Now is the meaning of eternal life. Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” He didn’t say “I was”. He said, “I am.” And to come to this, to know that you are and there is no time except the present, is to suddenly attain a sense of reality.
In the face of rejection, you must learn to be courageous. It is important to believe in yourself. Be like the sun, which shines on serenely even though not all the heavenly bodies reflect back its light and even though some of its brilliance seems to radiate only into empty space. While those who reject your friendship may sometimes fade out of your life, the more you shine your light, the more brilliant your life will become.
Wisdom for Modern Life, Thursday, March 13, 2014, Daisaku Ikeda
You cannot judge the quality of another’s friendship by superficial appearances, especially when things are going smoothly. It is only when we have experienced the worst, most crushing of times—when we have plumbed the depths of life—that we can experience the joys of genuine friendship. Only a man of principle, a woman of resolve—a person who stays true to their chosen path—can be a trusted and true friend, and have real friends in turn.
We live in the midst of a flood of soulless information. And, the more we rely on one-way communication, like radio or TV, or static and unmoving words in print, the more I feel the need to stress the value of the sound of the human voice: The simple but precious interaction of voice and voice, person and person; the exchange of life with life.
When you encounter a wall, you should tell yourself, “Since there is a wall here, a wide, open expanse must lie on the other side.” Rather than becoming discouraged, know that encountering a wall is proof of the progress that you have made so far.
What Buddhism terms good friends are sincere, honest people without a trace of deceit who guide others toward the correct path, toward good. It also refers to people who lend their assistance or support to us so that we can practice Buddhism with full assurance.
If you become close to a person who makes you feel “that person is always glowing and animated” or “When I’m with that person I feel strong and secure,” then your faith will naturally deepen, and you will develop bountiful wisdom. In carrying out this Buddhist practice, encountering good friends is the key to obtaining Buddhahood.
A higher religion does not negate rationality. No religion that suppresses human reason can earn the trust of humankind. Buddhism, the “religion of wisdom,” is an extremely rational religion. In fact, it is so rational that many Westerners even question whether it can be classified as a religion, since it does not teach the existence of a supreme being in the image of humankind.