Great Construction

Defeating Evil

     Religion has developed since antiquity based on the concept of absolute non-resistance. The founder of one of the world’s great religions, Jesus Christ, taught to offer your left cheek if you were struck on the right. Then again, there is the episode of Christ when he was being crucified on a cross at the hill of Golgotha. Next to him was being crucified a thief who said to him, “Hey, Jesus, I just heard you mumbling something with a very sad face. You were probably cursing the guy who made you out to be a criminal because he was so horrible,” to which Christ replied, “No, not that. I was praying to my father in heaven to forgive he who brought a false charge against me.” The thief was simply dumbfounded, but from this account, you can understand how Christ was the very incarnation of very great love.
     As well in the case of Shakyamuni who probably interpreted all the stubborn obstacles that were put in front of him by Devadatta as training on his path, trials to be overcome. Tradition has it that he did not show an attitude of resistance at all. Indeed, it is clear that these two great saints taught and practiced non-resistance, and all the saints and founders of sects, denominations, temples, and monasteries, etc., who came from their respective traditions were the same way. Only one, Nichiren, was the opposite. His fighting spirit blazed to the extent that could be thought to have gone too far. His Four Dictums: nembutsu leads to the hell of incessant suffering, Zen is the teaching of the devils, Shintoism will ruin the nation, and Ritsu is traitorous show how strong were his non-inclusive convictions, with which we cannot agree.
     As the examples above show, it does not need to be said that God’s love and Buddha’s compassion caught the hearts of peoples and became sources of reverence and respect, but if we were to critique the results of these two movements, the good or bad cannot be decided unconditionally. That is because during the some two thousand years until now, not only has evil not diminished, rather the tendency for it to increase can be observed. The good are made to suffer by evil persons and the reality that honesty does not pay has not declined in the interval between ancient times and the present. These propensities toward evil and the progress of culture can even be thought to have absolutely no relation. Moreover, through the progress of culture, evil has come to refine its means, but in its essence there is no difference at all. Presently, the punishment meted out by application of law has only served to reduce the levels of violence by a little. Rather, it can be said that in these respects the problem has become more acute.
     In any case, the question of why evil has not been eradicated deserves deep consideration. Needless to say, the basic reason is because good is defeated by evil. For that reason, evil people do what they like and continually torment good people. The worst is that evil persons underestimate, look lightly upon good people. I do believe their mentality is to think of the good as extremely stupid and to despise them as definitely being timid and cowardly. Then again, the good do not think they can stand up to evil, that if they try to put up even a little resistance, they will suffer unforeseen trouble and be harmed in some way. The good are left to docilely and placidly endure their circumstances. They are resigned to the fact that such is the best way out of their situation. In this state, evil gradually becomes more conceited and full of itself. Evil invigorates itself so that its poisonous fangs do not get caught in the net of laws. Such is the condition of our society today.
     What I have described above concerns the individual, but on a level more frightening is the evil of government officials and journalists. Even as can be seen in the incident that I recently endured, it is so, and I have detailed the experience in my recent publication Memoirs of Religious Persecution, so those who have read it will probably understand that government officials wield the weapon called law as they see fit and use it to torment the unarmed public. In any case, it is unbearable that through abuse of law, members of the public who have committed no crime are accused, and in rare cases they appeal to the better natures of their accusers and petition to have their indictments lightened. It is in these circumstances that even defense attorneys try very hard not to offend the prosecutors, and we are cautioned to be careful to create a good impression. In addition, even in the case of making written statements, we must not include any complaining or plaintive type expressions at all. From all these points, I learned that what we usually consider to be the norm, that officials are impartial and judge fairly according to the laws, are very wrong ideas. I may have exaggerated, but looking at the way investigators carry out their tasks, I realized that in addition to law, their own sentiments and their own sense of personal dignity also play a great role.
