In the Ofudesaki, God tells us that illness should be nonexistent in this world. But we see much illness and suffering in this world. God also tells us that illness originates from the mind. God tells us that we have dusts or evil thoughts of regret, covetousness, self-love, greed, and arrogance in our minds. These dusts cause us to act upon any inconveniences in our lives, resulting in the accumulation of negative fate, including illnesses. So, if we can remove these dusts, can we eliminate illness from our bodies? The following is from the Ofudesaki:
Hereafter, however serious the illness may be,
all assurance that I will save you. 9-9
How do we tell a person who is dying from cancer, that their illness is from their minds without causing any hostility? If they are convinced that illness comes from the mind, can they be saved? I believe that these are all questions that we all have asked ourselves as yobokus or missionaries.
In the Ofudesaki, verses 9-10 and 9-11 are translated by Tenrikyo Church Headquarters as follows;
Though there should be nothing called illness in human beings,
No one knows the beginning of this world. 9-10
Because of My desire to have you know this,
I began doctors and medicine for weeding and fertilizing. 9-11
I believe that their translation is in error. The following I believe is the correct translation, which may help us, understand the teachings.
In human beings, illness to say is nonexistent but
since the beginning of this world, there is no person who knows. 9-10
This matter, to let you know, step by step
I will weed & fertilize (remove evil from mind), like doctors & medicines do. 9-11
Verse 9-10 is self-explanatory. Verse 9-11 needs a little clarification. This matter refers to illness being nonexistent. Weeding and fertilizing is the process of God removing evil thoughts from our/their minds. When this happens, illness should be eliminated, similar to when using doctors and medicine to cure illness. Actually this verse is advocating in trusting God primarily, then medicine and doctors in the curing of the body. Can we really cure our own illness without doctors and medicine? Something to ponder!