Posts Tagged ‘Human Revolution’

by James C. Stephens


Thursday, January 30, 1978 –30 days

Up 5:45. Made calls for daimoku campaign. Raining moderately.

Last night I could not write about my experience, because it was so fresh in my life, so I decided to wait til today.

Before I go into it though, I called Tom Brittingham in Las Vegas. He is going through a lot of human revolution and says he is seriously thinking of coming back to Los Angeles. I will hear from him at 10 this morning.

One of my inner struggles is vanity. As I was reading Pres. Ikeda’s Youthful Diary I was encouraged by one paragraph in his–Thursday, June 2 diary,

“Men thirst after vanity, even I myself. Future life, future leader, must have unshakable power. Never forget the spirit of pathfinders and forerunners–especially in youth. Day after day, age progresses. Wish to make myself catch up with progress, and become its pioneer.”

I feel the same. We have to truly realize we are the pioneers, the sons of liberty, the sons of the American Revolution of this age. If we don’t, if I don’t grasp this fact, I feel I have missed the point of my life.

Foundation in study.

Speed reading–I read too slowly to read all that I wish, no, that I need to read to grasp and face the harsh realities of the intellectual society. All mankind must reach for enlightenment. Must tap power and mercy deep within.

Sunday, February 12, 1978

For the past couple of weeks it has been raining off and on again. We have already far surpassed seasonal norms. Catalina came off their water rationing program. They now can take regular baths again. I bet husbands and wife’s are really happy for that…The rains have not however brought only good, they have brought much grief to many people in Los Angeles. Tornado’s swept El Segundo. Flash Floods, mud slides have left hundreds homeless, and even wiped out one entire mountain community.

It is most Tragic. It is truly as in the Rissho Ankoku Ron*. Water drought, rationing, fires, floods, spiritual famine. People are at a loss.

1978 is definitely a very significant year for my own personal development. This month we are studying through Ho’on Sho which is a Gosho of extreme importance. It deals with the Three Great Secret Laws*, and appreciation. We are studying the section dealing with appreciation. This is truly my human revolution. I realize honestly that I don’t appreciate Pres. Ikeda or the Gohonzon nearly enough. This is extremely important to do however! Bruce, Jerry, Liz and I started a group reading the Human Revolution–all ten volumes. With this campaign as a start it is my determination to develop this appreciation of Pres. Ikeda and become a true disciple. I am little more than a follower now. However! It is my determination to receive extensive training from Pres. Ikeda when he comes to the United States. Until then each moment, I must prepare for that step. I am so distant. Last night at my Chapter Gosho discussion I felt so limited to move or encourage Pres. Ikeda’s YMD. I made a determination from that meeting to develop a pure seeking mind and an appreciative, most appreciative life toward Pres. Ikeda. I voiced my determination at the meeting to fulfill this vow and for all present to become the kind of persons that would get and give the most when Pres. Ikeda comes to the U.S. But it begins not just physically, but to spiritually prepare, when the master is not physically present.

My 1,000,000 daimoku target is nearing. I am 22 hours from completion. My goal is to be finished by Thurs. 2 days prior to our wedding. Friday night, 2/10 I chanted 10 hours. It definitely was an experience. I was tired yet I feel it was worth it.

Did 5 hours today. Happy YMD Senior Leaders meeting today. Much more real unity. Sleep is my campaign now, so, goodnite.


*Rissho Ankoku Ron: Treatise written by Nichiren Daishonin to the Shogun calling for the Pacification of the Land through the Establishment of the True Religion. Nichiren the Buddhist prophet states:

“I have pondered the matter carefully with what limited resources I possess, and have looked a little at the scriptures for an answer. The people of today all turn their backs upon what is right; to a person, they give their allegiance to evil. This is the reason that the benevolent deities have abandoned the nation and departed together, that sages leave and do not return. And in their stead devils and demons come, and disasters and calamities occur. I cannot keep silent on this matter. I cannot suppress my fears.”

https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/2

The core of the Three Great Secret Laws*: The Gohonzon, or the object of devotion of the essential teaching, is the core of the Three Great Secret Laws in Nichiren’s doctrine that represent the purpose of his life. The Three Great Secret Laws are the object of devotion of the essential teaching, the invocation, or daimoku, of the essential teaching, and the sanctuary of the essential teaching.

The Sho Hondo: https://youtu.be/dXS5MwdLW7o

The Dai Gohonzon being inscribed in sumi ink by Nichiren Daishonin.

