As One Network

Serial No.3 Motivation and Drive Alone Won't Do It!

Toward a Society Where People Can Live Gently and Without Conflict from their heart.
Masashi Ono, ScienZ Institute, Inc.

Chapter 1
5. motivation and drive alone won't do it! 
~Aware of the reality full of "fixed ideas".

After 20 years, the current As One Network Suzuka community, although still small in size, seems to have grown considerably in number of people, and its contents seem to have become much richer with various industries, various activities, and buildings in place. However, of course, not everything went well from the beginning. We have faced many problems and crises.

In 2001, I joined this group who were highly motivated people with high ideals, and then we started this project, but soon we faced with various problems.
Even among those of us who were aiming for an innovative community,when it came to human relations and society,we had lots of assumption with us, such as "this must be done" or "this is the way it should be done". Moreover, we were not aware of it at all. In other words, there were "assumptions," "fixed ideas," and "resrain" lying deep in our hearts. They were too common, and people around took them for ofcourse as well, so no one noticed them.

Of course, I myself was like that, and even now I am constantly questioning myself about it.

When I was in university (40 years ago), I began to question life and society, and having been involved in the student movement and the peace movement, I began to aspire to create an ideal society.
After graduating from university, I threw myself into a community called Yamagishi-kai and was active in it for about 16 years.

However, as the organization grew and various problems arose, I felt a gap and a deadlock with the ideal world, and I left the association at the end of 2000. Then I moved to Suzuka with a group of like-minded people I had met at the Yamagishi-kai to try once again to create an ideal society from zero, and started new activities. This was the beginning of what we now call the As One Network Suzuka Community.

We, a group of friends with pure hearts, had gathered, we were fully motivated and we could make use of our past experience of failures in community building, and we thought, "This time we can do it!" I was burning with ideal, and I began to take on various challenges: "Let's create a company in which everything is managed by communication without hierarchy," "Let's create an economy that doesn't need money," and "Let's create a truly free lifestyle.

However, we found that different opinions caused conflicts among us, as well as we noticed to bias the opinions based on whether the person can do the job or sepeak reasonably well.Also, money was often in short supply, and this put pressure on those who did not work, and it caused restraints, or it led to blame those who spent more money.... In fact, all sorts of human problems erupted.

The reality was far from "the ideal of a society, in which people can live gently and without conflict," and the people were confronted with this reality.

People are gathering together hoping for an ideal society, so why can't it happen? "Wishing for peace, we go to war!?" The same kind of problem as that state of affairs has reappeared!

That's when I realized the fact that I was full of fixed ideas, such as I was the one who said, "We all have to do what we have agreeded to do."
I had to face up to the fact of myself: "I said I would do it, and so I must do it," "Good at my job is good eoungh", "We should act with the whole picture in mind," "It is common to help each other when we are in trouble," and some others.

I also had to ask myself what it means to be "close"? What does it mean to be "happy"? What does "freedom" mean? I realized that while we say we "aim for such a society," in fact we don't really "know" what "closeness," "happiness," "freedom," really mean. In other words, it was as if we were blindly running without knowing the goal exactly.

I realized that motivation and pure feelings were not enough to create an ideal community.

We didn't have the perspective of "people who can do" community building.
I think it is very important for those who aspire to make communities, as well as for those who are trying to improve their workplaces and homes.
Are you a "can-do" person? It is the viewpoint of whether or not you are trying to become such person.

For example, even if a boy has a genuine wish and motivation to become a baseball player,his wish and motivation are not enough to become an active player, are they? I believe that a person can be active as a baseball player only after he goes through the path of developing basic physical strength, getting basic training, learning about baseball through practical experience, and in this way growing into a person who can "do" baseball.

However, in activities such as improving relationships, improving workplaces and neighborhoods, and creating communities, people tend to feel like they can do it if they are motivated and willing. However, it is only natural that if you are not a "can-do" person, you will not be able to do it.

For us, these realizations were a major turning point. What do we mean by "closeness," "happiness," and "freedom?" What causes conflict and
confrontation? What are fixed ideas? Where does it come from?

What is a "can-do" person? How can we grow into "can-do" people? In 2004, we established a research institute called the "ScienZ Institute" in order to conduct full-scale research on these issues.

We then began to reexamine human beings and society from zero, and to accumulate research and practice. We began researching the elements of what makes a " can-do" person, and moved to establish the "ScienZ School" (2006) as a human resource development institution to help people grow into "can-do" people.

