Compass of the Times 217

Compass of the Times 217

Changing Oneself

Keiko Takahashi

Live in the Time of Fluctuation and Trials

While all of Japan was in the midst of dealing with the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19, people were surprised when Russia took the action of unilaterally invading Ukraine. This surprise was because the prevailing view among experts was that the Russian invasion would not take place and that many factors would prevent this, even though there had been whispers of concern about a military invasion since late last year.

This event made us aware of the fact that there are countries on this Earth that can repeatedly infringe on others even if they are not exposed to direct damage or attack. I believe that many Japanese citizens have come to be aware again that our country is surrounded by several nations that could do the same.

After the Second World War, the Japanese people lost sight of realistic views of the world as they valued the idealism of the Peace Constitution, reflecting the intentions of the US occupying forces. Now we are confronted with the reality of the ruthless world highlighted by the Russian invasion.

No matter how hard we try to follow the path of peaceful discussion, it will not lead to a solution if the other party is arrogant and forceful, in a way that can only be described as that of a rogue nation. I am sure that many of us have realized that we must prepare for the defense of our own country in order to dissuade other countries from taking violent actions.

Our country has had many natural disasters, but the disasters humans produce are no less devastating than those. In this sense, nothing could be more true than this event to show us that we are living in the time of the unbelievable when we do not know what will occur next and anything can happen.

The Power of Changing Oneself

There is one ironclad rule for survival at a time of fluctuation and trials. When the outer world is shaken, we must be that much more certain of our inner center axis. We must have an immovable center of gravity deep within ourselves that can withstand any fluctuation or trial.

For us, this center of gravity is the Study of the Soul1 or the perspective of the Divine Truth; that is, a view of humanity and the world that perceives humans as a soul. It is also nothing less than a conviction based on the understanding and practice of this view.

For us, the outer world is always Saha, a place where we must suffer and endure. As if a blade is sitting on our mind, it is a place where “it is inevitable that we may hurt others or be hurt by them” is a prerequisite. With this awareness as our basic premise, we must face the reality of the world.

Nevertheless, the reality of such a harsh world is always Chaos. Chaos is a state of disorder in which there is no shape, outline, or result. It is a mixture of light and darkness, as well as possibilities and limitations. Hidden in that Chaos is a blueprint, the way the situation should be. To search for and discover that blueprint and realize that blueprint by adjusting our In and En2 is the best path, the Golden Path3 that we should follow. There is no better way to live than that.

We resist external pressure by strengthening this perspective and raising our willpower.

The way of life we should seek is not the usual way of doing things, the way we are familiar with. There is a way of life that allows us to access the blueprint that is hidden in reality before us at this moment.

If we can discover it, we should not hesitate to choose it. We must be willing to change ourselves for it. In fact, in many cases, we end up changing ourselves. By doing so, we are on the best path to reach the blueprint. The greatest strength for surviving through this harsh world is brought about by changing ourselves. Everyone holds that power.

Exercise Human Capabilities

Dinosaurs, which once may be seen as creatures of invincible strength, perished because they were unable to respond to sudden changes in their environment. Research on life’s evolutionary process has shown us is that those who can change themselves to respond to the world are the ones who stand at the summit of evolution.

In other words, to change oneself in response to fluctuation is a capability given to humans. It is not, however, a matter of just changing, but of changing oneself to go toward a blueprint.

Editor’s Note

1. Study of the Soul

The Study of the Soul is a system of theory and practice in which we seek a way of life by connecting the visible and invisible dimensions. In contrast to the study of phenomena, which science represents by dealing with the materialistic dimension, the Study of the Soul goes beyond that, dealing comprehensively with the materialistic dimension and the invisible dimension of the mind and soul. That is a principle that I have discovered from intensive studies of human beings and the individual life journeys of the many people whom I have met. By looking at the soul, mind, and reality as a whole, we observe human beings and hope to respond to every possible occasion. (Excerpts from p.40 of How to Make Your Life the Best by Keiko Takahashi)

2. In-En-Kaho

In-En-Kaho is the law of cause and effect. All phenomena are seen as the manifestation of the result (Kaho) produced by combining together cause (In), which is the source, and conditions (En). In other words, we grasp the flow of the energy that controls all of creation and destruction in this world by using the three poles. There is not a single phenomenon in this world that can be separated from the law of In-En-Kaho. All matter in the universe and every possible reality are the result (Kaho) that is created by the cause (In) and the conditions (En). (Excerpts and summary from pp.125-126 of The Soul Doctrine as a Way of Life by Keiko Takahashi)

3. The Golden Path

The Golden Path is a miraculous path that opens up out of a desperate situation in a way that we can hardly believe, that makes us wonder how such a thing is possible. And when we look back, we think to ourselves, “I could never have done it without doing it this way and in this order,” for it is the one and only path. Of the myriad possible paths we might have taken, this one and the only path by which we are able to achieve the impossible shines with a dazzling light. That is the Golden Path. (Excerpts from p.32 of The Golden Path by Keiko Takahashi, currently available only in Japanese)