Great Construction

Sins and Impurities as the Cause of Disease

     The cause of illness is impure blood and watery pus that has accumulated and solidified in the human body. This blood and pus has been mirrored from the clouds on the spirit as I have already related. How are clouds generated and where they come from are questions that can be answered by stating that clouds are sins and impurities. Sins and impurities are of two types, congenital and post congenital. The congenital type is the accumulation of all the sins committed and the impurities incurred by one’s ancestors. The post congenital type is those sins committed and impurities acquired by the individual that accumulate after birth.
     To begin, I will detail the first type, sins and impurities caused by one’s ancestors. We individuals who are living today did not just suddenly spring up as solitary beings in the world. We are indeed an individual aggregate of hundreds, nay, thousands, of our ancestors. We stand as a living being that breathes and exists in the material world at the front of that group. We are an individual existence in a certain time with a certain life span that is part of an eternal process of succession. Inclusively, we are one link of a chain that connects ancestors and descendents. Exclusively, we are the tie that links parent and child.
     To thoroughly explain the illness that is rooted in the sins and impurities of ancestors, it is necessary to talk about life after death, that is, about conditions in the spiritual world, so I will provide a broad outline here.
     When the individual leaves this material world and passes through the gateway of death, it sheds the robe of the physical body. The physical body of a human being belongs to the physical world and its spiritual body belongs to the spiritual world, so when the physical body decays due to illness or old age and cannot be used anymore, the spirit throws away the material of the physical body that has become useless and goes to the spiritual world. In the spiritual world, the spirit prepares to be born again into the physical world. This preparation consists of individual spiritual cleansing. Most human beings in the course of their existence in the physical world have many incurred impurities caused by the sins of their actions, and because judgment in the spiritual world is completely fair and impartial, most spirits fall to more hellish levels. Spirits who have fallen to the hellish areas are able to raise their spiritual level by paying the penalty for their sins through suffering, even if only by a slight degree, and as they are purified of their sins and impurities, the dregs of the purification, or what could be called the spiritual impurities, flow for purifying to those descendents who exist in the physical world. Each individual descendent, who is an aggregate of all its ancestors, receives a portion of those sins and impurities, a form of causal atonement. This is a divine law of the Creator of all in the universe, so though arduous, nothing is possible without compliance. Spiritual impurities are continually flowing to the brain and the spinal cord of the human being. As these impurities enter the spirit of a human being, they are immediately materialized as puss. This puss is the cause of all diseases.
     Next, to explain the second cause of the sins and impurities of human beings, those of the individual formed post congenitally, this is a subject that everyone should well understand. There is no human being who can live a life without committing any sin at all. Sins can be of a large, intermediate, or small nature, in infinite variety. There are legal trespasses, for example, but there also exist moral trespasses, social sins, and so on. There are physical sins that are incurred in deeds and then there are also spiritual sins that are caused by merely thinking. When Christ admonished that even in looking on a woman in lust a man has already committed the sin of adultery in the heart, I think he may have been speaking rather harshly, but he was not wrong. As such, even if an individual does not violate any laws, for example, there are small sins, sins committed everyday, as in the occasions when we may only think, “I hate that guy.” “I want to get that fellow.” “I want to have sex with that person.” These are all trivial matters that people do not think of as sins, but as these small sins accumulate over a long period, the amount becomes quite considerable. Furthermore, thoughts of wanting to come out first in competition or of achieving social success, acts that overtly assert supremacy over others, cause the loser to resent and envy the winner. Incurred resentment is a variety of sin. Whether it is committing murder, being lazy, committing assault, wasting resources, sleeping late, breaking promises, or telling falsehoods all are in one form or another, sin. This limitless number of sins, however insignificant, becomes over time, a considerable amount, which accumulates on the spirit as clouds. It may be thought that a new born babe would not have any post congenital sins, but such is never so. All human beings, until the time they leave their parents’ arms and enter society, have apportioned to them while they are being raised, their parents’ sins and impurities. The process is easily understood when compared to a tree. The parent is the trunk, the children are its branches, and the branches form more branches which are the grandchildren. The clouds in the parent, the trunk, cannot but be reflected to its branches.
