Keynote Address at the Plenary Session "Religious Plurality and Tolerance"
Chairperson, The World Peace Prayer Society, New York
Ladies and Gentlemen, religious leaders, philosophers and scientists, it is indeed an honour for me to be here today, included among such distinguished guests. I am most grateful for this opportunity to share my thoughts with you on this momentous occasion.
Today it gives me great pleasure to address you on the topic of "Awakening to Our Own Divinity", which falls beautifully under this morning's theme of "Religious Pluralism and Tolerance". For when we come to know the truth of our own divinity, we are able to see divinity in all people, whatever their religion might be. This, I believe, will be our key to living in the twenty-first century.
As we approach the dawn of the twenty-first century, humanity is about to embark on a new way of life. We have come to a turning point in our destiny. It is a turning point in the evolution of Earth, the evolution of humanity, and the evolution of each human being.
Until now, humanity has been hard at work, trying to create a better material life for themselves, for their families and their nations. We have devoted a great deal of energy to this material development. As a result, we have created a thriving material culture and civilisation on this planet Earth. Great scientists have led the way with their research and brilliant inventions.
The development of material culture and civilisation has been an important stage in our development. Now, we are at the end of that stage. It is time for us to step into a new era, a new age. It is time for us to create a wonderful spiritual culture and civilisation on Earth.
But how can we do this? Will our old methods be sufficient? What does it mean to say that each human being will create a spiritual culture on Earth?
To me, creating a new, spiritual culture and civilisation means that each human being will create a truly joyful, harmonious and happy way of life.
Each and every human being creates their own way of life, by themselves.
How do we create our life?
We create it when we make decisions.
Everything is determined by our decisions.
When I say "decisions", I mean words.
Words, thoughts and actions are very important in creating our future life. Especially words.
Human beings are constantly choosing words. Whenever we make a decision, we need to choose words.
Where are we going to go? What are we going to do? Which way are we going to choose? All these things are determined by our words.
Words are a vibration. Words are energy. Words have the power to create.
The Bible explains it this way: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". (J. 1,1).
Everything in creation starts with "Word".
That's why we must be very careful when we send out words.
If we send out bright, positive words, expressing the harmony, joy and inspiration that arise within us, we will surely create a bright future for ourselves and the Earth. Or, if we speak negative, angry words, for sure we will create a dark future and a dark atmosphere around us.
Why does this happen? It is because we give our energy to either positive or negative words.
Negative words carry tremendous force and energy. If we choose negative words, and send out that kind of energy, we can be sure that the same kind of energy will come back to us. The effects of our words will come out in our lives.
Human beings have infinite energy--infinite power. Yet almost no one notices how they are using their energy and power.
For example, when we cry, when we are angry, when we feel sad, we are using the energy that is within us to sustain that kind of emotion. Or, when we feel happy, satisfied or delighted, we are also giving our energy to those kinds of emotions.
In today is society, almost all people devote their energy to negative emotions. And that negative energy creates a negative way of life for them.
It is very important for human beings to recognise this true principle. If people really knew the truth of this, they would never, never use negative words.
At the earliest possible moment, I wish that all human beings would emphatically vow that from now on they will never again use negative words, throughout the rest of their lives. This is because the negative words spoken by each individual make an unharmonious, unpeaceful person, family, city, country and world.
Here is how I expressed it in my book, The Golden Key to Happiness:
By words, I mean energy. If you can refuse evil words, the positive energy in yourself won't it be lost. Again, if you accept words that create happiness, the positive energy within yourself will increase more and more. The wonderful words that you give to others have two or three times more power than the energy that you receive from others. This is the law of the universe; this is truth. Therefore, give all that is within you. (p. 33-35)
Some people are in the habit of using the same negative words, over and over again. For example, they say "People are greedy (or sinful) by nature..." or "War is a part of life..." or "Poverty will always be with us..." or "Life is hard " and so on. These are things that many people say.
