A Cosmological Perspective by Michio Kushi
(The following is from the “Order Of The Universe” periodical, Volume 1, No. 5 of October, 1967 based on lectures by Michio Kushi.)
A Cosmological Perspective
Who has grasped the deep significance of our times? Is there meaning and order within the chaos of modern history? It seems as if the world itself were on a pivot, moving towards a direction that all can feel but few seem capable of seeing clearly. Many great thinkers have struggled to express the uniqueness of our age, but most of their efforts have turned into diagnosis. People do not need to be told that something is wrong; they remain unsatisfied and expectant. Those who search for a positive direction flounder because they have lost a unified understanding, a cosmological viewpoint, with the result that their efforts must become analytical and partial.
Modern civilization is indeed hell itself, an example of the dangers of excess on a planetary scale. Excess, whether of quantity or quality, is the cause of all disease; whatever we take in must be discharged, and if our normal functions of elimination, urination, and sweating are not sufficient we must find other ways: anger or violence, for instance, or by blinking. A healthy person will not blink more than three times per minute; his vision will be clear, like a baby’s. Today’s men blink constantly; they are blinded by their desires and fears.
Indeed, desire is the father of our modern world, and fear is its mother. Those whose health is complete and whose judgment is elevated lack these crippling diseases and this world makes very little sense to them. One whose sight is clear and unblinking will see this civilization simply as another form of bowel movement, a transformed manner of discharging.
History is not hard to understand; all that is necessary is a knowledge of the eating habits of the people we wish to study and the application of the Unique Principle. Today we have transportation systems that can take any sort of food anywhere, anytime; chemicalized, processed food, far removed from its natural state; instant dinners, multitudes of delicacies such ice cream and soft drinks, and a growing dependence on drugs and medicine. The result cannot help but be chaos — scattered thinking, schizophrenia on a world-wide scale, cancer, heart disease, broken families. The industrial revolution seemed to be a very great blessing when in fact it has succeeded in destroying the health and judgment of the world.
Our modern conceptions of disease do not go deep enough. The diseases that are treated are nothing but symptoms of a much deeper malaise that has made true men almost non-existent. Today’s men are egocentric; they think that, somehow, they are the center of the universe. This appears in scientific as well as personal modes of thought. Having found that the earth is not the center of the solar system, and that the solar system itself is a fairly small insignificant speck on the periphery of one galaxy, scientists continue to believe that life can only sustained on planets that are fairly similar to earth. This, and every other trend of our scientific civilization, is dualistic and sensory. We tend to appreciate only the things we can see and touch.
Beyond this, our lack of memory is appalling; we easily forget our infinite origin and our lives. There are few of us who respect our parents as we should. All of these traits can easily be traced back to poor eating habits. Heavy dependence on animal products, for instance, produces materialistic, sensory thinking, while sugar is a prime destroyer of memory. Since we tend to eat partially, instead of taking our food in the complete, whole fashion that nature makes it our vision becomes limited and we tend to become ungrateful; since we have not received all that we need, we must continue to take when we should begin to give. This is a deep sickness, because our debts are limitless; when we are given something we must return it ten thousand times, as nature does. Most develop a mentality that thinks power is justice. In spite of the constant flux of life, they become rigid and resistant to change, and without a knowledge of transmutation they must become unhappy and die.
The way of life that we are teaching is not new. It was known to Jesus and Buddha, and it was expressed especially well by Lao Tzu. all of these men, who lived within a few centuries of each other were actually reviving a way of life that had been lost centuries earlier; this wonderful knowledge has been recovered and then allowed to decay many times. Each time it is discovered the interpretation changes, but the basic principles remain the same. Fou-Hi gave it the expression that we employ today, that of Yin and Yang. This way — the manner developed in the I-Ching — is capable of unlimited applications, and its simplicity is such that children can master it.
Once this profound, practical knowledge of the way the universe works was known by an entire world civilization; the Renaissance of human understanding that took place two thousand years ago has suffered many misinterpretations and has plunged millions into slavery. If we can perfect our presentation of this principle, we can establish, once again, a world of peace and harmony, and if we avoid the mistakes that were made before, we can lay the foundation for the millennium — a civilization that can last for thousands of years.
