Wisdom described by the book entitled “The Age of Confession”
“ii) Aim for an Age of Wisdom and Mercy
Hajime Tanabe, the philosopher I quoted earlier, also said, “Although freedom and equality contradict each other, one thing which could unify them would be ‘fellowship.’ I believe that love between friends will build a bridge between freedom and equality.” Let me explain this in my own words. I would like to tell you that the coming age will be the age of wisdom and mercy instead of the age of freedom and equality. Freedom and equality will have to be replaced by wisdom and mercy.
This is the principle of a great shift that will allow humanity to begin a new civilization. People have sought freedom and equality as the rights of an individual. Because everyone pursued their own rights, one right clashed with another, causing wars and giving rise to all sorts of conflict and confusion. I do not think this was what we really needed.
According to Buddhism, freedom corresponds to wisdom. You will become free through wisdom. By acquiring true wisdom, you will be free from any attachment, and have clear-cut solutions for any problems involving this three-dimensional world and the higher dimensions.
Wisdom has the power to really set you free. What you need is wisdom. This is not a right, but a duty.
Because Buddha is the embodiment of wisdom You,
the children of Buddha,
also have wisdom You must fully apply this
You must use your wisdom fully to live
Through this difficult three-dimensional world
Wisdom is not an innate right
But a duty with which you are innately charged
Wisdom is the precondition for you to live freely
Without wisdom, destiny disturbs you
Without wisdom, circumstances influence you
Without wisdom, wrong teachings sway you
Without wisdom, the material world distracts you
The concept of freedom should be replaced by wisdom. In the same way, the concept of equality should be replaced with mercy, as well as wisdom. Buddha is always filled with desire to help people, save people, and make them happy. Then, as a child of Buddha, what is the wish you should have? Is it right to take a defiant attitude and claim, “Because Buddha is the embodiment of mercy, he has a duty to save us.
We have the right to be saved!”
Though not as extreme as this, True Pure Land Buddhism, a major sect, adopts a similar attitude. Its teaching is so egoistic that it claims, “Because Amitabha is striving to save human beings, we will be instantly saved as long as we recite his name repeatedly.” The sect spreads its influence in this way. It may give people an opportunity to start walking the path, as well as serving to promote the sect.
However, in their argument right and duty are reversed. Even though Buddha is devoted to saving human beings, you are not supposed to conclude, “It is Buddha’s duty to save us, and we have the right to be saved.” If you think this way, you will never be free of the darkness of this world. Certainly, Buddha has a responsibility to save human beings, but out of his mercy.
Humans are children of Buddha. Therefore, as the duty of Buddha’s child, you must be compassionate. Living compassionately is what proves that you are a child of Buddha. When you are filled with a desire to guide and help many people, and actually put it into action, you could say that you are living compassionately. Instead of asking for Buddha’s mercy, you must fulfill your duty to live compassionately.
Instead of the “right to freedom” and “right to equality,” you have the “duty of wisdom” and the “duty to exercise mercy.”
Acts of mercy will spread light to all people far and wide. It is mercy, not equality that can save all those who are underprivileged, who are suffering, who are in trouble, who are unfortunate, who are ill, who have dropped out of society, who are frustrated, and who have failed in life.
This is not your right but your duty. And, this duty will also bring you happiness. I once taught you that it is not your right, but your duty to attain happiness. When you realize that it is your duty to be happy, you will change from being a person who just wants to be saved to someone who saves others. Happiness comes from within your own heart and mind.”