Jeung San Do’s teachings encompass a vast range of topics, from the cosmic cycle of the universe to the social order of humanity. I feel that readers encountering the Dojeon for the first time will benefit from an introduction to the major topics that they will encounter within its pages.
Birth, Growth, Harvest, and Rest (生長斂藏)
Humanity has thrived amidst all the life of heaven and earth by forming civilizations. However, the cultures and geography of the East and the West spawned two different perceptions of nature, thus creating two divergent cosmologies, which in turn gave birth to idiosyncratic religions, philosophies, and teachings. Despite their differences, Eastern and Western cosmologies share a central conviction that the universe has a regular, circular cycle. Sahng-jeh-nim spoke of this cycle:
I use the fourfold principle: birth, growth, harvest, and rest. This is the way of change through non-action. (Dojeon 2:49:1)
This eternal cycle of “birth, growth, harvest, and rest” applies to everything, from material life to non-material mind, from the universe as a whole down to the minutest creature. The life cycle of a tree that bears fruit in autumn typifies this process of change. In spring, water qi ascends from the roots of a tree into its branches and leaves begin to sprout. In summer, vibrant and beautiful leaves cover the tree. With the coming of autumn, the leaves wither and fall. During this time, water qi―the essence of life―begins to return to the tree’s roots and its fruit ripens, ensuring the tree’s propagation. In winter, the life of the tree enters deep repose to await a new spring.
This cycle of birth, growth, maturation, and rest, so clear in the life of a humble tree, can also be seen in the life of a person, the history of a civilization, or even in the evolution of the universe. Since this fourfold cycle is a dynamic principle governing the entire universe, understanding it is key to understanding the evolution of cosmic history.
The Later Heaven Gae-byuk (後天開闢)
Jeung San Do’s central teaching is the Later Heaven Gae-byuk.more
Just as there is a year on earth, there is a cosmic year in the universe. Over the course of an earth year, humans farm and harvest to subsist. Over the course of a cosmic year, the universe (with the earth as its focus) nurtures and harvests humanity. This cosmic year is comprised of 129,600 calendar years.
The essence of nature is change, and nature’s change manifests through the flow of time. The flow of time in nature and celestial bodies (the revolution of heaven, earth, sun, and moon) forms the foundation of our perception of time. The most basic and visible progression of time in our lives is the succession of day and night. Earth rotates 360 degrees in one day and orbits the sun 360 degrees per year. Hence, earth’s annual cycle of change is expressed as 129,600 degrees (360 degrees x 360 degrees = 129,600 degrees), which spans the four seasons. Heaven, earth, sun and moon also undergo cycles of change governed by the number 360. The number 360 repeated 360 times as part of a broader cycle yields 129,600; this is the basis for the cosmic year of 129,600 years.
Our body also reflects this cycle of change. On average, our heart beats seventy-two times per minute, and we breathe eighteen times per minute. Within a day, our heartbeats and breaths total 129,600. This number reflects the fundamental cycle of change for the human body and heaven and earth. The key to understanding change within heaven, earth, birth, and cultivation lies within the cosmic year.
Within the cosmic year, the period during which life arises and proliferates is called the Early Heaven. The period during which all life reaches completion and rest is called the Later Heaven. The Early Heaven is comprised of the cosmic seasons of spring and summer, while the Later Heaven encompasses the cosmic seasons of autumn and winter. The transition to the Early Heaven is called the Early Heaven Gae-byuk or the Spring Gae-byuk, while the transition to the Later Heaven is known as the Later Heaven Gae-byuk or the Autumn Gae-byuk. The period during which humanity can create and advance civilization spans fifty thousand years of the Early Heaven and fifty thousand years of the Later Heaven, totaling one hundred thousand years. The remaining thirty thousand or so years is the great ice age. This is the time of rest and rejuvenation during which nature prepares for the birth and cultivation of humanity and all things in the next cosmic spring. Describing this, Sahng-jeh-nim said, “The qi of winter is dao” (Dojeon 2:110:7).
During the Early Heaven, the dynamic of “mutual conflict” prevails in the world; however, during the Later Heaven, the way of “mutual life-giving” will reign. Sahng-jeh-nim taught:
Since human affairs have been governed by the principle of mutual conflict throughout the age of the Early Heaven, they have gone against justice. The accumulation of bitterness and grief has been flooding the three realms of the universe. The lethal qi from this is bursting out into the world, creating horrible disasters. (Dojeon 4:14:2～3)
During the Early Heaven’s reign of mutual conflict, heaven and earth give birth to and nurture humanity. In this era, all beings and things are engaged in a ceaseless maelstrom of strife and war; but they struggle relentlessly to overcome these conditions, advancing toward maturation in the valiant march of history. This has been the process of growth for humanity during the Early Heaven. After this reign of mutual conflict has been transcended, an era of maturity will commence for nature and civilization. This will be the world of mutual life-giving. Sahng-jeh-nim said, “My dao is the great dao of mutual life-giving” (Dojeon 2:15:1) and “Through the dao of mutual life-giving, the dojang of creative change will be established and an unprecedented world of immortality will be realized” (Dojeon 2:31:2).more
During the Early Heaven, all life evolves through division and competition in the era of mutual conflict; but during the Later Heaven, nature will mature and unify in the era of mutual life-giving. The Early Heaven is a period of expansion, while the Later Heaven will be a period of fruition. The Early Heaven is the era dominated by men in a culture of revering yang (oppressed yin and revered yang); the Later Heaven will be the era centered on women in a culture of revering yin (equal yin and yang). The Early Heaven is the period when heaven and earth are revered; the Later Heaven will be the era of human nobility, in which humans are revered.
The Autumn Gae-byuk is the time when nature’s order brings fruition to all matters. This juncture transcends the apocalypse espoused by established religions and inaugurates the destiny of a new world and civilization enabled by a new cosmic order. All cultures incomplete in the Early Heaven will return to their roots, and the essence of those cultures that blossomed during the time of proliferation in the cosmic spring and summer will be brought together to begin a new world: the Later Heaven’s world of immortality.
Sahng-jeh-nim revealed that humanity stands at the cusp of the Later Heaven Gae-byuk. At this time, in accordance with the principle of giving birth in the spring and bringing death in the autumn, cataclysmic change will sweep across the world.
Heaven and earth are now approaching the great autumn. As heaven and earth, which have raised all things, face the destiny of autumn, the bad karma of the Early Heaven will create a great disease and give rise to great turmoil. Following the turmoil, the disease will sweep across the entire world. It cannot be avoided or cured with any known medicine. (Dojeon 7:28:4～6)
During the Autumn Gae-byuk, natural disasters will strike the world. Moreover, the lethal qi of all the unresolved bitterness and grief in the human and spirit worlds will explode, causing a great war and a mysterious disease that will almost completely obliterate humanity. Regarding this, Sahng-jeh-nim said, “In the coming days, [a catastrophic] disease will attack the entire world and annihilate the human race, allowing no means of survival” (Dojeon 7:24:3).
For these reasons, the buddhas, the spirits of all sages, and bodhisattvas approached Sahng-jeh-nim in heaven and entreated Him to provide a means to save humanity during the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk. In response, Sahng-jeh-nim came to this world to guide humanity through the time of gae-byuk via His Great Dao of Mu-geuk. This truth is the new truth of Jeung San Do, and it exceeds the bounds of race, religions, and borders. In the future, it will be the universal truth embraced by all.
The Precepts of the Later Heaven Gae-byuk
Returning to the Origin (原始返本)
At the opening of the cosmic autumn―the Later Heaven Gae-byuk―all people must find the origin of their lives and strive to attain fruition. Sahng-jeh-nim proclaimed this precept of the Autumn Gae-byuk: “Now is the age of returning to the origin” (Dojeon 2:41:1). “Returning to the origin” is an abridged phrase that stems from the full expression “clarifying the beginning and returning to the origin.” Returning to the origin occurs by clarifying the beginning. “Clarifying the beginning” is the recovery of the source of existence within all life. Hence, in human history, “the beginning” and “the origin” represent the essence of humanity’s primordial ur-culture. This essence is found in Spirit Teaching (神敎 Shin-gyo), which signifies receiving the spirits’ teachings through which humans become one with spirits. At the personal level, these spirits are ancestral spirits; ultimately, the greatest of these spirits is Sahng-jeh-nim.more
Returning to the origin also signifies correctly knowing and returning to the origin and the beginning of all matters in the universe, including human affairs. Sahng-jeh-nim revealed the meaning of this precept in detail as follows.