Many cosmic influences are converging today that can help to make this possible — if man will seize the opportunity that they represent. The dreams of great men before us are returning; the Sermon on the Mount, Buddha’s teachings, and countless vibrations from other worlds and cultures, are inundating our planet. Since we are in the hemisphere that face towards the outside of the galaxy, towards infinity, we have an excellent chance of receiving these vibrations and transmitting them into our own dreams of peace and justice.
When we think and dream, we produce vibrations in the atmosphere that become short waves, spirals, pre-atomic particles. They do not dies, but enter invisible worlds that constantly intersecting with the dense world that occupies most of our attention. These particles are not solid, compacted things; they are not the ultimate, indivisible things that today’s scientists believe them to be. There is nothing final in the universe. The particles themselves are spirals, and are composed mainly of space. Matter is nothing more that a sensory image. If we were to remove the space from all the atoms that compose the world, it would crush into the size of a pinhead. Matter is equal to non-matter; all of the things we sea are ghosts, we are eating space.
Modern science has reached this level of understanding. Scientists see that matter appears and disappears according to our psychological condition, that space is empty, that everything is nothingness. Many of them despairing and turn to cynicism, pessimism, existentialism, and atheism — or suicide — when they discover this. The result of years of study and research seems to be a blank wall, complete instability.
But this is where Oriental thought began several thousand years ago. It developed from this point to include a philosophy and a science capable of cosmic understanding and unlimited happiness for those who apply themselves to it. The only hope for modern man is to abandon everything that he has done so far, embrace this principle, and devote himself to it wholeheartedly. This is difficult for many because the successes of science seem to be so overwhelming. Without exception, the dazzling products of modern science are used without regard for peace and justice, because their originators lacked a knowledge of life’s structure. We continue to lack this today. Otherwise, we would not marvel at medicine that does not bring health, at power that cannot establish peace. Once we adjust our thinking to a cosmological angle, we cannot accept the path that Western Civilization is taking, nor can we believe that the benefits that are offered us will contribute to our happiness.
There is no difference between physical and spiritual development, between science and philosophy. The prevalent notions of “spiritual advancement” today are completely false and misleading. Many think that drugs help one’s spiritual understanding; the truth is that they actually harm it. Good physical condition, hardships, and daily activity are the prerequisites for spiritual understanding, which is based on the simple, clear judgment possessed by everyone. When we depend on drugs and doctrines, we lose our liberty and freedom; we become slaves, selling our body and mentality into schizophrenia, arrogance, and selfishness. We must exercise the genuine judgment given us by our parents, Nature, and the universe. This is the only key. Drugs are a thousand times more Yin than sugar; they are sure to cause our youth to degenerate to a degree we can hardly imagine. Who will be left to take care of the world in twenty years? Very few will have the necessary mental and physical health. Drugs should be immediately suspect to those with good judgment. How could they be good for spiritual health when they can’t be taken by children or people? Proper eating is the only way to true health, and this way is open to everyone, regardless of his age or condition.
There is nothing we can depend on, except our own judgment; this is the beginning of true philosophy. To realize the mutability of life, and to develop beyond this point, is true spiritual development. The result is a profound perception of illusion, an understanding of the manner in which it flows and changes. This is the highest expression of God, and this is the origin of Yin and Yang. The understanding of the Laws of Change, the discovery of patterns behind the seemingly flux of life, is the treasure of thousands of years of suffering and wisdom.
The old renaissance of Yin-Yang has passed away. We have the opportunity to revive it and to develop it in new unimaginable ways. Already we have learned how to transmute elements at low temperatures and low pressures–a discovery that could revolutionize the world’s economy. We remember the words of Jesus: “If you have faith, nothing shall be impossible to you.” Nothing is impossible for the one who applies the Laws of Change. If these laws were universally practiced at the table, the entire world would be transformed. Although all religions have stressed the importance of proper eating, none of them knew how to apply their understanding to food in a practical manner. Some simply felt that one’s tastes would change as one developed; others relied on the discipline and tradition, such as the Essene societies and the Zen monasteries. Over the centuries the proper way of eating was lost, because there was never any scientific understanding of its importance, and today it has been completely forgotten — although ritual observances and token fasts remain…
(To read more go here: http://kushipublishing.com/?p=417 )