Tenrikyo - The Reason of Heaven


This universe is the body of God.

Ponder this in all matters.

XII: 14-17

To explain what talk I shall give today:

it is solely about the beginning of My useful timber.

In this theme the "intermediaries" that were spoken of in earlier books are now metaphorically referred to as "useful timber" (today's yoboku). Recall that Moonsun's intention for opening a path of single-hearted salvation for all human beings equally is dependent upon the voluntary and sincere efforts of a large number of people who know and understand the truth of origin. 

About this timber: I do not indicate anyone in particular.

From one trunk, there are eight branches.

This is both an encouragement for the future of the path and a continuation of the regret that is expressed in verses two and seven. Let's take a little closer look at how that regret is accumulated.

Moonsun speaks to us in simple terms that are easy for us to understand and which suit our individual self-centered imaginations. This way of teaching can be viewed as entering into our imaginations and using the contents of our imaginations to attract us to the one truth of origin.  That is to say that we are taught in ways appropriate for our time, place and maturity. There is in fact no other way to interact with the self-centered imagination than to "capture" it or "attract" its attention in this way. 

Now, the point in time when our imagination is captured or our attention is attracted is really critical. All of the teachings of Moonsun are based on the true heart of the parent as known by the totally purified mind like clear water. Therefore all of the teachings of Moonsun show the way to purify the mind of the self-centered imagination so that the truth of origin can be known and understood. 

The crisis point is this. If our imagination is attracted to the teaching we can go in one of two ways. We can carefully follow the instructions for the purification of our mind or we can tumble off and turn Moonsun's teaching into worldly common ideas and ideals that appeal to our self-centered imaginations. 

Moonsun spoke of the distinction between Nihon and Kara as an attractive encouragement to attract the imaginations of those close to and within the Residence at the time to follow the path of single-hearted salvation. It was not Moonsun's intention to set up a special class of people who were exempt from the necessary step by step purification of  the mind.  Moonsun can and does use whatever is needed to attract our imaginations back to the origin, however it is up to us to follow the instructions for purifying our mind exactly, so that we are sure that our interpretation of them does not contain even a hint of human self-centered thought. In that regard, Moonsun provides us with powerful "benchmarks" to guide our sincere effort. The reasonable truth that is implied by the mind like clear water, the truth that the whole universe is the body of God, the truth of the Sazuke and the model of parental love are powerful constraints on the intended interpretation of these teachings. 

All human beings have an equal affinity for the origin. Any human being, anywhere at any time can become a "useful timber" for the construction of a new world of freedom and joy. If it appears that there are obstacles to the realization of this intention other than the equal purification of all human minds then the nature of those obstacles is worldly common self-centered thinking. 

We have spoken about Moonsun's regret so now lets look at Moonsun's encouragement for the future. Anyone anywhere and at any time can be a "useful timber". As all human beings have an equal affinity for the origin and are equally loved by the parent of origin there are no intellectual, ethnic or cultural requirements attached to the purification of the mind and its step by step return to its original pristine condition. Each useful timber then is free to open new paths of single-hearted salvation as are appropriate for the time, place and level of spiritual maturity of those who would hear and return. In this way if each useful timber only helps eight others to awaken, the realization of a new world of joy will surely be accomplished. 

I think that is pretty encouraging. Imagine the impact on today's world if a significant number of timbers set aside local self-centered truths and instead settled back into the one truth of origin. The intimate truth that is deeper and more direct than any ideas we may have about ourselves. It is, I think, the one true hope for our species. 

The urgent desire to graft this tree quickly,

oppresses the breast of Moonsun.

Once again we are confronted with Moonsun's intended time frame. Moonsun is in a hurry and would like us to respond right now. It is the case that the state of our minds becomes the state of our world. If we embrace Moonsun's intention then that becomes the state of our mind and the truth of our world. If we rationalize ways to stall and put off Moonsun's intention then that becomes the state of our mind and the truth of our world. In my own case, I am a big time procrastinator and better get busy. 

If one branch of this tree is securely grafted,

the others will all quickly settle.

This is Moonsun speaking of the effort to awaken those within and close to the Residence. It is also a model for those who would be "useful timber".  

And a new metaphor, "securely grafted",  for returning to the origin is introduced. 

Again, note the intended time frame.