(Minghui.org) Sun Simiao was one of China’s finest physicians. He lived from the sixth century to the seventh century during the Tang Dynasty and was given the moniker “King of Medicine” for his many contributions in the field of medicine.

In this book, Sun says, “If one is lacking in morality, even a panacea would not cure his ills.”

He also advised, “If one is perennially virtuous, one will be blessed without prayer and will live long without worship.”

So, how did the ancients cultivate virtue?

Many philosophies, religions, and spiritual schools in ancient China referenced a concept called xing, which translates to “nature.” Xing can be broadly thought of as a person’s mind or character, and improving one’s xing is crucial to improving one’s virtue.

The Chinese character for xing has two parts: on the left side of the character is the radical for “heart,” while on the right is the word for “birth.” This indicates that human beings were born with principles in their heart—their truest xing. When people live according to this most original xing, their hearts will thrive; when they go against these principles, their hearts will perish.

Living according to these original principles is how the ancients cultivated their virtue, and in doing so, they found that it was crucial to eliminate five vices: thirst for fame and profit, ecstasy and rage, sensuality, gluttony, and anxiety.

The Story of Fan Li, Who Let Go of Thirst for Fame and Profit

Fan Li lived during China’s Spring and Autumn Period (771 to 476 BC). He and Wen Zhong, both extraordinary men, spent 20 years at the side of Goujian, the King of Yue. In the end, Goujian was able to avenge the humiliation he suffered as a hostage in the state of Wu and revive Yue as a powerful state. Fan was later offered the title of grand general and became very famous all over the country.

However, Fan declined all the rewards Goujian offered him, because he believed that fame was short lived. And this was doubly so given Goujian’s character—Fan could see that Goujian was someone who could share when it came to hardship but not in peace and prosperity. He submitted a letter of resignation to Goujian and departed with his family, leaving behind all his fame and wealth.

Fan also wrote to Wen to warn him of Goujian’s inclinations and encouraged him to leave, too. Regrettably, Wen did not take Fan’s advice, and Goujian murdered him not long after that.

Fan went to the state of Qi, changed his name, and started a business from scratch. He opened up and cultivated a large stretch of wasteland. His business turned out to be a great success and it did not take long before he became one of the wealthiest men in Qi. Impressed by Fan’s wisdom and talent, the King of Qi appointed him as his chancellor in court.

However, Fan took it as an ominous omen based on a traditional Chinese philosophical concept: “When the fullest extent is reached, waxing is inevitably followed by waning.”

Three years later, he resigned from his position, gave away all his wealth, and moved his family to Dingtao in today’s Shandong Province, where he and his son started another business in animal husbandry, agriculture, and trade. In just a few years, his family became very rich once again. Fan often helped the poor, and the local people revered him as the “god of wealth.”

Many people believed that Fan became wealthy due to his abundant virtue, which brought him fame and profit, high-ranking positions, and privileged rewards. It was also thanks to his virtue that he was able to let go of all his fame and wealth, and yet his losses naturally led to new gains.

From Fan’s story, we can see that losses and gains don’t really matter as long as one possesses a virtuous heart.

The Success Story of a Young Entrepreneur in Australia

There are similar stories in today’s world.

Mark Hutchison is a very successful young entrepreneur in Perth, Australia. He is also a Falun Gong practitioner, who follows the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. He can often be seen handing out Falun Gong leaflets.

Hutchison said that in the past he was driven by “the pursuit of profit,” but now he “follows the course of nature.” He has found peace in his life and in running his companies.

“When ‘profit’ is the cornerstone, entrepreneurs are always in pursuit of bigger and bigger profits, which feeds their egos and makes it impossible for them to be at peace,” he said.

In Mark’s companies, everything has gradually shifted to where the measurement for success is “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” instead of “profit.”

In 2009, his company Bamboozle won the Australian Business Award for his professional and systematic management.
In 2010, Bamboozle was nominated as a Family Business Australia finalist and Telstra Business Award finalist. Mark was also a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
In 2012, the company grew again, as two new sub-companies were launched in retail and manufacturing. In 2014, Bamboozle’s sister company—Lifewood—won the prestigious national award for Showroom of the Year.
(For more information, please see “Australian Entrepreneur Discovers There Is More to Life Than Profits”)
(To be continued)