Wake Up!

Posted: October 18, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags:

by James C. Stephens


 

Tuesday, May 18, 1976

Wake Up!

Only chasing my dream. “A fool climbs the tree to see the sunrise, while a wise man waits patiently,” an old Chinese proverb goes.

My enemy-Sancho Goma. I should not be chasing or searching for a companion. My heart calls out from loneliness. But life calls for my mission. Jihi-Shakubuku.Sunday we had practice at Angel Stadium for the Anaheim show. What a trip.

Spring.

My primitive nature calls deeply for a mate. But inside I know I must wait. Thousands of miles I have traveled, 25 years I have come. Where she waits. Maybe at the next dawn or the next station. No sense in chasing the rainbow. Someday you’ll discover that it’s inside. One day she’ll bump into you and you’ll know.

Gohonzon has great mercy. Why give its children anything but the best?

Advertisements

by James C. Stephens


May 9, 1976

Pietro da Cortona The Vision of Saint John the Evangelist

Visit to Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Many pieces about the Christian faith. Giovanni Antonio Da Pordenone’s “The Conversion of Saint Paul (1484-1539). Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669) The Vision of Saint John the Evangelist. Revelation of Saint John .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jean Baptiste Greuze-Filial Piety. “The didactic message that Diderot hailed in the Paralytic or The Fruits of a Good Upbringing (exhibited at the Salon of 1763) forces the personages to assume expressive theatrical poses, but does not strip their faces of the superficial sentimentality typical of the Rococo. With this “high-moral coquetry,” Greuze undoubtedly paved the way for the academic painting of the nineteenth century.”

Giovanni Antonio Pordenone
(ca. 1483–1539)

Conversion of St. Paul, early 1530s

Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph shows a scene from the Old Testament book of Genesis, Chapter 48.[3] In this scene, Joseph brings his two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim) to his dying father Jacob so that they can receive the family blessing. According to tradition, the eldest son is blessed with the patriarch’s right hand.[4] However, Jacob deliberately crossed his arms and put his right hand on Ephraim’s (the younger son’s) head and his left hand on Manasseh’s (the oldest son’s) head. Joseph was displeased and thought that his father was making a mistake. When Joseph tried to correct his father, Jacob refused and told Joseph that he was purposefully blessing the younger son.

Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph is a 1656 oil painting by Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn.

 

Domenico Campagnola. “The Good Samaritan” ( I’m not sure if this particular Campagnola painting is on display at LACMA).

Domenico Campagnola Good Samaritan

 

Parable of the Good Samaritan

 

August Rodin. “Eternal Springtime.”

Eternal Springtime by August Rodin

“Rodin modeled Eternal Springtime while planning his monumental project The Gates of Hell, the bronze doors inspired by Dante’s Inferno that were commissioned in 1880 for a planned museum of decorative arts. The Gates of Hell were never finished; the original plaster version is now in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.”

Le Penseur (The Thinker) is located above the door panels. One interpretation suggests that it might represent Dante looking down to the characters in the Inferno. Another interpretation is that the Thinker is Rodin himself meditating about his composition. Les trois Ombres (The Three Shades) stand atop the Gate. The group was initially conceived of as an indepedent figure around 1880 and cast as a composition of three identical figures juxtaposed at slightly different angles by 1904. Rodin’s peers believed The Three Shades signified Dante’s warning, “Abandon every hope, ye who enters here,” which is taken from the inscription above the Gates of Hell in Inferno.” (Wally Gobetz).

Gates of Hell August Rodin Museum Paris

by James C. Stephens


 

May 3, 1976

The following rough notes correspond to General Director George M. Williams’ 16th anniversary recollection of the Inauguration process of Daisaku Ikeda as the third President of the Soka Gakkai.Inauguration of President Ikeda Third President of Soka Gakkai photo

GMW heard of Pres. Ikeda’s inauguration by phone in Washington, D.C. when he was doing his graduate work.

