“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
- Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities"
I never read “A Tale of Two Cities” but Charles Dickens’ quote still seems relevant in the modern era. Unfortunately, in this startling age of “discovery,” I’ve found that people are rarely as they seem and appearances can be deceiving. In the midst of a years-long “family feud,” over horrible problems I was never aware of, I’ve had to help shed light on human nature and the reality of life on Earth.
Many people never cared or didn’t understand why I stopped attending my parent’s Presbyterian church when I was in high school (mostly out of boredom), and turned to a Buddhist practice taught by the Japanese-based Soka Gakkai International, over 30 years ago in the late 1980s. In September of 2022, I celebrated 34 years of Buddhist practice and chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, for myself and others, in order to create a more peaceful society.
Back in 1987, an unfortunate incident occurred among people I had believed were friends and whom I had trusted, only to discover decades later, that day I wanted to join the SGI-USA in San Jose, California, was the day, these same people decided to embark on their own personal vendetta against me personally, simply for being who I am. They managed to gather together a large group of people that included additional family members, acquaintances, and other so-called friends to join them in their objective, which was basically to form a plutonium-narcotics based grudge against me out of jealousy and not for any other real reason.
In 2015, I self-published a memoir titled “Never Give Up: Buddhism, Family and Schizophrenia,” and since that time, the problem has manifested itself as a much larger, much more horrific nightmare than I could have ever imagined. I discovered that almost all of my biological relatives (who still insult me to this day) are horrific monsters, worthy of complete and total annihilation, and that they have been united against me since I was very young, depriving me of any and all career opportunities I might have had, lying about me at every opportunity, claiming I was an evil whore my entire life, just as they were – except I was not.
As it turns out, I was not their only victim and many others have suffered throughout their lives as a result of their evil ways. As people throughout the world fight to vanquish this type of mad idiocy, I try to share what inspires me to continue on during times of despair and turmoil when it seems the whole world has turned against me, and that is the SGI and Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, or, according to their own publications, the Voice of Courage and Hope.
Daisaku Ikea's New Year's Poems - Jan 1, 2023
We as mentor and disciple, are unwavering champions of heaven, earth and humanity. Let us illuminate the world with the brilliant morning sun of time without beginning.
The seeds of happiness and enlightenment sprout through life-to-life connections. May you take the lead in expanding our network of youthful Soka women, for the sake of peace together with good friends.
With the resolve, “I am a young flagbearer who will lead the way!” make the triumphant song of our life-affirming philosophy resound to bring peace to all lands, all people.