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Understanding Shinto

Greetings! I would like to welcome everyone to Shinto: The Way of the Gods. I hope you enjoy you enjoy our discussion.

Many people, both in the Americas and in the East, have been fascinated by the system of spiritual practices that we call Shinto today. Shinto or kami-no-michi, is a prehistoric religion often associated with Japan and its culture.

The word Shinto (“Way of the Gods”) was adopted from the written Chinese (神道), combining two kanji: “shin” (神?), meaning gods or spirits (originally from the Chinese word shen); and “” (道?), or “do” meaning a philosophical path or study (originally from the Chinese word tao).

We can clearly see that from the root “to,” which stems from the Chinese word tao, Shinto is another practice of the Tao. The Tao can be accessed through various practices, but for some reason or another, the western world seems to implicate that the Tao can only be sought by what is termed Taoism. However, the Tao can be accessed through practices of Buddhism, as well as, Confucianism.  Shinto is also a way of accessing the Tao. It is deeply rooted in the prehistoric practices of the indigenous people of Japan. It is interesting to note how some scholars have erroneously tried to say that Shinto is only 1,500 years old. I have read some places where it is said to be dated as starting around 500 BCE, this is also an erroneous perception concerning the origins of the Shinto system of spiritual practices.  Shinto has no founder, or said canon scriptural texts because the natural harmony of the universe is evident to man in his/her natural state of awareness. This is how we know that Shinto is one of the oldest systems of spiritual practice. Religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all have recorded founders and some sort of text, or bible, because its messages were sent to an uncivilized people who needed a written spiritual philosophy since they were that disconnected from the source. A system of spiritual practices that has a founder and a main scriptural text is to get the attention of the unaware, of fallen man. Shinto obviously is void of a founder or a main scriptural text because it was practiced when man was in his/her full awareness.  This is how we know that Shinto is older than Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This is also known amongst some of the African systems of spirituality, such as Yoruba, which also has no founder. Some of our reader might find this link very helpful:

During the 7th and 8th centuries, Shinto practices were recorded in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki. Some have may the error of assuming that this is when Shinto began, but it must be remembered that Shinto is a prehistoric spiritual practice. Michael Bertiaux states the following on page 410 of his Voudun Gnostic Workbook:

“This shinto religion has been found to be uniquely suitable for development into a magickal physics because of  its natural and ideal structure, which hidden behind popular myths and fables reveals to us the physics of a mystical race from beyond our solar system, the Kami, or the Beings of Light, who made our solar system…Shinto energies are the basic contents and sophiological wholes (“wisdom-energy powers”) of the Lemurian Current, while Vudu energies are the basic contents and wisdom-energy fields of the Atlantean Current.”

The beauty of the Shinto faith is that ritual must be followed by virtuous acts. This is a very pratical approach to such a pirmal spiritual system. The Kami are “Beings of Light” they are not forces that are spiritual pets to be commanded and costantly begged to at evening prayers. The practicioner is blessed based on acquired virtue and this is something quite unique in the region of shamanistic studies. In our next article we will dicuss the true meaning of the term Kami.

Messiah’el Bey (Warlock Asylum)