Fuji Declaration Symposium “Co-creating a World in Harmony and Balance” Tokyo, May 12, 2017
The Fuji Declaration was inaugurated in 2015 as a global charter calling on all of us to awaken our innate, sacred consciousness―our divine spark―so that we may transform ourselves and our civilization and create lasting peace on earth. Last year, as its offshoot initiative, the Soul of WoMen Global Network was launched to activate feminine wisdom and values for a more balanced world.
Commemorating the second anniversary of the Fuji Declaration, an international symposium was convened by the Goi Peace Foundation on May 12, 2017. Forty visionary leaders from around the world and from different fields of endeavor were joined by 70 observing participants at the United Nations University in Tokyo to share their insights and wisdom on the theme “Co-creating a World in Harmony and Balance”:
When the world seems divided and polarized to extremes, it is vital to restore balance between the feminine and masculine energies within each of us as well as in our society. The divine feminine and the divine masculine, as in Yin and Yang, are complimentary, interconnected and interdependent forces, which when united in oneness, give rise to a dynamic whole. By restoring harmony and balance between the feminine and masculine, we can create harmony in all aspects of life―harmony between body and spirit, harmony between men and women, harmony between humanity and nature, harmony between our inner and outer worlds, and harmony between the present and the future. By overcoming the imbalances of life and returning to wholeness, we can give full expression to our innate potential, in service to humanity and the whole web of life on the planet.
Under this overarching theme, the symposium was organized into five sessions, with panelists sharing insights and stories in short presentations, contributing to the collective inspiration as to how we can create a world of true harmony and peace.
Hiroo Saionji, President of the Goi Peace Foundation and co-initiator of the Fuji Declaration (along with Masami Saionji and Dr. Ervin Laszlo), warmly welcomed all the participants. He shared a brief history of the Fuji Declaration initiative and re-emphasized its purpose to revive the divine spark and the consciousness of oneness in the hearts of humanity.
Masami Saionji, Chairperson of the Goi Peace Foundation, thanked everyone for coming together from all over the world, and said that the timing has never been so ripe for this meeting of kindred souls. She stressed the need to break through fixed ideas, saying that unless we recognize our deep, inner nature—our divine spark—we will never be able to truly believe in ourselves, and we will never have the confidence to accept our responsibility for healing the earth and creating world peace.
On behalf of the program design team, Yuka Saionji Matsuura explained that the intent of the day was to create a space together from which the unknown could emerge. Through active listening and holding the energy together, all the participants, including the observers, would be contributing to this process of discovery. She described today’s society as being run by the wounded masculine and elements of the wounded feminine, and said that our task is to open ourselves to new possibilities that would allow us to bring back the balance of the divine feminine and divine masculine.
SESSION 1 – Harmony between the feminine and the masculine: How can we integrate the qualities of the divine feminine and masculine in our lives?
To set the tone for the series of discussions that followed throughout the day, and as a model of a couple in harmonious balance, Dr. Barbara Fields, Executive Director of the Association for Global New Thought, and Stephen Travis Pope, composer and filmmaker, started the conversation by acknowledging the importance of the sacred in all that we are and all that we do. “Regardless of religious and cultural identity,” they said, “our lives are nothing less than the expression of Spirit as we aspire each day to become more and more a vehicle for what we are calling the ‘Divine Spark.’” They also pointed out that in nature and the cosmos, opposites appear to manifest, such as day and night, sound and silence, birth and death, masculine and feminine, and so on, and that we must learn to see them as cycles that ebb and flow in delicate balance―not as polar opposites that impose limitation or stand in conflict with one another. “Arriving at a non-dual balance between masculine and feminine qualities is the basis for transforming spiritual practice into action that benefits others.” They described our evolution toward synthesizing the divine feminine and divine masculine as follows:
- We are evolving our focus “from Domination to Relationship,” “from Separation to Connectedness,” and “from Exclusionary hierarchical leadership to Inclusive shared leadership.”
