Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven


This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


The theme at hand, the theme that teaches about the truth of origin and of things unknown and which did not and do not already exist is, I think, perhaps a little difficult to get hold of. Let's take a moment and examine a way to approach it.

We have been taught that this universe is the body of God and have been advised to ponder this in all matters. The use of this instruction then will be our key to opening a way to understanding this theme concerning the truth of origin.

Let us recall that these poems were written to address our misunderstanding of Moonsun's teaching. So as we work with the poems it will be appropriate to identify our misunderstanding and deal with it as we see fit. It is perhaps easy to say that this universe is the body of God but it is not so easy for the self-centered imagination to truly understand, in the same way that we understand ourselves to be separate bodies, that it is so. After all the foundation of our self-centered thinking is that we are separate individuals in a universe of distinct objects, forms and ideas which we differentiate with distinct names. We do not have to think about this, it is apparent to us and we understand that it is so. That this is so is what Moonsun refers to as the world's truths or worldly common truths.

It is noteworthy that Moonsun has no antipathy for worldly common truths. Indeed it is intended that those worldly common truths be experienced as a joyous unfolding of things unknown and things that never existed. However in many cases our worldly common truths have yielded unintended suffering, fear and anxiety about our future. In response to our pleas for relief from this situation, Moonsun has shown us the way to return our mind to its original condition of high spirited joy in the face of a constantly changing and unfolding universe. Replacing the very foundation of our mind so that we can settle in the truth of origin and engage in joyous play in the constantly changing and unfolding universe of the known (Moonsun) experienced as the unknown for the joy of it.

That the Parent of origin wishes us to return to the origin and clearly and in a step by step fashion shows us how to do so, is rather straightforward. What is not straightforward are the sincere misunderstandings that our self-centered imagination continues to embrace while attempting to make the truth of origin conform to any of a number of worldly common truths or while attempting to understand the truth of origin in a common way.

To help us to overcome this misunderstanding Moonsun provides us with the means to reason our way back through worldly common truths to the truth of the origin. From Moonsun's point of view everything is known. From our self-centered point of view everything is a gradually unfolding unknown. From Moonsun's point of view, only Moonsun exists. From our self-centered point of view, everything has its own separate existence. From Moonsun's point of view everything has a single original cause. From our self-centered point of view the universe is the result of an unimaginable number of causes stretching back to the beginning of the universe.

Let' s turn now to the poems as Moonsun guides us back through the creation to the truth of origin.

VIII 40-44

Even until now, when I began this world which did not exist,

I began by teaching things unknown.

The phrase, "Even until now", informs us that the creation is immediate and ongoing and not just an historic event that occurred in the distant past. That which is now created is created by Moonsun. The creation is new and fresh being brought into existence without any previous model or plan. Thus the creation can be seen as the evolution or unfolding of an infinite and ever changing unknown.

This time also, I begin to teach again, speaking only of

things which do not exist and things unknown.

This refers to the path of single-hearted salvation opened and taught by Moonsun, God the Parent. It is a path that teaches about things unknown and which do not exist but which surely lead back to the truth of origin.

This is the intention of Moonsun:

to teach everything which no one has ever known.

This refers to the truth of origin, which as we journey through the unknown as it is experienced by the self centered imagination, that is from our fundamental self centered point of view, no one has ever known.

By teaching all of the unknown step by step,

Moonsun will save the world.

When we awaken to the truth of origin we will know the truth of any and everything in detail. It is through the awakening that is single-heartedness with the truth of origin that the world will be saved and recreated as the world of joyous life.

So great is Moonsun's concern,

but those in the world are aware of nothing.

Having sincerely misunderstood the teaching and intention of Moonsun we remain unaware of the truth of any and everything and must strive to come back into accord with the truth of origin and the path of single-heartedness with God.