Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven
This universe is the body of God.
Ponder this in all matters.
Date: 2/6/00 8:55:54 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: email@example.com (kuniharu shimizu)
Before I go into verse 15-20, I would like to clarify some points.We know now that there are three major elements in this world:
1. The state of our mind
2. The state of God's mind
3 The state of the world
People in general just look at the states of the world, be they domestic or global. When the state is an unhappy one, people wish to change it or have it changed. Let's take a domestic example. Let' say a husband is unhappy with the relationship with his wife, he wishes that the condition improves. He might give more things to the wife, talk into her pointing out what he considers her bad aspects, start looking for another partner, consulting professionals like psychiatrist and lawyer, and on and on. What God wishes him to realize is that there are other things to consider. They are the state of his mind, and the state of God's mind.
He must realize that the state of his mind is responsible for the state of the world (things that happens around his life, in this case). If he is dissatisfied with the state of the world, the correct place to look into is his state of the mind. God tells him that he first becomes aware of the relation between his mind and the world, and start looking and reflecting his own mind. And in the process, God urges him to use God's teaching as a guideline. This means, reflecting on his mind based upon the knowledge that he is being kept alive by Providence, that the purpose of his life is Joyous Life, that to fulfill the purpose he must be careful with the use of his mind, that the state of the world is a guidance of God, and that God is eager to help change the state of the world. This process is called "calming the mind". In this process, his mind will become filled with gratitude to God, becoming spirited.
As God watches his progress, God's mind, too, becomes spirited. When God's mind becomes spirited, God will work on the state of his world, the relationship with his wife improves. What actually happens here is that as his self-centeredness subsides, his wife's mind begins to change. Why does such a thing take place? He might think that his endeavor to change his mind caused the change in the wife's mind. That is not really so. What he should not forget is that God acted in between, and caused the change in the wife's mind.
Now, here is a question. How does Kagura Service fit in this whole process? My understanding of the Kagura Service is this: It is a formal occasion through which we;
1. Show our spiritedness to God by spiritedly performing and participating in the Service.
2. Thereby, we show gratitude to God, and
3. request God to continue to provide (physical protection and timely guidance) and act upon the state of the world.
It is a formal occasion through which God;
1. Is made spirited by our spirited mind, (performance and participation)
2. Promises to continue to provide (physical protection and timely guidance),and act upon the state of the world with the same power and energy of the Original Creation.
Now, some comments on verse 15-20, Part 1.
Let's take the husband's case as an example. He wishes to restore a harmonious relationship with his wife, hopes such asmall miracle to happen. Through the state of his world, God had already showed him that the relationship would continue to deteriorate unless he did something. God foretells via various guidances, and assures positive change in the future. He, then, does the something, which is to learn the Heart of God and settle it in his mind. He leads his life according to God's teaching everyday. And through daily service( morning and evening) he formally expresses his gratitude to God. And through monthly service (which is in direct connection with Kagura Service), he formally expresses his gratitude, and requests God to continue to provide not only to himself but to others as well, and to act upon not only his own state but the state of the whole world.
It usually takes some time for anybody to come to this understanding. Even if this husband is not still sure of what God tells, God urges him to just sincerely be at it, then the moment (or the day) of true understanding will surely come to him. When he sees harmonious relationship returning, his mind will be filled with admiration to God's act. And this will reinforced his understanding of and faith in God.
The verses 19 and 20 refer to the world peace, how it comes. World peace, too, is brought about by the act of God. What is needed here is the change(calming) of the state of the mind of people in high places(ranks). This takes time. It is a step by step process. But it is the only sure( God guaranteed) means to bring about the world peace.
That's all for verse 15-20.
Shall we move on to the verse 21-28?
Wishing Joyous Life for all