Inscription of the Dai Gohonzon

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by James C. Stephens


December 18, 1977

Notes from George Williams continue:

“You’ll be the Saviors of the world that’s why! You’ll save the whole people of the world. Historically name to save mankind.

Rich people can become congressman. Senators same thing, Government same thing, they’re cheap. Use money that’s why. School cheap knowledge that’s why, but you’re going to use Gohonzon. That’s why great. You’re going to use Gohonzon as center. That’s why President Ikeda say, “general’s strategy.” You’re going to become general of generals. Gohonzon center that’s why you’re great. You’re going to be great leader. Think of that. Use money and become leader, it’s cheap. Don’t you think?

“Hai!”

Cheat other people and become leader, it’s cheap also. Using money, they destroyed by money, looking for fame destroyed by fame again, we are not looking for such a fame. We look for nothing, but response to President Ikeda’s request, that’s all. He’s not asking us either just only aside that’s all. He’s not telling us who going to be leader of the future. Those with deep response trying to understand what he expects, what he wants, that is a leader of the future. Not trying to tell me whole strategy. You go back to kindergarten teacher tell you what to do. Clap your hands. Come to here, stand up, sit down, say hi. That’s kindergarten way. Tell nothing. But find out way, that is general’s strategy, the general’s way. You got it?

“Hai!”

There is no answer. Only question. Come-that’s all. Assignments only. No clear explanations that is the most difficult thing. No help. Help yourself. SY–sometimes paid nothing. You know Pres. Toda’s business 1950 collapse–everyone doubt Pres. Toda. Quit company, only SY remain to support Pres. Toda. Stick to Pres. Toda. Such a tremendous life to life response. That way no doubt whoever criticize Pres. Toda. SY stuck to Pres. Toda. This is only life condition from now into the future of Soka Gakkai and will be criticized, but together with Gohonzon, stick with Pres. Ikeda, that’s the way. That’s really the real leader of the future. That’s shitei funi (oneness of master and disciple) spiritual status.

Always campaign Pres. Ikeda say, “Before all other, employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra. Shin-nichi now thoroughly realized that the only things he could count on were the Gohonzon and the Gosho (letters from Nichiren Daishonin).”

pg. 15. “Shin’nichi began by determining to win the victory and then traced the process backwards to decide on the first step to be taken in the campaign.”

Gohonzon’s great! Pres. Ikeda say at Osaka. Gohonzon say we win already and then trace backwards. Impossible situation, but he started out with no other way that’s why. Answer is Gohonzon in other words. Your answer, your future in Gohonzon. Only one thing you understand, you’re great already. Nothing greater than Gohonzon. Gohonzon so great that’s why you’ll be great with Gohonzon that kind of way. You try to secure your money. Money great you say. On that occasion in the future money will destroy you. But with Gohonzon that occasion never destroy you. Gohonzon will only build you up.

Second, Gohonzon is only answer, only key to win.

USSN Saratoga Aircraft Carrier

USS Saratoga (CV/CVA/CVB-60), was the second of four Forrestal-class supercarriers built for the United States Navy in the 1950s. Saratoga was the sixth U.S. Navy ship, and the second aircraft carrier, to be named for the Battles of Saratoga in the American Revolutionary War.

Also pg. 15. At first Shin’nichi sank into despair. Although he told not a one, he was in constant torment, day in and day out. “So actually Pres. Ikeda himself really suffered. Many members came from Osaka last October reading this article saying, “Gee, first time we understood SY suffered himself so much. Everyone thought a very joyful campaign. I still remember Osaka headquarters like aircraft carrier so many leaders, Mr. Wada, Yaoi, Mr. Starick, Yano, and all leaders of today from Osaka that time like one plane in and out like Osaka aircraft center. Whole building shaking. Like Saratoga carrier. Like Midway campaign in/out coming back with empty gas tanks to mother boat to refuel and go to another shakubuku campaign.

NSA headquarters going to become like that going to become strong. Come in and fill up confident go again. Fill up confident members, come back again. Just like bombing of confidence when lose all confidence come back recharge again (laughter). So that kind of way that kind of campaign take over in 1979. That kind of mother boat. Then whoever in-out people become Vice Pres. or Pres. of the future. So actually everyone at that occasion take your command and really try to commadere cockpit, flight crew, you’re the one who lead the whole future of Soka Gakkai. That kind of way train yourself, no other special answer A) Question A) Answer. There no such answer that’s the problem. Answer you find out yourself, that’s the saying “Lotus Sutra” is the only answer key to win strategy whole thing.

