Science Confirms Rebirth and Causality

Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for making the time to attend the December Service at Tenrikyo Pearl Church and thank you for your kind and sincere offerings. I am sure God the Parent and Oyasama is really happy to see you all here today!

I would also like to take this time to thank all of you for your support of Tenrikyo Pearl Church during this year of Oyasama 120th Anniversary.

Science Confirms Rebirth and Causality

Last month we talked about the Tenrikyo teachings as the Path to Spiritual Maturity and the Joyous Life. Today, we will discuss the teachings of Departure for Rebirth and Causality and how understanding these teachings are part of spiritual maturity and the Joyous Life.

Last month, a couple days after Thanksgiving, a young Tenrikyo member passed away suddenly due to injuries in a car accident. We were all very shocked and sad to learn of this news. I’m sure many of you have experienced this grief and sadness through the passing of someone close to you’ and probably have asked yourself, where does the soul go after the body passes on? Do they still see and hear us?

As most of you know in Tenrikyo we have this very important teaching called, ‘a thing lent, a thing borrowed,’ which teaches us that our body is not our own, it really belongs to God, that we borrow this body from God and God lends it to us. When we pass away, we return the body for a new one and we are reborn.

Also in the Osashizu, (June 1, 1889)

With human beings: the body is a thing lent by God,

a thing borrowed. The mind alone is yours.

And, in the Doctrine of Tenrikyo (page 55), we read, ‘However, because of the immaturity of our minds, most of us must return the body before we have lived out our full term of life. This returning of the body is called ‘passing away for rebirth’ and is much like taking off our old clothes to put on new ones. The mind alone having been taught as ours, we borrow new bodies and return to this world.’

As you can see this teaching of departure for rebirth comes from the teaching of a thing lent, a thing borrowed.

Next, on the teaching of Causality, in the Ofudesaki I: 6, it says,

If you wish to know and will come to Me, I shall

teach you the original cause of all things.

The original cause, here, refers to God’s desire to see us live the Joyous Life. This is our original cause. But, when we conduct our life with the free use of our mind, we sow both good seeds and bad seeds.

From the Doctrine of Tenrikyo, page 55 we read, ‘When our deeds are good, the ‘truth of good’ will appear. Conversely, when our deeds are bad, the truth of bad will appear.

Also, in the Osashizu (July 22, 1895), it says,

There is every kind of causation in this world.

There is good causation as well as bad causation.


Further in the Doctrine of Tenrikyo, page 56:

‘The reason God the Parent shows us our causality in various ways is to have us replace our minds and become spirited so that we can live the Joyous Life. This is from God’s parental love.’

These two teachings ‘departure for rebirth’ and ‘causality’ are difficult for many people to accept. But now we have clear proof and confirmation through the work of Dr. Michael Newton in his book Journey of Souls, Llewellyn Publications.

Dr. Newton holds a doctorate in counseling. He is a state certified Master Hypnotherapist in California. Through the development of his own age-regression technique, Dr. Newton discovered it was possible to take his clients beyond their past-life experiences to uncover a more meaningful immortal soul experience between lives. He shares with us the accounts of 29 people who were placed in a state of super-consciousness and while in deep hypnosis they describe what has happened to them between their former reincarnations on earth. They reveal graphic details about how it feels to die, where we go, what we do as souls and other things too many to mention here. To keep the sermon as short as possible we will focus on departure for rebirth and causality.

Dr. Newton writes: ‘I found thoughts about the spirit world involve universal truths among the souls of people living on Earth. It was these perceptions by so many different types of people which convinced me their statements were believable. I am not a religious person, but I found the place where we go after death to be one of order and direction, and I have come to appreciate that there is a grand design to life and afterlife.’

In one of his sessions with a client under regression hypnosis the subject is describing his death in a previous life:

‘Oh, my god! I’m not really dead ‘ am I? I mean, my body is dead ‘ I can see it below me ‘ yet I’m floating ‘ I can look down and see my body lying flat in the hospital bed. Everyone around me thinks I’m dead, but I’m not, I want to shout, hey, I’m not really dead! This is so incredible ‘ the nurses are pulling a sheet over my head ‘ people I know are crying. I’m supposed to be dead, but I’m still alive! It’s strange, because my body is absolutely dead while I’m moving around it from above. I’m alive!

