Happy New Year to everyone! I will continue to attempt to share my beliefs on the soul/heart throughout the new year. My website, especially the homepage is updated daily in attempting to introduce the concept of the soul in improving our minds. These concepts of the soul originate from the Ofudesaki, which are verses written by Oyasama as instructed by God. I encourage all Tenrikyo members to read this sacred book as originally written and put the ingredients into action so we can all live the Joyous Life promised by God. I have attached the revised new homepage below. Again I wish everyone a Happy New Year!!!
GOD CAN HEAL YOU (TENRIKYO)
Do you have an illness that doctors and medicine cannot cure? What if I tell you that whatever your illness is, it can be cured! You are probably thinking that this is a ridiculous statement, and are questioning my motive. No, I’m not going to sell you a product or ask you to donate anything. All I ask is your time to understand what may be the most important information to you, your family and friends.
In the Bible, Jesus and his disciples healed the sick. In the beginning of our religion (Tenrikyo), thousands of people were cured of their illness; but where are the miracles now?
I have spent many hours studying our religious literature to find out why these miracles are not occurring more frequently today. What are the ingredients to make this happen now? Does this require believing in God and having faith? The following is from our sacred books:
However serious an illness will become, I never say that it will not be cured. 12-52 Ofudesaki
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
Suppose I tell you that all you have to do is truly believe in the soul to be healed of any illness or disease. This may appear to be an incredulous statement, but you make up your mind after reading the following information collected from our sacred books.
PLEASE READ THIS TO FIND OUT!
Have you wondered what happens when you die? As I get closer to death, I wonder if my thinking as I am doing now will disappear. I know by fact that my body with my nervous system will cease to function and will eventually decay; but what about me? Do I end with my death? What happens to my mind? Many people believe it is the soul that emerges from our bodies and continues our attitude of thoughts in our next dwelling. Let us further explore the soul.
Why do people suffer? Why are some people afflicted with cancer? Why do people suffer from diseases? Why do people get into accidents? Why do bad people appear in our lives? Are these all coincidences or planned by God?
God tells us it is our own soul that brings upon joy or suffering to us.
23 Above all else, guard your heart/soul,
for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
In the first verse in our most sacred book, God emphasizes her concern about what is happening in the world by telling us we do not understand the soul:
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 soul of each of you is purified, there will be no danger. Ofudesaki 13-83
What is the soul, and how do we purify it? The soul has also been called the heart or the spirit. Scientists have not yet located or verified the existence of the soul in our bodies, but many of us believe that it exists. From a hypothetical perspective, I believe that the soul is who we are. “My soul exist, therefore I am” would be an analogous phrase to what the philosopher Descartes once said to prove his own existence. Our eternal souls are who we are; and our bodies are transient dwellings borrowed from God, that our souls utilize to seek true joy. Our souls are like suitcases. They store and carry vital information from one lifetime to another. Metaphorically, some suitcases will be described as more heavy and distorted, bringing upon suffering to the body; while other souls will be described as light and perfect in shape, bringing upon only joy to the body. But why is there suffering? To find out, one also needs to understand the mind in relationship to the soul and body.
Is the mind part of the soul or is it associated with the body? The answer is yes to both. Our souls are said to carry both positive and negative information in the form of energies, the precursors of good and evil thoughts (see figure 1). Our souls enter our developing bodies and interact with our complex neural systems (part of the body), creating a unique individualized mind (inclination of thoughts) that we usually have control over (see figure 2 and 3). One can say that our minds are an expression of our souls. Even before we are able to think, because of what information (energies) our eternal souls have collected and stored from our past lives, we have our own attitudes of thoughts, but not the memories of past lives. Our inclination of thoughts do not change with our new dwellings.
Evil thoughts (?) are arrogance, greed, self-love, miserliness, and covetousness. ? represents good thoughts.
The soul enters the body and creates the mind, using the body’s complex neural system. ? represents good thoughts.
The soul and the body create the mind.
Our minds are ours, to act or not act upon our existing attitude of evil thoughts, like acting upon greed and arrogance to make others suffer. We have ultimate control over our thoughts to act good or evil; but as we find out when we are ill, we may not always be able to control our bodies with our thoughts. This makes sense since we borrow our bodies from God.
All human bodies are things lent by God. With what thoughts are you using them? 3-41 Ofudesaki
Our bodies like everything around us is owned by 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 like taking drugs or alcohol, 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 and other evil acts against God, we need to understand the soul.
