Shin Mei Spiritual Centre

Mystery and Awe

In Shinto we embrace the unknown. We acknowledge mystery and revere the unknown. So many aspects of the divine transcend understanding, leaving us in a state of awe. Of wonder and of reverence. It’s big and filled with power.

I’ve received questions recently asking for proof of the role of certain kami. It’s important here to understand that the stories from the Kojiki are instructive and inspire awe and reverence. The factual nature of these stories are not the point. The depiction of events and encounters with the divine captures our imagination and inspires wonder about spiritual mysteries. This is what uplifts us and leads us to deepen our spiritual experience.

I’ll leave you with a poem I read today by Mary Oliver:


Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the mouths of the lambs.

How rivers and stones are forever in allegiance with gravity

while we ourselves dream of rising.

How two hands touch and the bonds will never be broken.

How people come, from delight or the scars of damage,

to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say

“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,

and bow their heads.