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Moral culture (jungshin soozang)

Introduction

Moral culture is a kind of guide for everyday life, that show to one how the be an exemplary person who can contribute to the construction of an ideal society. Because it is based on the oriental philosophy, it may be incomprehensible to the Western mind and should be well studied.

Societies

Everyone of us, as a social being, desires to live in a free and peaceful society - ideal society. General Choi sorts the company (in accordance with Lao-Tzu, the founder of Taoism) as follows:

  • Ideal society - The ruler is of such high moral character that he can rule naturally, not by interference or fear but by appealing to the good nature of his people, who by merely doing their duty can live freely in peace without fear and anxiety.
  • Moral society - People admire and praise their ruler in gratitude for his love and the benign disposition he bears toward his people.
  • Legalistic society (our society) - The ruler, because he lacks the moral authority, resorts to various laws to govern his people, who in turn obey because they fear the retribution that the violation of these laws will bring. Under these circumstances, the ruler loses touch with his people.
  • Totalitarian society - The ruler, through deception and trickery, misuses his legal authority to further his personal ambitions and imposes his rule upon his people by force as he deems necessary. The ruler is despised and hated by his people and eventually invites not only his own downfall but with him the downfall of the people and the country.

 

The basic elements of building moral culture

How to cultivate high moral character so necessary for life in an ideal society? General Choi describes two basic elements of moral culture: Return to the basic nature and Be virtues.

Return to the basic nature

General Choi (as Mencius, Chinese philosopher belonging to Confuciu`s students) believe that every Human being is basicaly good (pointing it to the example of a ruthless robber, coming upon an innocent child about to fall into a well, will try to save the child, forgetting for the moment, his intention to rob the house). The main obstacle to the preservation of this good donated to us from the birth is materialism.

How can man discover his own human nature:

  • man may occupy two positions in a lifetime, 1 - five virtues, 2 - nonclerical position (eg member of the government, leading office, etc..), both positions should be balanced;
  • greed is insatiable;
  • be humble;
  • self-criticism;
  • be soft;
  • respect of elders;
  • respect the rights of others;
  • be just;
  • be frugal;
  • be discreet;
  • know true happiness;
  • let your actions speak for yourself;
  • develop peace of mind;
  • be firm of mind;
  • be devoted.

 

Virtues

There are 5 human characteristics that are considered virtues (according to Confucianism). To be virtuous, man has to cultivate and practice these qualities.

  • Humanity
  • Righteousness
  • Propriety
  • Wisdom
  • Trust

 

Ways of strengthening discipline in building moral culture

During training the student should constantly develop mental and physical discipline, and the following activities should be considered an integral part of thsi training.

  • Travel (yo haeng)
  • Mountain climbing (dung san)
  • Cold showers and baths (naengsoo machal)
  • Public service (sahwe bongsa)
  • Etiquette (ye jol)