What is ‘Dotong’?
Dotong is attained when your mind becomes pure and unselfish so that you gain sympathetic resonance with divine beings. In other words, it is a stage in which you are able to interact with great deities. Once you achieve the state of Dotong, you can have a thorough understanding of the universe beyond space and time while possessing the empowerment to have everything unfold as you wish.
What is ‘the succession of orthodox religious authority’?
A succession of orthodox religious authority generally means maintaining an orthodox lineage by handing down the founder's will without any deviation. The successor of such authority has legitimate power to take charge of the general operation of that religious body.
The succession of orthodox religious authority in Daesoonjinrihoe was completed by two successors. The first succession was achieved when Sangje’s lineage was succeeded by Doju Jo Jeongsan through divine revelation. The second succession was realized when Doju Jo Jeongsan handed down the leadership of his religious body to Dojeon Bak Wudang through Doju’s last words before passing into heaven in 1958.
What does 'Heaven-ordered Principles' mean in Daesoon Thought?
Heaven-ordered Principles are cosmic plans conceived in the celestial realm that will later unfold through various events in the human world in accordance with previous arrangements. When one of the Heaven-ordered Principles ripens sufficiently, new affairs in the human world unfold accordingly. Thus, it can be said that all human affairs were originally ordered in the divine world before being revealed in the human world. It is the Reordering Works of Universe by Sangje that changed the previous old Heaven-ordered Principles of conflict into the new Heaven-ordered Principles of mutual beneficence.
What causes Cheok?
Cheok is an emotional grudge that another person conceives against you. When someone fails to fulfill his or her desire because of you, he feels so frustrated that he holds a grudge against you. This is how Cheok arises. Since the emotions are the effect of his spirit, it can also be called a ‘Cheok spirit’.
This spirit can hinder you from progressing toward your own successes by causing your situations or circumstances to worsen. Thus, actions such as hating others, disregarding favors from others, doing harm to others, and speaking ill of others are all potential causes of Cheok.
What were the ‘Reordering Works of Universe' performed by Sangje?
This term includes all of the works that Sangje Gang Jeungsan carried out between 1901 and 1909 to save all people. To achieve this, He reorganized the Heaven-ordered principles and resolved grudges which have piled up for millions of years by rearranging the deities. As a consequence, Earthly Paradise is now realizable.
The Reordering Works of Universe were performed based upon the ideas of Eumyang-hapdeok*, Sinin-johwa* and Haewon-sangsaeng*. These works were mainly performed to resolve grudges accumulated by all beings throughout all incarnations and were completed through the principle of reciprocating beneficence. The main works performed were: the works of the 'Reorganization of the Afterworld', the 'Unification of Earthly Energy', the 'Resolution of DanZhu’s Grudge', the 'Removal of all forms of Discrimination in Human Society', and the 'Unification of Human Civilizations'.
* Eumyang-hapdeok : the harmony of yin and yang.
* Sinin-johwa : the harmonious union of divine beings and human beings.
* Haewon-sangsaeng : the resolution of grievances for mutual beneficence.
Please explain how ‘deities’ are viewed in Daesoonjinrihoe.
The deities in Daesoonjinrihoe indicate real entities that coexist with humans. They are seen as the source of all things which are indwelling everywhere, and can even be found in walls or a blade of grass. They are regarded as entities engaged in the formation of another realm.
Generally, religious people in the west adhere to “exclusive monotheism” — the belief in only one God and the exclusion of deities from different cultures. However, Daesoonjinrihoe acknowledges various deities; even from other cultures and regions. Also, we believe that all deities of Heaven and Earth exist in a hierarchy under the control of a Supreme Being.
In Daesoonjinrihoe, these divine beings maintain close relationships with human beings. Ancestral spirits must spend sixty years of effort to create each human. Hence divine beings regard humanity as precious. Likewise, humans and divine beings exert a mutual influence upon one another.
Please explain the concept of yin and yang.
According to the philosophical notion of yin and yang, all phenomena exist in a relative sense of complementarity. All affairs in the universe are realized and manifested through the forms of yin and yang. Examples of yin and yang include heaven and earth, the sun and moon, humans and deities, men and women, and inside and outside. According to the principle of yin and yang, as the universe changes, human beings can come to exist in harmony with deities.
What is the world of ‘Earthly Paradise’ in Daesoonjinrihoe?
The World of Earthly Paradise is an ideal world that comes as the result of Sangje’s Reordering Works of Universe and the subsequent practice of Sangje’s Daesoon Truth by humanity. In contrast to the Former World ruled by conflict, the Later World is the era in which all the piled-up grudges are resolved and all sentient beings live in accordance with the principle of mutual beneficence.
In the Later World, everyone acts according to his or her conscience while respecting and helping each other so that all may live together as a family without any poverty or starvation. Human beings will attain perfection by achieving harmonious union with divine beings. Furthermore, humans will grow in wisdom and enjoy the blessings of eternal life without any death, sickness or great calamities such as floods, fires and destructive winds. This is the Earthly Paradise of peace and harmony.
What are the specific ways of practicing 'Haewon-sangsaeng' given that it is a core value in Daesoonjinrihoe?
Haewon-sangsaeng (resolution of grievances for mutual beneficence) is to resolve the grudges and grievances piled up either in your past lives or present life. Grudges and grievances exist in the form of Cheok which is otherwise known as Karma. Cheok is a grudge that another person harbors against you. Cheok is usually provoked by speech or actions which contain vanity, greed or selfishness. Our cultivation aims to clear up Cheok and Karma by means of various specific forms of cultivation including Gongbu, prayer and spiritual training.
Additionally, you should not provoke Cheok from others and should instead promote the betterment of others. In order to prevent Cheok, you should avoid hatred of others, practice virtuous speech, reciprocate the beneficence shown to you by others, and always respect others from a place of gratitude. To promote the betterment of others, you should do everything you can for them and work in solidarity with them to succeed in your endeavors. It is precisely in this way that we realize peace and harmony in the world.