From my new book Wisdom for Life.
From my new book Wisdom for Life.
It’s a fact of history that to truly live the religious life is very, very difficult. Each person finds himself in the fallen realm with the blood of Satan flowing through his veins. Everyone has to be conscious of that, continually aware that Satan’s influence touches everything we do and that we apt to do everything centering around our baser self. Just shrugging and admitting, “Maybe that is so,” is not good enough. We have to clearly understand how this is the reality surrounding us. How we can change this bad blood into good is the problem facing us.
Let us see in further detail what the characteristics are of a man with fallen blood lineage. The one characteristic most easily discerned is that of ignoring the whole and trying to elevate oneself instead. This is not difficult to do because it was this very self-centeredness that motivated the fall. Thus we find that this is the most noticeable characteristic of a fallen man.
How deeply rooted is this self-centered nature? It is very deep because all the world surrounding us is composed that way and compels us in this direction. We can easily imagine how difficult it was under these circumstances to establish religion, through which mankind could continue advancing toward heaven. The satanic lineage has extended throughout history and there is nothing around us that is not connected to Satan. This is not a concept but the reality, and is the reason why many religious leaders appeared on earth to teach people and try to lead them away from this bad realm.
Putting aside the world for a moment, let’s think about the self. Has anyone been successful at any time in history in overcoming himself, even just one small individual? We know there was no one like that except Jesus. God has never seen one individual reach perfection, although through 6,000 years He has invested all His energy into restoring one man into the original position of Adam. Just restoring one person has taken all this time, and at the same time he has been the only one thinking about saving the bigger things, or even just improving the world. So far most individuals have been struggling just to get themselves out of the fallen realm and haven’t really had concern for what happens to others.
God realized that it would be impossibly difficult for each individual in a population, no matter how small, to overcome the fall in his own way. God thought that instead He would establish one model, and through becoming completely one with that model everyone could overcome himself and go beyond the realm of the fall.
When can we say that we are totally rid of satanic blood and call ourselves good? Which level do we have to reach before we can say that? We can say we are rid of the fallen blood when without exception we never think about ourselves and we live for the whole of mankind. We have to have a clear concept of what this is. It’s very much like the situation of a man who would travel in space; he has to get beyond the earth’s gravity just to get started. As long as he is still influenced by gravity, he will always come down again, no matter how high he goes. Once we get beyond the pull of fallen nature, there will be no force pulling us one way or the other and we can travel in the direction we know is right, eventually to be pulled by the gravity of goodness.
Why are we religious? We want to know how the man in the position of evil can come to the position of goodness. Many people have taught different ways to make a life of goodness and to completely change, but in essence they are all rather simple-to change from self-centeredness to always thinking first about God and others. That’s the essential teaching of many religions, and even though we may not yet be in that selfless position, we can be called truly religious when we at least know the direction in which to go.
It is human desire to meet the one man who will save us and give us new birth. This one man is the Messiah. Because he is completely different from all others, we can be absolutely sure that every hour and 365 days a year he does not live for himself but for the sake of God, the whole world and all things. If he is confident to live that way then we may say that he qualifies as the Messiah. How can you distinguish Jesus from anyone else and say with confidence that he is the Messiah who came to save the world? By knowing this standard, we are sure from what he taught and from what he did in his life that he was the Messiah.
Jesus sometimes taught in a seemingly contradictory way. At one time he said, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” What kind of statement is that? It’s not just 90 degrees different from all others, but 180 degrees different. We have come to understand that in order to change our satanic blood we must change completely, not just a little. In order to do that there is no other way except for our fallen selves to die; then our original selves will live. Changing 179 degrees is not good enough because in moving at that angle we will eventually arrive back at the same place we started from. If we go away 180 degrees from the starting point, however, there is no way to go but in the opposite direction.
Sometimes temptations and trials are difficult, but what is the best way to overcome them? Immediately to say, “I have to forget about myself.” That is a very effective way to go directly to God. It may be easy to say, but how impossible it is to do! When Jesus was crucified, even the people who opposed him knew it was totally wrong, but still he prayed that they would be forgiven since they didn’t understand. How is it possible to feel that way? What do you suppose Jesus was thinking when he was crucified? Did he feel sorry for himself because he was dying? Certainly not. Even as the blood was dripping out of his body, he thought about how the blood he shed represented all mankind who would have to shed their satanic blood. Many people before and since Jesus have shed blood, but how different those deaths were in this crucial point. Jesus shed his blood for the sake of mankind, as the representative of mankind.
