Introduction to the Study of the Soul 156

Introduction to the Study of the Soul 156

The Quest for BodaishinⅡ

Keiko Takahashi


What Causes Division?

Various divisions are arising in the world today.

Rich countries and poor countries, developed countries and developing countries, older generations and younger generations, conservatives and liberals, and autocracy and democracy….

It is not an exaggeration to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified these severances and divisions, accentuating their dissociation and driving them into a serious state.

Some of you may have witnessed the seriousness of the U.S. division reported in overseas news.

Antagonism between conservatives and liberals, pro-vaccine side and anti-vaccine side, and so on are so strong that we are led to believe that they are almost irreparable. There is so much hatred and hostility towards their opponents that it is hard to believe that they are all citizens of the same country.

In Japan, too, there are glimpses of such a reality. Even though people see the same situation of society, they begin to take different positions where people seem to be looking at completely different realities.

This is also true in terms of measures for COVID-19.

While it is true that Japan’s government seemed to be at a loss in dealing with it, it can be said that, from a global perspective, our country’s measures for COVID-19 including the results have been evaluated basically positively.

Although the start of vaccinations was considerably delayed, once it began the progress has been extremely smooth, and by mid-November, the vaccination rate surpassed that of Western countries.

That’s clearly a positive reality, but reports of such assessments are rarely seen in Japan. Rather, it is no exaggeration to say that the opposite negative evaluation is being made.

Facts recognized abroad are ignored, as if criticism was the premise.

No, they don’t mean to ignore it. It is the situation in which Japanese people cannot actually see it in that way.

Do you remember the Mirror of the Mind that I discussed in detail in my book Reversing Destiny?

I believe that the Mirror of the Mind that we harbor has much to do with such divisions.

The Mirror of the Mind Sways Life

We cannot directly perceive what exists in the world. We perceive what exists there by invariably using certain sensory organs and our mind.

What is indispensable for the function of the mind to perceive that it exists there, is what I call the Mirror of the Mind.

We all have a Mirror of the Mind within usand are seeing what is reflected in it.

We cannot see the world as it is. We can only see what is reflected in the Mirror of Our Own Mind.

Even if it is actually there, if it is not reflected in the Mirror of Our Mind, we think it does not exist there. On the other hand, even if it does not really exist there, if it is reflected in the Mirror of Our Mind, we think it exists there.

I have also talked about the ontological mystery of apples.

Let’s say you have a red apple in front of you. You have no doubt that it is clear that an apple is there. But even though you say that you can see it, you cannot say that it really exists there. It is because the apple you think you are looking at is only the apple reflected in the Mirror of Your Mind. In other words, the apple exists there if you think it exists there and does not exist there if you think it does not exist there.

That is the fate of what exists in this world.

If the Mirror of the Mind is distorted, the appearance of the world will be naturally distorted. It is because even if you think that you are looking at the world as it is with no intention to distort it, if the Mirror of Your Mind is distorted, that figure will be distorted according to the mirror.

Depending on what kind of Mirror of the Mind we have, it will have a decisive impact on our lives.

Life Creates the Mirror of the Mind

In Reversing Destiny, I discussed the four types of Bonno*1 that we humans harbor as representatives of the Mirror of the Mind: Pleasure- Recklessness, Pain-Recklessness, Pain-Lethargy, and Pleasure- Lethargy.

In situations we face, they make us see Signs of Success to put us in a state of exaltation, and they make us see Signs of Malicious Intent to put ourselves on guard, even though these signs are not really there. They also make us see Signs of Obstruction to make us feel depressed and Signs of Someone Else’s Problem to make us feel at ease.

Indeed, we can see that it is appropriate to call the tendency of our mind (=Ju-Hatsu-Shiki*2 ) the Mirror of the Mind.

What contributes to make the Mirror of Our Mind, more than our Bonno, is the Three Streams of Influence: the influence from our family (Family), the influence from the community and industry (Place), and the influence from the times (Era).

If you have parents who were betrayed by someone they believed in, who were not recognized by others no matter how hard they tried, or who have been in a situation that can only be described as misfortune for a long time, it is not uncommon that somehow your parent’s feelings flowed into you and have created a Mirror of the Mind filled with distrust for others and distrust for the world, even if you yourself don’t have much reason to feel that way.

On the other hand, people who have been raised in a blessed life by parents who have always been loving and caring, without being aware of it, create a Mirror of the Mind that tends to take things magnanimously and trusts others easily.

In another case, if you are born in an area where there is a fierce sense of rivalry with the neighboring town, this sense of rivalry will sprout up at some point and will end up with a Mirror of the Mind that is driven by a sense of competition at every turn.

