Constructing Paradise on Earth
The following essay was written originally as the script for my talk at the Hibiya Public Hall in Tokyo last May twenty-second which was part of the series of public lectures about World Messianity that are being held all over the nation. Because the talk was to be mechanically recorded and also carried in the Japanese-language newspaper Hawai Herarudo, I took a manuscript that I had prepared beforehand to the podium on the day when it became my turn to speak. As I faced the audience, words just naturally gushed forth from my mouth, and I spoke without the text. The manuscript thus lost its immediate usefulness, but I thought it a shame to throw it away, so I publish it here.
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I am Mokichi Okada, the spiritual leader of World Messianity. I will talk for about thirty minutes, but one thing I would like to make clear before starting is that what I have to say today has not been spoken of by anyone else before. If previous religious leaders and great teachers had spoken or written about what I am going to say here, there would be no need for me to stand up and speak. So, what I will tell you differs almost totally from previous tenets or teachings. It differs not just slightly but is greatly different. If truth be told, what I will say is not really strange; it is a simple matter of fact. It may seem a little strange, but from where I stand, many things in the world today are strange. No one perceives that these things are strange except me. All those who think the strange is normal look at me who is not strange and think I am the strange one. This all seems very complicated, but as I speak, I am sure you cannot but fail to appreciate my arguments.
Leaving the preliminaries, I would like to get to the topic of my talk today. Our contemporary world is probably considered to be an advanced civilization by most people, but from my standpoint, it appears to be only half-way civilized. The other half is barbaric. This point is probably what most would think strange about me.
What kind of world would be one that is completely civilized? I believe that a truly civilized world is one in which the security of human life is assured. We cannot call this world truly civilized until all human life is secure. Specifically, I am talking about a world without conflict and disease. A world free from conflict and disease is a truly civilized world. These two calamities continually threaten human life. You might say that it would be very nice if such a fine world could come about but that you just cannot believe in the possibility of such a ridiculous, fantastic world. But I assert that such a world is possible. Furthermore you may think that such a world could come about thousands or tens of thousands of years in the future and one would have to be crazy to think that such a world could come about in our lifetime. You would be perfectly within reason to believe so. In the thousands of years of history, humanity has continued to suffer, and this state has come to be understood as the human condition. All think that life is simply a combination of joy and suffering bound inextricably together, as holy ones have said.
But this is not all. Our situation is more difficult to deal with because the reality is that there is more suffering than joy. Even Shakyamuni taught that this present world is dislikable, impure, and called it a burning house. He said that none could escape the four sufferings of life, disease, old age, and death. Because these sufferings are doubled, Buddhism also has the expression the four forms of suffering and the eight forms of suffering.
What is the cause of this suffering? We can attribute this suffering to the half-barbaric nature that exists within human beings. As long as this barbarity is not eliminated, a good world cannot come about. Eliminating this evil at one stroke is impossible, but if good increases over barbarism even a little bit at a time, a true civilization can be created.
Humanity has not come to realize this point yet. It looks at and appreciates only the surface of the world and is captivated by outside appearances. It has not become aware of the stench of the rotting insides. Human beings are entranced by the outside and ensnared by what I call the superstition of civilization. Those not aware of the superstition of so-called civilization often criticize my work as being superstitious, but I think we should have a test to see which side is really is superstitious. The winner will show what the real thing is. Some human beings may simply be happy to be able to bathe in the advantages of this surface civilization, but genuinely few are so blessed, only a handful in each nation. The majority on the planet still suffer at the bottom levels of existence, trembling in uncertainty.
When we look at this reality, we see that humanity has lost sight of the original goal of happiness, that happiness is no longer on the horizon. The original vision that the progress of material civilization and humanity’s diligent efforts on its behalf would lead to happiness has been completely betrayed. Humanity still has not realized that it is captive to materialistic scientific civilization and continues to push along a mistaken path. Of course, if persons who had been buried one hundred years ago were to come back from the grave, they would be stunned, could do nothing but faint from seeing all the advances made by scientific civilization. Even if dead people were to so faint, that would be of no real consequence, since death is their original condition, but to be able to travel to the United States in a day and a half while sleeping, to have the sound of my voice carried to the far corners of the earth, to have an atom bomb that has the power to destroy hundreds of thousands of people in one instant be used for peaceful purposes―having enough energy to power trains and cars for many days: just looking at these conveniences and wonders in our daily life, it is not hard to see why people are fascinated by material civilization.
