President's column Vol.2
It was 3.8 billion years ago that organisms first came into existence.
There is something that has been consistently passed on since then.
It was when I was in first or second grade at elementary school.
There was something that just kept mystifying me.
I kept wondering why I was able to move so freely even though I had no idea how my body actually worked.
I was the kind of kid that would break any toy shortly after it was given.
This was because I had the strong urge to understand its mechanisms.
This compulsion was much more pronounced than the desire to treasure something for a long time.
Although that was my nature, I knew it wasn’t realistic to open up my body to figure out how it worked.
Why did I become so intrigued?
When I think back, I feel like back then I intuitively knew that I was just a spirit in a borrowed physical body.
That’s why I could not understand why I could move freely even though I did not understand the mechanism of the physical body and there was no need to turn on a switch.
This is actually one of the ultimate mysteries in modern brain science.
While the functions of different parts of the brain are being revealed little by little, there is very little known about where the commands originate.
No matter how much the study of science develops, the truth of this matter may never be proven despite constant speculation.
Dual control by the physical matter and the spiritual being.
If the intuition I had as a young boy was true, what significance does that have?
First, let’s look at the physical body.
Approximately 13.7 billion years ago, when the vacuum energy became extremely active, a rapid expansion happened, causing the Big Bang to occur.
A ball of fire expanded rapidly at a rate that exceeded the speed of light and later turned into the present state of the Universe.
The Universe contains as many as 100 billion galaxy clusters that are observable, each of which contain approximately 100 billion stars.
Then it happened 9.9 billion years later.
On the planet called earth, which rotates around one of the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy called the sun, organisms came into existence.
Has this happened in other galaxies?
Has it happened in stars thousands of light years away?
Although no one really knows, it is said to be a miracle if it has.
Over the next 3.8 billion years, organisms made considerable progress.
As one generation changed to the next, from the child to the grandchild and then to the great grandchild, evolution became more diversified and refined.
It was 50,000 years ago that modern humans finally emerged.
Now let’s talk about the spiritual being.
The spirit itself also progresses.
Since the beginning of time, modern humans have aspired to achieve growth of the spiritual being.
In Western culture, there is Greek philosophy, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, while Eastern culture includes Indian philosophy, Buddhism, Confucianism and Shintoism.
They all intertwine in a complex manner and encourage followers to perpetually work toward the development of the spirit in order to seek truth.
All human beings, no matter what their religion, or even if they are atheists, always have strived to become a better person.
What are the achievements that modern humans have made in the physical body and the spiritual being?
To give an extreme example, let us compare humans and monkeys.
The absolute difference between the two lies in whether or not they demonstrate altruism.
Human beings can base their behavior and actions on unselfish concerns for other people’s benefits, whether to act on their interests or remove their disadvantages, and are not solely attached to their own well-being.
In other words, I believe humans are living organisms with a higher self.
Is altruism really that hard to achieve?
It is easy to give it a specific term and define it as a spiritual idea.
What makes altruism difficult to achieve is the fact that there is a discrepancy between the physical self and the spiritual being.
We are struggling as a mixture of the physical being and the spirit.
Such dualism is suffocating us in the effort to become one.
We all grow up being trained to believe that there is always a meaning for everything.
If a child asks, "Why are humpback whales hairy around their mouths?" an adult would answer, "It is to drain the water they take in when they swallow thousands of krill at once."
If we are to follow our common practice and pose a question to get an answer, it is only natural to wonder "What exactly is the purpose of the Universe and all living beings?"
The Universe’s long history of 13.7 billion years and the evolution of organisms that dates back 3.8 billion years.
If there was an experiment conducted on one of the trillions of stars to figure out the end result of the evolution of the human spirit, what a daring, grand and pure attempt that would be.
What they will find in the end through extensive experiments would probably be altruism, or love.
Author : Susumu Kawaguchi
Chairman & CEO
Nutri Co., Ltd
Illustrator : Nakajo Junichi