Buddha preached to us the importance of compassion and set forth the law of cause and effect; Christ showed us love and self-sacrifice; Confucius taught us the path of moral behavior; and Moses left us the commandments. They did this for the sake of humanity, and I cannot deny that their teachings did some good for humanity. But the specificity of each one of them played only a part of the betterment of humanity. That is to say, they only set forth doctrine and established commandments to follow. This in itself shows that their teachings have limits; they are not perfect. What we need are teachings without teachings, commandments without commandments, and principles without principles. That is, teachings have to be free and flexible. This, I say, is the manifestation of truth that can be found in the movement of the universe. Take a look at the following example. We have the law whose aim is to correct the wrongs of people. Though there are hundreds and thousands of laws stipulating what not to do, they never fulfill the objective they are supposed to achieve. For they limit their boundaries with words. Just look at the evildoers who are always trying to find loopholes in the law. Since laws are becoming more and more intricate compared to the olden days, the number of crimes should be decreasing, but how ironic it is that the facts indicate otherwise. This proves that my argument is correct.
The scriptures of the Shakyamuni Buddha that are said to number around eighty-four thousand are exactly the same as the numerous, intricate laws.
Now, the only way to completely correct human evil is this: to do some work on the souls that exist within human beings. This is the only way. If one’s soul is purified and cleansed, one will never do any kind of wrongdoing even though one may live, for example, in a world where there is no law. This soul, I say, is the manifestation of an unhindered, free and willing spirit; it is completely free from any kind of law, moral code or commandment; and it is truth itself, being one with the whole universe. In short, it is the heart of Kannon.
“Kannon’s heart and way,” April 11, 1936
What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Published in Glory, no. 21, October 1, 2021