I read one of Masahiro Oki’s articles titled ‘Let’s Enhance Sensibility’ which had been written in his monthly magazine ‘Yoga’ issued in March 1968. He wrote about the different roles of sensibility and intelligence and that it is important for humans to enhance both. Here is my summary. Two native English-speakers, Michael Cullingworth and Hiroyuki Mori, assisted me by correcting and polishing up my English translation.
Definition I first define two following words, which applies throughout this text. Generally speaking, a word conveys its cultural background and so literal translation of the word does not bring always what it really means. Therefore, I would like to clarify a point of my view in the following words.
mind-heart: A Japanese word ‘kokoro 心’ means the integration of intellect, heart, emotion, spirit, consciousness and the subconscious, that is to say, both the source of these functions and the functions themselves. According to every context, the word can be translated into different English words such as heart, mind, mentality, emotions, feelings, and spirit. Each of these English words also has a specific Japanese expression other than kokoro. However, normally, the distinction between these meanings is less important or difficult to clarify. Traditionally in Okido Yoga, we adopt the word ‘mind-heart’ as a translation of kokoro. In this text, I follow the same way.
sensibility: In this text, ‘sensibility’ adopts the meaning of ‘the ability to perceive or feel’. Reference: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/sensibility (in British English)
1. The two functions of the mind-heart that we must enhance are sensibility and intelligence. A unique characteristic of the human mind-heart is that it has intelligence added to sensibility. Having sensibility only is the same as any animal. The human being does various disciplines and training in order to become human, the aim of which is to enhance both of these functions.
2. Sensibility is the function of the mind-heart that has already been given to us from birth, and intelligence is the function of the thinking mind-heart that comes from studies and experiences after birth. Training to enhance intelligence is called learning.
3. Sensibility given from the time of birth consists of two things. They are 1) sensibility given before becoming a human, and 2) sensibility given after becoming a human.
4. 1) is the mind-heart that is connected to the universe. We were one kind of creature before we evolved into humankind. Then, as necessary due to changes of the global environment, various creatures emerged one after another. The sensibility referred to as 1), which exists from the beginning, is a pure, natural mind-heart that is directly connected to the universe. With this mind-heart, all living creatures can sense what is suitable or not for them. This is not taught, but inherently known. This is called ‘Hannya’.
5. The sensibility referred to as 2) is memory or heredity that has been attained by accumulating experiences as human beings after we branched out of the world of animals. This mind-heart does not only sense suitability or unsuitability to oneself, but also experiences various complicated feelings. This is the mind-heart that is connected to human ancestors. This is also called psychic spirit. Differences in these feelings make differences in individuality. Differences in talents, temperaments and constitutions fundamentally come from differences in these feelings. Because we feel differently, we move, seek and think differently.
6. The sensibility referred to as 1) and 2) is the function of the mind-heart that has already been given to us from birth. This is the subconscious mind and is the force that fundamentally controls the tendency of how our mind and body work. We could be born due to this work. Because this sensibility is working from birth till the development of intelligence, we know many things even if we are not taught them. When we can be aware of this fact, we come to naturally thank the universe or our ancestors, without being told to do so. That we can live, itself, is owing to the universe and our ancestors.
7. In order for this sensibility to work well, it is necessary to be in a state of mind-heart that does not interfere with it, and to acquire such intelligence. What interferes with the sensing function is called ‘hakarai‘, a judgement with conscious or unconscious preconceptions. ‘Hakarauna’ or ‘Don’t make preconceived judgements’ does not mean ‘don‘t think’, but it means to acquire the intelligence that cooperates with a pure, natural mind-heart. It means to acquire a way of thinking which exactly matches how you naturally sense and feel.
8. If we live according to the right way of sensing, feeling and thinking, we don’t make any mistakes. However, what our mind-heart attaches to interferes with our right responses to situations. As we have become knowledgeable animals, we have begun to make mistakes one after another. In this way, certain advantages often cause disadvantages. Therefore, it can be said: To discipline means to devise how to stop disadvantages deriving from advantages as much as possible. We humans, in order to fully utilise our thinking ability that is the characteristic of the human mind-heart, must consciously enhance and expand the contents of our thinking through studies, and at the same time, we must enhance our sensibility.
9. For true self-education, we must enhance both our intelligence and sensibility.
10. The best training method to improve our sensibility is the discipline of meditation. It is also known as the discipline of mu-mind, or the discipline of non-attachment. That’s because our sensibility works best when we are in the mu-mind. There are two types of the discipline of mu-mind: zen and prayer. Even in such training, some people involve preconceived judgements such as “How many minutes should I sit?” or “When should I pray?” However, what is necessary to attain mu-mind is to just sit, or just pray.
11. I’m often asked, “Why do you know so exactly what is going on in somebody’s mind-heart or body?” It is because I don’t think. When we think, we tend to involve preconceived judgements and make our own decisions. When I am not thinking, the power from the universe and our ancestors works so effectively. On top of that, what I have experienced since I was born comes out as well. I don’t understand even myself why I can know such exact things.
12. If you just eat and ‘hang out’, your sensibility does not work well. It works best when your mind and body are in the best condition.
13. About intelligence. The most troublesome thing about a preconceived judgement is that you think something is true without knowing whether it is true or not. Therefore, it is important to think yourself as much as possible, without blindly believing what you hear from other people or read in books or what is said in society. Also, please don’t get caught up in your own one or two-time experiences. It is because your experiences may differ depending on how you are at that time.
14. Another role of intelligence. Not all psychic spirits or heredities from our ancestors are good ones. We must correct wrong ones by increasing our intelligence. The act of passing good psychic spirits and heredities to our descendants is our love for them. This will create true human progress.
15. Another role of intelligence is to expand what we sense and feel by studying. I apply this method to everything. In this way I theorise what comes to me by sense, feeling and inspiration. I wasn’t particularly taught by anyone. When some sense, feeling or inspiration comes to me, I think why, and then practise. I repeat this over and over. In this way I have grasped many things. Just to practise, just to study, and to intellectually think about what kind of teachings are there. This is the way of self-growth and self-expanding.
16. Yoga aims at enhancing our sensibility and intelligence by the unification of knowledge and action. What is required for this is to just practise and just learn, unconditionally, with no calculation of rewards or merits. By doing so with the feeling of gratitude and enjoyment, we can harmonize ourselves with what we do. This state of balance is the state of yoga. Yoga teaches ways to devise how we can live fully, using all the energy we have in all that we do.