In 1960, 50 or 60 membership. Somu-Administrator general-title of President Ikeda. Two years there was no President of the Soka Gakkai. 1958-May 3. No President. April 2, 1958 President Today passed away.

7th Bell President Ikeda on March 3 gave members vision for Kosenrufu.

2 Bell President Today.

April 14th-Third President accepted. Board of Directors asked President Ikeda many times to accept.

March 30. Kai Izumi-asked President Ikeda personally to accept position of President of the Soka Gakkai. Wouldn’t accept.

First official second approach. April 9th Board of Directors unanimous.

April 9th- Saturday, beautiful day 97 degrees after 5PM President Toda’s ceremony.

Stopped at , went to Honbu late hours Board of Director’s meeting. They informed me. Support President Ikeda to be President of the Soka Gakkai.

Cordially I refuse. Carma came through my whole body. Huge mission. Must be the great karma. Strong and strict and severely.

I’m age 32 still young. That age Nikko Shonin accepted Nichiren Daishonin. Anybody take over President I’m so tired. Anybody–nobody able to talk. My human thinking. My wife watch over me. April 10, April 11, April 11-Monday. Sunny sky, 3:30 in the afternoon.  Special Conference emerged of Board of Directors to nominate third President of the Soka Gakkai. Maybe I’m carrying great mission. Who knows. I refused many times in the past. I have to make up my mind. Dai Gohonzon will make me suffer. Dai Gohonzon is as great as universe and eternal forever existence. Have to ask Dai Gohonzon and maybe take leadership of campaign.

I’m a youth and a man, vigorous and abundantly I have to forge on. Our huge wave, mountains, and desert. Physical conditions are bad. April 11. Number one goal. From May put all my effort into the study of the Soka Gakkai; number two, Zadankai (discussion meetings come first; third, Gongyo will be the prime point of all campaigns.

April 12. Tuesday. Cloudy. Third time keep asking President Ikeda. Director Harashima asked this time and I refused again. In my mind I know the mission. But I can’t answer in two minds. It should be the seventh anniversary of President Toda. He never attended any of the Board of Director’s meetings. He could feel everyone’s suffering. He understood, but he was sorry.  Felt lonely.

April 14. Thursday. Rain after clear. morning. Rainfall stay clear. Broadcast saying it will rain all day. 8:30 left home. Heavy step. Again Director conference. General Director and three Directors asked strongly. Everyone asks strongly. 10:10AM. He was nodding, seemed accepting, but how is my fate going to be. Everyone is jumping in Honbu. Rejicho and President Toda’s family waiting his answer. April 14. This day may a great turning point of my life. Can not help it, can not help, only remembering President Toda. Made a strong determination alone. Next day President Ikeda.

April 15. Thinking to make next campaign strategy toward 7 year anniversary of my master. Now depart. of ______victorious four years continued.

1964. April 2, May 3. I’d like to make a great victory campaign (America send 10 charter jets) completion of Dai Kyakudan. Strong word is follow is this. I am the direct disciple of President Toda. Being trained and trained, not afraid. Now is the time to repay master. Now is time to create history of Japan and history of the world.

Just like sutra. Bodhisattva asked three times and refused. Explained the request four times. Such a campaign as a man, no greater honor than that. Toda Sensei, Disciple Ikeda Daisaku.

May 3. Decided on date. Son of a fisherman Ikeda Daisaku. Father in seaweed manufacturing. Finally stand at head of campaign for Kosenrufu.

Shotenzenjin-Buddha’s of the three world’s and ten directions come to protect such a job. Buddha function movement never think this time, so important this practice is to the world. Am I afraid?

April 16. No matter, my mission protect Dai Gohonzon. Strong faith is key in everything. Such tremendous strength of Buddhism.

May 3. New Constitution of Japan. First Amendment-pursuit of happiness.

Tuesday, May 3, 1960. Fair, sunny day. I’m inagurated the Third President of the Soka Gakkai at Nihon University at 12:00 noon.

Nichiren Daishonin at 32 years 1253, April 12:00 noon. Lecture on True Buddhism.

