Hereditary System, “Who am I?”

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May 17, 2011 06:38
Hereditary system, blood lineage inheritance, is complicated reality for those who are born in the temple because the youth who are born in a temple have no choice to select faith.
I was born in a Buddhist temple and I grew up there. Also, my father is a Shin Buddhist priest so I will take over my father as the Shin Buddhist priest in the future. When I was young, I was under a lot of pressure because the system was my suffering from the stress of my own faith. Why I say this is that the people who are born in a temple have no choice to select faith because of the hereditary system. They tend to disobey their parents to succeed their father. As the result, some people who are born in a temple are puzzled what to do and resisted their parent so that they don’t want to have faith. In Japan, most people who are born in the temple suffer from the stress of their own faith when they are young. For me, When I was young, one mind came out in my mind, “Who am I?” .
However, according to “HUMAN FAITH” in Stage of Faith by James W Fowler, Niebuhr and Tillich reveal faith:

"Prior to our being religious or irreligious, before we come to think of ourselves as Catholics, Protestants, Jews or Muslims, we are already engaged with issues of faith. Whether we become nonbelievers, agnostics or atheists, we are concerned with how to put our lives together and with what will make life worth living. Moreover, we look for something to honor and respect that has the power to sustain our being."

It represents that we don’t have to worry about our own faith because we are already engaged with issues of faith. That makes me feel easy. Before I come to think of ourselves as Shin Buddhist, I already engaged with it and I could feel that “I am I”.

Hereditary system in temple is cruel system for those who are nonbeliever. In some cases, they tell a lie about their own faith to pretend the “good” believer. It is a big issue for Buddhist people in Japan. However, I’m getting realized that “I am I” through my life little by little. I think that Niebuhr and Tillich’s understanding of Faith make such suffering people energetic. Although there is no exactly answer, I at least felt optimistic because faith grows through our experience of trust.