Playing outside as if escaping from a dark household
This happened about 20 years ago.
In my mid-teens, I often played outside until late at night. I formed a rock band with friends, played in arcades, engaged in reckless motorcycle activities, and was what is commonly referred to as a delinquent youth.
I honestly didn't want to go home. This was because my parents' relationship was strained, and the atmosphere at home was dark.
When I was in elementary school, my parents had a big fight, and since then, they stopped talking to each other. However, on the surface, they pretended to be a happy couple, and to my adolescent eyes, it seemed like they prioritized appearances and societal norms.
I could see that the inside of the house and the outside were different, so I rebelled against my parents at every opportunity.
Terrifying experience of seeing evil spirits
And during the summer vacation of my first year in high school, something unexpected happened to me.
As usual, I returned home late at night and was about to go to bed after taking off my glasses. At that moment, I casually glanced toward the window and saw something vague outside. Although it shouldn't have been visible to me, who was nearsighted, it looked like a human face.
Although it felt a bit strange, I lay down anyway. After a while, my body suddenly became immobile as if paralyzed. It was what is commonly known as "sleep paralysis."
As a result, I started seeing terrifying things 24/7. Human-like or demonic entities would suddenly bare their fangs and attack. I trembled with fear. It became more intense as the surroundings got darker in the evening.
In my childhood, my devout grandmother had told me stories about Buddhas, gods, and the afterlife.
So, I began to realize that what I was seeing might be ghosts.
At that time, I desperately didn't want to see spirits, so I stopped going home from that point and started staying overnight at friends' houses. While now I've learned from Happy Science that "to distance yourself from spiritual harm, it's important to correct the mindset that invites evil spirits," at that time, I didn't know how to deal with spiritual phenomena, and I was simply scared.
Unable to make them understand the attacks of spirits
My parents became suspicious when I stopped going home.
I honestly told them that there were ghosts in the house attacking me. However, they didn't believe me. They dismissed it, saying, "There's no way such a thing could happen."
"Didn't you hear that loud noise just now?" I would say. But my parents seemed completely oblivious and claimed, "No, we didn't hear anything."
I tried to plead my situation desperately. However, no matter how many times I told my parents, who didn't believe in the afterlife, they didn't take me seriously. Instead, they accused me of making up lies just to have fun.
I felt lonely.
The only time I felt at ease was when I was with my delinquent friends.
As my life became more chaotic, fights became a daily occurrence. To distract myself from my feelings, I became more engrossed in playing, and I gradually descended into a path of wrongdoing. Amidst all this, my attendance at high school decreased, and ultimately, I dropped out.
Visiting a psychic and reading spiritual books didn't solve the problem
"—Maybe something bad is attached to N."
My concerned grandmother took me to a psychic she had heard about through word of mouth several times. However, the effects were inconsistent. Even if I seemed to get better for a moment, it would revert after a while.
I, too, tried to escape by reading spiritual books. However, despite descriptions of the spirit world, I still didn't know how to escape from evil spirits.
I understood the cause of seeing hellish spirits
Three years after being able to see spirits, on a winter day when I turned 18, something unexpected happened.
"My dear, try reading this. It's a good book."
My cousin, who was worried about me, lent me "The Laws of the Sun" by Master Ryuho Okawa, the founder of Happy Science. I started reading the book casually, but soon, I was shocked to my core.
The teaching that the other world is connected to the mind was completely different from any other book I had read before.
I began to realize that I could see hellish spirits because my heart was directed towards hell. I eagerly continued reading.
I felt saved!
A ray of light shone into the darkness I had been struggling in, and tears streamed down my face.
I, who had been hot-headed, short-tempered, and prone to shouting and fighting, quickly identified with my past behavior.
Until then, I had blamed the attacking spirits or my parents who didn't understand. But in reality, I understood that the problem lay in my own mindset.
Starting efforts to change myself
I revisited "The Laws of the Sun" diligently every day from that point on, imprinting its contents on my heart.
I realized that unless I corrected myself, I would continue to see evil spirits. I told myself to stay calm when provoked, not to immediately retort, and that if I endured for a while, the anger would naturally subside. I learned to be patient.
Feeling trapped by the fear of not wanting to see evil spirits, I took action one by one, examining the state of my mind.
My first step upon returning home was to improve my language and behavior towards my father and mother. However, despite being conscious of my words, expressions, and lifestyle, the problem was in the "innermost part" of my heart. A turbulent heart is not easily pacified.
While wondering how to calm my heart, I came across a passage in Master Ryuho Okawa's book:
"A person aiming for happiness must have, within their own heart, a calm and shining water mirror like the tranquil surface of a lake."
I remembered a nearby lake I used to visit with friends many times.
I recalled the serene lake I had seen in the early morning. It was truly beautiful.
From then on, whenever I felt irritated, I would recall the words "a heart like the surface of a lake" and imagine the calm surface of that lake. Gradually, I began to understand the feeling of a calm state of mind.
As I changed, the situation with my parents changed too
After about a year, I noticed that I was no longer frequently attacked by evil spirits.
My trust in the truths of Buddhism deepened.
I naturally distanced myself from places where I could easily go astray and gradually became estranged from delinquent friends. I actively engaged in studying for the university entrance exams. Eventually, I dropped out of high school but later successfully passed the qualification exam.
As I began to settle down, my father started to listen to me and say, "You're saying quite sensible things. Something has changed." Unexpectedly, my father, influenced by acquaintances, started reading books from Happy Science, initially with skepticism.
Being a book enthusiast, my father, after a while, became fascinated by the diversity and depth of the spiritual messages in the books of the spirits of past and present from all over the world. He said, "These books teach us how to live as humans," and the books on Buddhist truths multiplied in our house.