How I developed the paradigm



It was after my conversion experience that I suddenly became aware of what humanity really is. I was 19 years old and while browsing in a student book store, I found a book titled "the way to a self realization and enlightenment" written by Dr. Masatake Morita. Dr.Morita was a famous Japanese psychiatrist who established an Eastern style psychotherapy in the early 20 th century. One passage in particular changed my attitude towards life.

His teachings were, in short, 'to return to be as one is'. People who have strong impulses in life (between very genuine and very proud) tend to expand their impulses towards inflation of the ego and, in turn, be inclined toward self-consciousness which all the more promotes neurotic tendencies. Morita's teachings aims to recover a natural mind through encouraging the dislocated mind to return to a proper position in changing one's attitude to life. Instead of leaving one's mind blindly with one's ego-expansive intention, his teaching tries to control such an intention and make it accept one's present situation and be obedient to it. It is a paradoxical teaching. If our mind inclines blindly toward self-consciousness by the ego-expansive impulse, our pride is unnecessarily stimulated, and such an impulse also promotes a self-indulgent attitude. This inclination gives rise to anxiety and fears, for the dislocated mind senses the danger of the destruction. It is a teaching that transforms such resistant and indulgent attitudes into obedient and accepting attitudes. This style is similar to the paradoxical intention of Victor Frankle's logo-therapy. Frankle also encourages one to accept one's situation instead of resisting or escaping from it.

We can observe such teachings of paradoxical intention in religious teachings, as they aim to give us an understanding to control our inner impulses. Both gospel and Laotzu include such teachings.
"Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew18:3,4)
"The highest good is like water. Water gives life to ten thousand of things and does not strive. It flows in places men reject and so like is the Tao."(Laotzu 8)
"He who stands tiptoe is not steady. He who strides cannot maintain pace. He who makes a show is not enlightened. He who boasts achieves nothing. He who brags will not endure."(24) "Returning is the motion of the Tao. Yielding is the way of the Tao. (40)

These words encourage to integrate our mind turning away from ego-expansive deviation. Such a paradoxical intention is the motif of the transformation of the spirit from the self-conscious to the unconscious in the paradigm's scheme.
Dr. Morita also distinguishes three different attitudes towards one's life. They are; mood-centered, ideal-centered, and reality-centered. The mood-centered person tends to seek after the satisfaction of his feelings and to escape from his own responsibility. The ideal-centered person attaches his self-centered ideal and becomes stubborn and resistant. Both of them are styles of self-conscious deviation. The reality-centered person, on the contrary, accepts one's reality as it is and undertakes the responsibility that life requires. I found his distinctions somewhat similarity to Kierkegaad's stages of life, namely, aesthetic, ethical, and religious. Just around that time, A book named "Christ and Jesus" written by a Japanese theologian, Seiichi Yagi was published. In this book, he also distinguishes three different styles to life; hedonism, intellectualism, and religious existence. They correspond almost exactly to Morita's three attitudes. So I adopted this way of distinguishing human attitudes as fundamental to thinking of and reforming my existence.

After a long while, I realized that these three attitudes were the reflection of expansive intentions towards pride and pleasure, and a converging intention towards morality. These intentions are always changing, responding to the environment in one person's mind. Although the polarity of the self-conscious and the unconscious and the three attitudes did not overlap as in the diagram of the paradigm, these two were the basis of my thinking. What I referred to in those days were, Morita's writings, modern Zen essays of D. T. Suzuki, Zenkei Shibayama, Ryomin Akizuki, etc., and Taoism's Laotzu, Chuangtzu.


w



In the mid 70's, somehow, I went to Kalamazoo College , Michigan and stayed there for several years; at first, as an exchange student from Waseda University in Tokyo, and then, as a regular student. Here, my thoughts developed greatly. It was a time of turmoil and a crisis for my spiritual life. As I was not so good at English, the school pressure and cultural difference triggered instability in my mind. I was required to move to another stage. My mind became introverted and asked my own unconscious for a help.

So far, it had been still all right to use just the passive element (that belongs to the unconscious region) to control myself. But this time I was urged to use more active element to control my inner expansive impulses more perfectly. In acquiring the use of active element, gradually I understood the relation between the self-conscious and unconscious polarity and the three attitudes. That is to say, when life's impulse inclines towards self-consciousness, it divide itself into two archetypal entities of the active and the passive and then, by the feed back movement, they converge to unity which includes both active and the passive. Such a movement was the cause of the three different attitudes.

In the winter of 77-78, when I was writing a paper for the Oriental Philosophy class, my mind approached the bottom of my psyche. Even after finishing the paper, my mind headed towards the depth of my unconscious out of control. On April 8 th of 1978, finally I reached the bottom, or the big light from the bottom came to me. At that time I had to write a lot of notes, one after another, prompted by my unconscious, which filled up 20 note books. After this manic period, in the summer of 78, I had a heavy depression for a while. After this mystical experience, I had to go through a counter shock, a severe lack of energy. From the fall, I settled down and started on my new thinking. It was a work of constructing a system of symbols into the space of the concept of life, which I had acquired through this experience.

