Collection: SHUT-INS

Being a " shut-in" has both sides of plus and minus.

However, because there is also the danger of being targeted by evil spirits and demons, it is very important to discipline yourself.

Remembering to be grateful to those around you and doing more of what you can do yourself will

protect yourself from evil spirits.

From the teachings of Master Ryuho Okawa, I selected prescriptions for the mind for shut-ins.

Very few people who have become scholars, thinkers, or writers say they have never been a loner



In recent times, in Japan, increases in the number of cases of autistic disorders and social withdrawal have gained widespread public attention. I have examined various reports that describe these cases as medical conditions, but I still don't think they show any real signs of serious disability or illness.

Objectively speaking, it's true that some children show indications of intellectual disorder or impairment. Still, I can't help but feel that these reports only seem to be pointing out the simple fact that some children are difficult to handle. It's normal for some children in our society to be difficult to manage and to call for extra supervision and care.

For example, schoolteachers managing a class of forty or more children have a tough job on their hands, especially if each of these children is a handful even for their parents. Under these circumstances, teachers may start to think of most of their students as troublemakers and may want to think of students who can't follow their instructions as showing indications of a disorder.

The same thing can be said about those who are showing symptoms of social withdrawal. The fact of the matter is that most scholars, philosophers, or writers have experienced a period of social withdrawal as part of the process of developing their career. Anyone who has ever succeeded in achieving great feats has gone through periods of withdrawing into solitude; I don't think that any great accomplishment can be reached without going through this kind of experience. This is a trait that many scientists and inventors can also relate to. Those who withdraw themselves into solitude may have peculiarities about their personalities, but there is also tremendous potential within them.


From "The Strong Mind" by Ryuho Okawa



The monk called it ascetic training and stayed indoors


I watched a TV program on people who isolate themselves from society. In that program they were aggressively claiming, “it’s a problem,” but I couldn’t understand why those people were a problem.

Retreating from society is what Buddhist priests usually did, claiming it to be ascetic training.

They retreated from society and said that they were doing ascetic training. People would say, “How wonderful.” They went through training in the mountains for twelve years; they lived in small temples, didn’t read any newspapers, with no radio nor TV. It sounds like something high priests or renowned priests would do.

So I don’t understand why people are saying those shut-ins are a problem.

I wonder if people who used to isolate themselves from society in their previous lives tend to do the same thing in this life. I think it understandable that there are people who don’t want to meet, talk, or mingle with the various kinds of people in this overly crowded society. The priests in the old days were mostly so. Even at monasteries, monks and nuns retreated. Described in modern terms, they were shut-ins, they were retreating from society without doing anything productive. It would have been good if they had had some spiritual ability, but there were many monks who couldn’t hear anything from the other world and were merely sitting facing a wall.

But times have changed and our society is becoming very busy. It is probably because society is changing so fast that people feel it strange to live without communicating with other people. It is true that we receive help from a large number of people, so what we should return is expanding. It is becoming harder for us to live on our own.

Then, in order to give back, a lot of studying and wisdom is needed.


From "The Starting Point of Youth" by Ryuho Okawa.



Evil spirits target weak spots in the family


When evil spirits or devils target a family, they are always searching for a weak point, and once they discover it, they will surely attack this weak point.

When wolves target sheep, for example, they will try for a lamb, an injured member, or a stray that has wandered from the flock. In the same way, it is easy to target the loners who failed to adapt to the culture of an organization or those who do not fit in well with their families.


From "The Real Exorcist" by Ryuho Okawa



Don't blame others or the environment, but solve problems by what you can do yourself



In general, small-minded people cannot accept responsibility for what has happened, and they always blame others or external circumstances. They blame, for example, their parents, siblings, teachers at school, or superiors or colleagues at work.

Of course, we cannot say that these people around them had completely nothing to do with the matter; they may have been at fault to some extent, or it could have been caused by environmental factors. However, as I have repeatedly taught, it is fundamentally important to first reflect on yourself and then take a step forward by doing what you can do.

Help from others is indeed appreciated, but it is easier for others and the spirits in heaven to help those who are making an effort to solve the problem on their own. This is noteworthy.

You may complain, for instance, that you are unhappy because your father was laid off from work, or that things are terrible now because your mother has a bad character, or your family's fate worsened because your grandfather caused a traffic accident.

Perhaps you were bullied by a cruel class leader and were unable to attend school.

There are different reasons why people suffer misfortune, but in the end, those who are more inclined to stand on their own two feet and start afresh have higher chances to attain salvation.


From "The Real Exorcist" by Ryuho Okawa



Even "shut-ins" get a lot of help from many people



Today, there are people who are known as "shut-ins." Some children stay indoors instead of going outside, and some people in their 20s and 30s still stay indoors instead of leaving their homes, which has become a problem.

However, even if they think they are being loners, they are not really being withdrawn from society. This is because human beings live with the help of many people.

Even if you stay at home and eat instant food, it took the wisdom and efforts of many people to produce that instant food. Also, of course, money is needed to buy them. Therefore, even if you think you are a loner, you are not, in fact, withdrawn from society.


From "The Starting Point of Youth" by Ryuho Okawa



Returning the favor out of gratitude for what we have been given


In the past, for example, Indian ascetic practitioners lived in rocky mountains. Indeed, one could say that they lived only from the bounty of nature and not from other humans. They lived in rock caves and subsisted only on water, nuts, and other natural resources.

But now, that is not possible. We are receiving a great deal of power from many people, the state, and society, and we have more and more things to give back in return. This makes it all the more necessary for us to work hard and devote ourselves to the task.


From "The Starting Point of Youth" by Ryuho Okawa.