Tenrikyo Dynamic Mission - Until Now

Yesterday Today and Tomorrow

                    YESTERDAY NOW TOMORROW
Though change is constant, the one truth of origin remains the same always and forever. Sincerely settling the truths of a frightened and selfish child, we are poetically and literally hastened to mature and awaken now to the joyous mind of Moonsun and the construction of a future world of joyous life for everyone equally...

There are several different uses of  the phrase "Until Now" ("Imamade") and it is of some significance that the phrase is used in all seventeen books of the "Tip of the Writing Brush".  Getting a grasp on the concept and the use of the phrase can then be of great importance to anyone who desires to know and understand the sincere intention of the teaching that intends to reveal the quickest way to merge with the original true conscious parental heart and savor the joy, knowledge and understanding of  the truth of self that flows from that awakening.

We know that the "Waka" style poems collected as "The Tip of the Writing Brush" employ an intimate family dialogue between the free, unlimited, original mind and cause of everything in detail and the limited human self-centered imaginations of the Nakayama family as well as some of the families from their village and the surrounding countryside.

Indeed even after the passage of thirty years from the time of Her awakening as the "Shrine" or "Residence" of the original parental mind of all She was to write of Her regret at not being able to influence Her son Shuji to give up his depressed, ordinary worldly common ("sekainami") way of thinking and follow Her instructions to quickly sweep out the depressed truths cluttering his mind or "residence" and awaken to the truth of his innermost heart and the joy in all things that flows from single-heartedness with the original mind of God.

This time I shall clean the residence thoroughly.
Watch, as I show you how.

Though understandable but none the less unfortunate for Shuji, he was unable to understand what he took to be his mother's unbalanced intention and was not able or inclined to follow her instruction and sweep out his own mind.

Because you have not obeyed the words of God even until now,
I could not avoid showing it...

Until now, you have doubted the words of God.

You have been saying that they are all false.

Reading these two poems two questions immediately come to my mind. Let me take them in the reverse order. Why did Shuji think that his mother's teachings were false and so fail to recognize his mother as a Shrine or Residence of the mind of the original God of all creation? They lived in the same house and in very close proximity of each other. What was the problem? 

Until now, you have understood everything in an ordinary way.
From now on, you will understand from your innermost heart.

Apparently Shuji's inability to understand what he took to be his mother's teaching stemmed from the way in which he - up until then, a period of thirty or so years - fundamentally understood his mother's mental condition and Her awakening as a Shrine or Residence of the God of origin, his physical condition, his mental condition and indeed every detail of  his world. That is to say that he, like everybody else, fundamentally understood everything in an ordinary  "sekainami" way. One might ask; what other way is there?

Well, Shuji and myself by extension - this is after all a "model story" meant to be used not to understand Shuji and the Nakayama family and villagers but as a tool to be used to compare the present condition of my own mind with the model shown as the condition of Shuji's mind to see where my mind and the misunderstanding his mind are the same -  are being hastened to switch from an "ordinary" way of understanding the world to a way of understanding  the world that flows from my innermost heart.

That's nice but to make that change requires that I be able to be willing to take the time to identify my ordinary way of understanding the world as well as be able to identify my "innermost heart". "Innermost heart" two words that describe something that sounds appealing and possibly familiar but the reality of which is actually unknown.

 So it seems reasonable to start the identification process with the known, that is with the ordinary and  as I do so I can turn to the Life of Oyasama, Manuscript Edition and the poems that inform the Model Story "Hinagata" as they provide ample examples of  ordinary ways of understanding the world through portrayals of the some of the common uses of various human minds. Though the portrayals and examples are shown in a particular time and place when we think about it we find that there is one use of the human mind that is common in all times and places. That is we all view the world with our self at the center of our thoughts.

The self-centered mind will not do.
The mind of God differs entirely.

  In general the phrase refers to the regrettable ("zannen") condition and state of the human mind prior to being exposed to the work ("tsutome") that shows the way to quickly awaken to the understanding ("satori") of the true origin of the human mind and the original cause ("moto no innen") of all things in detail.  In the poems the before or until now, default state of the human mind is described as naturally knowing nothing about its true origin, the original causality of everything in detail and true creation of the world.

Looking all over the world and through all ages,
I find no one who has understood my Heart.
So should it be, for I have never taught it to you.
It is natural that you know nothing.

It is not surprising that we know nothing about our true origin because we wake up into the world clueless as newborn infants. It is common and normal for us to follow whatever our life path turns out to be without ever being taught or hearing anything about such things as  the true origin of the human mind or the work of testing, proving, knowing and understanding  the original cause of all things in detail.

  It is because of that common, normal and natural lack of knowledge concerning the true origin of our mind and the world, that in the passage of time and with the accumulation of experiences and truths of the world we may find our experience of life as being depressing, lacking in joy or even fearful. 

