In the Heaven’s Truth Church (Tenrikyo), God is said to guide us by placing illness on ourselves. We ponder over the illness, and we reflect on how we have been using our minds. We attempt to determine if we have had greed, arrogance or self-love in our thoughts and action. We then determine to remove these evils from our minds.
But some will say that it is ridiculous and preposterous that God punishes us for our thoughts and actions. But when are we the most free of arrogance, greed, and self-love? It is when we are ill. Money and power become less important; only our health becomes paramount. It is during these times that our minds become open to understanding God’s truths. It is during this limited window of opportunity that God gives us an opportunity to purify our minds. This transient illness serves as a conduit to attaining everlasting joyous life.
With the purification of our minds, our bodies begin the healing phase; but what happens if we ignore God’s repeated guidance of illness? Some will say that God will continue to make us suffer? But if God were surely attempting to guide us, he would withdraw his guidance until our minds are ready to accept his guidance. It would be unfair for God to repeatedly place illness on our bodies if we cannot understand what is happening.
Some say illness and suffering may be random. Some say illness and inconvenience may be a result of causality from a previous life (karma, innen). Others say that these illnesses are God’s tests to enter the after life. Everyone does not want illness; but if illness serves as guidance from a loving God, then should we not ponder over our illnesses and reflect on our thoughts and actions? Can illness be beneficial for our long-term happiness?