Religious Beliefs

New Philosophy of Life
Written by Okada Jikan Mokichi, 1950

Just saying a religious belief, there are many types of them. I explain those as follows.

  1. Belief for one’s benefit:

A person who has this belief just wants to have a benefit. Believing in gods or praying for the sake of the world is a secondary matter for them. They don’t care about other people. This is a selfish belief and is most common for people in the middle class or above. They just use the belief for their benefit but never thank nor repay god. It means that they put down the god and put up the humans. Only when people worship and serve gods, they receive grace from them. Therefore, those who have this belief rather lose benefit. So, it doesn’t last long.

  1. Belief depending on the situation:

A person who has this belief is not an earnest believer when the religion they believe in is not known in society. However, once the religious organisation they belong to be well-known and on everyone’s tongue, they suddenly approach to the god and want to work for it.

  1. Indiscriminate belief:

A person who has this belief just praises god. They objectively look a very good believer but don’t even think that the purpose of faith is to execute god’s great plan of human salvation. They are very narrow-minded and don’t work for god at all. They are as if anything is better than nothing.

  1. Belief to use a religion:

A person who has this belief tries to earn money using the religion they belong to. This belief is quite cunning. They have some ambition. Once they realise that the religion they believe in doesn’t bring benefit for them, they quickly disappear.

  1. Belief for divine possession:

A person who has this belief excessively likes divine possession. For them, it is good to handle divine possession. They want to know about the spiritual world very much. This belief is not very much bad but not the main one. They easily believe the oracles of lower grade spirits and appreciate worthless prophecies that don’t hit. Divine possession should be handled by spiritual study groups. Anyway, this belief is a wrong one.

  1. Belief for one’s desire:

A person believes in religion only for their desire. They visit a quite popular Inari Shrine or so every month. They give offertory money or offerings. They pray to the deity just because they want benefits. They don’t care about human or social misery. This is one of the most common beliefs.

  1. Belief for one’s wants:

A person who has this belief wants to be bossy and get something. They want to be seen as a good person or praised by others. They cannot leave their narcissistic personality. This is a very shallow and law-grade belief.

  1. The belief of a long time no hear:

A person who has this belief appears when least expected. It is so long time no see that they are thought to stop believing but actually not. No one knows why they wondered to come to worship like a ghost. In this case, they would rather stop believing in religion.

  1. Unfaithful belief:

A person who has this belief cannot believe in only one religion but wants to try various ones. Floating grass moves everywhere to bloom. Like that, they never get the benefit from god. Even so, they cannot stop believing because they feel lonely without religious belief. They are always wondering. When someone recommends the other religion, they soon feel that it is better than the religion that they believe in. They are rather unfortunate.

  1. The belief of caprices:

The same as the unfaithful belief, a person who has this belief is very capricious. They cannot believe in a single religion but change one after another. In other words, they are a religious wanderer. This belief tends to be popular among intelligent people.

  1. Belief like a dried bonito:

Dried bonito is used to make soup stock. Like this, a person who has this belief tries to satisfy their desire by using the god or religious belief. Like the belief for one’s desire, this kind of belief is very common in religious organisations. Many ‘great’ people such as leaders and scholars have this belief.

  1. Fault belief:

A person who has this belief behaves like a good believer on the surface but denies the existence of God in their mind. This type of believer particularly has a way with words very much. Therefore, people are usually deceived by them at first. However, God never forgives them for a long time. They finally expose the true character and run away.

If your belief is applied to none of all the above, it is a true religious belief.

Translated by N.H.