Perfect Liberty (PL) Kyodan (“Kyodan” means “Religion” or “Church”) is one of the world’s newest religions, established in Japan in 1924. Though sharing some similarities with the native ancient Japan religion of Shinto, PL is unique in its own right, and characterized by underlying core teaching that “Life is art.”
The religion has its roots in the teachings of Tokumitsu Kanada (1863-1919), who received a revelation of 18 precepts, and established the Tokumitsu Daikyokai religious order. After his death, his disciple Tokuharu Miki (1871-1938) received three additional precepts, and reestablished the religion in 1924. In 1931 he renamed it to Hito-no-michi (The Way of Humans), and soon led its growth to one million members throughout Japan and other regions of East Asia.
In 1936, two years before Tokuharu Miki’s death, he appointed his son Tokuchika Miki (1900-1983) as the religion’s new leader. Around the same time, the movement began facing a great deal of persecution by the government.
By 1946, Tokuchika reestablished the religion under the new name Perfect Liberty Kyodan—an English name that emphasizes the religion’s openness to modernization. He expounded on the religion’s teachings, and led its expansion in Japan.
After his death in 1983, Tokuchika was succeeded by his adopted son Takahito Miki (1957-), who currently serves as PL’s leader.
Today, PL has about one million members, the majority of whom live in Japan.
PL is based on the teaching that life is art and self-expression. Each individual is a unique personality, and the artist continuously shaping his existence. When we express our true unique selves in everything we do, and are able to express perfectly what we basically and uniquely are, our full and uniquely own human potential is realized, and we attain a state of Perfect Liberty—an artistic life of complete, sincere, continuous, conscious self-expression, and the highest, most satisfying, and most meaningful human existence. And when all people live this way, there will be true world peace.
This can be done when the individual sees that life is art, and each person is an artist. Art is what any person can do through the medium appropriate to his life. Real artistic living is expressing one’s own personal qualities in one’s daily work, and doing one’s best.
We are at total liberty to make the types of expressions we choose.
Man’s true self—the self he must express perfectly in his actions—is the manifestation of deity. Someone who forgets this, and leads a life solely based on ego-consciousness or willful self-interest, will disrupt the natural process that leads to the intended fulfillment—and this degeneration of our art will result in suffering: a warning of deity that something is wrong in the person’s thinking. A person must rectify the cause of this suffering
God gives man 100% grace and blessing when he sheds his ego. You, not God, begin the process. Shed your ego and you receive grace. Make room for fulfillment, and you will be fulfilled.
Effacement of ego means “One with God.”
It is very well to say that everything that happens to us is destiny; but man also has free will. He uses this free will and wisdom to figure out things. Then adding form and creativity to his decisions, he performs a work of art. Only in this way can a human being feel happy and fulfilled.
Your natural self-expression cannot be selfish if you have a clear understanding of your relative position with your fellowman, society, God, and the Divine Universal Plan. Life is Art. Man’s life is a struggle to overcome his limitations. Art is not an escape. It is a constructive and positive step forward.
When we say that “Life is Art,” we mean that each individual should express his unique personality given by God, but always in relationship to the Divine Plan, and always in reference to the Great Peace. This is true makoto. This is makoto unlimited for world peace. At that point where individual, home, group, race, nation, all express rightly their unique character, there lies the way to world understanding.
It is necessary to use emotion to develop a finer emotion—that is, to use it as material for your highest expression. Govern your emotion. Do not let your emotion govern you. Make your emotion into an art.
Man has emotions, and the change of his emotions affects his life. One’s emotional life must be controlled first of all. Unbalanced conditions of emotions result in unforeseen accidents, physical illness, family troubles, and general unhappiness. …Man can control his destiny by the proper control of emotion.
Approach your situations without preconceptions. There is no true joy of creation when we simply stereotype a former action. There is joy of life when we are inspired to add a new creative touch and do things differently.
