People Are Frightening
Something that people often say when observing my work is that they are surprised to find that it is indeed bold, and that whatever the project, the concept, grand. They are probably most correct. Since my work is the salvation of all of humanity; the construction of a world free of disease, poverty, disease; and the reformation of the present world into a paradise on earth, it would probably be nothing more than megalomania from the perspective of the ordinary person. Nay, even I myself am astonished by the greatness of the plan and by how certain I am of its fruition.
When I was younger, however, I did not even try to think of such an outrageous idea. From the age of fifteen till I was around twenty, I was rather shy, and when I encountered a person I did not know, it was quite frightening for no particular reason at all. Especially so with someone who seemed to be of somewhat higher social standing, I could not even speak. And then, in front of young women, I would blush, my eyes would not focus, I could not look the woman in the eye, nor could I speak. I held a pretty gloomy view of life in general. Therefore, for an individual like me to live and function as a member of society was risky and frightening. So, it was inevitable that all those in society would seem greater and more clever than I. Now look at me. Compared to how I was then, the differences are so great as to be beyond imagination. I write for those shy and timid young people so frequent in society these days with the hope that these words will encourage even the most fainthearted youth.
Assorted Reflections, Jikan Library, Volume 5, page 4, August 30, 1949
translated by cynndd
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“Hito ga Osoroshii,” published as the first chapter of Jikan Zuidan, Jikan Sōsho, Daigohen (Assorted Reflections, Jikan Library, Volume 5), August 30, 1949, and never anthologized while Meishu-sama was alive, has appeared in translation. Citation is given below for reference.
“Overcoming Timidity and Shyness,” Foundation of Paradise, 1984, page 390.