- We are evolving our behavior “from Competition to Cooperation,” “from Expectation to Observation,” “from Scarcity to Abundance,” and “from Individual Gain to Collective Benefit.”
- We are evolving our emotional response patterns to emphasize “Forgiveness over Hate,” “Reconciliation over Revenge,” “Hope over Fear,” and “Peace over Violence.”
They also explained that taken together, these qualities move us toward a humanity that is characterized by interdependence, trustworthiness, transparency, sustainability, unconditional love, and a true spiritual maturity which can only be gained by the harmonious integration of the highest expression of divine feminine and divine masculine principles.
Linda Francis, Co-founder of the Seat of the Soul Institute, spoke from her own experience, saying that she thinks of the divine feminine as having more stillness while the divine masculine is more active, and that fear is the only thing that can get in the way of those divine qualities finding harmonious expression. We cannot stop fear from welling up, she said, but the important thing is to notice it, and to decide not to act on it. We can make a conscious choice to act from love.
Sande Hart, Director of the Charter for Compassion’s Women and Girls sector, added that we could try to replace fear with curiosity, awe and wonder as we seek to evolve into a balance of the divine feminine and masculine. She also shared her deep question: “What is it that moves me from reacting to responding?” One answer she found was not only to be mindful, but to be timeful―to allow that space of time where the feminine and masculine can dance. She said that sometimes all you need is one minute to be able to respond rather than being reactionary.
Mitsuhei Murata, a former diplomat, stressed the importance of feminine qualities―compassion and sensibility―quoting Charlie Chaplin’s words: “We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.” He added that to create peace, we need to strike a balance between paternal culture, which values competition and strength, and maternal culture, which values harmony and compassion for the weak.
Preeta Bansal, a lawyer and former general counsel in the White House, compared the masculine and feminine energies to the sun and the moon—the bright, bold, intensely focused light, and the cool, reflective, soft and subtle light that gently illuminates. She felt that, while we focus more on the sun and are often prompted by its masculine energy to act in the world, this is a time to focus on moon’s cycles and work on uncovering the deeply buried feminine energy and wisdom, and to just be still for a while. We are in a space between civilizational stories, she said, and there will be a time when the uncovered feminine becomes a vessel for the truth and the masculine will take that wise, intuitive energy out into the world.
SESSION 2- Harmony between body and spirit: How do we give expression to the divine spark?
The first three presenters of this session were asked to share a poem that reflected the theme: “Harmony between body and spirit: How do we give expression to the divine spark?” and each of the other panelists approached the theme from his or her own perspective.
Rev. Wendy Craig-Purcell, spiritual leader and author, presented a poem she was inspired to write.
Igniting the Divine Spark
Gender does not, must not, define the divine feminine nor the divine masculine.
The divine feminine is not some kind of goddess woman, but rather a way of being and seeing.
No less important, yet no more important than the divine masculine.
The divine masculine is not some sort of superhero, but rather a way of being and seeing.
No more important, yet no less important either than the divine feminine.
The divine feminine, the divine masculine – each resides in you. Each resides in me.
The divine feminine – intuitive, gentle, receptive, still, collaborative, creative, and yen.
The divine masculine – analytical, strong, disciplined, active, assertive, logical, and yang.
The divine feminine, the divine masculine, no longer pitted against each other. No longer torn apart.
The wounded masculine healed, the buried feminine revealed.
The divine feminine, the divine masculine, joined in sacred union, now dancing in holy rhythm. And in their perfect dancing may peace prevail on earth.
Gary Zukav, author and co-founder of the Seat of the Soul Institute, presented a poem by the Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez.
I am not I.
I am this one, walking beside me, whom I do not see.
Whom at times I manage to visit, and whom at other times I forget.
Who remains calm and silent while I talk, and forgives gently when I hate.
Who walks where I am not, who will remain standing when I die.
