This Month’s Message: Experience Rather Than Information

Oyasama once said:

“This path is not the way of intelligence or knowledge.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, no. 190

A young female TV reporter visits a locally renowned cake shop. As she eats a mouthful, we can tell that she is in seventh heaven. “Wow, it really is scrumptious!” she exclaims. She then tries to describe the rich flavor and taste she is savoring, using all the facial and verbal expressions at her disposal. “As the incredible cream melts on your tongue, its delicate sweetness permeates your mouth—an amazing culinary experience!”

However, it is impossible for us to truly know how tasty it is; all we can do is imagine. Even if all relevant information about the place and method of production of all the ingredients as well as full scientific data on them were provided, we would still be unable to really know what it tasted like. Yet just trying a morsel would reveal its taste, with no need for any explanation or data.

The same goes for faith. No matter how closely we might study someone’s faith, we cannot know the core of that person’s faith unless we participate in its practices.

An academic paper on food would not fill desperate hungry stomachs. Also, when an immediate decision is required at a fork in the road, we do not have the luxury of waiting for sufficient data. What is needed at a critical moment may not be information but the courage to throw ourselves into the welcoming embrace of Oyasama.

Overcoming indecision and taking a leap of trust into Her arms can be an eye-opening experience. Without needing to know more or be convinced, we may feel an immediate sense of gratitude for faith and become overwhelmed with wonder at what it offers.

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