First, during the Autumn Gae-byuk, humanity must recover the essence of the dao of returning to the origin. In ancient Eastern culture, the ruler of this dao has been known as Sahng-jeh, and He has been worshiped through rituals to heaven in both Confucianism and Daoism. At the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk, the maturation of all human beliefs and cultures is accomplished by returning to the harmonious and unifying path―the Great Dao of Mu-geuk―opened by Sahng-jeh-nim, the Ruler of Dao, who came to this world as a human.
Second, at the personal level, the “origin” in “returning to the origin” refers to our ancestors―the ancestral spirits who are the roots of all people. My parents who gave birth to me, and all their ancestors, are the roots of my existence. Living at the very end of the Early Heaven, I am the fruit of these roots. Sahng-jeh-nim said:
If descendants treat their ancestors badly, ancestors treat the descendants in the same way. We are now approaching the autumn destiny of the Later Heaven, in which the seeds of humanity are selected. For those who mistreat their ancestral spirits, it will be difficult to survive. (Dojeon 2:41:5～6)
Sahng-jeh-nim solemnly taught us that the path of life at the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk emanates from the hidden virtue of our ancestral spirits. If I die of the cosmic autumn’s lethal qi, my ancestors die with me; this is true because spirits and humans are the roots of one another―they are one and the same. The people of today must renew their awareness of their ancestral spirits and realize that their ancestors are their gods.
Third, returning to the origin signifies returning to the origin of Confucianism, Buddhism, Immortalism, and Christianity: Spirit Teaching, the original form of all religions. Sahng-jeh-nim said that He would revive Spirit Teaching and use it as the basis for the united civilization of the cosmic autumn. Therefore, in order to resolve the problems manifesting at the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk, we need to understand Spirit Teaching, the most primordial truth.
Thus, in order to return to the origin of life, humanity must return to the origin of dao, Sahng-jeh-nim; to our individual origins, our ancestors; and to the original faith, Spirit Teaching. Only by returning to the origin in these ways can people survive the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk and live as mature beings in the new world.
Offering Gratitude and Repayment (報恩)
As we face the cosmic autumn of heaven and earth, the greatest act of returning to the origin involves offering gratitude to our origins and roots. In this world, nothing exists outside the dynamic of give and take. The precept of “offering gratitude and repayment” states that we must requite the myriad instances and threads of benevolence we have received in our lives. Speaking of this, Sahng-jeh-nim taught:
If you are given a bowl of rice, do not forget it. If you are given only a half a bowl of rice, do not forget it. There is a saying, “Never fail to repay the benevolence of being given a meal.” But I say, “Never fail to repay the benevolence of even half a meal.” (Dojeon 2:40:3～4)
On a global level, offering gratitude and repayment underlies the relationships between societies, peoples, and nations. On an individual level, offering gratitude and repayment is the foundation of the relationships between parents and children, teachers and students, ancestors and descendants, etc. Family bonds, in particular, constitute a heavenly relationship, and so humans have a duty to their ancestors. Only when we offer gratitude and repayment by honoring our ancestors do our lives become healthier and happier. Sahng-jeh-nim taught the importance of revering our ancestors and requiting their benevolence:
Since people receive their bodies from their ancestors and are, therefore, indebted to them, offering ancestral memorial rites is in accord with the virtue of heaven and earth. (Dojeon 9:102:5)
For humans and all life and existence, the greatest benevolence is the benevolence of truth and life, and the source of this benevolence is nature: heaven, earth, sun, and moon. Sahng-jeh-nim said, “Heaven and earth are the parents of humanity . . .” (Dojeon 2:41:4). Since heaven and earth give birth to humans and raise them to maturation, offering gratitude and repayment to heaven and earth is humanity’s duty as offspring.
Sahng-jeh-nim revealed the way for us to requite this celestial debt: “Enlightenment is the ultimate way of repaying heaven and earth” (Dojeon 6:82:5). The cosmic autumn, when all existence reaches maturation, is the most opportune time for us to attain enlightenment and thus offer gratitude and repayment to heaven and earth. Awakening to the principles of gae-byuk and of heaven and earth is the way to save ourselves and repay heaven and earth.
Offering gratitude and repayment, thus, requires us to understand Sahng-jeh-nim’s truth. By entrusting ourselves to Sahng-jeh-nim, we experience and practice His truth, become enlightened, and hence we requite the grace of our parents, heaven and earth.
Resolution of Bitterness and Grief (解寃)
All people, regardless of who they are, carry wishes and desires throughout their lives. However, these wishes and desires cannot all be satisfied. When a person’s wishes are thwarted by society, by material circumstances, or by others, indelible scars as great as the original wishes themselves accumulate in the person’s heart, transforming into vengeful energy and lethal qi. The pain and suffering of many people combine into accumulations of lethal qi that cause disasters and accidents in the world. In the Early Heaven, bitterness and grief accumulated into an ominous reservoir of lethal qi so vast it could destroy humanity, heaven, and earth.
The destiny of the Early Heaven has been mutual conflict. Because mutual conflict has governed humans and all things, and there has not been a single moment in history without war, heaven and earth are filled with bitterness and grief.... The human world faces huge calamities and is on the brink of destruction. (Dojeon 2:12:4～7)
Beneath the current of human history tremble the bitterness and grief of heroes who perished amid suffering and tragedy, spirits of revolutionaries foiled in their attempts to create a better world, women subjugated as men’s chattels of pleasure, babies killed before entering the world, etc. From such bitterness and grief arise hate, curses, revenge, dejection, emptiness, and numerous other maladies.
The bitterness and grief of all life in the Early Heaven must be fundamentally resolved by humans and spirits to achieve the autumn maturation, humanity’s maturation, and the oneness of all cultures. Only when this happens can the cosmic order transform from the mutual conflict of the Early Heaven to the mutual life-giving of the Later Heaven. Sahng-jeh-nim performed the work of renewing heaven and earth to resolve all bitterness and grief:
Only when all the bitterness that has accumulated since ancient times and all the tragedies resulting from it are resolved will everlasting peace be attained.... This is why the order of heaven and earth has to be remade. By rectifying the way of spirits, I will resolve the bitterness that has accumulated throughout history. A world of immortality can then be opened through the dao of mutual life-giving. (Dojeon 4:14:1,4～6)
The resolution of bitterness and grief should not be understood as being limited to humans. In order to resolve the history of mutual conflict in the Early Heaven, the bitterness and grief of spirits must first be resolved to extinguish all tragedies. This resolution of the spirits’ bitterness and grief is possible only with the aid of humans. Sahng-jeh-nim, through his nine-year work of renewal, resolved the bitterness and grief of both humans and spirits, fundamentally healing the heaven and earth of the Early Heaven.
Mutual Life-Giving (相生)
If the Early Heaven is characterized as the time of bitterness and wickedness under the reign of mutual conflict, then the Later Heaven is the time of blessings and goodness under the order of mutual life-giving. The resolution of bitterness and grief may be seen as the release of these negative energies that are lodged like thorns in the life energy of humans, spirits, and all matter, whereas mutual life-giving is the saving and betterment of one another’s lives.more
Along with the resolution of bitterness and grief, which is the means of healing humanity’s malaise, mutual life-giving is the new way of life in the new world―the great dao of deliverance that enables our return to the origin. The resolution of bitterness and grief is central to ending all relationships of conflict among all life in the universe, while mutual life-giving is crucial in enabling a harmonious co-existence among all life. Sahng-jeh-nim declared that He would disassemble and reconstruct the diseased world and supersede heaven and earth’s order of mutual conflict with the dao of mutual life-giving to open a new world.
I will bring harmony among the spirits so that the bitterness that has built up over the ages can be resolved. Through the dao of mutual life-giving, the dojang of creative change will be established and an unprecedented world of immortality will be realized. (Dojeon 2:31:1～2)
The new world of mutual life-giving in the Later Heaven will be about helping others realize happiness, and it will be the societal norm to better one another and improve one another’s lives. Thus, life in the new world will be filled with dao mind, justness, goodness, and virtue.
