Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The astral world - a Mahikari "stick"

Sūkyō Mahikari kenshū (introductory course) teaches that there are three worlds: the physical world we see and in which we currently live, the astral world (invisible), and the spiritual world (also invisible). Okada taught that the spiritual world is inhabited by gods and by high-level spirits who do not reincarnate anymore. He taught that, when we die physically, we go to the astral world where we receive training to prepare for our next reincarnation. He said that people are supposed to reincarnate roughly every 300 years until they are sufficiently purified to stop reincarnating, at which time they go to the spiritual world.

Kenshū paints alarming images of the astral world. According to Okada, the astral world has many levels, with the highest level involving comparatively pleasant training, but with increasingly gruesome forms of training towards the lower levels. Since he claimed most people go to some level or other of the astral world when they die, members of Sūkyō Mahikari tend to assume that the majority of their ancestors are receiving training (suffering) in the astral world. Given the reincarnation cycle of roughly 300 years, members are likely to assume that any immediate family members who have died are suffering in this astral world.

Getting worried? Well, I think it suited Okada's purpose to have us worry. Nobody wants to think that their beloved grandparent/spouse/parent/child is suffering in the astral world. Nor do they want to think they themselves might end up in one of the lower levels of the astral world. Of course, nobody can see the astral world (if it exists), or know for sure what happens there. There's no reason at all to believe these teachings, unless of course you believe Okada's claim that he received revelations from God. However, even if we believe Okada was deluded, for example, since we can't see the astral world, we still have no way of being 100% certain that the teachings concerning the astral world are not true.

In a carrot-and-stick scenario, the astral world teachings are part of the Sūkyō Mahikari "stick". I think it is a particularly insidious and emotionally manipulative stick, since we cannot prove that these teachings are wrong. We don't necessarily need to believe these teachings...just the possibility that they might be true makes it easy to be emotionally manipulated.

Having created a worry, Sūkyō Mahikari then provides the solution (the "carrot"). Kenshū teaches that practicing Mahikari elevates us spiritually, thus improving our chances of going to one of the less unpleasant levels of the astral world when we die. It also teaches that, as we rise spiritually, this somehow rubs off on our families and ancestors (exactly why was never quite clear to me), so any family members who have already died will somehow benefit too.

More specifically, we are taught that we can help our ancestors cope with their astral world training more easily by inaugurating an ancestors' altar and placing offerings of food and drink in front of the altar daily. We are taught that ancestors can absorb the spiritual energy of the food so that they won't feel hungry. There are an awful lot of detailed rules about how to set up the altar and name tablets, how to clean them, how to make food offerings to ancestors, how to greet them respectfully, which teachings to read to them, how much okiyome to give them, where to place flowers, etc., etc.

Care of an ancestors altar is obviously a very personal and emotional issue. Even if people initially doubt the validity or effectiveness of inaugurating an ancestors altar, the care and time involved in following all the rules and rituals related to its care, with time, makes it all seem "real". In my case, my Dad had only been dead for a few years when I joined Mahikari, and I still missed him dreadfully. I wanted to believe I could help him in the astral world by inaugurating an ancestors altar. I felt like he was "there", and I could say things to him (even if he couldn't reply!). I used to think how happy he must be that I was now a member of Mahikari and becoming more spiritually purified. We had always had a special bond, and I could believe that that bond was still there.

When I left Sūkyō Mahikari, I stopped believing the teachings, I stopped giving okiyome, and I stopped wearing omitama. However, I kept my ancestors altar for several years "just in case". If there was the slightest chance that my Dad was going to suffer by me not having an ancestors altar...

Anyway, I eventually burnt my ancestors altar and name tablets. Obviously, I still loved my Dad just as much as before, but by then I felt quite sickened by the way my beliefs and emotions had been manipulated by...by what? Ultimately, the only authority behind the above teachings was Okada's claim that the teachings of Mahikari were revealed to him by God. Belief of the astral world teachings relies solely on faith in that rather dubious claim.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Kara said...

Very well put, Anne. I like the story about your father you incorporated; it definitely helps those of us who were never involved in Mahikari to understand the fear you all were put through.

I must say though, I have experienced some of the same fear you have. My family is Catholic, but on my mom’s side we have a lot of Mormons. My grandmother was a Mormon and I was extremely close to her; even closer than I am with my own mother…when she died I remember being scared to death because in the Christian faith you are taught that everyone who does not believe Jesus was the only messiah and final prophet is going to hell.

The Mormon’s believe that God has a prophet on the Earth at all times, which would be considered heresy according to most Christian churches. After her death I was being consoled by one of my most devout friends and when I expressed my fear to her…she said, “Well…if she is not a Christian then she is in hell.” There was absolutely no consolation there, just brutal honesty.

It scared me and even though I follow a different spiritual path now…the question is still in the back of my mind…just as I am sure the fear of whether or not the Astral realm exists and whether or not your father is suffering there is still in your mind, even though you try your hardest to suppress the belief it still whispers to you occasionally.

In the end I think it is best to just follow your own spiritual path. Even Christianity could be considered a cult if you think about it; Christian doctrine controls your actions and thinking just as Mahikari does…I might persuade Ash to write an article about that next.

As for our relatives…I just think of it this way…my grandmother was a simple woman, she lead a simple life, there are no monuments dedicated to her or anything like that, but she was the most admirable, loving, caring person in the world. Everyone liked her and she never uttered an angry word to anyone, even if they deserved it.

