Recently I received various texts on Konkokyo in the mail from a friend in the UK and also from Japan. I feel humbled and honoured that these individuals sent me the material and I have enjoyed reading it thoroughly. I will make a post on what Konkokyo is and what it is not, but this post serves to act as a reflection on what I have learned, and what I already have been working with.
Since I was young I have believed in a Universal energy. I could feel it within the land, the trees, the streams and within every living thing. However, this energy seemed ‘green’ and alive and I did not associate it with the idea of the Christian God. From attending church as a child I built up an image of God as a stoic, old, bearded man on a cloud somewhere, dictating the human race. This did not align with my beliefs and it took quite a few years for me to figure out that I was Pagan.
This green, Universal energy to me, is Kami. It is the force that controls the Universe and is made up of everything, living and dead. It is not just Gaia – The Earth energy, it is the Universe. All the forces and elements belong to it. It is the energy that causes time to move, flowers to bloom, living things to be created and also for them to die. Without this energy, there would be no elements. Without elements, we would cease to exist.
I believe that Kami-sama, known as Tenchi Kane no Kami (God of Heaven and Earth) in the Konkokyo faith, is this energy. I do not believe that Kami-sama is sat on a cloud. I believe that Kami-sama is everywhere, in everything. The Universal energy. Within this energy, I believe that many other kami and Gods exist due to humans having built them up, so to speak; a reflection of ourselves. As humans worship particular Gods, I believe that those Gods exist because of the prayers, and because of the worship.
I believe Kami and man are the same, and they we are interdependent on each other; Like in Wicca, how some believe the God and Goddess rely on us to celebrate the sabbats to help turn the wheel of the year. We cannot exist without each other.
I have always believed these things but Konkokyo really brought it back to the forefront of my mind. I felt as though I was reading a guide to myself, a guide to my faith that I had forgotten due to modern noise and business. I cannot thank Kami-sama enough for bringing Konkokyo into my life.
Through this renewed understanding of Kami-sama, I believe that my relationship with my patron God and my Spiritual mother, Inari-sama has grown stronger. I see her as both Inari-sama and Kami-sama, and I do not see a problem with this, as nor does she. I feel I should add some things to her altar that also signify Kami-sama too, but they are one and the same to me.
I sense that Inari-sama is pleased with my Spiritual development and has been very generous to myself and my family as of late. I have made sure to make her offerings on a daily basis as well as praying for good health.
I feel so honoured to have a good, positive relationship with Inari-sama, and through her, Kami-sama.
I will leave you today with a message from the Konkokyo text ‘Voice of the Universe: Selected Teachings of Konkokyo’:
“Kami thinks only of saving people, nothing else. Therefore, Kami will never let you have an experience which has no meaning. You should continue to practice your faith. Your experiences will result in divine blessings.”
– III Jinkyu Kyogoroku 12
If anyone has any questions regarding Inari, Konkokyo, Shinto, Paganism and the like, I would love to hear from you. Please drop me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can!