Our work is the practice of helping others do well. After others prosper, we need only to take what remains and our work will be accomplished. (Dojeon 2:15:8)
The dao of mutual life-giving begins with the requisite conditions of offering gratitude and repayment and the resolution of bitterness and grief. In practice, these three precepts depend on one another and merge into one. Offering gratitude and repayment renews the relationships between: humanity and its parents, heaven and earth; spirits and humans; humans and humans; humans and nature. Such a renewal of relationships will aid in the resolution of bitterness and grief, cleansing all relationships tainted by mutual conflict. Mutual life-giving will establish a condition of harmony among all life in the universe.
The Work of Renewing Heaven and Earth:
The Meaning of Chun-jee-gohng-sa
The Ruling God of the universe, Sahng-jeh-nim, incarnated into this world to fundamentally heal the diseased world and weave together programs for the new world and civilization. This is Chun-jee-gohng-sa, the work of saving heaven and earth, the work of gae-byuk.more
Chun-jee-gohng-sa translates as “the work done with heaven and earth,” signifying “the work determined by heaven and earth.” This work entails the disassembly and reconstruction of heaven and earth; in it, Sahng-jeh-nim, together with heaven and earth, determined the future of humanity. Thus, Chun-jee-gohng-sa is about human affairs. Human affairs become history, and history evolves according to doh-su (programs). In the Government of Creative Change, the government of spirits, Sahng-jeh-nim passed judgment on Early Heaven’s history and laid the framework of a new future, which has been materializing in history ever since He began His work of renewal. His work of renewal affects both world affairs and dao affairs: the work of world affairs determines the destiny of world history; the work of dao affairs establishes the path by which the successors of Sahng-jeh-nim’s dao will complete His work.
The Formation of the Government of Creative Change
Unification of the Spirit World in Heaven
Unifying the divided and chaotic spirit world was a necessary step in establishing the programs (doh-su) for opening the new world and civilization. Sahng-jeh-nim said, “Spirits are the ultimate manifestation of heaven’s principle. When conducting the work of renewal, I always make decisions with them” (Dojeon 4:50:1). The ultimate purpose of existence for spirits is realized through humans, and the meaning of existence for humans is realized through the spirits.more
Sahng-jeh-nim first rectified and united the world of the spirits in heaven, which had been suffering from disunity and turmoil during the Early Heaven’s reign of mutual conflict. Then, Sahng-jeh-nim led the spirits of civilizations, the spirits of failed revolutionaries, spirits with unresolved bitterness, the regional spirits, and the spirits of founding ancestors2 in the formation of the “Government of Creative Change,” which plans and directs the building of humanity’s new world. Thereafter, Sahng-jeh-nim and these spirits created heaven and earth’s court to pass judgment on humanity’s fifty-thousand-year history of the Early Heaven and to conduct the Autumn Gae-byuk to create a new civilization of mutual life-giving for the fifty thousand years of the Later Heaven.
Unification of Terrestrial Energies
Civilization is intrinsically tied to the land because land is the basic foundation of people’s lives and provides essential ingredients for forming a civilization. The terrestrial energies of the land determine the manner of a people’s existence and the path of a civilization’s rise and development. Under the Early Heaven’s way of mutual conflict, terrestrial energies were imbalanced. Thus, the East and the West had divergent perceptions about spirits, and the people of each region across the world worshiped their own regional spirits, developing diverse civilizations marked by numerous conflicts.
Since ancient times, because the regional spirits as well as the terrestrial energies of the various regions have not been united, wars and feuds have constantly broken out between tribes of different lands. The union of regional spirits and the union of terrestrial energies will be the fundamental impetus behind eternal peace among humanity. (Dojeon 4:17:1～2)
In order to unite the peoples of the world as one family and open the immortal paradise of creative change, the terrestrial energies must first be united in harmony. The uniting of terrestrial energies started with the parent mountains, which are Mo-ahk Mountain (mother mountain), in Jeonju County, and Hwey-moon Mountain (father mountain), in Soon-chahng County (Dojeon 4:51:1～3). Aided by virtuous spirits, Sahng-jeh-nim activated the auspicious energy within the parent mountains and then applied the energies of their ‘children,’ the Four Auspicious Sites―Buddhist Monks In Prayer (胡僧禮佛), Subjects Obedient to the King’s Orders (群臣奉朝), Five Immortals Playing Ba-dook (五仙圍碁), Female Immortals Weaving Silk (仙女織錦)―to release the blocked terrestrial energies and unite the energies of heaven and earth into one.
Unification of Regional Spirits
Terrestrial energies are inseparably linked with regional spirits in a yin and yang relationship. Sahng-jeh-nim united the regional spirits that had been presiding over the development of regional civilizations and opened the way of harmonious exchange among them.
In the age of the Early Heaven, the boundaries within the three realms were closed. Unable to communicate with each other or travel across each other’s territories, regional spirits merely guarded their own areas. For this reason, the scale of their work was small. But this is the age of global oneness. Now that the way of spirits has been opened, the spirits of all countries may travel to other countries and exchange cultures. (Dojeon 4:6:1～3)
By uniting the world’s regional spirits, Sahng-jeh-nim facilitated exchange among them; this unity and exchange is the basis and impetus for peace among humanity. This work of uniting the regional spirits is not found in any culture or religion throughout history, because such work was feasible only with the boundless authority of Sahng-jeh-nim, the True God, the Ruling God.
The Two Currents of Chun-jee-gohng-sa:
World Affairs (世運) and Dao Affairs (道運)
After uniting the world of spirits and forming the Government of Creative Change, Sahng-jeh-nim, aided by this government, conducted His nine-year work of renewing heaven and earth (1901～1909). This work of renewal enabled the wills of the universe and of the way of spirits to come together and be fulfilled in human history. “In disassembling and reconstructing heaven and earth, I have firmly fixed the programs without allowing a single drop of water to escape. When the proper time is reached, a new framework will be established” (Dojeon 5:320:1～2).
Sahng-jeh-nim’s work of renewal manifested in history in two areas: world affairs and dao affairs.
He wove a framework so fine that a drop of water could not have escaped, so that His profound vision of establishing the world of immortality would unfold through the developments of world affairs and dao affairs. (Dojeon 5:1:9)
Sahng-jeh-nim highly esteemed the willpower and courage of the spirits of failed revolutionaries and the spirits with unresolved bitterness who died trying to bring justice to the world. Sahng-jeh-nim made them the foundation of world affairs and dao affairs so that they could participate in the work of ushering in a new civilization. Near the end of the growth period of the Early Heaven’s cosmic summer, Sahng-jeh-nim resolved the bitterness and grief of the spirits with unresolved bitterness, brought an end to the order of mutual conflict, and corrected the order of history to enable the founding of a united civilization. This was the work of renewal for world affairs. The bitterness and grief of the spirits of failed revolutionaries was resolved by applying them to the world’s religions. By doing so, Sahng-jeh-nim devised a program for the emergence of His il-ggoon and their leaders who will save humanity during the Autumn Gae-byuk and build the Later Heaven’s world of immortality. This is the work of renewal for dao affairs.
Chun-jee-gohng-sa Unfolding in History
Sahng-jeh-nim’s work of renewal materializes in human history as historical events via a dynamic involving three different, complementary forces. All cultures of the East and West have tried to peer into nature’s principle (a pursuit that evolved into the scientific standpoint) and into spirituality (a pursuit which evolved into the religious standpoint). The tradition of ancient Greece and the traditions of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Immortalism have tried to grasp both nature’s principle and spirituality. Sahng-jeh-nim unified spirituality and the principle of the universe, and using this unity as a basis, He corrected human history. This process is in accordance with the law of li-shin-sa, expressed in English as: principle of the universe, way of spirits, human affairs. It is in accordance with this law that all works of renewal materialize as historical events.
All matters in the universe evolve in accordance with the fourfold process of birth, growth, harvest, and rest, and they manifest through the dynamic of yin and yang and the five elements. The fourfold process is absolutely fair and impartial, applying to the entire universe―it is Sahng-jeh-nim’s principle of rule. Sahng-jeh-nim’s work of renewing heaven and earth was based on this impartial principle of cosmic change.