     What I want to take up next concerns you journalists. Under your self-righteous prejudices, you arrogantly publish stories simply to incite. You do not bother with whether or not your account differs from the truth. Simply for curiosity’s sake, whether it causes people problems or not, whether it harms them or not, you are completely indifferent. Someone has said that newspapers are the tyrants of the twentieth century, and this statement does not seem to be altogether wrong. While intoning democracy, you are actually linguistic terrorists, and that is probably because you do not make strict judgments about language. For the above reason, last year when World Messianity was the constant target of articles composed of false rumors in the newspapers, we were often advised that those who oppose what is written about them by know-it-alls are sure to suffer, so it is better to just endure and acquiesce. That especially if victims try to stand up to a large newspaper, they do not know what trouble they will get into, so the only thing to do is be meek and mild.
     The above concerns three points, the cases of evil involving me personally, that of government officials, and that of journalists, and these are all illustrations in which evil prevailed over good. In these circumstances, victims must always put their own interests first and endure, contain their frustration, and seek to avoid loss, and thus matters always end in non-resistance, so evil gradually dominates and knows no limit. Even though there are laws, the authority of law is diminished, and the people always become  victims, so it is indeed a troubling society. So helpless the world seems, who knows when there will be a society where people can live with peace of mind. Even though I may be speaking from the standpoint of religion, as we always advocate, good must not give in to evil. I warn that a good which is defeated by evil is not a true good, that a good that is defeated by evil is nothing but self-important and spineless.
     Particularly in the case of those of us involved with religion. We are seen as separate from members of the general public. Because people of religion do not resist, they are treated with contempt, and it is of no great moment if they are tormented and persecuted. This is the weakness of religion. Or to be more precise, it has been determined, become the way things are, that religions are weak. Therefore, these satanic concepts must of course be swept away from those who hold such views, and for this reason, the battle with evil must be fought with great vigor.
     One good example of this battle is recently when one of the big newspapers in Japan violently attacked World Messianity, and we fought evil through the vehicle of our periodicals never feeling fear, as all of you are probably well aware. Such is the way matters stand, so no matter the greatness of the power applied to crush us, we will battle fearlessly until our opponents realize how wrong they are. This is none other than the intention of the true God.
     Therefore, as evil cannot possibly stand up to good, those who would do evil should be made to realize that it is expedient to forsake evil, change and reform to good; to aid in this endeavor is what a living religion should be doing. When thought of in larger terms, it should be more understandable. That is, it is the same logic as when evil realized that armed might and aggression could not succeed against the United States. If evil had not been made to resign itself to losing, world peace would not have come about, thus today Japan’s might has been destroyed, and all nation states are assisting our reconstruction.
     Based on this philosophy, I have consistently worked to this day with the conviction that submission to evil must absolutely not occur. Just to give one example, there is a dispute over a piece of land in which I became a defendant, and—do not be surprised—it is in its fourteenth year and has yet to be resolved. The documents relating to the case, when stacked, measure over a foot high. When new judges are assigned to the case, they have to read all these documents so the judge shrinks from the task and strenuously urges an out of court settlement, but since I always fight against injustice, I put my own interests aside and will only respond readily when the plaintiff comes to me having realized his mistake and offers the right conditions. I will not settle the dispute unless these requirements are met.
     I have continued for great length, but to state the conclusion, since the purpose of religion should be to encourage good and chastise evil, evil should never gain the upper hand. To the degree that good prevails, evil diminishes, and to that extent society improves, so in this way will be born paradise on earth. 

Eikō, Issue 100, April 18, 1951
translated by cynndd

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“Aku ni Katsu,” which was originally published on the entire front page of Eikō, Issue 100, April 18, 1951, and later, while Meishu-sama still alive, reprinted in the anthology for ministers Goshinsho: Shūkyō-hen (Divine Writings: Volume on Religion), March 25, 1954, page 40, and also included while Meishu-sama still alive in the essays anthology for the general public Tengoku no Fukuinsho (Gospels of Heaven), February 10, 1955, page 71, has appeared in translation. Citation is given below for reference.

“Overcome Evil,” Foundation of Paradise, page 165, 1984.