The Shinji for December 23rd is the last of all the Shinji given to us this year. Our journey for 2020 began with the guiding principles shown with the Kigansai Shinji, and this 23rd is what will conclude this challenging year.
In addition to Kigansai Shinji, Kami had shown us at the beginning of the year, a separate Shinji that helped us understand the right mindset for the year 2020. And it said;
All the teachings that Kami gives through the Shisha are principles.
The principles of life, without the teachings, are immeasurable by human knowledge or experience.
Shinja must understand the value of the teachings and live with a kokoro that is supported by the teachings.
As the feelings to live by the teachings deepen, people’s kokoro will anchor, and the movement of kokoro to go off the path will not emerge.
When family members make the effort to create a home that lives with the teachings, people can live their life one with their unmei.
This is a person’s life that manifests and achieves kaiun.
Valuable Shinji are continuously revealed from Kami through the Shisha. And the teachings given in the form of Shinji are all principles. The principles are the workings of the world and justification of things, that apply to everyone no matter what era they live or where they live. And without these principles, your strengths and your abilities gifted to you will not be surfaced, hence not able to live life with fulfillment.
However, it is true, that there are so many who find and believe human knowledge and experience are what rules the world and ignore the principles that are beyond human reach that justifies things. And this year, every one of us on this planet has experienced an unprecedented time where we were truly shown that there are immeasurable things in this world that human knowledge or experience cannot explain. And as we recall, prior to this year, Kami had repeatedly shown to understand the value of the teachings, learn it as a family, and make the teachings an important part of the family’s values. This was because as the feelings to live by the teachings deepen, people’s kokoro will anchor and the movement of kokoro to go off the path will not emerge. As your kokoro gets supported by the teachings and when it become the mainstay of your life, you will start to become less emotional hence take actions that would lead you off the path. Your daily life will be spent one with your unmei, which gets accumulated to an unregretful year. So therefore, Kami had already guided us at the beginning of the year on how to spend this year with an undisturbed kokoro.
With that being said, the Shinji for December 23rd is the Shinji that concludes the year. The Shinji is constructed with a deep understanding at the beginning, then followed by a realization, and concludes with another deep understanding.
The first part is the deep understanding.
Human beings learn love that is the truth, their kokoro gains awareness and deepens in understanding, together with their physical development.
But they are at the mercy of knowledge without any principles, unable to gain awareness about the truths of the spiritual world and go off the path of their own accord; thus the development—understanding—of their kokoro does not evolve.
Unable to connect with many people, unable to become someone (an existence) who gives back to society, they suffer.
The physical aspects of the human body are constantly developing and changing—that is the nature of human being. Kami teaches us that along with the physical development, the kokoro needs to gain awareness and deepens in understanding. If that is done, people will not be consumed and distracted by how people look, how they dress, what their positions are, or the titles they have. But realize that the inside is more important and see the spiritual world, and develop love that is the truth. With this love, people will feel fulfilled each day, and can live with an enriched kokoro, and with a calm feeling. It is a sense of fulfillment in the here and now, and a gratitude for today.
However, the truth is, there are so many that think and act in a selfish manner, thinking only of the gains and losses and do not gain emotional development at all. And because of that, there exists no balance between the mind and the body hence unable to extend their abilities to its full potential.
In our society today, we often see politicians spending their time trying to pull legs amongst each other, when they need to be thinking about the country and its people. And in addition to that, the media sometimes adds extra anxieties to what is already an agonizing situation.
We are truly at the mercy of knowledge without any principles and believe that we can solve anything with knowledge, information or past experiences. But realize that there are times when we are unable to find a solution, come to a dead end, put ourselves into corner, and at the end, causing ourselves to become physically sick. Our physical development comes naturally over time, but development of the kokoro does not happen without gaining deeper understandings of the principles.
If you are unable to gain awareness about the truths of the spiritual world, you are unable to care about others around you, and eventually go off the path of your own accord and be at a loss. Not just that, but you will not be able to connect with many people causing you to be cynical and blaming everything on someone or something else and create your own problems. And what happens then, is that your health starts to deteriorate. There are so many people like this.
