The pathology of divisiveness drives people to an unreasoning attachment to difference and blinds them to human commonalities. This is not limited to individuals but constitutes the deep psychology of collective egoism, which takes its most destructive form in virulent strains of ethnocentrism and nationalism.My Dear Friends in America, 3rd Edition, p. 446
Discrimination in any form can be seen as a symptom of what Buddhism regards as the human tendency to create divisions and fractures based on superficial distinctions. Discrimination and prejudice fundamentally contradict any understanding of life’s interconnectedness. Sensei explains:
In its essence, discrimination is the act of throwing up barriers of difference among phenomena that fill the universe and establishing a hierarchy of value, thus breaking the bonds that link and connect all things. This is then used to justify oppression and exploitation; as such, it must be condemned as a desecration of the sanctity of life itself.Daisaku Ikeda.Org Peace 2001
Breaking free from patterns of division, hatred, discrimination and mistrust requires a strenuous spiritual effort. It involves redefining what it means to be human, continually reflecting on how we see ourselves and those who are seemingly different from us.
In our practice of Nichiren Buddhism, the phrase human revolution describes this process of redefining our lives through the lens of compassion, courage and wisdom.