Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


 

V 62- 67

Though years have passed since the beginning of this world,

there is yet no one who knows the truth.

We remain in the context of God's working to overcome our misunderstanding so that we can receive the gift of single-heartedness yet a moment sooner. The verse above continues on with the promise of a new and marvelous path and makes it clear that the new path is indeed entirely new.

This presents some difficulties for our worldly common way of thinking. We ordinarily grasp new knowledge by relating it to something that we already know. For that reason, when examined, the history of mankind looks very much like and can be understood as variations on similar themes that have come before. From God's point of view all of those themes are the point of view of "Kara". That is, they lack the knowledge of the truth of origin, the truth that can only be known through the mind like clear water. That truth of origin is the truth that remains when the mind is settled and no longer functions with the self-centered imagination as its foundation.

The task of understanding then becomes even trickier for our worldly common way of thinking when we find that it is possible to sincerely accept what God is teaching by placing it in familiar worldly common contexts while all the while misunderstanding the truth at the root of it.

No matter how the mind of God hastens,

the minds of all of you are yet inattentive.

The verse above addresses that problem. These poems were written to overcome the misunderstanding of those close to God at the beginning of this new path of single-heartedness with God. Though the followers wanted to understand they were unable to. Their inability to understand came from the natural inclination of the self-centered imagination to relate new knowledge back to itself and its current store of worldly common knowledge. Thus in this way our worldly common knowledge is an accumulation of ideas that have piled up over time like dust in a room that is never swept. Ponder over this. Though this accumulation of worldly common knowledge and experience is very useful for worldly common purposes, it is in fact an obstacle to understanding something entirely new such as a path of single-heartedness with God which can only be realized when worldly common thinking is set aside.

It is actually very hard for us to process anything that is truly new. Our worldly common thinking needs a context to place things in. I don't know about anyone else but I fall into this circumstance all the time. It is something of a trap because the self-centered imagination sincerely tries to resolve the truth of all things by holding on to worldly common and appealing ideas. The truth of origin however cannot be resolved as an idea. It is what remains when all of the self-centered, worldly common ideas are settled or swept away.

When God speaks of being attentive God is referring to the fact that the human mind is either "Nihon" or "Kara". The inattentive mind functions with "Kara", ignorance of one's origin, as its foundation. The mind that is "Kara" can only attend to its own self-centered thinking. It is free only to experience the paths of its own conditioned ideas and contexts. It is not free to experience anything new and fresh. In contrast, the attentive mind functions with "Nihon", the knowledge of the truth of one's origin as its foundation. Or it attends to the business of carefully following God's instructions to awaken the mind to the point of view of "Nihon", the point of view that is free and unlimited in its workings.

Quickly, try the pondering and then hasten.

Why are you not preparing to dig up the root?

This theme of pondering and digging up the root is very pointed and confrontational. Again a question is asked. And again we are hastened. The self-centered imagination tends to tumble off in pursuit of all kinds of things that it thinks it will find to its liking. For that reason we are always hastened to hasten to awaken now, as our imagination will probably forget our goal and tumble off in pursuit of something else soon enough. From the point of view of the reader this question is either asked of someone long ago or it is asked right now. If I take it that God is addressing me now, then I must ask myself if I am sincerely pondering the content of the work at hand. Do I reflect on the truth and the ramifications of the truth, that the whole universe is the body of God? Do I sweep and settle my mind so the root, core and origin of the world is exposed? How serious am I about this teaching? Am I willing to test it on myself and see the truth through my own mind?

There is on one who knows the way to dig up the root,

the truth of this world.

The burden here is placed on anyone who says that they know the truth of origin. Saying so implies knowing the way to dig up the truth of this world. The truth of any and everything as it is.

If you have but truly dug up this root,

this path will become truly promising.

Once the mind is settled and its root revealed even just for a moment, then it is possible to make the distinction between "Nihon" and "Kara" clear. Armed with that distinction we can choose "Nihon" over "Kara" and indeed the path will become truly promising both for ourselves and for the world.

When you have passed through this path, completing the digging,

both the high and the low will be spirited.  

The completion of the path that exposes the origin of the mind is indeed the path for all mankind regardless of situation or condition.

"These verses[ V:62-68] give us an understanding of just how impatiently God the Parent regarded the children's slowness in making spiritual growth."

October 26, 1986 The 3rd Shinbashira

 

All human bodies are things lent by God.

With what thought are you using them?