When an expression has individuality it has value. When it has not, it has no value worthy of art. Art remains uncreated if we only feel it in our hearts or hold it in imagination. Nothing can be art until it is expressed.
The quest for the seemingly impossible is for those who have resolved the possible.
We live together with many people, and we owe much to people everywhere. The clothes we wear, the food we eat, and even the thoughts we think—it is surprising how much we owe to others! Yet the real meaning behind our saying that “human life is relative” is that each man should aim at self-expression on his highest level. He should aspire to such self-expression as no one else has ever attained.
1. Life is art.
2. Man’s life is a succession of self-expressions.
The whole life of the individual is a continuous succession of self-expressions.
3. Man/the-individual is a manifestation of God.
4. Man suffers if he fails to express himself.
We suffer if we do not manifest ourself.
5. We lose self if we are swayed by our feelings.
6. Man’s true self is revealed when his ego is effaced.
Out true self is revealed when our ego is effaced.
7. All things exist in mutual relation to one another.
8. Live [as] radiantly as the sun.
9. All men are equal.
10. Strive for creating mutual happiness.
Bring mutual happiness through our expression.
11. Have true faith in God.
Depend on God at all times.
12. There is a way unique to every name [existence].
There is a way peculiar to every name.
13. There is one way for men, and there is another for women.
14. All is for world peace.
All things exist for world peace.
15. All is a mirror
16. All things progress and develop
17. Grasp/comprehend the heart-of-everything/what-is-most-essential.
18. At every moment, man stands at the crossroads of good and evil.
19. Act when your intuition dictates
20. Live in perfect unity of mind and matter.
Attain the perfect harmonious state of mind and matter.
21. Live in Perfect Liberty.
1. I live for the joy of an artistic life.
2. I pray for the happiness of others.
3. I live with true effort and sincerity.
4. I maintain the highest dignity and honour.
5. I strive for world peace.
Man is God manifested as a human being. Man is not God himself, but man possesses the essential qualities of God.
[When asked whether he believed Heaven to be a location or a state of consciousness:] Who but God knows about these things? The thing we know is that we are living now. We know there are things to be done and that we are here to build a better world. This is a big enough assignment. Life is given by God so that we may create a better life for all.
Whenever a man says he is great, he is thinking of the past, and this is not good. A man should continue to express himself. The true Self exists moment by moment, and the challenge of PL is ever leading us forward to a more artistic life.
Perfect Liberty is a movement based on a system of individual self-expressions through an artistic life. Its beginning is the discovery of Self. Its assignment is the effacement of ego. Its challenge is to live the Precepts and Principles. Its ultimate aim is the Great Peace, a time when man will have learned to live harmoniously with himself, his fellowman, and God.
…The universe is One-whole-integrity. The nature of this integrity is God [kami]. The function of this integrated whole is God-in-action [kamuwaza].
You cannot at this instance write on a blackboard that exists in time twenty minutes from now. You cannot sit at a desk that existed yesterday and then lost its existence. In the same way, Self can only relate to other existences conterminous with the present.
Self is the subjective function, and is not able to place itself in the position of object. Self is the most exalted existence in the universe. Even the work of Kami is under its recognition. Because Self recognizes Kami, Kami exists. Self is Kami manifested. The only identity of Self exists in the process of expression. One should, therefore, identify oneself in all expressions. Expressions are possible only with the function of the related existences. So, once again, Self independent of the surrounding existences has no meaning. The idea of exclusiveness merely disturbs the effect of Self-expression in such a way as to cause a person to be obsessed with “I” and place his identity in an exaggerated position.
PL is interested in the present everyday world, and teaches that religion is life, and life is living and being alert and conscious.
It is necessary to be Perfect Liberty in order to fully understand it.
Tokuchika Miki did not want his followers to be exact conforming copies of himself. He told people to be themselves in order to exist as they should.
Oyashikiri: heart of meditation, prayer, and divine reflective communication
Everything that exists has its own purpose and capability.
Pl emphasizes the development of strong healthy bodies.