In a time where human beings are challenged with an unknown virus, the world today is divided, in distress, and in a fury caused by the flow of numbers of information and opinions. This has caused many people to lose focus and leaving with questions of what to do now. Some say the jump start of the economy should be the priority without taking enough precautions on spreading the virus, while some are more concerned about the compensations from the government, etc. Whichever it is, there are so many who are swept away and disarrayed—too concerned in forms of HOW to solve the situation, or WHAT to do. And with this state of mind, it is hard to believe the family environment is stable and is a place of comfort. It is a reality that we see heartbreaking situations in the news everyday about a disturbed family environment—showing a harsh truth that many people are having difficulties maintaining a healthy family relationship.
Kami has repeatedly shown us that if we can learn the teachings together with the family, we can live unconsumed by the changes of time. As long as the kokoro of each family members are in sync with each other, in good communication, and coming together to support and complement each other, we can overcome whatever hardships; whether it be financial or environmental.
The Shinji for July 29 is a guidance that is necessary at this moment. This month, the Shinji is divided into principle, two points of awareness, and a deep understanding. Knowing this guidance and if we can put them into practice, we believe our troubles and worries will become less and we will be able to move forward in a direction to clear the situation.
The Shinji begins with a principle—the universal truth that all human beings should know. Along with the principle, Kami is showing us what we are lacking at the moment.
When encountered with the principles of life, people will entrust on the power of their unmei and live.
But there are so few in this world today, who lives by this principle.
Relying on knowledge, there are so many unable to fully extend the power of their unmei.
When encountered with the principles of life, people will entrust on the power of their unmei and live: This is the one principle that we all need to know. And the principles of life is the truth that the world revolves around our kokoro—unmei and jittai.
Unmei is the strength you possess, that is given to each one of us from Kami. While jittai are the attributes and the genetic constitutions handed down in the family line. People’s kokoro are influenced by these elements of unmei and jittai and they are constantly moving like an organism. Therefore, we must realize everything in this world—whether it is politics, the economy, or education—all matters are influenced and affected by the movement of people’s kokoro who are involved with the situation. This is the principles of life.
Our life determined by our own unmei and jittai is beyond our own will. That is why, as long as we have that conscious and are determined to live to abide by Kami, Hotoke and Hito no Michi, our unmei will not be withered away, enabling ourselves to entrust on the power of our unmei. And people like this will live to fully extend and use the power of their unmei at home for the family, at a workplace, in society, and in all aspects of life. And at the same time, able to enjoy the good relationships with people and the livelihood that life offers.
Knowing this truth that the world is made to evolve with complex workings of unmei and jittai, we see how important it is to hone our given unmei. To do so, elevating one’s jittai becomes relevant. In other words, it is to elevate our views and perceptions by educating ourselves with the teachings. If we can correct and elevate our jittai, the unmei we possess surfaces to shine.
But in reality, Kami points out that there are such few people who lives by the principles, relying on knowledge, there are so many unable to fully extend the power of their unmei. The one thing we must entrust our life is our unmei. And in doing so, one is living by the principles. For instance, if we rely too much on knowledge and information out there in society, we might end up choosing careers on trends rather than choosing based on our talents and strength. Kami is showing us that a lot of people are making life choices based on the external factors rather than choosing a path based on the strengths and abilities given as unmei. And this is the reason why people run into problems and worries.
We must also realize that problems and worries are created from our own kokoro. We worry and feel anxious towards the unseen future. For example, when our work is not going well or when we feel our health is in jeopardy—these thoughts trigger our anxieties. And these anxieties soon transform into blaming on something because we want to find a reason to the problem; work is not going well because the government policies have changed and triggered a downturn, or the health scare is worsening because the hospitals seem to be taking the enough precautions to prevent the virus from spreading, and so on. The more we rely on knowledge and information, our kokoro will be without answers and overwhelmed.
The next part of the Shinji is the first of the two things to realize and have awareness.
To the Shinja
Are you learning the teachings to understand the principles?
As Kami sees, there are many who are not practicing the fundamentals of life in their daily lives.
