Compass of the Times by Keiko Takahashi
Compass of the Times 167
What Is Metsu?
The word Metsu means cessation in Buddhist terms and often appears in conversations among those who study and practice the Study of the Soul1. For instance it might be said “It is important to start things from having Metsu,” or “Aren’t you forgetting to envision Metsu?”
For those who just started learning the Study of the Soul, it might be di cult to understand what Metsu means. Metsu is the word that originally derives from the concept of Ku-Shu-Metsu-Doh presented by Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
Ku indicates various realities of suffering that humans face in their lives, such as suffering of birth aging, illness, and death; suffering of being unable to obtain what we seek for; suffering of being separated from loved ones; and suffering of encountering those whom we hate.
Shu means the sum (accumulation) of confused mind that is
the cause of such suffering. Metsu means the state in which suffering and its causes are removed—the state of enlightenment. Doh refers to the path leading to Metsu through trainings.
We humans, once born, are destined to be involved in the realities of suffering.
However, if we can correctly understand the actual conditions and causes of suffering, and continue to train ourselves to walk the path to eradicate suffering, we will become free from suffering and reach the state of enlightenment. This is the concept of Ku-Shu-Metsu-Doh.
Metsu Is a Light of the Blueprint—the Purpose and Aspiration to Aim For
Although based on the Buddhist’s meaning of Ku-Shu-Metsu- Doh, Metsu used in the Study of the Soul does not merely refer to the state in which suffering and its causes are removed; i.e. the state in which problems are solved and negative realities are resolved.
To repeat, the word Metsu originally means that something will disappear, be eradicated, or vanish.
However, those who are familiar with the word Metsu through the Study of the Soul may have the feeling that there is a special glow that is emitted from the word.
In addition to the meaning of the cessation of suffering and elimination of minuses, the word Metsu in the Study of the Soul is entrusted with a strong meaning of accomplishment and actualization of purpose and the aspirations we harbor, as well as being our blueprints and ideals.
In other words, Metsu contains the meaning of a state in which our purpose and aspirations, or blueprints2. and ideals are fulfilled and so the word emits a radiance. Metsu embodies the destination that we aim for where the light of stars is showering down on us like a shimmering glow that fills the night sky.
Begin with Envisioning Metsu
When our minds are occupied by problems and trials that are in front of us, we tend to feel down and be depressed. “I don’t know what I should do. I don’t even think I can solve it.”
Especially at such times, it is important for us to envision the state we want to realize.
“What do I truly wish for? What is it that I want to realize no matter what, even if it means to change my way of living?”
If we were able to clearly envision Metsu from the bottom of our hearts, it means that the first step to solve the problem and overcome the trial has already been taken.
This is especially true when we decide to take actions to accomplish something. When we are about to take a new step, it is important above all to begin with envisioning Metsu or what we truly wish for. We should vividly depict Metsu as if it really exists, rather than just considering it to be an abstract idea.
Only by doing so can we clarify the destination we should aim for. Then we are able to bring out our force from within to advance towards that destination.
This is nothing less than the first step to make the best move for everything.
1. The Study of the Soul It is the perspective that grasps our lives from the dimension of the soul. It also refers to the system of the truth, the Divine Truth, that permeates every aspect of the human soul and the world. As opposed to the “study of phenomena” that is directed at the tangible world, the Study of the Soul is an investigation of all things, including the formless and intangible world. (excerpted and summarized from page 3 of The Reason Why You Were Born as You)
2. Blueprint There is a blueprint for everything. When we wish to accomplish something, we must first remember the fact that a blueprint exists—an image of what should be there from the start. This means there are answers to be sought in all cases and ways to access them. Putting it in other words, there is always a best possible path to take in any situation. (excerpted and summarized from p.98-100 of The Soul Doctrine as a Way of Life)
Excerpt Translation of G. Monthly Journal February 2018 issue
Preliminary translation as of February, 2018
GLA member-volunteers translated Takahashi Sensei’s words.
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