THE TRUTHS OF HEAVEN
Why do people suffer? Why do good people suffer, and why do evil people appear to have joy? Why are some people afflicted by cancer? Why does an innocent child die? Why do people get into severe accidents? Are these coincidences or planned by external forces?
We believe that it is our own soul that brings upon joy or suffering to us. In the first verse in our most sacred book, God emphasizes the importance of understanding the soul by telling us:
Looking all over the world and through all ages, I find no one
who understands the soul. Ofudesaki 1-1
Gods tells us why we need to understand the soul:
In whatever matters, if the innermost heart (soul) of each of you
is purified, there will be no danger. Ofudesaki 13-83
Some people call the soul the heart or the spirit. Science has not yet located or verified the existence of the soul, but many of us truly believe that it exists. “My soul exist, therefore I am” would be an analogous phrase to what the great philosopher Descartes once said to prove his existence. Our souls are who we are; and our bodies are transient dwellings borrowed from God, that our souls utilize to seek true joy. God tells us that we (human bodies) were created to live the “Joyous life”.
Some may wonder where the mind comes into play in relationship to the soul and the body. Is the mind part of the soul or is it associated with the body? The answer is both. The soul interacts with our complex neural system (part of the body), giving each of us a unique mind that is ours to think as we please (see figure 1). We have free will to think, but there are always consequences to our actions.
The soul enters the body and creates the mind, using the body’s complex neural system.
As we find out when we are ill, our bodies are not always ours to use as we wish. We borrow our bodies from God. So when we use our minds to do harm against others, we are hurting God. When we don’t take care of our bodies, we are hurting God. When we discriminate against others due to appearance, we are discriminating against God. As for what happens to us because of these evil acts against God, we need to understand the soul.
Understanding the soul is important. Like the DNA (genes) that stores the information to construct and maintain our bodies, the soul stores the records of our past evil actions.The soul by itself is an amalgam of positive energies derived from God at our creation. Each of us has the positive energies of God within us. These positive energies should only bring upon joy to us (see figure 2).
The positive energy of the soul (heart) bringing forth only joy.
But throughout our past lives (incarnations included), many of us have committed evil acts or sins against each other(God). These negative acts produce the negative energies that surround the pure soul (figure 3).
When we act on our negative thoughts, we cause suffering to others; and also create negative energies which the soul collects and stores.
Sufferings, inconveniences, and temptations are a result of the delayed manifestation of these negative energies (figure 4) that surround the soul. We eventually reap what we have sowed. Understanding the soul explains how causality and karma function as nature’s justice; but it is not as simple as this. There is more we can learn from what the soul manifests.
Our negative energies around the soul manifesting into delayed sufferings and temptations to ourselves.
When we understand the soul, we realize that our present and future obstacles may be the result of our own past evil actions. We should not become angry 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).
Evil thoughts are greed, arrogance, self love, miserliness and covetousness.
No negative energies or negative thoughts created if we do not act on our evil thoughts
Eventually we can purify our minds and have only joy delivered by our pure positive soul (see figure 7). 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.
Our positive soul only brings upon joy.
God tells us that God will begin to work to have the world understand the soul. God tells us in our sacred book:
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
In the Osashizu are the following:
The saving of those whom doctors are unable to save is the foundation of the path. You tell them the teachings. They listen and they are healed. Oct 17, 1893 Osashizu
The sick must not be left to suffer. I trust none of you would leave the sick to suffer. Those whom doctors consider to be beyond their help will merely be left to die. Saving such people is called the basis for teaching. October 17, 1893 Osashizu
God will save you from any illness if one begins to purify his or her mind. The first step is to believe in the soul to begin this process of purifying one’s mind.
Questions to ponder:
Am I a bad person because because I am sick or suffering?
Conventional belief in karma would say that you are suffering because you committed evil acts in the past.
Tenrikyo will say that everyone has God’s pure soul in them or goodness within, but have accumulated negative energies around their souls that have manifested into sufferings. While these sufferings maybe unpleasant and sometimes unbearable, they give us opportunities to begin to remove evil thoughts from our minds if we do not act on them (see figure 6). We have control of our future.
What about race and gender?
Tenrikyo says that our souls have no color or gender. Our bodies are only borrowed from God. From the perspective of the soul, our appearance does not matter; but from the perspective of the evil mind, it does matter.
Do I need to believe in God to have joy?
Tenrikyo will say that one just needs to understand the soul, and respond appropriately to what the soul brings forth. But if one wants to share these truths with others, believing in God may be beneficial for this purpose.
I have faith in another religion; is Tenrikyo and my religion compatible?
Tenrikyo believes in the purification of our minds of evil thoughts. What good religion will oppose this in their doctrines.
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