What is Harmony?
"Harmony" has always been a favorite word with most people. When we hear it spoken it sounds pleasant to our ears, for it seems to ring with truth. However, we cannot simply accept the idea unconditionally, for even though it is not totally mistaken, the usual concept of the word is somewhat limited. Let us examine its deeper meaning.
Everything in this universe is operating in perfect harmony; nothing is discordant. When anything appears to be inharmonious to human sight, it is nothing more than the surface appearance.
Any discord is man-made, the result of something people have done which is not in agreement with the great laws of Nature. Anything that opposes Nature, or the natural pattern, produces discord according to Cosmic Law. Cosmic Law, which is immutable, impartial, is the law of total harmony in its truest, broadest sense. If human beings will only follow this law, everything will move in perfect harmony, will go more smoothly.
Inharmonious acts cause discord and harmonious acts produce perfect harmony. This is Nature's laws at work in their true, basic sense. It is important for everyone to become deeply aware this is so, for when the lesson has been learned thoroughly, genuine happiness will begin to be attained.
The best proof of this is the fact that as time moves along we sometimes find discord becoming harmony or what we thought to be harmony changing into discord, often before we realize it is happening. Since this is the actual state of the world, we should think deeply and come to realize its true significance.
October 1, 1952
The Country Governed by Michi (The Way of Truth)
Needless to say, Japan is a law-governed country. All the so-called civilized countries in the world are governed by law, without exception. However, rule by law or by a constitution is not an ideal way of controlling a country. Facts are the best evidence of this. History shows how difficult it is to eradicate crimes through legal punishments alone. It is, of course, impossible to completely eliminate evil from human minds at this time, and therefore the above situation seems to be unavoidable.
In view of these points, a true solution cannot be reached without religion, but, at the same time, religion alone may not be enough. There is another method that works in this direction, and that is the knowledge of the importance of MICHI, the Way of Truth. This is, indeed, the age-old Oriental morality. What I am going to advocate is a new, still more advanced standard of right conduct.
The reason I started to discuss this sort of thing is that the degeneration of society's sense of morality seems to be more serious than ever before. The increase not only in juvenile delinquency but also in various adult crimes is simply beyond forbearance. It is a good sign, however, that thinking people have recently begun to take notice of this situation and that countermeasures are being proposed, such as reviving lessons on morality in schools and establishing some moral codes which will take the place of the Imperial Rescript on Education@1.
This social degeneration is attributable to the fact that with the end of World War II the entire nation of Japan lost a spiritual principle it could follow, and since then its people have not known where to turn, until there have come to be many aberrant individuals, as you can see today. Because man's law is the sole recourse for the maintenance of social order at present, the numbers of cunning people who think they are free to engage in illegal activities as long as they can do so with impunity are presently on the increase and lawlessness is rampant.
Until the end of the war, the social atmosphere of Japan was more sober and orderly than it is now, partly because school education was based on lessons about morality and on the Imperial Rescript on Education. In addition, the idea of loyalty and filial piety was deeply implanted in the minds of the Japanese. However, we cannot revive such old-fashioned morality in today's society. Instead, we must create a new spiritual principle to live by.
The idea of democracy was given to our nation after the war. We can be grateful for it because the Japanese have been liberated from the yoke of feudalistic ideas to a great extent through that democracy. But we cannot deny the fact that democratic freedom has now gone too far and has become the hotbed of our present social disorder. Therefore, it is most necessary to create a new moral principle which is in accord with today's society, or a new Yamato-spirit@2 which is comparable to the British code of chivalry. Such a moral principle should consist of the best factors of various moral codes, whether they are new or old. This is nothing but the fundamental principle of MICHI, which we strongly advocate from both an educational and social point of view. We would be very happy if we could diminish social evils even to some degree through the application of this principle.
To put this into more understandable terms, it is the way by which anyone can reach every rightful destination or objective. It is the only absolute guideline for everybody to live by in this world. If a person follows MICHI, everything will go smoothly for him, with no mishaps or failures. He will be progressively more trusted, respected and loved by others and will eventually be able to live in total peace and harmony. As the numbers of such individuals and homes increase, their influence will surely prove to be a great contributor to the decrease of social evils.