He explained that this poem begins to show us what it is like to be in a new world of multi-sensory perception, moving beyond fixed ideas. He explained that an unprecedented transformation in human consciousness is occurring full force, so that we are beginning to see ourselves, our world and the universe in entirely different ways. Our understanding of male and female is also changing, he said, and the issue is not ‘balance’ but ‘wholeness,’ and the question therefore is ‘How can we obtain wholeness?’
Dr. Raymond Moody, a leading authority on the ‘near-death experience,’ drew some laughter with a nonsense poem.
One bright day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back to back, they faced each other.
Drew their swords and shot each other.
A death policeman heard the noise,
And came and killed those two dead boys.
He said that we are in a world of chaos and things no longer make sense, and that we need to have new ways of understanding the nonsensical. He has come to understand that people who are dying are suspended between two realms of existence—between the physical and the non-physical worlds. He believes that the transcendent state of consciousness that they talk about may hold the key to solve the daunting problems faced by humanity today.
Joserra González, a ‘generosity entrepreneur’ from Spain, asked the question he had been exploring: “Should we go more into inner work of spirit (or consciousness), or should we be more active and put our body into action in the world?” Another question he shared was: “How does the beauty we create outside, like the container, help to ignite our spirit and our inner beauty?” He also compared the body-spirit balance to Gandhi’s 3-H’s—Head, Heart and Hands—and stressed that we need more balance among the three, especially in the field of education.
Domen Kočevar, a Catholic bishop from Slovenia, began with the question: “Are we a body with a spirit, or are we spirit beings in the body?” When our understanding of this question shifts, he said, we will change fundamentally. However, he observed that the world today is ruled by economical totalitarianism, where everything is motivated by money. He asked, do we dare to stand for what we believe in, even if it means sacrificing our lifestyle, income, and all that we have? That is not an easy thing to do, he said, so we should think of turning the current system around without destroying it. He challenged participants to envision a new industry based on sincere caring for others, where people can make money by serving and giving to others.
Dr. Toku Takahashi, an expert in the field of integrative medicine, believes that the purpose of our existence is for our souls to evolve to reach the highest goal, and that the neuro-hormone called Oxytocin is the key. Oxytocin reduces stress reactions and allows us to have feelings of compassion and love for others. He proposed that by activating our altruistic genes, or Oxytocin genes, we can facilitate the evolution of our soul day by day to reach the height of the divine.
Suzue Miuchi, a well-known Japanese manga artist, also affirmed the spiritual nature of human beings through her own mystical experiences. She shared her story of observing the vortex of energy coming up from the sacred grounds of Kurama Mountain, and how she came to understand that this cosmic energy, or life force, is what nurtures all life on earth, including human beings.
Dr. Alan Briskin, a pioneer in the field of organizational learning and a member of the program design team, reflected on the morning session and said that it has been quite extraordinary, with people calling forth what was deepest within themselves, so that we could be wiser together. He quoted the scientist and theologian Teilhard de Chardin: “There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision.”
SESSION 3 – Harmony between humanity and nature: How can we live sustainably on Earth?
This session started with a beautiful video expressing ‘Gratitude’ to all the things that sustain our lives. Then, the panelists each shared an image that represented their thoughts on the theme of harmony between humanity and nature.
Sally Ranney, an expert in the environmental, energy and climate change fields, chose an image of a woman nestled in the womb of the earth. She shared her childhood experience of spending a lot of time in nature, and how that taught her that nature undisturbed is a balance of fragility and resilience, and that there is no separation between human beings and nature—there is only One. She said that climate change is something we created out of false assumptions of separateness, fear and scarcity, and that if we can change those assumptions, we can change the narrative and how we think and act. “We are at a crossroads, and nature is the gateway. Nature has all the designs that we need, and that’s where many of the answers reside.”
Sesto Giovanni Castagnoli, who is on a global green pilgrimage with this wife, showed a photo of himself with a large tree. He invited everyone to share a moment of silence and imagine ourselves embraced in nature, our greatest teacher. Nature, he said, tells us to listen to our inner self, where we find true harmony. “Climate change is not about new technologies, it is about us. We have to choose de-growth, that is to minimize and not maximize things. We are born with everything we need.”
