Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 17: Making the Most of Each Day [17.2]

17.2 Examining the Causes and Effects That Exist in Our Lives in the Present

President Ikeda says that when we elevate our present state of life, past negative causes are transformed into positive causes. He says that we should not be held back by the past; that we can, in fact, transform even the past. Our efforts in human revolution always begin with challenging ourselves from this moment on.

Nichiren Daishonin writes: “There can be no discontinuity between the three existences of past, present, and future” (WND-1, 386). The past, present, and future are not separate from one another, but continuous and connected through the law of cause and effect.

In “The Opening of the Eyes,” Nichiren Daishonin cites a sutra passage that states: “If you want to understand the causes that existed in the past, look at the results as they are manifested in the present. And if you want to understand what results will be manifested in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present” (WND-1, 279).

Buddhism teaches that our life now, at this present moment, contains all causes from the past and all the results or effects that will manifest in the future. This simultaneity of cause and effect means that eternity is encapsulated in the present moment. The teaching of the Mystic Law, the reality of three thousand realms in a single moment of life,1 clearly elucidates this wondrous law of life and the universe.

The Buddha is called the “Thus Come One,” a term referring to the dynamic activity of life pulsing with wisdom at each moment.

That’s why the present moment is what matters, not some time in the future. We need to strive earnestly in faith, deepening our commitment to our Buddhist practice and transforming our karma, right here and now. This is the way to accumulate the causes for happiness, which also contain the effect or result of happiness.

Please be absolutely assured that you have made wondrous causes in the past to be able to work together for worldwide kosen-rufu at this time, and are certain to enjoy marvelous future benefit as a result of your present efforts.

From a speech at an SGI general meeting, Tokyo, November 14, 1992.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.

  • *1Three thousand realms in a single moment of life: A philosophical system established by the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai of China based on the Lotus Sutra. The “three thousand realms” indicates the varying aspects that life assumes at each moment. At each moment, life manifests one of the Ten Worlds. Each of these worlds possesses the potential for all ten within itself, thus making one hundred possible worlds. Each of these hundred worlds possesses the ten factors and operates within each of the three realms of existence, thus making three thousand realms. In other words, all phenomena are contained within a single moment of life, and a single moment of life permeates the three thousand realms of existence, or the entire phenomenal world.