In today’s world, drugs to reduce depression and anxiety are the most prescribed medications. We all want to be spirited, that feeling that everything is all right. The pharmaceutical companies knowing this predicament, spends millions of dollars on advertisement in distributing anti-anxiety drugs; but these companies usually do not tell the consumer about the many side effects of these medications. How can we become spirited without succumbing to drugs or alcohol and their side effects?
In the Book of Prophecy (Ofudesaki), God tells us to remove evil from our minds to become spirited. What are these evils that prevent us from becoming spirited? These evils are greed, arrogance, self-love, miserliness, and covetousness. These evil thoughts are sometime called dusts. Like the dusts that are on our furniture, they can be easily swept away. But if these evil thoughts are plentiful in our minds, they will be difficult to sweep away, like the dusts ingrained on the surfaces of mirrors. How do we eliminate these evil thoughts from our minds so we can become spirited?
First we must admit that we have these thoughts in our minds and must be determined to eliminate these dusts from our minds. How do we remove these dusts? God tells us to calm our minds and not take action on these thoughts when we are tempted, or inconvenienced. When we continue to resist these evil thoughts, they will eventually be eliminated from our minds; and our minds will become purified. This will make us spirited! For some people, this process of purification and becoming spirited will be very difficult and prolonged because of the amount of evil in their minds. On the path of becoming spirited, there will be relapses, and accumulation of more dusts; we often want to blame others, instead of calming our own minds when inconveniences, suffering or temptation arises. With persistence and faith in God, one can eventually remove evil from the mind and become spirited. We have two choices, one is the easy path of consuming medication, which has nebulous results; the other is a difficult path which God guarantees. Which path do you want to take?
It is said that on the path of purification, anger should not arise. Anger arises from arrogance. If we have the evil thought of arrogance in our minds, we tend to act on it when we are inconvenienced. It becomes difficult to calm our minds, and suppress our arrogance. We want to show our disapproval, or want to teach the other person a lesson. When this happens, the thoughts of arrogance continue to emerge from our minds, causing depression and sufferings. To prevent this we must believe that the inconvenience, or enemy is God’s messenger. We must not “kill the messenger”! Instead, we must calm our minds, and not act on the inconvenience. Sometimes God continues to send his messengers to complete the purification of our minds. Sometimes I wonder, how much wrath can I take from someone; but I know it is God trying to make me whole again. It is this difficult process of purification that will make us spirited.