We have been taught, and have believed, that the history of civilization has evolved in accordance with nature’s principles and human activities. However, Sahng-jeh-nim revealed to us that all changes in the world occur through the intervention of spirits.
Heaven and earth are filled with spirits. A leaf dries or an earthen wall collapses when a spirit leaves. A thorn goes under a fingernail when a spirit enters. (Dojeon 2:87:4)
Heaven and earth are full of spirits. There is no place without spirits, and there is no work in which spirits do not participate.
Nothing can occur without the intervention of spirits: all material and non-material existence in the universe evolves through their intermediation. Since spirits must therefore participate in establishing the new order of the universe, Sahng-jeh-nim opened the gate of the spirit world so that the spirits could aid Him in establishing programs to inaugurate the new world.
All historical events manifest when the principle of the universe and the way of spirits converge:
There is a heavenly mandate for each thing and each affair. Spirits design each thing and each affair on the basis of its mandate. It finally becomes reality through humans inspired by spirits.
All changes and events in heaven and earth, whether they are grand or minuscule, are ripples in history directed by spirits. As such, human history is first shaped by the way of spirits; then, by receiving energy from the world of spirits, humans enact the course of actions that comprise history. The vast programs in the work of renewal devised by Sahng-jeh-nim become reality through humans inspired by spirits.
Four Aspects of Gae-byuk
The Gae-byuk of Spirits
Correcting nature’s disorder at the end of the Early Heaven, rectifying the distortion of civilizations’ histories, ending all conflict, and resolving all bitterness and grief in heaven and earth are key aspects of the Autumn Gae-byuk. Since everything happens by spiritual intervention, the activation of the spirits’ power of creative change is central to gae-byuk. The world of spirits must undergo renewal in a gae-byuk of spirits so that they and Sahng-jeh-nim can pass judgment on the humanity of the past, present, and future.more
In renewing the spirit world, Sahng-jeh-nim first united the spirits of all the regions, which had been divided and in constant conflict, in order to bring harmony among different peoples. In particular, Sahng-jeh-nim had the founding ancestral spirits of each family line participate in the Government of Creative Change so that their descendants could find the pathway to life.
Change of the Four Heads of the Early Heaven’s Religions
For the work concerning the gae-byuk of the spirit world, Sahng-jeh-nim replaced the heads of the Early Heaven’s religious cultures with prominent figures who were instrumental in advancing civilizations and who were greatly revered by the spirits in heaven and earth. This is the foundation for the culture of the cosmic autumn.
Immortalism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and the Dao of the West are the basis of many cultures in the world. Now, Chey Su-oon becomes the head of Immortalism; Jin-mook, the head of Buddhism; Zhu Xi, the head of Confucianism; and Matteo Ricci, the head of the Dao of the West. They will bring together the essence of each tradition. Leading the spirits who head the branches of each teaching and the spirits of civilizations, they will extract the essence of the many different cultures and unite them into one. (Dojeon 4:16:1～6)
In the realm of spirits, the Jesuit Priest Matteo Ricci was instrumental in opening the gate of wisdom for humanity and thus helped accelerate the advancement of science and technology. Zhu Xi synthesized Confucianism and significantly influenced subsequent generations in ethics, virtue, and scholarship. Great Monk Jin-mook led the spirits who head the branches of each teaching of the East to the West to advance civilization. Chey Su-oon proclaimed both the message of gae-byuk and the time of serving the Lord of Heaven, who would come in person.
Change of the Spirits in Charge of Myung-bu
The place in charge of the life and death of humans and spirits is the heavenly court, Myung-bu. It is the place that passes judgment on humans and spirits in accordance with their virtues, accomplishments, and transgressions
All affairs in the world are decided in accordance with the judgment made in the work of renewal for Myung-bu. Confusion in Myung-bu causes disorder in the world. I place Jun Bong-joon in charge of the Korean Myung-bu, Gim Il-bu in charge of the Chinese Myung-bu, Chey Su-oon in charge of the Japanese Myung-bu, and Matteo Ricci in charge of the Western Myung-bu. These heads of Myung-bu will end disorder. (Dojeon 4:4:6～7)
It is important to correct the order of Myung-bu because Myung-bu is the place of deciding the life and death of humans and spirits at the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk, when judgment is passed on the civilizations of the last stage of the Early Heaven.
The Gae-byuk of Nature
Essentially, the gae-byuk of nature is a change in the order of heaven and earth’s movements. This is the process of ending the Early Heaven’s reign of mutual conflict and its order of oppressed yin and revered yang and beginning the Later Heaven’s era of mutual life-giving and its new order of equal yin and yang. The gae-byuk of nature will be accomplished by disassembling and reconstructing the movements of the sun, the moon, heaven, and earth. Alluding to this gae-byuk, Sahng-jeh-nim said:more
Those who have studied the matter say the directions are about to change; but who in the world knows I have changed the direction of heaven and earth? (Dojeon 4:98:1)
The “change of directions” refers to the correction of the earth’s orientation as the planet’s rotational axis is suddenly cured of its present tilt of 23.5 degrees. This correction is the gae-byuk of space. Also, the earth’s elliptical orbit around the sun (currently completed in 365¼days) will become a perfectly circular orbit of 360 days. This is the gae-byuk of time.
The current tilt in the earth’s axis obstructs heaven and earth’s harmonious order, causing intense cold and intense heat. The earth’s elliptical orbit caused increased yang and decreased yin, resulting in the Early Heaven’s era of oppressed yin and revered yang. With His power of creative change, Sahng-jeh-nim conducted a work of renewal that will harmonize the earth’s axis and orbit; thus, intense cold and heat will disappear and the era of equal yin and yang, the harmonious era of mutual life-giving, will dawn.
The Gae-byuk of Humanity
In order to live in the world of the Later Heaven, people must completely abandon the ways of the Early Heaven and become new human beings. This gae-byuk of humanity entails a complete transformation and renewal of all ways of life, abandoning all views and thoughts internalized in the Early Heaven:more
Abandon decrepit ways of living, and strive for new life. If even a single old habit remains, you will be ruined. (Dojeon 2:47:2～3)
In the Early Heaven, people lived a narrowly defined existence. Existing in the shadow of technological civilization, people lost sight of their true ways and became enslaved by norms and steeped in deceit and wicked ways. Forsaking their original minds, humanity developed crude and barbaric civilizations.
Those who intend to live in the new era of the Autumn Gae-byuk must undergo their personal gae-byuk. Those who successfully undergo this process are the people who have recovered their original mind―the mind that is one with heaven and earth―becoming one with the fundamental life force of the universe. People who have achieved this perfect harmony with heaven and earth are enlightened about the purpose of heaven and earth and will fulfill this purpose.
People who have one mind are one with the spirituality or divinity within themselves and have thus achieved the union of spirits and humans. This union is a dynamic collaboration between spirits and humans, allowing them to effect change on reality. Thus, the union of spirits and humans signifies the world of creative change, where anything can be achieved: “My world is the world of immortality and creative change.... In the Later Heaven, spirits and humans become one” (Dojeon 2:16:3,9).
The mature human beings who have achieved one mind will live according to spiritual wisdom. Not limited by rational understanding, they will be able to see the past, present, and future with their spiritual eyes. Only transformed humans in harmony with spirits can build the culture of mahn-sa-jee (萬事知 “all-knowing” or “omniscience”) in the Later Heaven’s world of immortality, where there is no deception or conflict.
The Gae-byuk of Civilization
The history of human civilization is the history of bloodshed. Today, the reality of modern civilization is one of mutual conflict in the form of confrontation by physical force and by economic interest. Sahng-jeh-nim proclaimed that civilization had reached the height of conflict. He decreed the end of this civilization of mutual conflict in order to build a new civilization of mutual life-giving―the new civilization of immortality―on earth. This is the gae-byuk of civilization.more
In order to open this new civilization of unity under mutual life-giving, all conflict, bitterness, and grief festering in the civilization of mutual conflict must be resolved, and all history distorted under the Early Heaven’s mutual conflict must be corrected.
