Compass of the Times 227

Compass of the Times 227

Transcending Our Given Conditions

Keiko Takahashi

A New Challenge That Comes with Conditions Attached

It has already been a month since the start of the new year. What aspirations do you have, and what goals have you set for this year?

A new year is, for us, an unexplored land that we know nothing about. Its possibilities and limitations are folded in Chaos, which still has no outline or shape.

The year, however, did not begin brand new without restrictions. Having the flow from last year and the past history as our base and our condition, we have started this year’s progress. It is similar to the fact that our life seems to begin with a clean slate, but rather, it begins on the foundation of possibilities and limitations that our souls have, as well as our life’s conditions.

Our life is akin to a blank canvas on which everyone can freely paint a picture. In principle, it is free for us what we want to draw on it. It is up to each one of us to decide what to paint and how to paint it. Although in principle it is so, it does not mean, however, that everyone can live in such a way.

Even though we have free will by nature for how we walk through the year and how we live our lives, we are subject to great restrictions due to various conditions. It means that our new challenge that begins from a new milestone comes with conditions attached.

How Do We Perceive Our Conditions?

How do we perceive the conditions that are given to us?

The conditions of life are, for example, the qualities of body and soul and the conditions of birth and upbringing that are given to us at the beginning of our lives. The Three Streams of Influence is also included in such conditions.

They are given to us without our asking consciously for them. They were given to us once we were born as things that had already been decided. Things such as our appearance, talent, family background, financial status, kinship, personal connections, and relationships in the community are given to us as something unique to each of us, and they serve as the initial conditions of our lives.

The profound impact of such conditions on our lives is indescribable. Some people think that these conditions determine everything in life. They may wish for what they do not have, thinking, “If I had been born into a wealthy family, everything would have been better,” “If I had better looks, I would have had a more glamorous life,” “If my parents had been more educated and my IQ had been higher, my life would have been completely different,” and so on.

In fact, in many cases, people half-heartedly give up on their lives as if they were someone else’s, thinking that there is nothing they can do about the conditions’ decisive impact, even if they are not satisfied with them.

Transcending One’s Given Conditions Is What Life Is All About

How about you? How do you face the conditions of your life?

There are people who look at their lives with a preconceived notion of what life would be if they had certain conditions. Even if they do not have such a clear picture in their mind, there are probably many who limit or restrict themselves based on the conditions they have.

The conditions of our life are factors essential for us to live our life. Even if we feel inadequate or unsatisfied, we are provided the means to live by those conditions.

But if those conditions are poor or from unloving environments, they will cast a dark shadow over our lives and give many limitations to us.

However, there are things we can understand and we can do because we have had those conditions. The harshness of the conditions can train our sensibilities, bring out our empathy, and nurture our true ability. Not only do favorable conditions bring out our potential, but harsh conditions also bring out a new spiritual state.

And living by transcending our given conditions is, for us, what life is all about. A new year, the year 2023, awaits each of us to see how we will go beyond our own conditions.

Editor’s Note

1. Chaos

Chaos indicates the primordial state, which has yet to have any form or clear outline, nor results or conclusions. There exist various possibilities and limitations, as well as light and darkness harbored within. The origin of the word “chaos” comes from the Greek myth of the primordial deity Chaos. Chaos is a state prior to the beginning of the universe that harbors all light and darkness. It is a state of nothingness, but at the same time, it conceals all possibilities. As the main premise, the special characteristic of Chaos is that it inevitably leads to a way of life that transcends good or bad judgments.
(Excerpted and summarized from page 126 of How to Make Your Life the Best)

2. Three Streams of Influence

Wherever we are, whether it be in a community, a workplace, or an industry, there exist tacit premises, conventional wisdom, values, and a way of life. If we live there without realizing it, we become deeply imbued with the atmosphere of that place. I have called such the Three Streams of Influence—family, place, and era that anyone invariably takes on in life. Family refers to the values and way of life flowing from the family, such as parents. Place refers to the premises and customs flowing from locality and industry. Era is the conventional wisdom and values flowing from the time and society we live.
(Excerpted from page 59 of How to Make Your Life the Best)

Excerpt Translation of G. Monthly Journal February 2023 issue
Preliminary translation by GLA member-volunteers
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