What makes Tenrikyo so different from other religions? We don’t really have to believe in God or attend church to have a joyous life. For those Tenrikyo members, please hear me out before telling me I am wrong and crazy. In the human body, God has created the perfect body to live a joyous life without sufferings. But in this world, we see sufferings and obstacles that our bodies encounter everyday. Why do we not see the joyous life that God promised at the creation of mankind? We believe that God through Oyasama has descended from heaven to teach us how to live the joyous life.
God tells us that we do not understand the soul or heart. What is the soul? Many of us believe that our bodies die and decay while our souls live for eternity. Although some believe that we live for eternity in heaven or hell, we believe that our souls ascend to heaven and return back to our human vehicles (bodies) to continue our journey on earth. Some would call this the repeated cycle of sufferings; but maybe it should not be suffering, but joy.
It is the soul that is like a light suitcase, carrying our thoughts and fate from one lifetime to another. The soul is who we are, and our bodies are temporary dwellings that we borrow from God to attain joy. The interaction of the soul and body makes possible the creation of our minds that usually gives us free will to use our bodies as one wishes. After the soul enters the developing body, our souls reestablish our disposition of thoughts from past lives by programming the mind. For example, if we had thoughts of greed and arrogance in our past lives, these thoughts are transferred from the soul to our minds in this lifetime. The soul without the body is said to be only a collection of our thoughts and fate in the form of stored energy. At this stage without the body, these collections of information are not changeable, since energy cannot be created without matter. It is only when the soul enters our bodies (matter), can energy be created by our actions. The movement of matter creates energy (E=mc2). It is the movement or action of our thoughts that create positive or negative energy. It is these energies that our souls collects, maintains and releases. Let me explain further explain.
Our souls are self-regulators of our minds. As we mentioned before, it programs and creates our minds. It also collects the energy from the actions of our thoughts. Some may say that it acts like Santa Claus; it knows when we are good or bad. It collects our merits and demerits in the form of energy. It is this information that the soul takes with it when our bodies cease to function, continuing our quest for the joyous life in the next life.
The soul eventually releases this energy from our actions in the form of physical and chemical energy, manifesting an increase division of cells, or mutations of cells causing cancer or illness. It can also attract other negative or positive forces to us, like animosity or friendship toward us. We must remind ourselves these occurrences in our lives are messenger of our souls. We must not blame the messengers. Who do we blame and what can we do when suffering, temptations or obstacles occur in our lives?
By this time, one surely must realize that we reap what we have sowed. It is our soul reminding us with these obstacles that we have evil thoughts in our minds that we have acted upon. How do we remove these evil thoughts? Some of you may say that you do not have evil thoughts in your mind. Evil thoughts are not thoughts of murder or other heinous crimes; it is thoughts of greed, arrogance, miserliness, covetousness, and self-love. Some of you may not believe that these are not serious sins; but what happens when these thoughts continue to accumulate in one’s mind?
God tells us that when the soul brings upon obstacles, we calm our minds and ponder, and not act upon any evil thoughts that may have been facilitated by these obstacles. When this happens, no negative energy, and it’s associated thought is created. Remembering Einstein theory of energy, when no movement occurs, no negative energy is created. Eventually if we continue not to act upon our inconveniences, we can purify our minds. When this happen our souls will become pure, and bring upon only positive fate.
Lets get back to you Tenrikyo members that I may have angered by telling people that God or the church is not necessary. When one reaches the state of a pure mind, God tells us that we will be spirited. Can you imagine how wonderful it will be when we wake up spirited and full of joy when we wake up each day? You will want to tell other people, especially to those around you. This is why God has given us a special prayer (Joyous Service) to share these wonderful truths with the world. It is with the performance of this special prayer that God will help us bring people to our places of worship if we spread the truth of the soul with a pure mind. Religion is necessary to spread the truth of the soul!