Compass of the Times 169
Compass of the Times 169
To the Reinstatement of the Spirituality
The Place Where We Stand
Every April, GLA celebrates its anniversary. It is the time of a year when we confirm where we stand at present and the direction in which we plan to head. This month, we would like to focus on these issues
We live in the 21st century. This is the era in which we attempt to further expand and extend the significant developments achieved in the 20th century, which were made possible by science and technology.
Due to rapid increase in population, the world’s population has already exceeded seven billion. Although severe poverty still exists in some regions, most of the world has come to produce food that can sustain its level of population. Furthermore, the volume of trade in the world continues to rise, and material wealth has reached an unprecedented level.
There are abundant “things” overflowing in many countries. New products are created one after another, and the world of distribution which delivers goods to people, is changing dramatically due to the development of an IT based society centering on computer technology and the Internet.
For example, the realization of self-driving vehicles could be one
of the bifurcation points that greatly changes society. Recently, the future of artificial intelligence (AI) has become a topic for discussion. Artificial intelligence can do things that only humans could do until now, even in areas that require certain creativity, such as writing sentences and composing a piece of music. There are also reports that many professions may be replaced in the future by artificial intelligence.
At this time, the scientific view of humans, one that is accepted by many people, is a materialistic viewpoint that finds the essence of ourselves to exist in the genes. This is a view in which every human reality is created by the physical body including cells and organs, which is the manifestation of genes. From this same outlook, the mind is merely the function of the brain, and the dimension of the soul is not accepted
If this is the case, the thought of substituting humans with artificial intelligence is not at all far-fetched. Rather, it can be regarded as an inevitable consequence. In other words, the era we live today is dominated by such materialistic perspectives. This is an era of extreme dominance by materialism.
The Reinstatement of the Soul: The Aim of GLA
We wish to change the era dominated by such materialism. No matter how many materialistic accomplishments we might make, it is merely an external development and cannot be called a true development. Even if we continue to expand outward further and further, if we lack our inner evolution to match the outer expansion, such development will eventually produce distorted outcomes.
What is called upon us as humans is the accomplishment of our inner evolution and development that is equal to materialistic
development; i.e. the progress into the outer world. Solely by this achievement, the world can maintain its harmony and order in its progress and development.
I have previously mentioned the law of things that the “abundance of Kuh (mind) overflows and manifests as Shiki (reality).” I meant by this that, for anything, only when our “true heart,” spiritual state, and thoughts overflow from within us and crystalize as the outer reality can we bring forth what is genuine. Whether starting things, or taking a decisive initiative, all lies within us in our spiritual dimension.
This is what we must demonstrate in this world—spirituality that surpasses physical matter. This is nothing but the victory of the mind and the soul.
For this very purpose, we advocate the view of humans in which we regard ourselves to exist as souls. We never exist merely as physical matter. Because we harbor the dimension of the soul that transcends the dimension of physical matter, we can live as human beings.
That we perceive things and events as Chaos1; that we try to sustain the lifestyle of listening to callings2 by overcoming the pleasure-seeking principle; that we seek our purpose and mission in life; all of these are the proof that we have found in our life the dimension that transcends physical matter.
Among the GLA members who lead their lives with the perspective of the Study of the Soul3, many have exhibited the power of the soul through their attitude in their terminal stage of life. Despite physical pain, and as if to transcend it, they have focused on what they had to do, and welcomed their time of conclusion. This is the reality which can only be called the victory of the soul.
In the Study of the Soul, a state that has not yet produced a result is referred to as Chaos. Chaos has within it possibilities and limitations, and factors of light and darkness. Factors of light are clues or elements that lead a reality to harmony, development, or deepening. Factors of darkness are triggers or elements that lead a reality to confusion, stagnation, or destruction. We interact with this Chaos with our mind and actions and give a shape to it. Once we have given a shape to Chaos by touching on it, the Chaos will never return to the original state. That is why it is decisively important with what kind of mind we interact with Chaos.
2.Listen to Callings
When unexpected situations occur, when big failures are made, when we are blamed by someone, when we cannot communicate with others, or when we feel vague discontent. in all such occasions the Study of the Soul urges us to listen intently with our mind’s ear to the voices delivered there. The fundamental approach to the way of life that listens to callings is to face our own mind. We are to consider if a certain situation reveals to us a problem that we have; or if it is letting us know what is lacking, making us notice an issue that we are still unaware of, or indicating that we have entered a new stage or a new time.
3.The Study of the Soul
It is the perspective that grasps our lives from the dimension of the soul. It also refers to the system of the truth, the Divine Truth that permeates every aspect of the human soul and the world. As opposed to the study of phenomena that is directed at the tangible world, the Study of the Soul is an investigation of all things, including the formless and intangible world. (excerpted and summarized from page 3 of The Reason Why You Were Born as You)