Ikeda in campaign mode in 1950

Daisaku Ikeda in campaign mode in 1950’s.

Pg. 16. He could not allow the campaign to end in failure for 2 reasons. This is very important two reasons. How SY response to Pres. Toda. First, the defeat would frustrate one of Pres. Toda’s plans. Second it would mean that Shin’nichi would have lost his first full scale battle for Kosenrufu. It would be a tremendous setback in his life, a life dedicated to a supreme mission. He must win by all means. 1979 will be here. Wait til our situation clears up. Joshibu, Fujimbu, Men’s division, but YMD is only organization department division President Ikeda can rely on. Then 1979-pow. Make easy. This is really reason first defeat would frustrate Pres. Ikeda’s plan. Got it?

“Hai!”

Second. Your’s, nay, you would of lost your first full scale battle for Kosenrufu. Think about it. Pres. Ikeda wrote this to SY, but just switch your name there. Read with your name and each time Shin’nichi Y name comes read your name. Then you understand whole thing..If you just read it with SY own name you don’t understand it. You read your own name over SY. Then whole thing makes sense to you.

Pg. 17. “A life filled with suffering is a life truly lived., Shin.” You, your name here. Okay read your name here substitute. A life filled with suffering is a life truly live your name, Shin. what’s your name? (laughter) Shin is somebody, name. Everybody shout your name. What’s your name?

(“Jim, John, Gary, Les, Bruce, etc.” loudly all at once).

A life filled with suffering is a life truly lived Jim. That’s your name. See everytime you read your name in it then you understand. Pres. Toda, Pres. Ikeda talking to you, I’m speaking to you now. Your name, don’t read SY’s name, or somebody’s name. Your name here. Makes whole thing make sense. Then reason because Pres. Toda says pg. 16 central part. “I’m eagerly but patiently to the day when you spread your wings and take to the air.” That everybody today chick today. You’re chicken. Kentucky fried chicken. No wings, no feathers, can’t fly even. If you fly you’ll fall down I know. That’s why you take this work for your future exactly what Pres. Toda telling you I eagerly but patiently looking forward to the day when you will spread your wings and take to the air.”

Pres. Ikeda says to YMD of NSA. None of us is full time priest. Nobody priest. We are all destined to display our full power in whatever field our missions call for. There can’t be a single exception. Others whine it won’t really be Kosenrufu. So your mission will be many many ways. Some of you Congressmen, Senators, Governors, small city of Santa Monica mayor. Anybody can be that in the future.

Dr., profs, and many top leaders of Los Angeles area. Police Chief, Fire Chief, Hospital chief, headmaster, only never professional Homencho. Your profession different. That kind of way everybody has a mission. Please understand this point. Then Pres. Ikeda’s response to develop all members of Osaka future leader, is really happening today. We can say sometimes most of the top leaders of Soka Gakkai Headquarters is from Osaka, too strangely. Mr. Ogehara, Mr. Vic Pres Wada and many top Komeito leaders. Osaka always win, even when Tokyo lose. Osaka never defeat. NSA so far never defeated in campaign. Last year we step back only one year, I’m glad, two years going to be too late I thought. Thanks to all of you in one year we stopped. 2nd year coming August, September, October I feel all were coming back this I really feel! to all of you. Going towards long journey one year is good rest. I think you experienced everything. But that one year is over. Please understand. Honeymoon is over (laughter). Back to work!! One year is long holidays. Never let you have such holiday again, for your future, that’s why. If only for my sake I stop kosenrufu. For you that’s why I have to keep asking lots of things. On behalf of Pres. Ikeda I’ll ask you to do many things. You’ll do it for me?

“Hai!”

Let’s do together for answer for Pres. Ikeda. I can die anytime for him. I tried on time in 1973-1974. Many times. But my life for you until you’ve grown up. I make foundation for you to fly. I’ll be aircraft carrier for you. You command future of NSA. That’s why someday you’ll take over but until then receive training. Could you?

“Hai!”

