Great Construction

Record of Oral Teachings, Issue 15
November 15, 1952

October 6, 1952

     Recently I attended the Japan Fine Arts and the Blue Dragon exhibitions and they were so terrible I just had to write down some of my impressions. I will run this essay in the Eikô newspaper and send copies to all the major painters in Japan. The whole genre of nihonga painting is going to perish. This is my attempt to write about the situation. I just said what I wanted to say.
@@(Essay: gNihonga Painting, About to Perish,h Eikô, Issue 178, October 15, 1952)
     Here is an interesting essay.
(Essay: gMan Can Control His Fate,h Chijôtengoku, Issue 41, page 5, October 25, 1952)
     As has just been read aloud, all suffering is purification. Suffering removes the clouds on the spirit. Until now, penance and asceticism were the means that religions recommended for removing clouds. Society in general regards suffering as inevitable, as a trial that falls upon us, but with penance and asceticism, we seek to suffer, we look for suffering. And, in this way, our souls are polished. In Brahmanism, suffering is seen as the path to attain satori, and to attain satori through suffering means that onefs clouds have been removed so that satori can be attained. Because onefs clouds are removed, one can perceive things as they are. Thus satori is attained. Attaining satori means one can perceive things as they are; in other words, one understands the truth. However, there are various kinds, levels of truth, upper, intermediate, lower. In many cases, that which is thought to be truth is a rather lower level of truth. Still, the soul is more purified than before. The individual becomes less confused and gains a keener sense of judgment. Confusion does not disappear entirely, however. Even celebrated personages, myself as well, can be confused. The period of time that one is confused, however, is a lot shorter than before. In my case, the period in which I do not know what to do does not usually last for more than a half a day. When I encounter a problem most often I perceive the solution right away. I quickly resolve how to arrange things in the gardens or problems that come up with the construction. I do not cudgel my brains about these things at all. If something does not come to me right away, I do not dwell on it. I put it aside. There is a proper time for everything, and when the times comes, the answer comes to me. Everything has its order, and when an idea is too soon, God does not advise me or does not let me realize the solution. But when the time does come, I perceive how to proceed. Understanding without confusion. Today peoplefs souls are clouded, so everyone, even leaders in society, are continually at a loss, never being able to think enough about a problem. If we have to overly think about a matter, we will never attain a good solution to our problem. Thinking too much about an issue, we bungle matters, and actually cause our own failure. This is especially true of politicians and we read articles of such matters in the newspapers all the time. It often feels to us that they are just too deficient in wisdom, but this is because their spiritual bodies are very clouded. So, when we human beings try to remove as many of these clouds as possible, not only will we experience better health, we become more clearheaded as well. Probably the only religion where we can remove clouds and improve our metal capacity without deliberately seeking penance and asceticism is World Messianity. This is a heaven-like religion, a religion of the daylight, a dynamic endeavor, so we can remove our clouds, polish our souls, and attain wisdom.
     Having illnesses healed even though we may initially doubt the efficacy of the method means that we do not need penance or asceticism. The two results of being physically healed and attaining wisdom by removing clouds without suffering have just one logic: it is not our own power that heals but the power of the other, the power that comes from without. This power has wonderful value. That is, onefs fate is the average of the amount of clouds on onefs spirit. Because sufferings will visit us only to the amount of clouds we have, our sufferings unfold according to the laws of spiritual affinity, no more, no less. It may appear to human beings that certain individuals get more than their share of suffering, but that is only because on the human level we can see only the surface and make a judgment. Take for example the case of a family in which one member does not join the church. Rather, this one person may even oppose the church. The family members who have already joined the church are probably continually frustrated, but those frustrations result from clouds. As clouds disappear and their souls are purified, the remaining family member cannot suffer or be distressed and joins the church. People may get upset and fume, may complain how the other refuses to understand no matter how much is explained, but these people who are upset should first look to themselves. They encounter these trials because they have clouds that produce such a situation. Through the suffering with that person, those clouds will be removed. The person who makes you suffer or causes a problem for you is actually helping you to remove your clouds. They are performing the work of purification for you. When we come to understand this, we realize rather that we should appreciate their actions. In the legal proceedings that recently concluded, we defendants were allowed a say after the sentences were handed down. The other defendants all expressed the frustration they couldnft give vent to during the trial, complained about the incompetence of the prosecutors, and cited the mistakes made during the investigations. When my turn came, I said, rather, that due to the prosecutors and others, our church had been greatly polished, becoming stronger than before as a result, and that the work of the authorities had been considerable for which I was greatly appreciative. I was not trying to flatter anyone or curry favor. Considered in daijo terms, we were greatly instructed by this legal affair for which appreciation is due. That is the point of my attitude and this way of thinking is the value of faith. No, rather than saying gvalue of faith,h I should call it the gessence of faith.h This is what it really is. Truly. I was rather distressed by this affair at first, but as I said, for those who oppose our church, it is a satisfactory conclusion, and this is true. If things donft go as you want, it means you do not have the spiritual qualification for your efforts to proceed smoothly. When your clouds and soul are purified, things will go as you like. This is only natural law. When things donft go as you wish, that means you still have clouds. Removing these clouds comfortably with a minimum of suffering is the essence of World Messianity. In addition, we should try to help others. Through trying to help others, we continually receive light from the feelings of gratitude that come from the persons helped. Our souls are thus purified. Instead of doing penance or ascetic practices, we try to make other people happy, help others, and we can thus experience the same results as through penance or asceticism. To help others, though, we have to sufficiently explain and speak convincingly, for which we should read the teachings. Through reading and studying the teachings, we learn various truths and our souls are further purified, and we further receive more power to help people. As you strive to save people and make them happy, you yourself also make spiritual progress. There is an interesting item in Omotofs prophetic writings. During the age of the gods, the deity Ushitora no Konjin was greatly shunned by people and was put away by being ignored. Ushitora no Konjin says that he will retaliate, that is, he would have his revenge. In this respect, deities seem like ordinary human beings, but the writings continue, however, gUshitora no Konjin will retaliate by making people happy.h It is of interest that Ushitora no Konjin will retaliate by making people happy. So, even though Ushitora no Konjin will get revenge, it will not be revenge in the manner of ever-popular Japanese story, The Masterless Forty-seven Samurai, in which the forty-seven samurai seek the head of Yoshinaka Kira who had caused their master to die. Because the revenge of Ushitora no Konjin seeks to make other people happy, it is the opposite of the masterless samurai story. This is the way it should be. So, when I invited storytellers to provide the entertainment after the grand services, I told them under no circumstances would I approve of the telling of The Masterless Forty-seven Samurai. This story is the opposite of getting revenge by making others happy. I do not like stories of violent revenge. The whole idea and principle of violent revenge is completely wrong. This way of thinking must be eliminated from Japan. The Japanese people admire greatly this episode, though, and similar stories, such as the tales about the Soga Brothers. The idea of revenge must be eliminated if the world is to truly have peace. Conflict must be eliminated on the individual level as well. The saying, gRecompense injustice with kindness,h from the Chinese classics, illustrates this point well. Another example is the good will shown by Chiang Kai-shek toward Japan after the war. He insisted that Japan be treated well and said he would not ask for war reparations. This act of kindness on his part is probably the reason he did not suffer total defeat in the Chinese civil war and was able to maintain his position as head of state and escape to Taiwan. Members have the tendency to think that purification is only physical, so I wanted to clear this up. You should know that all suffering comes from within oneself.
     We have run out of time so I will have read a short essay.
(Essay: gThe Bomb That People Embrace Today,h Eikô, Issue 184, November 26, 1952)

Pages 4-9.
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