The Power of Reflexivity

March 14, 2009, HQ Church, Seoul Korea

And I was explaining that we have to make sure that we are able to do the more humble training, not in order to get credit for that, but so we can resemble that heart of True Parents, so we can resemble that servant of servants’ quality.
And I explained to them, “Of course nobody’s perfect and I’m not perfect, nobody’s perfect, but the fact that we’re training, that we are continually watching ourselves through our training, this is the important thing. This is why we do the training. That’s why we do the Danbury training and the economy training, toilet cleaning, etc… ”

Welcome Remarks

Yeon Ah Nim:

Good afternoon brothers and sisters!

We are always honored and happy to have you here in this sanctuary with Heavenly Father and True Parents. For those who are joining with us via internet, we also welcome you as well. Welcome brothers and welcome sisters.

Hyung Jin Nim:

Welcome brothers and sisters!

We’ll going to start with Cheon Song Gyeong, page 452: “Just as all plants absorb sunlight as an element of life, love is an element of life for people. Our hope is that the Kingdom on earth will be built where we can live eternally in love and in adoration.”

I love how Father here resembles love with the element of life and necessity, something that we need, something that nourishes us and gives us strength and vitality. That is of course coming straight from the principl. But when we think about that in our lives, it really is so important to be able to nourish others who are around us, also in our family environment, our friends’ environment, whereever we are. It is so important to create that atmosphere. We are actually nourishing each other, giving each other vitality, strength, new hope, new life. This is so important.

Brothers and sisters, we pray that every week is that kind of new vitality element nourishment. When we come to service, when we are able to collect the joy of last week, of the victories of last week, and offer them up to God, bring Him happiness, bring Him smile this day, when we do that, I do believe next week is going to be even better, it is going to be more victorious.

If you believe in this, let’s give God a round of applause.

Once again, welcome to service.

Yeon Ah Nim’ Message:

Not long ago after I joined the True Family, once I asked Hyung Jin Nim a question. I asked him like this, “I really don’t understand how some people can be like double face. I cannot really understand how they can hide their own emotions so well and show a good face even though they are in terrible emotional turbulence.” I thought that is only possible if they have double face, totally double face. And I said, “I don’t want to be like that.” And I said that to him.

Instead of answering back my question, he asked me a question. He said, “Let’s say you just found out that you passed a very difficult event and you are very happy. Right after that you have to be in a funeral house and you pay respect to a person who just passed away. And in silence, does it make you hypocritical? He asked me a question.

He asked me another question. He said, “Let’s say you are a teacher. Do you think you should get mad at your student just because you have a terrible day? Does it make you hypocritical?” And I could not answer his question.

Recently I saw True Father and True Mother and I knew that they had many things on their minds. Usually, they are very happy when Shin Joon is around but even that didn’t work so well. They were not in good mood actually, but even during that period when Father and Mother met with members, True Father talked to members and smiled with members and True Mother sang fun songs with members. And I realized this is what they have done always for us. They have always overcome their personal difficulties and personal situation for the public good.

Brothers and sisters, in life there is a time we may feel that nobody really understands our pain and we are the only one who suffers tremendously but when we think about our Heavenly Father and True Parents life course and victory, we know that our mountain is much smaller than the victory of True Parents and Heavenly Father.

Brothers and sisters, let us have our best year this year. We love you so much and we believe in you. Aju!

Rev. Hyung Jin Nim Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this day. Father, we give You praise and honor this day for You have walked a tearful road. Father, You have waited for thousands of years to the day when You can see Your families on this earth.

Father, we pray that You we may be inspired today, that You may find new hope today, that You may find a new spirit of rejuvenation today. Father, be with us as we spend time to being in Your presence. We pray that You may bless each and everyone of the Blessed Central Families here. We pray that You may be with the brothers and sisters joining us across the world in the service via internet. Father, please bless their families, bless their children and bless their descendants.

Father, we pray that truly we may be those types of people that can inherit Your True Love, a True Love that can naturally subjugate even the most darkest force. Father, we pray that we may inherit that and truly be able to spread that and become blessings to this world.

