Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven
This universe is the body of God.
Ponder this in all matters.
XII: 131 - 134
To my mind, these next four verses are deep expressions of parental love and so with that in mind and before we look at each verse in turn, I would like to set the stage for the parental guidance that follows as it occurs to me.
We have been taught that our parent of origin knows everything about each of us, intimately from our innermost heart. Indeed, our parent of origin knows more about each of us and our path through this world than we know about ourselves ( lost as we are in the darkness of our self-centered imaginations).
Further we have been taught that the parent of origin loves each and every one of us equally, without discrimination. That indiscriminate love it seems is true regardless of who or what we imagine ourselves to be. With that in mind it should then be comforting and reassuring to know that God our parent is always on our side.
There comes a time in any parent / child relationship when a parent must tell a child something that the child does not want to hear. When we are toddlers and are absolutely clueless about the world, this is a constant, routine and trivial process. As we develop however there are crucial times in that relationship when a parent, seeing the painful results that lie ahead for the child, feels that they must be absolutely frank about the usefulness of the kind of path that a child has chosen to step out on.
At those rare and crucial junctures, out of parental love, the parent must give guidance to the child which might cause the feelings of the child to be wounded. In such a circumstance reassurances of love and affection are appropriate. In the case of the parent of origin the child is not being rejected by the parent, rather the parent is pulling the child in closer to a warm and protective embrace.
Until now, though I have repeatedly taught the truth
step by step, you do not understand the core.
The way that the path of single-hearted salvation has been laid down is transparent. Nothing is hidden. We are shown everything so that we can learn from the experience of those who have gone before us. Though they were given repeated and step by step instructions, our predecessors were not able to understand the core truth of the teaching. In our efforts then, we will want to be sure that we are not in the same situation and that we are emulating Oyasama's model and exposing the core and not emulating self-centered models which failed to do so. There is also a time to celebrate the sincere determination of those who have gone before us but that is not the topic of the theme at hand.
To explain what this core is:
the pondering of your heart is the primary concern.
The marvel that is the self-centered imagination is turned outward and views the world as various names and forms. All that the self-centered imagination experiences in this way is actually the one being , Moonsun, but we are unaware of the truth of it. To see the truth of it clearly, we are shown how to turn our self-centered imaginations inward and return them to their origin. Calming the self-centered imagination, looking within and pondering the heart is thus the primary concern. The only ideas involved in this return are those that lead the way back. Ultimately even they must settle for the core truth to be exposed.
If the heart and the mouth differ in any matter,
never will it accord with the mind of God.
This is the way to realize and understand the core truth, right now! This verse sets up an absolute standard of comparison so that we can compare our minds with God's mind and at the very least know the distinction between them.
Let's try it. We know that God's mind is revealed through the mind like clear water. So, when we sincerely and honestly compare our mind to God's mind we find that we have identified, determined, the self-centered imagination. Having honestly done that even by just following the reasoning of it we now can see and know what is in the way.
Further we know that God's mind loves and desires to save all human beings equally. When we compare our minds with God's mind we can see the difference between sincere single-hearted devotion and sincere self-centered devotion. Can we not?
If your sincerity does not accord with the mind of God,
in vain is devotion, however great it may be.
We are frankly told that self-centered worldly common devotion, no matter how great it might be, is useless for understanding the core truth. This is a matter of fact problem that we need to deal with. Once again, we are not being criticized or pushed away. God the parent is totally on our side. We are being pulled in with a hug and a kiss. We should be encouraged and not be discouraged by this guidance. God understands that this is hard for us and appreciates our efforts. Though we may not understand, we can understand and God the parent will stay with us and help us through every step of the way. We need only find the courage to lean solely on the parent of origin, ponder the heart and expose the core. This is not someone else's concern but is a matter between each of us and our loving parent.
Originally, in the beginning, there is only the One Truth, the truth of One Mind. In the world, every sort of manifestation also appears. But for Me to help you along, a settling must somehow take place there. For this I have waited and waited, wondering when it would come. But little by little, you have upset everything and mixed it all up. Because of your human minds, you lack God's truth. This make peace of mind so difficult to settle.
Osashizu, June 11, 1898
Today, we can neither see Oyasama nor hear Her voice. Yet, I find it very reassuring that if we make an effort to inquire into the writings left for us, or the so-called Three Scriptures, they will enable any one of us, anytime and anywhere, to hear and savor the parental love of Oyasama embodied in them in a way befitting each person.
I looked back on the course of the path and pondered afresh what incidents arose when the minds of devout followers became fragmented due to their self-centeredness.
The 3rd Shinbashira January 26,1993