The religiously affiliated, Happiness Realization Party, born from the Happy Science Group, aims to create a form of theocracy that combines politics and religion.
In Japan, there are unfortunately many people who vaguely think, “Shouldn’t religion not impinge upon politics?” The separation of church and state, stipulated in the Japanese Constitution, ensures that “the power of the state shall not intervene in religion”. Thus, the enthusiasm of the Japanese mass media and its political scientists to “bar religion from politics” is actually a complete misunderstanding.
There are ways in which we cannot help but think that it was not all good when there was a cooperation between religion and politics. Fears still exist over imaginary scenarios where other religions might be suppressed like Japanese Shinto was in the pre-war years. People could even be oppressed in the same way that they were in the medieval Christian states or are in today’s Islamic states. People are generally afraid that religious antagonisms and conflicts might continue.
However, history has firmly demonstrated the coexistence of the gods and democracy, and has shown how this has produced human happiness.
We will look at following five points in order to explore the relationship between theocracy and democracy. Number one is the democratic government in Britain, which became the modern-day source for democracy. Two is the democratic government in Greece, which was, to all intents and purposes, a theocracy, and became a source of democracy in the ancient world. Third is Japan’s theocracy in the age of the gods, and the fourth and fifth points relate to theocracies in Ancient Judea and the Islamic states respectively.
Modern Democracy Began With the Idea that “God Speaks to Every Individual.”
The Puritan Revolution occurred in Britain in 1642, and the king, who had abused his right to level taxes, was defeated. This was the start of decision-making in parliament by representatives of the people. Although he ended up behaving dictatorially, the leader of the revolution, Cromwell, said this when he emphasized the debate in parliament:
“We must yield ourselves to god and listen to the voice in which he speaks to each individual”.
Modern-day democracy began with the idea that “god dwells in the words of each individual”.
This ethos was also transmitted to America. The Puritans sailed on The Mayflower in a move to Am
erica in order to escape the Church of England’s oppression. They built the democratic superpower with a mission to make god’s ideal a reality.
The essence of modern-day democracy used to be “people discussing amongst themselves where god’s thinking was to be found”. The intention behind today’s universal suffrage is that “we don’t know god’s thinking, therefore, let’s go with majority decisions made by human beings”.
Greek Democracy Is, in Effect, Theocracy
In Ancient Greece, theocracy based on the oracle at Delphi coexisted with the democratic government of the Athenians.
That Golden Age was the age of the wise man, Solon, who was the first to open up the way for plebeians to participate in national politics. Another of Solon’s exploits was to cancel the debts of poor farmers who had fallen into servitude. Today, this would be seen as simply aiding the poor. Yet, it was a huge issue, which involved the very meaning of the Greek gods’ existence.
Speaking of the ruined farmers, Solon said, “Gaia is wasting away,” and “a bitter agony is welling up from deep in my heart and spreading through me”. Gaia was one of the Greek gods. She was the goddess of the earth, and Solon thought, “When the farmers, that Gaia had nourished, became slaves, the gods, too, lost their freedom”.
The poet, Homer, who lived around that time, said in his epic poem “The Odyssey”, “The voice of the people is the voice of the gods.”
The democratic government of Ancient Greece was at one with the gods and its center of balance weighed rather towards theocracy.
In the Age of the Gods in Japan, the Integration of Japanese Religion and Politics Was Conducted Under “The Democracy of the Gods”.
Japan’s age of the gods had the same integration of politics and religion as the Greeks had, however, I would like to add the fact that there was the existence of “The Democracy of the gods” in the Real World (Takama-ga-hara) from sources such as “Records of Ancient Matters” and “Nihon-shoki”.
Amaterasu Omikami, Japan’s presiding deity, certainly did not hand down important decisions from on high. She always gathered the 8 million gods of Takama-ga-hara together to discuss the matter and reach a conclusion.
