TENRIKYO / HEAVEN’S TRUTH CHURCH / 天理教

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Goals of the website:

  1. to understand why we suffer or have joy

  2. to understand the soul (heart)

  3. to understand why God will heal us

  4. to understand the Ofudesaki

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Introduction:

Do you have an illness that doctors and medicine cannot cure? Whatever your illness is, it can be cured by God.

In the Bible, Jesus and his disciples cured the blind and healed the sick. In the beginning of the Tenrikyo religion, thousands of people were cured of their illness; but where are the miracles now? 

What are the ingredients to make these miracles happen now? Does this require believing in God and having faith? The following is from Tenrikyo’s sacred books:

However serious an illness will become, I never say that it will not be cured. 12-52 Ofudesaki

The saving of those whom doctors are unable to save is the foundation of the path. You tell them the teachings. They listen and they are healed. Oct 17, 1893 Osashizu

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GOD WILL HEAL YOU IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE SOUL

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Discussion:

Why does God want us to understand the soul?

It is because our souls hold the answers to why we suffer or have joy. God tells us that we can prevent illnesses and sufferings if we understand the soul.

Why do we suffer?  Why are some people afflicted with cancer? Why do people suffer from diseases? Why do people get into accidents? Why do bad people appear in our lives? Are these all coincidences or planned by God? In the Ofudesaki, God tells us that she has been a spectator since the creation of mankind:

Though until now God has never come out into the open

no matter what unpleasant things one experienced. 8-67

God tells us it is our own soul that brings upon joy or suffering to us:

23 Above all else, guard your heart/soul,

    for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

God sees the sufferings and evil acts in the world and tells us we do not understand the soul:

Looking all over the world and through all ages, I find no one who understands the soul. Ofudesaki 1-1

Gods tells us why we need to understand the soul:

In whatever matters, if the soul of each of you is purified, there will be no danger. Ofudesaki 13-83

What is the soul, and how do we purify it?  The soul has also been called the heart or the spirit. Scientists have not yet located and verified the existence of the soul in our bodies, but many of us believe that it exists. From a hypothetical perspective, the soul is who we are. “My soul exist, therefore I am” would be an analogous phrase to what the great philosopher Descartes once said to prove his own existence.

Our souls are who we are; and our bodies are transient dwellings borrowed from God, that our souls utilize to seek true joy. Our physical bodies eventually decay, but our souls continue for eternity. Our souls are like little suitcases that carry our essence. They collect, store and carry information from one lifetime to another. Metaphorically, some suitcases will be described as more heavy and distorted, transfering upon negative thoughts and suffering to the body; while other souls will be described as light and symmetrical in shape, bringing upon positive thoughts and only joy to the body.  But why the differences between souls? To find out, one needs to understand the relationships between the mind, body and the soul.

Have you ever wondered if you are able to think after you die? Does a soul by itself have a mind?  Some will say that the soul needs a medium like our bodies (central nervous system), or God’s infinite body in Heaven to think. How may this happen? The following explanations are theoretic in nature.

The soul is composed of energy and carries information in the form of energies, the precursors of good and evil thoughts (see figure 1). Our souls descend from heaven and enter our developing bodies; and interact with our complex neural systems (part of the body), creating a unique individualized mind (see figure 2 and 3). One can say that our minds within our bodies become an expression of what information our souls contain. Even before we are able to think, because of what information (energies) our eternal souls have collected and stored from our past lives, we have our own distinct attitudes of thoughts; but these thoughts exclude the memories of past lives.

IMG_1295figure 1

Evil thoughts (?) are arrogance, greed, self-love, miserliness, and covetousness. ? represents good thoughts.

figure 2

The soul enters the body and creates the mind, using the body’s complex neural system. ? represents good thoughts.

IMG_1444(1)figure 3

The soul and the body create the mind.

Although we find ourselves to have our own individual inclination of thoughts, we have choice to act or not act upon them. Our sacred scriptures tells us not to act upon our evil thoughts. We have ultimate control over our thoughts to use our bodies to act good or evil; but as we find out when we are ill, we may not always be able to control our bodies with our thoughts. This makes sense since we borrow our bodies from God.

Our bodies like everything around us is owned by God. So when we use our minds to do harm against others, we are hurting God. When we don’t take care of our bodies like taking drugs or alcohol, we are hurting God. When we discriminate against others due to appearance, we are discriminating against God. As for what happens to us because of these and other evil acts against God, we need to understand the soul.

Understanding the soul is of utmost importance for what happens to us in the future. Like the DNA (genes) that stores the information to construct and maintain our bodies, the soul collects and stores information (as negative and positive energies) that will determine if we suffer or have joy in the future.

Our pure 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 our souls.  These positive energies should only manifest into joy and positive thoughts (see figure 4). God tells us that human beings were created to live the Joyous life. But why is there suffering in the world?

figure 4

The positive energy (+) of the soul (heart) bringing forth positive thoughts (?) and bringing upon joy to the body. This was God’s plan at the creation of mankind.

There is suffering because in past lives, we have acted upon our existing evil thoughts to commit evil acts or sins against each other. These negative acts against God produce the negative energies that the soul collects and stores (figure 5). In the Bible, God tells us to guard our souls against these negative acts by not acting on our evil thoughts.

23 Above all else, guard your heart/soul,

    for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

figure 5

When we act on our negative thoughts (?), we cause suffering to others; and also create negative energies (-) which the soul collects and stores.

