As One Network

【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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