Speeches of Hyo Jin Moon: Episode 43

Speeches of Hyo Jin Moon 2006-2008
Delivered Sunday at Belvedere Estate in Tarrytown, New York
Hyo Jin Moon Speaks on Giving Thanks, Page 166

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Giving Thanks

October 8,2006

Sorry I'm a little late.

Just a few days ago we passed Korean Thanksgiving, Chu'sok.

What are we thankful for?

I don't know if a baby can realize the status of their own being at the moment of inception or when they emerge from the womb venturing into something that is absolutely foreign to them.

That's a different state. I don't know whether the newborn coming out of the womb can actually feel that stuff or anything for that matter. This is something that I wish that I could understand. Does the infant coming right out of the womb feel anything, and if it feels anything what does it feel? That's pretty much where you have to start. 

For anything that is going to be anything—that is the start. Do you see God? And that kind of stuff. Do you know God personally? Do you have His cell phone number? (Laughter.) That kind of stuff. We believe in something because we want to, because of our intellectual capacity to look at the past. And the past doesn't really look pretty in terms of building what we want in the ideal sense.

That's why religion is a powerful force in history. Because we want to know—what did I think when I first came out of the womb? Think? If I did then, what did I think? Was I happy to be here or not happy? We could start with that.

Do you remember what you thought when you were first born? Can you honestly say to somebody else, yourself even, that you know absolutely, for sure, that I know the answer, "I was happy. I was not happy." Or whatever in between, I don't care. Do you have that answer?

Pretty much, basically that's where we start from, our individual self. Everything else is influenced. If you are not sure of yourself, if you don't know who you are, if you don't know your limit, then you're pretty much the product of influences around you, your reality.

Go back and think about your situation. Think about your reality. How far can I go back? To my beginning, my beginning. Now just put aside somebody else for now, okay? Your beginning. How far can I go back and start to fundamentally ask myself and give myself fundamental answers?

What am I thankful for? If you want to change the world you'd better answer that question. As far as you can go back, teenage years, whatever. Middle class parents want to do their best to put their children through school and a good school is all the better, Ivy League even better right? Because they will get preferential treatment and go on to the next level.

You start off with an annual salary of $70,000 or $80,000 up to $120,000 with a law degree from an Ivy League school, an MBA or whatever. The more the better. Actually, just for fun because this information is so easy to get these days, I found that from established schools like Harvard, Yale, etc., about 25,000 to 30,000 kids come out every year. Obviously, there are more prominent schools out there in America. Every state has state universities from grade "A" to whatever and it's like that everywhere in the world.

Then what? Other issues? What is free in America? It's a land of opportunity, sure. You know, mind and body stuff to me is sometimes very simple. I look at it sometimes as life and death, life and sense, and life and love. You kind of have to measure people based on that kind of stuff. When you look at civilizations, what are they chasing?

Of course, even in spirit it can be good and bad. Even in intelligence there is good and bad. Even in the body there is good and bad. fight? Just because in comparison to some spiritual dumb ass on a physical level you might be better off than that because you seem opposite it doesn't make it right forever. It is very temporal.

Father has invested in the second-generation. I know for sure two kids that have gotten a PhD in economics. They're doing well on their own, but that's about it. I could go into detail, but it's not necessary.

There is a lot of stuff that it is not necessary to talk about. You just have to understand the essence of stuff. You have to ask yourself, "Why do I want to give thanks for something? Do I mean it?" When you are thankful for something, what happens? Most likely, you're thankful for some kind of personal reasons, that some kind of personal benefit might happen to you. If you're someone who is thankful—what happens to you if you're normal? You make some kind of offering right? You don't make an offering unless you feel something like that. Obviously unless you have something to be grateful for or thankful for it isn't going to last long. That's reality right?

That's why you reached some kind of understanding. In spirit there is an end to reality as we understand it. Because of that basic reality—our ability to understand stuff, God doesn't want to be alone. God is almighty by Himself, He doesn't need law, but because of His counterpart, He has to have law. Law exists for the sake of the counterpart, that's it.

When you have that reality obviously there is a give-and-take principle that's the basic law to bring about that happening, to bring about somebody wanting to give something because they are genuinely thankful.

