Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


 

We begin Book V. God the Parent continues to enter into the mud of our minds to clear them of misunderstanding so that he true Parental Heart can be known even a moment sooner and a free and unlimited joyous life realized in the world.

Book V: 1-10

Until now, there has been much talk of rebirth as oxen or horses,

but there has been no one who knows his past or future.

God is referring to several worldly common truths that were current in the area at the time this verse was written. This is in keeping with God's promise to enter into the mud of our minds and tirelessly work to remove our misunderstandings in ways that are appropriate for the time, the place and the level of our spiritual maturity. These same kinds of truths were taught to me in my childhood, eternal damnation and hell fire for example, but of course the details were much different. Frankly, the notion of de-evolution as a return for bad behavior appeals more to my imagination as I think it is a more sophisticated image. There is however no sense in going into the details of those images as we are not concerned here with worldly common truths that appeal to our self-centered imagination but with the original truth that alone remains when the self-centered truths are quiet.

I mentioned that there are several worldly common truths that this verse refers to: There is the truth of rebirth of the human soul. The truth that human beings can devolve as a return for their behavior in this or some other life. The truth that some human beings know who will devolve and why that is the case. And finally there is the truth that some human beings know the past and future lives of other human beings or of themselves.

In this opening verse of Book V, God clearly teaches that "there has been no one who knows his past or future".

This time, I shall make your future known in this life:

look at the disorder of the body!

The future that can be known is known in the present. We are instructed to look at the disorder of the body. Surprisingly, no particular body is indicated. Not your body or her body, just "look at the disorder of the body." What is the path of the body?

In this world, however much you may be concerned about yourself,

you are helpless against the anger of God.

None of you needs self-centered concern.

God will distinguish between each of you.

That God will judge us is a widely held assumption. Our helplessness in the face of God's anger doesn't sound too good but we will have to wait and see if there is any further help with what that anger is. The point here, beginning with verse one, is that there is no basis for us judging each other or even ourselves according to what we or someone else knows about our past or future lives. Self-centered concern is the foundation of our worldly common thoughts. That self-centered concern can only be set aside by replacing the core of the mind with single-heartedness with God.

Among those living in the same residence,

know that there are both god and buddha.

If you see this, be convinced, whoever you may be:

I shall distinguish between good and evil.

This is an expansion of the same theme. We are taught that God will be the judge of our minds. God's criteria should be familiar to us by now. God will distinguish between good and evil, "clear or muddy", "Nihon and Kara", "original or imaginary". The message here is clear, though there are various traditions and truths in the world they are not judged by God. Only the condition of our mind is judged.

Ponder over this talk, all of you in the world.

There is no mind the same as another.

Even between parent and child, husband and wife, and brothers and sisters:

their minds all differ from one another.

God knows and accepts that our minds are all different. There is no expectation from God that at some point we will all think the same things. The truth of origin exists prior to all human thoughts. It is that one truth that God hastens us to awaken to. Truly, that truth of origin is the one truth for all human beings in all times and all places.

Indicating no one in the world in particular,

I say to you: dust in the mind causes disorders in the body.

Ponder over your sufferings of the body

and then ponder the mind that leans on God.

By indicating no one in the world in particular God makes it clear that the distinction that is made is of the broadest kind. It is the distinction between two states of mind. If I ponder my sufferings of the body then it is the self-centered imagination that ponders. The body then is mine and so is the suffering. If I ponder the mind that leans on God then it is the mind that is single hearted with God, the mind like clear water that ponders. In that case it is God's body and there is no self-centered concern. Nor is there any need for self-centered concern.

 

All human bodies are things lent by God.

With what thought are you using them?