Great Construction

Human Sagacity and Foolishness

     Why are human beings born with the propensity for such wisdom but also for such stupidity? I will discuss this question, but beforehand what must be understood is the process of death that is experienced by all human beings. Death occurs when the physical body is no longer capable of use either due to the process of natural decay, to sustaining major injury, or to being weakened through illness or disease. The human spirit then leaves the physical body and goes to the spiritual realm where, for several years, decades, or even centuries, is undergone a process of purification. While living in the physical world everyone, regardless of station or status, commits a large number of sins and incurs a great amount of impurities. These sins and impurities accumulate on the spirit, and, like a house that has not been cleaned or clothes that have not been washed for a long while, souls are cleansed, that is, purified in the spiritual world and then reborn in the physical world, as I described in the previous chapter on spiritual cords. Of course, the number of human spirits that are reborn is great, but there are some spirits that are newly born as well. These new spirits undergo a maturing process in the spiritual world which, differing greatly from that in the physical world, is extremely mystical. So, as has just been described, there are reborn spirits and there are new spirits, and because new spirits lack experience as human beings in the physical world, they appear childish compared to those spirits that have experienced many instances as physical human beings who are thus wiser. The more occasions a spirit has for rebirth, the wiser it becomes, and those individuals with the greatest achievement are those with the oldest souls.
     On the subject of rebirth or reincarnation, there is in Buddhism a concept called transmigration of the soul and these terms all refer to the same thing. It means that when the sins a human being has committed while in the material world reach a critical amount, the human being can be reborn as a sub-human species, one of many varieties, the most likely being fox, badger, cat, dog, snake, frog, or bird, and so forth. The spirits of human beings are born into such conditions because while in the physical world, their thoughts and deeds fell to a level below human, to the same level as one of these species. People may find this difficult to believe nowadays, but I have unshakable conviction based on innumerable experiences throughout more than twenty years.
     Allow me to write about several of these cases.
     The first account is that of a rather large dog who had been kept for many years in one household. A member of the family explained the situation and asked me about it. “This dog is rather uncanny. He is always in one of the rooms of the house and does not even make a move to go outside. When one of the servants orders the dog, he doesn’t budge. In addition to obeying only the commands of family members, he won’t sit down unless there is a silk pillow to use, prefers to be in the best room of the house, eats only rich foods, and is not happy unless treated as if a human being. Why is the dog like this?” I answered by saying, “This dog is one of your ancestors who has fallen to a sub-human level. Therefore, he looks upon all of you as beneath him and feels as if he were the head of the household” by which the questioner was persuaded.
     The second case concerns an older woman, around sixty years old, who was possessed by the spirits of about twenty to thirty-four foxes that formed a sizable lump about the size of a large bean within her body, and much of the time the lump was in her armpits. When I radiated spiritual rays on the affected region with my fingertip, the lump became extremely painful. On those occasions, from the mouth of the woman spouted the words, “It hurts, it hurts, That’s terrible, please help me. I’ll leave. I’ll leave, so please just quit doing that.” In the course of the shrieking, the bean gradually disappeared, but after several hours, the fox spirits would come back and the lump reappear. It turns out that in a previous life, this woman was owner of a brothel. Many of the women she had employed had after death, fallen to a sub-human level, become fox spirits and wanted revenge, so they were tormenting her. One time, she heard one fox spirit whisper, “I will take this old woman’s life.” Another time, she felt great pain in the region below her heart, and still another time, during a meal, her esophagus became constricted and food would not pass. Then again, there was an instance when she could not urinate for a day as well as other examples of similar maliciousness, and each time, I would radiate light and heal her.
     The third account dates from the time religions were being suppressed by the authorities, and I could only work as a non-medical practitioner. We had patients disrobe when treating the affected region of the body, and in those days, I frequently came across persons who had, from the waist to the abdomen, marks like snake scales, either red or light black in color. These individuals were snake spirits who had been reborn as human beings and the shape of the scales still remained.
     Color blindness is another example of a condition that appears in reborn animal spirits, as the characteristics of the animal remain. To all animals, shapes appear monochrome, just as the cry or bark of an animal is limited to only one or two varieties.
     There are many other instances, and although I omit them here, in all cases of rebirth, the functions of the remaining animal spirit do remain to a certain extent. There are some animals that understand human language and others that do not, and those which do not are pure animal spirits. It is said that cats or snakes which are killed should be revered, but that is because these are human spirits reborn as animals. If they had not been reborn human spirits, they would not be revered or worshiped. In rural areas has been seen since olden times the common garden snake and these are the spirits of one of the ancestors of the family who has been reborn as a snake and who guards the house, so if this kind of snake is killed, it should be enshrined or worshipped, or else one after another members of the family will die, and in extreme cases, the family line itself will die out. Such will occur because the family has killed an ancestor who had been there to protect them and the ancestor’s spirit has become extremely angry. Human beings are reborn as snakes because, while still in human form, the spirit of attachment turns into the spirit of a snake, and, taking pleasure in telling falsehoods and deceiving others, the being actually becomes a snake spirit. Even when spirits that had fallen to a sub-human level and are born again as human beings in the physical world, they usually do not find happiness for one life. Many unmarried females particularly are of such a type.
     Then, there is another interesting aspect to this subject. We all have, during our travels, visited sites that seem to spark a particular familiarity within us. We feel so because in past lives we either resided in or visited these places. Then, there are individuals to whom we are unrelated yet still feel as close as a parent, child, or sibling, and such persons were indeed in this relationship with us in previous lives. The word “affinity” does aptly describe this phenomenon. And, conversely, those who we cannot seem to get to like or who we feel are unpleasant are those with whom we were on poor terms or by whom we were made to suffer in previous lives. Also, from the past are the persons of great achievement, heroes, military leaders and the like, particularly those who are revered, and these individuals succeed because in previous lives they had been subordinates or vassals. Still another aspect is the instance of ardent love between a man and a woman, who in previous lives, loved each other very much but who were not able to consummate their love, who somehow found each other born again at the same time in the same place. Since their souls are so permeated with each other, they are able to consummate their love, and in their happiness become so absorbed in each other that even they themselves cannot explain their deep-burning passion. Among both males and females are those who never marry and remain single, because in previous lives, romantic relationships were the cause of their deaths, taken either in punishment or through some form of calamity. The feelings of resentment from that time are difficult to overcome and they are fearful of relationships.
     Finally, there are individuals who are afraid of water, of high places, of crowds, or else, of certain kinds of insects or beasts, and the sources of their fears were the causes of their deaths in previous lives. I once encountered the case of an individual who was afraid of being alone. Whenever he became the only person in the house, he dashed out to the street, did not go back inside, and waited until someone came home. This is an example of a soul that was reborn after the experience of dying from some kind of sudden illness or incident, not having anyone to call for help, and dying alone.

Essays on Faith, page 104, September 5, 1948
    translated by cynndd