Diary. General Meeting began. Still tired from last nigh. I can feel my master’s joy and can imagine in closing my eyes. My lifelong one in a lifetime campaign of Myoho going to begin. Beyond life and death. I’m glad my fellow members deeply rejoice with me. Act like leader, but like human being. Act like youth, no matter what must take the lead. Today on my Hosshaku Kempon (Nichiren Daishonin Tatsunokuchi). At moment heavy carma change into true appearance. Show as human being, but act as True Buddhia. Changed provisional life, make true appearance of advent to this world.  I’m 32 years old. May 3-16 years. May 3-25 years ago-President Toda Inaugurated.

On Inauguration speech. Like President Toda in 1951. Several thousand members and within seven years like to reach 750,000 families. 1960-nine years later there were one million families before President Toda passed away.

On April 2, 1958 President Toda passed his target. My goal is to reach three million families within four years. Number two-Build the Dai Kyakuden according to President Toda’s will. President Ikeda went to Redwoods October 5 and also procurred Canadian cedars and other raw materials from Norway, Budapest, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. Third goal is the reformation of religion of Japan. The press said that after President Toda passed away the Soka Gakkai would be corrupt.

Now the Soka Gakkai is fifteen million strong in 80 nations. Many old religious mountains are now just tourist items.

President Toda said after Dai Kyakuden build the Sho Hondo and remodel all kaikans.

His first letter to America. On May 20, George Williams went back to Japan for the third memorial of his father’s death. May 19, LA Times.

President Ikeda received Kaimoku Sho.

Although the Shotenzenjin did not protect.

by James C. Stephens


 

Thursday, March 11, 1976

 

Well, a month has passed since I last wrote you. My, my. Many gallons of water have passed beneath the bridge. As usual I fall in love once a week with a different Joshibu. Luckily none of them know it or I’d have a lot of problems on my hands! Hah!

My campaign to get YMD practicing has taken a turn for the best. Our district is now a new chapter–Marina Chapter.  I got three YMD to receive Gohonzons the first Gojukai of March.

I also prepared them for the NSA Academy Entrance Exam. Richard Fong who I shakubukued from the Mayor’s office Summer Youth Program brought a guest.

Jordan Yee is a hard working medical student at UCLA. He’s from Hong Kong originally.

Tom Brittingham is doing really well. He’s living in his camper to save some money since he had a couple of accidents.

Howard Miramoto, the pharmicist finally got a car. Speaking of car that’s my benefit took, a 1969 VW bug. Still having problems financing it, but it will happen.

Red VW

Wednesday, March 17, 1975

Into a vigorous World Tribune campaign once again. My newest YMD are going through some obstacles partly because of my lack of training. I took 3 new YMD out to eat and it turned out to be a 3 on 1 (me) situation. Questions, questions, questions.

During my Shakubukuing of a new guest I brought, Richard invited Bob and also Howard to some Hindu meeting on Monday night in lieu of the discussion meeting. They all went. Howard sounded bad the next day.

March 23, 1975

Tonight no activities. Got off work early, washed car and clothes.

Went to a couple of movies with Sandy Shore.

I’m really confused and frustrated around girls.

Goodnight. I don’t feel good about this situation.

Tears cloud my eyes, love clouds my mind. Maybe I’m just seeking someone to share my love with. Is this such a bad desire?

Beauty

Posted: October 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

by James C. Stephens


 

February 19, 1976

Matisse line drawing

Beauty

 

At sight

Seeing a beautiful girl

I love the human being

I fall in love so many times

a day,

I think I understand now

It’s beauty and song I love.

To see a Rembrandt or a Matisse

Or a beautiful foggy evening as the sun

sinks behind the horizon

Maybe this Romanticism in me.

I am thinking that many humans

have this beaten out of them or told

beautiful girl- love–sex.

I’m starting to see

Starting to see beauty in a way not

Nice looking girl-sex, but for beauty alone.

