Rev. Hyung Jin Nim Headquarters, Chungpadong, Seoul February 16, 2008
Topic: “Ever-Growing Life”
In order to live the blessed life, we have to be ever growing. We have to be ever growing in our faith, in our joy, in our wisdom, in our victory. We have to be ever growing in our lives. God wants us to be like that. He never wants us to get stuck. He never wants us to stop growing, to stop blossoming – just like seedlings – into beautiful trees or such beings. He wants us to constantly improve to become more and more prosperous, successful, happy, to be a greater blessing to this world. He wants us to be the children who will go forth and be mighty in the land, who will truly bless this world and make it His Kingdom.
Hyung Jin Nim’s Welcome Message:
Can you imagine how happy God would be on the day that evil disappears and we usher in a new age with bright rays of the rising sun? Nature will rejoice. Everything in the universe will dance with joy. And we will finally celebrate the dawn of victory. Brothers and sisters, I think I saw the dawn today (refers to the two rivers choir)! Is that right? Give me an “Aju” if you believe that!
Brothers and sisters, whenever we come to the service, it is always our
prayer and our wish that we always see ourselves from the viewpoint of
God. As we recall from the very beginning at the fall, the first
problem was that Lucifer could not see God’s children from the correct
viewpoint. He looked at it from his own viewpoint and forgot God’s
viewpoint. In the very same way, we as the blessed families… it is our
responsibility as God’s children to see ourselves from God’s
perspective, God’s viewpoint.
When we do that we will see that we are individual truth incarnations
of God. We will see that we have divine value, cosmic value, that we
have unique and such precious value. When we start seeing ourselves
like that, then we will be in the right position to respond to heaven
and earth. We will be in the right position to create the beautiful and
powerful Four Position Foundation we are supposed to do (create).
Brothers and sisters, it is always a great blessing that you’re all
here. It’s really so encouraging to see you all from so many different
nations. We really want to welcome you here today. We’re honored to
have you here. Welcome!!!
Yeon Ah Nim’s Message:
Last week we celebrated True Parents’ Birthday. We celebrated True Parents’ Birthday throughout the day, 7am, 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. We had many events. The events were full of people and we had the usual celebration. But one thing that made everybody surprised was True Father’s speech. When True Father presented his speech, he did it within 20 minutes without any single comment. Can you believe that?
So after True Father finished his speech, everybody looked at each other and was shocked.
After all the events ended True Parents wanted to have dinner with the True Family members and some leaders. True Family gathered again around 6’o clock to have dinner with True Parents. That very dinner continued until dawn, until one in the morning (laugh). The comments that the members did not hear in the morning, we heard everything at night.
Who said it’s easy to follow True Parents, the Messiah? Even Mother Theresa said it is not easy to live with Jesus Christ. I would say, by faiths that were enjoyable 7 hours (Everybody laughs).
Brothers and sisters, True Father is now 89 years old. And I think it’s truly a blessing that True Father is vivid and vibrant and full of life. We really should learn from Father how to be vibrant and ever growing in every aspect of our life.
Brothers and sisters, we love you so much and we believe in you. And Happy True Parents’ Birthday. AJU!!!
Interesting story (Hyung Jin Nim):
We always like to start with something a little interesting, start with a little interesting thing. I heard a story about two mother-in-laws that dragged a young man in a three-piece suit to King Solomon. They went before him and the first lady said, “King Solomon, this man must marry my daughter.” And the second lady said, “King Solomon, this man must marry my daughter.” So they kept on going, all about this and they kept arguing.
And King Solomon had to silence them saying, “Silence, ladies, please, please, let’s be civil here.” And he said, “Get me my sword and I shall slice this man in half. And you can have half, and you can have half. In that way you’ll be happy. And the first lady said, “That’s a great idea. Bring your sword!” And the second lady said, “Oh, don’t shed innocent blood. It is all right. Let the first lady have the lawyer.” (Laughter).
And so King Solomon immediately proclaimed, “So the first lady’s daughter will marry this lawyer—this very young man.” And at that, one of the King’s advisors said, “But King Solomon, this woman was willing to slice her son-in-law in half. How could you give him to such a woman?” And he said, “Well, now, I know that she is really a mother-in-law.” (Laughter).