I have to believe that God would never allow such a beautiful person to go to hell or the Astral realm…or whatever it may be called, which is why I choose to not believe in hell at all.

Great job on the post. I hope you will share more of your personal experiences with us in the future, while maintaining your privacy and anonymousy of course. ;)

May 18, 2006  
Blogger Joe said...

I lost my Dad recently and I know how you feel.The of parent is painful,emotionally wrenching, and at times downright surreal.


The "astral realm" is just one more argument against mahikari being compatible with Christianity. Whether you believe in it or not, the story of the birth, , and return of Christ would be destroyed by the notions of continual re-births and graded destinations after each . If there is a continual cycle, Mahikari as far as I know does not tell you how to end it other than purfiy to a "higher level". What level is that? Can you live with GOD at that level, or is HE always a stepladder away?

Another contradiction in the teachings is this: they advise you to NOT give okiyome to the ancestors altar, for fear it will tempt those ancestors to return to the physical realm. However, they say its fine for you to receive okiyome, and there are many stories of people who have "attaching ancestor spirits" that wish some problem or need to be addressed. SO...isn't the okiyome attracting the ancestor spirits to you?????!!!!??? Of course it is...

May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Butterfly said...

Anne

Those of us who fell for the SM dangling carrot on the stick found ourselves immobilised by fear and thus got enmeshed in their web of dogma and rituals touted as Truth. Well, according to the SM teachings that if you wear your omitama on the body after you have passed to the astral world, you have the wonderful privilege of giving light to other souls. Thus you would end up in the same realm as all those other deceased kumites with their obsessive compulsive disorder of giving and receiving light, otherwise they wont get purified! After all as a kumite that is your mission/focus on earth in the physical body so that is the same level you will go to on the astral realm. Now let's be honest, how many kumites did we really get along with and mix regularly and socially with outside the dojo? Well if that is where they believe they are going to then I hope they will remember how socially compatible/or not they are with kumites now because once they are stuck together for 300 yrs in the same realm focused obsessively on the fear of not being purified, then heaven forbid, this surely must be a hell they have chosen together thanks to SM.

I could never buy into the hogwash
that SM told us we would probably never see our loved ones in the astral realm again as some would be on a higher realm, and if you were on a lower realm you couldnt visit them up there. But if they chose to come down to visit you then thats ok. Frankly, if they are my soul family then why wouldnt I rejoice with them once I have returned Home?

There's definitely something strange about SM and I now can put my finger on the problem, there is a coldness about this organisation, very militant and what is truly missing is the heart/heart connection. Its all about mind and mental control of the individual to the will of the SM organisation. I truly wonder what God thinks about this greedy, controlling sect.

Congratulations to all former kumites who have discovered the Truth within.

I am Love
You are Love
We are Love

Butterfly

May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,

I am a former member of Mahikari.

I just came across Dr David Hawkin's work and the Map of Consciousness, whereby it attempts to calibrate the level of consciousness of items, thoughts, people, sages, political systems. The map is derived through kinesiological testing, which is described in detail in the book Power vs Force.

To access the map of consciousness: http://www.the-tree-of-life.com/POWERF~2.HTML

Some calibrations:
Ghandi: 760
Jesus, Buddha: 1000 (Maximum in earth dimension)
Pol Pot: 30
Hitler: 30
Mother Theresa: 710
(>700 is level of enlightenment)
(200 = level of integrity)

Of particular interest is that the mention of Apocalypse calibrates at 70. (Below the level of integrity: 200) and hence false. Any "spiritual" literature that mentions Apocalypse lowers its own level of truth/consciousness calibration levels, it does not matter what it is. Realise that some literature that mentions it was written by people. Many people have visioned the end of the world, true - these visions according to David Hawkins comes from NOT Heaven but from a particular astral realm that calibrates at 70. "All visitors to that realm in astral states of consciousness report experiencing its life-like pseudoreality".

This is understandable because how does knowing that world is going to come to an end going to help you become a better person? That knowlegde tends to instill fear and "specialness", especially so if you join a sect which proclaims it is going to help save you and humankind.

The very sentence "save ourselves from the Baptism of Fire" or "Solve the Spirit Disturbance": What does your mind picture? It has to picture "Baptism of Fire" and "Spirit Disturbance". Imagine 100 people thinking these thoughts in a study class - now that is very powerful way of giving the thoughts power to manifest.

Now alternatively FOCUS, NOW FOCUS YOUR MIND ON COMPASSION AND LOVE towards fellow human beings. Give them your kindness in loving thoughts, words and deeds. Now in a lecture imagine 100 people thinking such thoughts. Now aren't these thoughts based on love? Isn't it enough to simply focus on love, without thinking Baptism of Fire?

Spirit disturbance and baptism of fire is simply irrelevant. You want to show people kindess because you simply feel natural about it and not so that you can be saved from the Baptism of Fire.

The power of thoughts is measured in the map of consiousness. A kind thought is far, far more powerful than a fearful thought.

Anyway you can verify the following statement or phrases, by using your own kinesiological muscle testing.
"Apocalypse prophesies by Mahikari are true"

I tested the following sentence with my mother who is still a staunch Mahikari member and she went weak.
"You are full of deep sins and impurities".

The following sentence calibrates at 985.
"No religion has an exclusive on truth, and the claim itself is a limiting fallacy."

Regards,

A former Mahikari member

May 21, 2006  
Anonymous Butterfly said...

Dare I ask what do
Sukuinishama, Oshienushisama, and
Odairisama each calibrate at please?

Thanks
Butterfly

May 24, 2006  

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