Four Lessons - Ma 1 Four Lessons Liao-Fan Yuan wrote Four...

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Four Lessons Liao-Fan Yuan wrote “Four Lessons” during the Ming Dynasty in China. As described by many scholars this book was used to teach his son, Tien-Chi Yuan. Liao-Fan Yuan’s intention was to aid his son in a quest to recognize destiny, distinguish good from evil, correct mistakes, and do kind deeds. The book greatly emphasizes the rewards an individual earns as a result of good deeds and heart. “Four Lessons” is divided into four sections each of which teaches a separate lesson. The first lesson begins with the idea of creating destiny. Yuan introduces the lesson by telling a story about a boy meeting an old bearded man name Mr. Kong. Mr. Kong gives this boy a prediction, which slowly unfolds truthfully. It starts with very little every day things and eventually blossoms into locations he will be placed during civil exams. Every time the boy begins to doubt Mr. Kong, the predictions come true and renew the boy’s faith. This is key because it allowed the boy to truly believe in the power of destiny. He eventually realizes that everything in life has been prearranged and the idea to seek, gain, and profit is unnecessary. The boy, now grown into a man, describes how he has seen the time of life, death, promotion, and failure and recognizes each entity is predestined. His teacher, Master Yun-Gu, is shocked by this remark and explains to him the true meaning of destiny. He tells his student that Mr. Kong has just predicted the ways he was going to live his life. In other words, he just lived the life that Mr. Kong told him too without bothering to alter it. Master Yun-Gu finally describes, we don’t change our destiny, but we create our own destiny. Even though Mr. Kong says he won’t receive an imperial appointment or have a son, he can change all of that. By performing good deeds he was able to prove Mr. Kong’s predictions false. He was 69 years old and therefore obviously did not die at the predicted age of 53. Furthermore, he passed the imperial exam. This lesson allows Ma 1
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readers to understand the power of destiny and good deeds. Even though an individual may seem destined to accomplish or fail at any given task, he or she can easily alter that fate. Through good deeds and perseverance, Liao-Fan’s first lesson tells us the importance of controlling and creating our own destiny. Liao-Fan’s second lesson is known as the way to reform. This lesson describes an individual’s way of living life. If an individual is honest and truthful, their hearts will always be towards heaven. By living this type of lifestyle, one is able to see the coming of good fortune.
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Four Lessons - Ma 1 Four Lessons Liao-Fan Yuan wrote Four...

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