[Focused on the reestablishment of Korean traditional religion] The 50th Anniversary of Hanolgyo

Spreading the Hanol spirit based on humanitarian aims 백종원 기자l승인2015.02.09l수정2015.02.11 15:35

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[Focused on the reestablishment of Korean traditional religion] The 50th Anniversary of Hanolgyo

Spreading the Hanol spirit based on humanitarian aims

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Hanolgyo. Throughout its half-century-long history, Hanolgyo has transformed its features from a Korean traditional religion to a religion that transcends the traditional form of a belief system.

Hanolgyo originates from the foundations of the Old Korean empire, Gochosun. Based on the teachings and principles of the founding father of Korea 'Dangun,' the Hanol Spirit, also known as “Hong Ick In Gan,” has been preserved for approximately 5,000 years, since the establishment of the Old Korean empire. 

Then, Shin Jeong-Yil reestablished the Hanol Principle based on the core of its foundational spirit, making it at the same time compatible with the newly-evolved circumstances of modern times.

Shin succeeds the spirit of Hanol

The founder of Hanolgyo, Shin Jeong-Yil (Hanim) tried to establish the cornerstone for the evolution of human consciousness through the Hanol Principle and its applications in various areas including politics, economy and culture. He is well known as a Korean presidential candidate (1987 and 1997) and the founder of Hanon group. He believed that Hanol Principle can provide a remedy for the defects of materialism such as the continuous human suffering from separation, and offer the ways of healing our lives. 

However, he had a stroke while he was attending his oldest son Sewon’s Oxford University graduation ceremony.  He was hospitalized at Radcliffe Infirmary and passed away in 1999, after he returned to Korea. Sewon gave up his further studies and came back to Korea to revive the Hanon Group. 

In the absence of the founder, and following the international financial crisis of the Korean IMF, the Hanolgyo Foundation and the Hanon Group encountered a major crisis.

Sewon Shin, the legal descendant (an Oxford graduate and a former artist) was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Hanon Group. As the Chief Operations Officer of the restructuring headquarter, he reduced the number of affiliates from 23 to 13 and stabilized the organization. 

The board of Hanolgyo requested Sewon, who had successfully restructured the Hanon Group, to take on the role of a leader to actualize the founder’s spiritual intentions in the times of emergency such as the absence of official leadership. 

Although Sewon’ officially declined this offer, Hanolgyo continuously demanded that the successor takes on the leader role. Eventually, Sewon resigned from the Hanon Group to accept the temporary leadership of Hanolgyo. He stabilized the Hanolgyo organization as a whole and reestablished the characteristics of Hanolgyo in accordance with the rapid changes in the collective consciousness of society. 

He focused on the core of the founder’s teachings on the Hanol spirit and disregarded extrinsic tradition. He emphasized the essence of the Hanol Principles and refrained from applying the traditional concepts of ritual and worship. Sewon transformed Hanolgyo into a more flexible, liberal and decentralized organization.

Realizing the Founder’s Intention of Religious Unification 

Sewon reformed Hanolgyo in order to realize the founder’s will to overcome religious separation and unite in the name of Truth. Thus, there is no need to give up one’s religion to believe in Hanolgyo. In other words, religious conversion is not necessary to participate in Hanolgyo. Hanolgyo focuses on how to believe rather than what to believe in. Hanolgyo honors all enlightened beings and awakened spiritual teachers, and respects their religions as different ways of pursuing the Universal Truth.

proposing a new way to acquire the teachings of spiritual transcendence through art

After Sewon Shin assumed the Second Official Leadership as a Deputy Premier Principal of anolgyo, he Sewon Shin reorganized the foundation and elaborated the teachings on spiritual transcendence: the art of Enlightenment and Awakening. He also tried to express his spiritual insights through the medium of art. He had three main insights on spiritual evolution. First of all, as we evolve, not only a small number of spiritually gifted or the religiously committed minority, but most people are likely to experience the enlightenment and awakening process. 

Secondly, in the future, the Awakening may not be a rare phenomenon of super-natural transcendence, but simply a new way of life with a new state of consciousness to be attained here and now. 

Finally, instead of the quantum leap of legendary awakenings, a gradual process of enlightenment and the stages of awakening in human consciousness may prevail: then, future generations will naturally adopt an evolved state of consciousness.

He did not merely attempt to demonstrate his insights, but also integrated art with the teachings of transcendental spirituality.

The young genius artist expresses his philosophical insight through art

Sewon was famous as a young genius artist even from his childhood. He won the Grand prize in a Korea National Art competition for youth (1 out of approximately 223,000 competitors) and held two solo exhibitions in Seoul and Tokyo as a teenager. He also introduced the new concept of art called “super individualism art” while he was a high school student. It evolved into the spiritual art that he introduced while he assumed the leadership of Hanolgyo. Through the art of enlightenment and awakening, he attempted to show the keys to the self-liberation of the consciousness. After Sewon Shin successfully restructured and stabilized Hanolgyo, he resigned from all his duties and made a comeback as an artist. He introduced Trans-art, which is the elaboration of "the art of Awakening and Enlightenment" in pure art form.

The Final Compilation of the Hanol principles, the quintessence of sacred teachings, was decided to be left untouched after the Committee consultation. The Hanolgyo authorities decided to leave the sacred teachings acquired by the successor, undisclosed until the proper moment in the era of singularity is reached. Until then, the undisclosed teachings of the preserved principles are only to be revealed in a glimpse, from a reflection through the metaphors of Tran-Art.On the one hand, Sewon, the former leader of Hanolgyo, attempts to express the essence of the Hanol spirit in the field of pure art. On the other hand, Hanolgyo is transforming in order to provide the universal teachings of the Hanol spirit and its applications of the Hanol principle in various ways. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hanolgyo's re-establishment and governmental recognition that was received a half century ago, Hanolgyo re-constructed the main temple of HANOL in the Kanghwa Mani Mountain. Hanolgyo has transformed and developed in many ways but the spirit of its founder, the core of its foundational principles, and the revolutionary insight of the successor shines through these transformations.

<Contents are quoted from the Official Guidance to Hanolgyo>


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