UNDERSTANDING THE SOUL
GOD WILL HEAL YOU IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE SOUL
For audio, please click the start arrow below.
In our sacred scripture, God tells us:
However serious an illness will become, I never say that it will not be cured. 12-52 Ofudesaki
Do you have an illness that doctors and medicine cannot cure?
In the Bible, Jesus and his disciples were said to have healed the sick. In the beginning of the our religion, thousands of people were cured of their illness; but where are the miracles now?
What are the ingredients to make these miracles happen now? Does this require believing in God and having faith? Does it require making donations or making a pilgrimage to a holy site? The following is from Tenrikyo’s sacred scripture:
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
God tells us:
I WILL HEAL YOU IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE SOUL
Why will God heal you if you understand the soul?
Understanding the soul uncovers why we suffer or have joy. By understanding the mechanism of the soul, it gives us the opportunity to attain joy by our own efforts.
Why do we suffer? Why are some people afflicted with cancer? Why do people suffer from diseases? Why do people get into accidents? Why do I have these intense headaches? Why am I depressed? Why do bad people appear in our lives? Why do some people appear to have joy. Are these all random events or planned by God?
God tells us that these events are not random or created by God. God has been a spectator since the creation of mankind.
Though until now God has never come out into the open
no matter what unpleasant occurrences one experienced. 8-66 Ofudesaki
God tells us that it is our own soul that brings upon joy or suffering to us:
Above all else, guard your soul,
for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
God sees our ominous future by looking at what our souls have collected. God tells us that we have all sinned; and tells 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
God tells us that it is our own soul that monitors our actions by collecting and storing our merits and demerits, and it eventually releases them as joy or suffering back to us. We reap what we have sowed.
What is the soul?
The soul has also been called the heart or the spirit. Scientists have not yet located and verified the existence of the soul in our bodies. Some scientist believe that the soul may be composed of energies, which may make it difficult to identify and locate in our bodies.
God tells us that our souls are who we are; and our bodies are temporary dwellings borrowed from God, that our souls utilize to seek “True Joy”. Our physical bodies eventually decay, but our souls (we) continue for eternity. Our souls are like little suitcases that convey our essence from one body to another. They collect, store, and distribute energy (information) from one lifetime to another (reincarnation).
With what information does our souls enter (birth) and exit (death) our bodies?
Metaphorically, some suitcases (souls) will be described as more heavy and distorted, containing precursors (energies) of negative thoughts (see fig. 1) and its associated ominous fates; while other souls will be described as light and symmetrical in shape, containing precursors of positive thoughts and positive fates. In summary, the soul by itself carries information of our pattern of thoughts, and our fates.
Negative or evil thoughts (?) are arrogance, greed, self-love, and regret. ? represents good thoughts.
By what mechanism does the soul operate?
Upon entering our developing bodies, the soul programs our minds with our previous thought patterns (like greed and arrogance) from our past life (see figure 2).
The soul enters the body and creates the mind, using the body’s complex neural system. ? represents good thoughts in this example. Most of us will have ? (negative thoughts) also delivered by the soul.
There are no surprises to what thought patterns our bodies receive from our souls. We have the same pattern of thoughts that we had acted upon in our past life. For example, if we acted upon the thoughts of greed in our past life, we have the same thoughts of greed in this lifetime. The same neural pathways of greed are reestablished. One can say that our souls upon entering our bodies, create and restore our own individualized minds!
The soul also contains the precursors (energies) of our fates, that were created by acting on our good or evil thoughts. These fates surrounding the soul are eventually released back to us as joy or sufferings (causality). We reap what we have sowed. For example if we acted upon the thoughts of greed in the past, the soul will bring upon sufferings and obstacles back to us to remind us of these thoughts. One can say that our fates are closely associated with our current neural pathways (thoughts), since it is these same thoughts that we had acted upon in the past.
God reminds us that there is no one who is essentially evil; it is only because there are paths of the mistaken mind. The mistaken mind consist of the thoughts of greed, arrogance, regret and self-love. When we act upon these thoughts, we bring upon suffering to others. But unknown to most people, the soul keeps account of our evil actions; and will bring upon its own justice in time. Some will call this karma or innen. What do we do when our karma catches up to us?