The Resolution of Danzhu’s Bitterness and Grief
The first step in opening the new civilization is the resolution of the bitterness and grief of Danzhu. His story offers an important insight into the origin of conflict and of bitterness and grief in the Early Heaven. He is the key to the process of ending the Early Heaven’s mutual conflict and beginning the new world and civilization.
Danzhu was a tragic figure who lived at the time of King Yao and King Shun in the twenty-third century bc. Danzhu was King Yao’s son. In Confucianism, Yao and Shun are revered as sage kings and their reigns have been venerated as a time of great peace and prosperity. However, the history of Yao and Shun has been distorted; Sahng-jeh-nim revealed the true history:
The reigns of King Yao and King Shun have been celebrated as prime examples of virtuous ruling, but the tears of the people caused a nine-year flood. Because King Yao gained his kingdom with might, the flood swept the land, forcing the people to wander. (Dojeon 4:24:3～4)
The nine-year flood was caused by the tears of people who wept because King Yao gained his kingdom through conquest and because King Shun executed numerous people. The belief that the reigns of Yao and Shun was a time of virtuous ruling is a fallacy.
King Yao’s son Danzhu was bright and wise, and he had the necessary virtue to rule the world with justice and harmony. Sahng-jeh-nim recognized him as a monumental figure who endeavored to create peace and prosperity in the world. He also explained that Danzhu’s dao was superior to that of King Yao and King Shun and that if Danzhu had ruled in the time of the two kings, the world would have become one family, inaugurating an era of great peace (Dojeon 4:24).
However, regarding Danzhu as unworthy, King Yao gave the kingdom to Shun, to whom he had married his two daughters. This caused deep bitterness within Danzhu because he could not carry out his intention of creating a world united in peace and prosperity. “King Yao invented the game of ba-dook and gave it to Danzhu” (Dojeon 4:54:1), and Danzhu sought solace playing the game. But from then on, bitterness became deeply rooted in history, and as centuries passed, more and more bitterness and grief accumulated until it filled heaven and earth, thrusting the world to the verge of destruction (Dojeon 4:15).
Danzhu is the root of history’s bitterness and grief, and therefore the resolution of the Early Heaven’s bitterness and grief must start with him. By having Danzhu “rule over world affairs” (Dojeon 4:24:20), Sahng-jeh-nim resolved Danzhu’s grief, and He used that resolution as the precedent for resolving bitterness and grief worldwide.
If the deep bitterness of Danzhu is resolved, all the knots of bitterness that have been tied over and over for thousands of years will become untangled. (Dojeon 4:15:2)
Sahng-jeh-nim conducted a work of renewal to resolve all the bitterness and grief in the world, addressing the resolution of Danzhu’s bitterness and grief first. To resolve Danzhu’s bitterness and grief, Sahng-jeh-nim performed a work of renewal for the Five Immortals Playing Ba-dook and the three world wars―a process framed in accordance with a Korean wrestling tournament. Through the Program of Five Immortals Playing Ba-dook, Danzhu, who spent most of his life playing ba-dook, could fulfill his noble vision of creating a world united in peace and prosperity. The bitterness and grief of the spirits who died harboring deep anguish and woe will be resolved by allowing them to participate in the three wars. Thus, starting with the resolution of Danzhu’s bitterness and grief, all the bitterness and grief festering in the Early Heaven will be released.
Clarifying Ancient Korean History
According to Confucius, “Gahn (5) is the trigram of the northeast. For all things, the end and the beginning are realized in the direction of Gahn. Thus, all things are accomplished in the direction of Gahn” (I Ching Commentary). This signifies that the time of human civilization will set in the direction of Gahn, and a new civilization will dawn from Gahn―the Eastern land of Korea―according to Eastern cosmology. For this reason, Sahng-jeh-nim, the Ruling God of the universe, incarnated in Korea to begin a new civilization.
However, Korea, the home of the root civilization of humanity, has been severed from its roots and has had its history distorted, experiencing numerous invasions by China and Japan since ancient times. Distortion and usurpation of Korea’s history continues to this day, as illustrated by the Chinese government’s five-year “Northeast Asia Project,” launched in 2002. The project claims the history of Korea’s Koguryo dynasty (37 bc～ad 668) as part of Chinese national history. Korea’s intrinsic connection to the dynasty is demonstrated by the country’s name, which was derived from the name of the Koryo dynasty, which succeeded the Koguryo dynasty.
The Korean people originally practiced Spirit Teaching and have long revered Sahng-jeh-nim and the spirits in heaven and earth. The tradition of performing rites in honor of spirits has its origin in Korea. Since the end of the Three Sacred Dynasties called Hwahn-gook, Bae-dahl, and Old Joseon, the true history of ancient Korea has been distorted by China and Japan. The Korean people, cut off from their roots, have been deeply wounded. (Dojeon 1:1:5～6)
Korea, located in the northeast direction of Gahn, has carefully preserved the root culture of humanity. The succession of this culture has been passed down through the Three Sacred Dynasties, reigned by rulers bearing the respective titles: Hwahn-in, Hwahn-oong, and Dahn-goon. Afterward, Korea passed through the eras of divided dynasties until the present time. However, Sahng-jeh-nim restored the distorted and lost Korean history, reviving the history of the root civilization.
How Will the New World Arrive?
Events at the Time of the Autumn Gae-byuk
The universe is a great living entity, and all lives undergo the processes of quantitative growth and qualitative fruition. In other words, when autumn arrives, growth stops, but qualitative changes enable fruition, advancing life to another state of existence. The transformation from quantitative change to qualitative change is not gradual; rather, it occurs in a huge leap. This happens because the transformation is an advancement onto an entirely new level of existence. In Eastern cosmology, the period of this change is the time when the cosmic summer gives way to the cosmic autumn.more
At the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk, the new energy of heaven and earth will open. This autumn energy brings maturation to all life and existence and unifies all consciousnesses into one. This energy is completely different from the energy of the cosmic spring and summer, for as Sahng-jeh-nim said: “The qi of autumn is spirit” (Dojeon 2:110:6). The energy of heaven and earth during the Autumn Gae-byuk is lethal qi, and it is the west spirits who will bear it as they kill all life and stop the growth of the Early Heaven. Sahng-jeh-nim described this as “the benevolence of giving birth in the spring and the sternness of bringing death in the autumn” (Dojeon 8:37:2). Sahng-jeh-nim reserved the role of the West Spirit for Himself:
The West Spirit assumes the mandate, and thus governs all beings, gathers all enlightened knowledge, and accomplishes something great. This is gae-byuk. Some come to fruition with the autumn wind, while others wither and fall. The truthful will bear great fruit and gain everlasting life. The false will wither and fall, suffering eternal death. (Dojeon 4:19:2～5)
The Father who sits on the great white throne, as described in the Christian Bible, is the West Spirit, and His white throne symbolizes autumn energy. He opens the autumn energy of heaven and earth and harvests nature, civilization, and humanity; this harvest has been the ultimate purpose of the universe since its creation. It is for the purpose of this harvest that west spirits will appear bearing lethal qi and mercilessly withdraw life from all beings, save for those who attain fruition.
The inevitable events of the Autumn Gae-byuk will be truly catastrophic, affecting not only humanity, but also nature and civilization. Sahng-jeh-nim foreshadowed these events:
In this time of the gae-byuk of heaven and earth, how could there be no wars? There will be war all over the world. (Dojeon 5:144:3)
The disaster of war and the disaster of disease will break out simultaneously. Right after the war erupts, disease will strike. War will be stopped only by disease. (Dojeon 7:67:5～6)
Those who have studied the matter say the directions are about to change; but who in the world knows I have changed the direction of heaven and earth? (Dojeon 4:98:1)
As these quotes show, the Autumn Gae-byuk will manifest in three forms. First, in order to resolve the bitterness and grief of the world that resulted from the order of mutual conflict in the Early Heaven, the final war of humanity will erupt. To end this war, west spirits (the mysterious disease) will appear with the lethal qi and reap the seeds of humanity for the Later Heaven. Third, when the pole shifts, the Early Heaven’s order of mutual conflict will end and the Later Heaven’s world of mutual life-giving will begin.
