Compass of the Times 208
Compass of the Times 208
We Are Not Powerless
Our daily lives are part of the larger system of the world as society has been tossed around by the coronavirus pandemic since last year. The power of a single person seems insignificant compared to the vastness of the world. Many of you may feel that “we are just a drop of water in a vast ocean.” “No matter what one person does, we are powerless in the face of a gigantic world.” More than a few of us may think this way.
However, this is not true.
The relationship between our inner world and the outer world is mysterious. No matter how troubled we are, the world continues to change, and time passes. It appears our inner world and the outer world are entirely independent of each other.
However, it is a fact that, when we possess a bright hope inside, the outer world will also shine brightly, and if we hold a heavy mood, the outer world will also cast a dark shadow. Conversely, if the outer world falls into darkness due to the pandemic, our mind will also lose its brightness, while if the outer world transforms into light, our mind will also be filled with the light of hope.
In other words, more than most people realize, the inner and the outer worlds interact with each other. In fact, they are inextricably linked and move as one entity. This is the reason why we are not powerless against the world.
The Power to Change the World
There are times in our lives when we fall into a predicament and face a reality about which we can do nothing. In such situations, we feel the reality before us is unmovable like bedrock, which we have no control over.
In the face of this uncontrollable reality, however, we can take new action by thinking, “despite my feelings, I can still do something about the situation.” Even if the circumstance appears to be a dead-end and we seem blocked, we are capable of creating new options and actions.
At that moment, the reality, which appeared to be as hard as bedrock, can transform into something fluid, depending on how we perceive it in our inner world.
The realities of such trials often come into our lives. When facing problems that bring us an undue burden and heavy load, we are swallowed up by its oppression and feel we are pinned down.
However, when we accept such trials as opportunities for a new challenge, the reality of the trials that seemed to bring us only oppression and pain transform into a door that points to hope for the future. From this, we will be able to gain the power to change the world.
What do you think this means?
In the Study of the Soul1, every situation is perceived as Chaos. Chaos is a state of turmoil in which there is no conclusion or outcome, no form or fixed shape. In other words, no matter how rock-solid and immovable the situation seems, it is merely a kind of assumption or preconception. Rather than fixed, it is a soft and flexible state with no defined structure or fixed shape.
When we reframe the situation and bring it back to a state of Chaos by moving away from assumptions and preconceptions, we will be able to access factors of light and darkness once again, as well as possibilities and limitations that are contained in that state of turmoil.
There is not only a path that ends in setback and failure but also a hidden path to access the blueprint2. By listening to the calling3 of the situation, we can move forward on the path to a new order concealed in the Chaos—the path to the hidden blueprint.
Cultivating the Power to Reassemble
Even when a situation seems to be a hopeless dead end, or when a trial seems to bring nothing but hardship and pain, if we reassess and reassemble the situation, a new reality and a new world will emerge.
The power to reassess the situation mentioned here is what should be called the power to reframe. Reframing means removing the framework of things once and then reassessing and reassembling them.
Learning and practicing the Study of the Soul are precisely the steps to cultivate such power to reframe the situation; that is, to access the blueprint entrusted to us and to develop the power to reassemble the framework. There will be times when the year’s progress will stagnate past the halfway point. This month, I would like you to turn your mind to this power to reframe and reassemble.
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. This 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. (Excerpt from p.40 of How to Make Your Life the Best by Keiko Takahashi)
Originally, a blueprint referred to plans showing how to build something such as a building or machine. From there, it has come to refer to diagrams or plans for just about anything or for diagrams of the future that ought to be. It means the reality that we seek to realize and aspire to achieve. In the Study of the Soul, the term is also imbued with the meanings of the Idea (ideal form) hidden in all things and of the promise made with the Great Existence, God. (Excerpt from p.70 of The Golden Path by Keiko Takahashi)
3. Listening to a Calling
Sometimes, we fall into an unexpected situation, make a big mistake, are blamed by others, feel our intentions not being understood, or keep on feeling unclear and bewildered. In the Study of the Soul, we pose a question to ourselves: “What is this situation trying to tell me?” We try to listen calmly to the voice that is reaching out to us with the ears of our minds. The basic stance of living a life of listening to a calling is to face our mind. We ask ourselves, “Is this situation trying to teach me a problem I have or inform me of an element I am missing?” At times, we think that the situation may be trying to tell us about a theme we are not yet aware of, or it is telling us that we have entered a new phase or a new era.