When Ninigi no Mikoto was sent from Takama-ga-hara to rule the earth, and when it was decided who to send to “subdue” the land of Izumo, which Okuninushi ruled over, it was not an arbitrary decision by Amaterasu Omikami, but it was deliberated over in a conference of the gods. The Emperor on Earth bore a role, which gave life to the voice of the gods in his rule.
The generations passed, and the Japanese people continued to believe in the “Democracy of the gods”, a tradition that integrated religion and politics, although it changed in form. Shotoku Taishi warned against arbitrary decisions in The Seventeen-Article Constitution, “Things must not de decided arbitrarily. The people must always be consulted.” During the Meiji Restoration, the Emperor Meiji vowed in the Charter Oath that “deliberative assembles shall be widely established and all matters decided by open discussion”.
Japanese democracy began with Takama-ga-hara’s “Democracy of the gods” and, as the ages passed, changed to a style whereby people instead discussed “where the mind of the gods lies”. After Meiji, modern democracy developed in Japan as Taisho democracy, for example, but Japanese democracy was in some ways not a mere “import”.
The Supreme God Elohim Who Guided the Old Testament Prophets
Theocracy was also the ideal in Judaism, which was born in the ancient Middle East, where politics and religion were integrated.
To the Jews, the messiah was both a king and a religious leader in the sense that he was “the anointed one”. Kings, such as David and Solomon, guided the people while listening to the words of god.
Judaism is considered monotheistic but in fact, several gods, giving us a glimpse of a “Democracy of the gods” like that in Japanese Shinto, guided the prophets. A careful reading of the Old Testament even shows that there was a hierarchy amongst the gods.
“God presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the gods” (Psalms 82: 1~8)
This “God” was not Yahweh, the national god of the Jews, but Elohim, the Supreme God and Creator. Elohim was generally referred to by the common noun “god” but he was a god of love, and it is valid to interpret him as a different being from Yahweh, a god of wrath.
Although many of the words of god heard by the prophets were those of Yahweh, the words of Elohim had a universality that transcended the Jewish race, and it was upon them that the prosperity of Ancient Israel was founded.
Many Gods Guided Islam Under Allah
Islam was born in the early 6th century AD, and religion and politics continue to be tightly linked. Politics, which were conducted based upon the Koran and Sharia (Islamic law), imparted to Muhammad by the monotheistic god Allah, brought prosperity to medieval Islamic states.
However, even though Islam was thought to be monotheistic, a “democracy of the gods” like that found in Japanese Shinto and Judaism can be seen. Allah frequently spoke of himself as “we”.
“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” (15:9)
“We created heaven and earth, and all that is between them, simply from Truth” (15:85-86)
Allah was derived from “El”, a variant of Elohim, and was considered the same god as Elohim. Judging by the use of the word “we” in the Koran, many gods below Allah guided Muhammad. The structures of religions that have excelled historically may not be very different.
An Age Where People “Listen Directly to the Voice of the Gods and Deliberate Amongst Themselves”.
We have looked at the history of how the gods and democracy have coexisted in the past.
From it, we can say in the age of the gods, in ancient times, and in medieval theocratic governments people could hear “the voices of the gods” (it would seem that a “Democracy of the gods” existed in the Heavenly Realm). And, because it is not easy to hear the voices of the gods, in modern-day democracy, people instead chose to discuss amongst themselves where the gods thinking lies”.
Master Ryuho Okawa, the CEO of Happy Science, pointed it out in “The Spirit of a Religious Nation” (IRH Press).
“The ideal government is one where ‘statesmen, entrusted by Buddha and the gods, realize their will and carry out actual government’. In reality, people don’t know what Buddha and the gods are saying and thinking so, as ‘a substitute’, a fabrication is employed that “listens to the voice of the people via ballots and the majority vote is doubtlessly the same as the thinking of the Buddha and the gods’.”
In ancient and medieval times, “chosen people” such as prophets, shrine maidens, emperors, and popes handed down the words of the gods, but in modern times, since the Age of Enlightenment, the minds of the gods have been grasped via human intelligence and reason, and people have tried to make happiness a reality.
