Great Construction

The Construction of Paradise
and the Elimination of Evil

     There is one basic condition for fulfilling God’s purpose to make this world into paradise. That condition has to do with the very evil that is lodged deeply within the hearts and minds of the majority of people on earth. Inexplicably, the common sense of most of the general public is to dislike, avoid, and deeply fear evil. Since antiquity, ethics and morals were used to admonish people against evil, and education makes this its primary purpose as well. Another example is religion which includes in the official position of its teachings the encouragement of good and the rejection of evil. Throughout society at large, we observe parents cautioning children; husbands warning wives; wives, husbands; and superiors instructing subordinates, and laws are made using penalties to prevent people from committing evil. However, even though this much effort is expended, there are so many more evil people, more than we can ever know, than good in the world. Strictly speaking, the present condition is that nine persons in ten are evil. The situation is that it would probably be difficult to say whether even one in ten persons are good.
     “To speak of the evil in an individual, though, evil exists in varying magnitudes, further divided into various degrees. One kind is evil from the very core of one’s being, evil committed consciously. A second kind is evil committed unconsciously, without knowing that the act is evil. A third is evil committed unavoidably, and a fourth is the evil committed in the belief that it is good. A brief explanation of these kinds of evil would be as follows. The first type, evil done for evil’s sake, is irrelevant to this discussion and does not require explanation, but the second type, evil committed unknowingly, is the most common, widespread kind of evil. Evil committed unavoidably, the third type, is that committed on a group level by barbarous, uncivilized peoples, and on an individual level, by those of weakened mentality such as the mentally retarded, unstable people, and children, so it is an evil that resolves itself in the natural course of events. But the fourth type, the evil committed because it is thought to be good, causes great harm, as it is performed openly, vigorously, and with great enthusiasm. Later, I will discuss in detail about the evil unknowingly committed because it is believed to be good, but next I would like to write about the world view of evil as seen from the standpoint of good.
     As is well known, when the present world is observed from a wide perspective, evil is to be seen everywhere, and indeed “a world of evil” would be a good description. Particularly to be noted, since antiquity, are the many examples of evil persecuting good, but we do not hear of evil being chastised by good. The present state of the times is that evil has many supporters, but good has only a few, so evil people slip through the web of laws and triumphantly infest society, while the good have to fight and compete against overwhelming odds. Because good people who were weak were always being persecuted and made to suffer at the hands of evil people who were strong, democracy naturally came about as a way to stand up to the irrationality. 1In the case of Japan as well, a feudalistic mentality pervaded the nation for a long period, so survival of the fittest was the norm, but fortunately, with the assistance of foreign countries, Japan was able to become the democratic nation it is today. On this point, it might be more appropriate to say that rather than democracy arising naturally in Japan, democracy was a natural result of circumstances. Still, even this one instance is an example where good extraordinarily prevailed over evil. Speaking generally, however, foreign countries aside, democracy today in Japan is lukewarm, and I am sure I am not the only one who can still see the vestiges of feudalism in various aspects of Japanese society.
     At this stage, I will examine another connection between evil and culture. The driving principle for the birth of culture has been the formation of the various protective measures that the weak have tried to take since barbaric, pre-technological times when the strong oppressed the weak, stole their freedom, and killed at will. Fashioning weapons, constructing enclosures, and improving transportation were among the means for which efforts were made whether in groups or individually. Naturally, these efforts helped to advance human knowledge, and later, in order to secure peace and stability, agreements between and among groups developed. These contracts were the forerunners of the international treaties we have today. Rules were fashioned to control evil on the social level and these primitive itemized lists were the prototypes of the laws we have today.
But the reality is that it was not possible to eliminate evil from human beings so easily. This impossibility shows that since primitive times, the struggle of good to keep evil in check has continued without cease, such has been the unfortunate history of humanity, and all are aware of the great numbers of good people who have been sacrificed in the struggle. To save people from suffering, great religious leaders appeared from time to time. While the weak were continually persecuted and made to suffer by the strong, as the religious power of protection was weak, religions did provide hope by trying to erase anxiety at least on the mental levels. In the fight against evil, the principle of cause and effect was taught and admonishments to repent were made, and these efforts were effective to a certain extent, but the majority were still left powerless. Thus, in order to protect through materialistic means against the misfortune caused by evil, fields of learning were established and a culture based on materialism was formed, and through these advances, progress toward good was made. Although the advance of this culture exceeded expectations, the measures originally formed with the purpose of guarding against evil did not work, rather they came to be used for evil purposes, and cruelty on a larger scale came to be manifested.
     The result has been a great increase in the scale of war until finally was born the terrifying monster, the atomic bomb, so it could be said that in these circumstances, war had become impossible in this age. Frankly speaking, with this invention that was aided by evil, the level of material culture has been raised so that evil created an age in which war has become impossible, indeed an ironic situation. What can be readily appreciated is that the basis for this, of course, lies in God’s profound economy. Human beings on the side of spiritual culture as well as those on the side of material culture naturally share a great desire for an ideal world of peace and happiness, but that desire remains at the stage of an ideal to which reality does not readily follow, so at present intellectuals, wrapped in clouds of doubt, knock their heads against a wall. Among the thinking classes are those who seek philosophical answers in religion, trying to unravel the puzzle, but most are convinced that these problems will be resolved through the progress of science. With no certain prospect and the issues unresolved, however, humanity continues to suffer. I will thoroughly explain what the future of the world is going to be.
     If evil is the fundamental cause for the misfortune of humanity, as described above, the doubt naturally arises as to why God created evil. This is the question that has most perplexed humanity until now, but God has finally clarified the true aspects of this issue which I announce to the world here. I begin with the reason evil has been necessary until now. That by means of the conflict between good and evil has been made possible the advancements we see today in material culture was probably not foreseen and must be unexpected, but it is indeed truth which probably no one could conceive.
     Let us consider war. Because many lives are taken and extreme misery pervades throughout, war is feared the most, and human beings have exerted their greatest levels of intelligence to devise ways to keep this misfortune away, expending effort upon effort, so much that there is no need to detail here the extent of this struggle toward the progress of culture. History well documents that whether a nation wins or loses a war, after the close of a conflict, culture makes great strides in development. But, the more extreme war grows and the longer it lasts, nothing but the ruin of the nation state and the destruction of society will result, so God stops conflict at a certain point and returns the situation to one of peace. Thus have alternated conflict and peace throughout the history of the world. The same phenomenon can be seen on the social level as well. The continued matching of wits between criminals and the authorities as well as the altercations among individuals all result from the conflict between good and evil. It can be seen how trying to resolve all these problems has been a factor in the advance of human knowledge.
     Thus, through the friction between good and evil has advanced culture, so until now evil has been much needed. But the necessity for evil is not inexhaustible. It should be understood that evil does have a limit. I will lay this out step by step, but the essential point to understand is the objective of God, the Lord of the entire world. In philosophical terms, God is absolute, God is cosmic will. Prophecies by many of the world’s religious leaders, including Christ, concern the end of the world, but what they are talking about is the end of the world of evil. What comes next is the ideal world, a paradise on earth without disease, poverty, or conflict, a world of truth, virtue, and beauty, a world that has been given various names including Miroku. The names for this world differ but they all refer to the same thing. In order to create such a marvelous world, an appropriate amount of preparation is necessary. With preparation in both the mental sense and in the material realm, the conditions have been completed that are sufficient to form such a world. In God’s economy, the material side of this preparation was moved forward first. The mental aspects of preparation do not require time and can be made in one stroke, but the material does not move so quickly and obviously requires much time. For the first step in this process, it was necessary to make human beings ignore the existence of the gods and buddhas to concentrate on physical aspects, and it was with this significance that was born atheism. Most fundamental to the creation of evil was the ideology of atheism. Thus strengthened, evil was gradually able to inflict more and more suffering upon good, continue conflict, and bring human beings down to the lowest levels, out of which individuals have tried continuously to struggle. Of course, this conflict has been a great impelling force to the progress of culture, unavoidable though has been the tragedy.
     These are the fundamentals for understanding good and evil, and, as I mentioned before, the time has now come that evil is no longer necessary, so problems have become quite dire for evil. This is neither supposition nor wishful thinking. This is the reality. Whether it is believed or not, the transition is starting to take place before our very eyes. Part of this process is the marvelous progress of atomic science. Therefore, if large-scale conflict were to break out, it would not simply be a war this time, but the destruction of everything, the ruin of humanity. Indeed this threat is the brake on evil, so rather it is cause for joy. As a result, culture in which evil has had its way will change to one where good will prevail. This condition is the stage for the birth of the long-awaited paradise on earth.

