Tenrikyo Dynamic Mission                                                               Evil Has Always Been With Us  - Page 2     


From now on, I shall teach you about the long journey
of humankind. Ponder over it firmly!

Pondering early daysOur self-centered imagination has the mental capability to question and ask why some evil or another has befallen us. Once visited with some kind of evil it is natural for us to look for a way to remove it. Ideally we would like evil to be removed from our experience of suffering more or less instantly, for example, as one might hope for and expect from a miracle. We human beings are particularly fond of  miracles and wonders and they appear in great numbers across all cultures, often as the basis of foundation stories of cultures and civilizations and as such are as old and undoubtedly even older than the written record of our species. The older the truths of the world concerning supernatural causes, wonders and miracles the better we seem to like them.  Because of the power of our imaginations we are able to speculate and inquire as to how we can tap into those wonders and miracles to ward off evils that we have been exposed to and remove them and insure that  they will not revisit us in the future. 

The overall topic of evil  and its avoidance and removal is then one that is concerned with the cause and cure of evils, or causality ("innen"). In the past the causes of evil that were not obvious and that could not be readily explained were rationally attributed to true supernatural powers of one kind or another. So too for good causes that seemed obvious enough and in those cases it was or is common to thank or appease whatever true Gods or spirits were identified as being responsible for causing them;  rain Gods, water Gods, fire Gods, agricultural Gods, love Gods, hunting Gods, teaching Gods, healing Gods, family Gods and war Gods as well as numerous good and evil spirits to name just a handful of categories that easily come to mind.

To make such causal supernatural true Gods intelligible and to capture our self-centered imaginations it was often the case that the multitude of  true supernatural causes be taught as easily remembered stories that under the circumstances provided reasonable explanations for common everyday experiences of both good and evil and serve to provide a common basis of true  knowledge for a society or culture. 

Since the revolution in exploring causality in ways that are agreed upon by all minds that explore them by using the same tests - the scientific method - such stories and the truths that they reveal, among some minds but by no means all, are currently thought of as being mythical, anecdotal or collections of aphorisms. As a little child for instance, I recall wondering about the anecdotal explanation of the sound of thunder as being the result of the early settlers of the Hudson River valley bowling. Perhaps at a much earlier time among young audiences such an explanation might have served as true and  factual but as we mature we often find them no longer able to satisfy as explanations of true cause.

When we ponder the human journey as it has unfolded all over the world and through all ages iSeth the bringer of evilt becomes apparent that there have been ways of dealing with evils, unwanted occurrences, that are common to all societies and cultures and those ways tend to fall into four broad categories:

  1.  Evils and cures caused by true supernatural forces:

    • The truth of supernatural forces such as gods, evil spirits, curses, devils and the like have played an important role in the development and progress of all human cultures. Generally speaking, supernatural powers can be both the cause and the, often miraculous, cure for the evils of illness and trouble:

      • In this view supernatural evils can be treated and cured by interactions and interventions with supernatural forces such as:

        • True gods, true spiritual healers, true saints, true oracles, true formulas of worship, true healing prayers, true exorcisms, true places of sacred power, true sacrifices and similar established truths of the world:

  2. Evils treated by doctors and medicine:

    • Ordinarily, the practice of doctors and medicine is based on the training and experience of the practitioner:

      • Generally speaking a doctor of medicine will be able to judge, based on experience, whether a patient can be helped by medicine or not.

        • There is a special place in the Tenrikyo Dynamic mission for people who have been given up by doctors and medicine, that is to say people whose condition puts them beyond the help of doctors and medicine.

        • In some cultures there are also established truths concerning the practices of doctors and medicine that can both cure and curse. For Example: The terms "witch", "warlock", "witch doctor" and "shaman" carries with them the notion of both magical healing and the existence in the world  of curses intended to do evil.

  3.  Evils treated by a combination of both doctors and medicine and by interactions and interventions with true supernatural forces:

    • Through out all times and places, at least among cultures that have kept written records, this is perhaps the most worldly common and popular approach for dealing with the evils of illness and trouble. Because of the popularity of this approach throughout all times and places it has been the source of many truths of the world that reasonably flow from the fundamental worldly common truth of the existence of supernatural forces and of the discoveries flowing from the explorations of  physical causes of illness:

      • In just about every culture both the cause and the cure of the evils of illness and trouble were and continue to be associated with both a true physical cause and cure and an underlying true supernatural cause and cure.

      • It is common in the world for shelters and hospitals to be set up in a way that accommodates these duel truths.

  4. Evils that are a result of fate, destiny or predestination.

    • This truth is also very popular in the world and can be described as the truth that the cause of everything is predetermined. And the truth that reasonably flows from that preordination can be understood as accepting that whatever will be will be. Though simply put there are many very sophisticated truths that have flowed from this one principle truth.

    • In many cultures one's fate, though predetermined, can still be miraculously changed through the intercession of supernatural powers.

    • The role of doctors and medicine also has a place in fated truth as the outcome of medical care can be understood as fated to be whatever the outcome.

Illness and trouble pg. 3 - Pondering the Truths of  My Civilization

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