Sufferings, inconveniences, and temptations are the results of the delayed manifestations of these negative energies (-) that surround our souls (figure 6). They sooner or later flow from our souls/hearts. We eventually reap what we have sowed. Understanding the soul explains how causality, innen and karma function as nature’s justice.

figure 6

Our negative energies (-) around the soul manifesting into delayed sufferings and temptations to ourselves.

God tells us that evil thoughts (see figure 6) are in many of our minds, and warns us not to act upon them. The following is from Proverbs:

24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;

    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;

    fix your gaze directly before you.

26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet

    and be steadfast in all your ways.

27 Do not turn to the right or the left;

    keep your foot from evil.

We can remove evil thoughts from our minds by not acting on them, especially when our souls bring forth inconveniences or temptations. It is our souls that reminds us with obstacles that we have evil thoughts in our minds; yet many of us do not understand it’s manifestations and continue to believe that evil comes from outside of our bodies. This causes us to act upon what we believe is the source of evil, creating more evil thoughts and adding to the negative energies surrounding our souls; the cycle of suffering continues when we do not understand the soul.

When we understand the soul, we realize that our present obstacles are 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. We must look within ourselves first.

If we can calm our mind and not act upon the evil thoughts 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).

figure 7

No negative energies (-) or negative thoughts (?) created if we do not act on our evil thoughts.

Gradually we can purify our minds and have only joy delivered by our pure positive souls (see figure 8). 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; this is the most difficult step in pondering, and not blaming others.

God compares the digging up of a root to the process of  purifying our minds. As we must have strength and persistence in removing a long root, we must have persistence and strength not to act upon our evil thoughts when inconveniences occur in our lives. We must not be discouraged by what our souls bring forth in suffering; some of us may have longer roots(more sufferings) because we have more evil thoughts to remove. When we purify our minds (completely dig the root), our souls will bring upon only joy.

IMG_1337figure 8

Our positive soul only brings upon joy. ? represents good thoughts

God tells us that God will begin to work to have the world understand the soul. God tells us in our sacred book:

The saving of those whom doctors are unable to save is the foundation of the path. You tell them the teachings (about the soul). They listen and they are healed. Oct 17, 1893 Osashizu

The sick must not be left to suffer. I trust none of you would leave the sick to suffer. Those whom doctors consider to be beyond their help will merely be left to die. Saving such people is called the basis for teaching. October 17, 1893 Osashizu

The healing of the body is of primary concern when we are sick. Most of us will give up all our material wealth in order to be healthy again. It is from this perspective of health, that God will heal you from any illness if you “truly” understand the soul.  God grants us the blessings of healing in order to have us understand the soul, and begin the process of purifying our minds of greed, arrogance, anger, enmity, miserliness, covetousness, and self love.

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GOD WILL HEAL YOU IF YOU TRULY UNDERSTAND THE SOUL

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Understanding the Ofudesaki to spread God’s truths.

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 ingredients: 

Understand the soul and 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 the healing of illness 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)understanding the soul and purifying our own minds by acting appropriately to what the soul manifest, (2) spreading the truth of the soul (hinokishin), and telling people that God will begin to work to help us understand the soul and (3) praying with the Joyous Service asking God to bring these people we have spread the truth to our places of worship, continues until all mankind is purified of evil thoughts.

GOD’S PROMISE:

All mankind will live a joyous life with everyone helping each other.

WHAT WE ASK YOU TO DO:

Please understand the soul/heart, and share with others the sacred book (Ofudesaki) that promises you a “Joyous Life”.

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Questions and answers:

Am I a bad person because because I am sick or suffering?

Conventional belief in karma would say that you are suffering because you committed evil acts in the past.

Our belief (Tenrikyo) will say that everyone has God’s pure soul in them or goodness within, but have accumulated negative energies around their souls that have manifested into sufferings.  While these sufferings maybe unpleasant and sometimes unbearable, they give us opportunities to begin to remove evil thoughts from our minds if we do not act on them (see figure 6). We have control of our future to have a joyous life.

What about race and gender?

Tenrikyo would says that our souls have no color or gender. Our bodies are only borrowed from God. From the perspective of the soul, our appearance does not matter in obtaining joy.

Do I need to believe in God to have joy?

The Ofudesaki says that one just needs to understand the soul, and respond appropriately to what the soul brings forth. But if one wants to share these truths with others, believing in God may be beneficial for this purpose of God helping you to spread the truth.

I have faith in another religion; is what is written in the Ofudesaki  and my religion compatible?

Tenrikyo believes in the purification of our minds of evil thoughts (greed, arrogance, and self love). All religions will gladly accept this belief.

Tenrikyo says that we should ponder over suffering and reflect on our own minds; but what do we say or do to people that are the messengers of our souls and causing suffering to us and others?

We believe that we should not act on our evil thoughts when these sufferings are directed to us. We must avoid causing harm to others; depending on God to protect us. This is why God tells us to help spread the truth about our souls and pray, so the whole world can someday understand the soul and live the Joyous life one day sooner.

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Summary:

GOD WANTS US TO UNDERSTAND THE SOUL.

IT IS THE SOUL THAT BRINGS UPON SUFFERING OR JOY.

GOD WILL HEAL YOU IF YOU TRULY UNDERSTAND THE SOUL.

THE OFUDESAKI GIVES US THE INGREDIENTS TO SAVE ALL MANKIND.

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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.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®

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