Tenrikyo’s Way of Thinking and Living: All Human Beings Are Brothers and Sisters

Tenrikyo’s view of humanity provides many important insights into how to bring a settling to this world. Let us focus on two of them.

The first insight is that human beings are children created by God the Parent for the purpose of living a joyful life and that God the Parent is working even now to help us realize this ultimate goal. Second, all people in the world are God the Parent’s beloved children and are brothers and sisters.

In the original Japanese of Tenrikyo’s Scriptures, phrases that refer to humanity often contain these two words: “sekai,” which means “world,” and “ichiretsu,” which has the meaning not only of “all” but also of “equal.” One scriptural verse that includes such a phrase states, in translation:

All of you throughout the world are brothers and sisters.
There should be no one called an outsider.

Ofudesaki XIII:43

As all humans are brothers and sisters, no one should be considered higher or lower than anyone else; however, human beings have repeated a history of negative actions by judging, hating, and assigning high or low status to each other. In the past, differences such as national origin, skin color, and wealth were regarded as absolute and resulted in a world far from the Joyous Life.

However, the previous paragraph only describes events of the past few thousand years of human history. Going further back to the point of human creation, we find that all human beings were created with equal value. If this is an innate truth given by God the Parent, then the basis of faith for each one of us living today is to become aware of it and continue our efforts to achieve universal equality.

The idea of “Me vs. Them” has become a deeply ingrained concept in general, but this mindset should be overcome as it is taught that “There should be no one called an outsider.”

God the Parent tells us that we should all work together and help one another as brothers and sisters and that, if we do so, we will be shown whatever marvelous blessings we wish to receive. If we trust in God the Parent’s intention and put into practice what we are taught, we will be able to realize the settling of the world.

From Tenrikyo no kangaekata kurashikata published by Doyusha Publishing Company

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