Compass of the Times 235

Compass of the Times 235

Transcending Oneself

Keiko Takahashi

We Have Sought Self-Expansion and Personal Growth

The development of science and technology brought us the prosperity of material civilization. The 20th century was a time when great materialistic development was achieved on the basis of infrastructure (the foundation of society and life), such as electricity, water supply, communications, railroads, and roads. The era in which we live is moving further along that direction that seeks material wealth and economic prosperity. No one could doubt, for a long time, that seeking such wealth was what we valued, and it was our steady policy.

There is another thing to which we have devoted much of our energy in this time in which material and economic development was sought. That is the existence of “oneself.” We have paid great attention to self-expansion and personal growth, putting a lot of energy into achieving these. I believe that the pinnacle of this is the present time. We are more concerned with ourselves than ever before, which is the characteristic of the modern era. This is symbolized by the fact that many people are interested in SNS1, and the young are obsessed with TikTok and Instagram.

There is no doubt that, at least until today, we human beings have aimed for material and economic wealth and sought self-realization, that is, self-expansion and personal growth, whether we are aware of it or not.

A New Future Comes When We Transcend Ourselves

Many people already know, however, that the pursuit of material and economic wealth is not the only goal of society. Such a simple goal is becoming a thing of the past. One might say that it is, in a sense, an old-fashioned way of thinking.

In recent years, the concept of sustainability2 has gained attention, as people now understand that humanity’s progress has placed a tremendous burden on the global environment. Sustainable civilization and sustainable development goals (SDGs) have become our new objectives.

With globalism as a background, a great number of people have been interacting with one another across countries and regions. At such times, diversity has become a new goal, seeking the answer to how people with different backgrounds can coexist in harmony. It means more than simply recognizing people from different backgrounds; it is about how we can accept our differences and how we can connect and coexist in new ways.

Although material and economic wealth is an important part of human life, it is not the only thing that should be valued. A new era is calling for a number of new themes and goals.

The same can be said about “oneself.” Self-expansion and personal growth are no longer the only goals.

The trend toward self-expansion and personal growth alone will not bring about the future that we should truly seek. These are not enough to actualize the blueprint3 of the world we wish for. A new future will be born in the dimension that transcends ourselves, which is outside the trend of seeking self-expansion and personal growth.

Nurture and Transcend Oneself

Of course, we must first establish ourselves before we are involved in the dimension beyond. It requires an consciousness of nurturing oneself and transcending oneself. For example, in the way of life of the Study of the Soul, “listening to the callings” is more important than anything else. This attitude of “listening to the callings” is equal to listening to the dimension beyond ourselves and going forward by entrusting ourselves to what is there. At that moment, we can transcend ourselves and resonate with the world.

If we wish to feel what the times are trying to tell us now and what the world is asking of us, we must have a consciousness that transcends ourselves. Whether we can entrust ourselves to the dimension beyond and lead ourselves to a place beyond is the key to receiving the callings.

We think not only of ourselves but also of others. We put our heart into our relationships with them and take joy in achieving something together. Doing so can be the preparation for receiving the callings. In this way, we can face the future that we are meant to bring forth in the truest sense of the word.

Editor’s Note

1. SNS (Social Networking Service)

A service that creates a social network through interaction on the Internet. TikTok allows users to post and share short videos, and Instagram allows users to post and share photos and videos for communication.

2. Sustainability

Sustainability is a term referring to a concept and approach that aims for the sustainable development of society and the global environment in general. It includes various fields, such as economy, politics, culture, and environment. Among them, it is used especially for environmental and energy issues.

3. Blueprint

Originally, a blueprint is referred to as plans showing how to build something, such as a building or a 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 is 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 the promise made with the Great Existence, God. (Excerpted from page 105 of The Golden Path by Keiko Takahashi)

4 . The 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.” That 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. (Excerpted from page 40 of How to Make Your Life the Best by Keiko Takahashi)

Excerpt Translation of G. Monthly Journal October 2023 issue
Preliminary translation by GLA member-volunteers
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