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PARADISE IS A WORLD OF BEAUTY

 

Our members well know that God's Purpose is to create an ideal world where truth, virtue and beauty reign in their perfect forms. Needless to say, the dark forces have a goal that is completely opposite to this, one that fosters falsehood, vice and ugliness. Since falsehood and vice are well-understood terms I don't think any explanation is necessary, but I would like to write a little on ugliness, for that may need some explaining.

There is one mistake which is made by many people in the world; that is, some individuals live in ugliness side by side with truth and virtue, and many others seem to admire them all the more for it.

Let me put this more plainly. Since ancient times there have been numerous virtuous individuals who have done good deeds in service to humankind, but who have been content to wear coarse clothing, eat frugal meals and live in hovels, maintaining a minimum standard of living. If forced by circumstances, of course, it cannot be helped that these individuals have experienced and do experience stark privation. But when this is not necessary and such graceless lives are led by choice, it is not good.

There have always been quite a number of spiritual leaders who have led ascetic lives as a means of self-discipline. They themselves have believed this to be commendable, and others who have observed them living in that way have admired them. Such thinking, however, is erroneous. This is because beauty, which is the most important element, is neglected; and a life of truth and virtue without beauty is a life of truth, virtue and ugliness.

In this sense, our foods, our houses and our apparel should be as wholesome, attractive and beautiful as circumstances permit. This is in accord with God's Will. Above everything else, beauty brings joy and satisfaction not only to us but to all those who come in contact with it, so it can be termed a virtue.

The higher the civilization of a society becomes, the more beautiful everything in it should become also. Consider the lives of barbarians; scarcely any beauty is found in them. Thus, it might be said that the progress of a culture is synonymous with its rate of growing appreciation of beauty.

In the case of individuals, both men and women should take care of their personal appearances so that they give pleasant feelings to others with whom they come in contact. Women especially should try to be as lovely and charming as possible. Perhaps I´m too concerned, but this is the way I feel about it.

The same applies to the interior of a home. If each room is kept clean, if no cobwebs are to be seen in any corners or near the ceilings, if the floors and all the furniture are kept free from dust, if anything unnecessary is kept out of sight and all things are arranged in an orderly manner, not only the family members occupying such homes but their guests and visitors too feel uplifted. And, they automatically feel greater respect for their hosts.

The exterior of a house, if kept in good repair, clean and beautiful though not necessarily expensive-looking, gives pleasure to passersby. This even contributes to the promotion of Japan 's national policy of attracting more tourists. Switzerland is noted for the pleasures experienced by visitors from other lands because of its lovely, clean cities and well-kept parks. I believe it is one of the big reasons so many tourists are attracted to that country, and that we can learn a lot from this example.

I think it is essential that we Japanese should cultivate a greater awareness of aesthetic values. By so doing, not only individuals but our nation as a whole will receive unexpectedly great benefits. Truly beautiful environments are a great help toward inspiring more beautiful thoughts in the minds of the public, and these will greatly reduce crime and other evils in society. If we act upon only this one point, it will certainly serve as a means of furthering the realization of Paradise on Earth.

I myself have loved the beautiful aspects of life since my youth. Even in those days, when I was living in straitened circumstances, I made small flower beds, painted pictures whenever I could find some time, visited art museums and art exhibits as often as possible, and enjoyed the loveliness of Nature especially that of flowers in spring and the red and yellow foliage of trees in autumn.

Now, of course, I have been blessed by God with the means to enjoy beauty to my heart's content. This in turn is contributing to God's Work.

People who do not know anything about my mission in God's Plan sometimes criticize my way of living as extravagant. This is understandable and we cannot blame them. When compared to the lives of the spiritual leaders in olden times, those who spread their teachings while enduring all kinds of hardships, my life must indeed look extraordinary. In the past, the world had to endure the long Age of Night and even spiritually advanced people had to spread their religions while being obliged to endure all the miseries of hell in doing so. But now the time is rapidly changing and the New Age is dawning upon us. Ours is a salvation work which can be carried forward while living in a heaven-like state. This is an important point we should keep in mind.

 

July 11th, 1951

 

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