October 18 in the frame of the Day of Spiritual Accord, at 14:00 (GMT + 6), Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) will host an International conference themed: "Strengthening interfaith and interethnic harmony as an answer to modern world challenges ".
Masami Saionji, Japan A Shift Toward Spiritualized Thinking: Promoting the Development of Spiritual Culture In today’s society, the most generally accepted logic relates to surface conditions – objects, substances, and phenomena that we can perceive with our five senses. Up to now, humanity has somehow managed to survive with this limited kind of logic. At present, however, we human beings urgently need to tune in to a higher, expanded form of logic. Whereas conventional logic is based on recognition of the visible world and tangible phenomena, this expanded, supra-conventional logic recognizes principles that exist unconditionally in a realm surpassing the visible one.
These absolute principles, which cannot be wholly expressed in words, are known by names such as ‘love,’ ‘dignity,’ and ‘harmony’. These original principles are what give impetus to the various positive values and ethical precepts that have emerged in human society. If we try to go on living without discerning the unseen realm in which these absolute principles reign, we will never be able to find true and lasting solutions to our problems. I say this because a materially oriented way of thinking cannot give us a complete grasp of the realities. No matter how hard we may try to understand what is going on around us, there will always be contradictions and inexplicable elements. There will always be mysteries that exceed the boundaries of our knowledge.
From the limited, materialistic viewpoint that most of us presently have, it is impossible to find satisfactory answers to the most essential questions that arise in each human heart: What is the purpose of my life? Who am I, and what is the meaning of my existence? Up to now, we human beings have been able to get by without giving serious attention to these questions. However, we are now entering an era when it will be impossible to ignore them any longer.
The physical body is visible, but life, or spirit, is not. We can see people who are living in this three-dimensional plane, but we cannot see those who have left it. Yet, simply because we do not see something with our physical eyes, we cannot say that it is nonexistent.
Now, it is time for us to turn our attention from the realm of visible manifestations to the essential realm of life itself. If we stubbornly keep our minds closed to this invisible realm, we will separate ourselves from the flow of evolution and will never graduate from a life of confusion and disharmony.
A Crisis in the Human Consciousness
Each individual on the planet Earth is now approaching a moment of crisis – a crisis in the human consciousness. We are about to take a great leap forward into a new, spiritualized way of living. Together, we must create a new, spiritual culture based on absolute principles of harmony, gratitude, and respect.
This current is already in motion. We can no longer run away from it or expect things to remain as they were. All people on Earth have no choice but to go forward. Even those who have denied or laughed at the idea of spiritual values or a spiritual culture will face a moment when they, too, must create a new, spiritualized way of living.
How can we human beings achieve this task? How can we make the shift from material to spiritual culture? The key, I believe, is to make a shift in our thinking.
During the era of material culture, for most people the primary aim in life was to gain wealth, assets, and power by any means available. In the end, however, achieving these aims did not guarantee happiness. This is because those attainments had been tainted with the unharmonious thoughts of human beings. Ugly thoughts, ignoble thoughts, thoughts filled with hatred, jealousy, possessiveness, alienation, and discrimination: such were the thoughts that prevailed as people struggled against one another to gain wealth, power, and reputation. As a result, one person’s victory was always another person’s defeat, and one person’s success was another’s failure. Therefore, even though people might have gained what they had been aiming for, the discordant emotions which permeated those attainments attracted conditions of unhappiness and disaster.
As a result, up to now it has been extremely rare for even one person to live a life wholly filled with joy, respect, and gratitude. Whenever we gained something, there was always the possibility of losing it to the many people who envied us and hoped for an opportunity to snatch it away from us. Since almost all our attainments have been imbued with unharmonious thoughts and feelings, it has been hard for us to produce anything truly creative or valuable in a materially oriented society. Even when we have tried to use our assets in a positive way, the negative thought energy infused within them has ended up hindering our efforts.
How can we reverse this trend and create truly positive conditions from now on? Positive conditions naturally come about when our thoughts are filled with positive feelings such as joyfulness, appreciation, self-belief, and a desire to be of service to others. When such thoughts become dominant in our minds, we will naturally find ourselves living in harmony with each other, the Earth, and all living things.
From its origin, the human spirit has been endowed with the ability to commune with the fathomless universe by means of inspiration. We also have an understanding of that inspiration, and are capable of exerting it freely. Today, however, people have severed their direct communication with the realm from which inspiration flows. Instead, we human beings have focused solely on strengthening our powers of intellect and emotional expression. In this way, we have developed our conventional standards of logic and rational thinking. Through long years of habit, we have deepened our attachment to this way of thinking, and it has permeated most areas of our lives. As a result, the human consciousness has now become less and less attuned to its spiritual nature than ever before in our history.
Through the influence of today’s commonly accepted logic, we have seen a prodigious development in materialistic science. If science had developed hand-in-hand with our spiritual consciousness, humanity would not have driven itself to the precarious state in which it now stands. Instead, the one-sided development of science and technology, fuelled by the self-protective emotions of human beings, has resulted in wars and religious and ethnic conflicts. Now, our conflict-mentality has brought human society to the verge of self-destruction. And in spite of this, most human beings are still complacently absorbed in further cultivating their faculties of intellect and emotion alone, without tuning in to their inner, intuitive wisdom. If each person goes on in this way, ignoring the immense realm of the mind and spirit that exists within us, we will inevitably drive ourselves to destruction.
In the 21st century, what will add true value to the progress of contemporary science, over and above the work of natural scientists, are the effects of spiritualized thinking. ‘Spiritualized thinking’ refers to thinking founded in love, harmony, and a respect for life itself.
