Sunday, June 17, 2007

In Pursuit Of Correctness & Truths

I have been engaging e-mail exchanges with one 'cult expert' for several days. He, in his website, has labeled Soka Gakkai International, and particularly my Mentor Daisaku Ikeda as a cult and cult leader respectively.

I highlighted several points to him, and he replied to me with his largely-based on-line resources and news, something people love to read and forward to others. The general mood of this is that the more sensational the news are, the more people being interested in them. Sad to say, however, this is also the face of the common crowd we see of this world today. News of serious nature don't really make a good cup of leisure tea for people to savour; rather they would love to go after emotive tabloid news and entertaining gossips. Such is the mental vacuum of today's humanity.

I replied to him that most, if not all of his information, are from on-line sources. None are seen or heard by himself first-hand. Worse, he would either deliberately or subconsciously go for inaccurate news and reporting, collating them into his database, and comfortably labelling someone or group as of 'cult nature'.

Incidentally, upon browsing through his website, I came to one page of him posting his past history and records. He had committed a few mistakes during his younger days, and along the way, he must have encountered several reservations of his character and integrity by people who do not know him well. He had posted his own records alongside a detailed explanation of what had actually happened, and what has become of him now. He has, in his own view, changed for a better person.

We did an active and lively exchange of mails. He did not come to acknowledge what I have laid down and shown to him, of what the SGI has been doing for the past 30 odd years. He makes no effort in attempting to understand my side of the argument, where I have tried to introduce the ideals of Daisaki Ikeda and SGI to him. Throughout the episode, he had loyally defended his thoughts and perspectives on the credibility and correctness of SGI and Daisaku Ikeda. Painstakingly as it was, I listed out several of his mistakes, namely:

1) ignorant about facts - the members of SGI do nothing less to promote local as well as international Peace, Culture and Education; they do Not engaged in some weird, cult practices that promote self-sacrificing and/ or destructive movements.

2) ignorant about culture - Japanese has one of the highest and strongest tabloid gossiping media culture. Ikeda had been accused of a rape charge, but was filed as a CIVIL suit and not a criminal. At the end of the whole episode, the court dismissed the whole case twice.

3) ignorant about media functioning - all sorts of news go round the world. Papers simply re-publish and re-print them. That's how the 911 or Tsunami can be made known to the world in less than two days. Reporters don't go to the site physically to take the shots and write the news. They merely forward and re-forward the news, print and re-print, and sell their papers. In addition, the episodes of Iraq and Afghanistan showed to the world how the media can be manipulated by people, particularly the politicians.

4) ignorant about history - Ikeda was the first few Japanese to openly declare the importance of normalization of relationship between China and Japan, way back in 1968 when the tension was high and politician killed for upholding that ideal. He held dialogue with Professor Arnold Toynbee in 1975 and have been submitting peace proposal since 1983. His 200th honorary award was from the Beijing Uni, which was awarded to him because of this monumental effort toward peace.

5) inconsistent in analysis - "Soka Gakkai's sordid history" refers to the members doing wrong and Ikeda was held responsible. However, the Pope, with all respect, isn't held responsible for the Catholic priests sexually abusing young boys in the church. A clearly biased analysis here.

While the content may be personal, the underlying issues aren't. Too often, the general masses are being caught up too easily in this invisible web of 'delusion'. They see what they want to see, what trigger their senses and excite their emotions, and take belief in them. While this may not have any grave danger when pursuing entertainment news, ungrounded 'facts' being presented as 'truths' carry devastating harm and severe warping on one's mind and heart - they take root in one's consciousness and sprout from there. Consequently the mind will be distorted and deluded, while the heart corrupted and biased. No longer can the arrow of truth be penetrated into him - he has chosen to live a life based on the sentiments of sensational excitement and superficial presentation. The more the truth is presented to him, the more he'll get disgusted.

Joan of Arc and Galileo are two fine examples in the human history that exposed to us how dark and evil the deluded hearts and minds can be - they both died in the hands of the power-hungered cowards and ignorant religious insanities respectively; those who only took faith in what their minds have told them. In the age of superstitions and fanaticism, both these martyrs sacrificed their own lives when they attempted to forward their own race, immersed in the temporal joy of superstitious divinity and religious means, as well as the ceremonious offering of their souls for a greater mundane, secular power.

"One of the greatest mistake humanity has committed in the 20th century was the mixture of facts and truths, and regarding them as similar," so said Josei Toda, second president of Soka Gakkai. Nothing could be truer than these words. Where the sun rising from the East is a well-known fact, the truth remains that it's the Earth revolving around it. This simple yet universal observation by Josei Toda concluded the repeated tragedies occurred on humanity - superstitious beliefs, upon ignoring scientific analyses and objective observations, became the murderer of truth.

What the world now, as Daisaku Ikeda declared, is a philosophy that awakens the authentic humanism in every single human life. It is only through this flowering of an awakened consciousness that humankind can once more embark on the journey of hope and revitalisation. It is in fact a return to one's own innate nature of pure, innocent joy of knowing another person working for the happiness of others, and not demeaning them.

Without false pretension and make-up, and be basked in the warm light of sharing that joy, happiness, troubles and sadness of another human soul, is truly indeed the actual mission of what we are here for - to live a connected life here in this world, shared by billion others, and making it a joyful place and a meaningful, memorable journey. Without this, all worldly achievements would be like castles built on sand. Fragile and temporal, they would fade away into the channels of history in no time, forever vanishing the footprints marked by a life once existed and present in this world.

2 comments:

stomori said...

一読、感激しました。すばらしいエッセイです。今後とも、ますますがんばってください。

StormRider 謝|羽|豐 said...

Hi Stomori. I do not understand Japanese, but I can tell you're sharing your thoughts with me. Thank you and take care.