A History of the FAS Society: Part I By Masao ABE

Although FAS itself is the fundamental concern of our Society, it cannot be measured by the historical length of its organization. Nor is FAS a problem to be considered only by our Society. Rather, it is the fundamental problem of man, a problem which should confront man at any time and in any place. Every human being, insofar as he is a human being, meets this problem and necessarily asks:

What is man?
What is the true way of being for man?
What is man's true way of living?
These questions are precisely what the letters FAS are intended to mean. Therefore, in this way, you can understand the FAS is not only our problem but also your problem. It is the problem which must be asked by all people in the world, and it has been the problem which must have been repeatedly presented by man ever since human history started.

It is said, "An answer is already given in stating a question." Accordingly, I might say that the very answer to seek for, that is, man's fundamental awakening, is already working in the consciousness with which we raise the question: What is man?

Although the question is a universal concern of man beyond the limitations of time and space, and although man's fundamental awakening is already actually revealed in raising the question, unless the question is asked by each and every one of us and thereby taken as one's real problem, and unless the question can be rally answered through one's experience, the problem becomes an empty and meaningless series of words. it loses its universality, as well as subjectivity, the subjectiveness in the true sense of the term. The history of the FAS Society is nothing but the history of how this fundamental question common to human existence has been revealed an asked by us. It is true that the course we have traveled from the day of its formation is a historical fact with urgency for us. But we do not think that our path is the only way to such a universal concern. There must be other paths in asking such a universal question and in attaining such a fundamental awakening. Today I will talk about the path we have followed. I would, however, be very interested to hear about your case or the cases of others. it is very important to have a heart-to-heart talk with those who have the same problems. The various experiences may be many, and each individual path may be different from others, but the Way itself has to be one which is in harmony with the ultimate truth. Therefore, the paths must always be examined critically. Any arbitrary decision cannot be permitted.

Today, I would like to speak about the history of the FAS Society, in other words, how we came to realize the fundamental concern of man. Our true intention and hope is that we can cooperate with each other in a way which goes beyond the limitations of the frameworks of various societies or groups. Or aim is to inquire into the true way of our living in this world and to reform this present world into a true world on the basis of the fundamental awakening of man.

(To be continued)

[PART 1]/[PART 2]/[PART 3]/[PART 4]/[PART 5]/[PART 6]
Input on April 27, 1996