Thank You so much Father for this time. We pray that we may once again return joy to You and give You a tremendous smile today. We thank You so much.

We offer all these as one family, as Central Blessed Families together. Aju!

Interesting Story:

You know we always like to start with something a little, a little interesting. I heard a story about Little Johnny’s new baby brother. He came back from the hospital and he had a very interesting habit, and that was crying and screaming a lot. He cried all the time. And one day he was crying up a huge storm, and Johnny asked his mom. He said, “Mommy, where did my brother come from?” Mommy said, “Well he came from heaven of course, honey!” Little Johnny replied, “Whooah! Now I can see why they threw him out!” (Laughter, applause) Oh! You liked that very much today!

Main Sermon:

Brothers and sisters, today I’d like to talk to you about the power of reflexivity.

In order to live the blessed life, learning the power of self-reflexivity is one of the keys, one of our key keys.

Self-reflexivity is very simply the ability to look at yourself honestly. With reflexivity you are able to see your strengths and weaknesses. You can check whether or not you’re staying true to the goals that God has given you, and thus you can find a path of constant improvement. Learning how to “turn the mirror unto ourselves” and seeing ourselves is one of the keys to living the blessed life.

Let’s take a look at some of the Scriptures today. We’ll look at Christianity from Proverb 16:18. Let’s read it together, “Pride goes before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall.” This is once again warning us to be reflective and to look at yourselves.

Buddhism: Let’s take a look at Buddhism today from The Precious Garland 406. Let’s read it together, “Who fancy themselves to be superior is pride greater than pride. Thinking one has won fruits not yet attained is pride of conceit.” Once again warning to be reflective on the path. It’s very important!

Islam: Let’s take it from the Koran 96th Surah. We’ll read it together, “Nay but verily man is rebellious for he thinks himself independent. Low unto thy Lord is the return.” To remember where we are going, where we came from etc…

And let’s look at True Father’s words today. Let’s read it together. This is from “God’s will and the world.” “God’s principle of creation is living for the sake of others, not me. Living for the sake of me is the nature of Satan. You should know the origin of good and evil. Teaching a religion is living for the sake of others and serving others, not being arrogant.” Basically humility! We are talking again about self- reflexivity.

In 1954 a book by the Nobel Prize winning, author William Golding, was written. It was entitled, “The Lord of the Flies”. By the ‘60s it was a best-seller in America, and it was already becoming required reading in most of the high schools. When we were growing up in New York it was already required reading in our high school, so in most of the high schools across America, you have to read this book.

It’s entitled “The Lord of the Flies”, and actually these words, ‘the Lord of the Flies’ come from the Hebrew word “Beelzebub”. It’s the meaning of the word Beelzebub which means Lord of the Flies or God of the Flies. Beelzebub is another word for Satan. So that title is actually “Beelzebub”.

It’s a story about a group of British boys, and they are on a trip on an airplane. They are traveling to some place, but by chance their plane crashes on an island and all the adults do not survive. So eventually there’s just a group of boys, and this group of boys are under the age of 13, and they start trying to govern themselves. Eventually two dominant groups develop under one boy named Ralph, and another boy named Jack.

Ralph’s group is trying to be civilized. They are trying to find a way to signal for help. They’re trying to find a method, “How can we get off this island. We don’t want to stay here, we want to get off.”

Jack’s group does the opposite. Slowly they start going into hunting. They start saying, “Hey! We’re never going to get out of this island anyways. We’ve got to survive.” They start focusing on, “Let’s have fun, let’s just hunt!”

Slowly these two groups start to clash. They believe that on this island there’s a big monster that lives on this huge peak, and Jack’s group who are the hunters, they promise to hunt and kill this beast. They mistake a body of a dead pilot as the sleeping monster and they begin to hunt animals and they start offering animal sacrifices to this mountain monster god. They start offering animal sacrifices, they start putting on body paint. You can see the guy with the body paint? That’s Jack! He puts on body paint. They become more and more animalistic, more and more savage.

Ralph’s group is trying to be civilized. They’re trying to use elections and trying to find the best methods, “Rationally how can we get off this island? That’s our purpose. We’re not going to stay here and survive. We want to get off!” But Jack’s group is becoming more and more animalistic, once again.