Main Message (Hyung Jin Nim):
Today I would like to talk to you about the ever growing life that God wants us to live. In order to live the blessed life, we have to be ever growing. We have to be ever growing in our faith, in our joy, in our wisdom, in our victory. We have to be ever growing in our lives. God wants us to be like that. He never wants us to get stuck. He never wants us to stop growing, to stop blossoming – just like seedlings – into beautiful trees or such beings. He wants us to constantly improve to become more and more prosperous, successful, happy, to be a greater blessing to this world. He wants us to be the children who will go forth and be mighty in the land, who will truly bless this world and make it His Kingdom.
It’s very interesting because when you look at the field of psychology – my sister is actually taking a psychology class at Harvard now – it’s quite interesting to note that the most popular class right now at Harvard University with the most students – and it’s not only in Harvard, it’s at universities all over America – is the class on “positive psychology.” You may have heard of this field. It’s a very new and emerging field, called “positive psychology.”
And my sister was able to show this to me: She showed me one of her lectures, and I was very surprised. What they went through was the history of psychology. So, they looked from the 1960s on to the present day. And what they found is that psychologists, for the last fifty years, had been focusing on what they called “the disease model.” The disease model is this: If we can understand the disease, if we can understand depression, if we can understand psychological illness, then we will be able to cure it.–
So they developed many types of medicines—medications to help with psychological illness! Now, if this were the case, if we study the diseases more and learn the cures for them, then the results should show, the results should get better, right? The disease should actually go away or should lessen worldwide. But what is the result? Now, fifty years later, when we look at the present day, at the type of psychology that has dominated the psychology field—which is based on the disease model—what is the result? It has created MORE depression worldwide. What is the result? There are MORE psychologically treated diseases worldwide now.
The result should actually have gotten better if this were, in fact, the right way to pursue. But what do we see? So, the thesis of the disease model is simply this: If you are free from disease, you are healthy. — But is that true? Think about it in your own lives. You may not have cancer, but maybe you are eating potato chips all day. Is that the healthiest life you could live? Maybe you don’t have a certain debilitating disease but you’re playing computer games all day and your back is starting to hurt. You may not have a disease that can be identified at this point. But that is not the best way that is not the healthiest way to live, right?
In the same way, psychology is moving in a new trend. In 2002, Dr Seligman, who is moving this whole positive psychology trend, said something like this, “Let us not only study the diseases, learning about the disease. Learning about how to cure them is important, but let us also study the people in our humanity, the people in our world that succeed, that are happy, the people who are healthy, who are thriving. It is not enough to ONLY study those who have illness, but it is important to study those who have HEALTH. So, when we learn about people who have health, who have success, who have happiness, who share with others. When we learn about those people, then we ourselves can be more like those people and we can become healthier.”
This would be known as the “health model”, and Dr. Seligman’s thesis would be something like this: “I am unhappy, or, I am sick,” – not: “I am sick because I’m not doing healthy activities”- as opposed to: “I am sick because I have a disease. I am sick because I’m not doing healthy things, such as exercising, such as taking my vitamins, such as eating healthy foods.” Do you see what I mean? The focus is on getting healthier, not on trying to get rid of a particular disease.
When I looked at this I understood that this is now the trend in psychology in universities worldwide. The U Penn [University of Pennsylvania] opened up an entire center dedicated to the study and research of positive psychology. And through the very short time frame of positive psychology, they have had tremendous results—results that are even better than the last fifty years of studying psychosis, disease, narcissistic syndromes, etc., etc. They have been having tremendous results.
And I paralleled this theologically with our own movement. In our movement we would have had the tendency to focus so heavily on the FALL OF MAN. We have tended to focus so strongly in our culture on the failures in the restorational process. In fact, if you look at it from the comparison perspective, it would almost seem like we’re focusing very powerfully on the diseases of mankind. And we are trying to get rid of them.
So, what would be the tool to get rid of fallen nature? It would be the Blessing. Forty years ago, when brothers and sisters received the Blessing, we, as a movement, could confidently say to the worldwide society … we could say, “Look, the Blessing is truly blessed. Ninety-five percent of our families do not divorce. The society’s average is fifty percent. Ninety-five percent of our families don’t get divorced. We keep our marriages.”