So this you have to be courageous, more courageous. Just like Edmund. pg. 17. Be Bold, be Bold and everywhere be bold! Pres. Ikeda using Edmund Spencer’s* words. Courage Young men’s division you need courage. If you lose courage you’re chicken. Don’t be coward YMD. YMD should be courageous. Of which Pres. Ikeda can be real proud.  Courageous Young Men’s Division. Courage and Confidence. So anyway today I hope you read again and again this part, this Human Revolution., talk about nothing but your future campaign. If you understand this, understand your future at the same time. Read each time SY your name in it. When you understand Pres. Ikeda wrote to you for your future text. So many guidance you received today. But this is original point., such consistency from beginning to end. As long as your roots are deep enough you can develop your branches, flowers and fruits. You don’t look for next second roots. You are already enough trunk, and you have roots in Osaka campaign. Osaka campaign is roots, don’t look for another roots. I wish you good luck to continue action in 1978. 1978 is really our NSA year then enter 1979 campaign for 700 year Dai Gohonzon ceremony Pres. Ikeda named Los Angeles. Don’t you think this is a great honor?

“Hai!”

Los Angeles he named World Culture Festival. Our city chosen many years ago. 700 years Dai Gohonzon year in L.A. Don’t you think so great honor?

“Hai!”

That’s why I hope you all be straight up. 78 become perfect union, perfect unite. Itai Doshin, Danketsu, ready for whatever his plan going to be. I’m co-ordinator of all such a movement, and you’ll be the whole things to carry on. I’m Yusohan Chief of Pres. Ikeda’s movement. All programs are Pres. Ikeda’s programs. All of us just carry on whatever he says. Going to do it?

“Hai!”

Let’s do it 1979. Dai Gohonzon, 700 year anniversary in America, in California, in Los Angeles, in Santa Monica. How’s that?

“Hai!”

That’s why you’re so great, so honorable and everything is taht way. I wish you good luch and hope 1978 will be your meaningful year and from my heart I thank all of you. You done many things, but 78 will be a more meaningful year for everyone. So enjoy lots of campaign together, okay?

“Hai!”

So thank you very much.

Sancho Daimoku.

Sang song of Human Revolution.

 


http://biography.yourdictionary.com/edmund-spenser

Who was Edmund Spenser?
“Edmund Spenser was a man of his times, and his work reflects the religious and humanistic ideals as well as the intense but critical patriotism of Elizabethan England. His contributions to English literature—in the form of a heightened and enlarged poetic vocabulary, a charming and flexible verse style, and a rich fusing of the philosophic and literary currents of the English Renaissance—entitle him to a rank not far removed from that of William Shakespeare and John Milton.”
 “The philosophy underlying Spenser’s epic combines three strands. Platonism, which (as seen through the eyes of Renaissance commentators) stressed the harmony between love and beauty on the human and divine levels, is blended with the less imaginative and more concrete Aristotelianism of the scholastic tradition, with its disciplined analysis and careful reflection on the moral life, which Spenser had probably learned in school. These two elements are penetrated by a strong Calvinistic Christianity, stressing man’s weakness, his need for a strict moral life, and the total dependence of humanity on the atonement of Christ. Thus the work itself is a fine example of an attempted synthesis between the traditions of Christianity and those of classical antiquity that characterizes all the best productions of the Renaissance.”
World Tribune evidently put out a piece on the Kansai Campaign in 2001. Here’s the link.

by James C. Stephens


December 5, 1977

Over the weekend I attended a Marina District Meeting. Only one Young Men’s Division is there now besides myself. I realize that I must raise more members, YMD. Tonight I talked with Honbucho Mr. Curtis and he said I need to talk more to Mr. Sugano. He said he learned when he was young that youth is time to tell your feelings to shut up, to cover up, ignore them. Unless they come from the world of enlightenment you can’t trust them. They will destroy you. We live in a human society you have to live with people. To get along with people is important. Your feelings are so strong they will ruin you. You don’t have to get rid of them, just control them. It can change very fast.

On the subject of daimoku. Ask yourself when is your favorite time of day to chant. Honbucho said nite bores him. That’s for beer and other things like being a father. I have to be a father til 10:30 after that I have so little time. I chant a lot when I’m happy, very little when I’m not. I get up early before everyone else and chant in the morning about 45 minutes. I chanted a lot when I was a new member. When you have a lot of problems Jim, I don’t think 40 minutes is enough, especially when you’re not in control of the situation.

20141117_085329_LLSTalked with Steven Parker. Wow, we sure had a nice talk compared to days when we were TCD (Traffic Control Division) together in New York. Told him I would send him book called Martin Eden. He’s a writer for Auto magazines. Showed Honbucho my diary. He said I hope there’s a significant change in Volume 9!..Talk to me when you have any problems.

