I earnestly request each and everyone of you
to ponder over these teachings.
Welcome to My Take on Tenrikyo Terms
"Tenrikyo terms" are the words that are used to try to explain the intention, means and methods that constitute a model path that leads to what is called single-hearted salvation. Many of the Tenrikyo Terms are taken from primary resources, having been used by the creator of the Model Path. Still others are later additions that attempt to remain faithful to the original model but which are adaptations appropriate for time, place and the level a spiritual maturity of a particular follower or group of followers.
I say that these Tenrikyo Terms are used to "try to explain" because none of the Tenrikyo Terms refers to an obvious external worldly common truth. Though that is where we more or less automatically tend to look for their meaning. The word is not the thing. All of the terms are metaphors for a single truth or the way to realize a single truth that can only be known and understood by turning inward and exposing the very core of the human mind.
In general we know a whole bunch more about the external world than we do about the core of our own mind. Certainly we all claim to have a mind and we all have a self-centered imagination ( our mind's voice) that we use to interact with the external world. What this path is all about is the quite simple proposition that there is a single-truth that is known and understood by any mind that quiets that self-centered imagination in any way other than by falling sound asleep. Simply put, when the imagination is quiet what remains is reality. The promise is that that "reality" is free and unlimited in ways that make life a joy rather than a burden.
It is indeed simple but perhaps just a tad too simple for us. We tend to go to work on it with our self-centered imaginations and instead of quieting them fill them with all sorts of self-centered imaginings about what that truth is or should be, often without ever in an entire lifetime bothering to go there to find out.
Tenrikyo terms are intended to help us to identify and calm, quiet and remove our self-centered imagination so that the one truth that remains can be quickly and rather easily known and understood. It is the difference between trying to go to an unknown destination without a guide and going there with someone who has been there and knows how to get there quickly and easily.
There are also Tenrikyo terms that explain why we might want to make the effort to do this. In either case the Terms are intended to be inserted into the self-centered imagination to quickly show the way to quiet the mind so that the proposition that there is something of great value to be known and understood there can be tested and proven.
If however the Terms are held onto as if the words by themselves have some truth value then they are said to be shallow, worldly common and lacking the truth of origin. There are lots of those around too so one wants to be careful in how one follows the instructions for testing and proving the proposition. Never being satisfied with worldly common interpretations that do not show the way quickly but always working to calm the self-centered imagination so that the one truth, the truth of origin, the root and core of one's mind can be revealed, known and understood.
Since the details of our self-centered imaginations are unique, intimate and known only to ourselves this Model Path is designed in such a way that the Tenrikyo Terms can be modified to make them appropriate or suitable for insertion into any human imagination regardless of time, place or level of spiritual maturity. To be able to do make that accommodation however, one must be an instrument of the creator of this path, clearly understanding the intention, means and method of the path as it has been revealed to the mind that has returned to origin and knows and understands the truth that is revealed there.
So, taking this as your own matter please ponder and think about the terms that show the way of the Reason or Truth of Heaven and discover their single-hearted meanings and in so doing calm the self-centered imagination and awaken to the knowledge and understanding of any and everything - not the least of which is perhaps your own interest in knowing the truth of yourself and your place in the universe.
John Lewis, 2005, San Francisco CA