Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven


This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.

XI: 69-72

We are instructed to ponder, in all matters, the truth that this universe is the body of God. Having honestly and sincerely done that, we are now able to follow two quite different paths of reasoning and distinguish between ordinary worldly common reasoning and the "reason of heaven". As a result of our pondering we will have found that the foundation of worldly common reasoning is an individual self-image (who we imagine our-self to be) identified with or centered on a human body. That very basic idea of a separate physical self is the de-facto denial of the truth that this universe is the body of God. The ability to imagine so and then to go on and imagine all sorts of other relationships is indeed a marvelous creative  power, a wonder of wonders. There is however an unintended downside to that creative power. Attached, identified as it is to a body, it finds itself limited to the fate of that body. For many this limitation is a source of suffering and anxiety. Because of those limitations the original free and unlimited one is hastening all human imaginations to return to, know and understand the truth of their origin so that they can play freely and without limitation in the wonders and marvels of the universe. 

The foundation of the reason of heaven then is the mind that has returned to its original pristine condition. Deeper than and the origin of the self-centered imagination, the mind like clear water is single-hearted with the truth of origin and understands clearly that this universe is indeed the body of God. A total understanding of the truth of self is then a self-centered imagination operating from the truth of origin and playing freely and without limitation in the universe.

That knowledge, that understanding, that awakening can be called single-hearted salvation. In a human mind it is what remains when the self-centered imagination is totally at rest. That condition is called the totally purified mind. 

As we begin with this next set of poems we are advised to listen with the understanding that the poems will speak about things which have never existed but which are none the less the truth. Just a word about speaking of things which have never existed. There is a single intention in all of the poems of the Ofudesaki and that intention is single-hearted salvation for all human beings equally. To accomplish such an ambitious task Moonsun, the truth of origin intends to enter into each and every self-centered imagination and by utilizing the contents of those imaginations ( things which have never existed) to guide, coax and hasten each and every imagination back to the truth of its origin.  The means for bringing about single-hearted salvation is the purification of the mind. The method for purifying the mind modeled as being appropriate for the time, the place and the level of spiritual maturity of those who would be thus saved. 

The model that is shown here is one of teaching the truth of origin to those close by and then showing a model of gathering intermediaries who would then be able to teach others in ways appropriate for the time the place and their level of spiritual maturity.    It is the scope of this project that makes it necessary to expose the truth of the elements as being things which never existed but which do not differ from the truth. If this were not done the intermediaries might become stuck in a particular time, place and level of spiritual maturity and would not be able to craft or open new and appropriate paths of single-hearted salvation.  

The very beginning of this world was at Shoyashiki Village 

of Yamabe County in Yamato Province.

As was mentioned before we can either project our imaginations back to events of the dark past, indeed to the very origins of the universe or we can see this as indicating the origin of a new world of universal single-hearted salvation and joy. 

There, at the place known as the Nakayama Residence, 

appear instruments of human beginnings. 

Moonsun brings the origin to the present and we are encouraged to find that both the truth of origin and the instruments used in the creation of human beings are here in the present.

These instruments are Izanagi, Izanami, 

Kunisazuchi, and Tsukiyomi.

Though not familiar to my contemporary ear, these names I think would have been familiar and comfortable to the self-centered imaginations of the villagers for whom a path of single-hearted salvation was being modeled. The intent here is to show that the instruments used to create the world of human beings at the very beginning were now to be made available to recreate a human world of joyous life. 

Discerning this, Moonsun descended 

and began preparations to train them in all matters.

I believe that this "discerning" refers to the willingness and suitability of the minds of those to whom Moonsun was speaking. We have been taught that Moonsun was and is discerning the causality of origin in those who would be used as instruments in the recreation of a world of Joyous life. The training then is two fold: It is the training that is appropriate for purifying one's own mind and it is the training that is necessary for finding ways to train others to purify their minds in ways appropriate to their time, place and level of spiritual maturity.