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Vision for the 21st Century: A Rebirth in Individual Responsibilities and Values

Vision for the 21st Century: A Rebirth in Individual Responsibilities and Values

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Vision for the 21st Century: A Rebirth in Individual Responsibilities and Values

Lunghezza:
145 pagine
2 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 24, 2014
ISBN:
9781310921810
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

How do we face today's impending crises of environmental degradation, nuclear proliferation, and the growing threat of terrorism and global conflict?
In Vision for the 21st Century, Masami Saionji overturns the notion that the solutions to such problems must be provided by governments, religious leaders, or experts in various fields. Describing the 21st century as an ‘age of the individual,’ she states that positive change can come about only through a total revolution in the human consciousness.
The chapters in this book address larger questions of human capability and the meaning of life and death with guidance on a range of everyday topics, from love and marriage, to health and personal troubles, to the education of children.
Showing us the ways in which we readily violate our own freedom and hand over control of our lives to others, Ms. Saionji then offers practical tips on how we can change our habits, make the best use of our life-energy, and draw our our latent power to create an entirely new self.
Highly recommended reading for all those who agree that, by strengthening our belief in ourselves, we can bring light and joy into our life, while planting the seeds for global peace and harmony in the 21st century.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 24, 2014
ISBN:
9781310921810
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Masami Saionji is the chairperson of three organizations: Byakko Shinko Kai (www.byakko.org), The World Peace Prayer Society (www.worldpeace.org), and The Goi Peace Foundation (www.goipeace.or.jp). A native of Japan and a descendant of the Royal Ryukyu Family of Okinawa, she continues the work of her adoptive father, Masahisa Goi, who initiated a movement for world peace through the universal prayer May Peace Prevail on Earth. As a spiritual leader and lecturer, she has touched thousands of people’s lives through her guidance and inspiration. She travels globally on speaking tours, and has led peace ceremonies in many countries as well as at the United Nations and other international organizations. She has authored over twenty books in Japanese and eight in English and other languages. She is an honorary member of the Club of Budapest and a member of the World Wisdom Council. She was awarded the Philosopher Saint Shree Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize of India along with her husband Hiroo in 2008. She is also the recipient of the 2010 WON Award honoring distinguished women leaders. In February 2013, Mrs. Saionji had the privilege of presenting the Symphony of Peace Prayers ceremony at the United Nations, in a special event entitled ‘United for a Culture of Peace through Interfaith Harmony’, which was hosted by the president of the UN General Assembly. Mrs. Saionji and her husband currently live in Tokyo, and have three daughters, all working for peace.

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Anteprima del libro

Vision for the 21st Century - Masami Saionji

VISION

for the

21st CENTURY

A Rebirth in Individual Responsibilities and Values

Masami Saionji

E-book edition

© 2014 Masami Saionji

All rights reserved.

Originally published in print, 2005

Chief translator and editor: Mary L. McQuaid.

Contributing translators: Akiko Fujinami, Kinuko Hamaya, Seiji Hashimoto, Chikae Ishikawa, Ruthy Kanagy, Masami Kondo, Hiromitsu Kyo, Grace Roberts, and Sonoko Tanaka.

Contributing editors: David W. Edelstein and Julie Doxsee.

Cover design by David Lee Fish, adapted by David W. Edelstein.

Contents

Introduction

Activating the Power of Love

You Are a Creator

The Purpose of Words

What is Death?

Living with the Universal Law

Health in the 21st Century

There Is No Such Thing As ‘Impossible’

Overdue and Pending Troubles

Does Your Work Make You Joyful?

Educating Children in the 21st Century

The Evolution and Spiritualization of Humanity

Notes

About the Author

Introduction

Vision for the 21st Century:

A Rebirth in Individual Responsibilities and Values

We human beings are now living in the most critical moment that the world has ever known. For the past several decades, people have felt a growing uneasiness over an impending crisis in the environment, in ethnic and religious struggles, in aggression and terrorism, and in the potential use of nuclear weapons. Now, this sense of crisis extends even to the social, political, and economic spheres. Human civilization itself is facing a moment of crisis. And, at the basis of all these crises, there looms an imminent crisis in the human consciousness. It is a crisis in human thinking, human values, and human responsibility.

Who is responsible for the future of Earth? Is it governments? Is it religions? Does the responsibility belong to various influential groups or organizations? Or is it held by a small number of special people—scholars, saints, educators, scientists, and experts in various fields? Which of these groups or entities can provide human society with a solution to its problems? What leaders are able to take responsibility for spreading peace and harmony through the world?

It is true that peace begins in each human heart. Yet, for the majority of people in the world today, the creation of world peace seems like too large a task to be attempted by average, individual citizens. We always think that the world’s problems were caused by governments, or by people holding special authority. Likewise, we feel that the responsibility for creating peace also belongs to some force outside us: politicians, world leaders, or people who are greater, stronger, more learned, or more experienced than we. It never occurs to us that our own daily thoughts, words, and actions have an impact on the world scene, nor do we think that we are in any way responsible for creating global peace and harmony.

Why do people feel this way? Why do so many of us believe that our own power is insignificant, or that we lack the potential to make a real contribution to world peace? I think it is because, although we are living in the 21st century, our minds are still gripping 20th century values.

In the 20th century, what did we value? What did we hold dear? For the most part, we valued material things—things that could be seen, or touched, or counted, or measured. More than anything else, we wanted to create materially affluent lives for ourselves and our families.

On the one hand, this preoccupation with materially-oriented aims and values fostered a great expansion in material culture and civilization. At the same time, however, it led to the widespread neglect of each individual’s inner development—the realm of the heart, mind, and spirit.

