Tenrikyo Dynamic Mission - ENTERING INTO THE MUD

Conversation in the mud

From now, I shall plunge into the pond in the high mountains
and clear it of mud, whatever kind it may be.

One way to look at the above poem is to view it is an announcement of the beginning of what could be called a conversation and an intended process to take place in the "mud" of each of our own individual minds. That conversation could be characterized as the confrontation within a single mind of two entirely different intentions and points of view. On the one hand there is the intention and point of view of our original consciousness, the mind of God; while on the other there is the intention of our ordinary natural self-centered point of view. Our ordinary self centered point of view lacks any knowledge of the mind of God even though our self centered point of view rises up and exists within the mind of God and is totally dependent upon it for its existence. Usually making a conversation between differing intentions and points of view requires finding a common ground as basis or starting point of a rational discussion.

This is a world constructed on reason.
So I shall press upon you everything with the reason in verse.

common groundThe common ground between the two points of view is on the one hand the emotional hope and desire of our natural human self centered imagination to be satisfied in all that it desires. While on the other hand the intention of the mind of God to provide us with free and unlimited workings and true satisfaction in all things seems to fit with our self centered intentions and expectations. We might get a clearer view of this by recalling that in most cases we human beings tend to pray for satisfaction on a per case and self-centered basis. We pray for each thing when we want it and would like to receive what we want when we want it.  The mind of God on the other hand would like to grant true satisfaction in all cases for all human beings equally. This could be viewed as God intending to answer all human prayers once and for all by upgrading the hitherto natural foundation of the human mind with the foundation of the real truth of its origin. Though differing substantially in point of view there is enough of a common ground to form the basis for the start of a conversation as well as the basis for a teaching.

Unfortunately for our ordinary self centered point of view, right at the start God reveals that for real and insurmountable technical reasons our ordinary point of view will regrettably not be up to the task of locating, identifying and understanding the mind of God or God's point of view and further by our insistence upon utilizing our self centered imagination alone we will not be able realize the salvation in all matters that God is attempting to give us.

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

Well that isn't good news. When we enter into any discussion there is never any expectation that the ordinary workings of our self-centered mind will have to be given up in order to understand what is going on. That criteria puts us in something of a jam. Ordinarily when we enter into a discussion involving differing points of view we expect that each side of the discussion will attempt to shape, accept or change the kinds of worldly common opinions that we are familiar with.

Who would want to start a discussion that required the precondition of abandoning all of our ordinary knowledge and expectations? Well, the answer is, anyone who wants to know and understand the mind of God and who further would like to receive God's free and unlimited workings, true satisfaction and salvation in all matters.

crossed fingersOf course because of the way in which self-centered imaginations work we often accept this vital precondition with our "fingers crossed behind our back". From the point of view of our self centered imagination the ideal situation would be for us to keep our self-centered imaginings unchanged and still receive God's free and unlimited workings. To accomplish having it both ways we have a tendency to modify the precondition until it looks just like what we had in mind in the first place. In the teaching that is the Tenrikyo Dynamic this is the hallmark of "the interpretation of a child". The interpretation of a child is the natural default point of view of all human minds. The human self centered imagination is a very powerful instrument of creation and up until this time it is the crowning achievement of evolutionary instrumentation. For that reason we find it difficult to give it up even for a waking moment.

The mind of God understands this about us and is willing to use any and all means to help us to calm, quiet, settle and clear the "mud" (our self-centered thoughts) from our minds regardless of what kind of "mud" we might have accumulated. It is a very compassionate effort and can perhaps be best understood as a model of parental love.

Generally speaking the effort to help us to prepare our mind for understanding begins by engaging our imaginations in a discussion about something that interests it.  That engagement with our mind is the conversation in the "mud". In the case of the Tenrikyo Model Story samples of the way in which that conversation might unfold can be seen as they were recorded in the poems "The Tip of the Writing Brush", the songs for the "Mi Kagura Uta" and the "Timely Directives and Talks". When we ponder and think about these records it is of vital importance that we make the sincere effort to distinguish between the side of the discussion that represents the point of view of the mind of God and the side of the discussion representing the points of view of the various kinds of self-centered imaginations that God is trying to convince to calm down and settle so that they become like "clear water" and in so doing merge back into their origin, which is God's mind. 

Though it is springwater that fills the pond in the
high mountains, yet at its spout, it is mixed with mud.

When you calm your mind step by step and ponder,
it will change into clear water.

I shall go into the water in the mountains and make it clear,
whatever kind of water it may be.

The really good news is that God is tirelessly working on our behalf and will immediately match our every effort to "wake up", ponder, think deeply about and understand the gift of God's free and unlimited workings. That is something that is possible to do even now at this moment.  All we have to do is work at getting our self centered imaginings out of the way. If, as is often the case, we find our self saying something like "that's easy to say but knowing how to calm and totally settle my self centered imaginings, which tend to chatter away during all of my waking hours does not come easily and indeed may even be impossible to do"; then we can look at the numerous examples -services- provided by the mind of God and find or make one up that suits our temperament. The only requirement is that whatever work or service ("tsutome") we choose to practice quickly yields the "totally settled" "mind like clear water" and that we follow through by pondering and thinking about the one truth that reasonably flows from recalling that original state of mind.  

Followers of the "reason of heaven" who have totally settled their imagination and have received the truth of the "Sazuke" (power of the origin) are asked to read their final "Kakisage" lecture and recall that moment of origin, the "mind like clear water" daily and always, until that moment of clarity becomes understood as a new and stable foundation for one's mind. That is a foundation for a new self-centered imagination based on the knowledge and understanding of the one truth of origin, the original cause of any and everything, a new self-centered imagination that can tell the difference between the one original truth and imaginary truths of the world that rise up within it. 

This universe is the body of God.
Ponder this in all matters.
So long as you remain unknowing that the body is
a thing borrowed, you can understand nothing at all.

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