Chapter 8 The heinous criminal
Why did the religious sect aim for the armed revolution?
In the chapter "Blind Nightmare" in "Underground" by Haruki Murakami, he raises a question that there is the possibility that the logic and the system of ordinary people and the logic and the system of Aum Shinrikyo shared images like a kind of two mirrors. On top of that, he states that, in the system (highly controlled society), the power process aimed at attaining autonomy is only the mirror image of the other-dependent power process enforced by the system, autonomy and dependency are like light and shade, caught in the pull of each other's gravity, after considerable trial and error, each individual can find his or her own place in the world. And he said "The reason why a person fails to achieve this balance is that balanced and soft self-development is impeded at some stage for some reason. When shelving that impediment, he or she tries to overcome only by a hard logic called "the power process aimed at attaining autonomy", a physical (legal) friction occurs between social logic and individual."
When I look back on those days with considering both the sect's actual condition and Mr. Murakami's quotation, I can say that Asahara concluded that "the other-dependent power process" of the modern society would trigger off Armageddon and would kill all humans, on the other hand, he concluded that only "autonomy" whom Asahara who said guru's will was absolute gave would save humans from Armageddon, and would lead his disciples to a spiritual awakening.
As for this dualism, it lacked the viewpoint that individual autonomy was created as the mirror image of dependency in the first place. So, there was no idea itself that the sect tried to find its position in the system of this modern society, it can be said that, more than a physical (legal) friction between social ethics and individuals, Asahara concluded that changing the logic of his doctrine into the social logic was salvation. This was nothing short of a fundamental shakeup of the social system, and it can be said that this was nothing but the system that could provoke an armed revolution.
According to what I have learned after my arrest, in true training, it seems that even if you have a mystical experience, you should not see it by objectifying it. Because if you see it by objectifying it, you give it special value, and you fall into deviation in which you form self-satisfied autonomy which lacks the feeling of dependency. I think the revelation "the Load leading the navy and fighting" that Asahara received from god is a typical example of this deviation.
In Buddhism, the importance of removing self-obsession and having mercy to all sentient beings is talked. It could be said that these are processes to tear down the ego which differentiates the self from others; to attain awareness of the interdependent stream in which humans, along with animals, nature, and the cosmos are as one; and to awaken this stream in each individual. In short, it can be said that this is a process to regain the balance of both the power processes.
However, Asahara abused the training method to tear down the ego, made his disciples have mystical experiences, he replaced the experiences with the world of truth. So, more trained, his disciples lost his or her self more, lost the feeling of dependency, swallowed the world of autonomy which was Asahara's fancies, and were identified with it.
In Asahara's religious war logic, he justified himself by saying that god delegated the right and the power to overstep the social rules to him in his arrogance to distinguish the savers from the saved, the unordinary from the ordinary. And then, in the sect, both Asahara and his disciples, being motivated by the desire to be identified with god, they put themselves in the position of absolute truth, absolute good beyond right and wrong, on the pretext of saving many people from Armageddon, did various barbarous behaviors which were included in an armed revolution. I think this is one truth of the sect's sins.
At that time, I believed that the identification with god which was said to have the will to save humans was only the path to save myself, I didn't think it would be desire. Reviewing what I thought and carried out, I have noticed that the loss of empathy with others, namely dehumanization started exactly when I thirsted for salvation and tried to identify myself with God or the person worshiped as an absolute being.
About "a kind of images of two mirrors", Mr. Murakami said "it is, in a way, our inner ghosts (underground) whom we evade to face, consciously or unconsciously exclude from the face of the reality, isn't it?" As for these "inner ghosts", I think from my mistakes that these "inner ghosts" means that humans tend to lose sight of dependency, to be self-satisfied, to be identified with stories that others make up, and to be swallowed by them. In wars, armed revolutions, religious wars repeated in human history, in order to knock the foundation of the social system which is the origin of dependency, justification of killings by collective violence was made because of these "inner ghosts", I think.
It is said that, about World War II, propaganda saying "it is a crusade to realize Arcadia and establish the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" was spread throughout Japan. The Aum Incidents were smaller in scale, but on the point that killing others was justified as good in the name of god, it should be no different from the war.
In order not to repeat tragedy, I keenly realize that we need to have a sense of humility to think that there is no cause to deny the dignity of life, to think that this world is full of contradictions, and to think that we human beings sometimes make mistakes.
Continued to the ninth chapter.
Continued to the ninth chapter.