Are There Divinities and Buddhas in The World？
This tremendous healing technique was discovered by me because I was able to learn about the actuality of spirit, and then again, before that, there was the motivation for my learning about spirit in the first place. Fundamentally, the principle of this technique is that by healing the spirit, the physical is healed, and this principle should be understood as a tremendous suggestion for future culture. It is a great revolution in science. When this principle is applied to all aspects of life, in addition to healing the sick, immeasurable will probably be the advance of the welfare of humanity. This is only the beginning. When research on this principle has advanced, it can be imagined that the results will extend to the substance of religion.
The controversy over whether gods or God exist or not has not been resolved in the past thousands of years and is an old question as well as a new one. It is only natural that the ordinary individual who looks at the world from only the materialistic viewpoint will not understand God who is spirit which is essentially akin to nothing. But, in accordance with the spiritual science that I advocate, the reality of God can become known. In addition, various issues such as the question of rebirth after death, the reality of the spiritual world, spiritual possession and so forth, and the unknown world (that which I also refer to as the second world) will also be resolved.
As for the motivation that led to my discovery, here it is necessary for me to discuss the change in my thought over the years. When I was young, I was an extreme materialist. Just to give two or three examples, one aspect of me at that time which shows the extent of my attitude is that until I was about forty-five I never once put my hands together in supplication to any deity. That is because, what are said to be the sacred objects, the objects of worship of Shinto shrines are boxes of Japanese cypress fashioned by carpenters or cabinet makers into which have been placed mirrors, pebbles or stones, or else pieces of paper that have been inscribed. That human beings respectfully and reverentially pray to these things is totally meaningless. My way of thinking was that there is a limit to foolishness. As far as Buddhism is concerned, worshiped are that which artists have depicted on paper or sculpt in wood or stone, or fashioned in metals of figures like Kannon, Amitabha, Shakyamuni. Among these representations, Kannon and Amitabha do not exist in the real world. Since it is only a certainty that these have been created from the imagination of human beings, all the more so are they meaningless. It was my firm opinion that this arrangement was nothing but idol worship. At this period in my life, I had occasion to read about the theories of the well-known German philosopher Rudolf Eucken. According to an opinion of Eucken with which I heartily agreed, human beings possess an instinct that is not satisfied unless something is worshiped. For that reason, they indulge their self-satisfaction by making themselves some kind of idol, decorating it, and worshiping it. This aspect can be understood when you look at the fact that offerings presented on an altar usually do not face the representation of the deity but the worshipers.
The opinion described above concerning deities also included my views of nations and because the reality was that in countries in decline such as Italy, there were many old churches and monasteries whereas countries such as the United States with fewer churches and temples, showed great development, I thought that even shrines and temples were an obstacle to the nation’s growth. However, at that time, I used to make a small donation to the Salvation Army, and occasionally a minister visited me and recommended that I become a Christian. He asked me, “Most people who donate to the Army are Christian but you are not Christian, so what reason could you have for donating to us?” I explained to him that “the Salvation Army persuades those convicts who have been released from prison to repent and reform, and turns bad people into good ones. If the Salvation Army didn’t exist, released convicts might steal from my home. Since the Army prevents this from happening, isn’t it only fair that I show my gratitude for and help their project?” This and other similar incidents occurred around that time, but in any case, I wanted to do good deeds. In those days, however, I did not believe in any divinity or buddha. Thus, you can understand the strength of my conviction of not believing in what cannot be seen.
At the time, I was fairly successful and my business was at its peak then, but because of a bad employee, the business experienced great failure. On top of that set back, I had the tragic fate of falling into the depth of the abyss with the passing away of my first wife, going into bankruptcy, and having my assets attached several times. As a result I resorted to what most people would: religion. And, true to type, it was inevitable that I would look for salvation in Shintoism and Buddhism. Such a search finally led me to knowledge of spiritual matters such as the actuality of divinities and buddhas, the existence of the spiritual world, and life after death. I have come to the point that I laugh at my foolishness when I remember that period of my life. Thus it was that upon awakening, my outlook on life made a hundred and eighty-degree turn, I realized that people do receive blessings from divinities and buddhas, and I understood that the individual was only hallow and empty as long as this actuality was not perceived and acted upon. Another point I discovered was that explanations of morality are only futile and useless sermons as long as the actuality of spirit is not recognized.
Gospel of Heaven, page 257, February 5, 1947.
translated by cynndd
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“Shinbutsu wa Aru ka,” originally published as the third chapter of the Appendix titled “Spiritual Science” to Gospel of Heaven, published on February 5, 1947, and reprinted while Meishu-sama still alive in the essays anthology for ministers Goshinsho: Shūkyō-hen (Divine Writings: Volume on Religion), page 120, March 25, 1954, has previously appeared in translation. Citation is given below for reference.
“Do God and Other Divine Beings Exist?” Foundation of Paradise, 1984, page 63.
“Does God Exist?” A Hundred Teachings of Meishusama, no date, page 21.