Dr. Izumi Masukawa, a doctor in nutrition and bio-electronics, presented an image which summarized her years of research on water, food and sound. She described that everything in nature, including our body and our consciousness, is made up of frequencies, and that if we focus on changing the level of our frequencies by celebrating life, we can shift our consciousness and bring our world to a new, elevated stage.
Wakako Hironaka, a former Japanese Minister of the Environment, showed a picture of beautiful national parks in Japan, and began by reciting the preamble of the Earth Charter: “… The global environment with its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection of earth’s vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust.” Coming from the generation that experienced the serious damage done during WWII and the postwar poverty in Japan, she stressed the importance of avoiding conflict and environmental destruction at all cost.
David Leal Garcia, a Spanish facilitator and conflict mediator, affirmed what the other panelists were saying, that “It’s a new moment in the history of humanity. We have a breakthrough door to a completely new level of consciousness and a complete redesign of systems and our way of being.” As a metaphor, he chose the image of a traditional Japanese art called kintsugi, which is the reparation and beautification of broken china with gold. In kintsugi, even the smallest piece is essential. Likewise, he said, we need to unleash the divine spark in every human being, allowing every single person to express their full potential for contribution. He believes that the force of life is expressing itself as a new consciousness everywhere, and that a unified vision for a new civilization is emerging.
SESSION 4 – Harmony between inner and outer worlds: How can we create lasting peace within ourselves and the world?
In this session, panelists moved to the middle of the room and sat intimately in a circle. Maki Saionji Kawamura, Executive Director of the Goi Peace Foundation, began by inviting the participants, who had been intently listening, to now take a moment to focus on their inner voice. After a peace prayer, everyone joined in a five-minute meditation, as candles representing the inner divine spark were lit around the room. Participants then took turns spontaneously sharing whatever came to mind.
The first to speak was Shamima Amin, a philanthropist and social entrepreneur. She shared that since learning of the idea of the ‘divine spark’ from the Fuji Declaration two years ago, she has been practicing daily meditation, and has come to understand its remarkable power. She believes that human beings have two selves—one selfish and one selfless—and that meditation helps to ignite the selfless self in people. She said that our inner harmony extends to the outer world when we bring out our selfless self and do something good for others.
Sam Beard, who has worked with eight U.S. Presidents, calls himself the ‘action results guy.’ He shared how a personal crisis got him into mindfulness and meditation, and since then, he has been working through his non-profit called GIFT, with a goal to impact a billion people by bringing mindfulness into schools, businesses, and healthcare. He believes meditation is a way to connect with a higher power and possibility, and that by improving ourselves in this way, we increase our chance to improve the world. He also believes that we are on the cusp of a new era, and that in 25 years we will be part of a whole new transformation.
Gabriele Castagnoli, a green pilgrim and Naikan practitioner, said she thinks we can reach that transformation in less than 25 years. She believes that we are constantly creating a new truth together, and that this truth is sending ripples out to the world. While technology can give us comfort in the outer world, we must not lose the connection with our inner wisdom and capacities. She believes there is another form of communication beyond words, which she calls “communio-cation.” We are all connected in networks through feelings and thoughts, she proposed, and what we are creating here together can ripple outwards, creating a great movement for a vibrant future.
Tomoyo Nonaka, who has held various top business executive posts, reminded us that when we talk about harmony between the feminine and the masculine, between the inner world and outer world, and so forth, we should not think in terms of duality, like black or white, left or right. As in the yin-yang symbol, the gravity center of white consists of black and vice versa, creating a balance in oneness or wholeness. Likewise, she said, there is no real distinction between the inner and the outer worlds. We are a living organism maintaining homeostasis, and we are all connected and a part of the whole system, carrying a divine spark in every little cell.
Parag Shah, a diamond business owner from India, shared the questions that came to mind when he thought of harmony between the inner and outer worlds: Are we not in harmony? What conflict is within me? And the conflict that I see in the world—is it different from the conflict within me? He said that whenever he is angry, he tells himself that he does not have the right to condemn anyone, and whenever he sees conflict or war, it reminds him of his anger. He invited others to think about these questions.