The Great War That Ends the Early Heaven’s Civilization
In order for the world’s civilizations to be united, mutual conflict must end and all accumulated bitterness and grief must be resolved. Sahng-jeh-nim conducted the work of renewal to end mutual conflict through three world wars. The first and second wars were intended to balance the skewed relationship between the East and West formed during the Early Heaven’s era of mutual conflict. The third and last war is the ultimate contest, the final conflict of humanity in the Early Heaven. Sahng-jeh-nim compared these three wars to a traditional Korean wrestling tournament called ssee-reum: “The state of the present world is like a wrestling tournament. First the children wrestle, and then the youths wrestle. Finally, the adults wrestle in the ultimate contest that ends the tournament” (Dojeon 5:7:1).more
Sahng-jeh-nim framed the three wars in accordance with the game ba-dook:
Using the qi and spirit of an auspicious site on that mountain called Five Immortals Playing Ba-dook (五仙圍碁), I will change the direction of world affairs. Two immortals are in a match, two are giving advice, and one is the host. Unable to take sides, the host simply watches the match and entertains the guests. As long as the host does not lack hospitality, the host fulfills his duty. When the match ends and everyone leaves, the game board and ba-dook stones are returned to the host. Long ago, Gaozu of the Han dynasty is said to have gained the world on horseback, but we will gain the world sitting down. (Dojeon 5:6:2～7)
The auspicious site called Five Immortals Playing Ba-dook is in the shape of five immortals gathered around a ba-dook board, engaged in competition. four immortals are engaged in a match: two playing and two giving advice. These represent four powers. Korea is the fifth power (or immortal), ‘the ba-dook board owner.’
World War I and World War II
The first contest, between ‘children,’ began as the Russo-Japanese War (1904) and ended with World War I (1914～1918). In order to weaken the might of world powers, Sahng-jeh-nim conferred a heavenly mandate onto General Guan Yu to lead Korean spirits to the West to start a war among the Western powers. “Because Korea has honored Guan Yu so highly, he should repay us by participating in My work” (Dojeon 3:121:4). Receiving this mandate, Guan Yu caused war among Western powers for the purpose of driving those powers out of the East in order to save weak nations from demise.
The contest between ‘youths,’ marked by greater intensity, began as the Sino-Japanese War (beginning in 1937) and ended with World War II (1939～1945). When Sahng-jeh-nim was conducting the work of renewal, many nations in the East were being subjugated and exploited by Western imperialism. In order to save the East, Sahng-jeh-nim used Japan as a fulcrum to defeat the Western imperial powers.
If Western power is not driven out, the East will be trampled by the West forever. Therefore, it is correct to drive out the Western power to protect the East, and to do so, I appoint Japan as heaven and earth’s great il-ggoon. (Dojeon 5:26:4～5)
Thereafter, in 1945, Korea and many nations around the world gained independence with the end of World War II.
The Final War: the Ultimate Contest Between South and North Korea
The third, ultimate contest, between ‘adults,’ represents the final war, a global conflict that starts at the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk. This is the great war that signifies the end of the history of mutual conflict in the Early Heaven and the beginning of a new era of mutual life-giving in the Later Heaven. The place where the ultimate contest will start was alluded to by Confucius: “For all things, the end and the beginning are realized in Gahn” (Dojeon 1:5:2). The direction of Gahn, northeast, connotes Korea. Sahng-jeh-nim taught:
With the ultimate contest, the end will come in the direction of Gahn (5). The world comes to a close through a war. How could there not be a war at the time of gae-byuk? (Dojeon 7:67:1～2)
Thus, the final war that determines the fate of the human civilization and inaugurates the new world of the Later Heaven will start on the Korean Peninsula. Sahng-jeh-nim’s proclamations clearly specify the focus of the war:
The center of the ring will be on Korea’s three-eight line. There, the ultimate contest of the world will be held. The Court of Judgment for All Nations will be placed in Korea. When the ox comes out to the ring, the tournament is coming to an end. (Dojeon 5:7:3～4)
The “three-eight line” represents the thirty-eighth parallel of the Korean Peninsula, where South and North Korea are locked in conflict, backed by the United States and Japan on one side and by China and Russia on the other.
When World War II ended, Korea gained independence. At that time, in accordance with the framework of the Five Immortals Playing Ba-dook, the Soviet Union entered the Korean Peninsula north of the thirty-eighth parallel and the United States entered the south, leading to the division of the peninsula. The divided Koreas have been in conflict for the last sixty years. Now the ultimate contest awaits. This conflict is more than just a war that will resolve the power struggle between the East and the West or between capitalism and communism.
Today, foreshadowing the ultimate contest (the final war), the conflict between South and North Korea has once again become the center of the world’s attention. The Korean Peninsula’s nuclear issues, namely North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, could quickly escalate into a worldwide conflict involving nuclear arms. Thus, the world stands on alert over North Korea’s nuclear armament. However, Sahng-jeh-nim conducted a work of renewal for burying the fire energy not only of nuclear weapons but also of heaven and earth themselves:
In heaven and earth, there is a huge fireball as large as Byun Mountain. If that fireball were to manifest itself and roll across the world, the whole world would be burned to ashes, so I have buried the fire. (Dojeon 5:168:16～17)
The ultimate contest between South and North Korea is the great work of renewal in which all the fire of mutual conflict resulting from the Early Heaven’s history will be buried. In other words, the ultimate contest is the great work of renewal that will bury the fire of disaster, destruction, and death.
Today, with the ultimate contest’s imminence, the conflict between South and North Korea is becoming an important issue in the world. The conflict is a powder keg that will trigger a world war that will doom humanity. The power struggle between the United States and Japan versus Russia and China over East Asia is playing out on the Korean Peninsula through the divided Koreas, continuously escalating tension toward war on the peninsula. When the ultimate contest erupts at the thirty-eighth parallel, a larger war will erupt in China:
A war will begin at the three-eight line, but the great war will occur in China. China will dissolve after being kicked around by nations coming and going. (Dojeon 7:67:4)
Sahng-jeh-nim said, “The ultimate contest is about to be determined!” (Dojeon 5:236:9). The end of the final world war will bring an end to the Early Heaven’s order of mutual conflict. The Autumn Gae-byuk will usher in the new order of mutual life-giving. Korea, the ba-dook board owner, will unify the world’s civilizations, “uniting the world as one family under one government” (Dojeon 5:236:10).
Judgment by the Mysterious Disease
Sahng-jeh-nim conducted His work of renewal to open the new order of mutual life-giving in the Later heaven. For this to happen, all problems accumulated throughout history under the Early Heaven’s reign of mutual conflict and the antiquated energy of the cosmic summer must be cleared away. For this purpose, Sahng-jeh-nim summoned spirits of heaven and earth to wage the greatest war of humanity, the ultimate contest of the final world war. When the ultimate contest begins, a disaster of disease of unparalleled magnitude will strike amid the cauldron of war.more
The disaster of war and the disaster of disease will come together. I had intended to correct the imbalance between the East and West by inducing warfare, but it would be difficult for the East to compete in such an uneven match. Instead, it will be done through a disease.... When the war breaks out, the disaster of disease will follow. The disaster of war (兵亂) is the disaster of disease (病亂). (Dojeon 7:25:1～2,8)
Judgment by this catastrophic disease will occur when the spirits of the mysterious disease arrive bearing the lethal qi of autumn and sweep across the world. There will be no bias when this disease passes judgment on humanity. These spirits will kill all people, whether they are young or old, men or women, poor or wealthy, powerful or meek, believer or non-believer, good or bad.
All the Early Heaven’s bad karma and the bitterness, grief, and vengeance of the spirits create diseases in the world that will develop into a mysterious disease. There has been no illness of such magnitude in spring and summer. When the season changes to autumn, the karma of the prior two seasons will give rise to the disease. Heaven and earth are now approaching the great autumn. As heaven and earth, which have raised all things, face the destiny of autumn, the bad karma of the Early Heaven will create a great disease and give rise to great turmoil. Following the turmoil, the disease will sweep across the entire world. It cannot be avoided or cured with any known medicine. (Dojeon 7:28:2～6)
When the mysterious disease strikes the world, no advanced medical technology or medicine will cure it, because the disease will emanate from heaven and earth’s lethal qi of autumn. The nature of this disease will not be known by modern medicine. Moreover, “When the catastrophic disease arrives, it will strike the pharmacies and hospitals ahead of all other places” (Dojeon 7:26:3). Thus, when the catastrophic disease arrives as part of the Autumn Gae-byuk, a shadow of death will cover humanity.
