Sometimes we participate in ceremonies and services without understanding why we have these functions. The ceremonies itself becomes the purpose. It is like the Planet of Ape series where the astronauts finally found out what the remaining humans were uttering. They were saying the Pledge of Allegiance without understanding the meaning.
It is with this warning that I write a blog on the 4th of July. With the political conflicts, and a President that appears to be over using his authority, we must remind ourselves what the 4th of July means. For the majority of people, it is a day of firecrackers and fireworks. It is the same with religion; we forget why we are members of a particular religion. We become a Christian, Buddhist, Tenrikyo or Muslim without understanding what it represents. It becomes a club; it becomes our identity.
It is this danger of time, that meanings get lost, and the ceremonies and services become important. This is why in the Tip of the Writing Brush (Ofudesaki) God continually reminds us that we do not understand.