FAQ 37-38

Question 37

In addition to the theory of “49 days” and “the Styx”, there is a theory in Japan that in the other world a judge like Emma Daio(閻魔大王)makes a decision on whether souls of the dead are heavy or light based on their deeds in their lives and whether they should go to heaven or hell. Rudolf Steiner, who founded anthroposophy, says in his book that after death humans, illuminated by “blaze of remorse, ” remember all of the sins they committed and desire to be born again in this world, feeling a desperate urge to atone for the sins. Is it true that spirits of the dead suffer from remorse and penitence?  Also, how do the incense sticks used in a memorial service for ancestors act on the spirits?

  • in addition to A Aに加えて
  • theory 説
  • the Styx 三途の川
  • based on A Aに基いて
  • deed 行い
  • anthroposophy 人智学
  • illuminate 照らす
  • blaze 炎
  • remorse 懺悔
  • sin 罪
  • desperate 必死の
  • urge 衝動
  • atone 償う
  • suffer 苦しむ
  • penitence 懺悔
  • incense stick 線香
  • act on A Aに作用する

Answer

It is true that human beings judge themselves with regret and remorse after they die. It is their own conscience which judges their life fairly and decides which world they should go. There are some criminals who cannot be arrested in this world. But you don’t have to worry about it, for they are to be judged by themselves after death. The reason why some spirits have memorial services held for them is that they did good things after all. To be thanked after death by people living in this world is highly valued in the spirit world. The deceased who are in anguish with remorse are consoled by the energy of gratitude coming from the World of Reality. The smoke of the incense sticks can change into whatever the deceased want. And the soothed souls then go in the direction of not being judged by themselves. To persuade yourself is most important in both this world and the other world.

  • regret 後悔
  • conscience 良心
  • fairly 公平に
  • arrest 逮捕する
  • after all 結局は
  • thank 感謝する
  • value 価値あるものとする
  • anguish 苦悶
  • console 慰める
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • soothe なだめる
  • direction 方向
  • persuade 納得させる

Question 38

Next year, I’ll be in the year before my climacteric year. Should I visit Ichinomiyha(一宮), the most important shrine in the region,  to have a purification ceremony performed? Or should I do this three times in the years before and after as well as the climacteric one?

  • climacteric year 厄年
  • region 地方
  • purification cerfemony お祓い
  • as well as A Aだけでなく

Answer

Spiritual meaning of the climacteric year is to have lived long enough to play an important role in society and we should congratulate ourselves on it. As for women, the year is an important turning point of childbirth and child rearing and it never means the year of disaster. If you visit a local shrine regularly to worship the local deity with gratitude, you don’t have to do anything special. But if you fear or worry about not following manners and customs of the place you live, it is worst. So in this case, it would be better to visit a shrine to offer gratitude to the deity or to have a shinto priest perform some ritual for the safety of your family in the climacteric year.

  • meaning 意味
  • role 役割
  • society 社会
  • congratulate 祝う
  • as for A Aに関して言えば
  • childbirth 出産
  • child rearing 子育て
  • disaster 災難
  • regularly 定期的に
  • worship 崇拝する
  • fear 恐れる
  • worry  心配する
  • custom 慣習
  • safety 安全
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