It is the law of nature that eggplant seeds will yield eggplants and persimmon seeds persimmons. Unless these seeds are sown, there will be no harvest. Using the metaphor of seeds, Oyasama teaches us, "Every seed sown will sprout." She gave this instruction in order to teach us how to use our minds and lead our lives.
We can freely use the mind which was given to us as ours and, in exact accordance with the way we use the mind, God the Parent provides us with various blessings each day. Thus, a good seed [the use of the mind that is in accord with God's intention] yields good fruit and a bad seed [the use of the mind that is not in accord with God's intention] bad fruit. This is the truth of heaven. Every suffering--whether from a sudden attack of illness or unexpected trouble--is nothing but the sprouting of a seed that was sown. Oyasama explained this using the term "causality."
There is no telling when our causality will be manifested. Causality generated in our present life can be easily recognized when manifested during our lifetime. Causality generated in our past lives is carried over into our present life and, when manifested, we will have difficulty perceiving it since we can only remember what happens during our present life. In any case, we can be sure that every seed sown sprouts.
But we need not become fatalistic about causality. It is not something we must surrender to. In fact, by teaching causality, Oyasama intended to instruct us in the path to change our lives. Instead of simply living in desperation or with a sense of helplessness in the face of what happens through our causality, we are encouraged to identify it through various events and have it canceled by relying on God the Parent and replacing our minds.
When we identify our causality by looking back on ourselves, we will perceive the infinite love and care of God the Parent who guides us through our lives. The world, which may have appeared very bleak, will then turn into a world radiant with joy--this is the real meaning of the "self-awareness of one's causality."
(The above is a translation--first published in the September 1995 issue of TENRIKYO--of an article excerpted from Omichi-no-kotoba by Yoshikazu Fukaya, published by Doyusha Publishing Company.)