Understanding Our Sacred Books

I am wondering how many of you consider yourself religious. If so, have your read your sacred book or books completely word for word. I am betting that many of you have not, and depend on your religious leaders to interpret it. I would bet that many of you would be surprised by the contents of these sacred books if you were to actually read all the contents. Is it from God, or is it man made?

Many religious leaders pick and choose contents from their sacred books that they believe would make sense and motivate their congregation into believing, and will not disclose or hide contents that may not make sense or turn off their congregation.

In my case, I was born into a religion that many consider to be a Japanese religion. I remember the congregation dressed in Japanese attire and dancing and singing in Japanese for about an hour and a half. Because of my lack of comprehension of the Japanese language, my mind would often wonder during these services. Church members were told to perform these Japanese prayers, contribute with donations and to make pilgrimages to Ojiba at Tenri, Japan.

As I grew older, I was told that I needed to perform our services without error in Japanese and make pilgrimages to our holy city in Japan in order to save ourselves. Internally I questioned these practices in performing the services in Japanese, but often succumbed to peer pressure from the congregation. Eventually I was told that I did not understand the religion, because I did not agree to pilgrimage to Japan and fully participate in the monthly service.

It is from these situations that I committed to fully study our sacred book, the Ofudesaki. To my surprise, this book of over one thousand verses made complete sense to me. Verses that the reverends of our church often quoted to the congregation were completely wrong in translation and interpretation!

The Ofudesaki gives us instructions on how to purify our minds, by explaining about our souls. It also gives instructions on how to spread God’s truth to the world. Yes, the prayer (Joyous Service) that I once thoughts as senseless chanting, has a vital role in saving all mankind. This simple prayer of the hands can be performed in any language. I challenge the members of my religion to completely read the Ofudesaki to find out what this prayer does.

For those who are religious in other religions, I encourage you to read your sacred books word for word, and find out if it makes sense to you. You may be surprised at what you may find!

 

 

 

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Man is Not Evil

It is interesting that the news media are calling people that commit heinous crimes as evil; but in our sacred book, God tells us that there is no one who is evil.

Among all mankind, there is no one who is evil.

It is only a bit of dust stuck on. Ofudesaki 1-53

God is telling us that thoughts are evil or good, and that man or his or her soul is originally pure. It is the evil thoughts (dusts) that sometimes spread like wild fire from one mind to another. These evil thoughts are like bacteria or viruses that can spread rapidly if not controlled. If not controlled, they contaminate the soul and bring upon suffering to the perpetrators of these evil thoughts.

Suffering in this world does not come from outside of us like many of us think; it comes from within us. It is our own soul that brings upon obstacles or joy dependent on what thoughts we have acted upon. Do not kill the messenger of our souls; doing so will only bring upon more suffering to oneself. Instead we should all try not to act upon our evil thoughts when our soul brings upon these obstacles or perceived enemies in our lives. When this happens, these evil thoughts gradually disappear from our minds, and the soul becomes pure again, bringing upon only joy in our lives.

God tells us these evil thoughts are greed, arrogance, and self- love. We must remove these evils from our minds. We cannot eliminate evil in the world by eliminating human beings; we must help people to eliminate evil thoughts. We must tell people that these evil thoughts cause suffering to others when acted upon, but they also initiate the suffering to the perpetrator. This is nature’s or God’s justice!

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Introduction to the Soul

I was wondering what would happen if all of the world would understand the soul and the concept of reincarnation. Would we have so much suffering in the world? The Tenrikyo religion believes that eventually everyone will understand the soul/heart to have a “Joyous life”.

Introduction to the soul:

Do you have an illness that doctors and medicine cannot cure?

In the Bible, Jesus and his disciples cured the blind and healed the sick. In the beginning of the Tenrikyo 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? The following is from Tenrikyo’s sacred scriptures:

 

However serious an illness will become, I never say that it will not be cured. 12-52 Ofudesaki /Tenrikyo

 

The saving of those whom doctors are unable to save is the foundation of the path. You tell them the teachings. They listen and they are healed. Oct 17, 1893 Osashizu /Tenrikyo

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What are the teachings? What do we tell people?

GOD WILL HEAL YOU IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE SOUL

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Discussion:

Why will God heal us if we understand the soul?

It is because understanding the soul uncovers the mystery of why we suffer or have joy.