That's why there is a funny phenomenon in America where you always try to look for bigger gurus. In this wealthy country you have time and money and I guess you have nothing better to do. Find the greater defining meaning of being truly thankful. That's what we have to compete against. Do you actually believe that stuff? I've tried it all. There are so many ways in which you can abuse things. There are so many ways in which you can do right, but you have to make that choice.

When you try to do right you will suffer. You will suffer, suffer, suffer. If you take, take, take or you try to do the opposite, you'll suffer, suffer, suffer. It's up to you. It never ends.

What's the difference between Mother Teresa and the Bill Gates' of the world? Both started with nothing, seemingly. They're self-made people. That's the commonality between Bill Gates and Mother Teresa. That's why people respect them whether they like them or not. For whatever reason it doesn't matter. You respect them to the core, to a point—they started from nothing, in general.

They've gotten somewhere based pretty much on the traditional kind of sacrifice-based on religious direction regardless of what religion. A self-made man is a good opportunist that comes along at the right time and meets up with something that was there beyond themselves. They were in the right place at the right time. Their contribution will stand and they will be given credit at least for discovery, application, and implementation. To what degree? It doesn't matter. They did something and we accept that. It seems like some sort of offering.

We have to try to teach ourselves to be thankful on a daily basis. Remember your life is an offering in the end. Right? The way I look at it, and I'm a simple and morbid kind of guy, even if you die it's not important. It's about an offering.

There is a connection between freedom and desire. If you have uncontrollable desire, what good is freedom? How did the Fall occur? Because desires couldn't be controlled. Why? Because of individual responsibility. Even if you're given the freedom to make the choices—freedom means we have the ability to make choices, unlike dumb animals that act on instincts and impulses.

We have the faculty of higher, developed intellectual processing, to actually go further than the desire, to determine beyond the fate of simple impulse and instinct. It is constantly expanding and seemingly infinite. What the heck is freedom then? It has no meaning in the end. We have to live by the law of God in the end, right, whether you like it or not. Why? Because God says, "When I made you I had to obey the law. Because of you, law has to exist. Otherwise, I'll kill you. The law exists so that I won't kill you." I don't feel that way all the time, maybe everyday once, but what if God is more extreme than me? (Laughter.) How the heck do you know?

Some second-generation ask me, should I go to school, what should I do? What should I major in? I tell them that in your life you have to make choices and in the end it's about making an offering, whether you make your livelihood out of it or from the body you make something greater and greater. Pretty much it's about that.

What are you good at? What do you like? Start from there. Don't ask me! How the heck do I know? I have a hard time keeping myself on track sometimes. There are so many things that can distract you in a tick-tock moment. Just be sure whatever you learn, that you apply it. Sometimes you can really logically process everything till it makes sense to you.

How many of those Thanksgivings that we talked about do you think I will see? How many will you see? It happens once a year, how many times? How many times did you see Thanksgiving? Most of you maybe 40 or 50 times, maybe some of the young kids here 10 or 20. Will you see three digits? Good for you. That's reality. You can't deny that.

You have problems. I have problems. Why? Because stuff happens. The thing is, what can you do about it? What am I willing to do about it? I can blame stuff till kingdom come, or till hell freezes over. I'm just doing my part here. What you take from it doesn't really matter. You really don't have to own the world to change the world. What we do with our lives and the choices we make can make a difference and we can inspire each other. What kind of choices do you want to make?

You don't need a billion dollars to change the world as long as your intention is correct. I know about self-promotion and I really don't do it. I go out of my way not to do it. I know it better than you. Trust me. It's not about that. Why do you want to promote yourself?

You see this terrible situation in the Amish community where those children were shot? (Hyo Jin nim breaks into tears over the killing.)

We aren't always good and great all the time, but you don't want to be foolish and judgmental. If you think that you can judge someone, then prepare to explain yourself according to what standard you live.

We all want to receive love from God equally and we should all try to do that. That is the only definition of the ideal world that really matters.

Our life is an offering, correct? Yours too. It depends on the choices you make and history will judge you by it.

Include God and you won't die.

See you later.

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