Dieties are to be respected, not depended upon.


The passage “Dieties are holy. I won’t depend on them” in The Book of Five Rings (五輪書)written by Musashi Miyamoto is famous. It can be interpreted as “Dieties are so holy and precious that I don’t want them to do a favor for me. I’ll do it myself instead of praying for help.” The passage has a deeper spiritual meaning than its apparent expression. It expresses exactly the ideal relationship between holy spirits and human beings.

  • passege 一節
  • diety 神
  • holy 神聖な
  • depend on A  Aに頼る
  • interpret A as B AをBと解釈する
  • so ~ that S+V とても〜なのでSはVする
  • want A to~ Aに〜してほしいと思う
  • favor 好意
  • instead of~ing 〜する代わりに
  • pray 祈る
  • meaning 意味
  • apparent 見かけの
  • expression 表現
  • exactly 正確に
  • ideal 理想的な
  • relationship 関係
  • human beings 人間

Human beings in the ancient times did see and feel God in the nature. In the age when there were a lot of humans who could see the figures of God, God was what they should fear, respect, thank, and enshrine. As the selfish mind of ” It’s OK if I’m OK. I don’t care about others’ unhappiness” grew bigger and bigger, the spirituality of the whole human beings deteriorated, and they lost the ability to see the figures of God. Since humans couldn’t see God, they has changed God in meaning from the being they fear, respect and thank to that they ask to do a favor for them.

  • ancient times 古代
  • age  時代
  • figure 姿
  • fear 恐れる
  • respect 尊ぶ
  • thank 感謝する
  • enshrine 祭る
  • selfish 利己的な
  • spirituality 冷静
  • whole 全体の
  • deteriorate 劣化する
  • ability 能力

In the nature which has existed since long long time ago, I can sometimes see  something like reptiles through my spiritual eyes as in the American movie “Alien”  They are enshrined as a deity, which is often sealed up there in fact. It is fearful that you place an order with such a spiritual being for something good, thinking deities are all full of love.

  • exist 存在する
  • reptile 爬虫類
  • seal up A Aを封印する
  • fearful 恐ろしい
  • place an order 注文をする

You might wonder which shrine is good or bad. There is a shrine to be sure where the energy body of mother love has exists miraculously such as Izogu(伊雑宮)of the Ise Grand Shrine. But you had better not pray for something in such a place. The mind of trying to make a diety do you a favor, which is equivalent to using a diety, is selfish. Such a mind would cause yourself the opposite effects or nothing at best. Its all the same even if your prey is one for others or the world. If you really want to do something for others or the world, you have to do the best you can, even if you think you are powerless, instead of praying. It is precious for you to do something for others in this World of Reality. This is what you can do only now.

  • wonder 〜かしらと思う
  • miraculously 奇跡的に
  • such as A Aのような
  • had better not~ 〜しない方がよい
  • equivalent 同等の
  • opposite effect 逆効果
  • at best 良くても
  • all the same やはり同じ
  • the best you can できるだけのこと
  • instead of~ing 〜する代わりに

Actions you take in the World of Reality is more powerful than just an imagination. Should you think that as you lack the ability to take action, you’ll pray to God as a representative of the whole human beings, you should be arrogant. The righteous God has been working for us all the time behind the scene. It just does it in order to offer this environment we are apt to take for granted. If no one were to devote gratitude to God and everyone is always asking for something, God would wither away.

  • action 行動
  • imagination 想像
  • representative 代表
  • arrogant 傲慢な
  • all the time いつも
  • behind the scene 影で
  • in order to~ 〜するために
  • offer 提供する
  • environment 環境
  • be apt to~ 〜しがちである
  • take A for granted Aを当たり前と思う
  • devote 捧げる
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • wither away 痩せる

Whichever shrine you visit, as long as you devote gratitude to God, only good things will occur. Bad things won’t. Even if some fearful spiritual being is sealed up there, you don’t have to worry. God is always watching you. It is the inner God in your heart.

  • as long as S+V SがVする限り
  • occur 起こる
  • don’t have to~ 〜する必要はない
  • inner God 内在神

By the way, Musashi Miyamoto left great words through desperate efforts of swordsmanship. I feel this is because he was under influence of Taoism. Seeing where his soul came from, I feel really sorry that he had to choose the kind of way of life that could never avoid killing people, though he had no other choice in those days. Whatever reason, you must not kill people who have God in their heart.

  • by the way ところで
  • desparete 必死の
  • effort 努力
  • swordmanship 剣の道
  • influence 影響
  • Taoism 道教
  • soul 魂
  • sorry 残念な
  • avoid 避ける
  • in those days 当時は
  • reason 理由

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su


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