ON THE MIDDLE EASTERN SITUATION: Message from Director-in-Chief Masahiko Iburi

(From the Tenri Jiho newspaper, Mar. 30, 2003)

The war that began in Iraq on the 20th of this month is threatening to escalate. To all those affected by the war including the people who were injured or lost their lives, I wish to express my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences, and I pray for the war to come to an end as soon as possible.

Those of us who are followers of the path cannot sit by and watch thinking that this war is something happening somewhere far away, something totally unconnected with us. The reason is that God the Parent has taught us that “the world is a mirror.” This situation, which is unfolding during the first year of our “three years, one thousand days” activities leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, can be nothing less than “our own concern” and ought to be taken by each and every one of us as a serious “knot”–a challenge–that is confronting us.

It goes without saying that the purpose for which God the Parent created humankind and the world was to “see the Joyous Life and thus share in that joy.” God the Parent eagerly awaits the Joyous Life in which all human beings–the equal children of God the Parent–live in joy, respecting and helping one another.

Yet, the world is still plagued by war, as we have been painfully reminded by the current large-scale war. This, despite God the Parent having expressly told us, “Since My intent is single-hearted salvation in all matters, I desire to cut off the root of rebellion quickly” (Ofudesaki III:144), and despite the everliving Oyasama continuing to work to save all humankind. How deep the sadness and regret of God the Parent and Oyasama must be! I feel it is inexcusable to have let things come to this.

What we would be well advised to note is that, in any conflict, whether it be between nations, between ethnic groups, or between individuals, each party claims to be serving a noble cause. Thus, we should not limit ourselves to merely talking about right and wrong. Given that we human beings are endowed by God the Parent with the freedom of mind, we need to turn our eyes to the very use of mind that lies at the root of all conflicts and disputes. That use of mind stems from not knowing the Origin and from accumulating the “dust” of self-centered imagination.

In Instruction Two, which indicates the direction in which we ought to be moving during the current pre-anniversary season, the Shinbashira says: “No matter how advanced our civilization may become, there will always be people suffering from illness or troubled by other things. Their minds will not be saved by the advances of our civilization. That is because they will remain unknowing of the origin and of the ultimate goal of human existence. ‘Now that I shall work salvation unknown until now, it is necessary to make the origin known’ (Ofudesaki IX:29). As indicated by this verse, saving people through teaching the origin is the essence of salvation on this path.”

Taking once again to heart that this path is the “true path that will settle this world,” we ought to dedicate our true sincerity to the Kagura Service, which is performed for universal salvation with the Jiba-Kanrodai as center. Moreover, through our daily and monthly services we must pray that all people throughout the world, who are all brothers and sisters, may sweep their hearts clean of “dust” and replace their minds so as to be blessed with a peaceful settling of the world.

In order for this blessing to be bestowed, however, we must, at the same time, accelerate our progress in conveying the Origin and imparting the intention of the Parent to others. Instruction Two tells us: “‘The mind of saving others is the real truth of sincerity alone and, by this truth of saving others, you are saved’ (Kakisage). With this teaching always in mind, let us keep our thoughts and actions focused on helping others be saved. Setting our sights on realizing the world of joyousness characterized by the perfect harmony of all, let us continue advancing tirelessly toward world salvation.” As indicated by this passage, it is essential for us to keep our sights on world salvation and implement our work diligently, starting right where we are.

All of us followers ought to take the world’s current situation as “our own concern” and rouse ourselves together to advance powerfully along the path of world salvation.

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