6. Breaking free from the prison of fiction

~Beyond the binding of "ought" and "should"

Earlyer,I mentioned why people can not exercize their abilities toward themselves and societies inspite of their great imagination and creativity. I believe the reason why people have deep "assumptions," "fixed ideas," and "resignation". I would like to think about that a little more.

Yuval Noah Harari, historian and author of "The Complete History of Sapiens," a book that has become a hot topic in Japan, says, "As individuals, we are very weak, but we were able to prosper as we do today because we were able to use fiction. In other words, by sharing fiction, large groups of people were able to work together and have great power.

Chimpanzees and Neanderthals could only work together with about 150 others they knew, whereas humans can work together with a large group of strangers by sharing fictions.

Fiction is something that does not exist in reality. For example, countries, laws, human rights, rights, obligations, responsibilities, institutions, possessions, money, religion ・・・・.
In more familiar terms, money, promises, appointments, time, musts, shoulds, should nots, ought, usual, common sense, this way, people up and down...etc., these are all fictions, not things that actually exist. The list goes on and on.

What exactly does it mean to share a fiction? For example, money. Suppose here is a 10,000 yen bill. If you negotiate with a chimpanzee, "I will give you a 10,000 yen bill in exchange for the banana you are holding," it will not show any interest. To them, it is just a piece of paper. But as soon as the fiction of money is accepted between human beings, it suddenly looks valuable, and they will start using it as a material for exchange.

By sharing the fiction of a country, people who have never met can say to each other, "Go, Nippon! The result is that 130 million people can work together under the name of Japan.
On the other hand, in today's society, fiction has become absolute and fixed, and people have become subject to fiction, which binds people, separates them, and causes various human problems and conflicts. Being "driven by money," "bound by rules," "pressed for time," etc. are prominent examples of this. We are bound by the fiction that we have created, and this is a state of self-imposed bondage. It could be said that we cannot escape from the prison we have created.

This is not to say that fiction is bad, harmful, or should be eliminated. It is a wonderful ability of human beings to share and collaborate with fictions, and I think we need a new way to use intelligence that is not bound by fictions (see Chapter 1, Section 8).
When we are building a community, or trying to get some project or activity going in earnest, the relationship between people becomes closer and closer.

This can lead to the start of various binding relationships, which can develop into various conflicts and confrontations. On the other hand, it can also give rise to reservations, forbearance, and other separations. For example, "That person doesn't do what he/she said he/she would do," "He/she is on duty and doesn't do it."
"That person doesn't clean up the tools he/she used," "That person doesn't do what we all decided to do and does it selfishly," etc.

There may be people who blame others for these things, and disputes may
arise. Also, if you are trying your best to fit in with the people around you, trying not to be blamed, the situation may seem to be well managed, but it will not be comfortable, and those who are trying their best to do so will likely have bad feelings toward those who do not do so.

This is because the fictions that bind oneself and others, such as "If you say you will do something, you should do it responsibly," "If you are on duty, it is normal to do it," "You should clean up after yourself what you use," and "You should follow what everyone else decides," are unconsciously held within each person as "common sense" and "normal. The reason for this is that they have been created in our minds. It is a state of self-obsession, where bad feelings and confrontations arise toward those who don't do or follow the rules.
If you are the only one who is being fixed, it is easy to realize that you may be the only one who is being fixed, but if everyone else is also being fixed, you are under the illusion that what you "should" be doing is real. It's natural," "that's what people do," "that's what everyone does," and so on. And then, we blame others and end up in a state of conflict and struggle. . In this way, a prison of fiction is created. Fixed fictions end up destroying the relationships in the
community. The opposite of what we wish for happens.

Observing the current situation in which people themselves are bound by the fictions that they themselves have devised, we can say that they do not know how to handle the "human idea. In other words, we are unable to use our wonderful abilities, and we are instead tied down by those abilities. From this perspective, a method was found to free oneself from the fiction that binds oneself and others created by "human thinking" and to fully demonstrate one's abilities. This is the ScieneZ Method, which will be introduced in the next section.

What will happen when we are no longer bound by fiction?
When we are freed from the world of "this is the way it should be" and "this is the way it is supposed to be," we can clearly see that both we and our partners have intentions, wishes, and hopes. By honestly communicating these to each other, and by listening to and trying to understand each other's wishes and desires, I believe that a world of heart-to-heart discussions can be realized. We see a light and cheerful relationship between people that is free of pressure and restraints, such as blaming, making people do things, or making them stop, such as "I wanted you to do that," "I want you to do that," or "I want you to put away the tools after use.

