Book of the Arc of Bon Chapter 7, Chapter 8
1. Whoever is born into the world is in part possessor of the world by fact of his birth. All
come into the world naked and helpless, and they deserve our assistance because of
helplessness. To help the helpless is the highest virtue.
2. Two wise men are greater than one; a nation of wise men, what could be greater than
this? Yet all men come into the world knowing nothing; to give them great wisdom is to
make the nations wise and great. To open the avenues on every side to great learning, this
is the foundation for a great kingdom
3. To have the soil tilled, is this not greater than hunting and fishing? To throw the lands
open in the east and west, north and south, to the tiller of the soil, this is the foundation of
plenty. When the poor and ignorant are supplied with what to eat and to wear, with a
place to live, there is little crime, but great virtue; and such are great strength in that
4. To hold more land than one can till is to sin against them that have none, who have not
wherewith to live or to earn a living. Yea, such a one is an enemy to the nation.
5. There are two kinds of governments: one is government for the government; and
the other is government for the people. The latter government the people will endorse,
and by their wills make mighty. The former government seeketh to make itself
mighty at the expense of the people. Such a government is in the throes of death.
6. To make government and people one, as to prosperity and peace; this is the highest
government. For the government to render unto the people bountifully, as to land and
water, and as to great learning, and to music, this is the wisest, best government.
7. What man is there that loveth not liberty, the chief of all desires? Can a government
abridge this without crippling itself or forfeiting the love and co-operation of its people?
To bestow liberty, and maintain it unto all people, this is the greatest good thing a
government can do.
8. But who shall say what is liberty, and the end thereof? A man shall not have liberty that
offendeth his neighbor, or depriveth him of virtuous livelihood. No man should run
naked; nor should a man have liberty to go into another’s field and take his harvest. How,
then, shall the government take a man’s possessions against his will? But he who hath
received great learning will not offend by nakedness, nor by taking that which is
9. What, then, is greater than for a government to bestow great learning on the people? It
is not enough to say to the poor: Here is land; feed yourselves. But men of great learning
shall be sent amongst them, showing them how to till the soil, and how to build, and to
keep themselves pure in soul and body. For great learning is not in the books only; nay,
there be men of great knowledge as to books, who are themselves gluttons and
debauchees, and bigots, and tyrants, and base authority. Such men have not great
learning; in fact, but great vanity.
10. Two kingdoms, lying side by side; in the one are great philosophers and colleges, but
the multitude are in want; in the other kingdom there are no philosophers as such, nor
colleges; but the multitude have plenty: The latter is a kingdom of greater learning than
the former. For of what consisteth great learning, but in knowing how to live wisely? A
few philosophers are not a nation, to bestow such knowledge on the people as will enable
them to live wisely and be happy to a good old age, this is the labor of the best, great
11. It is a common saying that such and such a king is a great king, because, forsooth,
he hath founded colleges. And this is no small matter. But how much greater is the
king who founded a thousand poor families, and taught them how to live wisely?
12. To make a law to prevent liberty; to bind slaves more rigidly, is to weaken the nation;
to weaken the kingdom. For, see ye, a man had ten servants, and they were free; then he
bound nine of them with chains, and complained because they served him not well. He
was a fool.
13. To labor for one’s self at the expense of the state, is to rob the state; to horde up
possessions is to rob the poor. What treasure hath any man that he can take out of the
world? Better is it to give it whilst one may, for to-morrow we die, leaving it to them that
earnt it not.
14. The highest peace is the peace of the soul, which cometh of consciousness of having
done the wisest and best in all things according to one’s own light. For after all, is not the
earth-life but the beginning, wherein we are as in a womb, molding our souls into the
condition which will come upon us after death? In which case we should with alacrity
seize upon the passing of time and appropriate it to doing righteous works to one another.
