Everything in the Universe flows and circulates. We are alive in the great cycle. Water continues to flow without staying in one place. It changes its shape freely according to environment and place without losing its essence and bringing abundant blessings to humans and nature. It seems that water flowing is teaching us how to live our life in the great cycle of life.
I visited Yosemite National Park, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. There, I saw Giant Sequoia trees, thousands of years old. Gigantic granite formations like El Capitan and Half Dome were formed over ten million years.
While I was there, I felt my body and spirit being energized. Being surrounded by majestic nature, I felt I was part of their great cycle of life.
Yosemite Falls caught my attention vividly. I was looking at the stream of water falling from 2,425 feet high that seemed to go on forever. The Stream of water looked the same but never had the same shape even for a second. The water fall was never the same because it was carrying new water every second.
Where does this stream of water come from? With that in my mind, I found that the water I was looking at was part of larger water cycle.
Water evaporates into clouds, which create rain, and the rain on the mountains flows into a river again. Water is constantly flowing while repeating a cycle.
Everything on earth, including human beings, are shaped by this cycle.
For example, our body is made up of a tremendous number of cells, about 60 trillion. Every cell in our body also has a cycle of life. Every cell in our body is replaced every four years. So, at the cellular level, I’m literally a completely different person from four years ago.
I have been here in America, for four years. That means my whole body has been renewed thanks to the cycle of life. Can I say the same about my thoughts and feelings? Have they continued changing and growing as a person and spiritually? Have those aspects like thoughts and emotions naturally continued to evolve following the same life cycle?
Sometimes we stop growing. We get stuck because of difficult and changing circumstances and not being able to adapt and learn from past experiences. Sometimes it is easy to remain still and comfortable without facing new challenges.
I think remaining still is not the solution for any challenge. Learning from the past and starting all over again will allow us to continue growing and flowing like water in the cycle of life.
There is an old proverb, “let all things past, pass”.
I think this proverb has a deep meaning. Water does not stay in the same place and always flows. Water pushes away everything in its path. Not only bad things, but good things as well. Everything that breaks from this flowing in life becomes stagnated and nothing comes out of it.
To me, “Let all things past, pass” also means not to hold on to sadness, regret or anger forever. It is you who has to suffer and it is you who cannot move on to a new world for you waiting to be discovered. While everything is flowing, you will miss to get something new if you do not adapt and learn from past experiences.
When you let yourself be free from being trapped or being afraid to change and dedicate your best efforts under any conditions, your true nature will show and flourish.
No matter the circumstances of today, we can always and should free ourselves of the past and move on to express and shine our true nature.
It is always good to start everything all over again! Always!
Even before we are born, and throughout our lives, we are exposed to cultural influences that shape our personality and sets us out in pursuit of our own happiness.
These cultural influences can be divided in to two main categories. The ones related to achieving happiness in the physical world and the ones related to achieving happiness in a more transcendental and spiritual way. Today I will share my thoughts about how we can harmonize these influences and attain real happiness.
Acquiring a good amount and quality of the first influences is necessary for us to flourish in the physical world. Being good, skillful citizens who contribute positively to society is an individual goal that benefits ourselves and our communities. Family, schools and universities prepare us for that.
Education is important so that every individual is able to play their roles and contribute with integrity to social progress and wellbeing.
Do we need more than the first type of influences to create a perfect society in which every individual has the opportunity to enjoy a good life and everlasting happiness?
When you think about the world we have created, the relationships between individuals, social groups and different countries, do you see a good portrait of the goals of the first influences we receive? We should be living in a perfect world.
What is missing?
Our education teaches us to be the best for the benefit of ourselves, families and society. What is happening in reality to us as individuals? As a society we have not been able to create a perfect world for us, in which every individual has the opportunity to create and enjoy happiness.
Another side of the first influences we receive since we are born are based on a negative aspect of self-centeredness. To think and act based on what is important and beneficial to “me only” without taking in consideration the benefit of others.
For example, while you are in adversity, have you ever been jealous or envious of others who were wealthier, better looking, more successful, more educated, etc.? Comparing ourselves to others often leads to depression and a greater sense of inadequacy.
This may drive you to compete with others, and if you don’t beat them, your jealousy and envy will grow stronger. Some times to the extent that our actions overshadow or remove the rights of other people, which is considered the first step of violence.
We compete against each other. We want to be and have the best for just our own benefit. We chase the physical world for everlasting happiness.
We live our lives outside of our core nature.
Lucky for us we have a second type of influence. The one that teaches us about the origin of the world and human beings and the purpose of life from the spiritual perspective. I am talking about Divine Teachings.
