Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


 

As we begin to comment on Ofudesaki Book XIV perhaps some reflection on why there are so many Books is in order. Recall that this teaching exists because of the state of our minds and the state of our world is such that many of us are unable to find true and lasting joy in our existence and are looking for a way to realize true satisfaction and joy in our lives. 

The state of our mind that is not working for us in terms of delivering lasting happiness and joy is likened to a room full of dust or a pond that has become clouded with mud and debris. This is the mind that functions with the marvel that is the self-centered imagination as its foundation.   

It is surely the case that for most of us, we can be said to be lost within the darkness of our own self-centered imaginations. In simple terms this results in our inability to clearly distinguish between original truths ( things as they actually are) and imagined truths ( things as we imagine them to be). 

The human power to imagine and shape our own environment is certainly the marvel of marvels in the natural world. However because we are having some trouble with handling this creative power, a path has been opened for us to learn the deep and original truth of our own mind so that we can replace our self-centered imagination with the truth of the origin as the foundation of our thinking. 

Replacing our mind in this way moves our identity  from the shallows of the self-centered imagination to the knowledge and understanding of the deepest level of our being. The result of that replacement being that the self-centered imagination is then able to function freely and without limitation, in full knowledge of its origin. The original is distinguished from the imaginary. The imaginary is set free of  the limitations that it is powerless to control and allowed to play freely with the things that it can control. Thus revealed, the free and unlimited workings of our true origin flow into the world as the foundation of a joyous life. Perhaps a metaphor here will help. Suppose that our self-centered imagination is the Moon. We are running around yakking about how cool Moonlight is and complaining about the changes and phases that we go through and are powerless to control. One day someone manages to point out to us that the Moonlight that we think is everything, is actually just sunlight reflected. When we understand that truth we will no longer be concerned with the changes and phases that we are powerless to control because our true and real identity doesn't go anywhere, it is always shinning. 

Nice, the only problem is that our self-centered imaginations convert everything that we come in contact with into self-centered ideas and truths. For that reason the truth of origin is difficult for us to know and understand. 

Our true and original self, abiding quietly at the very core of our mind, sees and understands our predicament and would like to help us to awaken from our self-centered dream. Unfortunately our true and original self, who we were when we were three years old for example, can't get a word in edgeways because for many of us our self-centered imagination runs a dialogue with itself about what it likes and doesn't like for our every waking moment. 

Now, because the causes were lined up correctly for her to do so, Miki Nakayama awakened from the self-centered dream that we are all stuck in and now as a Shrine of Moonsun  (a mouth for the truth of origin to speak through) began opening a path for all human beings to awaken to the truth of our origin. The one truth that is found at the core of each and every human mind when the self-centered imagination is quieted or purified long enough for it to be revealed.

These seventeen Books of "Ofudesaki", The Tip of The Writing Brush are meant to be a model that shows a variety of ways (Services) to engage the truths of the self-centered imagination and step by step return it to its original pristine condition.  Since no two human self-centered imaginations are exactly the same, the poems and the Services that they hasten the performance of address broad areas of human misunderstanding as they exist in a particular time and place. The entire model is very complex as it addresses one time and place but has the intention build into it to awaken and  train other human beings to carry the work forward in ways appropriate their own time and place, until all human minds have had the opportunity to return to their origin. For that reason it  is said that this is a path that teaches the truth of origin in ways that are appropriate for the time, place and spiritual maturity of those who would hear it. It is also a path by which we can be awakened by cultivating the mind to save or awaken others. 

XIV: 1 - 4

Whatever you may dream, it is by Moonsun,

Whatever is said, also, is all by Moonsun. 

Moonsun, "Moonsun" is a name the truth of origin has provided to our self-centered imaginations to signify everything that exists. It is the one unchanging truth that appears as a constantly changing many. Even the self-centered imagination is Moonsun but the very nature of the self-centered imagination is the denial of that truth. We imagine ourselves to be separate independent beings. It is a great effect but alas it is only an effect and it produces the experience of real limitations where in fact there are none.  

The mind of Moonsun hastens day after day,

but the minds of you close to Me are only depressed.

Moonsun hastened the awakening that comes to the purified mind. For a variety of reasons all related to our inability to distinguish between original and imagined truths, those who heard Moonsun's teaching were unable to understand either Moonsun's intention or the means for realizing that intention. The depression that Moonsun speaks of is the result of the accumulated mental limitations that come from using the self-centered imagination as the foundation for all of our thinking. 

Why are you depressed?

It is because those in high places know nothing. 

Each of us has a direct and intimate connection to the truth of origin. When we turn our attention inward and return to that truth, the result that is returned is immediate freedom from the limitations, cares and troubles that have accumulated in our self-centered imagination. "Those in high places" refers to those self-centered imaginations that feel obliged to try and stop the process of purification and return, not only in their own minds but also in the minds of others. Though they may be persuasive and exert influence on other self-centered imaginations in a number of ways, they really don't know anything about the truth of origin but nevertheless feel that they should try to stop the spread of what they imagine that to be.  

Unaware of this, the whole world follows them in all matters

and is depressed.

Unfortunately most of us tend to be suckers for the stuff put out by "those in high places". Some of us might even be "those in high places" to someone else and perhaps we continue to be swayed by imagined truths that yield a rather depressed state of mind and a depressed state of the human world. 

Fear seems to be the stock and trade of "those in high places."  Through these poems we are encouraged to turn away from them and embrace the freedom and joy of the truth of origin.  Those in high places don't even have to know that we have gone and they certainly have no control over what passes between each of us and Moonsun in our innermost heart. When enough of us have returned to the truth of our origin, the problems caused by "those in high places" will lose their power to attract and capture our imaginations and the world of joyous life will settle of its own accord.