The session closed with everyone sharing a moment of silence in gratitude to one another.
SESSION 5 – Harmony between present and future: What is the story or message we want to leave for future generations?
In the last session, the panelists were asked to imagine themselves as ancestors of a future generation, and to read a letter addressed to the new generation.
In her letter addressed to “Earthlings of the future,” Hafsat Abiola-Costello, a pro-democracy activist from Nigeria, spoke of three lessons which have guided her life. The first one: “Our wounds are our gifts.” There is no need to add to injury by bringing forth anger, vengeance and all kinds of negative energy, she said. Why not receive the gift of the lesson and use it to help move humanity forward? The second lesson she learned was that we need gender balance to have a harmonious world. For a long time, she remarked, women have been undervalued, and the areas with the greatest gaps are where we have the greatest conflicts. The last lesson was that the only legacy we can leave for the future is the legacy of love. Love can be shared, she asserted. It is never reduced by being shared; it only multiplies.
Momoyo Ise, who spent most of her career working for the United Nations, asserted that we are coming to a turning point, where we must seriously consider where we are heading as humanity. She expressed her concern particularly over the growing number of refugees and how the devastating memories of these people will be inherited from one generation to the next. She pleaded that young people should think about the current situation and join together to create a new vision of an ideal global society.
Dr. Mohammad Ali Bhuiyan, an academic and former candidate for U.S. Congress, began by expressing his concern over the threats of nuclear weapons. He pointed out that human greed, poverty and the wrong use of religion were the main reasons we are failing to make the world a better place today. His advice to the younger generations was to make human greed a shame; to learn, practice and use the divine spark to guide their actions; and to change the word ‘politics’ to ‘public service’ and ‘politician’ to ‘public servant.’ He also said that we need to change the governance system to have real change and impact.
Dr. Sumiko Iwao, Professor Emeritus at Keio University and Founder of Sakura Girls Secondary School in Tanzania, compared her generation as stable bows from which their children as living arrows are sent forth. Her loving message to the ‘arrows’ was based on her life experience: Firstly, no matter how fast and vastly society may change, remember to respect diversity and serve others. If you are hurt, exert your efforts so that others will not experience the same harm or pain. Secondly, be sure to acquire core knowledge and a flexible ability to apply it in multiple situations. Nobody can steal or take away the education that you acquire. Thirdly, as she learned when the tsunami swept away everything six years ago, cherish and treasure every minute and every day, remembering that it may end suddenly without any warning.
Dr. Nina Meyerhof, President of Children of the Earth, was the final speaker. Her powerful words addressed to the young people seemed to sum up all that had been heard and felt through the day. The letter concluded: “So please, my young friends, seek first inside of you and then take what you know and go forward into the world uncovering a new world wanting to be born. Ask, who am I born to these times and what can I offer the world now? This will lead you to the miracle of following your own footsteps. As you walk around the world, in your mind or otherwise, you will learn that everyone is your brother and sister, and thus caring for them is caring for yourself. Slowly, with this thinking applied to all fields of endeavors, we will have a world that works and it will be due to your efforts. No more unneeded poverty, no degradation of our environment, no more wars, and no hate…just understanding and learning for the Age of Peace to land upon us. The Heaven and Earth will be unified and we will know how to live between the two worlds for the sake of our evolution and the earth’s evolution into full sacredness.”
Each participant’s contribution built up the collective ‘divine spark’ energy field, and culminated as everyone held hands and joyously sang “Amazing Grace,” led by Hafsat Abiola-Costello.
As Mr. Saionji put forward in his closing remarks, the big question now is “What’s next?” The challenge is to move from theory and principles to strategies and action. Feeling the great momentum emerging from the symposium, all the participants pledged to continue their journey together, as only through partnerships and collaboration can we usher in the new era as envisioned in the Fuji Declaration.