When the mysterious disease breaks out, people will die in their sleep, during their meals, or even while they are walking. There will be no one to tie the dead bodies. The bodies will be disposed of using pitchforks. People will not have time to put their shoes on properly.... When the time comes for the catastrophic disease to take its toll, it will be like being swept away by a flood. Those lying down will not have time to get up, and those eating their meals will not have the chance to drink a spoonful of broth. (Dojeon 7:26:1～2,8)
When the disease strikes, you will hear the echoing cries of humanity calling out to you to be rescued. The stench of rotting bodies will spread throughout the world, making it difficult for even one with a strong stomach to eat a spoonful of rice. (Dojeon 7:31:2～3)
Smallpox is the harbinger of the Autumn Gae-byuk. The judgment of disease will begin with the arrival of smallpox, which will strike the Korean Peninsula. Sahng-jeh-nim said:
It is the spirit of smallpox. This spirit is coming only to the nation of the emperor. For some time in the future, there will be no smallpox, but eventually it will break out again, and when it does, it will be widespread. At that time, be aware that a truly catastrophic disease is about to break out. (Dojeon 7:47:6～7)
In describing where this catastrophic disease will strike first and how long it will sweep across the globe, Sahng-jeh-nim said, “It will break out in Korea first, because the way of saving people from this catastrophic disease is to be found in Korea” (Dojeon 7:30:2). He added:
After the mysterious disease breaks out in Gwahng-ju and Na-ju, the province of South Jul-la will be littered with corpses. After it breaks out in Goon-sahn, the province of North Jul-la will also be littered with corpses. After it strikes Incheon, the entire world will be in the same horrible state. After this plague breaks out in Goon-sahn, the place of its origination, it will spread in circles for seven days and then leap toward the northwest. By that time, the situation will have become desperate. It will attack Korea for forty-nine days and then spread across the entire world for three years. (Dojeon 7:30:3～7)
For three years, the disease will claim all those who do not come to maturation at the time of the cosmic harvest. In the end, only some seeds of humanity will remain―so few that it will be difficult to see a single living person in four miles. This is the judgment by the mysterious disease, which will select the seeds of the new humanity.
The Cataclysm of the Pole Shift
At the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk, there will occur a correction (gae-byuk) of the temporal and spatial orbit―that is, a pole shift. Sahng-jeh-nim said that He had changed the direction of heaven and earth, and thus “the directions are about to change” (Dojeon 4:98:1). This change of directions refers to the correcting of the earth’s tilt. The earth’s axis, tilted at 23.5 degrees, will suddenly align with true north and south, and the earth will begin to travel around the sun in a perfectly circular orbit.more
The earth will suffer cataclysmic changes during the pole shift. The earth’s surface will shudder, oceans will heave violently, and a chain reaction of volcanic explosions will hurl oceans inland. Torrential rains and devastating winds will sweep away all remnants of civilization. The moon and stars will seem to suddenly disappear from the sky, or they will appear to shake violently. Foretelling these events, Sahng-jeh-nim said:
When time runs out and the current of events takes a sharp turn, thunder and lightning will show their fury, making it difficult not to be struck senseless. East, west, south, and north will suddenly change directions, and the world will fall into darkness for several days. At that time, fire energy will be withdrawn. Matches will not light when they are struck; cars and trains will not move. When the time arrives in accordance with heaven and earth’s principle, nothing can stop gae-byuk’s onrushing destiny. When heaven and earth shake, in whom will you have faith to preserve you? The sound of screaming and wailing will echo throughout heaven and earth. (Dojeon 7:19:9～14)
Fire gae-byuk will strike Japan and water gae-byuk will strike the West. (Dojeon 7:30:9)
With the shifting of the pole, the order of oppressed yin and revered yang will transform into an order of equal yin and yang. The lunar calendar and solar calendar will become one. On earth, extreme cold and heat will disappear, and there will be harmony and balance within the four seasons.
The Autumn Gae-byuk will run its course in three phases―the ultimate contest, the outbreak of the mysterious disease, and the pole shift―within a span of three years. At the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk, the completion of human civilization and the dao of salvation for humanity are both to be found in Korea (Joseon). Regarding this, Sahng-jeh-nim said, “The means of saving the world is in South Joseon” (Dojeon 5:243:21), and He specified, “You can take refuge on the ridges of the bean field. Taejeon is the threshold” (Dojeon 7:30:11～12).
The Path to the New World
Ui-tohng: Saving Life
During the Later Heaven Gae-byuk, the mysterious disease materializing from lethal qi will cast a pall of fear around the world. Sahng-jeh-nim’s disciple, Bahk Gohng-ooh (1876～1940), who was appointed the commander of the catastrophic disease and who presides over the spirits of the Twenty-Four Generals and Twenty-Eight Generals, received Sahng-jeh-nim’s mandate to command the spirits of the mysterious disease, to gather the souls of humanity and bring them up to the spirit world. Sahng-jeh-nim provided the only method of surviving the mysterious disease, to be used at the time of gae-byuk. This gift is ui-tohng (醫統), “healing and uniting.”more
In the coming days, such a disease will attack the entire world and annihilate the human race, allowing no means of survival. Abandon all other methods, though they may seem wondrous, and study ui-tohng, though it may seem meager. Since beginning the work of renewing heaven and earth, I have defeated all calamities in this world except the catastrophic disease. I leave behind the catastrophic disease; but, at the same time, I grant you ui-tohng. (Dojeon 7:24:3～6)
Ui-tohng can be explained simply as bringing unity to humanity by saving people’s lives. Sahng-jeh-nim gave humanity three different ui-tohng implements, based on the Tae-eul Mantra, and together these three implements are also called ui-tohng. The most important of the three implements is hae-in (海印), the seal of life, because during the mysterious disease, hae-in will save the dying and revive the dead.
This method of saving humanity, hae-in ui-tohng, was bestowed upon the Dae-du-mohk, the great teacher who will complete Sahng-jeh-nim’s work. In order for the Dae-du-mohk to exercise the power of the seal of life, an organization is needed. Thus, Sahng-jeh-nim conducted a work of renewal for organizing the team of six, the basic unit needed to revive the dead at the time of gae-byuk. Each such team has a leader called a Po-gahm, who brings the team total to seven members. These teams are linked to the Seven Stars Program, which Sahng-jeh-nim established by employing the energy of the Seven Stars―the constellation that directly influences human life and longevity.
Sahng-jeh-nim opened the great gate of the spirit world at the Seven Stars Shrine in Dae-wun Temple, signifying that within the heart of Spirit Teaching lies faith in the Seven Stars. Sahng-jeh-nim, who presides from the Seven Stars, commanded that those who receive His dao must form their own team of six to survive the events of gae-byuk.
The Tae-eul Mantra: Medicine of Life
Ui-tohng, the way of saving people during the Autumn Gae-byuk, is based on the Tae-eul Mantra (太乙呪). This mantra contains the origin of dao and the lineage of salvation that connects the energy of the Early Heaven’s heaven and earth to the energy of the Later Heaven’s heaven and earth, allowing a continuous cultivation of human life. The Tae-eul Mantra is the culmination of Sahng-jeh-nim’s dao, and we can gain the dao of ui-tohng only through this mantra:
The word mantra comes from Sanskrit and connotes “the tool that creates a bridge between nature and me, allowing harmony.” In Korean, the word for mantra is ju-moon (呪文). Ju means “to suckle” and moon means “words” or “writing.” Ju-moon signifies “words through which to suckle the divinity of life.” The essence of the Tae-eul Mantra, which is comprised of twenty-three characters, is contained in the phrase hoom-chee hoom-chee Tae-eul-chun Sahng-wun-goon.
Hoom-chee hoom-chee is the sound of humanity calling out to its parents, heaven and earth, and this sound connects our bodies to the way of spirits. Tae-eul-chun or Tae-eul Heaven―the origin of life and existence and the world of creative change―is the origin of humans and the source of enlightenment and healing energy. Sahng-wun-goon is the head spirit of Tae-eul Heaven, and he is the root of the dao spirits who open enlightenment.
