Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven
This universe is the body of God.
Ponder this in all matters.
XIV: 89 - 92
On this matter, hasten to resolve your minds firmly
and begin quickly.
I'm pretty sure that anyone reading these last four verses would agree that God the Parent is hasten immediate action. When we respond immediately that immediate response becomes the state of our mind and the truth and state of our world. If we hesitate or procrastinate then that also becomes the state and truth of our mind and our world.
Hasten to prepare everything for the Service.
Fear nothing, for the Parent gives you assurance.
There is no doubt that the matter that is being hastened here is preparation for the Service (the purification of the mind). Recall that the children were unable to understand the intention, the means and the methods of God the Parent. In short, as has often been voiced in these poems, no one understood anything that the Parent was trying to do.
In response to that misunderstanding and lack of understanding God the Parent brought into existence a number of Services. Those Services were crafted in ways that made them appropriate for the time, place and level of the spiritual maturity of the children. Taken together they show the method of the Model. In this instance God the Parent provided the children with songs and dances set to musical instruments. In so doing modeling a way of purifying the mind that is joyous both in its intention and in its performance. In brief, the Services are the the opposite of the austere, anxious and fearful rituals that in our long history have accompanied such worldly common concerns as exorcising demons, curses and evil spirits. We are encouraged to lighten up even in the sincere work of purifying and replacing our minds.
On this matter, resolve your minds and ponder.
I am in haste to assemble the performers.
Once again God the Parent is in haste. I would think that by now we should be able to see that God's mind is in a hurry to start and complete the purification of all human minds.
Pondering the assembly of the performers brings to mind the power of the Model of Parental Love to resolve our doubts. For example: It can be said that the only way to purify the mind is to sing and dance and play musical instruments much as the villagers did in a particular time and place. Certainly that would be the appropriate way to maintain the integrity of the Model Story but it raises the question of people for whom such a task is an impossibility. People who can't walk or speak for instance. Then there are those others who find the task arduous, unappealing. and for that reason lacking in the kind of joy that is intended in its performance. The obvious answer to such complaints is that it is just too bad. That is the way God the Parent wrote it and one has to either like it or lump it.
Now we can look at this same question and ponder it from the point of view of the Model of Parental Love. From that point of view God the Parent is showing a Model of teaching in a way that is appropriate for time, place and maturity. The intention is for God's instruments to be able understand God's intention, means and methods and use those to open new paths of single-hearted salvation for all human minds in ways that are equally appropriate for their time, place and level of maturity.
There is no instance in this Model where God says too bad to any of the children. The Model clearly shows a tireless effort to try and find ways to open the minds of the children to the truth of origin. By demonstrating a Model of Parental Love, God the Parent has made it clear that as concerns God's love and affinity for the children, there is no discrimination between one child and another. God's love, affinity and tireless effort is spread amongst all of the children equally.
Further, God warns us about the kind of doubt and denial that is at the heart of such distinctions. It is the point of view of those children who are acting out the role of "those on the high mountains".
If you quickly unite your minds and do the Service correctly,
the world will settle.
That God says to unite our minds and quickly do the Service correctly. The word "quickly", implies that from God's point of view both of those tasks can be done quickly. One cannot learn a new language or a new culture quickly so what God has in mind must be something much more direct. Something that everyone in the world can do joyously and quickly.
We all have a mind and we all have a self-centered imagination. How long does it take to get in touch with our own mind? It can be done quickly. How long does it take to identify our self-centered imagination? It can be done quickly. How long does it take to ponder the truth that the whole universe is the body of God? That too can be done quickly. What if we find it hard to remember to do so? We can help each other to remember. How long does it take to replace the mind? It can be replaced quickly. Why isn't my Service completed then? I guess that depends upon how much sincere effort is put into it. When will the world settle? The state of the mind becomes the truth and state of the world. The world will settle when the self-centered imagination settles. Or so one might be moved to ponder while enjoying these poems.
If we wish to receive God the Parent's workings, or blessings, then we have no choice but to be sincere in putting into practice what Oyasama taught us. We must be prepared constantly to carry out what Oyasama teaches us to do, without letting our own minds get in the way. And we must be absolutely firm in our faith that what Oyasama taught us is the Truth that allows no room for doubt. It is vital that we ponder this state of mind as being the key to receiving the divine workings for which we yearn.
The path has reached the point where it stands now by taking a long, step-by-step journey.
Oyasama, out of nothingness, taught the path of single-hearted salvation and demonstrated the Divine Model to us.
The 3rd Shinbashira, October 26, 1993