If one man is this good, is there any compatible place for him to live on earth? Can he find even a small area to live in? Certainly there was not such a place for Jesus; even religious people at the time were thinking about how they would prosper one day and have great influence on the world. They were centered on their own religion and never thought about the entire world, so there was no place that was adequate for someone like Jesus.
I Proclaim That I Know
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
April 1, 1978
The title of my message is, “I Proclaim That I Know.” The first thing you must proclaim to the world that you know is that you must be liberated from the blood of Satan. Secondly, you have to be liberated from the satanic world. How? By doing the reverse of what the world does.
In America most everyone is trying to make money for himself alone, and then at best, for America. No one wants to make money first for the country and then for themselves. Are all the couples in the world thinking first about the world, the nation, and then about their own families, or don’t they care so much about anything except themselves and their children? I really work hard to raise funds, but even after that I don’t own anything personally. You also work hard; if you worked that hard in society you would be given almost a million-dollar salary, but you don’t own anything either.
I owe money, but probably you don’t. As if it were not enough to work hard and raise funds, I even owe money for the sake of the goals of the world. That’s the way it has always been. God cannot help but assist in this situation. One thing I am sure of is the matter of principle, and it is one rule which never fails. Worldly people think I proceed in an unplanned way and they don’t understand how I can accomplish what I do. But if I always act in harmony with the Principle then God always helps. Many people were dubious in the beginning about everything I undertook, but every time it proved successful. God intervenes and helps.
Many religions and denominations don’t understand this principle, and they are pained to find that we are always successful. Because they find themselves slipping backward they really hope that the Unification Church will fail, but their hope is all in vain. Another thing the world doesn’t understand is E how all you young people can stay in the Unification really You work hard but instead of receiving comfort you only get driven out to do more. People may try to commiserate with you by saying that I am really bad, but then you turn around like a wounded lion and defend me, saying that I am not a cruel man. They think you suffer because of me, but I you defend me.
Recently, the mass transit workers and newspaper workers have been talking about going out on strike. Actually, I do not support striking, but if they are mostly interested in demanding increased wages, then let them go ahead. We know what it is like to be loved by God or to be in the love of God. It is the ultimate happiness. We must really know the value of this experience. It’s not good enough to just feel good; we must know the full value of the love we are being given.
Our university students have twice as much difficulty as other students. It is difficult enough for regular students to keep up with their school work, and our members also have to study hard to get good grades, but then at home they can’t even rest because they have to go out and witness. Even so, the more difficult life is, the more valuable it is.
We have to be liberated from the world of Satan, and to do that we should not be conscious only of our own nationality. We must belong to God first and then to America, not the other way around. If someone abruptly asks you your nationality then you have to automatically be able to answer that you belong to God’s country. It is not Korea or Japan or any other country that we are proud of. First we have to know that we belong to God, and expel from our minds any feeling of favor or bias toward a particular country. Be liberated from that and belong to God’s country, and after that you may belong to something else.
God has always been leading history, and if a good civilization reaches the peak, it is because God was helping it. Do not be proud of how many languages you speak unless you are able to speak the language of God’s country. You have to think that you need to learn the language which God uses. From now on we must be able to recognize and learn the mother tongue. How could we be proud of speaking English if it isn’t the language God uses? The possibility is great that He won’t use English.
No matter how good the clothes you wear are, you are only wearing Western clothes temporarily unless God ultimately approves them. Historically, the people wearing Western clothes have done more evil than anyone else. You are not certain if you can be proud of wearing them because you don’t yet know what God thinks about them. You can’t yet be proud of a good suit or shoes; maybe it will be better to go barefoot.
I was astounded at how many lines of cosmetics for women there are in this country, especially how there are over 100 kinds of lipstick. How would God view lipstick? It is highly questionable. There are many things that men are so conditioned to accepting that they take it all for granted as being natural, but all these things are connected with Satan, who brought the fall
What is the main diet of the heavenly country? No one questions it now, but eventually they will get around to it. This applies to schools as well; schools are doing good things sometimes, but Satan’s lineage is still connected to them. Can we confidently say that all the strange songs and dances nowadays belong to God? It is not likely. Do you want anything to do with them? In the future maybe the expression of highest happiness will be sitting perfectly still!
We must always be conscious of both the big things and little things we have been doing. Could you ruthlessly cut all of them away? This applies to daily things. You are in the habit of going home to be with your family at Christmas time, but that is a habit you must think about also. What does God think about Christmas at this time? Many people commit unbearable sins at Christmas; it is an insult to someone born on that day, so what is the meaning of the day? You must surmount history and circumstances and customs; the old ways no longer make any sense and we cannot approve of them. We cannot do something unless we make sure that God approves it.
I Proclaim That I Know
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
April 1, 1978