Man always thinks centering on himself, and so leads his life centering on himself. Where does that tendency to value himself most of all come from? It comes from God Himself. As man finds himself elevated he is happy, and he hates to find things the other way around. Each person always has a past, present and future; in addition he is surrounded by his family, clan and social environment. Farther away is the rest of the world and spirit world.
Just as we want to elevate ourselves individually we also want to elevate our families. This extends to other levels, such that an individual would like to see his society elevated; an American would like to see America become more developed than any other country, for instance. All those in spirit world would like to see their world improved and respected by others. That is quite understandable, for certainly God is much like this.
When you examine yourself closely you see that you are part of everything else around you and it is part of you; you live in a common realm of existence. How can both you and your family be elevated at the same time? This is an important matter when you seriously consider it. Actually, it is rather simple: if an individual is completely united with his family then he will cherish the family and think highly of its other members. In addition, if all the family members want to live for something higher than themselves then we can say they are not only united, but are being constantly elevated. This is not just logical reasoning but is the way our mind naturally moves. If a clan is united then they discover that they are looking upward and desiring to live for a higher cause; in living that way they discover over time that they are gradually being elevated, in the sense of developing or improving.
If you desire to be elevated but not to see others elevated in relationship to you, you will always be in conflict. The other person will never give in but will fight back. You will not only find yourself to be ineffective, but actually declining as well. According to the principle of development two people can advance by uniting for a higher purpose. Who among men would be the center in each step along the way? We can generalize and say that it is the one whom God loves most. What is the standard for finding such a person? Yes, it is the person who always wants to himself, but we have to determine how God wants an individual to elevate himself.
We want to elevate ourselves, not by asking other people to do it for us, but by coming under them instead. How does this actually work? If a person places himself in that position then the very environment will lift him up, even though he himself may not want to go higher. We have all experienced dislike for the person who only wants to elevate himself, regardless of whether he has the potential to be higher. This has been true in the past and present, and is a typical problem everywhere.
This formula is always present, working on every level. If this element is removed from man’s life then no one would get anywhere, for no matter how high a person advanced, it would have no meaning. God took notice of this element and taught people through religion to be humble and to sacrifice themselves. If God is really God then this is likely to be His advice. When a person is like this then he is welcome wherever he goes, in his family, society, nation and in spirit world, and even God will like him very much. Is this understandable?
Our One Life
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
March 4, 1979