The Happiness Realization Party Is an “Event” That Was Last Seen 1,400 Years Ago
Then, what position will the Happiness Realization Party hold in this history of the gods and democracy?
Master Ryuho Okawa, the President of Happy Science, has given more than 2,000 lectures and published more than 1,200 books. With regard to spiritual messages, he has recorded more than 250 people in the past three years and published around 170 books. In these publications, the thinking of the gods and the prophets, such as Jesus Christ, Moses, Muhammad, and Amaterasu Omikami, have clearly been revealed (*).
Islam holds that “Muhammad is the last prophet”. It is true to say that no one, who could be called a prophet, has appeared in the world since Muhammad, but an “event” is occurring for the first time in around 1,400 years.
Master Ryuho Okawa explained the significance of this era in the afore-mentioned “Spirit of a Religious Nation”.
“The pretense in the fiction that ‘the voice of the majority of the people is the voice of the gods’ has been removed, and ‘where the true wishes and thinking of Buddha and the gods are to be found” is clearly being transmitted.”
“Democracy has been affirmed in the negative sense of being the minimum fortress required to protect the people from the tyranny of a despot and protect them from the worst. However, we are taking the stance of ‘politics that transcend democracy’ in the sense that they realize the greatest ideals, ‘the ideals of Buddha and the gods’.”
This is an era in which “the words of the gods can be heard”, just as they were in the theocracies of the past.
(*) Spiritual messages, that have been published so far, also include those of Confucius, Lao-tzu, Socrates, Lincoln, Edison, Roosevelt, Edgar Cayce, Gandhi, and Thatcher.
“The Democracy of the Gods” Has Descended Upon the Earth.
That is not all. The gods, whose messages Master Ryuho Okawa is channelling down, include the Greek gods, Japan’s eight million gods, and the gods of the Middle East, and it truly seems that the “Democracy of the gods” has appeared on Earth.
Never before have the voices of the gods been heard on this scale. Why is it possible?
Master Ryuho Okawa has already revealed that he is the incarnation on earth of the Supreme God Elohim (El Cantare) who appeared in the Old Testament. Elohim was the Supreme God who sent messages to the Old Testament prophets, and he was “Our Father” who guided Jesus Christ in the New Testament. He was also considered the same god as Allah, who in Islam sent revelations to Muhammad.
The god, who sent revelations from the Heavenly Realm in ancient and medieval times, is now born upon the earth and is teaching the Truth while also conveying the voice of the gods. It is perhaps, only natural, that the “Democracy of the gods” should descend upon the earth at this time.
The Fusion of Theocracy and Democracy
Even so, that does not mean democracy will start afresh from modern times.
It means the advent of a totally new era where “the voice of the gods can be directly heard, upon which people will debate amongst themselves and reach a deep understanding of the true intentions of the gods”. Thus, the Happiness Realization Party is aiming for a government that legitimately inherits the admirable parts of the theocracy of the age of the gods and of ancient and medieval times, and the democratic rule of modern times.
Given this unprecedented situation, it must be hard for Japan’s mass media and political scientists to know where to position the Happiness Realization Party. Now, the overseas media, too, cannot fully grasp the significance of the “social phenomenon” that Happy Science is inspiring.
However, I think we can say that, even if there is a fusion of politics and religion, despite the fears of the media, there will be no religious suppression like that seen under State Shinto, nor will the people be oppressed as in medieval Christian states and today’s Islamic states. This is because those things occurred in an age where “the voice of the gods could not be heard”. Religious antagonism and religious wars can be overcome by conveying to the world the voice of the Supreme God (Elohim, Allah).
An era, in which “the voice of the gods can be heard”, is also an era in which the prophets, selected by the gods, can play an active role. In ancient times, many prophets risked their lives to convey the words of god. This means that we must have dynamism and inspiration on level with theirs, and use it to convince the mass media and political scientists.