But when we look NOW, fifty years later, when we look at the present day in some of our countries now, the divorce rate in our tradition is even higher than society’s average. And this is almost like an exact parallel to the disease model in the psychological trend for the last fifty years where we’ve been focusing on curing the disease. And that is important! That’s very important. Just like in psychology, they are saying, that it is so important to learn about the disease and to cure it! Very important!
But, at the same time, we must also learn about what it truly means to be a child of God, what it truly means to live the blessed life. We must not only learn about the diseases that we must get rid of, but more, we must start focusing in depth – I believe – focusing on Chapter One—to see the purposes of Creation, to start seeing our value as Individual Truth Bodies, to start seeing that we are children of God, that we are not those who are ONLY trying to live free from sin, but that we are those who are trying to live in complete joy with God. And that is totally different.
When we compare that model, we can see that a lot of the emphasis has been sort of (something like this): “You’re unhappy, because maybe you have fallen nature.”
And so, if we look at this graph, it would be something like this: We live with fallen nature. So we are in the minus. We can be addicted to anger. We can be addicted to certain other fallen natures that are really controlling us. And we cannot live a blessed life like that. We cannot live a blessed life when we’re addicted to jealousy or addicted to lust or addicted to such things. We cannot be blessed. There’s no way we can live successful lives when we’re addicted to such fallen natures.
But let’s say we’ve overcome those (fallen natures) and we’ve even received the Blessing, we maintained our purity, we’ve received the Blessing. And that is phenomenal. That is excellent. And maybe we get up to the hundred-degree level, hundred-point level, where we are free from disease, where we are, in the psychological model, free from disease. In that model, we can be free from sin.
But, what I’d like to tell you is that the Blessed life gets so much better than that. It does not stop at our Blessing. It does not stop. That is not the final destination point. Too many people see the Blessing as their final destination, where all the responsibility is finished. No, my friends! The Blessing is only the gateway to the second Blessing, the family perfection; the third blessing, the dominion over Creation, where we can truly respond with the universe. And that is what we have to start seeing.
This model would say, “Look, the blessed life is much greater. It is so much greater than simply being free from sin.” Life can become so much more amazing than just being free from sin. We can be tremendously successful. We can be tremendous blessings to this world. Our lives can grow and grow—get brighter and brighter, become more fulfilling—get happier and happier. Our lives can continue to be blessed.
When we start looking at this model, then we start looking more towards our health. What can I do to make my Blessing even more blessed? What can I do to make my home situation become more blessed? And we start not focusing on just getting rid of the diseases, but we start focusing on doing the right things that will promote excellent health—excellent health in our four-position-foundation relationships, excellent health in our individual mind and body, excellent health in our workplace environments, excellent health in the environments that we are making with the dominion over creation. All those things are connected, I would argue.
And when you look at this model, it will say something like this, “We are unhappy because we are not doing the great things that God has intended for us to do.” It’s not saying, “We’re not happy because we’re mired in fallen nature.” When we overcome those things (fallen nature), we’re not happy or content at this stage because we’re not being the best that God wishes for us to be—because we’re not constantly striving to become more awesome in our relationships, more awesome in all the elements of our lives.
Let’s look at this next slide over here. I’d like you to focus on this phrase. Hoon Sook Nim, my sister-in-law, gave me this. Let’s take a look at this. What do you see? What do you see here? Let’s read it together, “Your dream is no where.” (This means) your dream is not alive. It’s not here. Stop believing in it. It’s not true. Don’t waste your energy on that. It’s a waste of time. Don’t do it. “Your dream is no where.”
But look, right before our eyes is another reality. Right before our eyes is another existence. And what is that? “Your dream is now here!” (The audience applauds) Brothers and sisters, we have to look at life. It’s the same in looking at life, brothers and sisters. When we look at life, make sure we’re not looking at it as, “Your dream is no where.” Make sure you’re looking at the other existence that is there. See the other reality that is hidden. If that is all you see, see the other reality that is hidden, that tells you, that speaks in your hear, that tells you, “Your dream is now here.”
When we live like that, we can start being in synergy with the creation. All of creation will move to help us to accomplish what it is we need to accomplish. When we can start framing ourselves like that, start seeing our reality as such, all the things come together. All of God’s help can come into our lives. In the same way, God is asking us today to reframe our reality, reframe how we see this world, how we see our lives. Let’s not see it as “Your dream is no where!” It is: “Your dream is now here!”