Tae-eul-chun is the realm of creation where life begins. The legend of, and belief in, Tae-eul-chun span thousands of years. It has been said since ancient times that all buddhas and immortals receive life and attain their enlightenment from Tae-eul-chun. Thus, Tae-eul-chun has been regarded as the source that brings forth buddhas and immortals.
Gim Gyung-su lived near the end of the Joseon dynasty at approximately the same time as Sahng-jeh-nim. After fifty years of meditation, Gim Gyung-su finally received the Tae-eul Mantra from heaven as the fruit of seeking dao. When he received the mantra, he also received a revelation that he should add Tae-eul-chun Sahng-wun-goon to the mantra’s beginning. He was told, “This mantra will save many people” (Dojeon 7:57:3).
Later, Sahng-jeh-nim completed the mantra by adding hoom-chee hoom-chee and conferred the mantra on His disciple Ahn Nae-sung. Hoom (裔) is the primordial sound of life, through which all lives attain maturation as one. According to the book The Meaning of the Word Hoom, written by Japanese monk Kukai (ad 774～835), the word hoom is the conclusion of Buddhism’s teachings. Chee (紳) contains the meaning “a great determination that does not change” and implies the self becoming one with the divinity of the universe. Thus, by chanting hoom-chee, a person can become one with the origin of creative change and the great life and divinity of the universe. Sahng-jeh-nim said hoom-chee is the sound of “calling out to heaven and earth,” “calling out to God,” and “suckl[ing the] four teats” of life (Dojeon 7:58:6～8).
The Tae-eul Mantra bears Sahng-jeh-nim’s spiritual power, and thus it is the mantra that seeks out the origin of life. Those who chant the mantra repeatedly with one mind will achieve a brilliant awakening of spirituality. When they experience the sacredness of the Tae-eul Mantra’s energy, they will connect with the world of spirits, become one with life’s ultimate source, and awaken to the nature of life in the depths of all existence; they will see the true face of life in all matters and attain enlightenment about the true reality of heaven and earth and about their own nature.
Sahng-jeh-nim integrated all energies of life and healing into the mantra, making the Tae-eul Mantra the ultimate medicine that utilizes heaven and earth’s power to heal a person’s mind, body, and spirit. The mantra is the dao of deliverance, which will be used to save life during the time of the Autumn Gae-byuk’s mysterious disease.
The Tae-eul Mantra is a prayer to heaven and earth. The mantra will save people throughout the world at the time of gae-byuk. When the catastrophic disease strikes, chant the mantra constantly to save many people. (Dojeon 11:240:11～12)
When the judgment of the mysterious disease sweeps across the globe, Jeung San Do’s workers must chant the mantra with utmost dedication to save the dying and the dead. Thus, Tae-eul Mantra meditation is the key to humankind’s survival and to the pioneering of the new civilization of the Later Heaven.
Sahng-jeh-nim gave us another mantra to protect us from evil spirits and lurking demons, as well as from vengeful spirits who bear wrath because of the wrongdoings of our ancestors. This mantra is the Oon-jahng Mantra. Sahng-jeh-nim declared, “[The Oon-jahng Mantra] is the great power-giving mantra” (Dojeon 5:275:1).
The Oon-jahng Mantra (雲長呪)
天下英雄 關雲長 依幕處 謹請 天地八位諸將
Chun-ha-yung-oong Gwahn-oon-jahng Ui-mahk-chuh Geun-chung Chun-jee-pahl-wee-jeh-jahng
六丁六甲 六丙六乙 所率諸將 一別屛營邪鬼
Yook-jung-yook-gahp Yook-byung-yook-eul So-sohl-jeh-jahng Il-byul-byung-yung-sa-gwee
唵唵契 如律令 娑婆訶
Um-um-geup-geup Yuh-yool-ryung Sa-pa-ha
New Life in the New World
The World of Immortality
The Later Heaven’s world of immortality will give birth to a new, ideal civilization resulting from a perfect harmony between nature and civilization.
There will be unity in language and writing, and discrimination among races will end. My world is the world of immortality and creative change. Governed by creative change, people will be taught without words and edified without action. Now that the whole world is being united into one home, all people become one family in which harmony abounds and saving life becomes a virtue. (Dojeon 2:16:2～8)
The Later Heaven’s world of immortality and creative change is not based simply on the transformation of nature’s order; rather, the framework of civilization will be fundamentally renewed. Cultures and political affairs around the world will harmonize into one, and humanity will build the world of peace envisioned for so long.
The Culture of Enlightenment
After the Later Heaven Gae-byuk, people’s minds and bodies will be completely renewed, giving rise to a new humanity―the new human being. As the new people of the Later Heaven return to their origin, their spirituality will be radiant and they will achieve enlightenment in accordance with their cultivation of dao:more
I will grant enlightenment based on each person’s degree of cultivation. On the day the seeds of enlightenment are sown, those on the highest level will take seven days, the middle level fourteen days, and the lowest level twenty-one days to attain enlightenment. (Dojeon 6:87:2)
The Later Heaven’s paradise on earth was made possible by a little girl, Gim Ho-yun (1897～1992), and the program which Sahng-jeh-nim conferred upon her: the Program of the Venerable Seed That Mediates Immortality3 (Sun-mae-soong-jah). Sahng-jeh-nim took her with Him during His travels from the time she was a child. When she was nine, Sahng-jeh-nim had Ho-yun undergo an excruciating meditation for 125 days, stretching between September 9, 1905 and January 15, 1906. Ho-yun’s spiritual eye opened completely, and from that time onward, she could see the comings and goings of all the spirits of heaven and earth and understand the language of birds, rats, and other animals. Then, Sahng-jeh-nim conferred upon Ho-yun the Program of the Venerable Seed That Mediates Immortality, which will determine the culture of the Later Heaven’s world of immortality, including its food, living quarters, lifestyle, education, and arts. Along with this program, Sahng-jeh-nim conducted His work of renewal for Tae-eul Mantra meditation in order to facilitate the new age’s culture of enlightenment.
The Culture of Mahn-sa-jee
The inner nature of all existence in heaven and earth is spiritual. Of everything in the universe, the human being has the deepest connection to the spirits. Spirits need humans in order to act as spirits, and humans need spirits in order to act as humans. However, in the Early Heaven, humans and spirits rarely communicated, and thus humans could not exercise creative change. In the Later Heaven, spirits will revere humans and humans will revere spirits, creating a perfect union:
In the Later Heaven, spirits and humans become one. (Dojeon 2:16:9)
In the Early Heaven, humans have served spirits; but in the Later Heaven, spirits will serve humans. (Dojeon 7:36:6)
In this harmonious union of spirits and humans, humans will be principal and will effortlessly learn everything they wish to know. This will be the culture of mahn-sa-jee (“all-knowing” or “omniscience”).
The Culture of Human Nobility
Tae-mo-nim said, “The basis of all creative change lies in the union of spirits and humans” (Dojeon 11:81:9). Sahng-jeh-nim chose to foreshadow this forthcoming union of humans and spirits by descending to earth in the form of a human:
The nobility of the human is greater than that of heaven and earth. Now is the time of human nobility. (Dojeon 2:13:3)
Now, in the time of human nobility, humans correct the course of everything in heaven and earth. (Dojeon 2:25:2)
Human nobility signifies that humans will become the most majestic beings of the universe, the principal agents of change during the Later Heaven Gae-byuk. The Later Heaven’s age of human nobility will occur when all humans, upon receiving Sahng-jeh-nim and Tae-mo-nim’s dao, are reborn in the new heaven and earth. The union of spirits and humans and the resulting age of human nobility are central characteristics of the civilization of immortality in the Later Heaven.
This Introduction could not possibly reflect the grandeur of Sahng-jeh-nim and Tae-mo-nim’s vision, but I hope that you have found it helpful in gaining a broad understanding of Jeung San Do’s precepts. As you experience the text, you may wish to refer back to the Introduction or to the supplementary sources contained within the Appendixes.
The Grand Master of Jeung San Do
September, 2004 (DG 134)
Taejeon, South Korea