To put a long story short, eventually this ends in a disastrous result. Jack’s group ends up murdering two boys in this animalistic fever. One boy is murdered when he is mistaken for the monster, another boy is struck by a rock ambush, and why would they rock ambush him? They wanted to take his glasses. That’s the reason.

So eventually Ralph is all alone, and Jack and all those “savages”- they have the body paint on – now they’re hunting this last boy Ralph. Jack sets this huge fire to chase Ralph out of the forest and this fire basically engulfs the entire island in a huge inferno. Navy sailors just at that point were passing the island and they see this huge blaze and they come and stop this kind of insanity. They end up putting an end to the Lord of the Flies.

See, without reflexivity, one is not able to see what one is becoming, just like Jack in this situation. Jack was a civilized British school boy. He was from the West, he was growing up in the upper suburbia, very smart, very educated, very civilized, learning arithmetic and science and chemistry, all that.

But then as they got into this isolated environment he got lost in his emotions. He started becoming what they refer to him as a “demonic leader”, or “Lord of the Flies.” At one point, one the boys realizes that there is actually no monster on the island. The monster is created. But the real monster lies within each and every one of those persons.

Reflexivity is one of the keys to keep yourself in check, to make sure you’re becoming who God wants you to be and actualize those gifts and purposes that God has given you.

I was talking to a mom the other day and she was reflecting about one of her sons. He has somewhat of a difficult time reflecting on himself. He is sometimes rude and he gets into fights in school. He’s been changing schools a lot. He broke his mother’s heart so many times.

And she explained how one time she was at a public swimming pool. They were swimming around and her son was swimming and splashing; it was like tidal waves. He is a little bigger than on that picture – on that picture he’s like a baby but he’s bigger- and there were huge tidal waves splashing about.

So the mom decided, “This boy never listens to me anyways.” She decided to videotape him. So she videotaped him splashing around, and she showed him this video. And the boy was so shocked. He was shocked at how he was showing disregard to other people who were trying to use the pool. And she actually filmed other people’s faces and their responses, like, “Oh my goodness! What is that boy doing? He is totally disrespecting everybody in this pool!”

See, this is reflexivity. The mom helped him to view himself from the eyes of others, to get an objective view, another person’s view of himself. And seeing himself from this perspective opened his eyes to how he was actually not respecting other people’s rights to this public space.

Sometimes we need to have friends in our lives that give us this wise counsel. Those people are so precious! Of course you don’t have to and should not accept every negative thing that every single person says about you as good feedback, but those people who are around you, that you trust, that are there for your well-being, that truly want you to do well, wish for you to succeed, wish for you to be the best, those people, their wisdom, their counsel, their honesty should be invited. It’s very precious! These trustworthy people can be our saviors at times and help us stay true to God and to ourselves.

When we look at the biblical story we see the story of the fall and we see the great archangel Lucifer. Did you know that the name Lucifer is actually a very positive word? Lucifer is actually an extremely good name. It means “the bringer of light”. It’s a very positive name. It’s “he who brings light to this world.” It’s a very beautiful name!

He was the most beloved of the archangels. He was obedient, he was powerful, he was trusted amongst them all. But he was weak in one aspect: his ability to be self-reflective. And so, slowly he fell into jealousy. We hear this in the Principle very clearly that Adam and Eve got attention and love by God. “How come God loves them?” he said, “I’ve been slaving away, I’ve been serving Him. He just loves these little guys, how come He’s taking His attention away from me?”

Without him knowing, day by day his jealousy grew and grew. It grew until it became a resentment and greed to want to steal the love that Adam and Eve were receiving. “God loves them, He does not love me. I guess He really never needed me in the first place. Well, you know, who needs God? Because I don’t need Him I can go out; I can make my own thing. If He doesn’t need me then I don’t need Him. I think I will then go out and be against Him.”

And so we see this process in the story. He acted on his greed for love, and in the Principle we see that he deceived both Adam and Eve and caused them to disobey and inherit the false love of Lucifer.