     Often there are occasions when these congenital sins and impurities may be clearly identified. Here are several examples. The first two accounts are of individuals who came to suffer blindness as a result of deceiving others. Years ago, in the Senzoku-cho district of Asakusa, there was an expert scroll mounter named Kyogin. He possessed a technical genius for creating forgeries. He made new works look like antique paintings and sold them, amassing quite a fortune over several decades, but in his later years, he contracted incurable blindness and died soon after. As a child I had often played at his shop, and it was Kyogin himself who told me of what he had done. The other account also comes from Asakusa, from Hanakawado this time, where there had once been a utensil dealer named Hanagame. The chief priest of a temple in Shizuoka once came to Tokyo to exhibit the main object of worship of his temple, a Buddhist statue. But the priest’s Tokyo project failed, he did not have enough money to get home to Shizuoka, and he brought the statue to Hanagame as security to borrow money to return home. Back home, he was able to get the money together and went to Hanagame’s place to get the statue. In the meantime, a buyer who was willing to pay a very high price for the main Buddhist statue from a temple had appeared and Hanagame had sold him the statue. But Hanagame repeatedly told the priest that he had no recollection of ever having received the statue and refused to listen to the priest’s entreaties. The priest withdrew but later hung himself from the eaves of Hanagame’s shop. For his part, Hanagame expanded his business with the great amount of money he had made on the sale of the Buddhist statue, and he was very successful, becoming quite the millionaire. In his later days, though, he went blind, and his son who had succeeded him in business squandered the family fortune on alcohol and women. In the end, the business completely ruined, not even a vestige of the shop remained. I remember that because as a child I often saw his pitiful figure being led around by his aged wife, my father told me the story of Hanagame. The feelings of malice from the priest undoubtedly attached themselves to Hanagame’s family.
     And, then I have an example where the sins of the parents are passed on to the children. This account is of a woman I employed as a maid when she was about seventeen or eighteen years old. She was blind in one eye and could not see a thing from it. I asked about her affliction and she told me that a child in the home where she previously worked has mishandled an airgun and shot her in the eye. Upon further questioning, I learned that sometime around the beginning of the Meiji era which began in 1868 her father had made a lot of money selling fake coral beads. With rubber and other such materials he was able to skillfully fashion coral beads. He took the fake beads to rural areas and sold them for a very high price, making a tremendous profit. I am sure that the resentment formed by the people who bought these fake beads must have been tremendous. The penalty of paying for this sin was consigned to the descendent whose eye had been punctured. Moreover, the girl was rather beautiful and so it was quite unfortunate because she could have gone on to great success in the world had she not a problem with her eye.
     Another kind of sin is represented by the example of the elderly man who came to me for treatment complaining of pain in the wrists. I treated him for ten days but he showed no signs of improvement. I thought it peculiar and asked the man about his religious beliefs. He said he had worshipped a certain deity for more than twenty years. I realized at that moment that his painful wrists were brought about by his worship of this deity and told him to stop. Indeed, from the day he stopped praying to the deity, his wrists began to feel better and within a week he had completely recovered. Accounts like those of this man do occasionally occur. Instances where having incorrect faith or worshipping the wrong deities incurs paralyzed or painful hands, or bent knees often occur, which arise from the sin of following erroneous deities.
     The examples I have presented show that post congenital sins and impurities are not to be taken lightly, so those individuals who are suffering from disease or calamity should consider the possibility of having incurred post congenital sins or impurities. When it is discovered what was committed or wrongly done, repentance and reformation is in order.
     As the separate chapter on small pox indicates, another cause of disease is the toxins of congenital small pox that have become dormant. Hence, diseases are chiefly of three causes, congenital sins and impurities, post congenital sins and impurities, and the toxins of congenital small pox.

Book of New Japanese Medicine, unpublished, 1936
translated by cynndd

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This essay, or chapter rather, has previously appeared in translation once. The citation is given below for reference.

 “Wrongdoing and the Fundamental Cause of Illness,” True Health, 1987, page 70.