There’s a wonderful African-American woman born in 1963. Can we have a picture of her please? Her name is Marva Cullins. She was born in America in 1963. At that time, as you know, there was tremendous racial discrimination. African Americans could not eat in the same restaurants (as the white people)—they had signs over restaurants that said: “You may bring your dog in, but no African-Americans. No black people can come in.” It was that kind of heavy discrimination.
And Marva Cullins grew up in a very poor neighborhood in 1936. And she was not only black, but she was also a woman. And at that time, there was also discrimination against women. So, the best thing, the real thing that she could reach for, the highest thing that she could reach for ….and her father would say, “Marva, you are going to fulfill all your dreams. Marva you will become a great person. Marva, one day, you’ll become a secretary.” (Laughter). That was the highest—that was not only a glass ceiling. It was a cement ceiling. She became a secretary at some point. She did secretarial work for about two years.
And then, at some point, she said, “This is not enough. I don’t want to do this.” She said, “You know what? I’m going to be a teacher.” That was unheard of for a woman to step out (like this)—for an African-American woman to step out and say, “I want to be a teacher.” And she taught at various institutions. But she ended up teaching at her home. And what kind of kids did she teach? She taught inner-city kids. She taught kids that were called “un-teachable” (kids that cannot be taught)—the kids that were on the street. They maybe had parents that were addicted to cocaine. They maybe were in situations where there was gang violence all around them. She was teaching these kinds of “un-teachable” kids.
But a very miraculous thing happened with Marva Cullins—a very amazing thing happened when she invested in those children. When the psychologists looked at it what did they find? They found that one hundred percent of the children that Marva Cullins taught—that is, one hundred percent, that is, EVERY SINGLE student that she taught—graduated from elementary school, graduated from middle school, graduated from high school and graduated from college in the 1950s as Black Americans. That is phenomenal!
Brothers and sisters, when we look at that, Marva Cullins saw a different reality than those kids. Those kids saw that exact statement that you saw and they said, “Your dream is no where.” That is what they saw. Marva Cullins started to teach them, “No, open up your eyes. Look deeper into the reality. There is something else there.” And when she was able to switch that ONE letter—to move that ONE letter, what did they see? They found that, “Your dream is now here.” It is so important that we are doing this in our lives, that we are instilling this kind of faith into our children.
When I studied religion, I know (noticed) that one of the characteristic qualities of a great religious leader – every religious leader must have it – is: Always having hope and optimism for the future. That is one of the defining characteristics of a founder of a religion. That is simply because they’re against so much opposition at first. In our tradition, you all know it, we are competing with major large traditions that were putting all their resources together to completely to get us away and completely erase Father. But Father, I see within him a tremendous hope. He always is pointing it out to us.He will never give up on the hope and His optimism for the future.
In the same way, just like Marva Cullins did with all these kids, it is so important to acknowledge this, to teach our children this particular hope for their futures. Marva Cullins did that for each one of her kids. What she did is: She reached in and found the greatness within each child. She was tough on them. She did discipline them. She disciplined them a lot. She was tough. She was no pushover. She was a very strong woman.
But she was compassionate. She saw the greatness in them. She continued to take that out. She said, “Focus on your greatness.” She didn’t say, “Focus on your weaknesses.” She knew that eighty percent of people or more, in general, focus on their weaknesses and not on their strengths. And that is why so many people cannot succeed. It is so important that in our lives, when we see our kids, that we are instilling in them the greatness, that we are instilling in them the confidence, that we are encouraging those strengths to come out.
You know, in our family, when our kids have a little trouble, they are fighting with each other—maybe the boys are arguing. Maybe they are starting to throw toys, and stuff like that. When that happens – if you have boys, you may understand our situation – we will do some exercises for the kids. We’ll tell the kids, “Okay boys, we’ve got to settle down. Settle down.” We will acknowledge their emotions. So, we will sit them down, “Okay, you guys, sit down.” We give them each a piece of paper and they will write down their emotions. They will say, “I’m angry. Right now I want to hit my younger brother. I’m angry right now.” But that wasn’t enough. Somehow, we felt that that wasn’t enough.
