For a long time I thought I needed to buy a home for the future in the U.S. When I came to the U.S. in 2000, I originally planned to go back to Japan in 3 or 5 years. However, due to the SNI ministers’ situation in the U.S., I was told to apply for a green card. I got my green card in 2008 and at that time my daughters told me that they wanted to live in the U.S., not Japan. So, after retirement I would need a place to live. In twelve years or so my retirement time will come and I would have to finish payment of the mortgage if I bought a house. Until recently I believed that it is difficult to pay a mortgage and my daughters’ college fees and taxes and at the same time maintain a comfortable family life. It is not like paying $200,000 or $3 million at all. However, I was restricting myself saying it is very hard. On the other hand, Adriano said it was much easier to pay $3 million than to master Portuguese. I had misused the power of the word. To put it in a different way from Adriano’s perspective, I will be able to do something more than paying $3 million if I can master Portuguese in 2 years. I have a dream to have full attendance at our regular Sunday Service. For someone it might be very difficult to achieve, but it might be easier than mastering Portuguese. When I think in this way, a number of possibilities unfold in front of me, and I believe I can but be successful.
Rev. Masaharu Taniguchi often used a metaphor as follows: If your parent, husband or wife secretly hid a $10,000 check in your wallet, you won’t be able to use it unless you recognize it. In other words, it is the same as if it doesn’t exist. Imagine that one year ago you borrowed $10,000 from your friend and gave your car as a security deposit. One year later your friend asks you to return the $10,000, but you don’t have such an amount. You would like to pay it back if you had the money, but you don’t and you are about to give up your car. If you knew that your parent/husband/wife had put a $10,000 check in your wallet, you would be able to use it. Infinite abundance, abilities and power are already within you, but you would not be able to use them unless you recognized them.
To perceive learning Portuguese and paying a mortgage or $3 million is the same. Seicho-No-Ie founder Masaharu Taniguchi explained it in very plain language. He taught us that man is not a physical body, not matter. The physical body and matter do not exist. Diseases and poverty do not exist. Disasters and sufferings do not exist. They exist in those who recognize them in their minds. When founder Taniguchi proclaimed this truth, those who had suffered from diseases were healed, those who had been in need were saved. However, someone told me, “Rev. Taniguchi himself was dead at the age of 91. How can you explain this?” I don’t think Seicho-No-Ie founder Masaharu Taniguchi died at the age of 91. He taught that there is no matter, no physical bodies. In that sense he was never born in this world and never died. Those who saw him as a physical body thought he died. However, he himself clearly said he was not matter, not a physical body, and he would never die. Our physical bodies can be compared to material clothes. When your jacket becomes too old and torn, you will discard it. Then, do you think you have died? No, I don’t think so. You may think your jacket finished its purpose but we never die. Through our spiritual point of view, our physical bodies are the same.
I have given so many analogies that I have probably confused you by now. This is because many people still believe they live in the physical world and deal with matter. In other words, they limit themselves. However, SNI teaches us that the world we see now is not the world of matter or physical existence but the existence which our mind recognizes. Then, if we recognize negative things, are they really in existence? No, they aren’t. In the “Prayer in Praise of God’s Abundant Protection,” founder Masaharu Taniguchi clearly explained.
So, our journey through life unfolds gradually in accordance with the thoughts and words we create in our minds. Little by little we discover our God-given gifts, and our unique purposes in life which allow us to attain true happiness. Although your path to happiness and fulfillment might seem long, you will ultimately find what you seek. The important thing is that God gives all of us His good seeds. Whatever the seed of life you receive, it must bloom into a good life. Everyone and everything in the universe has only a good seed given by God.
Then, why can we see bad things seemingly unfold? This is because the bad things you encounter are simply a reflection of your mind. I will explain it with a story from the Bible, Mathew chapter 20.
The story in this chapter was about a vineyard owner and his workers. The point of the story was to liken the kingdom of Heaven to the experiences of the vineyard owner and his workers. The vineyard owner went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. He promised these workers that he would pay them with silver coins. They were very happy to hear this. The owner went out again at about nine o’clock. He saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he hired more workers. When he went out again at noon and then at three o’clock, he did the same. At about five he went out and found some people still standing around; so he said to them, “Why are you standing here all day?” They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” So, he decided to hire the rest of them. When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” People hired at about five o’clock received a silver coin. Now when the first hired came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received the same wage. So, when they received it, they grumbled saying to the vineyard owner, “These last laborers worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matt 20:1-16)
We will be able to learn some lessons from this story. For example, obviously we cannot see Heaven (the True-Image World) if we obstinately cling to our egos. Founder Masanaru Taniguchi commented on these verses saying, “Indeed, Heaven is like this. Heaven cannot be taken by one’s own egotistic power. A person who insists on his own good will be placed last.”