I think the base of community building is conversation. (See Chapter 2, Section 2.) I believe that the exchange of one's true feelings within oneself, rather than the exchange within the confines of a fixed fiction, will lead to comfortable and smooth conversations.

(Continued in next issue)
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【Serial No.2】Creating the Next Society

[Creating the Next Society] Second in a Series: Toward a society where people can live gently and without conflict from their heart.

Masashi Ono, ScienZ Institute, Inc.


Chapter 1.

3. What is the As One Network Suzuka Community like?

Some of you may be new to the As One Network Suzuka Community.
Here I would like to give you a brief overview of the community.
In a city that could be anywhere in Japan, an innovative and never before seen attempt is being developed.
Suzuka City in Mie Prefecture has a population of about 200,000 and is a regional city known for the Suzuka Circuit, an international racetrack, and Honda. Located about one hour from Nagoya by train or car, the city is sandwiched between the Suzuka Mountains to the west and Ise Bay to the east, and has a thriving agricultural industry.
In 2001, we started an experiment to realize a society in which people can live gently and without conflict from their heart. Toward the realization of this wish, we have been accumulating research and experiments through various experiences.

Although we call it a community, there are no rules or restrictions, and there are no obligations or responsibilities. Therefore, there are no boundaries from where to where we are As One Suzuka Community, and there are no rules on who is a member of the community. Most people live scattered within an area of about 1 kilometer around the Suzuka Culture Station, which serves as the center of the community. At first glance, the way of life may seem to be the same as that of ordinary people, but in reality, people have formed relationships that are closer than that of a family, and a lifestyle similar to that of a large, close family has become a reality.

While blending into the city, various community businesses and various civic activities are spontaneously developed, related and connected to each other, forming an one community.
The company is a place where people can fulfill themselves by bringing out their individual talents.
The community is designed and implemented as a close family-like living arrangement.
Organizational management that allows everyone to act of their own free will, and an economic mechanism that requires no money or reward are being attempted.
We have also begun to create a child-rearing environment in which children can grow and develop as they are.
We also provide a place to learn about community building and living in a new world, and many people from all over Japan and the world have come to study with us.

Click here for the As One Network Suzuka Community website
Click here for the as one network YouTube channel

4 What is a society where people can live gently and without conflict from their heart?

~Why don't you just give up on such a thing as being impossible?

What do you think when you hear the phrase "a society where people can live gently and without conflict from their heart?
"It's like a religion!"
"That's an ideal, but history has shown us that there are always wars, and people always keep fighting."
"Even within a community of people with the same interests, even between married couples, there are always disagreements and fights. Conflict is a part of life."
"I don't care if you are a saint or not, as an ordinary person, it is normal for me to be angry and it is impossible for me to be without conflict. It's unrealistic to think the whole world would be like that!"
"If everyone lived by their heart, wouldn't the world be a mess?"

It seems that such voices can be heard from all over the place.
However, I am sure that those who are willing to read this article will have hopes such as "Such a society would be really nice" or "It may be impossible, but I would like to see such a society if possible," or they will agree with me and say "No, I am sure we can do it" !

Human beings have demonstrated an amazing ability to research and develop things and technologies, and have achieved one thing after another that we could not have dreamed of a hundred years ago, or even when I was a child.
We can video chat with people on the other side of the world with a smartphone, we can understand the microscopic world, and we can even travel into space.
I think it is truly an amazing ability.

For some reason, people with such imagination and creativity do not seem to be making much progress when it comes to human themselves and their society, or rather, they seem to be creating an increasingly complex and difficult state of life.
When it comes to humans and society, does the dream remain a dream?

I believe that if we could utilize our imagination and creativity for human beings and society, "a society where people can live gently and without conflict from their heart." would not be a dream.
Why is it that the wonderful abilities of human beings are not used to humans themselves and their society?

I believe this is because there is a deep "assumption," "fixed ideas," and "resignation" toward humans and society. (See Chapter 1, Paragraph 6.) This is why we have become indifferent to the ideal human being and ideal society.

"If you look at human history, there have always been wars, so humans are animals that fight. That's why conflict will never go away."
In today's chaotic society, as people grow up, they often come to perceive things in this way unwittingly.

Is this really true? Is that what humans are like?