Divine Teachings, according to our beliefs, are originated in the Spiritual World. These are revealed to special people like the first Oshienushi-sama who created the World Divine Light Organization. Throughout human existence, God has nourished us through many special people to whom these teachings were revealed.
One fundamental idea in these teachings is about our true nature as humans. In Japanese the name for Human is Hito. It means the human who has the spirit of God within. We are the divided spirit of God, and that is our true nature. They bring us to our core nature.
As God’s children we are all equal and part of him. We are part of his Great Love.
Why, then, do we have to compete when we are equal? Why do we have to demonstrate to us and others we are better when we are part of God already?
Through Divine Teachings I have learned that we are born in this world to learn from it and realized our true nature as God’s children. Yes! We have to be and do our best in the physical world not only for our own benefit but for every one of us because we are God’s children.
God’s great plan is for us to be happy. Creating a world ruled not by self-centeredness but centered in God, within us and spiritual principles for the benefit of all. Heaven on Earth.
As we live our lives centered in ourselves and for our own benefit, we create negative Karma. Impurities that block us from being our true self. These impurities have to be scraped off and will appear as what we call “Cleansing Phenomena”. Health problems, lack of harmonious relationships, accidents and all kinds of misfortunes. God intends to bring us back to our original state of happiness.
Fortunately, God, has granted us the art of Divine Light to purify and clean these accumulated impurities. By receiving Divine Light our accumulated Karma, is gradually reduced bringing peace and happiness into our lives.
Divine Teaching and Divine Light together are God’s arrangements for us to rekindle our true and forgotten divine nature. We may look different in the physical world. We may play different roles in life and we earn our living in different ways. But there is no real difference because spiritually we are God’s children.
I like the prayer “The I of True Self” from the prayer book page 149. There is a part that says:
“I have seen another existence in the depths of the physical body, which seems truly existent. There exists The I of True Self that eternally allows us to be Hito. The one with a divine Soul within”.
The World Divine Light Organization is dedicated to teaching the Divine Principles and the practice of Divine Light. Promoting altruistic love in our communities based on spiritual volunteer activities, we are creating heaven on earth and bringing happiness to people.
I think you will feel real happiness when you see yourself as God’s child and express your love to others. The third Oshienushi-sama wrote in his book Life Renascence:
“Brush up your talents and exercise them to the utmost. Hold a great intention day and night. Live each moment in all seriousness and make continuous efforts towards your goal”.
Now it is a good time for you to live your life based on a Spirit Primary Principle.
To become a practitioner of Divine Light at World Divine Light, it is necessary to take a Divine Light Basic Seminar course.
One of the topics you will learn on the first day of this seminar is “rebirth”.
It teaches that even though the body will perish one day, the soul will continue to live on. Eventually, the soul will be reborn as a new life.
We believe most people have had multiple past-lives.
If you have a child who is gifted at something, there is a good chance that he or she is repeating the same thing in a previous life and the life before that.
An obvious example would be Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson was a child prodigy and his singing ability was outstanding since he was a child.
The human vocal range is usually expressed in 8 pitches, and the average human singing voice is 2 Octaves.
In Michael Jackson’s case, however, his vocal range was 4 Octaves in the normal case, and in his best performance, it was over 5 Octaves.
He was a singer who had a genius voice, and we call people with such idiosyncratic talents as “geniuses”.
However, it can be said that these so-called geniuses have also improved their abilities through repeated life-cycles.
For example, I believe that anyone can ride a bicycle, and most people have acquired a driver’s license.
But no one could drive a car or ride a bicycle like an expert on the first try.
You learn to ride a bicycle by using training wheels.
Once you start riding without the training wheel, you may fall over a few times.
Soon, however, you will be able to ride your bike naturally, without thinking about it.
Even if it’s a car, at first, you may ask your parent or a friend to ride in a passenger seat to practice, or you may ask a coach from a driving school to teach you how to drive.
Then you start to gain experience as a novice driver, and eventually, you’ll be able to drive without being aware of your hands behind the wheel or your foot on the accelerator. You’ll just pay attention to what’s ahead and around the car.
In this way, a person can grow gradually, and here we find what God expects of a person.
In other words, the purpose of life, as taught in the Rebirth of the seminar, is “polishing your soul”.
God wants you to grow, and the common purpose of life for mankind is to grow as children of God.
Just as someone taught us how to ride a bike or a car, we have a teacher in our life’s purpose, “polishing our soul”.
The teacher of life is God, and we, the people, are His students.
I will continue this next week.
Enjoy your life more, and stay tuned to World Divine Light.