|Though there should be nothing called illness in human beings,
|ningen ni yamai to yūte nai keredo
|にんけんに やまいとゆうて ないけれど
|no one knows the beginning of this world.
|kono yo hajimari shirita mono nashi
Alternate English translations
For human beings there is nothing that should be called illness. But no one knows the truth of the creation of this world.
There should be no illness amongst humans. But it exists due to everyone’s ignorance about the world's creation.
| This section contains translated material that has not yet been subjected to peer-review to check for accuracy and clarity. While the translator(s) have given their best effort to render Japanese text into English, we would like readers to keep in mind that the present translation may require further revising and refining. Any input to improve the present translation is greatly welcomed.
Translator(s): Roy Forbes
9:10 Although there is so such thing as illness in human beings, your bodies become afflicted with disorders when dust settles on your minds due to your ignorance of the truths of how I created this world and humanity.
Commentary by Yoshitaro Ueda (2010)
From Michi no dai: Foundation of the Path 38:40-2
IX:10, IX:11 What humans call illness does not actually exist. Be that as it may, since no one knows the truth about the beginnings of origin of the world, God has tried to help humans understand this truth by providing doctors and medicine for “weeding and fertilizing,” doctors and medicine being intended to play a role in various stages of care and guidance.
The connection between verse 10 and verse 11 is important yet difficult to grasp. What does it mean to say, “Though there should be nothing called illness…no one knows the beginning of this world”? Let me begin by noting that, as I have repeatedly mentioned, “saving people by teaching the origin” is an underlying theme throughout the Ofudesaki and that the verse under discussion also remind us of this theme. It is useful to recall this verse from Part III: “If this origin is known in detail, there should be no cause for illness” (III:93).
The phrase “the beginning of this world” in verse IX:10 refers to what we are taught about God’s creation of humankind – which is to say, that God created us out of a desire to see our Joyous Life and share in our joy, that God drew forth the instruments of creation, trained them with regard to the ten aspects of God’s providence, and conceived the original number of children at Jiba, and that God has since nurtured us over a long span of time, thereby enabling us to be who we are today. In other words, the phrase in question is related to what human beings are.
The word “this” in verse 11 refers back to what is mentioned in the preceding verse. According to verse 11, God desires to teach people that they will no longer suffer from illness once the truth of the beginnings of origin has settled in their mind and, for this reason, God had doctors and medicine play a role in “weeding and fertilizing” as a preliminary step. It is also worth recalling the following verses from Part VI: “Until now, when there was illness, you turned to doctors and medicine. Though all of you have worried, / From now on, I shall save you from any pains, sufferings, or tumors by the Breath and the Hand Dance” (VI:105–106). Before the ultimate teaching was revealed – which is to say, before God the Parent’s intention was conveyed – humans worried whenever illness struck, frantically turning to doctors and medicine. Yet from now on God will save them by means of the Breath and the Hand Dance, which refer to the Sazuke. These verses juxtapose the Sazuke with doctors and medicine. The Sazuke is intended to help bring about salvation solely through the replacement of one’s mind – through true sincerity – as opposed to seeking to cure diseases by relying on medical procedures and medications.
How can doctors and medicine play a role in “weeding and fertilizing?” What does this have to do with the beginnings of origin of the world? These are good questions. What is implied by the phrase “weeding and fertilizing” is, I think, that, although doctors and medicine are necessary, they are by no means sufficient in themselves. After the creation of the world, we creatures lived in water and then were trained in wisdom and letters, and upon the arrival of the Promised Time the ultimate teachings were revealed. In the stages before the revelation of the ultimate teachings, we had no knowledge of the Origin, and what we could do when taken ill would be to try symptomatic treatments, which might provide temporary relief; this, more or less, sums up the role of “doctors and medicine.” Those treatments were developed thanks to the training in wisdom and letters, yet they are not by themselves sufficient. Although they might relieve or treat the symptoms, they do not address what needs to be changed about the mind, which is where the underlying cause is to be found. This means that, even if a disease is cured by medical procedures, what has happened is merely a superficial change and that in time the underlying factor will manifest itself again as illness or some other difficulty although the manifestation may be different from before. Through receiving the ultimate teachings, we come to know that the origin of illness lies in the mind. We also learn what mode of mind to replace our mind with if we are to be saved. As a concrete means of helping us achieve this, the verses here contrast the Sazuke with doctors and medicine.
Fertilizer is used to promote the growth of crops; it is a means of improving the way in which crops receive God the Parent’s providence. This means that, if fertilizer is to be effective, it should be used in accordance with God the Parent’s providence and workings. Medicine can help us to better understand God’s providence that is at work in the human body and to more fully appreciate the exquisite mechanisms of the body’s functions. So it is not at all to be denied or rejected.
The fact that the truth of origin was not revealed until the arrival of the Promised Time presumably means that, before then, humans would have been unable to understand that truth properly. Doctors and medicine seek to cure illnesses and do not teach us how we should live our life. In contrast, the Sazuke is something that helps us take the opportunity offered by illness to transform our mind, thereby bringing it into accord with the divine intention, with the result that we can recover from illness. In other words, the Sazuke’s purpose is to help us draw closer to living the Joyous Life.
Moreover, if we handle our mind and live our life in accordance with God the Parent’s intention, we will be able to remain free of illness, death, and weakening. This is a teaching that enables us to bask in ultimate salvation whereby we will not fall ill nor will we weaken even when we grow old. When this is achieved, we will no longer need medicine.
It is true that medical technology is making amazing advances, which are allowing cures to be developed for more and more diseases considered incurable, and that the average life expectancy is becoming longer and longer. On the other hand, aging societies and advanced medical care lead inevitably to ballooning healthcare costs and give rise to financial and other issues. Indeed, it seems to me that the mood over longevity is no longer totally jubilant. At any rate, there will certainly be health problems that cannot be solved by medicine alone, no matter how advanced it becomes. It is necessary to address issues such as ways of living, emotional and spiritual well-being, and views on life.
Fertilizer is only useful if seeds have been sown. Moreover, good crops can only be grown if good seeds are sown, appropriate care is provided, and fertilizing is properly done.
If we sow the seeds of weeds, we will find ourselves fighting a losing battle with multiplying weeds. Our faith, first and foremost, teaches us to sow good seeds. It is of a different dimension from doctors and medicine. You would do well to ponder deeply over this.
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