If people use words like these day after day, and always keep telling themselves that the world is miserable, poor, sick, or in pain, how can the world ever be released from this pain? It cannot, because they always keep giving their energy to painful situations.
If people really want a world of peace and happiness, they must never get in the habit of using negative words. They always have to send their energy into positive words, words that create the kind of situation they really want.
Also, it is important to keep thinking and saying that everything will certainly get better. Everything will turn out well. We can do it, for sure! We can have a healthy planet filled with happy, healthy people. We are grateful for everything. We can build a Culture of Peace.
If we keep repeating positive words and a positive way of thinking, sooner or later, before we even notice it, the world's ills will eventually disappear. Poverty will eventually be eased.
On the other hand, if we keep using negative words, again and again, over a long period of time, those words will eventually create and reinforce the very situation that we have been talking about.
When people awaken to the enormous power that they wield with their words, their individual lives can definitely become happier. And at the same time, they can spread happiness outward to others.
Words are decisions, and everything depends on our decisions. Our way of life is built on our decisions. From moment to moment, hour to hour and day to day, we are constantly making decisions--determining whether our lives and our world will be happier or unhappier.
Think about it this way. Imagine that you have a daily calendar, where you write your schedule for the coming week or the coming year. Each time you write something in your schedule, you have to decide who, what, when, why and where.
We always have to decide. And once we decide, we write it in our schedule.
Everybody makes their own schedule. They might think that it is only a short-term schedule, for just one week or just one month, but actually those short-term schedules make up our life.
The same thing happens in our mind. We always make a schedule in our mind. What events do we choose? What situations do we pull into our mind? We always have to decide.
Most people decide everything out of habit. They don't realise how each decision affects their life.
If we want to make a new, wonderful, bright and shining world, we have to make each decision carefully. We have to know that each time we choose a word or a thought, we are making a schedule in our mind, and that the infinite energy within us will push our schedule out, into a future situation--just the way we wrote it in our mind.
Most people think that if their life is miserable, it was caused by someone else: their spouse, their parents, their children, or society, or even another ethnic or religious group. But it is not true. We made our own schedule in our mind, through our own, moment-to-moment decisions.
We are completely free to make any kind of schedule that we like. We have infinite freedom, infinite energy, infinite creativity. We can use it any time--any way we like. We can use our freedom for a negative way of thinking, negative actions and emotions, to create a dark life and a dark world. All we need to do is choose negative words and write them in the schedule in our mind.
Or, if we like, we can always choose wonderful, happy, encouraging words, and engrave them in our mind.
From moment to moment we are always making decisions. And all those decisions come together to form the schedule of our life.
Most of the time, people make decisions out of deeply-rooted habits. They consider the choices, and think about which ones will bring them some benefit or advantage. Generally, they do not think much about the happiness of others, of their country, of nature, or the earth. But philosophers do.
I believe that the mission of religious leaders, philosophers and scientists is to reveal the truth that each human being has the power and energy to create his or her own life and destiny. Each one of us is responsible for the future of humanity and our planet. We need to awaken to our own divinity, and recognise that every individual has a unique and indispensable existence in this world.
From now on, we will have to change our habits and help others to change theirs. It is not too late. The right time for it is now.
Now it is time for us to tune into the universal law that guides everything toward perfect peace, joy and happiness.
This law exists within us. It exists in everyone and everything. It governs all things, great or small: the life of an atom, or the evolution of all the planets and stars. It is the law of truth, the law of our divinity.
All we need to do is tune into it - tune in only to what is bright, peaceful and harmonious. Accept only what is bright, peaceful and harmonious. Send out only what is bright, peaceful and harmonious. This is the very essence of prayer.
Everyone, whatever our religion may be, whatever our nationality or ethnic background may be, let us join hands and pray for the joyfulness of everything in creation: animals, plants, mountains, the air, the earth, and the seas.
Let us pray, until each member of humanity has awakened to the law of their divinity, and we create true peace in this world.
Thank you very much. May Peace Prevail on Earth.