Newpath Tenrikyo -Graphic Metaphors and Idioms - INTERNALIZING THE METAPHOR - FIRE WATER WIND

Fire water wind

Fire Water Wind


We have looked at the graphic metaphor Fire Water Wind as a piece of art and as a metaphor for ideas and concepts that can express the total original cause and ongoing engine of nature and hopefully have added some depth to our pondering in the process. Our next step in going deeper with our pondering involves expanding our work with the concepts and ideas that we discussed as pertaining to the original cause and  the ongoing workings of  causality in nature to include ourselves. We are after all a part of nature, though we often reason as if we are not. To do this we will want to find ideas and concepts that we can use to match the three elements "Fire Water Wind" to the causal workings of our own body and mind and see if we can make our ideas and concepts of those three elements match up or be in accord with the ideas and concepts that we formed when pondering the workings of those three elements in the natural world.

Fire Let's begin with Fire (Sun). That each of us are here and able to read this is the result of causes set in motion by our parents and their parents and their parents going all the way back to the point when the original cause (fire) first gathered and set in motion the instruments that were to eventually evolve into human beings as well as everything else in the world. Our parents were conscious when we were conceived and each of us was conscious at the time of our birth. When we look at the complexity of conceiving and giving birth we, the person who was born, really didn't play any self-centered causal roll in the process. Of course our parents played a roll but even that is small compared to the complexity of the instrumental processes involved in a conception and birth. The instruments assembled and working together are responsible for the causality leading to a successful birth. Without (Fire) the original consciousness those changes either would not take place at all or they would be taking place in the dark (another metaphor, "the dark and muddy ocean") and life as we know and experience it would be absent. Though consciousness (fire) is absolutely essential for our existence and experience of life it is something that we ordinarily take for granted. So right away we can see that the self centered foundation for our thinking lacks depth when compared with the role played by our original consciousness (fire). To discover and be in accord with that original (fire) consciousness will require clearing off the worldly common self centered foundation of our reasoning and in so doing exposing the original core consciousness (Fire) that was with the original instruments of creation, our parents at our conception and was with us before we began to imagine being a separate self (Water Wind).

Moving on to internalizing the representation of "Water" in the graphic metaphor "Fire Water Wind" (note that I am leaving out the commas to show that they represent not three separate elements but a single truth). This one is easy as there is a poem that clearly states that "Water" is a metaphor for the human mind and that the truth can be understood by the words "clear or muddy" (two more metaphors).  Everybody has a mind but how often do we look into just exactly what that "mind" is. In my own case I have determined that what I call "my mind" is a collection of ideas about the world that are attached to a fundamental idea of myself as a separate person. It may be of some interest that I identify more with an image of myself based on  ideas and concepts than with the body that they are identified with in time and space. I know, or at least I imagine that I know that there are other minds that identify primarily with a body image and not so much with ideas and concepts. When looked at in detail it is clear that there are no two minds that are exactly the same.

Since I introduced the metaphors "clear" or "muddy" in relation to the truth of the metaphor "Water" let's deal with that now. Quite simply the clear water is the perfect reflection of "Fire" or the original consciousness. Muddy water is the collection of self-centered, I am this separate body, ideas of self and all of the associated ideas and concepts that rise out of that fundamental idea of separation. In the scheme of the graphic metaphor "Fire Water Wind", though the self centered imagination is very cool and marvelous, it is entirely dependent upon (Fire) the original consciousness, the original cause of any and everything. The Tenrikyo Dynamic Mission makes the claim that now is the time for all human beings to be able to distinguish between the original cause (fire ) and the causes that flow from and because of it (water wind) and that by quickly doing so will make it possible to begin the "construction" (another metaphor which we will get to) for the recreation of a world of joyous life for all. 

Wind The metaphor "Wind" can then rather easily be seen as representing the ideas, beginning with the idea that I am a separate body and accumulating as the moving target that is my self image, that rise up in and from the (water) of my mind and that are more or less constantly going through changes and are on the move.  As concerns the changes in my body, the "winds" of change best fit with the stages of development of my body and of course both the beginning and end points marked by birth and death. When I think about why my body goes through changes I find that I really haven't much of a clue other than my rather shallow notion of physiology and my direct experience that my body indeed changes over time.  Though I can't say that I have paid much attention to the changes that my body has gone through over the years, other than at those times when it isn't working right, I can say that the more I ponder it from the point of view that what I call my body is in fact an abstraction, a thing borrowed from God's body, the better I feel about it and the natural world of changes in general. Pondering in this way also lends confidence to my ability to easily distinguish between good and evil, by seeing things as they are as opposed to how I am encouraged and conditioned to imagine them to be. This I think is particularly important in these times when the "upper people", yet another metaphor, are so busy disseminating their truths of the world that tend to cover over the true intention of a joyous life for all equally that our original parental heart intends for us. Regardless, without "Fire" "Water Wind" just isn't happening. So quickly exposing and resolving the "Parental Heart" (another metaphor for "Fire" our original consciousness) from within our own mind is the primary task of the Tenrikyo Dynamic Mission.

We have used the graphic metaphor Fire Water Wind to guide our pondering and have established some premises, namely:

  1. That there is only one original cause of all that exists. 
  2. That the original cause is constant and always present. It is immortal.
  3. That the original cause is always at full strength, there is never any more or less of the original cause.
  4. The the original cause is indiscriminate in the causes that it sets in motion and indiscriminate in  the cause that it continues to support.
  5. The original cause is not affected by the causes that it indiscriminately sets in motion and supports.

None of the premises numbered above are new to the human experience. As questions they have been around for a long time. What is new for us however is the clear, simple methodology available for all human beings equally for testing their truth.

  1. That the original cause of all things can be exposed, known and understood through any human mind that is  awake, sincere and totally quiet, without any ideas or concepts present.
  2. It follows then the original cause of all that exists is not an idea or concept but the "place" original consciousness that ideas and concepts rise up in and from.  If the ideas and concepts that make up the human self image are what separates us from other animals that do not have that total ability then the original cause that exists at the core of the human mind is the "Jiba", another metaphor, the place where human beings are created.
  3. That once awakened a self centered imagination that sincerely reasons from the point of view that recalls, knows and understands the original cause that exists at the core of the human mind and that used that is used as a new foundation for reasoning in all matters will be provided with the free and unlimited workings that flow from the point of view the truth of origin.  
Can we say then that we have arrived at the deepest depth for our pondering? Well, yes and no. The ideas and concepts above when pondered deeply will refine our mind and act as a break on our self centered imagining and will, if pursued sincerely, quickly settle the "water" and  clearly expose the one true parental Heart that exists at the core of the mind. So yes, we are at the end of the ideas and concepts part of the work but for the work to be completed the Heart must be exposed and resolved and no ideas or concepts can go there. Do that now and be your original self.


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