What is a ‘Religious’ Way of Life? – Part 3 of 3

I have summarised and translated one of Masahiro Oki’s articles which was written in his Japanese monthly magazine ‘Yoga’ issued in April 1969. As it is a long article, I post it in three parts. This is the final part. Three native English-speakers, Junko Furugori, Hiroyuki Mori and Michael Cullingworth assisted me by correcting and polishing up my English translation.

Translator’s Notes:

religious: By the word ‘religious’, Masahiro Oki does not mean ‘relating to an established religion or believing in it’. He means ‘with a spirit similar in quality to that of religion beyond name and form’. So, this title means “What is it ‘to live with a spirit like that of religion’?”

religion: Masahiro Oki expressed his philosophy saying that the purpose and value of religion is beyond the name or form of any system, and used the word ‘religion’ to refer to ‘what teaches the most fundamentally important thing in life’.

mind-heart: The 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. Depending on the context, it 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, it is not necessary to distinguish between them. Traditionally in Okido Yoga, we adopt the word ‘mind-heart’ as a translation of kokoro. In this text, I follow the same way.

G. Enhance the four capabilities of your mind-heart

21– In order to enhance human naturalness, it is necessary to enhance the four capabilities: sensibility, intelligence, spiritual power and ability to act. Physical training is required to improve sensibility. Studying is necessary to improve intelligence. Spiritual power is the capability to grasp something invisible. Many people tend to think only of what they can see, but we are also ruled by what we can’t see and what we don’t understand. To solve problems for ourselves and others, we must look for the cause both in the visible and invisible.

H. Treat everything as your own problem

22– To explore both the visible and invisible worlds and find a solution there — this is a ‘religious’ way.

23– With this broad and profound interpretation, you can realise that each thing has a very big meaning. For example, when it comes to encountering someone, it’s easy to think that you encounter them by chance, but if everything that happened up to that time didn’t happen, you wouldn’t be able to encounter them. All kinds of efforts have been made for that to happen. Every single thing, every person, has a very precious meaning for and connection to you.

24– When you realise this, you come to feel “Everything is a chance prepared for me.” For example, when someone comes to me with a problem, I try to think of it as my own problem. If I don’t solve the problem, I will feel I can’t be saved. So I do my best to solve it. This is a mindset in which one feels responsible and connected to all issues. There is no distinction between oneself and others.

25– Only when you can think and feel like this, can you truly love. Many people tend to think and feel that only what appears to relate to them is relevant to them, and that what appears not to relate to them is irrelevant to them. However, when you awaken to a ‘religious’ mind-heart, you come to feel that each and every thing has something to do with you.

26– Then, you won’t feel like blaming or judging people, but will feel like crying together or rejoicing together. When this happens, you will be very calm and at ease.  

Translator’s Note: In the book ‘Last Lectures’ Oki-sensei mentions about a living religion, saying that ‘Living’ means ‘integrated with your practical life’ (P12, in a lecture titled ‘What is Religion’). Also please refer to a lecture titled ‘Life-force is God’ (P47-50).

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