What is this gaebyeok, which shall transform the order of the Early Heaven’s world into that of the Later Heaven?
That is indeed Jeung-san Sangjenim’s view of gaebyeok. Briefly expressed, gaebyeok signifies the disassembly of the order of heaven and earth that has governed the Early Heaven and the reconstruction of a new order befitting the Later Heaven. As a matter of fact, only this could be called the genuine gaebyeok.
As I mentioned earlier, the order of nature that has governed the Early Heaven is sanggeuk. sanggeuk is the order of creation in which all beings are born and develop. The problem is that the order of sanggeuk breeds numerous problems in addition to this growth. Under the order of sanggeuk, even the relationship between heaven and earth is inharmonious: yin [Yin] is oppressed by yang. As a result, a heaven-centered, biased order has been maintained, one in which the earth has been oppressed. Since the fundamental framework in which all beings reside is itself biased, all existence within this flawed order cannot avoid harboring bitterness and grief. That is, since the order of heaven and earth is itself distorted, all beings existing within it naturally become twisted as well.
All the problems in human life, including confrontations, conflicts, wars, and disputes, arise inevitably from the order of sanggeuk. Human beings’ tribulations, pains, tragedies, and calamities are not caused only by flawed human behavior and immorality, they also derive from the fundamental order of heaven and earth: sanggeuk. Buddhism speaks of karma, the retribution for the deeds of a former life, and this is rooted in the order of sanggeuk, according to Sangjenim.
Life was originally bright, healthy, and harmonious, but the distortion of heaven and earth has belabored all life within heaven and earth with bitterness and grief. Due to the order of sanggeuk, heaven and earth have grown diseased, with the result that all who live within heaven and earth have also become diseased and now harbor bitterness and grief. As this bitterness and grief continued to accumulate, the disease of heaven and earth worsened all the more; this long and vicious cycle constituted the order of the Early Heaven.
Such being the case, humanity must, in order to survive, first and foremost overcome this order of sanggeuk that has been dominating the Early Heaven. Only then can humanity enter the world of new life. Sangjenim believed this, and He therefore proclaimed that He would renew heaven and earth, which had grown diseased, and build the Later Heaven’s Paradise of Immortality with His dao of sangsaeng. His proclamation signified that since heaven and earth—the basis of all life—had grown ill, a new world could not begin unless the diseased heaven and earth were first renewed. Today, leading figures of the world in various fields as well as spiritually awakened people point out, in their own ways, the problems confronting humanity and discuss how to attain a peaceful world free of troubles. There is much talk but few solutions—yet, against this backdrop, Sangjenim presented just such a path in His proclamation. That is, human beings were born and have lived under a certain cosmic order, and since this cosmic order was that of sanggeuk, humans were fated to be miserable. Therefore, the diseased heaven and earth, which are the origin of human misery, needed to be corrected. For this reason, Sangjenim labored to disassemble and reconstruct heaven and earth, organize a new framework for humanity, and transform the order of heaven and earth from the Early Heaven’s sanggeuk to the Later Heaven’s new order. This is gaebyeok. In this regard, it is not correct to conceptualize gaebyeok as a mere result of cosmic seasonal change. I have Jeung San Do ilkkun memorize a passage from section thirteen of the Dojeon’s second chapter, which states:
The Early Heaven is dominated by the destiny of sanggeuk. The principle of sanggeuk has governed all humans and all existence, heaven and earth never knowing a single moment free of war.… If all the bitterness and grief born of sanggeuk were allowed to explode, the universe would collapse into ruin. [Dojeon 2:13:4-8]
This verse contains the core message of Jeung San Do. The Early Heaven’s order of sanggeuk afflicted heaven and earth with imbalance and disharmony, and the bodies and minds of all existence within that heaven and earth have hence become distorted and heaped with bitterness and grief; this accumulated bitterness and grief fills the universe, driving it to the brink of explosion. Therefore, if a new world is to be inaugurated, this stale qi must first be cleared away. Cleansing such bitterness and grief, purifying heaven and earth, and inaugurating autumn’s new heaven and earth—this is the true meaning of the Autumn gaebyeok of which Sangjenim spoke. In short, the Autumn gaebyeok shall disassemble the order of sanggeuk and transform it into the order of sangsaeng.
During the Early Heaven, numberless people died without attaining their life’s ambitions, and they therefore harbor[ed] bitterness and grief. But they did not die for all time—only their bodies perished, while their souls lived on. With so many embittered souls filling heaven and earth, what will befall heaven and earth? Heaven and earth have become profoundly exhausted by bitterness and grief. The significance of Sangjenim’s gaebyeok lies in the fact that gaebyeok resolves the bitterness and grief of not only contemporary people but also the bitterness and grief of the spirits, of our ancestors, and these ancestral spirits subsequently strive together to remedy the diseased heaven and earth and establish the order of genuine sangsaeng. gaebyeok is profoundly meaningful.