Sato on the Cycle of Life

September 24th, 2007

A diagram from Toru Sato’s The Ever-Transcending Spirit.

“One process [occurring during life] is the simultaneous process of separating the object from the subject and integrating a part of what used to be the subject with other objects (i.e., understanding our existence in relation to others). During this process, we begin to identify more and more with the object by integrating more and more of what used to be the subject with the object. This process enables us to see an increasingly bigger picture of how we exist in relation to others. As a consequence, this process helps us exist in more harmonious unity with other people and things…” (p82-3).

The cycle of life

“Eventually, if we reach a state of complete transcendence, we differentiate everything from the subject (so that the subject disappears) and integrate all objects with other objects and we experience objective unity. However, since objects cannot exist without a subject, we commonly call it subjective unity instead of objective unity. In sum, we begin by venturing out of subjective unity into the world of conflict between subject and object and then we end by returning back to subjective unity. Therein lies the beauty in the cycle of our lives. It is like a story with a peaceful beginning, conflict and excitement in the middle, and then a peaceful ending after the climax. This is probably why Black Elk, the well-known wise man of the Lakota native North American tribe says, ‘The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves'” (p83).

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