From the psychology class that my sister was taking, she gave me some of the material that she was looking at. And when we look at Marva Cullins’ material, she recommended such a great practice that we actually use in our own home. And the practice is this: when the kids were fighting, for example, you would acknowledge their emotions—that they were angry. Let them say that they are angry. Let them say that they are frustrated. All that is good!
But then, after that, what did Marva do with all of these “un-teachable” kids? What did she do? She made them write from “A to Z” why they are so too great and wonderful to do this bad behavior. So, for example, one of her corrections would be something like this: if a student did something wrong, they would have to write “A to Z”—they would have to make a list—”I am too ‘A’—amazing to hit my brother. I am too ‘B’—brave to hit my brother. I am too ‘C’—courageous to hit my brother. I am too ‘D’—disciplined to hit my brother. I am too ‘E’ energetic to hit my brother. I am too ‘F’… and they would continue and continue on.
She could make them do this exercise. Whenever they did something wrong , they would have to go write out an “A to Z” about why they’re too good to do this kind of poor behavior. And what was the result? The kids, when they were interviewed, they were asked, “How do you guys do it?” And they said, “We’re sick of telling our teacher how great we are.” (Laughter)
Brothers and sisters, we have to do this with our kids. They have to know that they are True Parents’ children. They have to know that they are precious, that they have Almighty God’s creation within them. You must never let them forget that. It’s too often that we, as parents, focus on our children’s weaknesses, on what they’re doing wrong. But, it’s so important to start giving them the powerful, positive elements that they have within them, to start nurturing and watering those trees, so that they become beautiful trees and they blossom and bear fruit.
I was talking with my sister-in-law, Yeon Ah, Hyo Jin’s wife, and we were talking about this and she said, “You know what, (this is) a great thing as a parent (as well). I never did this for myself.” And she suggested that it is not only important to do this for your kids, (but it is also) important to do this for yourself as a parent. It’s so important for you. Especially when you’re frustrated with the kids—make that list, parents! Make your list! (Laughter).
Do it: “I am ‘A’—adequate as a parent; I am ‘B’—brave as a parent; I am ‘C’—capable as a parent; I am ‘D’—disciplined as a parent; I am ‘E’—energized as a parent; I am ‘F’—free as a parent; I am ‘G’—great as a parent; I am ‘H’—happy as a parent; I am ‘I’—intelligent as a parent; I am ‘J’—just as a parent; ‘K’—kind as a parent; ‘L’—loving as a parent; I am ‘M’—mindful as a parent; ‘N’—noteworthy as a parent; I am ‘O’—on point as a parent; I am ‘P’—patient and persistent and practical as a parent; I am ‘Q’—a question solver as a parent; I am ‘R’—real as a parent; I am ‘S’—strong as a parent; I am ‘T’—trained as a parent; I am ‘U’—unbeatable as a parent; I am ‘V’—victorious as a parent; I am ‘W’—wonderful as a parent; I am ‘X’—xylophonic as a parent; I am “Y’—youthful as a parent; and I am ‘Z’—at the zenith of parenthood. (Audience applauds loudly. Hyung Jin Nim has a big smile and is happy).
We have to learn how to do this, brothers and sisters. It’s so important that when we start looking at ourselves, we start noticing the greatness that God has put in us. Too many times society wants to tell us, “Look at your weaknesses. Look at your flaws. You will never make it. You are too weak. You can’t put yourself up to that.”
Don’t believe that. That’s not for you to hear. Let us start remembering what God put in us. He put greatness inside of us. He put greatness inside of our children. It’s so important that when we look at our children, when we look at ourselves, we see that. It’s not because we deserve that, that we have that. It is because God loves us that we have that. And when we acknowledge that we have greatness inside, we are giving praise to Almighty God. And when we do that, we’re returning glory to True Parents.
It’s so important that in our lives we’re continually growing as people, that we’re continually growing as parents, that we’re continually growing our four-position foundation, so that it’s a wellspring of joy, a wellspring of maturity, a wellspring of success. And if our families do that, we will continue to see greater blessings.
I was reading about Father’s life course. When Father was in the fourth grade, the Japanese occupation was here in Korea and he was not allowed to speak Korean. So, here he was in his Japanese class, and he was forced to learn Japanese. Father recollected how he memorized Hiragana and Katakana, “What does the word mean? What is its context? What is its connotation? Why is it being used in this particular place?” I have seen Father continue to grow—always pushing himself to grow, intellectually, spiritually, and in every aspect of his life. Even Father has asked me on many occasions to pre-record his speeches. So, I read them in English. That way he can listen to them and practice his speech—practice his pronunciation.