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 bad people appear in our lives? Are these all coincidences or planned by God?

The events in our lives are not haphazard coincidences or instigated by God. God has been a spectator since the creation of mankind, but will begin to help us understand the soul.

 

Though until now God has never come out into the open

no matter what unpleasant occurrences one experienced. 8-67 Ofudesaki / Tenrikyo

 

God tells us it is our own soul that brings upon joy or suffering to us:

 

Above all else, guard your heart/soul,

for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

 

God sees our ominous future by looking at what our souls have collected; 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/heart.* Ofudesaki 1-1 / Tenrikyo

 

Gods tells us why we need to understand the soul:

 

In whatever matters, if the soul of each of you is purified, there will be no danger. Ofudesaki 13-83 /Tenrikyo

 

* In the original English translation, mune  (heart/soul) is translated as God’s heart, which completely changes the meaning of the verse.

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What is the soul, and how do we purify it? 

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, but many of us believe that it exists. From a hypothetical perspective, the soul is who we are. “My soul exist, therefore I am” would be an analogous phrase to what the great philosopher Descartes once said to prove his own existence.

Our souls are who we are; and our bodies are transient dwellings borrowed from God, that our souls utilize to seek “True Joy”. Our physical bodies eventually decay, but our souls continue for eternity. Our souls are like little suitcases that carry our essence. They collect, store, carry and distribute information from one lifetime to another.

What information does our souls carry?

Metaphorically, some suitcases (souls) will be described as more heavy and distorted, transferring upon negative thoughts (see figure 1) and sufferings to the developing body; while other souls will be described as light and symmetrical in shape, bringing upon positive thoughts and only joy to the body. Most of us will have souls somewhere in between the two extremes. What makes each soul different? To find out, one needs to understand the relationship between the mind and the soul.

 

IMG_1295figure 1

Evil thoughts (?) are arrogance, greed, self-love, miserliness, and covetousness. ? represents good thoughts.

 

Upon entering our bodies, the soul becomes the control center of our minds. It transfers and collects our individual attitude of thoughts from one life time to another (see figure 2). Because of this, each of us has a distinct individualized mind. The following is from the Ofudesaki:

Even between parent and child, husband and wife, and siblings,

their minds all differ from one another. Ofudesaki 5-8 /Tenrikyo

There are no surprises to what thoughts we receive from our souls. We have the same thoughts that we have acted upon in our past lives. For example, if we acted upon the thoughts of greed in our past lives, we have the same thoughts of greed in this lifetime.

 

figure 2

The soul enters the body and creates the mind, using the body’s complex neural system. ? represents good thoughts.

 

From these same thoughts that we have acted upon in our past lives, the soul brings forth joy or sufferings as fate to our bodies (causality or karma). For example if we acted upon the thoughts of greed in a previous life, the soul may manifest suffering or obstacles to remind us of the thoughts of greed that still persist in our minds today.

We now know that evil thoughts in our minds are the sources of our sufferings. It is these evil thoughts that influence us to act negatively when temptations or obstacles delivered by our souls occur in our lives.

How do we remove these evil thoughts from our minds?

We cannot just will or wish (pray) our evil thoughts from our minds since they are like dusts that are ingrained in a mirror; we cannot easily sweep them away. Much effort will be needed to eliminate them.

Fortunately God gives us free will or control of our minds; and also we have help from our souls to eliminate evil thoughts. How does this happen?

God tells us that we can eliminate evil from our minds by not acting upon them when the soul manifest suffering, temptations and obstacles in our lives. It is because God grants us free will or control of our minds, that we can resist acting on what evil thoughts are in our minds. Many would believe that fate delivered by the soul is not desired, but it actually helps us realize that evil exist in our minds when obstacles occur in our lives. We can eliminate evil thoughts when our souls manifest fate, by calming our minds, acknowledging our evil thoughts, and resist acting upon them. By this process we can gradually purify our minds using both our fate and free will.

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) ; and our soul collects the demerits (negative energy) created by these acts, and eventually releases them as sufferings, temptations and obstacles (see figure 4)

 

figure 3

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.

 

figure 4

Our negative energies (-) or demerits around the soul manifesting into delayed sufferings, obstacles and temptations to ourselves.

 

When we do not act on our negative thoughts, there are no negative thoughts created and no demerits that the soul collects. (see figure 5)

 

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 joy flows from our souls and only positive thoughts from our minds (see figure 6).

