Compass of the Times 172
Compass of the Times 172
To the Other Side of the Door
To the Other Side of the Door:A Way of Life Guided by the Study of the Soul
It is of great significance to us to pursue and become familiar with the Study of the Soul1. This leads our lives away from the materialistic inclinations of the modern world and allows us to instead sustain our proper balance.
There exist forms, colors, and mass in the phenomenal world. As we live in such a concrete world, we have no choice but to develop a sense that prioritizes what is visible, or has form.
The predominance of economic power today is brought about because of the magnitude of its influence on reality. In the modern world, if we have no money, we will face difficulty in creating a concrete reality. Without money, we cannot fulfill the need for food, clothing, or shelter—our living essentials. Needless to say, we need funds to receive education, build a house, or start a business.
The concrete values that many people acknowledge in the phenomenal world are not limited to money. One example is evident for many of us when we evaluate others by their educational backgrounds, workplace, job titles, or income.
To the contrary, many of us are unaware of the significance of things that do not materialize in form, or cannot be described in their quantity, or consist of a process without visible outcome. We may find it difficult to place importance on the inner qualities and nature of human beings.
Since the 20th century, when materially-oriented civilization developed greatly, the scientific world view, which became its foundation, came to be the power that propelled the materialistic view of human beings and the world. As a result, we labeled other ways of living—for instance the way of living that respects inner dimensions— as “insignificant.” It was the same with the religious way of living.
Yet, is this way of life correct and sufficient for us?
In fact, needed more than ever is a way of life that transcends the dimension of matter. From the very first days of our lives, we do not live merely in the dimension of matter. It is impossible to live a full life, in the true sense of its meaning, based only on visible forms and measurable quantities.
What Is the Essence of the Religious Way of Living?
It is none other than the Study of the Soul that invites those who live in a concealed world, where only visible and materialistic values are acknowledged, to step out to the other side of the door towards the dimension that transcends it.
Then, what is the religious way of living guided by the Study of the Soul?
Religion is an ideology and a way of living based on a transcendental existence or dimension, such as God, Buddha, or the Great Existence, surpassing the power of human beings and nature. Originally, the word “religion” in Japanese indicated
the ultimate or fundamental way of teaching. In English, the word religion is derived from a Latin word “religio,” which means to connect God and humans.
The Great Existence in the Study of the Soul should be perceived as the totality of connectedness, piercing through matter, life, mind, and soul. Being linked to such connectedness and responding to it, is none other than the religious way of life guided by the Study of the Soul.
Our way of living greatly relies on the ethnicity, history, and culture of each person, and is tightly bound by their traditions, customs, and values.
I suppose you have been assured, through the unaccountable number of realities you have faced, how tightly we are bound by life’s conditions called the three streams of influence2 (family, place, and era) in the Study of the Soul.
The three streams of influence lie in our ethnicity and history, and consist of our traditions, cultures, and customs. To live bound by the three streams of influence means to sever ourselves from the original great connectedness, and restrain us from living to our full potential. Because of such restraints, we humans are usually incapable of transcending these boundaries to live our life fully.
However, what brings us to the first step by which we may cross over the boundaries is the experience of connectedness to the transcendental existence, which should be called the experience of the transcendental dimension.
This experience enables us to start living in a new world, going over the boundaries that we normally cannot cross. The experiences of discoveries and sense of connectedness that many people have as they study and practice the Study of the Soul, are the foundations of the religious way of life for us.
1. 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 p.3 of The Reason Why You Were Born as You).
2. Three Streams of Influence
It means conditions of life which are given to us without exception. The influence from family is symbolized by values and way of living flowing from parents and family lineages; the influence from place is symbolized by values and way of living flowing from country, land, region, industry, and company; and the influence from era is symbolized by values and information flowing from the era. (Excepted and summarized from p.116 of The Book to Solve Equations of Destiny, available only in Japanese)