Through this type of case studies Dr. Newton found that many souls want to ‘mentally reach out to comfort loved ones before progressing further into the spirit world. Those who have departed are not devastated about their death, because they know those left on Earth will see them again in the spirit world and probably in later lives as well. On the other hand, mourners at a funeral generally feel they have lost a loved one forever.’

Isn’t it great to know that we will once again see a loved one who has departed?

(On page 47) Also, he mentions:

‘My subjects say to me no soul is inherently evil, although it may acquire this label in human life.’

This matches what it says in the Ofudesaki, I: 52, 53

Looking all over the world and through all ages,

I find no one who is evil.


Among all humankind, there is no one who is evil.

It is only a bit of dust stuck on.

Also (on page 49) he says:

‘Does hell exist to permanently separate good souls from bad ones? All my case work with the spirits of my subjects has convinced me there is no residence of terrible suffering for souls, except on Earth. I am told all souls go to one spirit world after death where everyone is treated with patience and love.’

As we know in Tenrikyo there is no teaching of another world of heaven and hell.

In Journey of Souls (page 51), Dr. Newton says:

‘The price we pay for our misdeeds and the rewards received for good conduct revolve around the laws of karma. Perpetrators of harm to others will do penance by setting themselves up as future victims in a karmic cycle of justice’

No study of life after death would have any meaning without addressing how karma relates to causality and justice for all souls. Karma by itself does not denote good or bad deeds. Rather it is the result of one’s positive and negative actions in life’ Our future destiny is influenced by a past from which we cannot escape, especially when we injure others.’

This is very similar to our teaching of causality and it even mentions the word, ‘causality’ as in ‘how karma relates to causality”

On an interesting note, although not mentioned in Tenrikyo teaching, on page 69, it says:

”The test of reincarnation for a soul coming to Earth is the conquering of fear in a human body. A soul grows by trying to overcome all negative emotions connected to fear through perseverance in many lifetimes”

Further, it says:

”It’s in joy and unabashed pleasure that the true nature of an individual soul is revealed on earth in the face of a happy human being.’

‘The true nature of an individual’ and ‘the face of a happy human being,’ coincides with the Tenrikyo teachings ‘original cause of human beings’ and ‘human beings living a joyous life.’

You have to remember that Dr. Newton is not a Tenrikyo follower and that he found out about these things through his work with his patients. One cannot help but be amazed at how his discoveries match very closely to what Tenrikyo teaches.

The teachings of the rebirth and causality as taught by Tenrikyo and confirmed by the work of Dr. Michael Newton help us to understand the eternal nature of our soul and the deep meaning of life as we experience the various causalities in many lifetimes. Whatever seed we plant will always sprout. If not in this lifetime, it will without a doubt be manifested in a future lifetime. Whatever good or bad thing that happens in this life, is the result of those seeds we planted previously. We must accept this with joy and gratitude and resolve to plant good seeds by practicing the teachings in our daily life. It is in this way that we can walk the path to spiritual maturity and the joyous life.


Announcements

1. This is the twelfth and last month of the year of Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary. The Shinbashira has allowed us to observe the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama throughout the year and I encourage all of you to participate by returning to Jiba in 2006. If anyone wishes to return to Jiba, please let me know.

2. The Aloha Band has committed to sending the band again next year in commemoration of the 170th year of Tenrikyo. If you or your child, or a child you know wants to join the Aloha band, please let me know. There will be a practice held next Sunday at 1pm after the Dendocho monthly service.

3. I would like to thank everyone for making contributions and for your support of our UNICEF fund drive. We did not take a total count for Pearl Church, but the combined total of the all Tenrikyo churches, mission stations and individuals amounted to $630. Thank you for your support in helping the children in the world.

4. This coming Sunday is Dendocho’s December Monthly Service.

5. We will be mochi pounding for New Year’s mochi at Dendocho on Saturday, December 30 from 7am. Please come to help with the pounding and kneading.

6. The Tenrikyo Pearl Church New Year’s Service will be held on New Year’s Day at 7am. Please come to start the New Year with faith and resolve.

7. Take the time to read this month’s newsletter Encounters With Salvation which features Auntie Ela Makio as known as the ‘Costco Lady’ who yelled out ‘yee ha!’ to attract customers to sample the product she was demonstrating. And please share it with your friends and family too!

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