Compass of the Times by Keiko Takahashi
Compass of the Times 173
In Search of the Future
The Customary Way of Living
The typical way of living, which we human beings acquire when we are born and raised, is the way of living based on labeling and dividing things into good or bad.
We determine things as good or bad, success or failure, valuable or meaningless, etc. We draw in what is profitable or valuable for us, and push away what we determine is unprofitable or valueless.
As we continue to do so, we create a routine (a customary practice), in which we make efforts to accomplish our own purpose and goal and to become an expert.
This is a way of living that we humans have repeated in society. For example, people in the world who are referred to as "quick-witted and sharp“ are often good at labeling things rapidly and becoming experts in living the routine that suits their purpose.
Certainly, it is an accumulation of wisdom, and can be said to be one form of attainment of a spiritual level.
Whether it is to do with human relationships, or work, or an entrance examination, labeling things and becoming an expert in routine work have become prevalent as a way of living.
Regardless of their occupation, whether sales people, technicians, editors, shop owners, business managers, or school teachers; they all naturally follow a way of living that labels things and expertise their routine work without their even realizing it.
The Way of Living Starting from Chaos
However, there is a way of life which is completely different from this.
How would it be if we perceived every situation, encounter, and event as Chaos that has neither shape nor outline, and that has no result yet?
It means not to label things as “this is good; this is bad; this is a success; this is a failure, etc.”
It is to start taking the situation in front of us as one that is “undetermined and unknown.”
It is to put aside preconceptions, prejudices, and conventional wisdoms, and to inquire again from the beginning with a completely new perspective, asking ourselves, “What does this mean? What is called upon us here? How should we perceive this situation?”
Each situation that comes to us is perceived as Chaos, which has neither shape nor outline, and for which the result is unknown.
Therefore, we do not draw conclusions in which things are labeled as “this or that,” but instead, we question anew the work routine itself that we have repeated an uncountable number of times.
“Is this the right way?”
“What sort of thing is truly required for me to do?”
This is different from an easy way of life. This is none other than a way of life in which we revere, to the utmost degree, each situation that comes to us.
Where Does the Future Exist?: A Return to the Origin
I think that the power of searching for the real future resides in the way of life, in which every situation is perceived as Chaos.
Where does the future exist?
Many of us think about the future with reference to the changes that are happening now, wondering, “What will happen from now on? What kind of reality will we have?”
For us, what we have already experienced are the best clues. We have the present because we have the past; and we have the future because we have the present. Certainly, the future is beyond the stream of time that has flowed from the past to the present. The future exists neither in the past nor in the present.
However, the real future we should seek does not exist on the line drawn from the past. We do not reach the future if we keep riding on the stream that flows from the past to the present.
The future always exists at the origin.
The future lives in the core dimension, in the fundamental truth, in the uncharted realm that is revealed after the unveiling of many layers of conventional wisdoms and common beliefs.
The way of living that perceives every situation as Chaos gives individuals the power to go back to their origin and approach their central core.
Excerpt Translation of G. Monthly Journal August 2018 issue
Preliminary translation as of August, 2018
GLA member-volunteers translated Takahashi Sensei’s words.
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