In every aspect of our lives, we human beings need balance: balance between the material and the spiritual, balance between scarcity and abundance, balance between knowledge and wisdom, balance between the young and the old, between religion and science, and between society and nature. When balance is lost, everything starts to crumble.

As human society continued to place excessive value on external, materially-oriented goals, each of us came to ignore our marvelous inner powers—the power of love, the power of wisdom and intuition, the power of thought, will, and decision-making. Now, most of us believe only in a power existing outside us: the power of wealth, the power of the nation or the government, the power of scientists, politicians, educators, and various institutions. We have almost entirely lost sight of the splendor, dignity, and might of our own existence.

And so, unaware of the profound influence that each of us continually exerts on the world around us, we drift from moment to moment in an attitude of helpless indifference. Most of the time, we allow our thoughts, emotions, and decisions to be dictated by our self-protective instincts and the ravenous desires of our egos.

A desire for power, a desire for authority, a desire to dominate and possess: such are the desires that gained impetus during the 20th century. And, on the other side of the coin, these desires always provoked an opposing reaction: a fear of losing what we possessed, and resistance against control and oppression. As a result, we human beings have created a world filled with struggle and confusion, a world where material values boldly prevail while spiritual values lie forgotten by the wayside. In other words, we have created a world sorely lacking in love, harmony, and forgiveness.

As we progress through the 21st century, it is imperative that we change direction. If we continue to live with 20th century values, humanity will not be able to survive in the 21st century. What the world needs now, more than anything else, is a total revolution in consciousness. It is time for us to shift our focus from a belief in what is external, short-term, and ephemeral, to an exploration of what is internal, lasting, and essential. My hope is for the 21st century to be an ‘age of the individual,’ an age in which each of us inquires deeply into to our intrinsic nature and potential: What is a human being? Where do we come from, and where do we go? For what purpose do we live on earth?

As we reflect deeply upon such fundamental questions, I believe that a light may dawn in each person’s heart, and that a new path may open up in front of us. By striving to draw out our own, deep-seated potential, and by sharing our wisdom and cooperating with one another, I believe that each of us will carry out our own valuable role in creating a vibrant future for ourselves and all life on Earth.

In this book, I offer you my thoughts on a variety of topics relating to our daily life, our individual thought-habits, and how we can make the most of our precious life-energy. It is my heartfelt wish that, in reading this book, you may come face to face with an infinitely free, joyful new ‘you,’ and that you may give creative expression to this wondrous new ‘you’ with each moment you live.

Masami Saionji

November 2005

Activating the Power of Love

Without exception, all human beings are born for the purpose of manifesting love. When we go to the root of life, ignoring all that is temporary or nonessential, what remains is love. Love is all there is—the only true, unchanging existence.

More than anything else, what each of us needs to do now is to love ourselves and love others, forgive ourselves and forgive others, and express only love, sincerity, and forgiveness in all our words and actions. Soon, everything else that we thought we needed will be rapidly taken away.

From moment to moment, each of us needs to consciously observe ourselves and ask ourselves these questions: Here and now, am I giving expression to love? Is my heart filled with love for myself, my family, my friends and acquaintances, my society, and all human beings? Am I showering love upon all animals, insects, and plants—on water, air, the sun, the earth, the mountains and the seas? At this present moment, to what extent am I sending out the energy of love that resides abundantly within me?

No matter how much love we give to others, the love within us can never be diminished, nor are we ever left feeling tired or emotionally depleted. The more we express love, the more it streams forth. Love is the powerfully overflowing fountain of our life-energy.

The reason why we exist here, in this present moment, is to draw out and plentifully express love to our children, our parents, our husbands, wives, partners, and large numbers of people. We were born so that we ourselves, and all the people around us, might know true and lasting happiness.

Because love is the energy of life itself, if we are not adept at expressing love it means that we are not adept at expressing life. It means that the power of our life is not being fully activated.

Despite what we may think, it is not difficult to express love. All we need to do is wish, from the bottom of our hearts, to love ourselves and love others. This heartfelt desire, in and of itself, will cause love to well up from within. Not only that, when we are able to continually manifest love with our whole being, no one will be able to invade our hearts with violence, nor will we ever feel that we have anything to lose. Even if we are living in the midst of poverty, war, or disease, if we continue to manifest love, our inner dignity can never be shaken.

No one can teach us to express love, for it is not a power that is acquired from the outside. It is a power that wells up from within. The power to express love is the power to draw out and manifest our own life-energy.

Other Kinds of Emotions

Since the purpose of life is to express love, how can we explain the appearance of various shifting emotions such as anger, sadness, jealousy, contempt, anxiety, resentment, frustration, and a sense of failure? Feelings like these take shape when the original flow of love is in some way altered or interfered with. This can occur when we allow external factors to act upon our minds. All our emotions, whether good or bad, positive or negative, passive or aggressive, come into being when, in response to some external cause or influence, we convert our fundamental life-energy of love to a different form.

When we do not clearly know this principle, and do not realize that our original life-energy consists of love, our response to external factors and conditions ends up being directed by our physical, self-protective instincts. To avoid being hurt by the events and conditions in the world around us, we unconsciously direct our essential life-energy of love into a variety of emotions.

Through long-term repetition, this has become a deeply-rooted habit. We do it automatically, without exerting any conscious control. Again and again, our crystal clear, essential life-energy of love is transformed into waves of suspicion and fear, anger and struggle, before we are aware of what is happening. What this means is that, to a great degree, we have relinquished control over our own thoughts and emotions. Instead of freely directing the course of our lives, we let

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