Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


Book V

Verses 24 - 29

Ponder and come follow Me with firm resolve.

There is a path of hope in the future.

The word "ponder" seems to be an obstacle for many of us. I have often been told that it doesn't hold any real meaning in one's day to day vocabulary. The same complaint is leveled at "reflect". Of course ponder means to weigh or consider carefully in one's mind. But what exactly should we be weigh or consider carefully that we might comply with God's request?

In keeping with the opening verses of this book, the promise of " a path of hope in the future ", a path shown as a model of parental and love is contrasted with a path of judgement and retribution that speaks of returns such as rebirth as horses or oxen. The path of hope offers us nurturing and step by step guidance to help us escape from the unintended loss of joy that can flow from the self-centered imagination that is ignorant of the truth of its origin.

Until now, because the day had not yet come.

I have overlooked your mistaken minds.

"Until now" can refer to the beginning of God the Parents teaching, the day that the above verse was written or right now as we are reading the verse. The same can be said for "your mistaken minds", it can refer to the minds of all mankind at the time God began to teach, the minds of those persons who received these poems or our minds now as we read them.

This time, by all means, I shall sweep clean

your innermost heart. Be forewarned!

The same holds for "This time". It speaks of God's effort beginning with Miki becoming a shine of God. It speaks of the time the poem was written and it speaks to those of us who are reading the poem right now.

As concerns the phrase "Be forewarned", my preference is to read this phrase as, " be aware of it." Notice that Book V addresses in some detail what God's teaching is not about. This verse tells us clearly what God's teaching is about and draws our attention to it.

The reason for this sweeping of your innermost heart

is that the intent of God is deep.

Indeed this sweeping of the innermost heart is not a trivial part of God's intention. It is the core of God's intention to restore the joy of origin to the human creation.

Unless the sweeping is thoroughly accomplished,

you will not understand the truth of My heart.

Though we may imagine, and it is the human condition that we do imagine, all kinds of things that we would like to be the truth of God's heart. The fact is, that until the innermost heart is thoroughly swept clean, settling the mind to be like clear water, we will not be able to understand the truth of God's heart.

This, think is meant to be seriously pondered when we look at the priorities that our self-centered imagination arranges. It is possible to spend an entire lifetime talking about God's heart without ever returning there. In my own case I can say that I fall into self-centered dreams where in some cases years can go by between awakenings. I think that perhaps some feeling for this may come from recalling what it is like to be intensely attached to some idea, person or object and have that attachment change dramatically in time. The self-centered imagination perhaps awakening or perhaps just moving on to something else.

When you have truly come to understand My mind, I shall

teach you the hand movements of the beginning of this world.

I think that the translation here brings out a nice subtle distinction between understanding God's heart and understanding God's mind. On the one hand God's heart is understood when our innermost heart is thoroughly swept clean. On the other hand, understanding God's mind is the understanding that God's intention here is to show us both the necessity and the means to thoroughly sweep clean our innermost heart so that we can understand God's heart and savor the joy that flows from that understanding.

Once we understand what needs to be done God stands ready to teach us the way to sweep the mind and return it to its origin, "the hand movements of the beginning of this world." Anything else is the work of our self-centered imagination "Kara", which of course does what it pleases and only tires of itself when it is dissatisfied, suffering or in trouble.

God hastens us to make it a priority sweep and settle the self-centered imagination even now as this is being read. Before the self-centered imagination moves on to something else that interests it.

Be aware of the dust that covers the origin now. Hear it speak, see it. Look through it, settle it, see things as there really are. Hold the point of view of the origin and for a moment

 

All human bodies are things lent by God.

With what thought are you using them?