Kami is reaching out to every one of us—so that we can reflect upon ourselves to see if we are learning the teachings to understand the principles. To understand means to gain awareness from the Shinji of what we are lacking at the moment. And with kigan, make the effort to elevate ourselves. In other words, it is not to learn the teachings as a religious precept but use it as a guidance to build a strong determination to live the right path. Kami also said that there are still many who are not practicing the fundamentals of life. Now is the time when we need to live by the principles of how things ought to be. This is because knowledge and information we have now may not be the right answer to what we are facing.
Family is what supports the life of every individual—it becomes the firm foundation that promises and protects our health, work, our livelihood and hopes for the future. To think of a family as a tree; the strong roots support the trunk that extends to the branches with full leaves. What this means is that the father, the mother, the children and the grandparents must live their respective roles. Otherwise, the family’s jittai will not be corrected and the unmei of each individual will not surface. We need to learn the basic fundamentals of the teachings of Kami* and practice it in our roles.
Continuing on with the second of the awareness.
When you learn the teachings as knowledge, principles will not be understood and your efforts will not bear fruits.
Learn the teachings with the family and practice the teachings with the family.
The kokoro of family members will start to come together and conversations will rise and be abundant.
Love between each other will sprout and deepen, and in the hands of Kami, you will experience the feelings of being protected.
This is what it means to live life that is protected and led by one’s unmei.
Despite knowing the teachings of Kami, why do we run into problems and worries? Kami said that it is because we are learning the teachings as knowledge. As we rely on knowledge and see the teachings through our own experiences, we tend to perceive it with deception thinking that the principles are impossible to be practiced in reality. This will keep us away from seeing and understanding the principles and from being able to make it our own way of life.
There are stories about people upset about the complex and slow processes of filing for unemployment or registering to receive some sort of government support. They become upset and cannot get things done smoothly because they think with knowledge. These acts are lowering how they live. But if people approach it with a sense of gratitude, humbleness, and a little sense of appreciation thinking, “These processes are needed to avoid fraud,” “How grateful to be receiving help in this time of difficulties,” jittai will be raised. It is all how we see things and how our kokoro perceives. The teachings are not to be learned as one knowledge out of many, but understand and take it in as principles and have the determination to use them as mainstay of life.
This is why it is better for the teachings to be learned with the family and practiced with the family. What happens as a result as Kami shows, the kokoro of family members will start to come closer together and conversations will rise and be abundant. And the more this happens in the family, the love between each other will sprout and deepen, and in the hands of Kami, you will experience the feelings of being protected. And this is what it means to live life that is protected and led by one’s unmei.
And lastly, the Shinji shows the deep understanding. If you are facing a problem at the moment, the following is the key to a solution—this is what needs to be practiced.
All human beings are connected to Kami with our unmei.
People who gains awareness and a deep understanding from the teachings will correct their jittai on their own and experience the fundamentals of living life entrusting on their own unmei.
All human beings are tied and connected to Kami with our unmei. This means that every single person is born with an unmei that is useful and has the ability to contribute and share something good to the rest of the world. The more we learn the teachings with an accepting and open mind, we are able to realize what needs to be honed and worked on. And if we continue to do this and are able to work to change ourselves, we can correct our jittai. And as our jittai is corrected, our unmei will start to surface and thus enabling us to live life entrusting on our own unmei. This is the fundamental of life.
As mentioned earlier, life evolves according to our kokoro. In other words, it is very much determined by our unmei and jittai—this is the truth about life. It is the truth therefore we cannot change this. What we can do is to make the effort to change the elements of free will (voluntary determinant of life). In other words, it is to change our views by learning the teachings and elevate how we live. As we learn the teachings, we can clearly see our weak points and deceptions. Then we can kigan to ask Kami to cover our weaknesses to better practice the teachings to try to aim to become a person with more compassion. And as we hone ourselves like this, our problems and worries will become less as we would start to approach things differently with the changes of our kokoro. And this is how we attempt to live the right path in a journey called life.
*Basics of the teachings can be studied through our publications of 『How to Live 心の基』 and 『The Basic Principles－Family, Health, and Work－ 理知の真理』.