Religious Beliefs

How does one assess the quality of virtue?

The ethical barometer is a faculty called kokoro, a term that suggests a union of mind and heart. What some traditions call purity of heart, Shinto tradition calls brightness (seimei). Purified of all ill intent, the mind and heart are illumined through intimacy with the divine. Individuals do not evaluate their actions in terms of whether they will reap reward or suffer punishment as a consequence. Rather, they think of how their actions might affect the life of the community here and now.


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