The Ten Heavenly Principles is a nontheistic religion or philosophy that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to Danshik Shijang and his disciples (and their apprentices) that would go on to spread the faith, as well as refine it over time.
While the ten main principles set forth by Danshik Shijang may not look like a likely foundation for a religion, they are considered as the keys to a perfectly balanced life by practitioners, who follow these principles religiously and have developed a whole system of spirituality around them.
It is debatable whether this "religion" truly is a religion in the traditional definition: the majority of followers don't just practice the Ten Heavenly Principles, but in fact practice it in addition to another - usually polytheistic - religion, such as the Shár folk religion or Sak shamanism, blending the Ten Heavenly Principles with the folk religion.
The ten principles Edit
The most important aspect of the religion gives it its name: the Ten Heavenly Principles. These ten principles encompass the ten most important core tenets of the religion. Behind simple words however lie rather complicated teachings.
- Principle of Spirituality: reject worldly pleasures, embrace spiritual richness.
- Principle of Harmony: reject outer violence and inner conflicts, embrace both inner and outer peace to achieve total harmony.
- Principle of Order: reject chaos and lack of discipline, embrace order and discipline.
- Principle of Wisdom: reject ignorance and stupidity, embrace wisdom and knowledge.
- Principle of Respect: reject rudeness and arrogance, embrace kindness and humility.
- Principle of Responsibility: reject deceit and disloyalty, embrace honesty and loyalty.
- Principle of Duty: reject laziness and escaping from your duties, embrace your duties towards your family and society.
- Principle of Guardianship: reject destruction, embrace nurturing and guardianship of life and nature.
- Principle of Rationality: reject superstition, embrace reasonable and rational thought.
- Principle of Preservation: reject "progress for progress's sake" and welcoming death and needless change, embrace self-defence and defence of your roots and traditions.
Principle of Spirituality Edit
|“||Reject worldly pleasures, embrace spiritual richness.||”|
| — Principle of Spirituality|
The Principle of Spirituality teaches that one should not strive to achieve temporary worldly pleasures that make his/her body feel good for a short amount of time, but instead should seek long-term spiritual relief and refinement on a path of self-improvement. The reasoning is that people who embrace luxury and a comfortable life tend to lack compassion for the weaker and poorer, give in to their selfish desires much easier, making them much more susceptible to harming others and themselves on the long run. A person who rejects or moderates worldly pleasures and discards them in favor of spiritual enrichment will ultimately end up as a wiser, smarter and kinder person who understands the will of the divines much better.
Principle of Harmony Edit
|“||Reject outer violence and inner conflicts, embrace both inner and outer peace to achieve total harmony.||”|
| — Principle of Harmony|
There are good reasons to strive for harmony: not only this religion rejects destruction (outer violence), but also heavily encourages its believers to strive for inner peace to have an always-clear head: a person who is constantly at war with himself/herself is an unhealthy person who cannot live a well-balanced life, and the Ten Heavenly Principles is supposed to be a step-by-step guide to achieving a good and well-balanced life.
Rejecting outer violence means more than just not killing or assaulting someone without provocation - this religion also rejects the concept of a blood revenge - Danshik Shijang himself argued: "Will killing the man who killed your father bring your father back to life? Not only your father remains dead, but now that you have killed the murderer, his relatives will want revenge, they will want your blood, starting a cycle of vengeance. Was it worth it? Definitely not."
Be aware of the fact though that this does not mean that you shouldn't defend yourself if threatened - after all, self-preservation is also one of the core tenets of this religion, namely the Principle of Preservation. It simple means that you should never ever attack someone first, only strike back if you are attacked first. Also, strive for a complete peace with your own mind, as well as with others. Make friends, not enemies.
Principle of Order Edit
|“||Reject chaos and lack of discipline, embrace order and discipline.||”|
| — Principle of Order|
Lack of discipline leads to chaos. Chaos leads to death, destruction and suffering. Order is the foundation of a balanced lie and society, and discipline is the most important stepping stone to establishing order.
Not only everything looks better when orderly, but everything works out much better when orderly and structured. Everyone should respect the rule of law, and abide the orders of their masters. After all, how can one except to be obeyed if he/she does not know how to obey? How can anyone except not to be unlawfully assaulted when he/she himself/herself does not respect the rule of the law?
Principle of Wisdom Edit
|“||Reject ignorance and stupidity, embrace wisdom and knowledge.||”|
| — Principle of Wisdom|
Knowledge should never be rejected - everyone should actively seek knowledge to increase their own worth, as well as get to understand the divines' work better. The unwise and ignorant have a hard time appreciating peace, order, spirituality and rationality - the wise and smart know the real value of being in touch with the divines, of living a peaceful, orderly and well-balanced life, of thinking rationally and being humble. In other words, believers of the Ten Heavenly Principles believe that a wise and well-learned person will be more likely to see genuine merit in the Ten Heavenly Principles and follow them.
