Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven


This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.

XVI: 9  - 12

Do not think this return is a small matter.

It will appear here and there in a great number.

We are invited, I think, to understand this matter of returns from three different points of view. From the point of view of the child whose expectations and actions makes it necessary to for God the Parent to scold in this way this subject of returns is rather frightening and threatening. From the point of view of the Parent of Origin it is the assumption of a anticipated and necessary threatening tone directed at a beloved but errant child. Finally, from the point of view of single-heartedness, it is a flat statement of the way in which causality works. Our world is made of causes that yield further causes. The whole system is interconnected and works perfectly, yielding the correct ongoing cause in each and every matter. All of the causes that we set in motion will have their appropriate causal effect within a universe of causes, each functioning perfectly, returning the appropriate cause in response to a cause.  The state of our mind becomes the state and truth of our world. Our self-centered imagination as the sole foundation of our thinking is returning causes that bring us neither the happiness that we desire nor the joy that was intended in the creation of the self-centered imagination. That is why we are taught and hastened to return, realize and understand the truth of our origin.

There is perhaps no one anywhere, still,

who knows the origin of human beginnings in this world.

 Even after four decades of teaching it was possible that still no one knew or understood the origin of human beings that Moonsun, God the Parent was trying to teach. This plain fact provides us with an  indication of how easy it is for us to interpret the simple truth of origin as taught by God our parent in worldly common ways.  

This time, by all means,

I wish to teach all of this truth clearly to the entire world.

It is difficult for me to express the importance of  the phrase "by all means" as it appears in this poem but I will give it a try. God, our true and original parent, has a single intention for human self-centered imaginations ( God's beloved children) and that sole intention is that we be able to live a free and unlimited, joyous life. The joyous life that is promised can only be realized by returning our self-centered imagination to its origin, becoming once again single-hearted with our Parent of origin. There is no other way to realize the promise of single-hearted salvation other than becoming single-hearted with God our parent, the truth of origin. So there is one intention - joy and one means for realizing that intention - single-heartedness with our origin. 

The realize single-heartedness with the origin it is necessary to totally purify or settle the self-centered imagination in our own mind, making it "the mind like clear water". That is, the mind wherein the self-centered imagination is completely settled or removed. 

The phrase "by all means" then refers to what ever it takes to attract and purify or settle all of the  minds of the world. To carryout such a project God the Parent intends to gather a very large number of instruments ("timbers" )who will accomplish this task in ways appropriate for whatever time or place or level of spiritual maturity they happen to be working in. 

To guide those instruments God our Parent modeled several different approaches to opening just a narrow path in a particular time and place and directed at a wide range of spiritual maturities.  It is intended that those instruments or "timbers" who are drawn to the truth of origin would on the one hand maintain the model exactly as it was shown and on the other also follow the model shown by God our Parent and in so doing tirelessly try and test all kinds of ways to attract and settle the self-centered imaginations of  the world. 

It is reasonable to expect that God our Parent's instruments or "timbers" strive to understand the human self-centered imagination and its origin, as well as the problems associated with attracting the self-centered imagination and in gaining its cooperation in its own settling or purification. They are also expert in teaching ways to calm and settle the self-centered imagination in ways appropriate for the time the place and the level of spiritual maturity of those who would wish to return to their origin. Of course all of this is appropriately shown in the Model Path, the Model of Parental Love. 

Listen! This origin is the venerable

Kunitokotachi and Omotari.

God's compassion and love for the needs of all of God's children are fully shown in this verse and the theme that it introduces. Certainly this particular poem is intended to attract minds in a particular, time and place and appeals across a broad spectrum of spiritual maturities. It should be obvious that it is not directed at my mind in my time, place and level of spiritual maturity (I need translation to even know the significance of the names and God my Parent would not handicap my salvation in that way) but it does have utility for me both in terms of its demonstration of the model and if sincerely pursued as a method for purifying my mind.

 In fact, because the venerable Kunitokotachi and Omotari represent the moon and sun respectively they have a great deal of appeal for me. They speak of the appearance of two where in truth there is only one light reflected. Unfortunately, in my time and place, though good for me to do, reflecting on Kunitokotachi and Omotari does not make me a regular guy who can fit in and participate in my community. In fact as a means of communication it puts me pretty much out of touch with the very people that I am trying to convince and so just as the Model shows I have to make an effort to find a way to convey the intention of our Parent in ways more appropriate for my time, place and both my level of maturity and the level of maturity of those whom I would seek to convince.  

One intention, one means and whatever it takes to attract and settle the self-centered imagination. If that is coupled with the instruction to ponder that the whole universe is the body of God, in all matters, I can with confidence project the outcome of this theme and look for ways to duplicate the effect in ways appropriate for my own time, place and level of spiritual maturity.