1. I have faith in the unity of life and nature (shizen). Life, which constitutes the trinity of self, neighbour, and cooperative society, further unites with all things in the universe.

Shinichiro Imaoka begins to integrate humans with sentient beings and non-living things into a collective unity. He calls this unity “Life and nature.” What does it mean to have faith into this unity of Life and nature?

The loving relationship that Imaoka has asked me to give to myself and which I try so hard to direct to my neighbour is now to be directed to Nature, including animals, plants, non-living things like soil, rocks, and water, that are essential to life itself. When the unity of the self, neighbor, and cooperative society is further unified with the rest of Nature, the interrelationship between each remains non-hierarchical.

The self is, once more, essential because everything begins from it. The self holds the most power in making these changes possible. This self is mindful of the limits of its freedom (no absolute freedom). It couldn’t completely dominate neighbour, society, and nature, and it won’t be able to try doing so without serious repercussions. The self can’t escape its interdependence with its neighbor, society, and nature.

This self is a self that dives deep down from the surface, sheds its externalities, sees the underlying unity of everything, and performs every action in consideration of the welfare of its neighbor and Nature. Faith in this unity involves faith in oneself to bring this possibility into reality.

I expect this transition to be hard. Personally, this might eventually lead to me becoming a vegetarian, lessening my carbon footprint, and being more mindful of my economic life so as to be less hurtful of nature.

Thinking about this reminds me of my project to embrace simplicity. A subsistent way of life fits well with this project. When life is simpler and less material needs are used, we become less reliant to the economy, which is the very thing we are distancing from. We gain more time and mental space. The self can spend more time developing how it can be more loving toward itself, its neighbour, society, and Nature.

The jiyu shukyo project, the simplicity project, and the tech minimalism project are all interconnected toward a united cooperative world that brings all of us to our freest selves.