During Gongyo tonight, I really thought about our wedding. With so many people invited it may be unwise. Possibly we should cut it down, since we are going to Israel. Financially it could put us into debt for a long while.

Thursday, December 8, 1977

Tuesday night I was home visited by Mr. Sugano who is our Territory I YMD Chief with Mr. Nagashima. From his visit, I really determined to begin anew! I must fight! Challenge myself! I can do 30 visits a month. Do it! Less theory more action. Encourage your parents in NSA and family by your strong action. You are future of NSA of the world. Human Revolution. Marriage–don’t become domesticated. Trust, President Ikeda and Mr. Williams that’s enough. We are all doing gongyo–human revolution. Have stronger life force–more compassion than others. Less controlled by outside. I took it be be more a true General based on the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

December 6, 1977 is a date I shall make a new beginning from. It is a prime point. During Gongyo I felt rotten, like what are they doing here? But I challenged that attitude and resolved that this could signal a totally new beginning.

Already I’m experiencing new great benefits. Possible landscape job for President of A & M Records. $700 job for one of Rick Coleman’s projects. A new customer next door to Rick’s. A clean up job for Ira Pelofsky, a clean up job for Chuck James partner. All since I made that resolution. Even an unprocurable book in the U.S. book in the U.S.–Dialogue on Life #1–I got from a friend last night. Visited Tony Schmidt last night after library committee.  He got back from Tozan* a new man, what a light bulb. He’s really felt the Kechimyaku and reality of Kosenrufu. He’s brimming over with determination. We have a transfer member from Hong Kong we gave Tony since he got back from Tozan.

Tonight we had a Bucho meeting with Mr. Sugano. Same as my home visit except I could give my determination. He really confessed privately tonight that he felt Beverly Hills YMD really possess something different. Really sharp! We initiated Ode to Youth study three months ago. No one else has yet to do. But Mr. Hall will start beginning of 1978. Mr. Sugano said we all graduated from college. So sharp. However he feels we lack on thing. We lack backing in action. Sort of give up half-way. But so many clever ideas and you all take notes. No other headquarters did I see this! I’m sure you pass this on. But must use this potential develop–carry through 100%!

Tonight felt that Kechimyaku, a mission of Kosenrufu. Immediately afterwards Danny and I went next door to our Chapter YMD’s daimoku toso. We chanted and planned lecture tomorrow night. Goal: to apply Buddhist terms concretely to daily life. Everyone to participate.

Afterwards Hiroshi and I went out. I ate, he had coffee. We had a nice talk and afterwards I dropped him off.

After I got home, I talked to Liz-she seemed depressed, misses me, I of course miss her, but campaign will determine our happiness as mates. I love her deeply. I felt unhappy for her feelings. Chanted one hour to end campaign today. Must write in diary daily.

Goodnite!

 

by James C. Stephens


July 16, 1977

July 16, 1260 was the date Nichiren Daishonin remonstrated with the Kamakura regime through his treatise entitled, The Rissho Ankoku Ron. July 16, 1975 I was in Hawaii for the Pre-Bicentennial Convention. That morning we did Gongyo with Mr. Williams and heard a lecture on the Rissho Ankoku Ron.

In my last entry you remember I maintained that I would not seek a mate until I first struggled with the innate darkness in my life. In other words, I felt what Mr. Williams said, don’t chase happiness, let it chase you, made sense for the first time in my practice. Guess what happened after I sincerely made this commitment?

File1331

Liz Lascar and her Uncle Mose.

 

Well, there is a girl who loaned me the first volume of the Human Revolution to xerox and I kept neglecting to return it. I was trying to follow guidance of Mr. Black had given me to read Vol. I of the Human Revolution. Finally, I decided I had better return it to this persistent joshibu (young women’s division) before I caused some problems. So on June 14, 1977 at 11:00 PM I decided to return it to Liz Lascar. I had never really noticed Liz except in passing. She invited me in for coffee.

