Remembering War, Working For Peace

A Field Of PoppiesThe two minute silence, in remembrance of those who gave their lives in the service of our country, seemed particularly poignant yesterday.

Being the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI has led to greater emphasis on the event.

But we should not forget the true meaning of the silence and why the sanctity of life is so important.

The sanctity of life is known to everyone. At the same time, there is universal confusion about the essential meaning of life’s sanctity. If the sanctity of life can become a solid touchstone of wisdom for all people, then humankind’s destiny to experience war and misery repeatedly can be transformed.

As Sensei explains it: “Kosen means ‘to widely declare.’ Widely implies speaking out to the world, to an ever-greater number and ever-broader spectrum of people. Declare means ‘to proclaim one’s ideals, principles and philosophy.’ The ru of rufu means ‘a current like that of a great river.’ And fu means ‘to spread out like a roll of cloth.’

“The teaching of the Mystic Law has nothing to do with appearance, form or pride. It flows out freely to all humanity the world over. Like a cloth unfolding, it spreads out and covers all. So rufu means ‘to flow freely, to reach all.’

“Just like a cloth, kosen-rufu is woven from vertical and horizontal threads. The vertical threads represent the passing of Nichiren Daishonin’s teaching from mentor to disciple, parent to child, senior to junior. The horizontal threads represent the impartial spread of this teaching, transcending national borders, social classes and all other distinctions. Simply put, kosen-rufu is the movement to communicate the ultimate way to happiness—to communicate the highest principle of peace to people of all classes and nations through the correct philosophy and teaching of Nichiren”It is toward this end, towards Kosen-Rufu, that we Nichiren Buddhists are struggling.

It is toward this end, towards Kosen-Rufu, that we Nichiren Buddhists are struggling.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Birdsong

BirdsongThe final part of the brilliant dramatization, by the BBC, of Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong was aired tonight. It follows the life of a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, who having been involved in a passionate love affair in pre First World War France, finds himself fighting in the trenches of the Somme, in exactly the same area in which his affair takes place.

The screenplay is a masterpiece of interpretation of Faulk’s wonderful book, and encapsulates a rollercoaster of emotions, as Wraysford relives his memories whilst trying to stay alive in the hell-state backdrop of the trenches.

I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t read the book or seen the programs, but it really makes you wonder how the young men involved managed to stay sane in the midst of all the horror and death of, what was supposed to be, the war to end all wars. With all the terror and, all too often, the ultimate sacrifice, it is saddening that we completely failed to learn the lessons provided by the conflict.

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