THE TRUTHS OF HEAVEN
Why do we have joy or suffering? Ever since mankind was created, people have wondered why we suffer or have joy. Why do good people suffer, and why do bad people sometime have joy? Religion tries to explain it. Some explain by saying it is God’s will, or only God knows. Sometimes we are told not to worry about what happens to us on earth; the good will be rewarded in heaven, while the evil will suffer in hell.
Our religion believes that it is our own soul that brings upon joy or suffering to us. In the first verse in our most sacred book, is the following:
Looking all over the world and through all ages, I find no one
whom understands the heart (soul). Ofudesaki 1-1
Why does God want us to understand the soul? Some people call the soul the heart or spirit. We all agree that our physical bodies decompose and return to the earth. Most religious people will also agree that there exists a spark or soul in our bodies that is eternal. Scientist cannot confirm the existence of the soul, but many of us believe that it does exist. As Descartes once said, “I think therefore I am” to substantiate his existence. “My soul exist, therefore I am” would be an analogous phrase for those who believe in the soul. Some believe that the spirit or soul leaves our bodies at death and enters the afterlife. Others like myself believe that our souls will continue for eternity, existing in both heaven and earth (figure 1).
Let me further try to explain the soul. The soul is a positive bundle of energies from God. Each of us has the positive energies of God within us. These positive energies should only bring upon joy to us (see figure 2). But throughout past lives, we have committed evil acts or sins against each other. These negative acts produce the negative energies that surround the pure soul (figure 3). Sufferings, inconveniences, and temptations are a result of the manifestation of these negative energies (figure 4). We reap what we have sowed; but it is not as simple as this.
When we understand the soul, we acknowledge that inconveniences, sufferings, and temptations are the result of our own past evil actions. We should not become angered at the messengers of our souls. Do not blame your spouse, coworker, strangers, or even God. It is easy to act with retribution when you feel that you have been wronged. It is also easy to blame others, even God when suffering occurs. When we understand the soul, we must look within ourselves first. How do we do this? We must remove greed, arrogance, miserliness, covetousness and self- love from our minds. These are the evil thoughts or dust that cause us to commit sins or evil acts against others when we are inconvenienced.
If we can calm the mind and not act upon the evil thoughts in our minds when the soul delivers these inconveniences, we can gradually eliminate evil thoughts from our minds; and therefore eliminate the negative energies associated with our evil actions (figure 5). Eventually we can purify our minds and have only joy delivered by our pure positive soul (see figure 2 again). This is God’s promise of our salvation. Understanding the soul is the first step to our salvation.
OUR BELIEFS FROM A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE:
God descended from heaven to teach us about the soul. God through Oyasama (Miki Nakayama) and Tip of the Writing Brush (Ofudesaki) encouraged the early followers to remove evil thoughts from their minds, often placing temporary illness on their bodies to help them understand the relationship between the mind, body and soul/heart.
God told his/her followers that we cannot have true joy while others suffer. We must share these teachings with others. God gave them special instructions to bring others to our places of worship. God told his/her followers that he/she would begin to place illness on others in relationship with the evil thoughts in their minds to help them understand the soul. God gives them a preview of what sufferings they may endure if they continue to harbor evil thoughts. This special guidance is what makes this religion so unique. We pray for the salvation of others! This is why our prayer is so important in our faith.
This guidance as illness is only initiated with our spreading God’s truth about the soul/heart (hinokishin), and performing the special prayer (Joyous Service) with true sincerity. When people we have introduced the soul come to us to be healed, we further explain the soul and God’s teachings. They are then healed and are able to understand the soul; and begin to purify their minds. This process of (1) purifying our own mind, (2) spreading the truth (hinokishin), and (3) praying continues until all mankind is purified of evil in their minds. God hastens for the day that all minds of the world are pure. When this occurs, there will be heaven on earth for all of God’s children.
To continue to purify our minds of negative thoughts ( sin/evil ) when confronted with temptation and sufferings manifested by the soul.
To spread and share God’s truth; telling people that illness and suffering may be God’s guidance to help one understand the soul/heart. This conveyance of God’s truth is called hinokishin .
To pray daily with our special prayer (Joyous Service), asking God to help people understand the soul/heart and to sweep evil from their minds.
Prayer directed toward the Kanrodai at Ojiba
“Evil sweeping. Save them please, Universal Saving God “.
To heal the people whose minds have been revealed when God guides them to us; and teach them about the soul (heart), causality and true sincerity. True sincerity is a mind that ponders over suffering and obstacles that the soul delivers, and accepts these inconveniences in a joyous manner. This will make our minds pure and spirited; and by the principle of causality will bring forth joy in the future due to the pure soul (heart).
All mankind will live a joyous life with everyone helping each other.
WHAT WE ASK YOU TO DO:
Please share this website with others and tell them about the soul/heart.
* the location of the soul is unknown
Reference: Ofudesaki (Tip of the Writing Brush) 6th edition, Oyasama, Miki Nakayama, Tenrikyo Church Headquarter.
An Anthology of Osashizu Tranlation, Tenrikyo Overseas Department @71 Mishima, Tenri, Nara.