My Vision Profile Books Essay Views Museum
Unchanging and Varying | Practice and Realization are Perfectly One
Unchanging and Varying

 From the New Year's Speech, January 8, 2003

The New Year has started off in even more dire conditions, hasn't it?
Given the circumstances of the world today it is clear that the biggest challenge is "peace". I think the simplest way to get there is to rid in our own hearts of the dislike we have of certain people.
We can hope for a global peace as much as we wish but how can we achieve it when we do not even like our own neighbors?
Just do a litmus test, because the simplest way to know whether you have the right to discuss "peace" is to ask yourself if you are disgusted with certain people or wish to avoid them. I believe this is a definite path and a shortcut to peace.
Humans are creatures of emotion that hold grudges and feelings of hatred towards others over trivial matters. It is nobody else but yourself who suffer the most. If you hate somebody it is you who will suffer. The person who is the target of your hatred no doubt suffers too but the person who projects the hatred suffers even more.
It is the pain that you create for yourself; therefore, by looking into your heart, you should be able to see your feelings of hatred towards others.
When you look into yourself and overcome such thoughts, only then can you start discussing "peace".
Because world peace is such a big issue, we must ask ourselves what we can do to contribute. It is just as I say, examine your minds and get rid of feelings of dislike we have for others.

Have you heard of the term "fueki ryukou"? I wrote about it in my books on "the Principles of lifelong integrated education", and it is a term used in the Haiku (the shortest form of Japanese traditional poetry) by Basho Matsuo.
In the dictionary, it says "fueki is the life of a poem that is eternal in its essence," and "ryukou denotes aspects of its continual change that bring new perspectives from time to time."
Moreover, it says that the two concepts of "fueki" and "ryukou" are "both produced from literary art and are therefore fundamentally of the same origin."
That is to say, since they are products of literary art, such as poems and verses, they may appear to be different, they are actually one and the same.
Speaking in terms of what we learn each day, this phenomenal world does not stay constant for even one moment. Everything is varying and changing. However, beneath the phenomenal world, there is an everlasting and unchanging world of essence.
I think this is what is meant by "fueki ryukou", or "unchanging and varying".
We always tend to separate the two.
We may know the essence of "fueki" but there are certain things that cannot be the essence. And if anything, we are always pushed towards "ryukou", towards those things and matters that change. That is what I think. However, if "fueki" and "ryukou" are one and the same and are both real, we must perceive them in the proper light.
The other day I watched a television program featuring a discussion between Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara (prominent medical doctor) and Jakucho Setouchi (Buddhist nun), and they both agreed that we are being "let alive by a greater power". They both agreed, "It is a matter of course that we should return the gift because we are let alive in the first place."
It seems the more one ponders life in a philosophical manner as these two prominent persons have done, the more one comes to discern that we are not alive on our own but are being let alive. And they are able to experience the world of essence and the unchanging, constant world.

The ordinary man cannot easily arrive at those grounds and tends to be halfway in the middle?not being able to submerge oneself in the essential world of "fueki", and not following the actual shift of "ryukou" but only at superficial changes, and being swept away and overwhelmed by them. If "fueki" and "ryukou" are one and the same, we must be able to find the unchanging in the changes and to understand that there is never-ending changes out of the unchanging world.
If you begin to understand these things you will be an expert on life. Are you not being too confused by the phenomenal world? When you encounter something that inconveniences you, troubles you, or makes you sad, do you let them get hold of you and panic?
But when you search for the source of such phenomenon, you will learn that it all comes from the world of essence. So, it should no longer get to you nor confuse you.
"Kuu-soku-ze-Shiki", voidness equals existence, and "Shiki-soku-ze-Kuu", existence equals voidness, which I discussed in my keynote address at last year's international forum, mean that the phenomenal world with forms in difference and otherness and the world of "voidness", the world of essence and equality without forms, are in no way separate but are circulating; this is the truth that I believe is also carried in the term "fueki ryukou".
Basho, being a master in the world of Haiku, was probably enlightened to this truth. He must have seen the world of essence beneath the phenomenal surface. That is probably why he was able to capture the truth in the short 5-7-5 syllable verse, creating so many memorable haikus.

There is one more thing I would like to talk about, and that is the direction of our lives in the future. Japan is currently called an economic superpower; however, I believe that we should strive to become a "cultural mini-country". It does not have to be a big power but though small to have a sparkle that shines ever so brightly.
And to be so, we should not be satisfying our greed with money and material goods. The lust may make our country great, but it would not be outstanding. As I said last year, we must have a heart that "knows when it is enough". The Earth has limited resources and cannot support growth infinitely. It is critical, therefore, to set the whole world in the right direction.
You may recall "Shusho ichinyo", a Zen doctrine that teaches that disciplining oneself (the practice) and enlightenment (the confirmation) are not separate but are in fact the same; that is to say, disciplining self is not a path to enlightenment but is enlightenment itself. I also discussed last year, I believe that to raise the quality of human beings, we should not own too many things. The more you gain, the more you want?that is simply human greed. Once you train yourself to discard things, you may find that the feeling begins to multiply. Even if you do not have enough, you do not lament the lack but instead rejoice in the simplicity. This, I believe, is another essential nature of human beings.
In place of owning things, you can create the qualities for which you will be respected and loved by everybody wherever you go. Develop such qualities in the Japanese people. I would like to see you do that, especially for your children.
Loving people is the most cherished act of all. It goes beyond liking and disliking. I would like to share this with you as the truth I hold. The human society is in such a sad state right now, so please, start by loving people close to you.

Yoshiko Nomura
Director General
Nomura Center for Lifelong Integrated Education
Nomura Center for Lifelong Integrated Education
Yoyogi 1-47-13, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0053 JAPAN
Tel: +81 (0) 3-3320-1861 / Fax: +81 (0) 3-3320-0360

© 1997-2016 Nomura Center for Lifelong Integrated Education