 Dissatisfied with the current state of our individual affairs and in our experience of the state of our world and in order to realize our expectations concerning our health and happiness, it is has often been the human habit to seek help from a higher power or powers with the hope that they might remove our sufferings and troubles and help us to realize our expectations concerning our health, wealth and relationships, thus fulfilling our natural desire for lasting satisfaction and happiness.

Having awakened and been taken and accepted as a "shrine" of the original One that resides at the true heart of all things, Miki Nakayama was in the unique position of being able to offer to anyone who wished to hear and to learn, know and understand the one original truth of origin, the true origin of the human mind, the (moto no innen) original cause of all things the way to quickly awaken to that one truth. She called that awakening single-heartedness and the way to quickly awaken the single-hearted salvation of all kinds.

Because you have not obeyed the words of God even until now,
I could not avoid showing it.

Until now, you have doubted the words of God.

You have been saying that they are all false.


The first use refers to the turmoil and confrontation that was taking place in the Nakayama household. Even though decades had passed since the awakening of his mother as a Shrine of God Shuji, Miki Nakayama's son, continued to doubt his mother's words assuming that she had a human mind just like everyone else and that her teaching was false.

Some questions and suggested meanings to ponder:

Since they were living in the same house and speaking the same language what way of reasoning would have led Shuji to continue to doubt his mother's teaching?

 Reasoning just as some others had, that her behavior and teaching was possibly the result of a fit of some sort, perhaps mental illness or a possession by an evil spirit or god. From Oyasama's point of view Shuji's unwillingness to follow her instructions and quickly return his mind to its origin and awakening single-heartedly more or less guaranteed the continuation of a depressed life path which was rationalized by him to be an appropriate response to the disability caused by a chronically lame leg.

Though the poems are set in the Nakayama family home and speak of the kinds of ordinary matters that are common in any story relating to the tension that might arise in an ordinary  parent child relationship, when the original parent of all speaks of disobedience it is related to the refusal of all of the minds of the world to return to their origin and replace the depressed foundation of their self centered thinking with the high spirited foundation of joy that is known and understood through the original mind like clear water which is common to all human minds.

When our original parent says "I could not avoid showing it" we are to understand that this universe is build out of causality and our parent of origin has no choice but to show or manifest that causality. There is however one causality that for the human mind yields joyous life in all matters and that is the causality of origin. 

It is worth pondering that all four of the above uses of causality have been taught by our parent of origin. There was never a time in the history of human kind and indeed of the history of the universe when the mind of God was not present as the sole cause and support of all that is, was or will be. Though always present, because of the great success of the free creations of the human self-centered imagination in adapting to their environment, molding and mastering the world, the original cause of all things has remained unknown and in the background.

In attempting to show the way, that is the way to set up the causality of returning the mind to it's original pristine condition so that the truth of origin, the original cause of all things could be revealed, our parent of origin found that Her intention and words were immediately converted into worldly common self-centered interpretations that matched existing worldly common truths that already existed in the imaginations of those who said that they wanted to hear and learn of the original cause of all things, the one truth of origin (we can get a clear picture of the kinds of causes that were causing misunderstanding by looking at the Model Life of Miki Nakayama prior to the replacement of  Her mind).  The result of that situation was that nobody understood what She was trying to teach them even though they wanted to and for most people that regrettable situation remained the case pretty much through Her entire forty-nine year effort.


This might be a good time to say a few words about questioning and the "model story". I was raised in a tradition that tried to protect itself by teaching children not to question authoritative doctrinal pronouncements and scriptural interpretations and to accept them as being unquestionably true. That attitude is of course common and popular particularly with people who are satisfied with the way things are for themself at a particular time and place. 

The thought that all is well if the present is well for the self alone, is entirely mistaken.

We can then say that at least one of the intentions of the "Model Story" as shown through the poems is to instigate and hasten change in the minds of the people who read them.  That in fact is a very important function of the poems. They are not intended to be read for their sound or as formulas of worship but rather for their power to present their reader with a model of missteps and misunderstandings in the setting of a small village in a particular time and place so that, at least in my own case, I can ask myself if I too am making those same kinds of missteps and entertaining those same kinds of misunderstandings now in my own life in this time and place. 

It is of course easier to be a critic than it is to be able to offer sure corrective measures that lead to quick and certain knowledge and understanding of a topic that is claimed to be generally and fundamentally misunderstood but the outstanding feature of the poems collected as the "Tip of the Writing Brush" is that they do just that.

Step by step, I shall tell you things
unknown since the beginning of this world.

This salvation is not brought about by formulas of worship,
or by exorcism, or by calling on oracles.

Never think in the least that curses, demons,
or evil spirits exist in this world.

Until now, people have worshiped
and prayed to a great many gods.

| MENU |