Inner quality and outer form

성상과 형상 [seongsang-gwa hyeongsang] (sino-korean)
性相 形狀 (hanja)


性相 (성상) – inner quality (seongsang)
形狀 (형상) – outer form (hyeongsang)

Every entity possesses both an outer form and an inner quality. The visible outer form resembles the invisible inner quality. The inner quality, though invisible, possesses a certain structure which is manifested visibly in the particular outer form. The inner quality is called internal nature, and the outer form or shape is called external form.Therefore, the internal nature and external form together constitute dual characteristics.

Animals live and move because their bodies are directed by an internal faculty corresponding to the human mind, which endows them with a certain purpose. Plants maintain their organic functions by virtue of their internal nature, which also operates like the human mind in some respects.

The human mind imparts to every person a natural inclination to join with others in harmony. Likewise, positive ions and negative ions come together to form particular molecules.Electrons assemble around nuclei to form atoms because they possess an attribute of internal nature which directs them toward that purpose.

A human being is composed of an outer form, the body, and an inner quality, the mind. The body is a visible reflection of the invisible mind. Because the mind possesses a certain structure, the body which reflects it also takes on a particular appearance. Here, mind is the internal nature and body is the external form. Mind and body are two correlative aspects of a human being.

The internal nature has the innate capacity to unite and communicate with the external form in every fundamental respect. As a result of this, the growth process after the birth of human beings is so invisible.

The greatest masterpiece of creation, the combination of all forms of creation brought and bound together, is the internal nature and external form of human beings.