The following is a realization.
To the Shinja
Now that it is the month of airei, it is the time (month) to reflect on the state of your kokoro based on the teachings.
Having learned the teachings with family members, how is your effort to create a family that is one with the principles?
Having deepened your learning of the teachings, how are your efforts to become the human being who will guide society on the correct path?
Do you talk about the worth of Shinji Kyōkai where the kokoro can learn and gain understanding of the teachings, to family members, relatives, friends, and acquaintances with the pride of a shinja?
There will be love (affection) for the church in the kokoro of a person (human being) who lives each day of their life supported by the teachings. Simultaneously, thoughts of gratitude and reciprocation to the people (existence) who have supported and been involved in your life grows.
Because Aiju Onrei Shinja Sanpaiji is a time to reflect how much you were protected by the power of Kibō No Michi (*1), Kami is asking to reflect on the state of your kokoro based on the teachings. Kami gave us a specific guideline on what to reflect.
First, were you able to learn the teachings with family members and make the effort to practice it among the family? Were you able to deepen your leaning of the teachings and tried your best to become a person who will guide society on the right path beginning with your family members? Any positive outcomes and developments? If it was a year where you were able to maintain good relationships with people around you, the consequences must have been great. And did you talk about the worth of Shinji Kyōkai where the kokoro can learn and gain understanding of the teachings, to family members, relatives, friends, and acquaintances with the pride of a shinja?
Kami has given us an important awareness needed now to end the year with a positive perspective. And to tie things together, Kami showed us that as we live each day of our life supported by the teachings and make them a part of who we are, love (affection) for the church will be fostered. This means that if a person truly understands the worth of living by the teachings, this church will become a very important part of their life.
Simultaneously, Kami showed that thoughts of gratitude and reciprocation to the people (existence) who have supported and been involved in your life grows. When gratitude grows in your heart, you naturally become more aware in giving yourself for the greater good. And at the same time become humble to always accept your flaws, never forget how much you owe other people for their act of kindness towards you, and live with a conviction to never disappoint someone as much as you can.
The last phrase concludes the Shinji with a deep understanding and it portrays who we want to be—what we should aim for.
The more the gratitude of a shinja to Kami (Shinkon), Shisha, shokuin, kakari, family members, relatives, other shinja and people in society deepens, understanding of the kokoro grows, Kibō No Michi is manifested and the shinja is protected and saved.
Beginning with Shinji for Kigansai, as we make the effort to live by the teachings by learning the Shinji every month, our kokoro of gratitude for everything around us will surface from within. Seeing how much you have been protected over the years, and to add another year to your life with a great feeling of gratitude and with a better version of you with a much deeper understanding is the true meaning of this period of Aiju Onrei Shinja Sanpaiji.
Looking back on yourself, how much have you grown emotionally? Is your gratitude for Shinkon increasing each and every year? Sense of gratitude must deepen each year as you live and move forward. When you live with the teachings, you will naturally abide by Misuji no Michi (*2)—which is Kami, Hotoke, and Hito no Michi. And the more you abide by the teachings, the bigger the protection from Kami, and you will be promised a life filled with fulfillment. To gain deeper understanding of the kokoro each year, Kibō No Michi will be manifested and the shinja is protected and saved—this is the truth of how humans ought to be.
*1 Kibō No Michi: A means for salvation granted by Ōyamanezunomikoto to lead people’s life to a life without remorse by suppressing and correcting the jittai (disposition and temperament) handed down from our parents and ancestors and surfacing the unmei given to each one of us.
*2 Kami, Hotoke, and Hito no Michi: In a place where three worlds of Kami, Hotoke and Hito coexist, there is an important kokoro (way of manners and attitudes) that needs to be understood and practiced. This principle teaches the important kokoro. It is also referred to as Misuji no Michi, or Kami no Michi, Hotoke no Michi, and Hito no Michi.