Why do people suffer? Why do good people suffer, and why do evil people appear to have joy? Why are some people afflicted by cancer? Why does an innocent child die? Why do people get into severe accidents? Are these coincidences or planned by an external force? Some explain by saying it is God’s will, or only God knows. Sometimes we are told not to worry about what happens to us on earth; we are told that the good will be rewarded in heaven, while the evil will languish in hell.
We believe that it is our own soul that brings upon joy or suffering to us. In the first verse in our most sacred book, God emphasizes the importance of understanding the soul by telling us:
Looking all over the world and through all ages, I find no one
who understands the heart (soul). Ofudesaki 1-1
Some people call the soul the heart or the spirit. Science has not yet located or verified the existence of the soul, but many of us truly believe that it exists. “My soul exist, therefore I am” would be an analogous phrase to what the great philosopher Descartes once said to prove his existence. Our souls are who we are; and our bodies are only transient dwellings that our souls utilize to have true joy. Some may wonder where the mind comes into play in relationship to the soul and the body. Is the mind part of the soul or is it associated with the body? The answer might be in the middle. The soul interacts with our complex neural system, giving each of us a unique mind that is ours to use as we please(see figure 1). Unfortunately, many of us use our minds in ways that go contrary to God’s pure mind because we do not understand the relationship between the mind, body and soul.
The soul enters the body and creates the mind using the body’s complex neural system.
Some believe that the soul leaves our bodies at death and enters the afterlife permanently. Others believe that our souls (we) will continue for eternity, existing both in heaven and earth (figure 2).
The cycle of the soul(heart).
Why is understanding the soul important? Like the DNA (genes) that stores the information to construct and maintain our bodies, the soul stores the records of our past evil actions.The soul by itself is an amalgam of positive energies derived from God at our creation. Each of us has the positive energies of God within us. These positive energies should only bring upon joy to us (see figure 3). But throughout our past lives (reincarnation), many of us have committed evil acts or sins against each other. These negative acts produce the negative energies that surround the pure soul (figure 4). Sufferings, inconveniences, and temptations are a result of the delayed manifestation of these negative energies (figure 5) that surround the soul. We eventually reap what we have sowed. Understanding the soul explains how causality and karma function; but it is not as simple as this.There is more to the soul.
The positive energy of the soul (heart) bringing forth only joy.
When we act on our negative thoughts, we cause suffering to others; and also create negative energies which the soul collects and stores.
Our negative energies around the soul manifesting into delayed sufferings and temptations to ourselves.
When we understand the soul, we realize that our present and future obstacles may be the result of our own past evil actions. We should not become angry at the messengers of our souls. Do not blame your spouse, coworker, strangers, or even God. It is easy to act with retribution when you feel that you have been wronged. It is also easy to blame others, even blaming God when suffering occurs. When we believe in the soul, we must look within ourselves first.
If we can calm our mind and not act upon the evil thoughts (see figure 6) in our minds when the soul delivers these inconveniences or temptations, we can gradually eliminate evil thoughts from our minds; and therefore eliminate the negative energies associated with our evil actions (figure 7). Eventually we can purify our minds and have only joy delivered by our pure positive soul (see figure 8). This is God’s promise of our salvation. Understanding the soul is the first step to our salvation. The second step is believing in the soul and responding appropriately to what the soul manifest. Sometimes this is not an easy task; it requires much effort and restraint not to act on one’s evil thoughts, especially if we believe that we have been wronged by others or even by God.
Evil thoughts are greed, arrogance, self love, miserliness and covetousness.
No negative energies or negative thoughts created if we do not act on our evil thoughts.
Our positive soul only brings upon joy.
When we understand the soul and begin to purify our minds, God tells us not to worry or have fear because we will be sharing it with others who are on the same path of joy.
God tells us that God will begin to work to have the world understand the soul. God tells us in our sacred book:
From now on, no matter how serious the illness may be,
there is no illness that is incurable depending on the mind. 5-13
However serious an illness will become,
I never say that it will not be cured. 12-52
God will save you from any illness if one begins to purify his or her mind. The first step is to believe in the soul to begin this process of purifying one’s mind.
OUR BELIEFS FROM A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE:
God descended from heaven to teach us how to live the joyous life. God through Oyasama (Miki Nakayama) and the Ofudesaki (sacred book) gives us the recipe to world salvation. These are the following instructions:
To continue to purify our minds of negative thoughts ( sin/evil ) when confronted with temptation and sufferings manifested by the soul.
To spread and share God’s truth; telling people that illness and suffering may be God’s guidance to help one understand the soul/heart. This conveyance of God’s truth is called hinokishin .
To pray daily with our special prayer (Joyous Service), asking God to help people understand the soul/heart and to sweep evil from their minds. We pray for the salvation of others! This is why our prayer is so important in our faith.
Kanrodai at Ojiba is where our prayer is directed toward.
“Evil sweeping. Save them please, Universal Saving God “.
To heal the people whose minds have been revealed when God guides them to us by the sazuke (saving prayer); and teach them about the soul (heart), causality and true sincerity. True sincerity is a mind that ponders over suffering and obstacles that the soul delivers, and accepts these inconveniences in a joyous manner. This will make our minds pure and spirited; and by the principle of causality will bring forth joy in the future due to the pure soul (heart).
This process of (1) purifying our own mind, (2) spreading the truth (hinokishin), and (3) praying, continues until all mankind is purified of evil in their minds. God hastens for the day that all minds of the world are pure. When this occurs, there will be heaven on earth for all of God’s children.
All mankind will live a joyous life with everyone helping each other.
WHAT WE ASK YOU TO DO:
Please share this website with others; and have about the soul/heart. Continue to read the Ofudesaki to understand why God descended from heavan!
Reference: Ofudesaki (Tip of the Writing Brush) 6th edition, Oyasama, Miki Nakayama, Tenrikyo Church Headquarter.
An Anthology of Osashizu Tranlation, Tenrikyo Overseas Department @71 Mishima, Tenri, Nara.