Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


 

Thus far: We have been told that we do not know the heart of God, the true and original cause of all things, God's mind. Note that the charge of ignorance is not a judgement or a criticism, rather it is explained as a natural condition. The mind of God is not naturally apparent to us and we have never been taught how to know it. Further we are warned that just repeating words and ideas is not the same as actually knowing God's Heart.

Then there is the promise: We are promised that if we wish to hear and will go to God that we will be taught the true heart of God, the truth and origin and cause of any and everything.

And then there is the lesson: We are taught that there is an identity between the state of our mind, the state of God's mind and the state of the world. The goal of this lesson is to make our mind spirited and in so doing make God's mind spirited which in turn makes the state of our world spirited.

To achieve this goal we are given the Kagura and Teodori Services. Through the performance of these services we can distinguish between the "way of the world" and the way of " things before they appear", the original cause of all things, the truth of origin, God's true heart and mind.

So with that instruction we are all done with the teaching. We need only follow the directions and sweep our minds so that we can distinguish between what is original and what is not.

Yet perhaps we are still not ready to do so and are in need of an incentive. This incentive is presented to us through a way of reasoning. It is the reasoning of the way the world is constructed and it is a reasoning presented in poetic verse. If we sweep our minds we can bring peace to the world, we can even sweep illness from our mind. What is the reasoning here? The world's reasoning? The reason of the way the world is constructed?

We have entered into the problem stage of the teaching and might benefit from asking ourselves why after thirty years of effort MoonSun had to resort to poetry to try and communicate with the minds, her own family, that she had everyday contact with. I think that it is because there is such a thing as the world's reason and also there is the reason of heaven. They are not the same. I think that if we can tell the difference between the two of them then we will know why MoonSun could not directly communicate with the minds of those close by Her.

Verses I, 29 - 44

This time, I shall clean the Residence thoroughly.

Watch as I show you how.

When this cleaning is thoroughly done,

the truth shall be told and retold.

What is the cause of my regret so far?

The lameness of your leg is My prime regret.

You are saying that your leg is affected by illness.

It is not an illness but the anger of God.

My anger is not a small matter.

It is the result of causes accumulated and piled up.

To say why it is that I am angry:

it is because the wrongdoing has not been removed.

Unless this wrongdoing is completely removed,

know that it will stand in the way of the construction.

No matter how stubborn this wrongdoing may be,

it will be removed by the admonishment of God.

If this wrongdoing is completely cleared away,

the lameness of your leg, also, will be cleared away.

If only your leg is made completely well,

nothing will remain but to prepare for the construction.

Just a word: Returning her by the thirtieth of the first month

is also from the mind of God.

You close to Me may question what I do.

This is because you do not know the future.

When the day arrives and things are seen,

you close to Me will know that God's world never err.

Until now, you have doubted the words of God.

You have been saying that they are all false.

Among the words of God, who began this world,

there is not a single mistake in a thousand.

If you begin to see this step by step, be convinced.

Every kind of mind will be revealed.

 

The instruction was complete with Verse 14. Now we have moved into the problem of overcoming the rejection and denial of the teaching. This whole theme deals with the terms of the incentives and the denial of the direct teaching. The contextual background is the state of Shuji's life. On the face of it the poems deal with settling a family matter. That is on the face of it. The incidents spoken of do not require poetry to sort out. The real issue here is still the teaching and the understanding that the state of one's mind becomes the state of the world. It is a teaching that has been given and which has been misunderstood and rejected. There are of course any number of interpretations of a poem. In this theme there are two points that I should like to address. They deal with the terms "Residence" and "construction". The term Residence appears in the warning presented in Verse I, 4. The warning makes it clear that it is possible to misunderstand the true or extended meaning of this term. What then might the "real residence" be? We say that Miki became the Shrine of MoonSun. Could we not also say that Miki became the Residence of MoonSun? When MoonSun taught of cleaning the Residence isn't the context that of preparing Shuji's mind for understanding so that Shuji could also become a suitable residence for MoonSun? An "uchiwakebasho". Concerning the term "construction" this refers I think to the construction of the path which is the way to the joyous life both for Shuji and for the world. This way of doubt and rejection is ours only if we choose to adopt it. We can go back to Verse 14, sweep, distinguish and understand or we can continue to look for answers to satisfy our worldly reasoning.

My final comment on this theme looks at the teaching that "every kind of mind will be revealed". How is every mind to be revealed? Well according to the reasoning of the state of our mind becoming the state of God's mind and of the world I would say that the state of our world both individually and collectively reveals the state of our mind. The question then would be "how does this work"? To answer the question I would reason that one would have to be able to distinguish between the ordinary individual mind, God's mind and the world. The question then would be "how does one do that?" and that brings us back to the sincere performance of the services. I suggest that their purpose is to enable the mind to make just that distinction.

John Lewis 2/18/00