Most people will direct their anger, temptation or emotions elicited from these sufferings at the direct source, which could be an angry coworker, stranger, spouse, or even God. But if we understand the soul, we acknowledge that it is our own evil thoughts that elicited these negative emotions and temptations upon us. Our efforts will be directed to calm our minds, and ponder our evil thoughts; therefore not acting upon what emotions were elicited by our evil thoughts. By this process, the neural pathway of the evil thought becomes less prominent, and the emotions they elicit will also decrease. This is how we purify our minds.
Many would believe that fate delivered by the soul is not desired, but it actually helps us realize that the real source of our suffering originated from our own minds. It is these evil thoughts that elicit anger, and other emotions that tempt us to act upon any obstacles, temptations and memories that we recall. It is our evil thoughts of greed, arrogance, regret and self-love we must continually attempt to eliminate from our minds.
What happen when we act on our evil thoughts?
When we act on our evil thoughts, more evil thoughts are created in our minds (figure 3). The neural pathways for these thought become stronger, and the emotions they elicits becomes stronger to resist. This causes us to continually act upon our evil thoughts, causing more demerits which our soul collects. The soul eventually releases these demerits (energies) as fate (see fig. 4). The cycle of suffering will continue until we understand the soul.
When we act on our negative thoughts (?), we cause suffering to others, and create negative energies (-) or demerits that convert to more negative thoughts and also demerits which the soul collects and stores.
Our negative energies (-) or demerits around the soul manifesting into delayed sufferings, obstacles and temptations to ourselves.
When we ponder and do not act on the emotions our negative thoughts bring upon, there are no negative thoughts created and no demerits that the soul collects. (see figure 5)
No demerits or negative energies (-) and negative thoughts (?) created if we do not act on our evil thoughts.
Eventually by this process of not acting on our evil thoughts when our soul manifest sufferings, we can purify both our minds and our souls; where only positive thoughts emerge from our minds, and joy flows from our souls (see figure 6).
Our positive actions create positive energies (+). Some of these energies convert back to positive thoughts; and some are collected by the our souls as merits. These positive energies of the soul manifest into joy by the exchange of energies. The symbol ? represents good thought
Understanding the soul explains how causality, innen and karma function as nature’s justice. When we understand the soul, we realize that our present obstacles are the result of our own past evil actions that we do not recall (actions of past lives). We should not become angry at the messengers of our souls. Do not blame your spouse, coworker, strangers, or even God. We must look within our minds to understand why our souls have delivered these obstacles.
God compares the digging up of a root of a tree 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 from our minds. When we purify our minds (completely dig the root out), our souls will bring upon only joy. By understanding the soul, by our own efforts, we can live a joyous life.
God tells us that God is not a spectator anymore, but will begin to work to have the world understand the soul. God tells us in our sacred book:
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, regret and self love. By this process, we can prevent any illness or suffering in the future by our own efforts.
GOD WILL HEAL YOU IF YOU TRULY UNDERSTAND THE SOUL
Understanding the Ofudesaki to spread God’s truths.
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 telling people that God will begin to work to help us understand the soul and (3) praying with the Joyous Service asking God to bring these people we have spread the truth to our places of worship, continues until all mankind is purified of evil thoughts.
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”.
note: information collected from the Ofudesaki
Questions and answers:
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.
Our belief (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 to have a joyous life.
What about race and gender?
Tenrikyo would 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 in obtaining joy.
Do I need to believe in God to have joy?
The Ofudesaki says 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 of God helping you to spread the truth.
I have faith in another religion; is what is written in the Ofudesaki and my religion compatible?
Tenrikyo believes in the purification of our minds of evil thoughts (greed, arrogance, and self love). All religions will gladly accept this belief.
Tenrikyo says that we should ponder over suffering and reflect on our own minds; but what do we say or do to people that are the messengers of our souls and causing suffering to us and others?
We believe that we should not act on our evil thoughts when these sufferings are directed to us. We must avoid causing harm to others; depending on God to protect us. This is why God tells us to help spread the truth about our souls and pray, so the whole world can someday understand the soul and live the Joyous life one day sooner.