Having arrogance I believe is the worst sin. Let me explain. Arrogance is not being right or wrong; it does not matter. Arrogance is thinking one is better than another person for any reason. It can be because of race, intelligence, power, influence, age, religion, etc. Again it is not about being right or wrong. If one feels superior due to being in the right, it is still arrogance.
Having arrogance is like a distorted mirror. As a distorted mirror does not reflect the true image; having arrogance, one may not be able to understand what appear before one. Arrogance often leads to suffering
It is from this perspective of arrogance that I would like to talk about the soul. The soul has no color, it has no intelligence, no politics, it is ageless, has no shape and no gender. Every soul is said to be equal and once pure. How can there be arrogance if we all believe in the soul?
But in this world, we place importance on what is related to our physical bodies, like wealth, education, politics, race, religion, and gender. This gives our minds opportunities to have arrogance, which often lead to anger, hatred, and senseless retribution.
It is for all these reasons that we should believe in the soul to have peace in the world. The following is information from our religion about the soul.
Why do we have joy or suffering? Ever since mankind was created, people have pondered why we suffer or have joy. Why do good people suffer, and why do bad people sometimes prosper? 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; we are told that the good will be rewarded in heaven, while the evil will languish 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
who understands the heart (soul). Ofudesaki 1-1
Why is it so important to understand the soul? Some people call the soul the heart or the spirit. We all agree that our physical bodies are not immortal. Most religious people believe that there exists a spirit or soul in our bodies that is eternal. Science 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 that we are the souls. Some believe that the spirit or soul leaves our bodies at death and enters the afterlife permanently. Others like myself believe that our souls (we) will continue for eternity, existing in both heaven and earth (figure 1).
The soul is an amalgam of positive energies derived 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 our past lives, many of us 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) that the soul stores. We reap what we have sowed; but it is not as simple as this.
When we understand the soul, we acknowledge that our obstacles 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 blaming God when suffering occurs. When we believe in the soul, we must look within ourselves first.
If we can calm our mind and not act upon the evil thoughts (see figure 5) in our minds when the soul delivers these inconveniences or temptations, we can gradually eliminate evil thoughts from our minds; and therefore eliminate the negative energies associated with our evil actions (figure 6). 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. The second step is believing in the soul and responding appropriately to what the soul manifest. Sometimes this is not easy; it requires much effort.
God tells us that she will begin to work to have the world understand the soul. God tells us:
From now on, no matter how serious the illness may be,
there is no illness that is incurable depending on the mind. 5-13
However serious an illness will become,
I never say that it will not be cured. 12-52
God will save you from any illness if one begins to believe in the soul to purify the mind!
OUR BELIEFS FROM A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE:
God descended from heaven to teach us how to live the joyous life. God through Oyasama (Miki Nakayama) and Tip of the Writing Brush (Ofudesaki) gives us the recipe to world salvation. These are the following instructions:
God encouraged the early followers to purify their minds by understanding the soul/heart. God often placed illness as guidance on the early followers to help them purify their minds in order to hasten the performance of our prayer (Joyous Service). This service performed with a pure mind, initiates God’s blessings of world salvation.
God tells us to tell others about the soul; and to tell people that God will begin to help them purify their minds. Tell them that their illness may be God’s guidance to help them believe in the soul. God is giving them a preview of their future. This special guidance or blessing 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 forewarning to others is called hinokishin.
God tells us to perform the Joyous Service (prayer) when our minds are pure (true sincerity). When our sincere prayers are accepted by God, God will then begin to work. God will place temporary illness as guidance to the people we had spread God’s truth to.
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 believe in the soul; and begin to purify their minds by themselves. 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.
Kanrodai at Ojiba where our prayer is directed toward.
“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.