Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


 Book X 5-8

Step by step, Moonsun will enter bodies

and begin free and unlimited workings.

The worldly common human mind that has the self-centered imagination as its foundation and is alienated from the truth of its origin ("Kara", China, alien) is neither free nor unlimited. The self-centered imagination being bound as it is by its claim of ownership to a body  (a marvelous and complex collection of instruments over which it imagines that it has more control than is actually the case) is limited to the fate of the body claimed, which is after all mortal and subject to a bewildering variety of changes of both a wanted and unwanted nature.   

As promised, in a step by step fashion, Moonsun will purify all worldly common human minds, returning them to their free and unlimited original condition and in so doing making them capable of receiving the gift of heaven, the free and unlimited workings that flow from single-heartedness with the origin. The mind having replaced the alienated self-centered imagination ("Kara, Tenjiku", alien, distant)  as its foundation with the purified mind ("Nihon", Japan, native, original) that has returned to its origin and which clearly understands the truth that any and everything is the body of Moonsun, the one and original being whose body is the whole universe. 

Then, however boastful those of Kara may be,

they will never rival those in Nihon.

Boastful is the more or less the nature of the self-centered imagination that is alienated from the truth of its origin. Though the self-centered imagination has and can work many marvels, when the truth of it is seen its importance is put into perspective, like seeing the importance of the moon as opposed to the sun in an afternoon sky.

So we have opposing metaphors, "Nihon" the original,  native,  purified mind that knows the truth of its own origin verses "Kara" the alien and alienated self-centered imagination that does not know the truth of its own origin. The current worldly common situation features the self-centered imagination as the foundation of human thought and although that is in itself a marvel and works pretty well, more and more people are unable to find joy in that state of affairs and are seeking a change for the better. In response, Moonsun is hastening the return of all self-centered imaginations to their original and natural condition. To accomplish the hastened return, Moonsun has created Services which model a path through which the self-centered imagination can purify itself and be naturally  guided back to its origin and the free and unlimited workings that flow from single-heartedness with Moonsun.  

We have already looked at some of the more universal metaphors: Clear vs. muddy, swept clean vs. accumulated dust, original vs. reflected. By universal I mean that all human minds can relate to them and access them equally well. We all know the same moon and sun and we can all tell the difference between clear and muddy water and so on. On the other hand the Nihon vs. Kara or Nihon vs. Kara and Tenjiku metaphors at first glance appear to be strictly local as opposed to universal metaphors. Though they may look that way at first glance they are none the less also important universal metaphors in terms of the place that they hold in the model of parental love (Hinagata).

The model of parental love is the perfect representation of our own parent child relationship. Though it has many complex elements, for this discussion I will focus on just two. First is the promise that the Parent of Origin treats all of the children ( we are the children) equally. Second is the expectation that the Parent of Origin will work tirelessly to try and find a way suitable to time, place and maturity, to draw the minds of all the children equally back to their origin. 

On the face of it the "Nihon" vs. "Kara" metaphor creates an apparent and obvious inequity and does not fit in with the model of equity one would expect in the model of parental love (Hinagata). When, however, the metaphors are viewed from the expectation that the parent will try and find a way suitable for time place and maturity for all of the children equally then we see that the metaphors are totally appropriate. At the time that these poems were written there was a worldly common upheaval in Japanese society and an aversion to foreign or alien ideas that had previously held sway in the land. That is not however the end of their place in the model. The model is intended to show that universally, among worldly common human minds there is often an aversion to identifying ideas seen as alien with native ideas. This aversion is often particularly strong when the ideas viewed as alien are so closely associated with ideas of self. For that reason more often than not, it is necessary to show and convince the self-centered imagination that what is intended is natural, native and totally about the truth of self as it is, intimately and at the deepest level. An understanding of this aspect of the model of parental love is crucial for those who would be intermediaries, instruments, missionaries of Moonsun intention. 

Be convinced of the things that appear day by day.

There is no knowing when or what you will hear.

Moonsun is working tirelessly within each of us. Trying all of the different combinations to set us free. There is perhaps a different combination to unlock each mind. There is no knowing which one it will be but we can help with the effort by being aware that the effort to free us is being made and we can adopt a welcoming attitude when it comes. 

Whatever you hear,

it was taught beforehand in the talks of Moonsun.

All human experience can be grouped into two categories: the free and unlimited workings that flow from the origin and the workings of the self-centered imagination lost in its own darkness without any sure guide. The way of both of these has been taught fully by Moonsun. 

 

The words Oyasama uses when she speaks to us are plain and simple words that are easy to understand. For that very reason, however, we tend to limit the meanings of Her words to usages with which we are familiar, and I fear that this will lead us to make erroneous interpretations. We must, by all means, step inside Oyasama's mind, leaving our preconceptions behind, and be skillful in seeking Her innermost heart to discover the true intention behind Her teachings. 

The 3rd Shinbashira, October 28, 1987

If we can grasp the true meaning of the parental love shown in Her Divine Model, we shall then see things we had not been able to see before, we shall understand things we were not able to understand before, we shall be joyful over things that gave us no joy before, and we shall be infused with high spirits we had not know before. A new path of single-hearted salvation will surely be opened before us.

The 3rd Shinbashira February 18, 1986