Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


 

Before we begin with Book XV of the Ofudesaki perhaps we should pause for a moment and briefly reflect on some of the things that we have learned from this collection of  poems up until this point.

So far, these poems have been concerned with convincing each of us to radically change the way in which we use our mind. Indeed we are asked to totally replace the  very foundation of our mind. The intention in hastening such a radical and profound change is to provide us with the means to realize a life that is free and joyous. We have been told that the way to realize that free and joyous life is by replacing the self-centered foundation of our thinking with the original free and joyous condition that our mind was in from the time that we were born up until the time when we began to accumulate the marvel that is our self-image. That self-image is who we imagine ourselves to be and that self-image sits on top of and obscures who we originally are. Our mothers, I think, know this about us but have forgotten this truth about themselves.   

We are asked to test and prove this for ourselves by totally calming our own self-centered imagination. Metaphorically, making our mind like clear water and returning it to its original pristine condition so that we can know and understand the truth of our self that remains when the imagination is totally quiet. 

I can attest to the fact that the mind is indeed free and joyous when the self-centered imagination is totally quiet but there are still some unintended problems that flow from the nature of the self-centered imagination that need to be addressed and taken care of. First: the self-centered imagination is, in most cases, enamored of itself and is not really very interested in quieting itself down. Second: Even when it is interested in quieting itself down it finds the task to be difficult to the extent that many claim it to be impossible. In my own case I can say with certainty that it is absolutely possible to quiet the self-centered imagination but difficult to remember to do. Third: There are self-centered imaginations out there who imagine that it is important for them, their duty perhaps, to make sure that nobody else quiets their self-centered imagination and are willing to be oppressive about carrying out their imagined duty. Fourth: Because the self-centered imagination finds it difficult to distinguish between what is imaginary and what is not, in many cases it finds it difficult to even understand what it is that is being asked to do. 

We have summarized these four as having to do with sincerity, a lack of understanding and misunderstanding. Employing methods appropriate for the time, place and level of spiritual maturity of those who would listen; these poems hasten us and show us ways to identify, understand and overcome these obstacles so that we can awaken to, know and understand the truth of our origin and as a result savor the joyous life that is intended for us.  

Let's begin then with Book XV and as we go along hopefully become every more skillful masters of change. Embracing the truth of origin and finding joy in things and circumstances that we may not have found joy in before. 

 XV: 1 - 4

Until today, I have been biding My time,

refraining from speaking out on whatever matters.

God the Parent, Moonsun, the Creator of all and all that is, works in that creation through instruments. The instruments work according to causal rules or laws. The ideal instrument for speaking to human beings is a human being who has causally become single-hearted with the Creator. Miki Nakayama's is such a mind and borrowing Her mouth, God the Parent is teaching us how to follow Her model so that we too can become causally single-hearted with God our Parent and in so doing play joyously in the ever changing causal creation.  

The Model here concerns the tireless efforts that had been made to awaken other members of the Nakayama family and their neighbors. This intimate situation is the same regardless of the huge scale that universal salvation implies. Each mind has to be entered into and the self-centered concerns and misunderstandings of that mind addressed and shaped into a causal path of single-hearted salvation. 

The verse at hand leads us to expect the kind of rather frank talk that we can I think easily understand as passing between a Parent and a child. 

But today, I shall speak out on any and every matter.

Please think of the regret of the Parent.

Obviously things are not going smoothly. The regret of the Parent is the collected self-centered thoughts of us all. We are tardy in awakening and it looks like we are going to get a scolding. 

Until today, you have been thinking

that whatever I said was from a human mind.

A number of years had gone by since Miki awakened and was taken as a shrine of Moonsun however no one else did and as far as they could tell Miki, though eccentric to be sure, had a human mind like everybody else. The point here is that there was no way for them to tell without first following Her instructions and in so doing, seeing the truth through their own minds. 

But now, whatever I may say,

do not think in the least that I have a human mind.

God our Parent asks us to trust and believe just this one thing so that we will be able to sincerely follow the instructions and complete the fundamental change over of our mind to the state of mind that is single-hearted salvation.