Understanding the soul is of utmost importance for what happens to us in the future. Like the DNA (genes) that stores the information to construct and maintain our bodies, the soul collects and stores information (as negative and positive energies) that will determine if we suffer or have joy in the future.
Our pure 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 our souls. These positive energies should only manifest into joy and positive thoughts (see figure 4). God tells us that human beings were created to live the Joyous life. But why is there suffering in the world?
The positive energy (+) of the soul (heart) bringing forth positive thoughts (?) and bringing upon joy to the body. This was God’s plan at the creation of mankind.
There is suffering because in our past lives, we have acted upon our existing evil thoughts to commit evil acts or sins against each other. These negative acts against God produce the negative energies that the soul collects and stores (figure 5). In the Bible, God tells us to guard our souls against these negative acts by not acting on our evil thoughts.
23 Above all else, guard your heart/soul,
for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
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 the results of the delayed manifestations of these negative energies that surround our souls (figure 6). They sooner or later flow from our souls/hearts. We eventually reap what we have sowed. Understanding the soul explains how causality, innen and karma function as nature’s justice; but it is not as simple as this. There is more we can learn from what our souls manifest. When we ponder what our souls brings forth or what flows from our souls, we have opportunities to purify our minds!
Our negative energies (-) around the soul manifesting into delayed sufferings and temptations to ourselves.
God does not reprimand us for having evil thoughts; but tells us that evil thoughts (see figure 6) are in our minds, and warns us not to act upon them. The following is from Proverbs:
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
God reveals that many of us have sinned or have the potential for sin because of these evil thoughts in our minds. We can remove evil thoughts from our minds by not acting on them, especially when our souls bring forth inconveniences. It is our souls that reminds us that we have evil thoughts in our minds; yet many of us do not understand it’s manifestations and continue to believe that evil comes from outside of our bodies. This causes us to act upon what we believe is the source of evil, creating more evil thoughts and adding to the negative energies surrounding our souls; the cycle of suffering continues when we do not understand the soul.
When we understand the soul, we realize that our present obstacles are 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. We must look within ourselves first.
When one calms the mind step by step and ponders (calm mind of evil thoughts and not take action on these thoughts), it will change into clear water (pure mind). 2-26 Ofudesaki
If we can calm our mind and not act upon the evil thoughts 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 7).
No negative energies (-) or negative thoughts (?) created if we do not act on our evil thoughts.
Gradually we can purify our minds and have only joy delivered by our pure positive souls (see figure 8). 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; this is the most difficult step in pondering, and not blaming others. God compares the digging up of a root to the process of purifying our minds. As we must have strength and persistence in removing a long root, we must have persistence and strength not to act upon our evil thoughts when inconveniences occur in our lives. We must not be discouraged by what our souls bring forth in suffering; some of us may have longer roots(more sufferings) because we have more evil thoughts to remove. When we purify our minds (completely dig the root), our souls will bring upon only joy.
Our positive soul only brings upon joy. ? represents good thoughts
God tells us that God will begin to work to have the world understand the soul. God tells us in our sacred book:
The saving of those whom doctors are unable to save is the foundation of the path. You tell them the teachings (about the soul). 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
The healing of the body is of primary concern when we are sick. Most of us will give up all our material wealth in order to be healthy again. It is from this perspective of health, that God will heal you from any illness if you “truly” understand the soul. God grants us the blessings of healing in order to have us understand the soul, and begin the process of purifying our minds of greed, arrogance, anger, enmity, miserliness, covetousness, and self love.
Truly believe in the soul, and wait for God’s blessings!
OUR BELIEFS FROM A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE: TENRIKYO
God descended from heaven to teach us how to live the joyous life. God through Oyasama (Miki Nakayama) and the Ofudesaki (sacred book) gives us the recipe to world salvation. These are the following ingredients:
Understand the soul and 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 the healing of illness 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. We pray for the salvation of others! This is why our prayer is so important in our faith.
Kanrodai at Ojiba is 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 by the sazuke (saving prayer); 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).
This process of (1)understanding the soul and purifying our own minds by acting appropriately to what the soul manifest, (2) spreading the truth of the soul (hinokishin), and (3) praying to ask God to help people understand the soul, 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.
All mankind will live a joyous life with everyone helping each other.
WHAT WE ASK YOU TO DO:
Please understand the soul/heart, and share with others the sacred book (Ofudesaki) that promises you a “Joyous Life”.
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.