Thousands of years of history of wars and conflicts may have led us to develop a resigned view of people and society and an assumption that "people fight" and "it is difficult to live with one's true heart".
Even if the history of conflict is like that, it may be possible to change it with the wonderful ability of human beings.
If we can rethink back to zero-point, I don't think it will be too difficult to free ourselves from resignation, fixed ideas, and assumptions.
I believe that everyone in the world truly desires "a society where people can live gently and without conflict from their heart.
I believe that human beings have the power to make this wish a reality.
For example, when it comes to conflicts, if we can find the causes of conflicts and eliminate them, I believe we can end conflicts. I believe that we can eliminate anger in our hearts and minds, and I believe that we can also eliminate interpersonal conflicts and wars in society.

As for "happiness," if we do not know what "happiness" is, and if you are doing things just to be "happy," it is like running without knowing where you are going. I believe that happiness will be realized when we clarify and clearly know what "happiness" is. (If I start explaining what "happiness" is, it will take a long time, so let me simply describe it as "a way of living without strain and in accordance with the reason of the natural world, in other words, a way of living in harmony with everything without strain and with ease, comfort, and fulfillment.)

When you read these sentences, you may think, "That's impossible," or "Don't say such difficult things".
Isn't that where "giving up" and "making assumptions" come in? I think.

I would like to take a fresh look at common sense as well as my own way of looking at things, from zero. I think this is a very important point of view. We have to put aside our thoughts of "it's impossible" and "there's no way it can be done," and reevaluate our thinking to see if it might be possible.

If we had remained in the mindset of "there is no way we can fly," I don't think the airplane would have been invented.
"I want to fly." "Maybe I can fly." There are advanced people who have freed themselves from such current beliefs and give up, and they say, "I can fly! ”
It is possible to fly--such fact was shown to the world, I believe that as a result, people around the world have changed their views.
Today, airplanes fly around the world as a matter of course, and we are able to travel freely. It has only been a little more than 100 years since the Wright Brothers' first successful flight.

Once a model is made, seeing a real-world example will make people say, "Yes, I can do that!"and people will be excited by the possibilities. Even if it is something that everyone initially gave up on as "impossible,---"

This is not just wishful thinking. Through over 20 years of research and experimentation at the As One Network Suzuka community, I have come to realize that the world we truly desire can be realized if we use our amazing human abilities.
It is not by learning a religion or special teachings or using special abilities. I believe it is possible if we use the intelligence and intellect that humans possess that has brought about so much progress like today in civilization.

To be continued
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【Serial No. 1】Creating the Next Society

【Serial No. 1】Creating the Next Society

~Toward a society in which people can live gently and without conflict

Masashi Ono, ScienZ Institute


Preface: To People Seeking a New World

Seen from space, the earth looks blue and beautiful.
Originally, there was no such thing as national borders, and it seems to exist as one harmonious world.

I wonder if it is possible to create a society in which humans can live gently and without conflict with nature, just like the original state of the earth.

In an earnest attempt to realize such a simple wish, we have been working on a new trial for the creation of a new society called the As One Network Suzuka Community since 2001.

Through repeated research and testing, we have grown into a community of nearly 200 people, from babies to the elderly, working toward our ideal.

Although it is small in scale, it is an attempt to create a society, so we have to tackle all the themes of human life in general head on. Discussions, human relations, organizational management, decision making, company management, economic structure, family life, marriage, child care and education, work, art, hobbies, culture... We review all of these from scratch, without being bound by common sense, and ask ourselves how we can move in the ideal direction. 

And the process has not always been smooth. Since this was the first attempt of its kind in the world, we had no one to follow as a role model, and we had to proceed by groping, and I think we made many mistakes and misunderstandings. Since it was an attempt by immature people to grow together, various problems arose along the way, and we had to face them each time. There were times when people left because of poor relationships, times when things could not be discussed, and times when we came to an economic standstill.

I believe that what we have experienced, discovered, and realized in the 20-year process of community building will be a very important reference material and asset for many people.

This is not only for those who are going to promote community building, but also for those who are looking for better human relations at home, in the community, or in the workplace, for those who are looking for heart-to-heart conversations, for those who are looking for new organizational management such as teal organizations and holacracy organizations, for those who are looking for new decision-making methods, for those who want to think about the true nature of education and human development, and for those who are looking for a new way of thinking. I believe that this book will be useful for people who want to think about their own education and upbringing, people who want to create a free space, young people who want to live like young people, elderly people who want to live like elderly people, etc., people who feel the confusion of democracy and want to find a new way to manage society, people who feel the deadlock of capitalism and want to draw a new economy, etc. I think it will be useful for them.

The most important thing that has come to my attention in the course of community building is that human relations are the most important factor in all aspects of community, company management and activities.
The "Adult Development Study" conducted by Harvard University in the U.S. over the past 75 years has reported that "a happy life is built on good human relationships.