Once while I was sick I remember having a really nice conversation with her about a variety of things. She later told me she had never opened up about these things to anyone else before. She invited me to a picnic on a Sunday, but I declined as I was still a bit sick. The long and short of it is I think I love her. I tell you its difficult for me to say that but it’s not an intellectual head trip like before, but damn I’m afraid I am in love. I tried to avoid these things, but I hope and feel I’ve found my partner. The chemistry, the time, and all those crazy things people said about your soul mate seem to be happening to me. Today she left for Japan to see the Dai Gohonzon. I even sort of miss her. I try not to, but I am feeling we are together-sort of Abutsu-bo and Sennichi*. I sent a letter to the Dai Gohonzon with Liz. I am going through major changes believe me. But I look on them as a tool to develop my faith. I really do, and to develop my understanding of my life.

We also made a decision beside waiting a year and see what happens between us, that we would try living together two months to see if we are compatible. I will be moving in shortly. We talked it over with her chapter chief Don Mentzer and he saw nothing wrong with the arrangement.

She should be at about 7:30 p.m. in Japan, Sunday. I hope she is safe and happy.

Good nite Liz.

 


 

Abutsu-bo and Sennichi*: “Also known as Abutsu-bō Nittoku. A lay follower of Nichiren who lived in the province of Sado, an island in the Sea of Japan. His secular name was Endō Tamemori. Tradition has it that Abutsu-bō was once a samurai who served the Retired Emperor Juntoku in Kyoto and accompanied him to Sado Island when Juntoku was banished there after an abortive attempt by the imperial court to overthrow the Kamakura shogunate in what is known as the Jōkyū Disturbance of 1221. According to recent studies, however, it seems more probable that he was actually a native of Sado. When Nichiren was exiled to Sado in late 1271, Abutsu-bō, an ardent Pure Land believer, visited him at Tsukahara to confront him in debate. Bested in debate by Nichiren, who refuted the Pure Land teachings, Abutsu-bō converted to Nichiren’s teachings together with his wife, the lay nun Sennichi. The couple sincerely assisted Nichiren during his exile, supplying him with food and other necessities for more than two years until he was pardoned and left the island in 1274. After Nichiren went to live at the foot of Mount Minobu, Abutsu-bō, despite his advanced age, made at least three journeys to visit him with offerings. Abutsu-bō is said to have died on the twenty-first day of the third month, 1279, at age ninety-one. In 1279 his son, Tōkurō Moritsuna, traveled to Minobu with Abutsu-bō’s ashes and there laid them to rest. Moritsuna continued to uphold Nichiren’s teachings, and his grandson, known by his priestly name Nyojaku Nichiman, went as a child to Fuji where he became a disciple of Nikkō, Nichiren’s immediate successor.”

 

by James C. Stephens


Wednesday, May 04, 1977

Wildflower

Obstacles or sancho shima will arise when we are making headway in our practice. For our district we can say we are making strong headway. As of late we have confronted the demon of death and the demon of insanity. I’m sorry to say that my friend and colleague John DeGomez had a great tragedy befall him this past week. His sister whom I knew committed suicide by hanging herself. I deeply regret that she did and am grieved by this unfortunate circumstance, I send my daimoku to her. Her face is very clear to me. Damn!

The second demon was the X* incident. A girl that, nay a woman in her 30’s, who used to practice in the old Wilshire, caused a scene at the World Culture Center and threatened to slit a member’s throat. She had to be physically restrained. Saturday night she ended up at our discussion meeting. I welcomed her, naive of the fact she had this incident behind her, but nonetheless I sensed a strange feeling.

Tonight we had a district daimoku toso in which Steve Bell, Bruce Barnes and I arrived early in order to meet X* and uninvite her to our meetings. She did come and Mr. Bell put it in very humanistic and rational manner to X*, ‘Hi, sorry we have to uninvite you. Please understand why. We have to go on your recent performance at the headquarters and until you improve your track record I’ll have to ask you not to come to any meetings.’

The way he said it was a bit different and very merciful, but strict. He spoke to her in a mild rational way. I could not have done it. I of course had mixed feelings, but I definitely was against her coming to any meeting if there was any chance that a member might be hurt in the least.  Incidentally, she did leave and it seemed she understood and didn’t leave uptight.

My Young Men’s Division have recently gone through many changes. You know that Jeff Silver finally rolled up his Gohonzon. Now he will be only able to blame himself instead of the Gohonzon for his problems. I sincerely believe this is an important step in his human revolution. He will eventually come back, as soon as he grows up, realizes his shortcomings and realizes the value of the Gohonzon. He needs to learn by facing society along. I feel confident in this.

Two of my other Young Men’s Division are in need of finding meetings closer to their homes. Darrel Schreiner and Walter Johnson. I am in the process of trying to make this happen. Darrel’s practice is so-so, but Walter is doing well and wants a place where he can bus to and fro and become more involved. I’m excited for him. But I’ve got to get my rear in gear and find him a meeting place.