I was explaining this to the Hoon Sa Nims the other day when we were talking, when we were practicing and training. We were discussing how important it is, especially in positions of religious roles, that we are self-reflective. I explained to the Hoon Sas that, because we are in position of religious responsibility, we have to stay true to our service to God and True Parents.

I told them that trainings are like landmarks. They help us watch ourselves; they help us check ourselves along the path. And it helps us make sure that we are walking on the path of goodness and service and not the path of self- aggrandizement. That’s a very dangerous path.

In one of our trainings, I was explaining to them what I’ve been doing for my own training for many years. Always, whenever I travel, when we do traveling or are called to different places, we always ride economy class, and every time we go on a plane, I have leaders come up to me. They come into the economy section and tell me, “Hyung Jin Nim, please sit up in the front. Please sit up. I will trade you my seat; sit up in the business class please.” And that was, of course, when I had no responsibility.

Now that I have more responsibility I have all sorts of people come to me, “Please” – not only asking me – “Please, go sit up there. You MUST ride business class. You MUST ride business class for our sake; for our sake you must do it! What will the world think if the international president is always going around on economy? You must do it for our sake, please!”

Now I understand, there’s nothing inherently wrong with sitting in business class. I’ve ridden in business class myself, in my life time, but the point is that as a religious leader one has to be constantly checking oneself, constantly training self- reflexivity. This is very important. So don’t slip off the path, so do not start going off into paths we don’t want to go into.

And I tell them, “You know, I’ve been actually doing this training long before Father gave me any responsibility, and just because I have responsibility I’m not going to change it. I can’t do that. I am very sorry. And as my brother always says, ‘If you don’t like it, you’re going to have to tell Father and ask him to fire me! ‘ That’s what he always says.”

But I tell the Hoon Sas,” Father has taught us – Father’s been very clear about this – that the place where evil cannot attack us is humility. It’s the lowest place. And Father said that when we are elevated as religious leaders, then it’s important to go lower in our training, training lower, because we receive respect as religious monastic practitioners, as Hoon Sa Nims.”

And I was explaining that we have to make sure that we are able to do the more humble training, not in order to get credit for that, but so we can resemble that heart of True Parents, so we can resemble that servant of servants’ quality.

And I explained to them, “Of course nobody’s perfect and I’m not perfect, nobody’s perfect, but the fact that we’re training, that we are continually watching ourselves through our training, this is the important thing. This is why we do the training. That’s why we do the Danbury training and the economy training, toilet cleaning, etc… ”

This kind of things help us check ourselves overtime to help us see when all of a sudden a year later (we may think), “Now I don’t want to clean the toilets anymore, I don’t want to do Danbury training no more. I’ve been doing that for a year. I don’t want to do it. I ‘m better than that.” We can see ourselves, we can check ourselves through these objective trainings.

So we talk about how important the training is, because on this path, especially on the path where we are focusing on purely religious, spiritual practice, it’s so easy for us to fool ourselves, to actually fool ourselves into believing that we are enhancing ourselves, that we are actually getting greater than God. And so in that respect we were talking about how important it is to always check ourselves through the training and to understand that even we ourselves can become like Lucifer or Jack the Lord of the Flies.

They both started off really well. They both started off as the bringer of light, and Jack was an excellent student in school, but if we become like that then we can spiritually damage so many people that respect us and other people that are under our responsibility. So we must keep training. It’s our joy. We were talking about that.

This time when Father was heading back to the States, he told me, “Don’t you overdo it! You’re going to do moody-moody. Don’t overdo it. You’ve got to stay healthy, boy!” And I said, “Appa, don’t worry! This is our joy, you know we’re training! This is training. We’re getting stronger every day. Training is not only great spiritual exercise, Father, its great physical exercise; I can belch as a cow now!!!!”

Brothers and sisters, what can we learn today? Let us remember that self- reflexivity is a great strength and ability. It requires training and strength to objectively look at ourselves. It’s quite liberating when you’re able to look honestly at yourself and try to be that person that God has blessed you to be.

