Great Construction

Sin and Disease

  The relationship between sin and disease has often been stressed in religious fields. This is a fact, but I now explain it from the viewpoint of spiritual healing. I described in the chapter “Aura and Radiation” that as the human being commits evil thoughts and deeds and these accumulate, clouds gradually form and increase on the spiritual body. So, when the density of these clouds reaches a certain point, a natural purifying action occurs to dispel them. The occurrence of purification is one of the ironclad laws of the spiritual world from which no one is immune. The purification process most often presents in the form of sickness, but there are times when it manifests in other forms, such as different kinds of calamities. In physical form, clouds are the accumulation of impure blood and puss, but the diseases that stem not from physical causes but from spiritual reasons, that is, by sin, are particularly hard to cure and often take a long time, sometimes many years, to heal. Diseases of an extremely stubborn nature, such as tuberculosis, caries, and cancer, belong to this category.
  The two ways to dispel sins are through experiencing suffering and through continuously doing good deeds. The repetition of performing good deeds is probably a much easier course. As an example of this method, let me tell you a story I came across during the period I studied the Tenrikyo Church. A young man diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and pronounced incurable joined Tenrikyo. He wished to practice virtuous deeds, and after considering the things he could do, decided he would clean the streets of the spittle that people had deposited. He cleaned the streets every day for three years. He found that he was completely healed of his illness, that no trace of it remained at all. Then, there is another story, this one, quite well-known in Japan. Chogoro Yamamoto, popularly called “Jirocho of Shimizu,” met a high-ranking Buddhist priest one day. The priest said to him, “I see the shadow of death on your face. You are probably not meant to live in this world for more than another year.” At these words, Jirocho prepared himself for death. He gave his possessions to charitable organizations, entered a Buddhist temple, and waited for his time to come. One year passed, then two years, and his condition did not change. He became quite upset. One day he happened to have the occasion to meet the priest who had foretold his doom, and Jirocho was determined to rebuke him for the prophecy that had not come true. Upon meeting, however, the priest spoke, “How remarkable! There is no trace of the shadow of death I saw on your face the last time we met. This is very profound.” Jirocho was taken aback but told the priest what he had done after their previous meeting. The priest explained to Jirocho that it was his good deeds that had changed his fate of death to life.
  When we broaden the lesson of these stories, we understand why the greater part of the Japanese people are suffering miserably these days as a result of Japan’s defeat in World War II. This suffering is nothing other than the purification of the sins that the nation created by invading other countries, exploiting other races, and killing many people.

Gospel of Heaven, page 255, February 5, 1947
translated by cynndd

This essay, or chapter rather, has previously appeared in translation twice. The citations are given below for reference.

“Clouds Formed by Wrongdoings Cause Illness,” Foundation of Paradise, 1984, page 301.

“Sin and Sickness,” A Hundred Teachings of Meishu-sama, no date, page 167.