Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven
This universe is the body of God.
Ponder this in all matters.
What are your thoughts concerning My workings?
I shall give returns when I accept your minds.
The thoughts of those close to Oyasama were typical of the kind of thinking that was common to that particular time and place. Examples of those thoughts provide the context for this series of poems. At the time that these verses were written there was a powerful expectation among the villagers who had followed Oyasama that she was a goddess not unlike other gods and goddesses that they already knew of. There was then a long tradition concerning the way that those gods and goddesses could be directly influenced by rites of ritual magic to work miraculous returns and to avoid such unwanted returns as rebirth as oxen or horses. Further there was the expectation that gods and goddesses were quite capable of giving any kind of return at any time without any reason or provocation. The Life of Oyasama is a great resource and provides an insight into Miki's and the Nakayama family's exemplary thoughts and actions concerning this subject prior to her becoming the Shrine of MoonSun. This poem asked those close to God the Parent at the time to review their own thinking on this subject of returns. And to determine if their thoughts on it were the result of their self-centered imaginations or the result of their knowledge of the truth of origin as known through the mind like clear water. Just as God the Parent had taught them to know it. Of course those of us reading these poems now are asked by God to honestly answer the same question.
Though the full answer will unfold as we progress through this theme, God begins by teaching that returns are given when God accepts our mind.
What do you think these returns are about?
They will reach you though you be a thousand leagues away.
We are questioned again. What indeed do we think these returns are about? Many traditions have the expectation that god or gods stand in judgement of our thoughts and actions and give returns according to whether those thoughts and actions please or displease. It might occur to our imagination then that god gives good returns when god has judged and is pleased with our mind and bad returns when god has judged our thoughts as bad and is displeased with our mind. However as we will soon see this is not what God the Parent is teaching here.
Having taught that God gives returns when God accepts our mind the point is further explained that we cannot hide the contents of our mind from God. Nor can we escape from the returns given to our mind by changing our location or in this case doing things out of God the Parent's sight.
Whatever you may say or think,
I shall give returns as soon as I accept your minds.
So far we have seen that God gives a return for our mind. It is often assumed that God's returns are for the dramatic things in our lives. The things or outcomes that are important to us and that we pay close attention to. This verse makes it clear that God gives a return for all of our thoughts just as soon as we have them. One way to get an idea of this is to look in a mirror. The mirror returns our image instantly. This is the same as our relationship with the truth of origin. The truth of our minds, all of our thoughts are instantly reflected in the origin and instantly returned as the truth of our world.
Do not wonder what these returns are about.
I shall give returns for both good and evil.
We don't have to speculate about God's returns. The state of our mind is our return. The state of our mind becomes the state of our world.
Whether you speak good or think evil,
I shall give returns at once as you deserve.
What God is teaching us does not have anything to do with judgements made by God. What we put in is what is instantly returned. It is entirely up to us to determine the returns for our mind and the state of our world. God helps us by teaching us the truth of origin. It is up to us to distinguish between what is original and true and what is the product of our self-centered imaginations and act accordingly.
If you begin to see this, My purification will reach
any and everyone in the whole world.
If we understand this and begin to distinguish between the truth of origin and the self-centered imagination then the purification of our mind will take place of its own accord and will positively impact the world. Leading eventually to a world of joy.
Today, though nothing is seen, look toward the eighth month.
Then everything will be seen.
I haven't a clue about these verses that are associated with times and dates but I will say that anyone who practices distinguishing between the original mind and the self-centered imagination for eight months will see the marvelous truth of origin.
Perhaps you cannot foresee what is going to appear.
From the high mountains, a broad path will open.
We are the high mountains rising out of the origin. When we take God's teaching to heart and honestly and sincerely follow God's instructions then we, all mankind, will be a broad path of single-hearted salvation.
I have been preparing to open this path,
but those of you close to Me know nothing of it.
Again, putting this verse into the context of the theme, God frankly indicates that those who were close to God knew nothing of the path of single-heartedness with God and were instead sincerely preoccupied with trying to fit God into the context of their own self-centered imaginations. As always we are in the position of reviewing our own understanding to make sure that we are in harmony with the truth of origin and not stuck with preoccupations with self-centered priorities.
Those who come here to summon or to investigate,
come because of God's intent.
It is God's intention to equally engage the self-centered imaginations of all human beings so that they can be purified and opened to the truth of origin.
Knowing nothing about this,
you close to Me think of it only in worldly terms.
We human beings tend to associate with other human beings who broadly share our self-centered view of the world and be hostile or distrustful of those who hold to different self-centered views. This is the worldly common truth of our current world and the cause of great loss of joy. From God's point of view there are only two states for the human mind. "Nihon", the state that has returned to its origin and is single-hearted with God through the mind like clear water and "Kara", the state that does not know the truth of the origin but only knows the worldly common truths of the self-centered imagination. It is God's intention that "Nihon" engage "Kara" in every possible way, so that the world of the joyous life can be brought about even a moment sooner.
Do not think of anything in worldly terms.
There is a new and marvelous path for you.
A new and marvelous path lies open for us. Whether we step out on to it or not depends entirely upon our honesty and sincerity. Single-heartedness with God awaits us. How long it takes us to return and how difficult a journey it will be depends entirely upon our own mind. With your eyes open, take a moment and identify the voice of the self-centered imagination in your own mind. See how it rises out of the origin. Let it melt back into the parental heart and see the truth of things as the really are without the superimposition of the self-centered determining the state of the world. Remain there awhile and savor the warmth of the parental heart.
The innermost hearts of all in the world,
Are reflected to Me as in a mirror.
The songs for the Service VI, 3rd
See also Ofudesaki Book 8, 11-13
What I have said means none other than the following: the state of mind of man gives birth to the state of the world. The state of man, the truth of the mind of man, becomes the state of the world. You cannot find joy in this state. Therefore I teach.
Osashizu, July 7, 1890
All human bodies are things lent by God.
With what thought are you using them?