Q. We had ten years of a good marriage and everyday we were so happy that people would ask, “How can you live so happily as husband and wife for such a long time?” Then I found out that for the past several years, my husband was having an affair with a coworker who was also married. I was so shocked I left home. Since then, my husband came to me many times to apologize and I decided to start all over with him. He seems to be reflecting on his past conduct; however, I cannot forgive him from the bottom of my heart and I am having a difficult time everyday, thinking of the past and hating him. I don’t know how I’m going to continue living with my husband.
(F.J., 37 years old, female, Tokushima Prefecture)
Answer given by Reverend Shinobu Kozeki, Seicho-No-Ie Ordained Minister
In our lifetime, unexpected things will occur. Since your life with your husband was a good and harmonious one, others were envious of you; thus, this must have come as a great shock. I can understand the feelings that led to your leaving home.
I felt repentance and sincerity in your husband when you told me that he had apologized many times to you, and I could only think that he was tempted by an evil spirit (something must have come over him). I admire you for your love and gentleness in forgiving your husband and accepting him.
Seicho-No-Ie teaches the Truth that we are children of God. No matter what may appear in the phenomenal world, “The True Image (the true form created by God) is all good,” and “God is love. Love is the oneness of the self with others and it is also forgiveness.”
Since you have lived the teaching of Seicho-No-Ie, I have confidence that you can live a happier life that is filled with love and trust. I am writing to you in the hopes of lightening your burden, knowing how much you are suffering now so that you may be able to live a better life.
In cases such as yours, it is not only you but just about everyone feels as you do. I have confidence in you. You are not blaming your husband but seeking an answer as to the right thing to do. “Seek and you shall find.”
When placed at a disadvantage by one’s mate, some people launch a counterattack by mentioning the affair the husband had. That only leads to more of an estrangement from each other. In your case, although your husband has repented, you are still feeling hatred. In other words, you are feeling love for your husband while thinking, “I am having a difficult time forgiving my husband from the bottom of my heart. What can I do?”
It is not easy to control your mind. The mind consists of the conscious and the subconscious minds. Our mind is like a huge container that is occupied by 5 percent of our conscious mind and 95 percent of our subconscious mind. Until I came in contact with Seicho-No-Ie, I only knew about the conscious mind; in fact, I thought that my conscious mind was my entire mind.
In your case, you may be using your conscious mind, “I should forgive my husband,” however, at the bottom of your mind, which is the greater part of the container, is your subconscious mind where hateful thoughts continue to exist. What this means is that it takes some time before your subconscious mind makes a complete change.
However, rest assured. When you live the Seicho-No-Ie way of life, your entire mind will quickly change.
For instance, if you keep adding clean water into a cup of dirty water, the dirty water will eventually change into clean water. Similarly, the cup may be thought of as the container of our mind. Dirty water symbolizes hateful thoughts. At Seicho-No-Ie, the Mind Purification Ceremony and Shinsokan meditation serve as the cleansing water. We practice them at the Seicho-No-Ie training centers.
It is not only you but generally it can also be said that the original self (True Image) of the husband is the life that really exists (True Image), however, the deluded form of your husband is in discord with this reality, thus it is the reason why the mind is not at peace. I urge you to attend our Spiritual Training Seminar. Your mind will be cleansed through and through, the anger will vanish naturally and your mind as well as your husband’s will also be at peace.
Dr. Masaharu Taniguchi, the founder of Seicho-No-Ie, teaches us the following in Truth of Life, Volume 1:
“… and arrives at the major enlightenment that he is a child of God. Therefore, an imperfect condition is not his True Image but a false one. He must not think of that which is false as his divine nature and become conceited, personifying arrogance! One awakens to the Truth that there exists somewhere in him a wonderful child of God.” (p. 186)
The deluded husband and you who are angry are both false appearances. Similar to the snake shedding its skin and casting it away, this deepening awareness of a child of God and casting away of one’s false self is the infinite growth that brings you a step closer to God. You are a step closer to God with this problem. I will be praying for you that you will return to a life as husband and wife believing in each other and that this day will come to you very soon.
From Riso Sekai (Ideal World), August 2006 issue, p. 60
© 2006 Reverend Shinobu Kozeki