1. I have faith in my neighbour. The neighbour is oneself as a neighbour. If I believe in myself, I inevitably believe in my neighbour.

Faith on other people (i.e., my neighbour) has been a big weakness of mine. My difficulty trusting other people may have been caused by scars from relationships in the past. Even memories of encounters with strangers that were hurtful sometimes trigger me. There is so much work entailed in bettering how I trust others. Even those near me (family and friends) I see more often than I want to as threats.

Shinichiro Imaoka’s wording is interesting. He connects belief in oneself with belief in one’s neighbour, as if one determines the other. In fact, he says that belief in oneself always inevitably leads to belief in others.

The objective watcher believes in oneself believes in the neighbour.

“The neighbour is oneself as neighbour.”

For the self to truly exist, it has to be a distinct entity distinguishable from the neighbour. But while the two is distinct, they share a lot in common. This shared humanity is what makes the neighbour oneself.

Another thing that me and my neighbour share is the fact that we are both our own selves—unique, subjective, and different—even if we are interconnected.

If I listen to myself and trust it, I could also remain open and listen to others and trust them.

Both me and my neighbour are constantly changing vessels because we are open. This openness makes us different. This difference may cause problems and could hurt me.

Like me, my neighbour can always change. They do not have to confer with my river. They could coexist with me and see that we can both be our own rivers. A faith in my neighbour’s ability to see this is what I need to cultivate. That said, this goal is multi-layered and doing it will take a lot of listening, reading, reflection, practice, and mentoring to really imbibe.

Prompt: How can I have more faith in my neighbour’s subjectivity, creativity, and ikigai?

To do

  • Connect this note to your discussion on the self.