The Foundation of Absolute Happiness
Based on Macrobiotics Today, September/October 1994, Vol. 34, No. 5
"Introducing Essential Ohsawa"
- George Ohsawa, edited by Carl Ferré
For thousands of years scholars have attempted to solve one riddle, that of love. How does one love and behave so as to be loved like small children? When one loves or wants to love, there always seems to be a contradiction between that love and the freedom that everybody also wishes to obtain and no one wants to sacrifice. Parents' love for their children, a man's love for a woman or vice versa, is not necessarily love. This may, at times, be only one kind of sentimentality or egoism. It is well understood that love is a beautiful thing and everyone really wishes to love and be loved and yet, due to the territorial battle between love and freedom, they are in a state of confusion. No one knows how to solve this conflict between love and freedom.
The unification of love and freedom is, in fact, the only exit from the problem. The principle of freedom and that of love are one and the same. Ignorance of this principle causes all the unhappiness and tragedies of this world. It is due to: 1. Bad memory--memory colorblindness; 2. Weakened powers of reason, colorblindness of reason; and 3. The use of timeworn, outmoded, insensitive, and meaningless words. Imperfect words are the product of colorblind memory and reason. Just as the function of a machine depends on its physical and mechanical construction, our mental and spiritual functions also depend greatly on our way of eating and drinking.
Let's understand some definitions of words that we use for daily conversation. For example, one extremely important word is happiness. Absolute happiness means to accomplish all that one dreams (wishes), as much as one wishes, without depending on any tool or implement or help from others.
What, then, is happiness in a relative sense? This question is very simple to answer if one grasps the meaning of absolute happiness. Relative happiness (happiness of this world) is to accomplish what one wishes depending on various aids or tools and within the social circumstances of the age and times. Absolute happiness is eternal and free, while the other is limited in time and space and is ephemeral and illusory. Relative happiness can be purchased with money, authority, cleverness and trickery, knowledge, or ruthless sagacity. In other words, it may be gained through the use of a tool. On the other hand, happiness in the absolute sense can only be achieved through justice and it causes neither pain nor sorrow to anyone. It is inexhaustible and its usefulness penetrates into every aspect of life. The achievement of this kind of happiness may seem impossible at first, but if one truly grasps the compass of universal order, it is within our power to actually embrace. With this compass of judgment readily at hand and prepared for use, anyone can easily realize and maintain all relative forms of happiness as soon as they present themselves. You will have the potential to realize both relative and absolute happiness as well as anything else you desire.
In ancient times, the word happiness in the relative sense did not exist. This kind of happiness was called unhappiness. If your happiness cannot last for a long time, make no mistake about it, it is relative. Happiness limited either in time or space is nothing but unhappiness itself. If you were to inherit the throne of a king and you could do and have literally anything and everything that you wanted for a period of one, five, or even fifty years, and then in the end you were to be guillotined, would you call this happiness? The Order of the Universe, our compass, is this justice. You must first possess it in order to enter the land of freedom and happiness. If you possess this compass and are able to wield it freely, you have already obtained the kingdom and you can accomplish whatever you choose for as long as you choose to do so. Now perhaps you can begin to see the true meaning and great importance of adaptability, the real compass of happiness.
A truly great person is happy. Heaven belongs to him or to her. One who is great and strong does not engage in verbal disputes. One doesn't attack or ridicule. One embraces everything. One doesn't view hardship as suffering, but rather rises above it and uses it for personal growth and improvement. A truly great person is one who, with his or her own intuitive judgment of universal order, unites all the various miracles of life and nature. People such as this are pure and seem to be invisible, blending through everything. Their heart and mind are the reality of peace and their total activity is justice and freedom. This is nothing more than an application of the Unifying Principle. It will enable you to enjoy life for as long as you choose.
Macrobiotic medicine is a physiological art or technique for the realization of the single most important quality, the superb character of a small child. It is therefore the key to the kingdom of heaven. It is a different kind of medicine that restores youthfulness and freedom. It is a study of health that makes us younger every day without the use of any special treatments or techniques. It is a blueprint for a happy and healthy life. It is extremely practical, simple, inexpensive, and easy to realize for any one, any time or any place. This medicine has a history of more than five thousand years. It is a physiological application of the dialectic principle of life. Now we can answer the riddle of love. To love in the absolute sense is to lead others, born in the midst of eternal happiness and yet unaware of its existence, to trade their insatiable attachment for worldly possessions and their incessant search for ephemeral and fleeting pleasures for the practical realization of eternal happiness. The most practical step towards this is the rejuvenation of our physiological constitution, which is, as we have seen, the foundation of absolute happiness. This compass is an instinctive biologically and physiologically precise tool of justice.
Here is the clue to successful existence: to live and be active, man depends upon food; to live naturally, he must eat natural food; if he lives naturally, a man can be healthy and happy. Since man is a natural product of a natural environment, to be healthy and happy he must eat natural foods. But what are natural foods? They are the ones that our ancestors have used for a thousand years. And they differ from one country and climate to the next. This is why there are so many nationalities, religions, societies, and customs. This is the secret of macrobiotic healing.
End of Article. Author bio-statement: From Essential Ohsawa: From Food to Health, Happiness to Freedom ©1994 George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation, $12.95. Published by Avery Publishing Group, Inc., 120 Broadway, Garden City Park, New York (800)548-5757. Reprinted with permission.