Ren Xue - guiding principles
I. One mission
Zi Du Du Ren:
'Develop yourself and every aspect of your life - Help others do the same.'
II. Two aspects of life cultivation
1. Xing - True Self; True Nature
2. Ming - body and Qi
III. Three guidelines
Internal - Be Relaxed, Calm, and Natural
External - To teach with authentic understanding, to touch
people with virtue, to earn trust with true ability
IV. Four cornerstones
Theory, Method, Ability, Virtue
V. Five qualities of the heart
Trust, Openness, Love, Gratitude,
Gongjing (true respect and humility)
Yuan Tzu defines the five guiding principles as Ren Xue's 'backbone'. They are a miniature model of the system, concentrating in a few words the meaning, purpose, and mission of Ren Xue, as well as the ways to achieve them.
I. The first principle expresses the deep meaning of Ren Xue in four Chinese words. Ren Xue is a system for the development and improvement of life, which works on two levels: the individual and the society. Neither can be complete and effective on its own. If we want to provide real help to our family and friends, to society, and to nature, we must begin by perfecting ourselves: our body, Qi, spirit, heart, and consciousness. Once we are able to help ourselves, we will be able to effectively help others, without unnecessary 'sacrifices', ie. not only without harm to our's own life but with maximum benefit for both ourselves and others.
II. The second principle emphasizes that Ren Xue is primarily a practice, not just a philosophy or theory about the mysteries of life. Ren Xue is a practically oriented system - its application covers two main areas: the development of the immaterial side of life, which includes consciousness, the consciousness of the heart and Shen, and the development of the material side of life, which includes the body, bodily functions, and Qi. Strictly speaking, these two areas are divided only in our speech; in fact, they form a single whole. By improving the condition of the body, we create conditions for the elevation of consciousness; by working on the mind, we imperceptibly adjust the body to a mode of 'health, longevity, and prosperity'. However, if we throw all our efforts in only one of these directions, we risk limiting the result we are striving for. We must not forget that consciousness is the driving force, while the body serves as a base that supports the whole life. The physical body is also where we observe the positive results, such as the gradual disappearance of physical illness and suffering, as well as the effects caused by the elimination of the emotional imbalance and the transformation of the harmful thinking and behavioral habits.
III. The three general directions of development are the 'map' outlining the route for those who seriously want to become masters of their destiny. With Ren Xue, one begins to build a complex state of inner peace, balance, and naturalness. This is achieved as if by itself, in the course of practice. The state of calmness and harmony is the most natural state for the human being and by doing the practice we gradually return to it. This state relates not only to how a person feels subjectively but also how his body functions. Inner peace facilitates the optimal function of all organs and systems of the body. For consciousness, it means 'clear insight', ie. an opportunity to perceive the true picture of the world. In ancient times, this condition was compared to calm, clear water, which accurately and in detail reflects everything around. This state is natural because it presupposes harmony, and the pursuit of harmony is a universal law of both the universe and human life.
The person who has achieved inner harmony shows a natural desire to share his knowledge with others, as well as ways to improve life on a large scale. Ren Xue practitioners often become instructors, teachers, and therapists. For them, this becomes a vocation, springing from authentic knowledge and understanding of the laws of life. The influence of such a teacher-vocation on the outside world is profoundly transformative. Your own example, personal merits, and achievements are the most impressive demonstration of the advantages of the system. Trust between teacher and student grows when everything the teacher says or does is a living realization of Ren Xue's basic principles.
IV. The four cornerstones on which Ren Xue's 'building' stands are not only the basic theories (encompassing qi, consciousness, and totality) but also the qualities that are built in the course of practice. For the ancient Chinese, a theory without a practical dimension is meaningless, and practice devoid of a solid theoretical basis is useless. Therefore, theory is a kind of practice: one must understand what he is doing and why he is doing it; what goals and what perspectives open up in front of him. In turn, practice is a kind of theory: the specific instructions for each detail are closely related to certain laws of life, which may not be obvious or widely known, but, if mastered, give meaning and depth to the training.
Well-mastered theory, together with practice, naturally liberates the dormant faculties of consciousness and raises spiritual qualities and personal virtues far above the average level. The four cornerstones in combination provide a stable result and guarantee the efficiency of the system.
V. The five basic qualities of the heart, trust, openness, love, gratitude, and Gongjing are known as the 'five xin'. We must not forget that 'xin-ling' (consciousness of the heart) is a complex concept that does not refer so much to the physical organs of the heart and brain as to the amalgam of spiritual aspects associated with them. The connections between them are inviolable and unconditional, they are contained in the very meaning of the word 'xin', which is untranslatable into other languages. Behind this word is a centuries-old practice of perfecting and developing the qualities of the heart, with its theory and methods. Ren Xue borrowed the 'cream' of this heritage, adapting it to the understandings of modern man. By cultivating the five xin we work on the intangible aspects of the heart. But it is not surprising that this is one of the ways to improve the health of the physical organ, as well as help in the treatment of many heart conditions. We can add to that the enormous beneficial effect on the mind, the whole body, and the spiritual qualities. It is no coincidence that in traditional Chinese medicine the heart is declared the 'emperor' of life: the well-being of the 'empire' of the whole life depends on its well-being.
In conclusion, the five guiding principles in Ren Xue are fundamental. They are similar to the constitution of a country - they determine the most important laws and the general direction of development and do not depend on one or another person who at a given time leads the organization. Above all else in Ren Xue, there is the maxim: 'We follow principles, not personalities.'