The English translation below is the sixth edition translation.
|The thought that all is well if the present is well||mēmē ni ima sai yokuba yoki koto to||めへ／＼に いまさいよくば よき事と|
|for the self alone, is entirely mistaken.||omou kokoro wa mina chigau dena||をもふ心ハ みなちがうでな|
Alternate English translations
The mind is thoroughly mistaken, if it is satisfied only when things fare well for the individual and for the present moment.
All such type of minds that think selfishly only for the benefit of the moment are mistaken.
Commentary by Yoshitaro Ueda (2008)
From Michi no Dai: Foundation of the Path 33:35–6
The phrase “for the self alone” indicates selfishness. The phrase “if the present is well” refers to nearsightedness or a state of mind focused on momentary satisfaction. Such a state of mind is mistaken. Today, I think that there is a growing tendency for people to think only about themselves and only about the present. This tendency reflects an inability to see the bigger picture and indicates a lack of foresight. Rather than thinking only about ourselves, we ought to think about others. Rather than think only about the present, we need to look ahead into the future as well as take account of the past. This done, our way of looking at things or perceiving things will naturally change. Further, if our way of thinking changes, our behavior will also change. Then the direction of our life itself will be different. This, I think, will help us to ponder over things in accordance with divine truth.
What we call “ourselves” is like a tiny dot in a huge world, and the present is merely a point in the everlasting flow of time. We would do well to move away from a very narrow and nearsighted perspective that says “all is well if the present is well for the self alone” to a wider and farsighted perspective that can consider the well-being of others and look ahead into the future.
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