Tom Brittingham had a fling for about a week with some girl from India until some Arab Prince whisked her off to the middle East in his jet. The Gohonzon has an incredible way of protecting members. Amazing! Anyway he’s back struggling with school and practice. I’m not worried. He’s young and has a lot of guts. He’s a good kid, just a bit unsettled and confused. But it will work out.

Last night and afternoon I got my filing system in order. A major accomplishment. I feel 100% better with things in their proper place. Now I can begin many projects I have neglected because the lack of my organization.

Called Pat Flaherty this morning at work in Helena. He has now gotten into Christ, he says. Sent me a letter, but I never received it. Well, he has to practice Christianity to see for himself. He is wanting to know Buddhism’s relationship to Christianity. I can’t relate to him falling into this Christ trip, but then he said it was a good looking girl who gave her Christ experience. And again life is so mysterious the mind so marvelous. I am not in the least discouraged at my shakubukuing him. When he joins, watch out! The guy has so damn much potential.

Friday night Isabel and I are going to a play called Vanities. It’s a comedy. Should be a lot of fun.

 

Each day I will try to advance if only a step.

Yesterday I sent my Japanese friend a letter.

In this way without fanfare we will develop bonds that can never be broken by war, or evil demons or selfish politicians.

I’m trying to correspond more. I feel I am the link to the Gohonzon for a great many people, many friends.

Mission. A growing sense of this is blossoming in my life.

I’m trusting the Gohonzon more. Isabel is not a member, but of course I would like her to practice. I will take my relationship seriously but not filled with anxiety.

The desire grows within me to find my mate.

It’s becoming more exciting as my trust in the Gohonzon, grows. What every happens for my human revolution and growth.

Soon,

Seven years

Each day

seems, no brings

with it

the realization of what

Jiyu no Bosatsu

means to me.

A blade of grass

weak?

No, I don’t think so.

Look at it

she pushes up through

the seemingly impervious concrete.

What does she desire?

I believe to live, to breathe,

to search for its purpose.

Life.

I feel like the seedling

now sprouting its head through

the crust of earth

Seeing, breathing, seeking

Sun,

Seeking a master

for the first time

seriously.


“The days of man are like grass. He grows like a flower of the field.  When the wind blows over it, it is gone. Its place will remember it no more.” Psalm 103:15

by James C. Stephens


January 25, 1977

[I am just including a few notes culled from pages of random notes taken at a meeting in Santa Monica on the Second Anniversary of International Buddhist League Day.]

George M. Williams lecture.

 

‘On October 5, 1960,  President Ikeda stood at Coit Tower in San Francisco looking at the statue of Christopher Columbus and said, “Although today seems like no significant day, 20 years or another 50 years to come, this day will be more significant than when Columbus discovered the continent.”

‘You can already see this as NSA was the only organization recognized to celebrate America’s birthday ( referring to NSA’s New York’s Bi-Centennial Parade on July 4, 1976 down the Avenue of the America’s). The goal of President Ikeda has awakened.

You are to practice Nyo setsu shu gyo– exactly as master taught. The disciple carries on the master’s teaching. The teaching can not be carried on without disciple.

Shin’nichi Yamamoto (Daisaku Ikeda’s pseudonym in the Human Revolution) carried on master’s will. Soka Gakkai was just a handful of small groups. Everyone against Toda. Who remained? President Ikeda tried to carry on master’s confidence toward Kosenrufu. Year 1951.

Most  crucial time-he tried to back master, but carried on mission as disciple of master.

April 2, 1957-President Toda died amidst criticism-everyone said Soka Gakkai will collapse within a few years. But Ikeda  as General Administrator behind the scenes developed the Soka Gakkai. Then up to 750,000 households.

May 3, 1960 rapid growth under Ikeda. Whole Soka Gakkai sincere dedication. Sho Hondo housing the Dai Gohonzon, the true sanctuary, Nichiren Daishonin’s will was completed on October 12, 1972. Besides the Sho Hondo, President Ikeda also was behind the reconstruction of the General Lecture Hall, Sobo’s (lodging halls on the grounds of Taisekeji) and several 100 temples throughout Japan.

Slow growth after the Second World War, but after the death of Toda the organization grew from 750,000 households to 91 nations. People looked down on such miserable members, but only Soka Gakkai established such history.’

