In the Ofudesaki, God directly tells us that God has been on the sidelines only observing us since the creation of human beings. This is referenced in the Ofudesaki a few times. God is said to have descended from heaven to save mankind from suffering, according to Tenrikyo teachings in 1838. Then one may ask, who or what caused suffering before this date?
One question that puzzles me is how God can observe and control over 7 billion people on this earth. Just for your amusement, there are 60 seconds in a minute. There are 3,660 seconds in an hour. There are 86,400 seconds in a day. And finally there is over 32 million seconds in a year. This averages .005 seconds that God may spend with each person every year!
Some may say, there is no God, and that the agnostics are right. Or could there be a part of God in each of us? In the Ofudesaki, this may be inferred. In the first verse of our most sacred book, God tells us we do not understand the mune. Mune is translated as the heart, but it can be also translated as the chest. God also tells us to ponder what comes from our hearts. God tells us that our heart is like the sand that acts as a filter. From these explanations, we can deduce that the mune is not the physical heart or chest, but possibly an amalgam of energy that collects, stores, transfer, and distribute energy. Could this bundle of energy be the soul or spirit that people are familiar with? God has created the mune as a mechanism of self-regulation. We control our own destiny with our behavior because of our own heart.
Some may say that if the above is true, where does God come into play? In the Ofudesaki, God tells us that human beings were created to live the joyous life. But as we can see in the world today, there are people who deceive, rob, steal, control, covet, and hate; and there people who are giving, loving, sharing, and helping. These actions are the cause. We also see joy and suffering in this world. These are the effects. God descended from heaven to tell us the relationships because cause and effect. We reap what we have sowed, not because of God, but it is our own hearts that regulates our behavior. God is telling us that there is part of God in each of us that is guiding us to become good. This is why God tells us to ponder what comes from our hearts. We need to have a pure heart, which we are all capable of attaining. When are hearts are pure, only joy will emanate from them.