Some years ago in Japan I saw in the "readers letters to the editor" column of a newspaper and article entitles, "To Protect This Little Happiness of Ours." This article was written by a woman who was enjoying a humble but happy and peaceful life with her husband. They loved each other and had no special problems such as illness or debts. They were simple people, without means, earning their daily bread, and they were satisfied. The woman wrote that the happiness she and her husband had was a result of mutual love, trust, and diligent work. But, no matter how peaceful their home might be, if the war were still going on, she and her husband would be unable to enjoy life. They could not be happy knowing that others were unhappy; their happiness and well-being depended to a large extent upon peaceful and happy conditions for everyone else in the world.
These are the thoughts of a simple woman, but they carry a deep meaning. At that time, Nidai-sama took this subject up at a service at the International Headquarters and told us how important it is to give thought to the welfare of the world at large, to pray and work for it. Each of us is an integral part of the whole. We have no complete independence. All individuals and all nations in today's complicated world exist with the help of one another, each contributing something to everyone else. We are constantly being influenced by others and our surroundings.
People speak of freedom and try to sustain and protect their freedom; however, sometimes they mistake self-indulgence and even license as freedom. What happens, for example, if a person feels he has a perfect right to drink as much as he likes and drives in a drunken state? Meishu-sama said: "In true freedom we respect the rights of others. Naturally there is a limit. A freedom within a certain boundary - this is true freedom. If we act at the expense of others, we feel guilty, unpleasant, thus robbing ourselves of serenity of mind. The happiness which comes to us by making other people happy - this and this alone makes for true happiness."
There are some people who pray to God for their own happiness and the solution of just their own problems, and some who work only for their own spiritual attainment. These attitudes are not entirely wrong, but they are not of the highest. In the initial stage of an individual's faith it may be permissible for him or her to think like this, but if the person stops there, he or she is being self-centered.
The objective of Meishu-sama's movement is to transform the world into a world of true happiness for all people, a world free from all misery. The true cause of misery and suffering is the clouds we have formed on our spiritual body and in the realm of ether around us through wrong thoughts and actions. Johrei dispels these clouds and raises the spiritual vibrations. Healing is a natural result of this purification of the spiritual body.
Therefore, the true objective of Johrei is the dispelling of these clouds that envelop the soul so that it can awaken. Then the divine nature within us begins to unfold itself, and all our good traits gradually come to the fore. As long as the primary spirit is dulled by clouds, the lower spirit remains active and may easily lead us astray.
We are all imperfect and make mistakes. The world is full of mistakes and contradictions and cannot be transformed overnight; however, we can help raise the spiritual vibrations around us step by step. As the new age dawns and the Light increases day by day, it will become easier for us to see the result.
Our motto for this year is, as you know, Unification of Our Faith and Our Work; that is, manifesting our faith in our everyday living. Kyoshu-sama received this motto inspirationally as she prayed in the Holy Sanctuary. This inspiration was not given without a reason. It was given us according to God's will to prepare us for the stepped-up spiritual vibrations of 1965, which will bring more severe purification everywhere in every field. Our organization is a fellowship of action. Through action we can attain our spiritual growth most effectively. Seven months of the year have already passed. Have we practiced our motto? How far have we progressed? Some have made progress. Some may even have regressed.
We need to be aware of our own position in the whole and our relationship with the people with whom we come in contact and try to fulfill our duty and responsibility. Let us try to realize fully our responsibility as husbands, wives, parents, or children and find out whether we are fulfilling our duties daily and whether we do so with genuine love and understanding. Let us reflect on our attitude as an employer or employee and pray that we may pour our love into our work and the people with whom we work. It is good to ask ourselves every once in a while, "Am I filling my position to the best of my ability? Am I making the people around me happy? Is my heart filled with love for everyone, even people who criticize me?"
It is not an easy matter to understand those around us, especially when they are not well-disposed toward us. Perhaps they have family purification or financial purification which weighs heavily on their mind. Maybe they have some physical trouble, even though they are not aware of it. Let us realize every one of us makes mistakes. The moment we forget to be humble and start criticizing others, thinking we know better, we open ourselves to dark forces, and we begin to think negatively.
If someone makes you angry, stop and reflect and pray for strength and guidance. Wait just a minute before answering back. Close your eyes and pray. Meishu-sama often told us that if we would put ourselves in the other person's position, we would understand him or her better. In this manner we can approach people with understanding, love, tolerance and thus, help them a great deal.
In the case of someone who is truly destructive, we must realize that there is some reason for it in the plan of God. What we can do is pray and wait patiently for the solution of the problem, while working constructively. The high vibrations of love and constructive thought may gradually dispel the clouds, and the problem will be solved in time. We have experienced this to be true in many cases.
Whether or not the world can be saved during the great general purification, which is soon to occur, depends on the number of people who work constructively and harmoniously and actually live their faith. Every one of us is needed at this time of unprecedented purification. If only we think and work constructively, we can be effective instruments in fulfilling God's plan.
From now on, at the beginning of each month, let us reflect upon our weak points which hinder our spiritual progress and how we can mend our ways in accordance with the cosmic law. At the end of the year we will see the aggregate of our efforts and will surely find reason to be happy for the accomplishments we have attained.
Rev. Higuchi. October, 1 1964
And our features differ.
In the eyes of God, however,
We are all the same,
Residents of the earth.
Image copyright: Jaroslav Blaminsky