The Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds
Although it is possible to see these ten life-states to be climbed like the rungs on a ladder, this implies the need to move up the ladder a rung at a time! But the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism talk about ‘the mutual possession’ of the ten worlds. The ten worlds do not exist as separate, isolated realms. Rather, each world embraces and contains within it the potential for all the others. Even if the self-destructive world of unrelieved suffering known as hell has manifested itself in an individual’s life, the potential for the other worlds remains; any one of them can become the dominant state of that individual’s life in the very next moment. In this way, our life-condition is never static or fixed, but continues to transform itself, instant by instant, throughout our lives. This is what is referred to as the ‘mutual possession’ of the ten worlds. In the light of the theory of the ten worlds, we see that even the tormented world of hell carries within it the potential state of enlightenment. No matter how bleak our circumstances may be, at each moment we can choose to reveal the highest state of life.