What am I saying? I’m saying that Father, at eighty-nine years old—and from His youngest age—he built a habit into his life. He built a habit into his existence. What was that habit? To be constantly growing, ever growing, to have an ever growing life! In the same way, just like our True Father, we need to learn how to have that in our live, to not just be content where we are right now, to not to just say, “God has given me a victory— that’s enough.” No! God has MORE victories waiting for you, for your family, for your children, for your tribe.
So what can we learn today? What can we learn on this beautiful occasion where we celebrate True Parents’ Birthday? (We can learn) that God wishes for us, His children, to be ever growing. He wishes for us to live that ever growing life. And just remember, (it is) just like that positive psychology model that we looked at. Remember that just getting rid of the disease is not enough. That is not enough for optimum health, for optimum success, optimum happiness. It is important to learn as blessed families to keep growing and to thrive, to prosper—to become happier and happier every day. Remember, there’s a saying that says, “You’ll never find happiness. It’s only about getting happier.”
So maybe if we think of happiness as a destination point, we will be looking for it our whole lives and we will never reach it. It will always be eluding (running away from) us. But the key is this: “Are you happier now than yesterday? Are you happier now than three weeks ago? Are you happier now than one year ago? The point is: That next year I’m going to be happier than I am right now. The point is: That after ten years in my marriage, I’m happier than when we were first blessed. And ten years later, I’m going to be even happier in my marriage, in my Blessing. I’m going to be happier with my kids.
And sure, there are difficulties at times when we may not believe in each other or in ourselves, or in our kids. But that’s irrelevant when we look at the greater whole, when we look at the greater perspective in our lives. And we can see that we are constantly improving. God is continuing to guide our growth, continuing to make us stronger, happier and more fulfilled. And being a greater blessing to this world, we will start to reap those benefits.
In the same way, in our church, it is important for us to understand the fall, to understand the restoration process—but NOT to make that our predominant culture, to not make our predominant culture just simply “to be free from sin.” That is not enough, brothers and sisters. That maybe gets us to the hundred-level point.
The predominant nature of our culture should be where we’re talking about living the awesome blessed life, where we’re talking about tremendous striving, where we’re talking about a tremendous excellence, tremendous success, where we’re talking about being awesome and amazing blessings to this world, where we are moving closer to those ideals every day.
We are not maybe just reaching those destinations overnight, but are moving in that process, everyday getting happier and happier, getting more enriched in our relationships, etc.
And remember Marva Cullins, how she believed in those kids. How she took that simple phrase that you saw and turned it around in those kids. How she made them see a reality that was not present to them, but was right before their eyes. God is asking us to do the same today. He’s asking us to look at the treasures. Remember what Father said, “The blessed families, we are the human treasures of the age.” And when we start looking at the greatness within, we will start drawing, from within to without, the greatness that resides in our children, in ourselves and in our families.
Let us do this for our kids. Remember: make that “A to Z” list with your kids, brothers and sisters. Make that list, it’s so important. If you’re Japanese, do it in Katakana. Let’s do that for our kids. Let’s do it. Let’s do it also for ourselves, brothers and sisters. Get into the habit. Renew that list. See yourself from “A to Z” with God’s viewpoint. See yourself from “A to Z” as a great parent. Remind yourself that you can be greater everyday that you can improve and be ever growing in your parenthood, ever growing in your professional life, ever growing as an owner of creation.
If we can do that, if we keep growing like Father, and if we keep that ever-growing life in our midst, in our lives, then we will live that life of blessing that True Parents have blessed us to live. Brothers and sisters, can you receive this message today? (The whole audience exclaims, “Yes!!!”)
Thank you so much!
Hyung Jin Nim’s Prayer:
True Parents, thank you for this day You have given to us. We report to you, Father, we repent to you our wrongdoings. And Father, this day make us whole, and come into our midst, into our families; make us the palace of your peace, of your love; make us the palace of your lineage. Father, we will always enthrone you in our hearts, and we will bring True Glory to your name. We pray these things in my name. Aju—
Edited by: Susan Herrman