Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven

     

This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.


Recalling our progress in this theme so far: Moonsun has informed us, by us I mean the worldly common point of view that is the self-centered imagination, that in order for Moonsun to work salvation it is necessary to make the origin, the Parent of origin clearly known. I assume that the phrase "clearly known", refers to our settling of our self-centered point of view so that we can understand any and everything from the point of view that is single-hearted with the Parent of Origin. We have also been informed that this information is not given from a human mind, that is from a worldly common self-centered point of view or opinion, but is from the mind of Moonsun, the point of view that is and knows the truth of any and everything. 

In may be that the news that we need to acquire clear knowledge of the Parent of origin in order to receive salvation does not sit all that well with the point of view of the self-centered imagination. We can look at the ordinary parent child relationship to see how this works. In general parents want to give their children what is best for them but even the most sincere parental effort will will not succeed without the cooperation of the child. Children, on the other hand, often have no problem with taking for granted and presuming upon parental love but may be reluctant and find it difficult to understand what is required of them to realize the efforts of their parents in helping them to achieve the desired results. These desired results usually fall into the categories of happiness as defined by good health, wealth and offspring.  

With that in mind Moonsun continues with this theme of making the Parent of Origin clearly known by reminding us that this teaching is in response to our pleas for relief from the suffering that illness, trouble and death brings to our self-centered imaginations. 

IX 33-36

Look all over the world and through all ages.

You will find many kinds of illnesses so-called.

I think that it is significant that from Moonsun's point of view there is no such thing as illness. So in this verse illness is referred to as "so called". That is to say that illness exists for the worldly common self-centered point of view but does not exist when viewed from the free and unlimited point of view that is single-hearted salvation. 

This time, no matter how serious your illness may be,

I shall teach you the family recipe for your assured salvation.

Ordinarily we might expect our attention to be drawn to the very encouraging promise of salvation no matter how serious our illness may be. Indeed that is very promising and encouraging. We should not however, overlook the rest of the verse. Moonsun, the Parent of origin, knows that we cannot clearly know or understand the truth of origin with our limited worldly common, self-centered point of view. It won't do any good to tell us simply to return to the origin, because we are unable to understand what that means! This verse adds substance to the Parental promise and hastening to return to the origin and single-hearted salvation by promising to teach us the way to do it. Further, by calling the way to realize salvation the "family recipe" we are informed that the way or recipe  is intimate to each and every one of us. It is a family matter and from Moonsun's point of view there is no distinction between family members. All are viewed and treated in the same way, without any distinction between one child and another. In following this recipe then there is nothing new to be acquired to be in Moonsun's family. All are taught intimately and included just as we are. 

Form now on, I shall tell you clearly about the ingredients.

Please understand well, whatever I say.

When viewed through the lens of hindsight we know that something went wrong with this effort. These verses were written in 1875. When, approximately eleven years later, the Parent of origin withdrew from physical presence, the self-centered, worldly common condition of misunderstanding and lack of understanding still prevailed. Perhaps we can derive great benefit from the effort of re-examining the recipe and the ingredients to see what went wrong. Though the first impulse may be to question the efficacy of the recipe or the ingredients, experience tells us that more often than not the problem is with the efforts of the cook and not the recipe or the ingredients. Particularly when the desired result has been successfully demonstrated and modeled.  In this case we are often warned that the recipe must be followed exactly as it has been shown. So too the ingredients must be exact and added in the proper order. There are no shortcuts or substitutions in this recipe. 

Your suffering at this time must be trying. 

But look forward to the promise in your future.

With this in mind we can double check the ingredients and the order of the recipe. Starting anew and thus avoiding the missteps of the past we can look forward in our immediate future to the end of all of our sufferings. That sounds appealing to me, all the more so since I am aware that its proof has been convincingly modeled and shown. 

To seek to make fast progress is not inherently harmful; the fault lies in leaving out some of the procedures or steps that need to be taken. Consider this point carefully.

In a sense, it is easy to inherit and bequeath the various things that we regard as constituting our tradition. From the perspective of the spirit of "restoration," however, we need to reflect once more again on those things that have accumulated over time and to distinguish between ones that accord with the teachings and ones that have actually stemmed from drifting into selfishness or self-servingness.

My Hopes For the Young  pgs. 35 & 89, Excerpts from the Second Shinbashira's Talks