Of course Beauty has many ways of shining.

We all seek beauty.

What condition of life does beauty trigger?

Sometimes hunger, or sometimes

my Bodhisattva nature.

Beauty is culture–it provides an oasis

from the ugliness and unhappiness life sometimes deals.

A Radical’s Evening Out

Posted: October 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

by James C. Stephens


 

 Saturday, February 18, 1976

Picked up Laurie Sprague who was having some work done on her car. Laurie and Tom tried out for “A Chorus Line” a hit Broadway musical written by NSA members.

When I got home I called my guest Cindy Schubert, my old friend’s sister and also my friend. I invited her to dinner and my friend Howard, the pharmicist. My Chikabucho called and reminded me that after the meeting we were to promote World Tribune. I told him my plans and we had a good deal of friction. My fault I’m sure (sarcasm). Called Shibucho. Told him, I would follow Chikabucho, no big poisonous exchanges.

Cindy arrived and we gave each other a big hug. Good to see her. Loved our house. We ate dinner; really enjoyable. John DeGomez (my roommate) called and asked me to de-enshrine his Gohonzon. Heavy situation with a from a freak below who threatened to his Gohonzon. So I decided to roll up all the Gohonzon’s for safety’s sake. Anyway, it was a strange situation, but went to meeting.

Cindy was very stern on not going into chanting session. But when the intro of guests section of the meeting opened, she came in real fast. She’s sharp. She enjoyed meeting. I introduced her to everyone, then shakubukued her for awhile myself. She said I have really changed a lot. She took an application and might chant.

File2979

World Tribune campaign right? Quick planning session with Chikabucho and Mr. Hall. He told me, “Why don’t you promote and meet her later?”

I told him, “I think it might not be wise because I had promised to introduce her to someone for two weeks.”

“Well,” he said, “try what you can. It would probably freak her out if you took her promoting. Tell her what you’re doing and is she wants to go, go ahead. Maybe she might get into it.”

I asked her and she said, “Let’s go!”

So 4 YMD and a YWD guest headed off on a World Tribune campaign. One member gave her enough money to fill her gas tank which blew her mind. We proceeded an got three subscriptions. Drove to one place no one home. Cindy said, maybe we should find a phone. So we did and everyone got a soft drink. Called Jeff Silver-two World Tribunes! We stopped by his home in Beverly Hills and had coffee and an enjoyable time. At 10:30 we left for the headquarters where I would introduce Cindy to Vic Paddock from the Art Museum. We all got home after 12.

Cindy said before the meeting she really thought that NSA was a bunch of freaks. I’m really impressed by the people’s sincere happiness and faith in the practice.

by James C. Stephens


 

Friday, January 16, 1976

Tonight we had a very meaningful and significant meeting with our Honbucho Mr. Hall. During the course of the evening a member asked him a question.

“I’m living in my care and was kicked out of my house. I’ve been living in my car 10 days. I was told that this Gohonzon worked. #1 That’s what I’m in for- benefits. I’ve been told by my leaders I’ve been receiving benefits. Now I’m not convinced, sometimes yes, sometimes no. I’m desperate. I’ll do anything to change this situation. What should I do?

Mr. Hall related the fact that he should not be looking at the Gohonzon like, “where’s my job-from the sky attitude. But first ask yourself. Why am I living in my car? No house. No rent paid. Why no rent paid. No job. Why no job-there’s jobs around. Looking for the perfect job? Take anything. Just like working for NSA.

Janitor silhouetteMember: I don’t want to be a janitor for NSA, maybe, but not a janitor.

Mr. Hall: Rejicho (Mr. Williams) was a janitor. You want effect, no cause.

It doesn’t matter what kind of job you have, but rather your attitude. Use this job as a steppingstone to something better. To get ahead in this society everyone must start and try hard. Difference in NSA with Gohonzon you have fortune and most important vital life force and wisdom. So many people in society with hardworking determination, but just rise to the top and then down. But with Gohonzon all those causes will definitely result in good, great effect.