Onmyoudou Awakening





The Living World

It has become all too common in human society to use other animals and disregard them at the same time, that even when working in our gardens or walking in a park people will regard living creatures as either bothersome, fearsome, or negligible.  This sort of thinking is unacceptable for the onmyouji, who should view all living creatures as important parts of the world around him.  They are part of the nature surrounding and not to be ridden roughshod over.  Even down to the smallest insect, each life is important and crucial and should not be taken lightly.

Kami is in all things, and while it is easy for some to dismiss this since other living creatures are different from them, this is flawed thinking.  Simply because you happen not to be a creature you might destroy for being bothersome does not mean that you might not one day be in the same situation.  As well as this, causing death is not to be tolerated without valid reasoning.  'Because it annoyed me' is not valid.  Playing with life and death is not something that any legitimate onmyouji should ever do.  This can incur the severest backlash not only from this world, but from other worlds as well, such as the world of spirits and the world of youkai.  There are forces made to answer these acts, and they never go totally unnoticed.  Accidents happen, and sometimes also death cannot be avoided.  However, this should never be an active option unless there is no other.

In popular Buddhist thought at one time in history, to eat the flesh of another living being, no matter what living being that was, was regarded as one of the most impure and despicable things one could do.  Even today many Buddhists adhere to a policy of strict vegetarianism, and many onmyouji act in a similar way.  To partake of the dead usually imparts upon one an impurity and an energy sink that makes it difficult to act on certain levels.  There are of course those who are affected less than others, but it does have its consequences.

Even speaking outside of onmyoudou terms and circumstances, eating meat is less healthy than a well-balanced vegetarian diet.  Although vegetarianism is by no means required to study onmyoudou or to be a successful onmyouji, it makes it easier for some to fulfill their needs without the added burden of foreign dead flesh in their bodies.  If you must eat meat, abstain from it for at least a day before attempting any magical act so that you may dedicate greater and more focused energies to it.  If you eat meat, respectfully acknowledge the sacrifice of whatever animal of which you partake, and be very aware of the fact that you have partaken of this body to survive.  To take the life of another being for any reason is a serious matter and should be treated seriously and with the utmost reverence.  To casually dismiss this is inappropriate for any onmyouji.

If you do decide to try vegetarianism, there exist many alternatives to meat in the modern world.  Traditionally in Japan many dishes were cooked using mushrooms, the versatile soybean curd known as tofu, and various types of seaweed, all excellent substitutes for meat in any dish, especially seasoned by an experienced cook.  Literally hundreds of cookbooks have been published, ranging in levels from the total beginner to the trained chef, to assist you should you make this choice.  Furthermore large-scale meat substitutes are now widely distributed and stocked by many stores, giving the taste of popular foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, and deli meats, without any of the detrimental qualities of meat, adding soy protein and a lesser content of unhealthy ingredients.

Other countries than Japan have strong vegetarian menus as well, such as India, with its rich history of delicious and filling, nutritious dishes, and China's equally alluring vegetarian menu with all its rich spices and flavor combinations.  Other foods that have become popular recently on vegetarian and vegan menus are tempeh, a soy-derived versatile food used in many dishes in many ways, and seitan, an equally versatile soy-derived food with high nutritional value which takes on vivid flavors when combined with spices, sauces, and other ingredients.

Not only respect for the animals and visibly living beings, but also respect for plants and the land itself, is essential to onmyoudou.  This is the world in which you live, and these are the things making it possible for you to live there.  Environmental care and conservation should be high in the priorities of any onmyouji.  To care even for one's own immediate environment helps in the larger scope of things, in the interconnected web of nature.  When you can, opt for the more nature-friendly of choices.  This can be a part of all aspects of your life, and try when you can to spread this philosophy by example.  Helping the world happens a little bit at a time, and every one of those little bits helps a great deal.

Next to The Hidden World

Back to The Natural World