What separates humans from all other species of animals? We have the ability to reason and understand. But sometimes our ability to understand or reason becomes minimized. What happens when our reasoning skills disappear? Some will say that our animal instinct or survival skills become dominant. We see the traits of anger and selfishness manifest in our behavior. Look at what is happening in the world; we see anger and violence between races, countries, and political parties. People begin to follow beliefs, dogma, and high priests without question, like subservient pets. The special gift of reasoning begins to disappear. In the Ofudesaki (Tip of the Writing Brush), God tells us that we do not understand. We do not understand our sacred books; we do not understand the prophets and messengers that God has sent to save us.
How do we begin to understand God? God tells us we need to remove evil from our minds. What are these evils that we need to remove? God tells us to remove the evils of greed, arrogance, miserliness, covetousness and self-love from our minds. These are the dusts that hinder our ability to reason. When we begin to understand, we will begin to see human beings as brothers and sisters, deserving of kindness and understanding.
But if human beings continue to accumulate the dust of greed, arrogance, and self-love, God warns us that there is a path of oxen and horses. God tells us that when so much evil is accumulated, we become like the animal that cannot reason. When this happen, upon our death, we may come back as animals. In the Ofudesaki is the following:
If you let your debts (greed, arrogance, self-love, miserliness, and covetousness) pile up,
there is seen a path of oxen and horses (Causality). 8-54.
What is just or more appropriate for the soul that has accumulated so much evil in this or previous life times, than to be placed in a mind that cannot reason?