Eikô, Issue 169, August 13, 1952
 translated by cynndd

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“Tengoku no Kensetsu to Aku no Tsuihō,” which was originally published in Eikō, Issue 169, August 13, 1952, and later, while Meishu-sama still alive, reprinted in the essays anthology Goshinsho: Shūkyō-hen (Divine Writings: Volume on Religion), page 370, March 25, 1954, has previously appeared in translation. Citation is given below for reference. Although not introduced in the newspaper as being a part of Creation of Civilization, apparently afterward “Tengoku no Kensetsu to Aku no Tsuihō” was heavily revised, particularly the middle portions, and retitled “Tengoku no Kensetsu no Junjo to Aku no Tsuihō” (The Elimination of Evil and the Order for Construction of Paradise) to be the second chapter of the introductory first section of the projected volume Bunmei no Sōzō (Creation of Civilization), which remained unpublished while Meishu-sama was alive. 

“Road to Paradise,” The Glory, Number 014, September 15, 1956. Translation is abridged and summarized, about half the size of the original essay. 

“Road to Paradise,” Teachings of Meishu and Kyoshu, no date, page 21.Reprint of The Glory translation. 

“The Progress of Civilization and the Elimination of Evil,” Teachings of Meishu-sama, Volume Two, 1968, page 13.

“The Progress of Civilization and the Elimination of Evil,” Foundation of Paradise, 1984, page 25.

“The Elimination of Evil,” Teachings of Meishu-sama, Volume Two, 1968/2004, page 79.