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Resolving Grievance

Eastern Wisdom

Meijun Fan*

From the teachings of Daesun Jinrihoe,11 the idea of 解怨相生 aims to promote the Betterment of Others and Achieve Eternal Harmony with One Another. For followers of these teachings, , Grievance, is one kind of feeling that which always brings conflict to people in different levels. The feelings which the supporters of the two parties have are the kind of grievance. Therefore, Haewonsangsaeng12 is the way to resolve grievances via emotion. “Such thinking should begin with the recognition that these grievances are not only economic but also moral and cultural; they are not only about wages and jobs but also about social esteem.”13 This is a valuable approach to deal with such problems. It is a psychological way and spiritual way. It requires a conversation from heart to heart, not just mind to mind.

The recent election brought forth many grievances and they have brought anxiety, disconnection, and hatreds to the different groups. They further can bring threats, harms, even wars, and disasters to the society.

This is the reason why we need to treat grievances seriously and find a better way to solve them. It is to deal with feelings and more than simply bring justice (right or wrong) to the parties which are involved in the situation. It brings peace to the involved parties. This is what 解冤, the resolution of grievances means.

The goal of the resolution of grievances is 相生, mutual beneficence/win-win situation. There will be no more 相争与相斗, conflicts and fights. This will transform energy from negative to positive. It is a creative action. This is Survival of the harmonious, not Survival of the fittest.

From Chinese traditions, the idea of harmony is very crucial. According to the definition of harmony from the Chinese perspective, Harmony has the following important meanings:

  • First, harmony is different from sameness because it includes differences; it opens to and invites differences to come in. Without difference, harmony is not harmony at all. (和而不同)
  • Second, harmony is constructive and always brings new things into existence, but sameness does not. It is destructive. (和实生物)
  • Third, harmony is openness, but sameness is not. Harmony is closely related to the openness. Whereas sameness is built on closing things off by pretending they are identical. Harmony is built on cultivating difference or respecting otherness.

To apply this idea to the current situation means that we need to take in every experience—every experience should be counted carefully and be treated with respect and compassion. We need to welcome different voices because they will expand our horizon of vision. As the result of doing this, we can be more constructive and creative and bring people with different visions together because we are part of others and the whole.

Photo by kwon soon on Unsplash

* Meijun Fan is the former Vice-Chair and Professor of the Philosophy Department at Beijing Normal University, China. She completed her doctoral studies at Beijing Normal University, specializing in Chinese traditional aesthetics and aesthetical education. She is the author of six books, and a co-author of six books. Her book, Contemporary Interpretation of Chinese Traditional Aesthetic, was granted the “Excellence Award in Philosophy and Social Science” in China in 1998. She currently serves as Program Director of the Institute for Post-Modern Development of China in Claremont, California.

11 “Daesun Jinrihoe” (대순진리회), is a Korean new religious movement, founded in April 1969 by Park Han-gyeong, known to his followers as Park Wudang (박한경) (1917-95 according to the lunar calendar used by the movement). Daesoon thought is said to be a comprehensive system of truth representing the Great Dao of ‘resolution of grievances and reciprocation of gratitude into mutual beneficence.’” Wikipedia contributors, “Daesun Jinrihoe,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Daesun_Jinrihoe&oldid=994061182 (accessed February 27, 2021).

12 Haewon is the resolution of the enmity and grievances that have accumulated in the realms of humanity and deities. Sangsaeng indicates the action of mutually benefiting one another or a state wherein people live in prosperity and peace. In Daesoon Jinrihoe, the concept of Haewon-sangsaeng is expressed explicitly and has broad applications. It can be expanded for the global peace and the harmony of all humanity. Kyu-han, “Haewon-sangsaeng Thought for the Future of Humanity and World,” available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327178449_Haewon-sangsaeng_Thought_for_the_Future_of_Humanity_and_World (accessed February 27, 2021).

13 Michael Sandel, The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020), 22.