Fate is what awaits us around the corner. Will it be joy or suffering? By the definition of fate, we cannot change it. No matter how much we pray, we are destined to our fate. Some will say that God cannot even alter the course of our fate. But what determines our fate? Is it written in our intangible souls when we are born, like the genes that determines our physical characteristics?
In the Heaven’s Truth Religion (Tenrikyo), we believe that we determine our own fate. Our actions and thoughts of today determine our future. What we plant, we sow. Some may call this the natural law of causality (karma, innen). Like the law of gravity, there is no deviation from this law. Even God will let this path go unencumbered. But there is hope for those who suffer.
Causality is often given a negative view, because it is often associated with suffering. But causality also explains why we also have joy in our lives. No matter how much we suffer, by our good actions of today, we create our fate of joy.
The law of causality is also difficult to accept because, by acknowledging it, we have to accept that we have all sinned. It is difficult to accept that a precious child has sinned; not in this present life, but in his or her previous life. Yes, to accept the law of causality, one also has to accept the belief in reincarnation.
In this world, we see evil, and we see suffering. Causality tells us that there is a relationship of cause and effect. But most of the world would explain suffering as fate that has no explanation. Some will say it is God’s will; while others will say everything that occurs is by chance or randomness.
We believe that God descended from Heaven to teach us about causality; and to teach us how to remove greed, arrogance and self-love (sins) from our hearts. By this purification of mind, we all have the ability to create a joyous future with everyone helping each other. The fate of this world depends on those who know God’s truth to spread it throughout the world.