A Divinity Living on Earth
One comment that all unanimously make upon meeting me for the first time is to the effect that before they actually came in contact with me, they had been told that I was a most awesome person because I was difficult to approach and that I was surrounded by attendants to whom they would also have to be unduly obsequious, but that they were stunned to find that unexpectedly I was quite informal and open. Yes, it is the generally-accepted idea that those such as the founders of sects or superintending priests are enveloped in the grandiose atmosphere described above. And, in the past there were some of my subordinates who wished I would behave in that way, but I prefer not to, so nowadays I carry on as before as an ordinary person.
Since there will most likely be many who want to know the reason I do not act as a god living on earth, I will try to describe my mental state as it is. Probably because I am a true offspring of Edo, I have since youth looked upon pretense most unfavorably. What I mean by this is that as a result of the intense dislike of falsehood which I always mention, and as primping and acting above oneself are variations of falsehood, I think that such pretense is a form of showing off that also presents most disagreeably when viewed by others. For me the best is just to be and act as naturally as possible.
To address my circumstances at present, it may be well and good that there are individuals who are worthy of shutting themselves away in the deep recesses of sacred precincts and making a big fuss over meeting others, but for me, such is distasteful. So, what I think of as my guiding principle is to tell the members of my staff not to bother with people who do not appreciate my attitude or way of doing things, and with those who do, to welcome them warmly. To see how my work unfolds by day and by month, I am satisfied that there is no doubt that is greater the number who appreciate my attitude and way of doing things.
Here one point I would like to mention is that I do believe my nature to be quite unusual. Which is to say, I intensely dislike to imitate others. The reason I do not behave as “a living god” as described above is for this reason. On the outside, in all occasions I just want to be a regular, ordinary guy. Such an attitude probably breaks the mold, but this characteristic has been very useful, and led to the discovery of the epoch healing therapy, Johrei. And, as my followers know, there are indeed many other varieties of my mold-breaking such as the pieces of paper on which I inscribe ideograms which are used as focal points that manifest healing power, our equal treatment of divinities and buddhas, our construction of models of paradise on earth, our emphasis on art, and our avoidance of the smell of religion. In this regard can be cited the recent visit of a reporter from the Fujin Koron magazine who was quite surprised, and when asked why, said that he thought it intriguing that upon entering the lobby of our Provisional Headquarters there was no impression of religion at all. Of course, from now on there are plans to conduct religious activities in all respects, but it is my intention that there be nothing that does not break the mold, so my work should encourage much expectation.
Kyūsei, Issue 62, page 1, May 13, 1950
translated by cynndd
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“Ikigamisama,” originally published on the front page of Kyūsei, Issue 62, May 13, 1950, and later while Meishu-sama still alive, reprinted in the essays anthology for ministers Goshinsho: Shūkyō-hen (Divine Writings: Volume on Religion), page 436, March 25, 1954, has appeared in translation. Citation is given below for reference.
“A Living God,” Foundation of Paradise, 1984, page 315.