 

IMG_1337figure 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. It is easy to act with retribution when you feel that you have been wronged. It is also easy to blame others, even blaming God when suffering occurs. We must look within our minds to understand why our souls deliver 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.

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 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 /Tenrikyo

 

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 / Tenrikyo

 

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, anger, enmity, miserliness, covetousness, and self love.

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GOD WILL HEAL YOU IF YOU TRULY UNDERSTAND THE SOUL

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Reincarnation

I visited our local Barnes and Noble, and came upon a book written by Brian L. Weiss, M.D.  It is interesting that he says that there are references to reincarnation in both the Old and New Testaments. He states that in A.D. 325 the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, had deleted references to reincarnation contained in the New Testament. The Second Council of Constantinople meeting in A.D. 553 confirmed this action and declared there will be no references to reincarnation, and any references would be considered heresy. The early Gnostics-Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Saint Jerome, and many others-believed in reincarnation.

The book was about a woman who had come to his medical office complaining of anxiety and fear. To his surprise on hypnotizing her,  she began to remember her past lives, which she claimed was 89 past lives. Some of her fears she was experiencing were the result of occurrences in her past lives. This knowledge of the origin of her fears appeared to ease her fears. The book also made reference that many of the people (souls) in her life today are also people that were part of her life in her past lives. We tend to attract each other to possible resolve our problems?

The book was hopeful in that it solidified my opinion that we have lived before, but it also left me with an empty feeling. In the story, this women finds out  about the struggles and conflicts with the people that she is having problems today with; but it appears that she does not resolve her problems from one life time to another. She continues to make the same mistakes when confronted with inconveniences and people.

How do we resolve our problems that we are having today? Will regression and hypnosis help us?  Yes we may find out the cause of what is bothering us today by regression, but what do we do with this information to help us.  We now know that there is cause and effect of our actions. It is our souls that bring upon suffering or joy, depending on if we act or not act upon our misguided (evil) thoughts. God tells us that he/she does not want our apologies for past sins, but wants us to resist acting upon our evil thoughts when obstacles or temptations delivered by the soul occurs. By this process, we purify our minds of these evil thoughts (greed, arrogance, and self love), and eventually purify our soul.

Let me know your thoughts!!!

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Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Oyasama (comparable to Jesus in the Christian Church) once said that sometimes we must not pursue to challenge people who we believe have wronged us. She emphasized that their anger and vice (dust) may attach upon us, and cause us to act like them.  This is certainly obvious in our political environment where both parties are stretching the truth and fabricating lies and innuendos in going after people they believe are immoral or corrupt.

How do we seek justice for the crimes that we believe have occurred?  Do we have a responsibility to stop and report it? Maybe.  Is our justice system always right? Of course not; we know that some guilty people are exonerated, and some innocent people are incarcerated. Is there a universal justice, where all are actions are monitored, and justice rendered as joy or suffering.  Like the classic Christmas song, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, where Santa is making a list, and checking it twice; finding out who is naughty or nice. Is God Santa Claus who makes sure that justice is delivered to everyone equally?

Or could we have something within us that is monitoring our behavior and thoughts, and eventually meting out justice. Some will call this the soul, heart, or spirit, which continues for eternity, unlike our physical bodies that decay. It is the soul that collects are merits and demerits, and eventually delivers joy or suffering back to us. Most of us unfortunately do not see immediate justice by the soul.  This is why evil people believe that they can get away with their crime as long as no one sees it, or escapes quickly from the scene.  From the perspective of the soul, these people are dead wrong; justice will prevail.  We see good and evil in this world and we see joy and suffering in the world, but the lapse of time often obscures the cause and effect relationship. Just because one does not see flashing red lights or iron bars does not mean that justice has been avoided; time will eventually catch up with the evil person because of the soul.

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Complete Joy

There is a word yokizukume that appears in our sacred book, the Ofudesaki about 10 times. The word translates into English as “Complete joy”.  God promises us this joy for eternity when certain conditions are met

How many celebrities would give up their fame and riches to attain this true joy? How many drug addicts would give up their dependence if they could have this complete joy. How many bloggers, face book and twitter member would give up all their likes and followers to attain this? How many politicians would give up their position to receive this? How many lucrative businesspersons would give up their positions in their organizations to receive complete joy?

