Everyone who comes into this world must eventually die. As long as we live, we will see someone else off who dies before us, and we will experience the painful loss of many loved ones.
In order to transform our grief into nostalgia and to remember with smiles instead of tears, it is important to follow the thoughts of saint Shinran Shonin and Kiyozawa Manshi.
Both of them were not direct visionaries, but they were people who, after much philosophical thought, made the leap from religion to the world of Honen.
They did not explain God by talking about hell and paradise, nor did they say that if you believe in Pure Land Buddhism you will go there after death. Rather they said “happiness in the afterlife is something I have not experienced and hence, I can not talk about it.” It is necessary to spend one ls whole life searching for, or embodying, the reason and truth that Hegel speaks of, based on the premise of humility.
In the process of this search, we may find ourselves helpless and wanting to die.
But it is only when we are aware of our death that we discover how God and Buddha exist. In other words, we do not believe in God and Buddha because they exist, but because we believe in them, and that way of being is not relative but absolute.
This is the discovery of the divine within us. Then the day will come when we will talk about human death not with tears, but with smiles.
Above all, because our lives are limited, the day will come when I realize I should live my life carefully so I don’t make those have gone before me, Haruma, Godai and my parents, worry about me.
(Mostly quoted form the postscript of “Renka no Chigiri” by Kaoru Takada of Kadokawa Haruki Office)
February 15, 2021 Minoru Hirota