Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven
This universe is the body of God.
Ponder this in all matters.
Book Three closed with the verse, Day by day, listen to the teachings of God step by step and enjoy them. It is the (Koki) Divine Record. We human beings understand things in relationship to ourselves and our accumulated experiences or knowledge of the world. These relationships become our individual truths of the world. Familiar things, things that we can relate to, tend to be easier for us to accept, we are more comfortable with them. To the people of Yamato, the word "Koki" is an example of a word that would have had a familiar feel, people could have related to it. Note however, that in this case, while maintaining much of the flavor of the original familiar relationship, a familiar word has been given a new meaning. Of course, we might say, that is what poems and metaphors are all about. However there is a significant difference here. There is ample evidence that the people who came to ask God for relief and salvation were willing to dramatically alter their understanding of their own human thoughts but only as long as the new understandings conformed to things that they could relate to and be comfortable with.
Until now, you have understood everything in an ordinary way. From now on, you will understand from your innermost heart.The familiar words that God employed to teach them did not, nor were they intended to, point to any new relationships or human self-centered truths. Instead they point to an original truth, the truth of the innermost heart, the truth that exists prior to any of our human or self-centered truths and relationships. As this truth is not like any of our self-centered truths, we have to dig it up and reveal it in order to be comfortable with it. Its nature is such that no words or ideas really show it to us. It is our original state of being. To know it, we have to return to being it.
For that reason, as we study the model story of single-hearted salvation it is important that we be able to distinguish between God's mind, (the mind that is known through the perfection of the Service, the mind like clear water) and the sincere misunderstandings of the early followers. Those misunderstandings are addressed and modeled here as a lesson for all people in all times and all places. Those sincere misunderstandings flowed from recasting familiar relationships, familiar "world's truths", into new "worlds' truths" that God referred to as I find no one who has understood My heart. Which is not to say that the use of the familiar and comfortable words and objects is not an important aspect of the model. They are in fact a necessary and important part of it.
These days we encapsulate the necessity of using familiar and comfortable words and objects, into the teaching that we intermediaries (Yoboku), spread God's truth in a way that is appropriate for the time, the place and the spiritual maturity of those who would seek God's relief and salvation. We will see as we enter Book IV and indeed from this book on, that the use of the comfortable and familiar words and objects will become ever more so. This model shows us that God will go to any length and try any means to open our human minds to the truth of origin, the reason of heaven. The point is that for those who would be God's intermediaries, timbers in the construction of the joyous life, it is essential to be able to distinguish between God's mind and man's mind. Between what is familiar and the new meanings that are given to the familiar so that they point to a fundamentally new way of looking at ourselves and the world. To that end God tirelessly uses familiar and comfortable words and objects to point to and hasten the step by step perfection of the service, which is single-heartedness with God.
Now, let's move on to book IV.
The present path: what kind of path do you think it is?
Though it seems to you to be unclear.
The question was and is asked. What kind of path do we think this is? We can look at verse III: 45, This salvation is not brought about by formulas of worship, or by exorcism or by calling on oracles and get a pretty good idea of the kinds of misunderstandings that the earliest followers were struggling with. We can also look at the detail of Miki's worldly understanding of things prior to becoming the Shrine of God and also see the kinds of expectations that existed in a particular time and place. In any case this verse points out that the earliest followers could not clearly see the path of single-hearted salvation. We can of course each look at ourselves today and use this model story to judge how much we have improved on this point.
I already see a broad path ahead. You are saying
that it is over there, but it is already before you.
Because of our self-centered thinking we tend to project single-heartedness with God into the future. As the state of our mind becomes the state of our world we then experience our separation from God as being the truth and we then sincerely look to form a relationship with God, instead of being single-hearted with God. Such relationships indeed become the truth of our mind. The realization of the path of single-heartedness with God is then experienced as being somewhere else, off in time. God says here and now, perhaps God is using a different clock! By now we know the kinds of tricks our self-centered imaginations can play on us.
When do you think this day will come?
On the fifth of the fifth month, it will definitely appear.
The invitation now is the same as the invitation then. Single-heartedness with God is here now. If we need a few days to get our priorities straight and sweep up then that is fine. However to receive what is promised we need only accept what is already given. In my own case, single-heartedness with God is here, now. If I fail to acknowledge it, it is because I am choosing to imagine otherwise. Even then it doesn't hurt to tell the truth. It puts things in their proper proportion.
Then a thanksgiving pilgrimage will begin. Look for it.
People will come whether it be night or day.
For the earliest followers the path could have been anything and fear and accommodation of the world's truth seemed to be the best course of action. Even so God continued to open the path of single-hearted salvation for the whole world. This is a truth that would not be hidden or denied. The truth of origin is best affirmed. This is the thanksgiving pilgrimage. Otherwise the self-centered imagination will spawn a path of doubt and denial, which of course it thinks will better suit it. That is until things go wrong when it will once again seek relief and salvation.
By and by, when the sixth month comes,
know that I shall grant the Proof Amulet.
In trying to find a way to get the minds of the followers to return to the origin God promised and in due time delivered the Proof Amulet. A familiar and comfortable aid to help bring and hold the mind at the truth of origin.
After that, I shall hasten the construction step by step,
and it will become busy in all matters.
With instruments assembled from all over the world God continues step by step with the construction of the mind of original joy. When the broad path is seen and the minds of the world open to the truth of origin in all matters, then the world of joy will settle of its own accord. Once again I should like to draw attention to "all matters". This refers to the fundamental change that is represented by the replacement of the pillar of Kara (the core thought this is my body) with the pillar of Nihon (the understanding that the whole universe is the body of God). In either case the pillar influences all matters from the core out.
I should like all of us to continue working with one another from all angles possible in order that the wish and actions to save others might emanate from all of us and keep on growing inasmuch as we are to serve as Yoboku for world salvation, leading our daily lives in a manner based on the teachings.
The Shinbashira January 26, 2000
As you are aware, God the Parent has promised us the blessings according to the mind. God the Parent did not promise us blessings according to our prayers; rather, the blessings, even if you pray for them, can only be received according to the mind.
The 3rd Shinbashira October 27,1991