Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


XVI: 45 - 48

Now hear Me! Until now, you have only listened 

to what I said in my talks.

Though it probably did not occur to those who were gathered to listen to the teachings, there is of course a large difference between listening to Moonsun's teaching and actually following Moonsun's step by step instructions for realizing single-heartedness. That we might do one and not the other is not surprising as our self-centered imaginations are biased toward viewing knowledge as an accumulation of ideas that eventually lead to an understanding. For us, listening to lectures or talks is a perfectly good way to accumulate ideas and worldly common knowledge. 

But today, as I am hastening the path,

all things will quickly appear.

This is a call for each of us to quickly respond to the urging of God our Parent to begin to ponder as instructed and step by step return to our origin. The "narrow path" that is opened and held open with such difficulty will not grow into the "broad way" promised for the future unless it is actually followed, step by step, by a large number of people. If we only listen to the talks and do not act on them then we risk missing out on the perfection of the service and the single-hearted salvation that flows from its completion. I am not sure but I think that such was the case with Miki Nakayama's son Suji, who despite God our Parent's tireless efforts passed away around this time without ever knowing or understanding the core of the truth. 

Once they begin to appear, it will be too late.

Therefore, all of you must ponder.

Though there is only One in truth, through a marvelous gathering and evolution of instruments we self-centered imaginations, the "children" of that one truth, are able to experience a constant and apparently limitless unfolding variety of changes and events. The experience of that apparent variety where in truth there is only one, is intended to be a constant joy.

 The fact that things change defines the limitations of their existence as we know and experience them. The ability of our self-centered imaginations to identify with objects is so cool that we want to identify with and hold onto as many of them as we can, for as long as we can. We are innocent in this desire but our brief (in geological terms) experience of this marvelous power has earned it the name "greed", with all that the word implies. 

We tend to be totally into changes that suit our desires and deem them to be good but are not at all interested in experiencing changes that frustrate our desires and bring the opposite result. Such unwanted changes we deem to be evil.

This verse asks us to ponder the changes that we experience and in the context of these poems we are hastened to ponder them on three levels. On a personal level we are reminded of the way in which we are surprised and dispirited by changes that we deem to be evil and are hastened take preventative action and follow the steps to return to the protection of the truth of origin. 

In terms of the path of single-hearted salvation, we are hastened to quickly complete the service that has been made specifically for us, lest the path move on leaving us behind, as we were, fearful and unable to joyously deal with the changes that are inevitable in the marvelous creation that we are intended to be free to play in.  

And of course, in all matters we are hastened to ponder from the point of view that the whole universe is the body of God, so that we can enjoy a joyous life before we inevitably dissolve back into that truth without ever awakening to that knowledge and understanding. 

Though even until now God has tried to persuade you

by teaching various things step by step,

It is instructive that the master teacher has been unable to get the sincere participation of the students. That such is the case is not because the material is too difficult, nor is it because the teacher has been inflexible in the way in which the material is presented. This verse makes it clear that various ways have been explored and presented. The problem is that though we may listen to what is being taught we are not inclined to make the time to follow the directions as laid down in the proper time frame and order. We are of course busy doing something else. Listening to and acting on the desires of our self-centered imaginations. As a result, if we are unable to realize Moonsun's free and unlimited workings we have no one to blame but our self. It is however probably not a good idea to dwell on these problems as they are just more subjects for the self-centered imagination to pursue and they can be safely left  in the past. Instead the time is right to begin to ponder, right now. The truth of origin, the warm Parental Heart is patiently waiting to embrace our return. 

The trick here is to be sure to include back into the world the body that we are currently borrowing as we ponder the truth that the whole universe is the body of God.