation and comforting the people (bogukanmin, ), spreading truth throughout the world (podeokcheonha, ), delivering peoples everywhere from suffering (gwangjechangsaeng, ), and thereby constructing a paradise on earth (jisangcheongukgeonsul, ߾).

 

These Chondogyos religious objectives viewed as very realistic problems differ from the eternal life through the change of dimension or space such as the kingdom of heaven or paradise that is the religious objectives being pursued by established religions of post-cosmic creation. One might say the truth, authentic face of Chondogyo is visible in its deviation from the dualistic structures such as Kingdom of heaven and hell, this life and Nirvana, life and death, reality and transcendence, God and man, and so on.

 

Thus Chondogyos religious objective to construct a paradise on earth does not simply stop with the mundane world. Rather, in the true cosmological sense, it is the ultimate path to eternal life in that there is a qualitative change and transition that is inclusive of life and death, reality and transcendence, and this life and Nirvana. Let us look at what kind of religion Chondogyo is by focusing on the religious objective that it espouses.

 

(1) Chondogyo and its great undertaking to Spread Truth Throughout the World (Podeokcheonha, )

 

Chondogyo is a religion proclaimed to the world by the first founder and leader Great Master Su-un on April 5, 1980. During a long search for the Truth that can save the world from chaos and destruction the Great Master Su-un experienced a defining religious moment when he met Hanulnim (God) and received from him a talisman and an incantation. Thus this date when the Great Master Su-un received the Truth from Hanulnim (God) is remembered as the founding year of Podeok.

 

After this defining religious experience the Great Master Su-Un received from God the Grate Cosmic Truth by which to properly teach mankind, after which he spreaded this teaching to the world as Donghak (). At that time there was not a word Jonggyo () that was translated from the western word religion in Asia including Korea. Only the words of Do(Գ), Hak(), Gyo() etc. were replacing the present word Jonggyo (). Therefore at that time the religion became to be called Donghak () in accordances with the Grate Master naming it so, saying that although the truth(Գ) is the Truth of Heaven (Գ), the learning () is Donghak (). This name remained until December 1, 1905. On this day the Third Great Church Leader of Chondogyo (Գ 3 ) Euiam Sungsa () proclaimed to the entire world that Donghak would be changed to Chondogyo. In this way Donghak became to be called Chondogyo today.

 

One of the fundamental doctrine of Donghak the Great Master has bequeathed to us is the teaching that wakens world peoples infected with corrupt egoism to the existence of God who is the origin of all things in the universe and recovers the mind of God and emphasizes to live by the moral influence that God spreads out in the world. In other words, the reason for discord and chaos of endless argument and malicious behavior in the world is because peoples place emphasis on a corrupt and selfish lives without knowing the existence of God in their element. The Grate Master, in his chapter on Podeokmun of Dongkyungdaejeon describes this condition of humanity as follows : These days all peoples of the world follow their own selfish desires and ignore the principles and wills of God.

 

Seeing in this way, Donghak Chondogyo teaching is in carrying on ones life following the principles and wills of God, escaping from the life for each ones own sake that is depraved egoism. In order to achieve this one must be aware of Gods existence as described by the phrase I serve God within me, and its implicit meaning, namely that God is enshrined in the heart of each individual. It is not enough that we feel gratitude for the virtuous example God has given to all things in the universe, every members of Chondogyo must convey this Gods truth to others in the world. Indeed he and she must become a person who spreads the truth throughout the world. In this respect, Ill say that Chondogyo is a religion having the grate task of spreading truth throughout the world. That is to say, the essentials of Chondogyos teaching is in establishing a world that follows the principles and wills of God through spreading the truth throughout the world, taken one step further, realizing that all humankind, even all things of the universe are compatriot of the same origin of life, and establishing a world that glorifies equality, peace, and harmony.

 

(2) Relieve People Everywhere from Suffering (Gwangjechangsaeng, ) and Supporting the Nation and Comforting the People (Bogukanmin, )

 

To achieve the Chondogyos important object that is spreading the truth through the world, the suffering people of the world must be rescued from their misery and dispair. Therefore one of Chondogyos important objectives is to relieve people everywhere from suffering. In other words, the purpose is to rescue the people of world from their misery and despair by guiding those who have descended into lives of corrupt selfishness, malicious infighting, and erroneous ideas onto the proper path. In addition to reliving people everywhere from suffering, supporting the nation and comforting the people is also Chondogyos important religious object. Especially the end of the Joseon Dynasty when the Great Master revealed the Truth, that is to say, the middle of the 19th century when threatening trades were required by the Western Powers. By the way, at that time the people of Joseon Dynasty was in political, social, and cultural confusion by Seohak () coming into a new force. This expanding Western encroachment into the East accompanied by the transmission of Seohak was bringing a sense of anxiety and crisis to Joseon society and to all of East Asian society.

 

At this time the Great Master strongly emphasized that in order to overcome this crisis of nation and people and to plant the banner of supporting the nation and comforting the people, not only the ruling elite class but the common people as well had to profoundly understand the present reality, to be strong and to take action. That is to say, the power to over come this national crisis lay with not only privileged ruling elite yangban () class but also with the common man, and by emphasizing this point the Grate Master awakened the masses to the realization that they comprised this vital force on their own. It was a teaching that opened the eyes of the masses to the fact that their lives and their existence was the main driving force in the world.

