What does it mean to be born again in Tenrikyo? In Tenrikyo, I was taught about the dusts that are called evil thoughts. These are the thoughts of greed, arrogance, regret, and self-love. We were taught that they are the causes of suffering and illness in our lives. By acting on these evil thoughts we accumulate demerits, which eventually manifest into sufferings. We reap what we have sowed.
How do we remove these dusts in our minds to prevent our sufferings? We must definitely not act upon them. But how do we know if they have established their presence in our minds? One way to find out is to understand the emotions that they elicit. For example, the neural pathway of arrogance often elicits the emotion of anger. The neural pathway of greed elicits the emotion of temptation. These emotions are important signals that these evil thoughts exist in our minds.
God tells us not to act on our evil thoughts, by calming our minds and ponder these evil thoughts that may be causing these negative emotions. When we do not act on these evil thoughts, the neural pathway of these thoughts becomes less, and the emotions they elicit also decrease. By this process, we can eventually eliminate evil thoughts from our minds.
It is not coincidence that our souls attract people who have the same thought patterns as we do. These people act on their emotions elicited by their evil thoughts and cause suffering to us. If we do not calm our minds and ponder, we are prone to act on our emotions and cause suffering to the antagonist. This causes us to accumulate more evil thoughts, and also accumulate negative fate. The cycle of suffering will continue.
By being born again, we realize that the world is a reflection of what we have done before. Yes, the antagonists in our lives may be wrong in their actions; but they are only messengers of our souls, telling us that we have evil thoughts in our minds. We can either sweep away the evil thoughts in our minds, or we can continue the cycle of suffering by acting on our evil thoughts.