The Teaching and Practices of
Honmon Butsuryu Shu
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8. Correct Oneself by Analyzing Oneself:

Great Master Nichiren stated;“The World of the Sacred Pure Land of the Tranquil Light and the repulsive World of Hell are not separate existences. They exist in one's soul. Shakyamuni Buddha was aware of the two worlds, but, we, ordinary people, do not care to understand it. However, by endeavoring in the religion of the Lotus Sutra, one can naturally understand that there are the two worlds, and will find in their mind, a spiritual relief to lead a peaceful life.

(Great Master Nichiren's teachings)

Four kinds of sufferings and eight kinds of pains of life (Shiku Hakku) (Mental Afflictions):

Shakyamuni Buddha elucidated that we cannot avoid encountering the fundamental four kinds of sufferings and eight kinds of pains during our lifetime.

The Four Types of Sufferings are:l). birth. 2). aging. 3). sickness, and 4). death:

The Eight Types of Pains are:1). the pain accompanying one's birth. 2). the pain of getting old. 3). the pain of illness. 4). the pain of death. 5). the pain of separating from those one loves. 6). the pain of meeting those one hates 7). the pain of not getting what one seeks, and 8) the pain accompanying the growth of one's mind and body.

The first sufferings we face are the Four Kinds of Sufferings─birth, old age, sickness and death.─Additionally, are the 8 pains.

A true religion

Shakyamuni Buddha, after expounding the fundamental Four Kinds of Suffering and Eight Kinds of Pain, explained how one can overcome those difficulties:Those teachings are divided into eight categories, known as “Hasshodo" (The Eight fold the Noble Path. It is so called because it leads to nirvana (complete enlightenment). They are:1). right views. 2). right thoughts. 3). right speech. 4) right acts. 5) right living. 6) right effort. 7) right mindfulness or recollection. 8) right meditation.

What is the “Right View"?

Shakyamuni Buddha stated:“First of all, analyze yourself and your consciousness".

We think we know ourselves, but, there is a proverb that says, “We can observe an inch of other personalities, but we cannot see a foot of ourselves". We can see someone else's shortcomings and weaknesses, but are blind when it comes to our own.

Philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) of France, in his book “Panse" (phonetic spelling) wrote:

“A true religion must definitely teach that there is an element of greatness and pitiable factors in men. A true religion must be able to explain the reasons for the astonishing inconsistencies."

Shakyamuni Buddha's teaching, namely Buddhism, from that standpoint is a true religion. It thoroughly examined men's element of greatness, nobleness, foolishness, ugliness, and it preached what path men should take to live peacefully.

Incidentally, psychologist Sigmund Freud, who was active during the latter half of the 19th Century, stated that men's consciousness of self/ego is truly like an iceberg. The submerged portion is larger than the part above the surface of the sea. Likewise, in men's soul, there is an existence of an unconscious mind. It has been verified by various instances that the power of an unconscious soul have a far greater influence on men's movements than that of a conscious mind.

About the same time as Sigmund Freud, a Swiss psychologist Carl Yung researched man's soul and discovered a depth psychology of ancient (past experiences) consciousness or so-called collective consciousness. A similar nature of the theories by the two psychologists is expounded in Buddhism. In recent years, European and American psychologists have taken notice of “Buddhist Psychology" and have begun to take interest in it.

The “World of Consciousness" from the standpoint of Buddhism?

First of all, there are five kinds of consciousness in men. They are:1).Visual consciousness. 2).Auditory consciousness. 3).Olfactory consciousness. 4). Gustatory consciousness. 5).Tactile consciousness. After them, comes the 6th consciousness - the mental consciousness. The six types of consciousness in Buddhism are referred to as “Rokushiki". Deep within the six types of consciousness is the soul called the World of Unconsciousness. It is separated into three stages known as the 7th Ego consciousness (Manashiki), the function of which is to perceive the subjective portion of the eight types of consciousness. It is erroneously regarded as one's ego, thereby creating ego-attachment. The 8th Alaya-consciousness (Arayashiki), the foundation consciousness of one's existence, stores all potential energy for the mental and physical manifestation of one's existence. And the 9th is Buddha nature consciousness.

Detailed explanation on the various consciousness will be omitted, but it should be noted that in the world of men's unconsciousness, various good, bad, pure, impure energetic souls are included. Since these souls are emitted at random from one's own will (unconsciousness), it is difficult to deal with it. It is often said, “He must have been possessed by an evil spirit". “Why did such a nice person do those terrible things?" These words are generally directed at criminals when they were known to be normal persons.

These comments are actions of the unconscious mind.

Devil spirits are actually embodied deep within the unconscious mind that one is unaware of. When its emotions break open at times, it changes one's actions. Therefore, there is no other more dangerous and unreliable existence such as men. No matter how one wants to step on the brakes, it, at times, rebels.