Right now, the entire world is being affected by the novel coronavirus.
Because of it, it is being recommended that not only gatherings but contact with people primarily be avoided and, if it is necessary to come in contact with people, to keep a distance of at least two meters.
In these kinds of circumstances, how should we think about Johrei?
On Johrei, Kyoshu-sama says:
“With His boundless love, God watches over us just the way we are, listens to whatever voices and thoughts we have in our minds and, through His light of Johrei, welcomes all into His heaven as ones who are forgiven and saved.”
“The Lord God forgives and saves everything He sees with His light and receives it into His hand.”
“Therefore, if we realize something or a thought comes into our mind, be it a positive one or a negative one, no matter how trivial we think it is, it is vital that we say to God, ‘O God, I thank You, for You have seen me,’ and, at the same time, that we surrender ourselves to Him with the thought, ‘In the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, as one who is forgiven and saved, I commit all to You, O Lord God. Please use me for the work of Your will!’”
“To acknowledge that the great divine light of the Lord God shines in everyone and everything; forgiveness and salvation have reached all; and, carrying that glory, to surrender to Him the whole of ourselves together with everyone and everything – this work of sonen or of the mind, I believe, is the work of Johrei that the Lord God is most happy with.”
Kyoshu-sama is teaching us that, because the light of God within each and every one of us is illuminating us, various thoughts and feelings well up in our hearts and minds. God receives those thoughts and feelings through His own hand. He says that we must recognize this first and to know that this work of surrendering everything to God, “this work of sonen or of the mind is the work of Johrei that the Lord God is most happy with.”
Regarding Kyoshu-sama’s guidance on Johrei, I previously said the following:
“Kyoshu-sama is saying that the hand that we raise for Johrei is not the only hand of Johrei. It is the hand of God that is within us. Isn’t that the true hand of Johrei? The light of God illuminates us and He is constantly using our hearts and minds in His divine work of salvation. He is using any kind of thought and feeling. No matter what kinds of thoughts and feelings we may have, God is enveloping them with His light and welcoming them into His heaven. Kyoshu-sama is saying that this is the true Johrei.”
“We channel Johrei, don’t we? Is the hand we raise at that time our own hand? Or is it the hand of God? Which one is it?
“If it is God’s hand, is there a time that God is not raising His hand? Is there a time when God is not channeling Johrei?
“I believe that there is no such time, not even a moment.
“God is always, at any time, channeling Johrei to us within us, and He enwraps everything that we feel and think with His hands and welcomes us into His heaven.”
“God is always channeling Johrei to us, to all of humanity, within each and every one of us. How wonderful this is!”
Johrei – the center of Meishu-sama’s divine work, the center of salvation. This Johrei is always taking place within all people. Truly, what a wonderful blessing this is!
Kyoshu-sama is teaching us that even if we cannot raise our hands for Johrei, God is channeling Johrei within each and every one of us, and that, through our thoughts and feelings – our sonen– we can serve in that work. In other words, by offering our various human thoughts and feelings to God, we can serve in the divine work of salvation, of Johrei.
While there are people who receive Kyoshu-sama’s messages regarding Johrei as it is, there are people who oppose it. In some cases, we hear things like, “Kyoshu-sama is denying the Johrei by which we raise our hand, the most important thing for a follower of Meishu-sama,” “Exactly what relationship do Johrei and sonen have with each other?” “Even if we surrender our thoughts and feelings, nothing changes,” and “It is precisely the Johrei where we raise our hands that is the true Johrei, the only way to save people.”
And actually, haven’t we, within each one of us, had these kinds of thoughts and feelings, even if only a little? To tell you the truth, I am no exception, and for this I deeply apologize to Kyoshu-sama.
As I said at the beginning, at the present moment, due to the influence of the novel coronavirus infection, people around the world are challenged to avoid human contact, to keep a distance of two meters.
What if we were to oppose Kyoshu-sama’s messages and asserted that the true Johrei was the Johrei of raising one’s hand and that it brings salvation to humanity? If we were to believe in that, wouldn’t we have to rise up now, ignore the ban of coming in contact with people and move to expel the virus through the miracles of Johrei? Wouldn’t now be the time we have to materialize our opposing thoughts toward Kyoshu-sama’s messages in a concrete way?
Or more specifically, instead of channeling Johrei at the usual one-meter-or-so distance, would we even say to make it two meters? In this case, since the usual distance has doubled, does that mean that the power of Johrei is reduced by half?
When you think of it this way, does the power further decrease at a three-meter distance? What about at four meters? Five meters? As the distance grows, does the power of Johrei weaken accordingly? Or if two of you are in the same room, regardless of how far apart you are, is the power of Johrei the same? If you are in different rooms, does the power weaken? If you are in the same house, is it the same? What about your neighbor? Does the light of Johrei reach them? The next town, the next city, then the next state, the next country? Can the light reach them? Can it reach someone on the other side of the earth? If it does reach them, can we just raise the hand of Johrei in all directions, alone in a room?
We have to think very carefully about what “raise the hand” means.
How about this: In the case that this situation continues for another year, where gatherings and human contact are limited, are we really going to say, “Meishu-sama’s divine work of Johrei stopped for a year”? What if it continues two years? Or three years?
Even if this matter with the novel coronavirus ends, the same situation caused by a different virus and the like may occur in the near future. In the case that human contact is to be limited, are we really going to say, “We cannot carry out the work of Johrei”?
Is Meishu-sama’s divine work, his sacred Johrei, something that can no longer be carried out because of restrictions on human behavior? Is it really such a small-scale thing like that?
