Self and Society

Self and Society: A Buddhist View of the Human Condition

  • Author: Nakano Ryoshun
  • Kindle Price: US$2.99
  • Published: October 6, 2018

When times are good, the world is bright and sunny like Southern California. At times like these, religion is the last thing on our minds as we cruise through life with the top down. We think to ourselves, like the cossetted children of the ruling classes, “Who needs religion? Religion? Meh.” But that’s not all there is to it. For the longer we live the more we find that things did not always turn out quite as we expected, did it? We got the position we wanted only to find ourselves pressed against the glass ceiling at the top. We got the car we wanted only to find ourselves stuck in traffic going nowhere. We were lucky to meet the most wonderful person only to find her gone too soon. History informs our decisions, religion helps us accept them.
At one point our school, the Higashi Honganji, the East Temple of the Original Vow, was not doing so great in the postwar era. At that time our head administrator Miyatani Hōgan (1882–1962) issued a white paper laying bare the plight of religion and calling on everyone involved to do more. In that same year, 1956, Nakano Ryōshun published this book, Self and Society (originally titled Jiko to shakai). It addressed the problem of religion today in simple terms, believing it would appeal to young people who are really the hope of the future. (From Afterword)

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