The laws of nature, workings of the universe, and relationships between the universe and life, combined, are what we call the Ways of the Universe.
The universe gives birth to all of life and is a place for life to be nurtured. We can see this as plants soak in the sunlight, as baby animals emerge in the spring, and as saplings take root in the great fallen trees. Nature’s
workings and cycles exist to sustain life surrounding us.
Within these blessings, we, too, are allowed to live. To the universe, one life is just as precious as the next. Whether it is a galaxy, planet, plant,insect, human, or any other form of life, it works to sustain and nurture each individual part. In the Konko Faith, we see these workings of the universe as the workings of Kami.
Realizing that our lives are being sustained through the blessings of the universe in the same way it sustains all life, we can begin to see that we are a part of the universe. As a part of the universe, we are connected in some way to everything existing in it. Once we realize this, only then will we understand our respective roles in the universe.
All living things must receive from their environment in order to live. Yet they also contribute to their surroundings, thus sustaining each other.This Interdependent relationship also applies to humans. Do we contribute to the universe? Or do we take, and keep taking? (VoU #70 People, while living between Heaven and Earth, are unaware of
Kami’s blessings. Shrines, temples, and houses all stand on Kami’s land. Without realizing this, people consult the Days and Directions and are disrespectful to Kami. They suffer hardships due to these past offenses.) The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.
People used to do things like saving their hair after brushing it, and scattering it outside for the birds to use to make warm nests. People used to think about other lives around them beside themselves as we interacted more closely with them. Most of these old ways have been lost with urbanization. However, people are beginning to realize once again, that what we do and take ultimately returns to us. We are beginning to realize that by hurting the universe, of which we are an inseparable part,we are hurting ourselves. We must realize once again, that as Kami works to sustain all life, so, too, must we work to cherish and nurture all that is around us. In this way, we will learn to live in harmony with ourselves and with our surroundings.
The ways in which the universe works and the laws that govern it and keep it alive, are the Truth. These laws of nature, workings of the universe, and relationships between the universe and life, combined, are what we call the Ways of the Universe. Once we understand these Ways of the Universe, our attitude in life can change from one of struggle and survival, to one of peace and acceptance. We become grateful for those blessings that we have been taking for granted.