Secret of Good Fortune

When we carefully observe the world of today, we see too many unfortunate individuals. For this reason, although I have already written about good fortune, I am going to write on this subject again, this time more thoroughly.

There has been nothing in the world since ancient days that is more perplexing than the problem of our fortune or misfortune. It is inevitable for people to be occupied with this thought from the time they begin to think for themselves to the time of their deaths.

That which a human being is most anxious to know is usually the most difficult to learn, and this is the way of the world. The knowledge of how to have good fortune is no exception to the rule. So, don't you think it would be a great blessing if this could be revealed even a little? Fortunately, the fundamental, basic facts have become clear to me and I have found through actual experience that there is no mistake, so I am going to explain with conviction.

We speak of fortune in general, but as everybody knows, there isn't anything more vague and elusive than good fortune. This, I believe, is its nature. Moreover, we have no power to do anything about its vague and elusive nature, so we may as well leave it to destiny.

Somebody stated, "Life is a big gamble," which is really well said. So, even those who are considered great seem to accept their fates, although it is not easy for them to do so wholeheartedly. Perhaps we are destined to live under the shadow of this uncertainty. The ardent desire for good fortune enables us to work actively. This makes us rack what little brains we have and to toil and struggle constantly until the end of our lives to earn money or to attain distinction. This is perhaps the way our lives are supposed to be. Since nothing is more elusive than good fortune, the more an attempt is made to grasp it, the more quickly it escapes. The apropos saying seems to be "No person is quick enough to enjoy life” –Martial, Epigrams (A.D. 86).

From my long experience, I can say that I used to feel as though I was being mocked by fate, for I often thought I could seize good luck easily, and yet I found it so hard to reach. It always seemed to be dangling in front of my eyes, but the moment I put out my hands to touch it, it slipped beyond my reach. The faster I chased it, the more easily it seemed to escape me. It was indeed unmanageable! But I know I have gotten hold of it now.

As I try to explain this, I find it very difficult, because there are things that are hard for people with little knowledge of the spiritual side of the world to understand. I say this because so many individuals are inclined to judge everything superficially, without seeing into the heart of it; that is, they cannot penetrate the core. And the source of good fortune or happiness, of all things, lies in that core, the invisible part. Without knowing this, no one can ever grasp true happiness.

When a person moves, his or her body does not do so of its own volition but is directed by the person’s mind. The same principle applies to good fortune; it is the inner, invisible part that is important. The surface, the superficial side is the physical world, and the interior part is the invisible world of ether, that which we call the spiritual world. Such is the way the universe is constructed, the way God has created it. The spiritual world activates the physical world, just as the mind activates the body, and in all matters the spiritual realm takes precedence over the physical plane.

Good fortune follows the same rule: A person can become fortunate only when his or her spiritual self has become fortunate in the spiritual realm. The condition of the spiritual self residing there reflects upon the physical plane to make that person fortunate in this world which leads to the relationship between the spiritual world and the physical world.

The exact state of the spiritual being of each individual in the spiritual world reflects on the physical being, deciding one’s fortunes here, so it is obvious that elevation of the spiritual being in the spiritual realm is fundamentally essential for the attainment of true happiness. The actual state of everyone in this world tells us how true this is. We often hear of some individuals who have risen in their circumstances so they are envied by many and feel elated about this, and then have failed suddenly and have returned to their original poorer conditions, in spite of their expectations of continued success. Their falls can be attributed to their ignorance of the spiritual truths and their being overly dependent on human power. Such people are also inclined to mistreat others and to strain themselves. In consequence, they may succeed to a considerable degree on the surface, but their spiritual selves are on the lowest spiritual level, hell. The condition of their spiritual counterparts is inevitably reflected on their physical beings, according to the law of the spiritual preceding the physical.

Spiritual things have weight, just as material things do, and heavier beings sink to lower levels, whereas lighter beings ascend to higher ones. What ancient people referred to as the burden of sin is accurate, for negative actions make a person’s spiritual body cloudy and heavy, whereas virtuous deeds purify it, making it lighter so the spiritual being can ascend. Therefore, people should avoid all negative actions and do only good actions, purifying the spiritual body that much more, making it lighter. This is the secret of attaining true happiness and good fortune. This is the truth and I affirm that there is no other way to reach these goals.

I am sure you understand this principle, but to put it into practice is not as simple as it may seem. There is one way to make it easy, however, and that is through a genuine faith in God. So, I would like to encourage all who wish to attain happiness and good fortune to faithfully tread the true spiritual path.

~ Mokichi Okada

February 3, 1954