1. When the king and the Royal Council beheld the great wisdom of Capilya, they were
struck dumb in their seats. After a while the king said: Was it not by blood that our
forefathers established Dyaus? Scattering the Faithists with great havoc? Shall we gather
up the escaped races and nurse them and have them turn upon us and bite us? Shall we
not with our valiant arms defend Dyaus?
2. To this Capilya answered: Sufficient unto his own battles is the God of Vind’yu. If the
king must need fight Dyaus’battles, then Dyaus is a weak God indeed. Heaven forbid that
Capilya believe in such a God, or labor for one so weak!
3. But thou art right, O king; by blood our forefathers established Dyaus; but where is
there, either in ancient or modern learning, a commandment that Dyaus shall be
maintained by blood? Didst not thou thyself receive a commandment to stop the sacrifice
of human blood on the altar? Is it, then, indeed a holier place on the battle-field, that these
things must continue?
4. Man loveth vengeance; and more for this than for righteousness he desireth to inflict or
destroy others. Nevertheless, all things are answered accordingly as they are; vengeance
answereth vengeance; blood answereth blood; war answereth war. And the same rule
applieth to virtue, which begetteth virtue; love, which begetteth love; peace, peace; good
works, good works. For in these things our souls play a greater part than do our external
5. One of the Royal Council said: How sayest thou of rites and ceremonies? Capilya
answered: Without rites and ceremonies the spiritual person of the state and of the
community, and of the nation, is like a man that hath thrown away his clothes, and then,
with disgust, drowned himself. As the soldiers of the army have drill, which is discipline,
so shall the worshippers have rites and ceremonies, which are the drill to keep one’s soul
in reverence for the Creator.
6. But it falleth not to my lot to say unto you what rites or what ceremonies; for these also
come under the head of LIBERTY.
7. Another one of the Royal Council asked: Some men, who are bad men, have great
pleasures and enjoyments; some men, who are virtuous and wise, have great trials and
misery: What, then, is the prize which thy philosophy offereth to them that practice
righteousness and good works?
8. Capilya said: Could thine eyes see as mine have seen, or thine ears hear as mine have
heard, then it were easy to answer thee. Nevertheless, I declare unto thee a great truth,
which is also revealed in the doctrines of the ancients, that this is not the real life, but the
embryonic state. And many that have great pleasures and enjoyments in this life, waken
up as babes in heaven; whilst many who are virtuous and wise, but suffer great misery, in
this life, wake up in heaven in strength and glory. More are trials and exertions to be
desired than ease and enjoyment; for the former causeth the soul to look upward; but the
latter causeth the soul to look downward. Nevertheless, severe trials are a great injustice
to any man.
9. When the king and Royal Council beheld that Capilya had greater wisdom than any
other man, the king said unto them: No man in all the world hath wisdom sufficient to try
my son. How say ye? And they answered: That is true. Whereupon the king said: Capilya,
hear thou the king’s decree, and it shall be a law unto thee in all the kingdoms of the
world, which is, that thou hast been tried by the greatest king on the earth, and art
acquitted and declared to be above the dominion of mortals. And thou shalt go
whithersoever thou wilt in any land, doing whatsoever thou desirest, and no man shall
arrest thee or forbid thee in anything whatsoever. And whatsoever law thou makest no
king shall make another law, above thine, to set it aside. Wert thou not mine own son I
would say thou wert begotten by the Gods!
10. The king’s decree was recorded in the House of Records, and copies of the decree sent
to the tributary cities and kingdoms throughout Vind’yu. Yokovrana had also a copy made
of Capilya’s speech, and it was also recorded and signed by the king and Council, under
the name, THE FOUNDATION OF LAWS.
11. Jehovih said to Capilya: I have suffered this land to endure war for hundreds of years,
that they might be ready for this. Behold, they are not slow to accept doctrines of peace
12. Capilya inquired concerning the laws, and Jehovih said: Trouble not thyself more; My
hand is upon the king and Council. They will pass laws endorsing what thou hast said. Go
forth, then, My son, amongst My chosen, and thou shalt establish them anew in rites and