People are animals that live with other people. It is only natural that the quality of our relationships with other humans will affect all of our lives and activities.
I would like to introduce some of the relationship problems that I have found in the process of community building, and the keys to make those relationships better. I think this will be helpful for everyone.

Our attempts have not been for our own sake. If there is anything that we have learned from our experiments that can be used, we would like to see it used, and we would like to offer whatever we can. Of course, I can only introduce a small part of it this time, due to the limitation of the paper and my expression ability.

Also, I don't think that our attempts are "right" or "wrong," and I don't mean to teach or impose them. This is our attempt to pursue our own ideals, and we hope that you will find this useful after examining and considering it as a reference material.

Chapter 1.
1. A Model-Building Approach: In Search of a Form According to Nature's Reason

Looking around the world today, it seems that despite the efforts of many people, many problems remain unsolved, such as pandemics, climate change, economic disparity, difficulty in finding employment, motivation for living, withdrawal, difficulty in raising children, difficulty in human relations, political confusion, suicide, and conflicts and poverty in many parts of the world.
I believe that these issues need to be addressed immediately, and there are many people who are working hard to address and solve them. I think this is a very valuable initiative.

On the other hand, there is an approach from a completely different angle to make the world a better place. This is the approach of creating a model of an ideal society. The "As One Network Suzuka" community that we have been working on for the past 20 years is one such example.

An "ideal society" is not an ideal that each of us can envision, but a society that follows the principles of the natural world. I believe that in the natural universe, everything is inseparable, nothing exists in isolation, and everything is constantly changing.

It seems that people and things exist in this world, appearing for a time and then changing into the next thing. I believe that if we live our lives in accordance with the principles of the natural world, we will be able to live in harmony with everything without any difficulty, and live comfortably and with ease.

I believe that various human and social problems are born from doing things that are unreasonable and inappropriate. The challenge is to create a society that is consistent with the principles of nature as a model, even if on a small scale. I believe that only in such a society will people be able to live gently, as they wish, in their own way.

In many cases, this is not a direct solution to the urgent problems we face today, so people working on urgent issues may say, "You are talking like a dream! What about the real problems? What about the real problems?

However, I believe that if we can create a model that seems far-fetched at first glance, but is consistent with the principles of the natural world, where these problems do not occur and disappear, it will bring great progress to society in the long run.

We believe that this would provide a model image of the next society as a reference material. In addition, we would like to provide a method that anyone can use to realize their ideals (we call it the Scient's Method), which has been discovered in the process of community building.

2. War for Peace!

I was once involved in the peace movement when I was a student. However, in the course of striking and demonstrating for the peace movement, I sometimes met with quarrels with the university authorities.

We also often had disputes within the student government. We were all working hard for peace, thinking, "This is necessary," and "We must do something about this," but in reality, conflicts were created. Enemies are created. "What are we doing?" I felt self-contradictory and had to step down from the peace movement.

When I looked at the world from the perspective of the questions I felt at that time, I realized that the same qualities appeared in various situations.
In order to get along with people, it is important to keep promises, but people blame those who fail to keep their promises, which leads to bad relationships.
In an effort to improve relationships, they decide to act with everyone's best interest in mind, and then blame or punish those who fail to do so, causing everyone to shrink and relationships to deteriorate.

The more we scold children who tell lies because we want to raise them to be honest and truthful, the more the children will lie for fear of being angered by their parents. ・・・・

The more we set rules to improve society and the more we punish people who don't follow the rules to make them follow the rules, the more the society becomes more and more constricted. ・・・・
The list of examples is endless.

The wish may be pure, but somehow the harder we try, the more we seem to be going against it. Why do these things happen?

From this experience, I became aware of the problem that something was happening that was inconsistent with my approach to dealing with real problems, and that I was not getting a true solution. This was the beginning of my awareness of the problem. I thought, "If I don't look for the root cause of the problem and find out what I sincerely hope for, I will not be able to reach a true solution.

This is the perspective that I have come to see since I moved to Suzuka and have been engaged in research activities. It has been more than 20 years since I was a student.

In the process of community building since 2001, we, too, have encountered the same theme: "We are at war for peace! In the process of building our community since 2001, we too have come up against the same question, "Are we waging war for peace?" and have learned and continue to learn a lot in the process of overcoming it.

Through this series of articles, I hope that social life in general, including the home, workplace, activities, companies, and politics, will be fundamentally reexamined, And I really hope such society will be realized as people can live gently and without conflict.

(To be continued next time)
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