How does Human Revolution contribute to world peace

Today, the topic of our monthly discussion meeting was “How does our Human Revolution contribute to world peace?” Not something easily packed into an hour or two!

Daisaku Ikeda writes

A great revolution of character in just a single person will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will cause a change in the destiny of all humankind.

Many will have heard of the “butterfly effect” – whereby a small change in the initial conditions of a complex system (like humanity) can result in much larger effects later on. Such effects can be either beneficial or detrimental.

While Ikeda’s observation is not unique, it is certainly true. The greatest achievements and worst atrocities of mankind have invariably begun with an individual’s belief that they have found “the way” to human salvation.

As Bodhisattvas, our solemn commitment to help other beings attain enlightenment dictates that our inner human revolution becomes externalised. While the arhats were content with self realisation and inner nirvana, Budhahood requires we practice the way of the Bodhisattva – sharing this wisdom for the benefit of others through thought, word and deed.

Awakening to our mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth, our Human Revolution means striving to overcome the delusion that the individual “I” is somehow more important – more real – than “other”. When we realise in our hearts that “I” and “other” are nothing more than constructs of a deluded ego, then we can progressively remove barriers between individuals, communities and cultures.

Our gross consciousness perceives only “I”, and in doing so nurtures fear. Clinging to “I” as an absolute reality, we become angry and violent towards “other” because we are ignorant to our interdependence. While we do not feel the pain of others, they become less real to us – we do not recognise the violence in our actions because we are ignorant to the suffering it causes to our deeper consciousness – our Karma. So therefore, our violence to others is actually harming ourselves.

When we poke our eye with our finger, we do not become angry with our finger because we see it as part of “I”. When our loved one stands on our foot we do not “usually” become angry with them because we accept our interdependence with them. When a stranger in the street bumps into us, however, we find the connection has been lost, and we instantly feel threatened. “I” becomes inflamed, and anger quickly follows.

This is because we are focussing predominantly on the “ho” (appearance, manifestation, the phenomenal world) aspect of Myoho. Without understanding the underlying and interdependent nature of “Myo” that is shared between all entities, we cannot realise the Middle Way of Myoho in our lives. Compassion is contingent upon awakening to how “Myo” (nature, emptiness, dependant arising) binds all phenomena.

The act of turning poison into medicine (Hendoku Iyaku) is the result of connecting with Myo – the mystic (cause and effect) nature of the universe – and forming right thought, word and deed.

Nichiren states

It is the mystic entity of the Middle Way that is the ultimate reality

When we can manifest the wisdom of the Middle Way, then our compassion becomes boundless. When we truly chant the Daimoku of faith and live the Daimoku of practice we ensure that the causes we make, however big or small, plant seeds of happiness in the environment and lives of those we touch.

When we truly overcome our most severe obstacles to human happiness, then we experience our own Hosshaku Kempon (Casting off the transient and revealing the true).

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