- I have faith in a cooperative society. Both oneself and a neighbour, while each possessing a unique personality, are not things that exist in isolation. Because of this uniqueness, a true interdependence, true solidarity, and true human love are established, and therein a cooperative society is realized.
I need only to look within me and my memory to be convinced that to love my neighbour as I do myself is true and this path shall forge the world I want to live in. I shall focus on thinking about the practice of love and how I can embody it daily toward myself, my neighbour, and the world.
This third statement by Shinichiro Imaoka can work even if one believes that constituents of the universe are first independent entities. It will even work if one is a metaphysical dualist (metaphysical dualism is not ethical separation). No matter what the metaphysical status of the self, the only commitment the statement asks is faith on an obvious fact of reality: we are dependent on others and the world to exist and thrive in this life.
The statement also asks that we recognize the uniqueness of each person. If we see the self as bundled and ever-changing like a river, then it is easy to see how a person can be unique.
I have written many times that our adherence to certain things and institutions reflect faith. For example, our adherence to a government reflects our faith in representative leadership. None of these assures that we we will live a good life. If nothing is assured and everything requires faith, then I should choose whom I will give my faith to liberally.
Having faith on the ever-changing river that is me and my neighbour means I will never put up walls to inhibit the flow. Instead, in my daily dealings and my work, I will be partial in my belief that I and my neighbour can always change and will always change and that I should help myself and my neighbour embrace our true uniqueness and, therefore, freedom.
I am aware that this free, ever-changing river that makes each of us unique could be the root of division like war. But I chose to be open, listen, and trust on the ability of this uniqueness to create a vibrant, beautiful world.
Lastly, many will dismiss a belief in the possibility of a cooperative society, where uniqueness leads to interdependence. This is almost an anarchic utopia that is both pluralistic and cooperative. The world doesn’t seem to be going this way. But I believe in this utopia. I will die working to bring forth one.
How can I spend more time bringing such a world forth in my own way?
- How can I show my faith on the uniqueness of each individual?
- How can I show faith that this uniqueness in each individual holds the potential for interdependence, solidarity, and love?
- How can I show faith that a cooperative society is possible?