Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


 

V 41-49

Until now, there has been talk about Kara and Nihon,

but from now on there will only be Nihon.

It is God's intention that the self-centered imagination, the current insecure foundation of our lives, be replaced with the truth of origin, the eternal and totally secure foundation of all that exists.

The branches may look big, but they are weak

and break when handled. Watch the future.

Human self-centered imaginations are branches off of a single root. There is no question that the human self-centered imagination is an impressive instrument in the world. It is however very changeable and rather fragile and insecure. We are directed to watch the future. Most of what was absolute worldly common truth then, when these poems were written, is not absolute worldly common truth now. And what is absolutely worldly common truth now, will not be so in the future.

The origin may seem small, but he root is great.

In all things, know the origin!

The origin may seem small to us because we only recognize worldly common things as being important. And since the truth of origin is not a worldly common truth, it does not appear to our self-centered imaginations. Though it is always here and nothing can exist without it, we are unaware of it because we are distracted by what we consider to be the big show of the self-centered imagination. It should come as no surprise that the self-centered imagination is totally into itself.

To know the origin in all things is single-hearted sincerity. It is single-heartedness with God. It is the truth of origin, the truth of all things in detail.

Do not think that incantations or magical arts are great.

The mind's sincerity is the true art.

Staying with the theme of "short cuts" God is here providing a concrete example of a type of short cut. These kinds of short cut have appeal to our self-centered imagination. If we do not watch and distinguish between what is original, "Nihon", and what is imaginary, "Kara", we find our imaginations to be rather easily captured and carried off by such short cuts.

Of course God knows our problem and so directs us to the main path. The mind's sincerity, the ability to keep our mind oriented at the origin is the true art.

As you humans are shallow,

you say that all marvels are magic.

This shallowness of mind that is spoken of is of a different sort than we are used to. Ordinarily we distinguish between shallow thoughts and deep thoughts. God, on the other hand, sees all human thoughts as being shallow as opposed to the mind that has returned to the depth of the origin, which is the source of all thoughts that rise out of it and are shallow by comparison with it.

Even until now, though God is openly revealed,

there is no one who knows the truth.

Though God was revealed through Oyasama and this teaching that truth was not known because our human self-centered imaginations imagined that something else was going on. The example shown in this theme as the confusion of the path of single-heartedness with God with a worldly common "short cut" of ritual magic.

Hereafter, when I have taught you

the truth of all things.

The "truth of all things" is the truth of origin. The truth that is known through the mind that is truly sincere and settled at the origin. That is the mind that is swept clean, the mind like clear water. The mind that sees the truth of all things as they are and not as they are imagined to be.

Then, I shall show you

God's free and unlimited workings in all matters.

With the truth of all things comes "God's free and unlimited workings in all matters." In my own case my self-centered imagination is not free, it is bound to causality, one thing leading to another. For that reason I have to watch my self-centered imagination to make sure that it doesn't get me into too much trouble. I particularly dislike getting into situations where I know better but get in anyway. For instance: I was recently told something that I in fact agreed with but was told in such a way that my self-centered imagination got very angry. I was able to mask my anger somewhat but I felt like a pressure cooker in doing so. Shortly thereafter I checked my pulse. It was thirty points higher than my normal rate. Not only was my self-centered imagination set to make a fool of me, it was also trying to kill me! I don't know if anyone else has similar problems but in my case I find that when my mind is quiet and at its origin it is totally free of those kinds of conditioned responses that my self-centered imagination, left unattended and unidentified, is slavishly bound to.

Of course I may be unique in this but I doubt it. Perhaps a way to test this for oneself is to decide to do something different than one is used to doing and see if your self-centered imagination will let you do it. The simple things that come to my mind are the struggles with anger, diet, smoking, drinking and the like that seem to be getting so much media attention these days.

When God in Truth begins to work,

the minds of all in the world will be purified.

And once again, so that we do not forget the true way of the path of single-heartedness with God and wonder off on some "short cut" or another. We are reminded that God's work for the salvation of human beings involves the purification of the human mind.

All human bodies are things lent by God.

With what thought are you using them?