Before plunging into the mystical experience, I was already working towards the attitude analysis of four regions distinguishing the active and the passive, overlapping with the self-conscious and the unconscious polarity and the three attitudes. The framework of resistance, escape, dominance, and acceptance was fixed in the previous form of Paradigm of Christ even before the mystical experience. After the mystical experience, tracing back to the cause of phenomenal attitudes, the more formal dimension of pride, pleasure, belief, and innocence was fixed in the paradigm.

Through the mystical experience, I made a great progression toward grasping the concept of life. During that experience, when I read such revelatory scriptures as the gospel, Tao te Ching, or Chuang tzu, their languages came to my mind with a much deeper perspective than usual. They confirmed for me that nothing in these revelatory writings was written literally. Describing human experience figuratively, they tried to tell us the inner world of human consciousness.

So, I started to inquire, at first, how symbols of characters in the gospel correspond to constituents or functions of the human spirit; which characters are equivalent to which part of the spirit. For example, the role of John the Baptist is to sink people underneath the water, which is equivalent to the spirit's transformation from ego to the Self. The major disciples of Jesus were fishers. Their role is something like ego's inquiring function to fish out unconsciously hidden truth. Once I established the view point that characters represented constituents of the human spirit, all the characters gradually found their corresponding functions in the spirit. Jesus Christ was the center and the whole; by being the center, he is the main character and by being the whole, it means all the propositions of the gospel constitute the Self, because metaphorically speaking, the body of Christ is the written document of the gospel. Such characters as scribes and Pharisees, tax collectors and harlots, and children represent partial characteristics of personality corresponding respectively to three areas of pride, pleasure, and innocence in the diagram.

I also noticed that the setting represents the field of the human spirit. Galilee. Tyre and Sidon, and Jerusalem meaningfully coincided with the diagram of the attitude analysis of the four regions. They respectively correspond to the self-conscious active (pride), self-conscious passive (pleasure), and unconscious passive (innocence).

The story of Jesus Christ had, in a rough framework, a dialectical movement within the diagram: from Bethlehem, near Jerusalem (the initial whole), to Galilee (division), and to Jerusalem (synthesis). The major actions of Jesus indicate the idealistic transcendence toward three major ideas; the true, the beautiful, and the good: in teaching (from the false to the true), healing (from the ugly to the beautiful) in Galilee, and the atonement (from the evil to the good) in Jerusalem.

Taking such a process, the discovery of the correspondent relation between the gospel and the spirit took place while I was staying in Kalamazoo. It was also the period that metaphysical principles such as Plato's Ideas, Aristotle's actuality, etc., became much more familiar to my mind. for the context what they talked about and the context I assumed for understanding them became identical in terms of life. After this period, I began to feel at home with all the authentic metaphysical propositions. As I was so much involved in this project, throughout my stay in Kalamazoo, I was not a good student. I worked only enough to survive to earn the degree.


w


I came back to Japan in January, 1981. Here, after a few months, I made another important discovery. As it was my assumption that all the propositions in the gospel were figurative, I looked at the genealogy of Matthew according to the diagram I had developed. I set up the genealogy into three dimensional coordinates, placing 14 generations in each axis, as the genealogy was divided into14 generations times three. Astonishingly enough, the characters in the genealogy coincided with the characteristics of the regions of the diagram. So I understood that the deciphering code of the gospel was placed at the opening of the gospel.


The picture of the Paradigm of Christ was almost finished by the end of 1981. I started to prepare the Paradigm of Christ for the copy right registration. I visited one of the printing offices in Waseda area in Tokyo where I used to live. The owner of the office lent me a list of fonts available. Since the picture of the Paradigm was a bunch of different groups of combined terms, I selected a different font for each of the sets so that the each combination of the terms might become clear.

I submitted the printed Paradigm of Christ and the application form to the copy right office in the library of congress sometime in the spring of 1982. But soon I received a reply that the section of the application on the nature of authorship (I have forgotten what I wrote) was not appropriate and they recommended me to fill it with 'compilation of terms'. So, again I filled out the form following their suggestion this time. I added that I would send them an explanation of the Paradigm of Christ. But, as I could not write something I could be satisfied with, I did not send the explanation. They might have waited my document for a while. After half a year, one day, when I had almost forgotten about it, suddenly I received the certificate of copyright registration from Washington's copyright office. At that time, I was so pleased and deeply moved at the fact that the result of my long self-searching had finally become an object of copyright registration in the States. There was a signature of the register, Dana Ladd, and the registration number was TXu 118-352, and effective date of registration was July 2, 1982.

The picture of the Paradigm of Christ held a profound and wide scope of potentiality in itself to be actualized. Obviously, my knowledge to explain what the Paradigm of Christ is was not enough, compared to the paradigm's great potentiality. I could not but feel as if I had a big hollow in my mind. So I started to inquire into how to explain the Paradigm to fill up this cave in my mind.

