This is a vision inspired by Kotama Okada, the founder of the Sukyo Mahikari movement (established February 27, 1959). Sixty years later this vision is still fresh, and instep with myriad holistic worldviews emerging today across the global landscape.
According to Okada, we are now in the dawn of a new civilization. Okada said that the twenty-first century would be called a “Holy century” because it would be a period of great change, from emphasis on a material way of being to emphasis on a spiritually founded approach. It would take time for this ideal, peaceful situation to be achieved, but nevertheless he said, there exists a universal will to achieve it.
Okada emphasized that the Mahikari movement cannot achieve such a peaceful world on its own. Everyone must contribute to making a better world. Thus, it is important, he said, for people of academic, technological, and other kinds of expertise to cooperate with each other to help establish a peaceful and environmentally sustainable civilization based on shared spiritual principles.
Societies and cultures are struggling today to find a natural unity in a globalizing world. Modern civilization has created critical problems and challenges of urgent global concern. The problems of disunity seem to be everywhere, resulting in a global culture, which is far from the unity people are seeking. According to Okada, the emerging global culture is lacking an essential value system that can harmoniously integrate seemingly opposite values and natures. The dimensions which are necessary to integrate in attaining unity are spiritual, mental, and physical. His vision was to provide a forum so that dialogue could occur between scientists, people of religion, educators, medical doctors, agriculturists, economists and learned, concerned people of other fields, to find new, yet universal, ways by which humankind can live healthily and prosperously.
Through cooperative, multi-disciplinary study, humanity can be able to restore the lost meaning of life and see how different aspects emerge from a common source that is at the center of all existence. In religious terms this source is called God and in more scientific or philosophical terms it is called Cosmic Intelligence, Cosmic Consciousness, the Creative Source, the Great Designer, and the like. If relationships exist within and among specialized and fragmented disciplines, as members of humankind we must find those relationships, and establish their interconnectedness anew.
In 1959, Okada predicted that the age of the supremacy of self-centered materialism would soon come to an end; he founded the Yoko Civilization Research Association in which he outlined his vision of establishing a civilization based on the integration on universal principles. To actualize Okada’s vision, his successor Keiju Okada established the Yoko Civilization Research Institute in 1985 and served as its first president.
The Forum 21 Institute was established 2012 in the United States as a sister organization of the Yoko Civilization Research Institute.