Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


VIII, 14-17

Hereafter, I shall teach you everything

about the true path step by step.

I suppose that we could interpret being taught "everything about the true path step by step" as having to do with the long path of mankind from the origin to our present condition. We could also interpret it as being taught the immediate path of returning to the origin that Moonsun was attempting to keep open at the time that these poems were written. I am inclined to think that both interpretations are intended in the poems and that both interpretations strive to represent not two different truths concerned with events in the past and the promise of the future but a single truth that is true now and always has been.

The beginning of this world was by Moonsun.

I began to teach everything fully in detail.

Until then, there was no one who knew.

There were only the thoughts of Moonsun.

Even until today, I have been telling you that everything

is by Moonsun, but still you do not understand.

When we look at three verses above we can see that in the beginning there was Moonsun and only Moonsun. What we call creation and evolution are the thoughts of Moonsun as taught to the instruments of creation (the body of Moonsun as the objective universe) fully and in detail. Even now everything is, not was, by Moonsun. What is of concern here is that Moonsun has "taught" the marvel that is the human self-centered imagination to be able imagine itself to be independent of Moonsun, to be ignorant of the truth of its origin and even to deny its truth when it is shown. Though this thought of Moonsun, the self-centered imagination, is a great, powerful and mysterious marvel it has unfortunately created an unintended side effect. Human self-centered imaginations can become burdened with the causality that governs the nature of the objects that they identify with and as a result can eventually become depressed with the burden of imagining to be a mortal object, the so called "borrowing of a body" from Moonsun. To escape from this depression, Moonsun hastens all human beings to return to their origin and to replace the self-centered imagination as the foundation of the mind with the truth of origin as the foundation of the mind. Having made this one repair and replacement the marvel that is the self-centered imagination will be brought into the service of the truth of origin while at the same time yielding the joyous life that is intended in the creation of this world.

Now this kind of assertion does not sit well with the self-centered imagination and if it remains engaged in the conversation at all, usually because it wants relief from the burden of suffering which has become unbearable or some other want, it might respond by saying," prove it." Moonsun has no problem with such a response and stands prepared to tirelessly show the way, as a parent might strive to show a beloved child, in a manner that is appropriate for the time, the place and the maturity of the child. Thus Moonsun teaches the way to prove the assertion that when the self-centered imagination is returned to its origin, that is to say when it is calmed, quieted and made like clear water, what remains is none other than single-hearted salvation, the truth of origin and the joyous life. To show this proof it is necessary for Moonsun to teach a way for all human beings in all times, places and circumstances, to calm, quiet and purify their minds so that the self-centered imagination can be settled and the truth of origin revealed. Moonsun is totally on our side in this. We are after all just Moonsun imagining not to be Moonsun and at that just supposedly for the joy of it.

The question is then: What is the way that purifies the mind, reveals the truth of origin and that is valid in all times, and places and for all levels of maturity? The answer that has been given is "sincerity". When we sincerely let go of the self-centered imagination (just as Miki Nakayama did at the moment that she became the shrine of Moonsun) we arrive at the ever present and eternal truth of origin. Any and everything is Moonsun.

To help us to cultivate this "true sincerity" we are constantly hastened and guided by Moonsun to return to the origin. Illness and trouble, fear, frustration, injustice and a great yearning are all examples of the kinds of situations that our self-centered imaginations get into but find difficult to cope with. Such situations provide opportunities for us to take the necessary step to escape from the limitations of the self-centered imagination by cultivating and perfecting our sincerity and in so doing awakening to the truth of origin and the free and unlimited workings of Moonsun.

That awakening can be in an instant as is hastened through the truth of the Sazuke (the instantaneous awakening to the free and unlimited workings and power of the origin). Or it can be accomplished in a step by step order. The completion of the Services provides another opportunity for awakening quickly to the truth of origin, as does selfless work on behalf of others and deep self-reflection on the truth of self and the self-centered imagination.

Before we leave these three verses perhaps we should pause and reflect on the last verse of this series. Though Moonsun has been telling us the truth that everything is by Moonsun perhaps we too still do not understand. This verse provides us with an excellent opportunity to identify the cause of any misunderstanding that we ourselves might have concerning the truth of origin. So that we can sincerely turn our attention away from what does not bring understanding and melt back into the truth of origin and the proof that is understanding itself. The verses at the top and bottom of this page are representations of a fundamental truth that once understood are intended to enhance the marvel that is the self-centered imagination and make it an instrument for joyous play in the universe.