Tenrikyo: Opening a Newpath of single-heartedness with the truth of origin.
Finding the right path:
There are two points of view to address when speaking of opening a path of Single Hearted Salvation, that is to say a path of returning and once again becoming one with the Origin. The first point of view assumes that one wishes to open a path for oneself. Since the truth of Origin is profoundly intimate to each of us it is important that we are comfortable with the path we choose and that it suits our temperament.
Our situation is such that if we are satisfied all is well and good but if we are dissatisfied and unhappy then we can replace that condition with true satisfaction and joy, regardless of the circumstances, by returning to the Origin. This Single Hearted Salvation exists because true satisfaction and joy are the very nature of our Origin and since the truth of Origin exists at the heart of our being , joy and true satisfaction are our birthright and our evolutionary destiny.
Whatever kind of mind we may have at the outset, it is important to rely on the fact that the truth of Origin is fundamentally on our side. Like the sun and without judgement, the truth of Origin lights up and makes possible both our successes and our failures. The Original will not force us to do anything. The Original supports and nourishes whatever path we choose. If we are not satisfied then we may choose a way to satisfaction. Unfortunately it is not possible to both change and remain the same. If we want to change then we have to move.
Perhaps many of us have spent our lives gathering data on how to find satisfaction and happiness in things. If those paths have not led to true satisfaction and joy then it just may be time to move on and test the proposition that true happiness and satisfaction can only be found in ourselves. Though it can be called by many names or by no name at all, I will refer to this path as the path that returns the mind to its Original and Natural condition, the path of Single Hearted Salvation, the path of Returning to the Origin, or the way of the warm Parental Heart, just to name a few.
To open a path of Single Hearted Salvation for others it is said that the path has to be appropriate for the time, the place and the spiritual maturity of those for whom the path is to be laid down.
The way of distinguishing the self centered imagination that preceded this page is undoubtedly not for everyone. There is however a way for each and every one of us to return to the Origin. That is the way of True Sincerity. The effort, however it is put forward , that settles the mind in the Origin deserves to be called True Sincerity.
Making it work:
Each and every human being has an equal affinity for the Origin. Over the millennia we have prayed for protection, relief, prosperity and offspring. Sometimes we also prayed that our enemies be confounded in their needs for those same things.. Up to this point in human history the score seems to be win some loose some. It is a fact that bad things sometimes happen to good people and good things sometimes happen to bad people. There are many paths of prayer, the paths that I will speak of lay in a different direction.
The command to begin is simple and personal: I will look, I will change, I will seek, I will test, I will serve, I will inquire. Have you ever had the experience of feeling totally together? Saying to yourself or someone else "I'm going to change" and knowing at that time that you can do it, you're there, you've got it! Then you go to bed and wake up the next morning and that person who was cool, who had it, is gone. Totally gone, no forwarding address. If we're lucky we're back where we started from. Though its more likely that the whole episode has taken a good kick at the already shaky foundations of our self image and self esteem. Take a look at the graphic that heads this page. We can be the sun or we can be the wind. One makes things happen from a stable foundation the other is blown all over the place according to the rules of what has come before. Which is not to criticize being blow all over the place. I know folks who prefer it that way. This path however is for those who are perhaps tired of that long and endless journey.
Problems going to a clear main path
There is no human mind that is closer or farther away from the truth of the Origin. Our mind is either settled in the joy of the Origin or out running around without a guide in the darkness of the self centered imagination. Now there is an interesting thing about these two points of view. From the point of view of the self centered imagination, being settled in the Origin does not sound as appealing as the freedom of being out there running around. But how free is the self centered imagination? As was mentioned above, when we set our mind to change we often find ourselves back where we started from. Ever get angry and say something that you regretted even as you were saying it but were unable to stop yourself? How free is that? All of this is summed up by the picture that heads the preceding page. The path is there and we can step out on it but somehow it is continually being overgrown by weeds. The fact is that the self centered imagination is not free it is conditioned by causes piled up from the beginning of time. On the other hand the truth of the Origin which is with each of us even now, pre-exists all of those causes and is free of that conditioning. Nice for us that that same freedom exists in the core of our being and can be consciously accessed.
Who's in charge?
Knowing the truth of oneself involves being aware of some rather basic facts of human anatomy. If I want to know what my face looks like I can look in a mirror. It's a little trickier to see the back a my head but it can be done using two mirrors. Looking out our own mental anatomy tends to be an even trickier proposition. As our mental processes are more or less constantly running we tend not to be aware of them. I am reminded of a Sufi tale of the gathering of fish at the bottom of the ocean to debate the existence of water. Just as we might depend upon the reflection of a mirror to see our face we have to depend upon internal deep self reflection the see the workings of our own mind and self centered imagination. What for instance does it mean to think, to imagine, to daydream to believe etc. Who is that does these things? Where do the sights and sounds of our mind's eye come from and go to? We can look in books and play with ideas as regards these parts of our anatomy but that seems to me to be somewhat silly as we can just as easily see them first hand in ourselves. It may seem difficult at first but that is only because it may never have occurred to us to do so before. Who is it that can or cannot change? Who's in charge in there anyway?
Daily most human beings take some time to care for their bodies. We commonly wash our body, comb our hair, bush our teeth etc. We could also neglect to do so. We can function without these efforts and attentions and I'm sure that in the younger years of human existence we probably did. If however we were to neglect these hygienic efforts, in a short time it would begin to show up in our appearance, health and odor.
Our mind and imagination are also parts of our anatomy and they also can either be hygienically cared for or neglected. In fact it is possible to go through life without ever taking care of our mental hygiene this too will eventually show up. Typically this kind of neglect manifests as the inability to distinguish between what is and what is imagined to be. One person in this condition can be a handful. We need only look around to see the impact of this condition on whole societies. If the suffering in the world that flows from just this one condition were removed then any problems that remained could be reasonably managed.
Human bodies tend to be rather heavy duty and will run pretty much ok unless they are damaged, poisoned or polluted in some way. The way of purifying the water assumes that originally our minds are high spirited and free, like a spring that rises up in a pond in the high mountains, but in time they become littered up with debris and mud. Effective mental hygiene then involves the actions of removal and returning the water to its original condition on a daily basis. Obviously the more this is done the easier it gets until eventually the pond settles into its original condition.
Because the path of Single Hearted Salvation is one of removal and return there is no content or belief structure associated with it. Instead there is a proposition to be tested. If we view our Original Natural self as our heart and the self centered ideas that have piled up on the heart as dust, then we are asked to test the path by sweeping the dust from our heart and finding out for ourselves if that indeed deserves to be called the Joyous life.
To do this sweeping or settling we may need tools.