Kami is a great being that protects, guides and envelopes all existence with a profound love. And we feel that presence through the many wonders of nature we encounter each and every day. For instance, if the trees are torn down by an outrage of storm, new life springs somewhere in the mountains and they thrive. When the surface of the earth’s temperature rises, it naturally produces rainfalls to cool itself down. And when too much energy gets piled underneath the surface, it releases the energy through eruption and subsides. As we see, the nature takes its natural courses, and everything in this world moves accordingly to the laws of nature—how things should be. We must know and understand that everything in this world exists and moves under much complex workings of this world.
As we understand that everything exists under the power of nature and it lies to the power of Kami, we can be humble towards everything that we possess and towards all that we do. For instance, the fresh produce we consume originates in nature. We are able to mass produce and get it anywhere in the world because humans have come up with ways to cultivate and grow. Or even looking at the professions people choose; It may seem as if humans have created it all, but in the flow of time, all the professions in the world exist as a result of people’s needs to live in a society, and transformed accordingly to the demand of the era. In other words, we need to understand that there is an invisible force of nature that triggers all the movement of our world. And we are living inside that big flow of nature—which is Kami.
And the teachings we learn, given from that Kami, give guidance on how to understand the current flow of time and how we must live in that moment. So therefore, it is important that we’d be aware of it, learn it, and practice it. Otherwise, many of us would be consumed and overwhelmed by all the information. Taking the current situation of the pandemic for example, we hear different things every single day—leading us into a great confusion. The mass media often focuses on one part instead of giving us the broader picture of the crimes, accidents, and disasters—meaning that we must always remember that there are often more to what we are told, or the other side to the stories we hear. Besides that, we live in a world today where individuals can place their personal opinions and voices to be heard in so many ways. But as part of that society, we must know that opinions are opinions and we should not be misled by it. We must stay focused on the right path.
No matter how the world changes, the life we live today is precious and indispensable. And that is why Kami gave us the following phrase in the Shinji for Kigansai.
Life is in Kami’s hands—strive to be the person (human being) who completes their life journey knowing that the time spent living as a human being is precious.
The Shinji for August 1st, 15th, and 23rd are filled with points to realize and deeply understand about this one phrase from Kigansai.
As we take a look at the Shinji for August 23rd, it begins with a deep understanding—which leads to what we all should strive to practice. Please become a person who can practice this one teaching aiming to be like the figure explained in the following Shinji.
The more encounters with people are cherished, the kokoro (jittai) of a person (human being) is honed and a life of much meaning and purpose is lived.
This is exactly how a person with high dignity lives. For example, there are different levels of spices to curry; mild, medium hot, hot, etc. A person who cherishes their encounter is a person who can enjoy the curry with gratitude even if the curry they ordered is a little different from their preferences. The encounter is not cherished if rejected or denied by saying “I can’t.” Strive to be a person who can harmonize with any person, things, or matter without being meticulous.
Good or bad relation depends on how you are involved and interact with the other person—it is up to your kokoro. Whether you are shopping for groceries or taking an uber ride, to be conscious about how you are involved with the other person is always important. This conscience is what makes all your encounters to be pleasant and cherished as a result. Having this awareness is what keeps you grounded even if the other person isn’t so friendly. This is how your kokoro is honed, hence loved by many people that would give you a life of much meaning and purpose.
The next part tells us two awareness. Let us begin with the first of the two.
The teachings give the kokoro latitude and bring out the kokoro to cherish encounters with people.
As you learn the teachings, your solicitude will surface even stronger. This is because the kokoro has more latitude and your ability to view with a wider, broader perspective will increase.
There are so many people who act selfishly, or share their opinions and thoughts quite straightforwardly without using any filter. What you must do, is to always cherish your encounters. As long as you have gratitude and awareness to take things in with a broad perspective, this can be done fairly easily.
Gratitude is an emotion and a movement of your kokoro that sprouts through the myriad ties you have with other people. If you don’t interact and stay introverted, it can be difficult to experience that emotion of gratitude. It is important to be in touch and be connected with people. The pandemic has changed our ways of interaction, and social distancing is important at this time. But there are so many ways to be connected—whether it be through writing cards and letters, phone calls, emails. And we must remind ourselves that the connection we must keep importannce begins with the family and to all the close people we know.
The second of the awareness is shown in the following phrase.
Many people (human beings) who live now (today) do not know the truth about society and live relying only on effort.
The truth about society mentioned here is the truth that there exist the workings of the world, which is the truth that it revolves around unmei and jittai. Many people in the world do not know this truth; lack respect towards Kami and the nature, and end up relying only on effort. Dismissing one’s unmei, and relying on knowledge and information or believing only on effort will only lead to a dead end. When people lose the latitude and unable to accept things, they start to be judgmental, critical and the ability to harmonize will start to diminish. This is what Kami wants us to realize.
Just looking at the current situation with the Corona virus, if we are reasonable and wise, we would do our best to prevent by washing hands or try to ventilate the rooms to keep the fresh air flowing at all times. Once we start focusing on how the government is taking actions, or on the economic measures taken to overcome the situation, things become complicated. Try not to be consumed by what the media says and keep life simple. This is to make the right choices of which knowledge and information you use and be wise. When knowledge and information prevail wisdom, people start to make the wrong choices hence run into problems.
The very last phrase of the Shinji is deep understanding. Deep understanding—in other words is the ideal figure that we should strive to become.
If you live your life supported by the teachings, all people (human beings) will be in Kami’s hands and have many encounters and live a life of meaning and purpose.
Please take in this Shinji as a personal message to you from Kami. The protagonist of your life is you. So therefore, the Shinji speaks out to us by saying; if you live your life supported by the teachings, you will have many encounters and live a life of meaning and purpose.
Life of meaning and purpose was explained in the Shinji for August 15. It said; The true meaning and purpose that human beings live for is to know the true happiness as you live and feel the love of family members. You will not only experience the meaning and purpose as you live by the teachings, but “living life” itself becomes the true meaning and purpose of your life. We hope that you will strive to practice the teachings to fully experience this truth.
Now is the time when we are experiencing drastic changes in all aspects of our lives. We are headed to an era of harmony as the society simultaneously experience changes and adjustments. The world is continuing to adjust itself to reach harmony. Because we are in the midst of it, now is the time to turn ourselves to cherish the encounters we have, make the effort to harmonize with them, and experience the meaning and purpose through those meetings. We are given a precious life to live as human beings. Let us live this precious moment to be fulfilling and free from regrets.