Tenrikyo’s Way of Thinking and Living: Idea of Causality

In Christianity, people often speak of original sin. It is said that the sin of the first humans, Adam and Eve, who disobeyed God, is passed on to all their descendants and that humans will not be saved so long as they remain affected by its consequences. Presumably, it is regarded as “bad causation” that influences everyone.

At the heart of Tenrikyo’s view of the human condition is the “causality of origin.”

In the Ofudesaki, one of Tenrikyo’s Three Scriptures, we read:

The reason Tsukihi began human beings was the desire to see you lead a joyous life.
Ofudesaki XIV: 25

God the Parent created humankind out of the desire to see us lead the Joyous Life and thus share in it. In other words, everyone can essentially live joyfully and happily. This “good causation” shared by all humanity is referred to by the term “causality of origin.”

On the other hand, each of us has something called “individual causality.” In the Osashizu, another Tenrikyo Scripture, we read:

Causality is the path of the mind.
Osashizu, April 8, 1907

It means that our mind’s history, which each of us has created, determines what happens in our lives.

Although the workings of the mind are difficult to see and cannot be expressed in numbers, God the Parent promises to provide everyone with blessings impartially and appropriately as indicated by the following passage:

Although merit is not visible, the accounting is as dependable as if it were done on paper. Whatever is surplus I return. Whatever is short, I will collect. The balance in each account is very clear.
Osashizu, January 13, 1892

We thus need to become aware that everything happening to us is a result of our minds’ workings and to correct the direction of our minds in accord with the teachings of God the Parent.

It is important that we learn about our own causalities through what appears and, furthermore, realize the existence of the “causality of origin” behind them.

The word “causality” may have a negative and fatalistic connotation. However, as understood in Tenrikyo, it actually refers to a dependable guide for our minds—a guide that helps us lead a brighter life.

From Tenrikyo no kangaekata kurashikata published by Doyusha Publishing Company

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