I would like to talk about living spiritually. It may be a little difficult to understand what it means to ‘live spiritually’ but mainly I will talk about how to live and not be defeated by the environment of this world. If left alone, humans will progressively be controlled by their environment. They are prone to excuse themselves by saying, “I am how I am now because of my environment.” People can blame the environment endlessly for why they are unhappy now or why things are not going well.
Circumstances have limited influence
Particularly, those living in the provinces are placed in a difficult environment. There are regions where towns are dying because farming and fishing are suffering from the effects of the weather and tourism is not picking up, and such regions are not uncommon. Given such circumstances, it’s easy to blame the environment for not being able to succeed. Indeed, even seen objectively, there are cases in which the environment does have a significant influence.
It is also frequently the case that people’s lives make a turn for the better when improvements are made in government, the economy, business conditions, relations between countries, and other social conditions.
The real power is in you
However, as a religious leader, I would like to tell you all that the first step for each individual must be to start by doing what you can do. Religion teaches people how each individual should live by using the power of the soul, the power of the mind, a power that you are born with. I believe it is essential that this is taught first of all.
Despite circumstances being objectively difficult, people do rise above it when their hearts are set ablaze. It all depends on your attitude. Your life changes when you change the way you think. This may sound easy to you in words but it is actually quite hard to embrace.
With that, I urge you: Do not let your environment control you. People who are completely controlled by their environment and say, “The reason why I suffer is because of my environment,” may be honest but I’m afraid they are also weak. It is not an easy thing to do but, to them I would like to say, do not be controlled by your environment. Instead, become someone who controls your environment.
To control your environment in a tangible way is not easily done, of course. For example, raising the temperature of the polar region by ten degrees is not impossible, but still very difficult. To change the way you think in such situations, however, is possible. By changing the way you think, you can tackle the challenges head on.
I tell you to, “Not let yourself be controlled by the environment, but master it.” Physically conquering the environment in a materialistic sense itself is near impossible. Changing the temperature or making the wind stop would be difficult. To achieve something big like starting an industry anew also would require the power of many people other than yourself.
There is something that you can do though—that is to strengthen the power of your soul, and nothing else is more important than that.
You are spirit
How then, is the power of the soul made stronger? In order to achieve this, you must first know that a human being’s central power is ‘thought.’ What you imagine when you hear the word ‘soul’ may be a transparent human form, like a ghost. The soul can certainly appear at times to be shaped like the human body but this is not its true form.
The soul is really a mass of energy, and it is ‘will.’ A human being’s true form is ‘thought,’ it is ‘will,’ and it is the mind that thinks, “I want to do it in this way.” This is what the essential part of the human being is. This is what the real part of you, yourself, is. It is said in Japan that when you die you fly off as a hitodama, which is often depicted as being round, like a ball.
The soul is ‘a mass of thought,’ so it does not have a shape. The main part of the entity that is you is actually not what you imagine it to be, but is ‘thought’ – it is ‘will.’ You are the mind itself that thinks, “This is who I am.” This is what you must know.
Finding how you really are
Consequently, by asking yourself, “What am I thinking throughout the day?” you will be able to see what kind of person you are. Answering the question, “What did I think today?” at the end of the day will allow you to have a very accurate idea of what sort of person you are. Use this question and you will also be able to test yourself to see if you can become an angel or Bodhisattva in heaven. “What thoughts did you think today? Think back from this morning. Were your thoughts those of an angel’s? What were your thoughts?” Answer these questions, and you can judge for yourself.
Passion makes everything possible
For human beings, in the end, what is inside matters. There are many ‘appearances’: academic achievement, career background, financial power, physical strength or looks, but these are not all there is to life. You can give a better impression of yourself or fool someone temporarily. But what is important in the end, is what is inside.
If you can summon strong passion within your heart, then nothing is impossible. To be controlled by your environment signifies that you cannot transcend the third dimension. That is why, rise above it and become spiritual. Your soul is the principal part of you. It is your thoughts, and there is nothing that cannot be done with the power of thought.
Your mental strength matters
An important power in changing your environment is ‘mental strength’, a human being’s last resource. You can’t do anything if you are depleted of vigour, mental energy or will. Human beings need mental strength and it is something you must generate for yourself.
Physical strength is also a resource that we have. You can increase your physical strength, even to twice of what it is now, regardless of your age if you walk a lot and train yourself well. However, there are limitations to how much you can strengthen yourself physically. Mental strength, on the other hand, can be increased five-fold, 10-fold, even a 100-fold. That is why, in the end, your last resource is your inner strength.
I sincerely hope that you will not be defeated by the difficult environment of this world and aim to live a spiritual life.