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Chapter 1: An Ordinary Man

Ken Kashiwahara

Good Morning America, ABC(TV, United States

First of all, thank you very much for speaking with us tonight.
A number of years ago you adopted a vow of silence. Recently, you have decided to speak out to your supporters and then to us here today. Why have you decided to speak out now?

I live spontaneously; I never decide anything beforehand, I keep tomorrow open. If I feel like speaking, I speak. If I feel like being silent, then there is no other way than to be silent. And I never ask myself “why,” because no “why” is answerable. All answers are arbitrary. So I simply go on floating with the river, never asking where it is going, why it is going, where it is going to end. And this is my basic approach to life: a total let go.

Was there a reason that you decided to adopt the vow of silence in the first place, or was there also no reason?

There is never any reason, I don’t live by reason. I simply allow things to happen. I don’t know why I became silent. I don’t know why I started to speak again, but I enjoyed being silent and I’m enjoying being out of silence again. I don’t know about tomorrow. I may be silent, I may be speaking. I may not be here at all.

When you went before the Immigration Service for a visa as a religious leader, the comment was made by the officials of the service that, how could you be a religious leader if you didn’t speak? Did that have any influence on you at all?

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