> >TOKYO JOURNAL
> >THE OLDEST ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER IN TOKYO
> >August 1993
> >Daisaku Ikeda -- statesman, billionaire, god
> >Daisaku Ikeda's followers believe he is the earthly incarnation
> >of a saint; those who believe otherwise suffer his
> >god-like wrath.
SGI senior leader Jim Celer: I'm one of his followers. I don't believe he is an earthly incarnation of a saint, and I've never suffered wrath, god-like or otherwise.
George: So says Celer in this newsgroup. However, when you read his writings in the World Tribune, one finds an avid Ikeda worshipper who is well qualified to receive the brown nose of the month award. Another instance of the SGI proclaiming publicly a view that is at variance with its actual beliefs.
In the August 15, 1997, World Tribune on p. 2, Celer states: "SGI President Ikeda has always gone first in showing us how to apply the Daishonin's Buddhism to ourselves and society. If 'I am the SGI- USA,' I must absorb his guidance and do my part to make this the model organization for the world, to look for responsibility and be successful in fulfilling it."
In an article from the World Tribune of April 4, 1997, Celer states (paragraph breaks omitted): "Reflecting on my own practice, I see I have not quite managed to build a 'diamond-like body.' [as advocated by Ikeda] Why not? President Ikeda gives me an answer: 'For half a century, except for a 10-day period when I was ill, I [Ikeda, not Celer] have not rested for a single day. I have worked unceasingly, solely for kosen-rufu and the happiness of the members. I have exerted myself tirelessly in action and deed. And I have written prodigiously' (p. 11). After 25 years of practice, of course, things have changed immensely, and I [Celer, not Ikeda] live in what might be called 'comfortable' conditions: money, a nice house, a loving wife, and my child doing well in school. Many members are beginning to look for and take responsibility. So by focusing my eyes a certain way, I can believe that 'there's nothing for me to do today.' Yet President Ikeda never feels this way."
After recounting two instances in which Celer alleges that he was motivated by Ikeda's guidance, he concludes: "So now, owing so much to this man, knowing that he is tireless in his efforts and knowing that there are still so many people who do not know of or understand the greatness of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism AND [emphasis added] the organization that propagates it, how can I feel comfortable? After all, I have a lifelong mentor who every second demonstrates that the way to build a 'diamond-like body' is to 'refute that which is erroneous and spread the True Law'"
It appears to me that even an obviously diligent SGI member like Jim is expected to feel like the lowest of lowlives in comparison to the peerless, self-proclaimed perfection of the 20th Century Buddha. In other words, the member is merely a nothing who can only be redeemed by the magnificence of Daisaku Ikeda. Perhaps this fills Jim with "hope and determination," as he later states in his article. I always found this type of thinking oppressive, and am glad to be away from it.