Compass of the Times 168
Compass of the Times 168
The Power to Take Over: Stairway Theory
A human ability that distinguishes us from other animals is the power to take over the steps of our past and proceed to the next stage of life.
Most animals repeat behaviors that are controlled by their instincts, and the extent to which they can learn a new way of life from past experiences to reach the next stage of life is only limited. On the other hand, we humans are capable of taking a great leap by learning much from past experiences, incorporating them as our own, and then, making them the foundation for our next step. Almost all our life is spent in the incessant development of ourselves by taking over and accumulating the past. In the past, I called this Stairway Theory and referred to it as a law of human activity.
All of us climb up the stairway of life every day, slowly, step by step. Tomorrow, we again ascend the stairs one step at a time from the place where we left off today. This steady progress moves us forward.
This not only applies to the progress of an individual. In fact, the activities of the human race and the history of mankind itself are the result of what we have taken over and accumulated. The stage that each preceding generation has reached is tacitly taken up by the next generation. With that stage as a new starting point, progress can be extended. Because such a process was possible, we human beings were able to achieve unprecedented progress and development of our culture and civilization.
If expressed in simple terms, human progress is the sum of both the steps that elevate us, as well as the process of continuation. We start our steps by accepting what presently exists, then improve on this before handing it over to tomorrow. This is what I mean by carrying-on.
What would happen if we were not able to advance stepwise and carry forward in this way? The progress of human culture and civilization would not be possible, let alone the development and progress of each person.
We do not live merely today. Within today, the flow of time up until yesterday is accumulated. It also contains the time of the future that we have yet to see. To live today is nothing but inheriting the past to connect to the future.
Importance of Continuation – Creating a Subconscious Way of Living
This month, I would like to focus on this topic of continuation.
In walking the path of the soul, there is a special meaning in continuation: taking over past progress and connecting it to the future. This is because it requires time to learn and master something, whatever it is. The exertion to create such time is none other than the effort of continuation.
For example, one aspires to a new way of living based on the principles of the Divine Truth, which are to accept that trials are callings1; to perceive things as Chaos2 and try to determine which are the best steps forward from this; to grasp our own mind with our mind by working on the Shikan Sheet3 and to work on Wisdom4 to find a new path from the problems we face. However, it is not easy to instantly achieve such new ways of living.
By continuing to work towards such efforts at any available occasion, the outline of a new way of living becomes clear, and is naturally brought forth from within us.
We should consider that if we are working on this in a conscious manner, we are still on the road to mastering it. As such a lifestyle permeates us and becomes natural for us, a new way of living emerges even if we are barely conscious of it. Furthermore, we come to feel uncomfortable if we do not live in this way.
This means that the new way of living is being incorporated into our subconscious level by continuation. In doing so, we approach the stage where we acquire the secret of mastering a new way of life.
In order for us to continuesomething, we need a will to carry it on. Without that will, nothing begins. And, by continuing, when we reach the point of no longer being conscious of the will, the purpose of continuation is accomplished.
1. Trials Are Callings
There are times when we fall into an unexpected situation; when we make a significant error; when others blame us; when we fail to make ourselves understood; or when we are unclear and hazy in mood and mind for a long time. The Study of the Soul teaches us that these are the times that we are to listen intently to the voice that is embedded there and to ask what this situation is calling us to do.
The fundamental approach to make listening to callings as a way of life is to face our own heart. 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, if it is making us notice an issue that we are still unaware of, or if it is indicating that we have entered a new stage or a new time.
In the Study of the Soul, a state that has not yet produced a result is referred to as Chaos. Chaos includes 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 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.
3. Shikan Sheet (Reflection and Insight Sheet)
Shikan Sheet invented by Takahashi Sensei is a worksheet for transcribing activities of our mind that moves moment to moment, exactly as they are. The practice called, the Shikan practice is to transcribe activities of our mind onto this worksheet so that we can purify the darkness hidden in them with the words of The Path of Prayer. Copyright
4. In-En-Kaho Wisdom
In-En-Kaho Wisdom is the wisdom as well as the method devised by Takahashi Sensei that enables us to solve many different problems and create a new future based on the perspective of In-En-Kaho. By grasping a situation in terms of a flow of energy, we can solve a negative reality of pain, confusion, stagnation, or destruction; and pave a path to a positive reality filled with joy, harmony, vitality, and creation. First, we draw in a problem to In (ourselves), and grasp the flow of energy in the circulation of darkness—how In and En(conditions) are combined to produce Kaho (problem). Then, as we change our In and transform and prepare En(partners, principles, and systems), the energy toward darkness will gradually stop; and the energy toward light will increase so that we can open up a path to solution and creation.