 

by James C. Stephens


January 7, 1977

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I finally got a hold of Judy Gold (she had left a message about 2 weeks previous she was trying to get a hold of me) and she suggested I come by and see her that night. Well it worked out she wanted to meet me at the Saloon around 9:30. Right! 9:40, 9:50, she didn’t show. But proof of my human revolution I did not get bummed out needless to say. Rather I had a beer, sat down and no sooner had I sat down when a girl asked if I had a light. Hold it, I’ll get you one. So I sat down at her table and Virdette (as I later found out) had another friend sit down. Her name was Adrian. Well the long and short of it was Virdette knew some people from Outdoor Sports Inc that I did and me being penniless they bought me six beers and we all became a bit high. Adrian and I hit off quite well and I think we might be going out in the near future. She’s going to Northridge CSUN as a Sociology major I believe and her mother is a psychiatrist, father divorced and in Germany, stepfather is a psychologist. So the evening turned out okay!

Left a message at her folks answering service today. Haven’t talked to her as of yet though.

On December 31, New Year’s Eve Day. As you might be aware of I and my father have been searching for an apartment. And New Year’s Eve was no exception. No Luck! But wait! I called Judy and she said come on down in about forty minutes. So looking at Dad, I said, “You don’t mind do you?”

He responded, “No. It’s okay. I’ll look for an apartment.” He didn’t look so happy. So I said, “I’ll make a couple more calls.”

One apartment I looked at a week before the landlord said was $250 a month. We could not afford it. So I didn’t call him back until the 31st. He said, “I’ll be over there in 1/2 hour meet me there.”

So Dad and I scurried over there and found out that an apartment over the garage was also for rent. What we didn’t know was that we had a contender. So the landlord came over and we looked at the $250 one and it was okay, but we were sold on the $150 one. Then the girl came up to look at it. While she was looking at it, the landlord and my Dad and I made a deal on the grounds maintenance for $50 a month off the rent. The girl came out and she said, “Too small.”  We rented it. $100 a month, $50 off for gardening. Not only that but we got a small shed for storing our equipment and behind the garages there was some room for a small vegetable garden, a side of the garage for storing 5 gallon plant containers, a washer and dryer below. It was a perfect apartment for the two of us. More than I ever expected.

The events leading up to this were frustrating, maybe proof of my lack of faith in the Gohonzon. But I keep telling Dad when a place fell through. Obviously it wasn’t meant for us-don’t worry.

Let me tell you Dad was really excited when we got this place! SO WAS I!

Last few days have been raining no maintenance, but you better believe I’ve been busy inside doing painting, etc. Two tobans this week.

Gary Curtis

Gary Curtis

Wednesday night I had my first Toban at the World Culture Center. Mr. Curtis was Chief Toban. About 10:00 PM, Mr. Williams came down. I walked him to his car, opened the door, shut door in the rain and TCD’d him out onto the street. He rolled his window down and said, “Thank you. Goodnight.” I responded, “Take care.”

Words do not do justice to the feeling I got from that experience.

On Thursday, I did Toban at L.A. #1 Headquarters.

January 1st we had an incredible meeting with Rejicho (Mr. Williams) at the World Culture Center. I was a TCD. Russ (Dilando) was in charge. I came late since I found out we needed TCD about 11PM. Didn’t want to ask same guys as night before so I seized the benefit.

New Year’s Eve Gongyo we did at LA #1 with Mr. (Frank) Hotchkiss leading. Saw a film recap of the “Top that Tune” contest. Hilarious!

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From the top of the stairs at 1314 1/2 14th st in Santa Monica, California, Darlene Benson, Zadith Fresquez, Gayle Hammer, Kathy Schindler and Liz Lascar.

Afterwards I was just planning to go home not go out. But Kurt Triffet needed a ride to a party his chapter was throwing for Don Mentzer’s Birthday and New Year’s. So I got invited. What a trip! Met a girl named Gayle. Beautiful experience with the Gohonzon. We became good friends. She’s very nice. (I recall telling her that I had started a study group with Bruce Barnes and we were reading through Daisaku Ikeda’s Human Revolution, but that I was missing one volume. She mentioned that Liz Lascar had a total library and that she would see if she could get her to loan her copy to me).

Human Revolution by Daisaku Ikeda

Will have a phone installed on Thursday. AAO! Communication has been really poor this week. But things are definitely going better.

Adios!