It is not enough, however, to just appreciate the fruits of material culture. These blessings only have value when everyone can partake of them. But what of today? The great majority of people in the world are regrettably plagued by the terror of war, the uncertainty of an unstable food supply, and the prevalence of disease, the three great human sufferings of hunger, disease, and strife. The majority of people on the planet probably do not enjoy the ultimate in happiness but suffer in the depths of misery.
Let’s look at the situation close to hand, at how Japan fares. In whatever direction we turn, we see only the horrible: tuberculosis, infectious diseases, family killings, suicides, murder, violent crime, the sudden increase of juvenile crime, armed robbery, corruption, scandals, tax evasion, and so forth. Our world can be likened to hell. As I said at the beginning, the cause of all this is the great amount of barbarism that remains within today’s civilization. To awaken humanity from the illusion of the superiority of a materialistically-based culture, God chose and entrusted me with the great mission of eliminating this barbarism. Put in another way, the path that humanity thought was the path to happiness turned out instead to be the road to hell.
To turn humanity to the correct path of civilization, I am now writing a book to be called Creation of Civilization. This book will explain, as I have just described, that our culture as it has developed so far is not a real civilization, it is a crippled civilization, so although progress is greatly touted, happiness has not been secured for everyone. The soul must be put into our technologically advanced material culture to create a new, true civilization. This change will transform our culture of evil into a civilization of good. Creation of Civilization could be called the construction guide for creating a paradise on earth. When the book is completed, it will be translated into English and distributed as widely as possible in the academic and intellectual spheres, to influential critics, and to other opinions leaders of the world.
I would also like to send copies of the book to each member of the institutions in charge of awarding the Nobel prizes, but because these individuals are authorities in their respective fields of the present, existing civilization, they may not be able to accept ideas as advanced as mine. These ideas are absolute truth and will prevail. My proposals will cause a sensation all over the world, initiate a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree change in our present culture from which will start the progress of the realization of humanity’s long-held desire for an ideal world. Our creator has ordained this change for the world, an undertaking unprecedented in our history. There is not one shadow of doubt as to its success.
If the great aspiration of which I have just spoken should merely end up in big words, then I would just be a lying con artist, to be branded no good, driven away, or maybe even sent to the mental hospital. If this were to be what is waiting for me then I would want no part of such a foolish suicidal undertaking.
To conclude, Jesus Christ proclaimed that the kingdom of heaven is near and Shakyamuni prophesied that the world of Maitreya would come, but neither of these two holy men said they would construct heaven on earth. Audacious or not, I declare that it is I who will build paradise on earth. None should be surprised by my declaration for neither Christ nor Shakyamuni would have made prophecies that had no chance of fulfillment. If they had, what they said would not have been prophecy but falsehood. These two holy men, venerated by billions throughout the world, could not possibly have been liars. Many founders of religions and denominations have said similar things, so in this sense it is only natural that members of their appropriate religions around the world believe in the great divine economy of the construction of paradise on earth that I am manifesting now. Put simply, my mission is to substantiate the prophecies and declarations of all the religious leaders of history.
In this sense, World Messianity is not a religion as conventionally understood. Difficult it is to proclaim that World Messianity has a great role to play, that it is the implementation of a salvation far greater than what religions have performed in the past. World Messianity’s purpose is to eliminate the sufferings of humanity and to lead the people of the world to happiness and joy. We teach what the true civilization will be like as well as provide guidance for the construction of a world where disease, poverty, and conflict do not exist, paradise on earth.
Eikô, Issue 108, June 13, 1951
translated by cynndd
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“Chijōtengoku o Tsukuru,” first published on the first page of Eikō, Issue 108, June 13, 1951, and, while Meishu-sama still alive, reprinted in the teachings anthology for ministers Goshinsho: Shūkyō-hen (Divine Writings: Volume on Religion), March 25, 1954, page 213, has appeared in translation. Citation is given below for reference.“To Build a Paradise on Earth,” Meishu and His Teachings, no date, page 16.