Compass of the Times 161
Compass of the Times 161
To See Our Potential Powers
Is Everything Predetermined?
How many people today would feel discomfort at the idea that “human powers and possibilities are mostly determined by genetics”?
Since the discovery of the structure of DNA made in 1953, genetic research has increased with exponential advancement. The Human Genome Project began in 1990 with a goal to identify all human genes and was declared complete in 2003, two years ahead of its original plan of 15 years.
The idea developed by “behavioral geneticists” that “genes determine everything about human beings,” along with related information that I presented in the May issue of the “Compass of the Times,“ now deeply permeates our society.
If we imagine a future extending from this concept, humankind would further unravel genetic codes to ascertain new potential and to remove limitations.
For example, a sci-fi-like reality becomes imaginable, in which each person’s future choices are predicted by the result of a genetic test that predicts a person’s aptitude and their future possibilities – this may no longer be considered a mere fantasy.
Aptitude tests based on genetic analyses could determine a limited set of universities or occupations from which to choose; and, furthermore, this could then become conditions that would lead to a certain kind of marriage and employment.
What could be worse is that once defects and weaknesses of unborn embryos have been found from the analysis of genetic information, this could lead to the nightmare of genetic manipulation, or even artificial selection of embryos if such genetic modification fails. Such a world would be nothing but a dark and controlled society.
The Power to Make effort Is the Power to Live Life
In the Study of the Soul1, we regard each person as they exist as a soul. We consider that there are great possibilities dormant within each person and that many people have not been able to draw forth these possibilities. For example, an amazing number of people set boundaries for themselves by the standards they have acquired through birth and upbringing.
“This is too difficult for me”
“This is a level that’s adequate for me”
Or, the opposite may be true in which the person considers that “I’m capable of much more than this,” and he or she may be in a state of overconfidence.
With such attitudes, it is difficult for us to draw forth our inner power because in either case, we are unable to make effort to draw forth the potential we are given. When we do not believe in our inner power, we are unable to make effort. When we are content with a moderate level of result, we are unable to make such effort. Or, if we are overconfident, we do not feel a need to make effort.
Thus, in many cases, the problem is not the deficiency of our aptitude or talent, but rather, it is the very fact that we cannot continue to make the needed effort to draw forth the inner power that is given to us.
The power to make effort is nothing less than the power to live life.
At times, as a matter of course, we may feel that a superior aptitude or talent yields a decisive advantage over anything else.” Many people feel this way, for instance, when it comes to the field of art.
However, even in the arts, extraordinary set of efforts is required to truly enable aptitude and talent to bloom. I have mentioned before the “Ten-year Law,” which stipulates that ten years of effort is required to produce concrete results. The law applies without exception to many “first-class musicians” who have repeatedly applied endless effort.
To Observe Our Potential Powers
What is important is that there is a power dormant within us that is yet to be drawn forth.
We must observe the power of humanity latent within us. We must believe in it. What kind of dormant power is there? What can we do now to draw it forth? Most importantly, we must continually apply effort. When we have applied sufficient effort to draw forth our inner possibilities, we will know that the needed amount of aptitude, talent, or ability had always been within us.
1. Study of the Soul
It is a study that enables us to comprehend our lives from the perspective of the dimension of the soul. It is also a system of truths and principles comprehensively known as the Divine Truth that is present in and permeates every aspect of the human soul and the world. As opposed to the “study of phenomena” that comprises only the tangible world, the Study of the Soul is an investigation of all things, including the formless and intangible world. (based on page 3 of The Reason Why You Were Born as You)