Many ancient sayings from Western and Eastern cultures encouraged people to treat others with kindness and do good deeds. By doing that, they would receive blessings and avoid bad luck. The ancient Chinese also attached great importance to virtue since they believed it was the determinant of one’s fate.
In his treatise on discipline, Zhu Yongchun, a scholar of the Ming Dynasty, warned: “When someone’s virtue does not correspond to their position in society, disaster is inevitable.”
Zhu believed that in order to enjoy good luck in life, a person must have a high moral standard. He illustrated it with an analogy comparing the life of a person with the structure of a building. He observed that virtue corresponds to the foundations of a building. When these things are solid, you can build on them: fame, power, and wealth.
Building a house without a solid foundation is dangerous because it offers no guarantee and sooner or later it will collapse. Zhu thought that this could also be applied to a person’s life and that if someone tried to accumulate fame, power, and wealth, without a solid base of virtue, some misfortune would be in store for him and he would end up losing everything.
Have you ever wondered why some singers or actors disappear after a brief moment of popularity? Why do some people quickly lose all their money that they gain by winning lotteries, or why some top officials fall in disgrace even faster than they had ascended to power?
All these are clear examples of how the virtue of a person could not support his position in society. There are few who truly understand why these unexpected benefits, in the end, end in tragedy.
If what Zhu said is true, lacking virtue is as dangerous as walking on stilts over the edge of a cliff. One will end up falling sooner or later.
Officials of the imperial court
lose their positions
Chinese history contains many examples of high-level officials of the imperial court who fell because they lacked virtue and abused the power that was granted to them.
For example, on one occasion, Lai Juncheng, a secret police officer of the Tang Dynasty, was granted full powers by the emperor to investigate any officer of the imperial court.
Then, Lai and his men fabricated evidence and devised a plan to prosecute many officials loyal to the emperor. He was also known to be the inventor of many methods of torture and gadgets to coercively obtain confessions from the accused. Lai’s power and the cruelty that he exhibited made him become the most feared and hated official of his time.
However, he soon received his just punishment after his conspiracy against the emperor’s daughter failed. He was then executed for high treason. They skinned his corpse and then removed his organs.
An official of the Ming Dynasty, Yan Song, repeated Lai’s mistake. After becoming an official of the imperial court, he took advantage of the trust that the emperor placed in him to quickly form his own group parallel to the government body. It was meant to get rid of those who disliked him and gain more and more control within the government.
Yan and his son used their power to earn money and murder many innocent people. As soon as he lost the emperor’s confidence, his son was beheaded. He was also stripped of his power and lost his wealth. He died a short time later.
We have seen the same tragedy repeated over and over again, throughout history. The times and the characters may change, but the script remains the same.
The same tragedy is
taking place in China today
There are some party officials who have strictly followed the policies of the persecution of Falun Dafa, a spiritual discipline of the Buddha School to improve body and mind. They have looted, arrested, detained, tortured, accused with lies, and even killed countless innocent practitioners.
Some officials of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, among them: Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, Li Dongsheng, and Zhou Benshun, became the driving force behind the persecution and the henchmen—Jiang Zemin, the party’s top leader.
They accepted bribes and became increasingly corrupt while executing Jiang’s guidelines. They thought they were powerful, but they lacked virtue and moral values. In fact, persecuting Falun Gong implacably helped them ascend quickly. But that would not last, not before long, they began to fall from their positions one after the other.
Blessings can only be born of virtue and goodness. He who does good, will continually accumulate virtue and will have good fortune. Only when a person is righteous, honest, and kind can he bear the heavy burden of fame, power, and wealth.
(The cover photo from Shutterstock)