My project to develop an understanding of the Paradigm can be divided into three sections. The first question was that of epistemology. What I was especially concerned with were the following two points; that we perceive reality as a picture, and that the structure of life is perceived through our physical sensations, or our body. In other words, it was the question of why this particular picture is universally valid, or why this is the only necessary picture. In order to prove this, I needed to study phenomenology of body and picture theory. The Paradigm of Christ is the analysis of life's impulses on a plane. It is the representation of the logical form of life mediating the sensations of the body. Therefore, it deals with, on the one hand, the phenomenology of body, and on the other, the logical form of the picture, where language describes the reality of life. So I began to inquire into Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology and Wittgenstein's picture theory in his Tractatus, which seemed to me to serve to explain the nature of the Paradigm of Christ.

Another question that I needed to elucidate was that of metaphorical hermeneutics, the relation between the myth as such and its metaphorical structure that the myth connotatively carries. On the language level, the Paradigm of Christ is a structural interpretation of the gospel assuming the existence of a metaphorical system. Quite conveniently enough, one of the most influential philosophers of the day, Paul Ricoeur, had developed the study of metaphorical hermeneutics in the 1960s and 70s. What impressed me most was that Ricoeur took up Max Black's idea of 'models and metaphors', which was exactly what I was assuming in the development of the Paradigm of Christ. As 'the selections of hermeneutic study' and 'the rule of metaphor' were available in Japanese translation, I went through them and developed my ability to explain the meaning of the Paradigm, although his style was not always easy to follow.

The Paradigm of Christ is a depiction of life's movement towards life's integration, which is a parallel with the nature of light. It was, therefore, necessary for me to go through metaphysics. By virtue of the mystical experience, the awareness of my mind relating to humanity had drastically developed. It was no longer the merely intuitive level that usually does not have enough insight to understand metaphysical level. My mind required a clear frame to think about the picture of the Paradigm in terms of metaphysical configuration. In this sense, the overlap between Plato's form of the Good and Jung's archetype of the Self, and between Aristotle's actuality and Hegel's dialectics were the basis of my thinking. The former gives a perspective of being's essence, and the latter, a dynamic dimension of being. Whenever I read metaphysical writings, I felt very at home in them, as the context they assumed and the context I assumed were so similar.

I also found Kant's framework as explained in 'Foundation of Metaphysics of Morals' and 'Critique of Judgment' illuminated the characteristics of being. Above all, the contrast between 'the good will' and 'inclination and impulse' in the Foundation was the same as that between the integration and destruction in the Paradigm of Christ.

w


So my life work was settled. Gradually, I developed my idea of the Paradigm. However, the theme I engaged in was the Christian revelation and Japan was not a Christian country. I wanted to write the Paradigm of Christ directly in English. I felt that I had to become a good writer in English. I began to looked for a spouse who was a native English speaker, someone who was a good writer and had an interest in this field. I could not find anyone who met my standards for some time. In the summer of 1991, I encountered an American woman who worked for an English school in Tokyo. I asked her if she had an interest in helping me proof read. At that time, I was ready to write the sections, 'Formation of the Paradigm' and 'the Spatial Code'. She was a bright lady who belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, and moreover, one of the most beautiful ladies I had ever met. Soon we noticed that we liked each other. Five months later we were married. As a result, we have one daughter now.

In February 1995, I discovered something new which helped me to further develop the Paradigm of Christ. I was reading a Japanese translation of 'Literary Criticism for the New Testament Critic' written by Norman R. Petersen published originally by Fortress press in 1978. The third chapter covered his interpretation of Mark's gospel emphasizing semiotic analysis. I found a small yet very interesting chart of the announcements of Isaiah, John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. It was written in the following manner:

announcement of Isaiah→ John → announcement of John→ Jesus →announcement of Jesus

As soon as I saw this diagram, my perception of John as material integration and Jesus as formal integration were united within this diagram. The totality of our being proceeds from chaos to an initiatory integration (matter) and to a firm integration (form) supported by our self-understanding. The metaphorical meaning of "the three days" was solved at the same time. " The three days" indicates the three stages of spiritual development. The passion story has a time span of three days and Jesus was resurrected after three days. Then, the empty tomb and the following resurrection of Jesus on the third day's morning became clear. One day, in a metaphorical sense, lasts from each announcement up until the accomplishment of each announcement. Up to this point, I had not clearly understood the temporal boundaries indicated in the gospel and therefore, could not effectively analyze the issues that dealt with temporality in the gospel. The gospel deals consistently with life's integration. What I had worked towards thus far was to elucidate the structure of life's integration in terms of space. But now I could see the process of life's integration in all of its qualitative changes and with clear boundaries.

I am quite grateful to Dr.Petersen for emphasizing the three announcements. As he did not assume that the three announcements correspond to different stages of life's integration, I can still take some credit for the originality of my idea. But if I had not encountered his book, my method would be much more incomplete. By virtue of Dr.Petersen's excellent semiotic understanding of the gospel, I am now able to use the temporal code as the extension of the spatial code and decipher the rest of the structural frame of the gospel in terms of life's integration. Also the plausibility that the Paradigm is true is greatly increased, since we find spatial and temporal codes in the opening passages of the first two gospels.








x w c