Principle of Respect Edit
|“||Reject rudeness and arrogance, embrace kindness and humility.||”|
| — Principle of Respect|
Nothing ever good comes out of rudeness and arrogance. In fact, those two are the most frequent causes of violence. So reject them. By embracing kindness and humility as well as being careful not to intentionally offend anyone, one can avoid a lot of violence and trouble, as well as make a lot more friends, ultimately letting the practitioner live a happier life.
Additionally, since one should live peacefully, avoiding rudeness is a good way to establish that peace.
Not to mention, being full of yourself is not the way to get connect to the divines - a true believer sacrifices his/her ego, as it is one of those wicked worldly pleasures that need to be rejected in order to effectively start walking the path of spiritual enrichment. If someone is rude and flaunts his/her perceived superiority to others, he/she may reincarnate as a bug that gets squashed, while the humble and poor may reincarnate as rich noblemen.
Principle of Responsibility Edit
|“||Reject deceit and disloyalty, embrace honesty and loyalty.||”|
| — Principle of Responsibility|
Just as one should strive to make friends instead of enemies, one should also strive to preserve those friendships by being honest and loyal to his/her friends, superiors and surroundings. After all, discipline demands loyalty, order is based off loyalty, spirituality is based off honesty. There is no place for lies and deceit in a well-balanced meaningful life.
One should never lie - not to his/her friends, not to his/her superiors, and not to himself/herself.
Principle of Duty Edit
|“||Reject laziness and escaping from your duties, embrace your duties towards your family and society.||”|
| — Principle of Duty|
Laziness is not the way words the divines - laziness leads to false comfort. Laziness leads to disconnection from society, from the divines, from one's friends and family. Every person has duties towards their friends, their family, their society and their gods. A true believer does not try to shirk those duties, but instead face them with dignity.
Hard work helps to better understand the woes and sufferings of those weaker or poorer than yourself, allowing for better connection with the divines.
Principle of Guardianship Edit
|“||Reject destruction, embrace nurturing and guardianship of life and nature.||”|
| — Principle of Guardianship|
Nature is important. Life is important. It is wrong to destroy. It is wrong to destroy nature, and it is also wrong to kill innocent persons. A true believer instead guards nature, helps to preserve nature, helps to preserve life.
Principle of Rationality Edit
|“||Reject superstition, embrace reasonable and rational thought.||”|
| — Principle of Rationality|
Superstition is an ignorant person's substitute for real knowledge. Reason is one of the most important foundations of a well-balanced and meaningful life. One should scrutinize already established knowledge when deeming oneself wise enough to do so, and argue with reason and rationale. One should rely on factual evidence or reasonable explanation rather than superstition. A reasonable argument can be much more powerful than an army of animated gargoyles.
It is important to also realize that religion does not mean superstition. Religion means having a connection to the divines, following their laws and living in a way that they approve. Superstition means listening to any pretentious fool's speech and interpreting it as the law of divines. The divines would never wish for something that is against their will - it must be the doing of man, or a consequence of it.
Principle of Preservation Edit
|“||Reject "progress for progress's sake" and welcoming death and needless change, embrace self-defence and defence of your roots and traditions.||”|
| — Principle of Preservation|
What good is progress without cause? What good is the change of ways without a reasonable argument to support the ongoing change? What good is a change in one's ways of life it does not serve spiritual enrichment, peace or order?
Traditions are traditions. Roots are roots. All trees have their roots, and without those roots they will rot away and die. It is perfectly acceptable to remove unhealthy leaves and branches of a tree, but touching the roots is the same as committing suicide. He who betrays his roots betrays himself.
In addition to preserving one's roots and origins, one should also preserve himself/herself as well - self-defence. Believers are encouraged to practice martial arts and/or magic to deter potential attackers.
Other tenets Edit
In addition to the ten principles, the followers of the Ten Heavenly Principles also believe that when ever a person dies, his/her soul reincarnates, finding an infant body to settle into. More often than not, a person who has been evil during his/her life will be sent to a red-coloured realm of suffering and agony, where demons will torment the person to convince him/her to repent and give up on sin, before sending the soul away to reincarnate, while a good person's soul may earn a short holiday in paradise - someone who has been very good and virtuous may even break the cycle of reincarnation altogether and go on a permanent holiday to paradise.
There is also a belief that some people fail to reincarnate, and become ghosts or demons. Despite ghosts being grey incorporeal and demons being red and corporeal, the two are often conflated and treated as variants of the same thing - harmful spirits who have failed to reincarnate and take revenge on the living as a result. It is believed that these wandering spirits become ghosts when they are trapped within the world of the living, while they become demons when they are trapped in the realm of suffering. Some of these demons see all of the living as sinful and wish to punish them for it.