Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


 

IV: 7-12

From now on, the mind of God will hasten day by day.

Be aware of it.

When things are going our way we generally tend to be satisfied, we do not question our circumstances but rather enjoy our good fortune as being natural and right. When things are not going our way, when we are dissatisfied, perhaps because of illness or trouble, then we are prone to ask why and to seek relief and a change in our circumstances for the better. This verse alerts us to be aware that at any time our dissatisfaction, illness or trouble should be viewed as a hastening, a reminder to return to the origin at once.

No matter how great My haste may be,

I shall say nothing by word of mouth.

We should reflect on this. Our ordinary worldly common truth seeks to examine the circumstances that we find to be dissatisfying and without joy as ideas to be talked about and understood in worldly common ways. To get a feel for this I suggest looking at the "Timely Directions" (Osashizu). The supplicants ask questions with the expectation that there will be a worldly common response that will fit in with their worldly common expectations of an answer or solution to their problem. The answer that is given however is never an appropriate worldly common answer. The answers given always point to the truth of origin, single-heartedness with God and never indulge in what could be viewed as a straightforward worldly common answer. In order to be able to access the meaning of the answers given in the "Timely Directions" or "Timely Talks" the followers were continually hastened to calm their minds and bring them into a unity.

Although God's hastening is great, what is urged is not any variation on a worldly common truth or truths. Those truths have their place but they are not what the path of single-hearted salvation is about. God is hastening a truth that is not an idea or a collection of ideas but rather the direct experience of single-heartedness with God. Thus the hastening is for us sweep our mind, making it like pure water and in so doing allowing us to directly know and understand the truth of origin for our self. God doesn't have any ideas for us to put into our minds. God is solely in haste to direct us to the way to remove the obstacles to single-hearted salvation and the joyous life.

I wish to let you know quickly

of the many people that will come in the future.

Again God is in a hurry. Encouragement is necessary because there is still fear, doubt and misunderstanding in the minds of those who would be God's instruments. The path is expanding! Who is coming? Who is going to help?

I see new faces coming one after another.

Is there no one who can see them with his own eyes?

Watch this marvelous path.

There will be a mountain of stories about it from now on.

How delightful it will be! So many people will assemble,

coming to ask for the gifts of heaven.

To put these last three verses in context, let's return to the opening verse of Book IV.

The present path: what kind of path do you think it is?

Though it seem to you to be unclear.

The fact is that the earliest followers were under a great deal of pressure. On the one hand they hastened to approach God because of their illnesses and troubles while on the other hand there was very strong political and social pressure telling them to stay away. On top of that, they were unable to understand what it was that God was trying to do for them. The path of single-heartedness with God was not at all clear to them. Meanwhile, God was pressing forward with opening a path of single-hearted salvation. Those close by were hastened to cut with the past and return to the origin. God was hastening them to get on board, perfect the Service, realize the path of single-heartedness with God and function as instruments of that truth. The same offer applies to us.

Briefly, though we can work with the ideas, because our self centered worldly common truths get in the way we find it difficult to directly understand the truth that the whole universe is the body of God and that our bodies are things borrowed from God. When I say understand I mean understand in the same fundamental way that we understand that our bodies are separate and our own; without having to thing about it. To help us to understand this truth and to free us from our suffering and troubles God teaches us the Service, which quickly shows the way to return our mind to its original condition. So that it can know and understand the truth of origin, the original cause and truth of all things.

 

There are no divine instructions that say you must do this or that on matters pertaining to your family or other matters which you can think about yourself.

Oshashizu, August 23, 1887 On the illness of Shirobei Umetani