We, who are under Kyoshu-sama, can clearly say, “That is absolutely not so!” Why? It is because Kyoshu-sama has shown us that the true hand of Johrei is the hand of God that is within each one of us and that this God’s divine work of Johrei does not stop, not even for a moment.
What does Meishu-sama say about this?
As Kyoshu-sama often addresses in his guidance, after Meishu-sama received the brain hemorrhaging purification in 1954, he repeatedly said to his close assistants, “Johrei is not as important now” and “From here on, we enter the world of sonen.” He said, “It is different from before. From here on, sonen is particularly important.”
In the diary of Rev. Motokichi Inoue, Meishu-sama’s secretary and at the same time the secretary of the church and one of his closest assistants, details of that time are written down.
In a passage from April 28, 1954, is the following excerpt:
“It happened on the 19th. From the purification, his right arm and leg were affected. Perceiving the immeasurable blessing of the matter, Meishu-sama cried so hard out of joy.”
Cerebral hemorrhaging is a very grave illness. I believe Meishu-sama was in severe pain, but it was recorded that he cried aloud from the enormous joy.
And in the same passage, it is written that
“Meishu-sama practices Johrei every day. He does not raise his hand; he does it through sonen. Meishu-sama said to me: ‘There have been things that made me happy up until today, but they did not bring me true joy. This time, the happiness I feel is beyond words. This purification is related to Christianity in particular.’”
Along with the matter of Johrei, he said, “This purification is related to Christianity in particular.”
In the same time period, Meishu-sama left the example of the birth of Messiah and also the matter of Johrei. Including both these matters, Meishu-sama said that this is related to Christianity.
Still further, according to Rev. Inoue’s diary,
“Meishu-sama said to me: ‘From now on, I will do everything with words and sonen.’”
“‘From now on, apology will not be enough – you need to repent. Repent and express this to God through your sonen. Then, you will be forgiven.’”
Meishu-sama indicated that, from then on, we had entered the world of sonen, and, at the same time, we had entered the time of repentance.
Through these words, Meishu-sama already left for us the following matter nearly 70 years ago: we have gone from the salvation of Johrei by the raising of the hand to the phase of serving in God’s divine work of salvation through each and every one of our thoughts and feelings, our sonen.
Instead of worrying about whether or not the power of Johrei weakens because of, for example, a two-meter distance, since we have been made to know this gospel of salvation through Kyoshu-sama, let us remember, as Meishu-sama teaches,
“…not only can the invisible sonen reach the edge of the earth in an instant, it can also spread infinitely in an instant.”
(“The battle between materialism and spiritualism,” December 20, 1949)
Because of this “invisible sonen,” as it is no use if our unbalanced sonen spreads all over, we must wish precisely for God’s sonen that brings about harmony to spread infinitely. Even if we are not able to channel Johrei in actuality nor receive it at this moment, let us believe that within each one of us exists God’s hand of salvation and surrender the various thoughts and feelings that are illuminated by that light to God through each one of our hearts and minds, through our sonen. By doing so, many people will be welcomed into His heaven and saved. According to the law of the spiritual preceding the physical, that glory in heaven will be projected onto this earth. The light of God, thus, spreads around and fills the whole world, making it more full of life. Let us serve in this divine work.
In this global situation, if we were to believe that only the Johrei by which we raise our hand was the true Johrei and went out into the world, we would be condemned worldwide, and, due to that behavior, depending on the circumstances, even our status as a religious corporation could be revoked.
However, hasn’t our faith up until now been like that?
What if the salvation through the light that comes out of the hand we physically raise were the only salvation of Johrei? Haven’t we believed in this? Or don’t those who oppose Kyoshu-sama still believe in this? If we still believe in this, wouldn’t now be the time to throw down the gauntlet to the world? If we take pride in the “power of Johrei” by the raising of the hand, wouldn’t now be the time to rise up?
However, Kyoshu-sama is teaching us about the new Johrei, no, the true Johrei that Meishu-sama is wishing for.
Why? It is because Meishu-sama already said nearly 70 years ago that Johrei by raising the hand is not the most important – rather, he said, “Johrei is not as important,” that we now are entering the world of sonen.
Pure and simple. I cannot but think that Meishu-sama and Kyoshu-sama are working in concert with each other – no, Meishu-sama is alive and working within Kyoshu-sama.
When we think about the actual situation with the novel coronavirus spreading like wildfire, I cannot but think that both Meishu-sama and Kyoshu-sama already foresaw that this time would come.
I cannot but think that they foresaw the time when the Johrei by the raising of the hand would reach a dead end.
Meishu-sama left for us in his last years a way of salvation suitable for this new era, yet we ignored it for many years.
However, Kyoshu-sama received Meishu-sama’s gospel of an entirely new salvation and awakened us to “what the true Johrei is” and “what Meishu-sama’s true salvation is.”
Even if we were not able to hold gatherings nor able to meet people, that would not mean we cannot serve in the divine work of Johrei. Far from it! We, always and at any time, can serve in God’s divine work of Johrei and can be used – and are actually being used even now – in the divine work of salvation, the divine work of the construction of heaven on earth. How very fortunate we are!
I would like to offer my deepest gratitude to Kyoshu-sama, who, to us, proclaims the true will of Meishu-sama. And even though it seems as if the world is in confusion, I believe that God and Meishu-sama are advancing the great construction precisely at this moment and are building a wonderful world.
I would like to become one with all of you, members of World Church of Messiah, and serve in the divine work of Johrei, the divine work of salvation, fitting for the new era.
May God never cease to raise His hand of Johrei to us.