Great Construction

The Most Refined Taste of Faith

     To the attention of members of the general public I would like to raise the subject of the taste of faith. Nothing is there in this world that lacks taste. Material objects, human beings, life, there is probably nothing without a taste, a flavor. If this flavor were removed from life, indeed it would most likely be dry and insipid, with no vital zest. Therefore, it should not be an exaggeration to declare that the basis of the attachment of human beings to life results from the pleasure afforded by taste. It is only natural that there are religious faiths with taste and those without, but it is of interest that in this world there are faiths of fear. Within an atmosphere that encourages an awe of higher beings, bound by commandments, each day led in narrow confines, there is absolutely no such thing as freedom and followers are constantly in trepidation. I call states such as these, hellish faiths.
     The ideal of faith should be to provide circumstances free from anxiety where life may be enjoyed, replete with joy. Think of the beauties of nature, the songs of all the birds, and the beauties of the natural landscapes that have all been provided by God to sooth and comfort human beings. When human beings come to appreciate clothing, food, and housing as profound blessings, individuals come to take delight in everything, in all the birds and beasts, insects and fishes, plants and trees. This is the state of exaltation and rapture, a condition that should become the frame of mind in which individuals do their best and then leave affairs and matters to the gods and buddhas.
     When I encounter a problem that I find difficult to solve, I always leave the affair to Kannon and then wait for the right time. Through much experience it is clear that the results I get are better than I had thought they would be. It would be correct to say that not once have outcomes turned out the way I had worried they might. Furthermore, even though I anticipate good results in one way or another, matters and affairs are always much better than I had ever hoped. Then again, episodes like this happen. If something bad occurs, I do worry about it temporarily, but then I realize that it certainly must be the premise to something good, and after I leave the affair to God, I do find out that quite often the bad affair had happened so that something good could come about, and that subsequently I start to feel foolish about having worried so much. Thus I indeed find it impossible not to be full of appreciation. I do believe I am living a life of miracles. Such is what I mean by the expression, the most refined taste of faith.

Essays on Faith, page 17, September 5, 1948
    translated by cynndd

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     This essay, or chapter rather, has previously appeared in translation. The citations are given below for reference. Please note that for many years “January 25, 1949” was thought to be the date for the earliest known source for Shinkô Zatsuwa and that in some publications this date or simply the year “1949” may be used.

     “The Glory of Faith,” The Glory, Number 044, May 10, 1963.

     “Glory of Faith,” Fragments from the Teachings of Meishu-sama, 1965, page 38.

     “That Certain Flavor of Faith,” Meishu and His Teachings, no date given but estimated to be from around 1965, page 50.

     “The Exquisite Flavor of Faith,” Foundation of Paradise, 1984, page 334.

     “The Glory of Faith,” A Hundred Teachings of Meishusama, no date, page 184.