Compass of the Times by Keiko Takahashi
Compass of the Times 157
To Gain the Fundamental Power of the Heart and Mind
The Future of Educational Reform
The educational system of Japan is about to undergo seemingly the largest reform of the postwar period.
Japanese education until now has valued education as a route for children to absorb information and acquire knowledge. It is not an exaggeration to say that excessive emphasis has been put on this.
One of the major steps of the reform will occur in the entrance examination system. It will shift from examinations focused on rote learning to ones that test and evaluate abilities in logical thinking. We can say that the aim of this reform is to cultivate the ability to think and power of heart and mind.
Furthermore, another feature of this reform is that moral education will be taken more seriously and become
an officially graded subject.
To date, the issue has been greatly debated. Although I do not go into the details of the debate, if we were to think about the future of moral education, it should be one that can adapt to life in the 21st century.
Even though there are excellent qualities in Japanese culture and traditions that have been cultivated since ancient times, we must not look only to the past. Instead of solely basing on the traditional sense of morality that respects the elderly and one’s parents and values patriotism, we are required to foster a new sense of morality. It must be done by reviewing how our family and community should be and how we should deal with our country, based on what could be the principle of the era of complexity and diversity, for example, based on the dignity of each person as a human being.
Parents are not respected merely because they are parents; they are respected because they love and protect their children as precious and irreplaceable human beings. The same goes with patriotism. A country becomes a nation to be loved and protected when the people feel pride and hope in the country’s present and future, as well as its past. I believe that patriotism will naturally emerge in the hearts of the people for the first time when they share such a vision
and strive to achieve that goal.
This educational reform sets its goal to re-establish a moral education. In a way, I feel it is a calling and necessity of the era.
After the Second World War, people’s lives have been severely influenced by materialism. It has become natural for us to value what is visible, and place importance only on money and on ourselves.
This reform is an attempt to establish the inner axis of the heart and mind in the field of education where spiritual values have been trivialized under the influence of materialism.
Ultimately, what exists in the core of morality is the heart of caring for others by cherishing the dignity of human beings; the heart that stands firm in doing what we think is right; and the heart that collaborates with others. If I were to express it in a simple term, it is the education of love and compassion.
In other words, this educational reform aims to elevate the education from fostering knowledge to comprehensively fostering the power of the heart and mind, namely, knowledge, power, love and compassion. I believe this is the blueprint of this reform.
The human heart and mind is not only made of knowledge. Only when all three strands are combined together; knowledge, power, and love and compassion, can the human heart and mind gain its true nature and enable us to draw out its fundamental power.
In that sense, the education system of Japan is now heading toward a new challenge.
“Pyramid of the Heart and Mind” That Creates the “Fundamental Power of the Heart and Mind”
For many years, GLA has dedicated its efforts to the cultivation of the heart and mind.
This is especially true for the mental education of the younger generation; we have presented unique ideas to nurture a comprehensive power of the heart and mind in order to draw out each person’s innate potential as a human.
What comes at its foundation is Bodaishin. Bodaishin is the heart that seeks the real self, to love others, and to contribute to world harmony. It corresponds to love and compassion, the foundation of the heart and mind.
What is cultivated as a next layer to this foundation is the power of Ju-Hatsu-Shiki. This represents the power of the heart and mind.
What is cultivated as a next layer to this foundation is the power of Ju-Hatsu-Shiki. This represents the power of the heart and mind. While encounters and incidents visit us without interruption, it is our Ju-Hatsu-Shiki that decides how we perceive, think, judge, and act in each situation. It is not an exaggeration to say that "the potential of what Ju-Hatsu-Shiki can generate is infinite."
Furthermore, what is accumulated on top of the power of Ju-Hatsu-Shiki is the professional abilities, which are the aspect of knowledge.
Establishing the pyramid of the heart and mind, which consists of Bodaishin at its basis and the power of Ju-Hatsu-Shiki and professional abilities that add layers above, serves to draw out the comprehensive power— an innate, fundamental power—of our heart and mind.
* Translator’s notes:
In this issue, “heart and mind” is used for the Japanese word “kokoro,” the function of which includes that of heart and of mind.
Preliminary translation as of April 2, 2017
GLA member-volunteers translated Takahashi Sensei’s words.
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