Great post, Porkchop
You might read that we are swept up in Other-Power, that Amida doesn't let us fall away, and so forth.
Sounds kind of abstract, so here's an example from my own life.
For a long time, I would become quickly discouraged with whatever I was doing, religion-wise and even daily life stuff.
I bounced endlessly between belief systems, activities, books, friends...
I had been depressed before, and Buddhism seemed to help. But doubt about my capacity to be happy or love just shifted to my practice instead.
It became very hard to find any kind of relief. I didn't want to fall back into depression and nihilism again, but I found endless problems with everything. Instead of going straight to "I feel bad", I was stopping by the way station of "I don't know what to do, none of this makes any sense, how worthless my effort is."
Luckily once the moon is pointed out to you, it's pretty hard to miss. You see it actually shines on everything. Not only that, but it was up there this whole time. Our eyes just become fixated on some very specific shadows. The shadows may seem very dark.
Similar feelings of confusion have come up again of course. But now, the moonlight nature of the nembutsu is apparent, and it's like Osho says... if you TRY to be despondent while saying the nembutsu, it's very difficult, even comical. I've laughed out loud at my insistence on being miserable before
The immensity of Amida is right there, lovingly saying "Namu Amida Butsu" in this very room, and we're like little kids putting our fingers in our ears going "LA LA LA LA LA I'd rather be sad!"
My doubt has many times compared the nembutsu to saying "cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger" or like praying to an inscrutable god.
I want to make some logical-sounding argument that the nembutsu is empty, so it has no real meaning and I'm indulging in wishful thinking, chasing the fetter of rites and rituals, and so forth.
Other-Power is very intimate. It embodies even this doubting, nitpicking mind.
In a single unguarded moment, we see ourselves fully lit up.
It doesn't take a genius or a morally impeccable person to notice.
It's no extravagant spiritual feat: simply seeing moonlight, all around.
Such is inconceivable Grace. We call it Amida's, but it's not limited by what we understand "Amida" to mean.
I really like what steveb1 says... the inconceivability soothes the rational mind.
It's like we can't see the roots of a tree so we somehow think there aren't any. The nembutsu nonetheless has deep roots.
We can't count the raindrops of Other-Power so we crazily think "one, two, three... jeez, okay there are three."
The rain falls uncountably nonetheless.
Just rest for once and say the nembutsu.
Let that poor doubt and suffering be at ease