One may believe that all these people would come running to have the opportunity to attain complete joy in their lives.  But this would mean that they would have to abandon some of their preconceived ideas on what will bring upon happiness.  Money, drugs, fame, and power do not bring upon happiness. They do not guarantee against sufferings and obstacles in our lives.  There is no insurance we can buy to prevents these negative occurrences. Having money, fame and power by itself is not evil or wrong; and attained and used in appropriate ways may help bring upon happiness.

So what are the conditions God requires for us to attain complete joy? Let us list conditions that God does not require us to have.  It does not require us to have any type of profession or job. It does not matter if we are rich or poor.  It does involve medication or drugs to make us happy. It does not matter what others think about our accomplishments or us.

The solution to find complete joy is within reach of all of us. It does not require us to research ancient sacred books, pilgrimage to holy sites, or seek gurus and sages. The solution is in our minds. God tells us that we must remove greed, arrogance, miserliness, covetousness, and self-love from our minds. When our mind becomes pure of these evils, God promises us complete joy for eternity.

What makes complete joy possible by eliminating evil thoughts from our minds? Enter the pure soul or heart, which functions to distribute only joy when our minds are void of evil thoughts. When are minds are contaminated by evil thoughts, the soul also becomes immersed in negative energy. These negative energy around the soul is eventually eliminated by conversion to suffering and inconveniences.

To attain complete joy is a simple solution in theory, but very difficult to actualize in our daily lives. Many of us have these evil thoughts in our minds that influence us to act when temptations or obstacles appear in our lives. But religions tell us that these evil thoughts are sins when acted upon, and that we have free will to act or not act upon our thoughts.  It is our resistance to these evil thoughts by not acting upon them that will eventually purify our minds of these thoughts.  By this process our souls become pure, and only bring upon complete joy in our lives. In summary, it is not what is attached or associated to us that brings upon joy or suffering, but it is what is contained in our minds that bring upon joy or suffering. It is this information that the soul collects, carries and distribute from one life time to another.

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Shooting the Messenger

In is human nature to blame others when events in our lives do not go as planned. It is not surprising that we seek religions that place blame on others for our problems.  For example, many religions have an evil force like Satan or the devil that opposes our happiness.  Other religions blame nonbelievers for the problems in the world, and attempt to convert them by fear, coercion or death. Even in our large congregations, pastors tell us we suffer because we don’t believe in God like they do. They tell us “All you have to do is believe”; but what about reflecting on our affairs, our greed, our hate, our ignorance, and our arrogance.  Heaven forbid that we should reflect on our behaviors; but it is easier to blame others and believe in a powerful God that forgives us if we obey.

It is not surprising that religions that promise the easy path to heaven or an afterlife will flourish. People do not want to accept that maybe they are at fault for their sufferings.  It is easier to accept doctrines from so-called authorities from God, promising them eternal joy upon their compliance.

It is from this perspective of blame that we need to find the source of our sufferings. Is it Satan, or is it other people that cause our sufferings? To place blame on these two solutions would be easy, and has been documented in world history.  The result has been more suffering in the world.

Where does joy come from?  It is said that happiness comes from within us. Some people refer to this source as the soul, spirit or heart.  It is this soul that was once pure and brought upon only joy to the individual.  But ever since the first sin, our souls have been contaminated by our evil minds, resulting in an impure soul.

It is our impure soul that brings upon our sufferings in life. Our angry co-worker, our accidents, and our obstacles are messengers of our souls. How do we make our souls pure again so we can experience only joy in this world?  We must remove our evil thoughts like greed, arrogance, miserliness, covetousness, and self-love from our minds when our soul brings upon inconveniences.

It will not be easy removing these evil thoughts in our minds since they are often ingrained in our minds like dust on a mirror.  If we calm our minds and do not act upon our evil thoughts when suffering occurs in our lives, we can gradually remove these evil thoughts from our minds, and eventually purify our souls again. This will eventually bring only joy to our lives.  

Suffering delivered by the soul is something most of us fear, but it becomes useful in removing evil thoughts from our minds if we understand the function of our souls. Yet many of us believe that suffering comes from outside of us, and direct our efforts at the messengers of our souls. This eventually causes more sufferings. We must look within ourselves first. Please visit heaventruth.com for more information on the Soul.

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