 

Thus the spirit of supporting the nation and comforting the people consciousness pursued by Chondogyo proved to be a most important meaning in that historically it introduced a modern dimension that the people themselves became the main body of history by the power of people and opened up the history very independently. In this respect Chondogyo is a religion that opened up the modernization of Korea very naturally in our history, and during the middle part of the 19th century still considered to be the feudal period of Korean history it was not a Western shock, but a religion that was based on developing a self-sustaining modern consciousness teachings.

 

The spirit of supporting the nation and comforting the people was carried over from the Great Master Su-un to the Master Haeweol. In the late 19th century when the Japanese invasions including Western powers invasions were becoming apparent. Not only had this spirit raise the flag of Cheokyang-Cheokwae () high, but also by leading the Donghak Revolution, it united the peoples will to resist the unjust invasion of foreign powers. And the spirit of supporting the nation and comforting the people reached the 3rd Master Euam and was sublimated into the spirit of nation and national independence and led to the 3.1 Independence Movement and reached the 4th Master Chunam and in the late 1930s when the Japanese colonial rule was at its height led to the Muinmyulwaegido (ѷԪ). And this spirit led to the national unification movement after the Liberation of Korea on August 15.

 

Thus in accordance with the spirit of its religious objectives to relieve people everywhere from suffering and to support the nation and comfort the people Chondogyo has fought against the unjust invasions and in a narrow sense carried out the movement for national independence and in a broad sense its called a religion that has carried out a movement of the Hucheongaebyuk (ܣ) that mankind can open up a new level of life.

 

(3) The Post-Cosmic Creation and Returning to the Origin and Becoming One (Donggwiilche, )

 

The Great Master called the present era with its endless fighting and disorder by the mind for ones own initiative, the last era of Pre-Cosmic Creation. In other words, that is that the world, its destiny has entered an era of chaos in the last era of Pre-Cosmic Creation. About this style of the times the Great Master described that this is also a destiny of injury and suffering, as bad disease spread all over the world and all the people are not comfortable for a moment in his Donghak Scripture,

 

But the Great Master said that this confusion and chaos presaged the Post-Cosmic Creation. The Great Master taught that the fate of the Pre-Cosmic Creation nearly spent and the new era of Post-Cosmic Creation would be soon upon us, and all people of the world must prepare for this. Thus according to the Great Master the world before the Post-Cosmic Creation was old and corrupt. The Great Master viewed the historical crisis of the day that was in the grip of a destiny of injury and suffering due to the broken morals of defying the truth of Heaven as the disease destiny of the Pre-Cosmic Creation.

 

Therefore going to have a world like this and opening up a new world of the Post-Cosmic Creation was a ultimate instrument that the Great Master presented his teachings to the world. Thus the Great Master put forward the new Creation, namely the Post-Cosmic Creation as an important idea to open up a whole different dimension like this. Post-Cosmic Creation means not only a material recreation but also a mental recreation. In other words, this means such as the mental recreation changing all the mind and energy of the world in their own favor into the mind and energy of God through serving God within themselves. Going further, This means that I will soon realize God, who has been enshrined in my body, and that I will be in line with Gods virtue. In this way, the person who achieves this mental recreation is called a person of virtue (gunja, ) or a transcendent sage on earth (jisangsinseon, ߾) in Donghak.

 

A person of virtue or a transcendent sage on earth is one who realizes his existence as the infinite I. That is to say, he is someone who has fully comprehended and mastered the virtue of God. This is the ideal type of person being most demanded in the corrupt crisis of the times. But this gunja () and jisangsinseon (߾) is not just anyone who can be such as an established religion or teachings of Pre-Cosmic Creation. The Great Masters pet opinion is that all people in the world, without distinction of nobleman and commoner or distinction of high and low, can be a gunja () and can be a jisangsinseon (߾).

 

Thus this world constructed by such transcendent sages on earth, that is to say, the world in which all people have achieved the state of transcendent sage on earth is indeed the world of the post-cosmic creation and at the same time it is the world of returning to the origin and becoming one. Donggwiilche () is a contrary concept of ones own initiative putting forward only selfish oneself and means going back to the mind of God with Gods will as ones own and at the same time refers to the community of jisangsinseons with the mind of God that is extremely public and not private. Therefore this becomes a important concept that make people jump over individual being called I and look at and recognize society as a place of community called we.

 

This donggwiilche world is just the heaven on earth aspired in Chondogyo. In other words, the ultimate religious aim of Chondogyo is to establish heaven or paradise on earth in which all people enjoy equality and freedom in a donggwiilche society and adonggwiilche world erected by jisangsinseon bearing the mind of God that is extremely public and not private. This is just the post-cosmic creation being aspired in Chondogyo. Thus Chondogyo is a new religion that is founded with a destiny of post-cosmic creation and put in the effort to establish a whole new level of order called post-cosmic creation and a new level of life and a new level of world.




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