"Becoming Spirited"

This term refers to becoming full of energy, courage, and determination and living positively and enthusiastically. It implies a stance of mind that arises when one has settled into joyous acceptance of what is. We may also say that it indicates the state of the mind that has attained maturity. It is the opposite of being depressed.

Being spirited means being full of joy and buoyancy regardless of whatever situation we are in, understanding that everything is happening through God the Parent's intention. Maintaining a constant sense of joy and spiritedness is a way of living that accords with God the Parent's intention--a way of living that is grounded in faith. When the minds of all are spirited, the blessing of the Joyous Life will be granted.

The Divine Model of Oyasama is a model of how to live spiritedly and represents the goal that Tenrikyo followers are endeavoring to near.

Concerning how we can become spirited, the Ofudesaki tells us that spiritedness arises

(1)  when God the Parent becomes openly revealed and explains in detail the divine intention in creating humankind (I:7);

(2)  when all people clearly understand God the Parent's teachings (V:62-68);

(3)  when human beings achieve "spiritual maturity" so desired by God the Parent and thus allow the regret of God to be cleared away (IV:35);

(4)  when arrangements for the path to spread throughout the world begin to be made (II:17);

(5)  when all performers of the Service assemble and quickly set about performing the Service exactly as instructed by God the Parent (I:11);

(6)  when we complete the sweeping of the Residence and live in single-heartedness with God (III:3).

When our minds thus become spirited, blessings such as the following will be bestowed according to the Scriptures.

(1)  The mind of God the Parent will become spirited. If we human beings make our minds pure and clear, we will bring satisfaction to God the Parent, who will then become spirited (Ofudesaki X:63). When the minds of all people in the world become spirited (Ofudesaki IV:20)--in particular, when we hasten to set about performing the Service so that human beings, the children of God, become spirited (Ofudesaki I:11)--God will also become spirited.

(2)  If God's mind and our minds become spirited, we will certainly be able to receive the blessings of good health and prosperity. When all people's minds become increasingly spirited, the world's production will grow, people's family occupations will become prosperous, and harvests will always be abundant (Ofudesaki I:9-14). Thus the interaction between humankind and God will unfold in such a way that as human beings become spirited, God will also become spirited, and when God becomes spirited, all things will be rejuvenated, further enhancing the spiritedness of people (Osashizu, September 29, 1890).

We may note that spiritedness is not something we can achieve by human strength alone. We can become spirited in the true sense of the word only if we have God the Parent work for us. It is God the Parent who blesses us with spiritedness (Ofudesaki X:81-82, IV:56).

A mind that is spirited is a mind of joy, and to live the Joyous Life is to live with a spirited mind. Yet being spirited and enjoying one's life will not constitute the true Joyous Life if others are depressed and suffering. The true Joyous Life comes from the spiritedness of all people. Life is meant to be spirited. Spiritedness allows us to live to the fullest.

(This article was first published in the August 2004 issue of TENRIKYO.)