Then there is the influence of the times: Era. This may be the most difficult of the Three Streams of Influence to be aware of.

The difference in values before and after World War II is often discussed in Japan. However, for many people, this may just be a topic of the past.

What about the sense of “hard work pays off” among those who lived through the rapid growth period of Japan, and the sense of helplessness that persists among the generation afterward, who belongs to the non-growth period?

These vague differences in the way we feel about the world permeate our minds almost unconsciously. The generation gap can be said to be a friction caused by this difference of Era.

In addition, the political beliefs that people choose by themselves also form this Mirror of the Mind.

By choosing one position, it is inevitable that one’s view of things will have one tendency.

However, by interacting with people who share the same opinion, an echo chamber phenomenon*3 occurs, and this preconception is reinforced. Gradually, one will be controlled by one-sided judgments.

What I wanted to convey here is that just by being born and living, we may be creating a Mirror of the Mind that harbors many distortions and habits.

It is so natural and is accompanied by many real feelings that it is hard to believe that it is caused by a distorted Mirror of the Mind. And we are controlled and driven by this Mirror of the Mind.

That’s Why We Truly Need Bodaishin*4

That is why we truly need Bodaishin.

Bodaishin has its source in the soul which exists in the part deeper than the mind, where the Three Streams of Influence flow into. It has the nature to resonate with the truth of the universe/nature, and echo with the true heart.

When our Bodaishin is awakened, we are able to receive the faintest echoes of our true heart. This means that we can receive the voice of our true heart that is resounding deep within us, without being swallowed up by the distortions of the Mirror of the Mind of the people around us.

And just when the Mirror of the Mind, which has been distorted by the effects of the Three Streams of Influence and Karma**5 of the soul, is about to set off, it is Bodaishin that makes it wait and stop its motion.

Against a fixed notion of “this is the way it is” that was commanded by the Three Streams of Influence, it guides us “to look once more at the facts as they are,” and urges us “to look sincerely” for the blueprint*6 entrusted to that time and place.

Bodaishin removes the obstinate distortions of the Mirror of the Mind and leads us to a freer state of mind.
(To be continued)

Editor’s Note

1. Soul Compass (Bonno Map)

Bonno is originally a Buddhist term, and it refers to all delusional thoughts that bother and aggravate people mentally and physically. The Soul Compass grasps them as tendencies in four types of Bonno that turn our life into darkness. The four types of Bonno are as follows: the tendency of Pain-Recklessness (a victim) that is symbolized by anger and discontent of human beings; the tendency of Pleasure-Lethargy (a happy person) that is symbolized by laziness within humans and blind dependency on others; the tendency of Pain-Lethargy (a self-deprecating person) that is symbolized by fear and negative thoughts; and the tendency of Pleasure-Recklessness (an overconfident person) that is symbolized by greed and controlling others.
(Excerpted and summarized from p.105-107 of The Book to Solve Equations of Life by Keiko Takahashi; available only in Japanese)

2. Ju-Hatsu-Shiki

Ju is a reception to perceive in mind (the internal world) events in our reality (the external world). Hatsu is a transmission to interact with the external world after the reception. Shiki is a Buddhist term that refers to visible realities or the external world, such as incidents and events, including human relationships. As long as we live, we continue to rotate this cycle of Ju-Hatsu-Shiki and keep producing realities even if we are not aware of it.
(Excerpted and summarized from p.66-67 of The Glossary of the Divine Truth 2012, available only in Japanese)

3. Echo Chamber Effect

An echo chamber is a reverberation room (echo chamber) for music recording that is designed and maintained so that sound reverberates in an enclosed space. The echo chamber effect refers to the amplification and reinforcement of one’s own opinions and beliefs through repeated communication in a small, closed community like an echo chamber, where one keeps seeing and hearing similar opinions.

4. Bodaishin

Originally, Bodaishin means “a heart that seeks enlightenment” in Buddhism. The Study of the Soul defines it as “a heart that seeks one’s real self, loves others, and contributes to world harmony.”
(Excerpt from the book, The Path of Prayer (Revised Edition), p.388)

5. Karma

It is the distortions, immaturity, and weaknesses of the soul, as well as the force that prevents the soul from living its aspiration.
(Excerpt from p.65 of How to Solve the Equation of Destiny by Keiko Takahashi, available only in Japanese)

6. Blueprint

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 The Golden Path by Keiko Takahashi (English version is in preparation))

For past articles from this series,
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Excerpt Translation of G. Monthly Journal December 2021 issue
Preliminary translation by GLA member-volunteers
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