See self-reflexivity is freeing because it frees one from being a prisoner to flattery or other people telling YOU what your talents are. It helps you move on to recognizing for yourself what God has given you as your great potential, what He’s given you as your strengths and your weaknesses and your goals and your dreams. It helps you check that you are staying true to those God-given talents.

If we do that, I do believe that in 2009 we will find ourselves with more victory, more illumination and more peace, and we will live that blessed life and inherit the true love of God.

Brothers and sisters, if you receive this message, let’s give it up for God and True Parents! (Applause)

Final Mediation:

Let’s gather our hearts for the final meditation practise. Let’s now enter into our homeland meditation practise.

Let’s gently close our eyes and let’s visualize ourselves now not in this sanctuary, but walking in a beautiful meadow, in springtime. We can see the blue sky above, we can feel the beautiful spring breeze, a warm spring breeze.

As we are walking I invite you to take a look to our left and see a beautiful stream meandering down. Let’s see sparkling little sunlight like diamonds dancing on the water, and hear the sound of that beautiful stream. And with each step that we take as we walk let us notice the soft grass that we feel supported by. Let us notice the beautiful flowers that bloom around our feet. We WILL be a blessing to this land! Let us continue to walk forward and let’s notice the sky, the beautiful cocoon clouds that are slowly passing by. Let’s look up ahead, and we see that the flowers not only are blooming around our feet but now they are spreading across the entire meadow, almost as if the meadow is changing colours from beautiful pink to purple.
Now, as we look ahead we see True Parents waiting for us. Let us walk towards True Parents. Let us kneel before True Parents. True Father with this right hand, True Mother with her left hand place their hands on top of our head. They give us another blessing: May you inherit the true love of God! As we receive that blessing, let us feel a wave of healing energy pass through our entire body from head to toe. As this wave of energy passes through our body, we can feel all the cells in our brain and in our inner organs, our body, being totally restored, rejuvenated. Any sense of stress in our mind and in our body, tightness in the neck, let that all melt away. Every cell that is diseased or sick, let each one of those cells totally revive and become completely new and healthy. Visualize that, see that powerful wave of energy pass through you. If there is any darkness in our spirit body, let us see that our spirit body is completely rejuvenated and is illuminating in the 12 directions, completely illuminating.

As we breathe in, in our hearts let us say, “I am alive” and as we exhale deeply, in our hearts let us say, “Thank you.” As we breathe in, in our hearts let us say, “I am alive” and as we breathe out, in our hearts let us say, “Thank you”. Final inhalations – we breathe in and say, “I am alive”, and as we breathe out in our hearts let us say, “Thank you. “ Let us always remember, that God and rue Parents are walking with us, they will never forsake us, they are together here, hand in hand. Let’s always remember that they blessed us with a blessed life, that we are truly destined to be great blessings to this world.

Final Prayer:

Let’s gather our hearts in prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this day, that You have blessed upon us. Father, we pray that today we may be alive and illuminated in our minds and our bodies. Father, we pray that we really can be the bringers of light to this world. Father, in the beginning something good could slowly go in another direction. (To avoid this in our life) let us always reach into ourselves and use our power of self-reflexivity, let us use that power, that ability, that talent, so that we always can remember and know that we are staying true to the goals and dreams that You have given us, Father, that we are staying true to ourselves and to our mission here on this earth.

Father, please let us be those kind of people that can see ourselves (reflect about ourselves) and can guide others by doing (by example) and having that kind of wisdom. Thank You so much, Father, that You can give us this new era today. Every day that You give us, Father, we know that You are opening up new possibilites and new chances for us to partake. We pray that we may walk into these blessings this week, and Father, walk into these blessings this year. Father, we pray, that any tribulation or obstacle, that is in our path, can be eradicated, eliminated, and that we can overcome that right now. Father, we pray, that as we step out with a victorious spirit, we know that You are guiding our footsteps and directing our path, that You are hoping for us, and that You are there every step of the way. We thank You, Father, in advance we thank You, and we offer all the victories to You with all our hearts together as one as central blessed families, Aju!

Transcribed by: Rev. Beatrice Clyburn / Cathy Quebral

Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz

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