As I always say, MICHI is another expression for the Creator. To worship God is to worship MICHI. So, individuals who live in accord with this Way of Truth and abide by it are the truly civilized ones. I would like to present this article to the thinking people of today's society.
@1 - Promulgated by Emperor Meiji and widely used and taught in Japan as a text on morals until after World War II.
@2 - The ideal spirit of the Japanese, characterized by love of peace, patriotism and filial piety.
February 7, 1951
The Right Attitude for Members of This Spiritual Path (excerpt)
In the course of living, we (especially those of us who are doing God's Work in this faith) should be tactful (ENTEN), adaptable (KATSUDATSU) and flexible (JIYU-MUGE) in every way.
ENTEN, the Japanese word for "tactful," literally means "to roll like a round ball," and KATSUDATSU means "adaptable." If a ball is angular it will not roll. In Japan, people often speak of an individual who has come through many difficult experiences with the world and has learned from them as one whose angles have been rounded off. This is very true.
There are some individuals in the world who are just like KOMPEITO*. These people, far from rolling, cannot go along with others because of their "spikes," which bar their moving smoothly. There are others who set up certain patterns for themselves, squeeze themselves into them and then suffer.
It is all right if they do this to themselves, but some of them try to squeeze others into their patterns also, thinking it is a good thing to make them suffer, too.
Such examples are often found among those who are Shojo in nature. They are the so-called feudalistic people who follow the pattern of the feudal ages. Such individuals are archaic and offensive, not only in spiritual matters but also in social life in general.
When an individual's thinking and actions become balanced, he will find he is loved by everyone, and that everything in his life is going smoothly. Many people, however, tend to be one-sided. This can probably be seen most obviously in the field of politics. Today, there are groups that are called either conservatives or liberals, each of which professes to stand for principles that are actually biased. Their thinking is extreme and so they are often involved in fighting with each other.
This has quite a negative effect on a nation and its people. For this reason, even in the field of politics the Izunome principle should be applied, but neither individual statesmen nor political parties who realize this seem to have appeared on the scene as yet.
War, too, is caused by this same way of thinking, with each of the countries involved trying to cling to its own standards.
Internal religious conflicts, when carefully examined, also stem from the differences between Shojo and Daijo attitudes; between emotion and reason. Such problems can easily be brought to harmonious, peaceful solutions if the Shojo side shortens its vertical pole to half-length and the Daijo side shortens its horizontal pole to half-length so there is a balance between the two. Thus, when we think carefully about such conflicts, we find that it would not be too difficult to make peace, to come to peaceful conclusions.
If you come to fully understand this meaning, especially you who follow this spiritual path, you must know that you should apply Daijo to anything you do. You should convey the teachings to others while keeping the Universal Love of God within your heart. This will certainly bring good results to you without fail.
So, always do your best to live with God's Will as your own will and contact others with equal, non-discriminatory, universal love. Then everyone will feel good toward you, will naturally be drawn to you and will be happy to associate with you. Thus your efforts to help expand the Divine Light Program will positively succeed.
*Kompeito: Japanese sugar candies that are small, round, hard and with an uneven surface resembling spikes.
November 25, 1951
The key to the solution of all problems, whether they concern an individual, a nation or the world, is makoto@, love.
Poor administration stems from a lack of love. Want of things of a material nature is caused by a lack of love. Deterioration of morality is due to a shortage of love. Confusion of social order occurs when love is missing or rare. Indeed, the basic cause of all distressing problems is the absence of enough love.
Religion, education and the arts are only skeletal forms without love at their core.
Ah, makoto, makoto! I say to all humanity that the only key that can solve all problems is love and love alone.
@ - Makoto: A Japanese word meaning love. It also means inclusively integrity, sincerity, devotion and dedication.
January 25, 1949
HOW TO LIVE IN THIS WORLD
Those who can offer
To any problem
Or unpleasant situation
Are loved and respected by all.
Those who do not neglect
Small, unimportant matters
Always prove to be
The ones who are capable
Of accomplishing great deeds.
Alas, some people
Have eyes which find only small,
They cannot perceive the way
Of the great, eternal Truth.