The reason why, in the 21st century, humanity is still living amidst conflict, hunger, disease, and disaster, and is still adding to those conditions, is that individual human beings are still trying to resolve problems with materialistic thinking. If we human beings are not able to discover our intrinsic spiritual faculties of love, harmony, respect, and positive creativity, or to reflect these qualities in our thinking, we will be exposing not only ourselves, but all life on Earth, to increasingly harmful influences.
Dispelling Self-Negating Thoughts
A common deterrent to the development of spiritual culture is self-negating thoughts. By way of example, let us suppose that someone thinks of herself as a helpless, flawed, incapable person. Simply by thinking this way, she is sending a message to other people who have similar thoughts. She is reinforcing the notion that this is a legitimate way to think and live. In observing her self-negating attitude, others are inclined to encourage themselves with the thought: Oh, there is someone who is just as useless as I am. How comforting that is! I don’t mind being wretched if others feel the same as I do. In this way, one person’s self-negating thoughts influence and interact with similar thoughts coming from others, and together they contribute to the decay of society as a whole.
The universe is constantly beaming bright energy vibrations to anyone who will receive them. If we find ourselves falling into a state of self-destructiveness, self-rejection, or self-disgust, it weakens our life force. At such times, it is important for us to make efforts to attune our thoughts to these bright energy vibrations in any way possible.
When the life force of even one person is allowed to weaken, it has a harmful influence on the life force of everything on Earth. It produces an atmosphere in which conflicts, wars, famine, and environmental abuse are easily perpetuated. This is why I say that the responsibility for today’s critical world situation is shared by each individual human being.
If we feel that someone’s life force seems to be weakened, or that he has lost faith in himself, or lost his power to be of service to the world, it is important for us to offer silent support to the person by thinking respectful and encouraging thoughts about him. We must continually train ourselves to where we can maintain an attitude of respect for the intrinsic dignity of the other party, no matter what he might think, say, or do. Our respectful thoughts will resonate to that person, turning into a bright power source for him and, at the same time, for humanity as a whole.
There are a variety of ways in which each of us can train ourselves to develop these kinds of bright, positive thought habits. (Some of them are offered in my book Think Something Wonderful). I sincerely hope that more and more people, particularly those involved in educational work, will continue to explore ways of developing good, powerful thought habits.
Spiritualized Thinking and the Creative Power of Words
Spiritualized thinking is closely aligned with the use of bright, positive words. Indeed, I would even say that the power of bright, positive, words, more than any other force, will play a decisive role in the shift to spiritualized thinking. As I wrote in Vision for the 21st Century, Light-filled words induce light-filled creation, and light-filled creation produces light-filled matter. Because this process follows the universal law, it puts the energy of the universe into motion, making it possible for us to manifest brilliant, noble objects that are useful to humanity.
As the power of our bright, creative words courses through the world, unharmonious conditions such as misfortune, conflict, war, hunger, and disease will naturally crumble and disappear. At all times, the way to achieve this starts with each individual. From one moment to the next and one breath to the next, I hope that each of us will steadily strive to brighten our thoughts and our words, contributing to the worldwide shift toward spiritualized thinking. The responsibility for doing this does not lie with any exemplary leaders, institutions, or agencies. The responsibility resides with each and every individual human being.
Those whose thinking is still firmly rooted in a materialistic world view may find this point difficult to grasp. Therefore, for the time being, I hope that those who are in agreement with it will actively take the initiative in sending out bright positive thoughts and words!
Something Wonderful and New
Nothing is more important for us human beings than to stop clutching at the various thoughts and emotions that keep rising up from our subconscious mind. Rather than entrenching ourselves in those past thoughts and emotions, I recommend that we simply observe them as they emerge, and then let them go.
Dragging the past with us and constantly fixing our attention on it only retards the shift toward spiritualized thinking. This is because the life-energy that we ought to be using for creating a wonderful, spiritual culture is being misdirected into clinging to the past.
Regardless of whether our past experiences have been pleasant or unpleasant, shifting our gaze away from the past and toward the future is a valuable thing to do. For a human being, there is nothing more sublime than new experiences, new truths, and the creation of something wonderful and new.
We human beings are not meant to remain forever immature, incapable, incompetent, undeveloped creatures. Humans are not inherently flawed or incomplete. Neither are we discordant, or ignorant, or ruthless, or uncaring. In essence, we are the existence of divine love and divine creativity itself. When each of us refrains from riveting our attention on the events of the past, and devotes even a small portion of our life power to the development of spiritualized thinking, humanity will move forward on its evolutionary path.
As we progress along this path, we will exercise our incredibly marvelous, heretofore undiscovered capabilities to become perfectly harmonized citizens of Earth. Happiness, health, wealth, joyfulness, respect, and harmony – all these will come to us through the spiritualization of each person’s thinking. This, I believe, is how a wondrous new spiritual culture will take shape on Earth.
May Peace Prevail on Earth
Masami Saionji is the Chairperson of the Goi Peace Foundation (www.goipeace.or.jp), The World Peace Prayer Society (www.worldpeace.org), and Byakko Shinko Kai (www.byakko.org). A native of Japan and a descendant of the Royal Ryukyu Family of Okinawa, Mrs. Saionji continues the work of her adoptive father, Masahisa Goi, who initiated a movement for world peace through the universal prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” As a spiritual leader and lecturer, respected both in Japan and internationally, she has touched thousands of people’s lives through her guidance and inspiration. She travels globally on speaking tours, and has led peace ceremonies in many countries as well as at the United Nations and other international organizations. She is the author of over twenty books including The Golden Key to Happiness, You Are the Universe, The Earth Healer’s Handbook, and Vision for the 21st Century. She is also an honorary member of the Club of Budapest, and a member of the World Wisdom Council. She was awarded the Philosopher Saint Shree Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize of India along with her husband Hiroo Saionji in 2008.