Great Construction


     Past or present, most likely there has been and is no one who does not desire happiness. Happiness is indeed the alpha and the omega of human existence. In spite of academic learning, self-cultivation, and strenuous effort, how many have been able to obtain satisfactory levels of happiness? The reality is that most have continued efforts for happiness only to fall into misfortune, and without obtaining the joy of accomplishment go on to the next world. Is the attainment of happiness really that difficult? I am writing to state no, it is not.
     Everyone understands that the absence of disease, poverty, and conflict is the basis for happiness, but saying so, easy, and realizing it, difficult. Most resign themselves to not attaining their goal of happiness. All in the universe has a cause and a result. Happiness is of course the same, so the starting point for resolving the problem of happiness must begin with understanding its cause.
     As long as the cause or basis for happiness remains unclear, it is invariable that the possibility for realizing happiness does not exist in spite of the utmost effort. Let me explain why happiness is not attained. Since antiquity, it has been said that good begets good and evil begets evil, indeed a truth that pervades all ages. For those who understand the principle of becoming happy, it is an absolute condition that efforts to make others happy is what makes you yourself happy. In the world, however, there are simply too many who turn a blind eye to the misfortune of others and only seek their own happiness. Because while sowing the seeds of misfortune, they seek to harvest the fruit of happiness, it is quite a foolish act. Their situation is akin to that of water that flows toward persons who push it away and flows away from those who try to pull it toward them.
     The necessity of religion for human beings lies in this point. From the Christian exhortation for love and the Buddhist idea of compassion, the underlying principle is to plant the altruistic concept of bringing happiness to others. Human beings find it exceedingly difficult to recognize such a simple principle. God and Buddha brought about various doctrines, indicating the example in words and deeds, teaching about the existence of the unseen, and through messengers led the world to faiths of sincere heart and mind, but the salvation of one individual human being is quite a difficult task. This difficulty is not unreasonable. Members of the general public have been raised under an educational system of not believing that which is invisible. As they are solidified in materialistic thought, they do not attempt to bend an ear to what we have to say. Suffering while wandering around in darkness closed off by illusion, they end up on a path of no return, so indeed their lives can only be deemed transitory and ephemeral.
     Therefore, to have a long life, residing in ecstasy, permeated with joy while one still breathes should be described as to indeed be in a heaven in this world, living a life worth living. But there are those who would reply: in this world of dust so full of suffering, it is most likely that the average person’s way of thinking is to be resigned to the fact that there is no way such happiness may be obtained. However, I declare: there is a way to become one who has obtained such happiness, and the introduction to learning about how to do so is presented in this magazine [Chijōtengoku].

Chijôtengoku, Issue 1, page 4, December 1, 1948
    translated by cynndd

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“Kōfuku” was originally published on December 1, 1948, in the first issue of the church magazine Chijōtengoku, and later while Meishu-sama was still alive, reprinted in the essays anthology for ministers Goshinsho, Shūkyō-hen (Divine Writings: Volume on Religion), page 16, March 25, 1954. “Kōfuku” has appeared in translation. Citation is given below for reference.

“Happiness,” Foundation of Paradise, 1984, page 275.

“Happiness,” Teachings of Meishu-sama, Volume Four, 2007, page 27.