Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven


This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.

XIV: 29 - 32

Until now, I taught you by the name Moonsun,

but from today I shall use another name.

More than once we have been informed that the path would change in ways that we would not know and that God would speak to us freely. I have no idea how the earliest followers responded to this change of name but I assume that the change was intended to help us to overcome our misunderstanding and hasten our progress in stepping out onto a path of single-hearted salvation.  For me anyway, though I am very fond of the name Moonsun, this change is a happy one and a model of Parental Love and care really seems to me to be a perfect way to address both my own shortcomings and my efforts to reach unity with other minds. 

A word then about the names of God. We were taught that the whole universe is the body of God and that everything is what God says and does. Even our self-centered imaginations are just God's idea of being separate entity, where in reality there is really only one. 

Being only one, there is no need for a name because there is no one else in existence to address or be addressed  by. However, having created the marvel that is the self-centered imagination, God's child so to speak, God now has a multitude of imaginations to address and speak with. Recall that the one has created company for itself and that whole thing is meant to be a whopping good time. Kind of like a joyous picnic or moveable feast for God to enjoy through the self-centered activities and experiences of the children.

Up until now God has had no trouble with staying in the background to enjoy watching the children play but over time something unintended has occurred. We all know that the universe is powered by the transfer of energy that can be rather simply understood as "the big fish eating the little fish", (though now days with our understanding of microorganisms we know that the little fish do their share of eating the big fish too). It is a totally fantastic arrangement and works perfectly on the level of material things but there is a hitch. A fish of any size, provided with a marvelous self-centered imagination can suddenly find the limitations associated with the whole mechanism to be more of a nightmare than a picnic. In response to this unintended condition, God has stepped forward to call all of the children (self-centered imaginations) that are not having a good time back to their origin so that they can understand the truth of themselves as children of God, with all that that entails, so that we can go back into the natural world of names and forms and play, freely and joyously.  

The problem is that even after hearing the call to come home we children have perhaps remained doubtful and somewhat depressed because of the accumulated limitations that have built up in our self-centered imaginations. We could roughly say that the path begins with God simply telling us to give up our depressed thinking and return to our origin. That didn't work and  so Moonsun invited us to use our reason and showed us how and what to ponder so that we might return to our origin. Now God the Parent is calling to us and the path of single-hearted salvation continues so that all of the children can benefit from the Model of Parental love and can return to the safety and the warm embrace of the Parent of origin. 

To a high spirited mind being a child of God must certainly be a good thing. Let's recognize and enjoy that truth in ourselves and in our brothers an sisters, living appropriately as children of God the Parent and not let our depressed thinking, the selfish and rampant thoughts of  the "high mountains", drag us back into the dark and muddy water. 

Until today, though the grand shrines and high mountains

have thrived and done as they pleased,

As this is a Model story, this like all of the elements of the Model Story refers to a local example of a universal human condition. From the point of view of the Parent of origin our self-centered imaginations are pretty much out of control. That is they are running counter to their original intention as an instrument of joy.  

From now on, I the Parent, shall do as I please instead.

Defy Me and I shall give a return at once.

God the Parent is scolding us rather pointedly. Shifting the teaching to a Model of Parental Love and in the same theme making the point that curses, demons, or evil spirits do not exist in this world, allows the Parent to give us a good scolding while at the same time making it clear that this is a family matter and so we can expect intense care and concern coming our way from our original Parent but never harm or evil. 

The "return at once" that is spoken of is the truth of the way in which the state of our mind becomes that state of our world. It is an instantaneous result. If we pay attention to the quality of our thoughts we can prove the truth of this for our self. 

There is a kind of "service" that asks us to remove any preconceptions from our minds so that we can be free to absorb what is being taught without the distortion of preconceptions. There is also a kind of "service" that asks us to begin our pondering from the point of view of a particular set of  preconceptions so that we can know and understand the reasoning that flows from them. That we are all children of the same original parent, that the teaching of the Parent of origin is showing a Model of Parental Love, that the intention of the Parent of Origin is solely that we be able to live free and unlimited joyous lives and that the Parent of origin intends us no evil are all examples of preconceptions that we are invited to ponder and savor the reasoning of. Pondered and experienced from the point of view of those preconceptions the state  the world immediately assumes a truth. On the other hand pondering from the point of view that presupposes the existence of powerful spiritual forces like demons, curses, evil spirits or that god or gods purposely do harm to helpless humans immediately makes the state of the world assume yet another truth. 

In these poems the first truth is an example of a high spirited state of mind that is immediately returned as a high spirited  state of the world, while the latter is an example of a depressed state of mind that is also immediately returned as a depressed truth of the world. 

Know that the regret of the Parent even before today

has not been slight.

The regret of the Parent is the dust of all human minds. That is to say that the regret of the Parent is the unintended result of the way in which our self-centered imaginations have drained the joy from the creation.  Looking at the history of our species we can all easily form our own impression of how severe that regret might be. 

As children of the Parent of origin human beings have inherited the marvelous power to imaginatively create in the world. Though the intention is that our creative power be used to create joy, good in the world. That power can also be used to create evil in the world. The power to create is a gift of the Parent. The way in which that power is used is up to each individual self-centered imagination. So far our performance in this matter has been regrettable. However, in our defense, we can claim that until now we have never been taught the truth of our origin.