Pushing Up from The Low Valleys
(Tanisoko seriage)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

In the Ofudesaki, we read:

The trees which grow in the high mountains and the trees which grow in the low valleys are all the same.

Ofudesaki III:125

Those living in the high mountains and those living in the low valleys: their souls are all the same.

Ofudesaki XIII:45

"High mountains" is a metaphor that refers to those who have a high position in society because of political power or financial wealth while "low valleys" is a metaphor that refers to those who are living in difficult circumstances on the lower rungs of the social, political, and economic ladder.

In other verses of the Ofudesaki, we are essentially taught the following: "All people of this world are brothers and sisters. There is no one who is to be considered a stranger. It is God the Parent's profound regret that there is no one who knows about the fundamental truth of how the world and human beings were born in the beginning. Those who live in the high mountains and those who live in the low valleys are all human beings with souls that are equal. About human beings: only the mind is truly yours. The physical body you use each day is none other than something that you borrow from God the Parent. Life is possible because your bodies are sustained by God the Parent's providence. Unaware of this, human beings mistakenly believe that there is something that separates people into the nobility and the destitute, the high and the low. God the Parent wishes for you to become aware by all means possible of the fundamental truth regarding human creation and of God the Parent's parental love that gave birth to and has nurtured human beings. All conflicts, fighting, massacres, and wars will be eradicated if this truth is settled in the minds of everyone in the world. Listen carefully! While some of you among the high mountains have been allowed to treat the low valleys as you have wished, God the Parent, who has become revealed into the open, will work freely and unlimitedly from now on. So, if you think of defying the mind of God the Parent and acting in a selfish manner, God dares you to try" (Ofudesaki XIII:41-58).

Further, Oyasama is said to have declared, "I wish to save farmers first." Certainly, the severe social framework of feudal Japan that lasted well into the 19th century left the peasant class without any power or wealth whatsoever, which forced them to grovel before their rulers and be treated inhumanely. Oyasama extended a hand to people such as those who were gasping at the lowest rung of society and gave them a bright ray of hope. Or, more accurately, instead of merely extending a hand, Oyasama took the steps to completely fall to the depths of poverty Herself, from where She demonstrated how we are to follow the path of true salvation. Oyasama did not extend a hand from the high mountains. She took the steps to descend to the low valleys and continues to guide us, lifting and pushing up the low valleys so the world becomes a level one with no highs and lows (see "Leveled ground" [5.69]).

This path truly ought to be considered "the path that pushes up from the low valleys."