Compass of the Times 226

Compass of the Times 226

Reclaim What is Reliable

Keiko Takahashi

The Way to Live in an Age of Uncertainty

The novel coronavirus infection has already become a disease of the same severity as influenza for many people (with the exception of the elderly who remain vulnerable). And yet, coronavirus is still an element to cause instability in people’s behavior across the world. In addition, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been protracted and the situation has reached a stalemate..

One of the guideposts for surviving such an uncertain, unclear time is to reclaim the lost ground.

There is some kind of trust or stronghold at the base of our way of life. We can walk forward because we believe in something, even if we are not aware of that.

For example, people who hold a materialistic worldview and believe only in what they can see, such as tangible things and numbers, often believe in visible social status and the power of money. There are also those who believe, above all, in the network of connections with valuable people.

To believe in something means to value something. With this as the basis of our way of life, we live each day.

I say this because it seems to me that, in our modern society, we have lost something certain on which our lives should truly be based. And I believe that this tendency has been amplified in the turmoil of the last three years of the coronavirus pandemic.

Reclaiming the Lost Ground

What are the certain things we have lost?

First of all, we can think of the Great Existence which has been our major source of comfort since ancient times.

As I have mentioned in the past, throughout the 20th century, an era of science and technology, many people have come to believe that science is the only thing worth trusting. In fact, humans have made many things possible through the methods of science and technology.

For example, science has greatly contributed to alleviating all the pains caused by poverty, illnesses, and wars that have afflicted humankind. While some countries still suffer from hunger, if considering the whole world, production of food has increased dramatically over the past century, and the sustainable population has grown, and the growth of economic wealth has solved many of the problems caused by poverty.

As for illnesses, while there are still some intractable diseases for which the causes and cures are unknown, we no longer need to fear most illnesses. Most cancers, which were once considered deadly, are now said to have treatments in sight.

As for wars, the ominous mood has been amplified in the world by Russia’s unrestrained invasion of Ukraine. It is also true, however, that the global wars that had been going on until then have come to fade away.

In short, it is certain that, through the century of science, humankind has solved many problems.

People have therefore come to have tremendous faith and trust in science. In exchange, however, we have forgotten the Great Existence that was once our unshakable ground, and that transcended humankind. With science in our hands, we have forgotten reverence and lost sight of the Great Existence that surpasses us, as if this has taken the place of God Almighty.

As this scientific view of humanity and the world permeates around us, we have come to no longer see the eternal dimension that we ourselves harbor. This means that we have lost sight of this immortal dimension that we all have within us as an existence of soul embracing eternal life.

And that is not all. By viewing human beings materialistically and losing sight of our immortal dimension, we have inevitably lost sight of the core of our lives, that is, our purpose of life.

For us, the Great Existence, the immortal dimension, and the purpose of life are nothing less than the greatest, most unchanging, and most valuable things we have.

As we live in this uncertain, disorderly, and volatile age, we must build our lives and walk in this world on the ground based on what is the greatest, most unchanging, and most valuable. This is what will give us the greatest strength to survive through this uncertain time.

Excerpt Translation of G. Monthly Journal January 2023 issue
Preliminary translation by GLA member-volunteers
 ©GLA 2023 All rights reserved