The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009

The Path to Perfection

In Jin Moon
June 7, 2009

The following is a transcription of Rev. In Jin Moon’s sermon at Lovin' Life Ministries held at the Manhattan Center in New York City on June 7, 2009.

Welcome to Lovin’ Life Ministries this morning. We also welcome those of you who are joining us at the New Jerusalem and West Rock communities. It’s good to be back. I just came back from Korea, where I spent some time with my parents in celebration of the autobiography that was published and now is climbing the charts. It’s up to Number Two in the country; it’s Number Two in all genres of writing.

My father had a big book-signing party, where he invited dignitaries from around the world to come and celebrate the victory of his autobiography. He also invited all his family to come and spend this incredible time with him. In front of perhaps 3,000 people, my father was asked to give a 12-minute speech. For those of you who know my father, you know that he’s not very good at sticking to a text. So my mother prepared him, saying, “There are a lot of people here. There’s a celebration and also a dinner and entertainment, so you have 12 minutes.”

Of course, “My father said, “Okay, okay, yobo (honey), don’t worry, don’t worry.” Then he went on stage with the help of my younger brother and an assistant. When he started greeting everybody, my mother knew right away it was not going to be a 12-minute speech. He was so inspired, seeing so many people seated in the audience, that he could not help but share his heart with them. In typical fashion of my Father, he challenged and provoked the audience, all the while inspiring them with a vision of an incredible 90-year-old man who is still so strong.

It’s interesting that when he goes up on stage he needs the help of my younger brother and an assistant. He looks like a feeble man climbing up to the podium. But once he is infused with the Holy Spirit, this man whom I call my father whizzes from one end of the stage to the other, poking fun at the audience and calling them out by name.

In particular there was the second daughter of former President Park, who was assassinated. She met a man recently whom she’s thinking of marrying, but he is 14 years younger than her. In Korea, such a thing is quite scandalous and a lot of people have been talking about this union. But she wants to be blessed by Father, so she’s been coming to various events and hoping to get an audience with him.

My father picked her out of the audience, yelled at her by name, and then yelled at her husband-to-be by name. Because my father is 90 years old and because he really sees himself as the True Father of humankind, he was talking to this woman as if she were his daughter, out of concern but also being very blunt and to the point. So my father yelled out to this gentleman, “Are you marrying her for the money?” The whole audience was aghast. But then he went on to say, “If you are seeking my blessing, you have to realize that the blessing is forever, and it’s a commitment to love and dedicate yourself to your spouse for all of eternity. So if you’re going to marry her for her money, I will not bless you to her. But if you pledge to love and honor her, then I’ll think about it.” The audience broke into nervous laughter, feeling some sympathy for this young couple.

But, you see, my father is such a genuine person that he’s not afraid to blurt out what everyone is thinking anyway and just get right to the point. Even though he’s 90 years old, he has an incredible energy and charisma that come from being an authentic person, which makes him so compelling and so attractive.

As we were walking out of the celebration, I heard a couple walking alone together near me, talking to each other. The woman was saying, “You know, I’m not really sure I understood what Reverend Moon was talking about. He’s quite unique. Has there ever been a man who’s so honest, so blunt, and so real? This is so refreshing. Here we are, coming to this high-class event where everyone is dressed up, prim and proper, with their knives and forks. And here is this man who cuts right through the etiquette of it all and goes straight to your heart.” She said, “They refer to Reverend Moon as a perfect man. I guess I just met a perfect man today.”

I listened to this couple with great interest. As they went on their way, I was thinking on this concept. What is a perfect man? What does that mean? When we understand the Principle, we know that Father is a perfected man in that he has completed the providential history of restoration and for the first time can stand in the position as the perfected Adam, or the perfected son of God.

But when you check a dictionary, you see that it defines perfect in a very interesting way. It says perfect means something excellent, something that is pure, flawless. It also says perfect refers to something that is complete. Here we are, wanting to become perfect men and women of God, perfect sons and daughters of God. We’re striving toward perfection, and the dictionary defines perfection as the perfect embodiment of a quality.

I’ve often thought that if there is a quality that needs a perfect embodiment, that quality must be love. When you look at my father and mother and the things that they do, you realize that my father stands in the position as a perfect man and my mother stands in the position as a perfect woman because they’ve worked up to it. It’s a process they went through, a process of restoration, if you will.

When I’m inspiring and encouraging my children to be great people, to live up to being perfect, excellent, flawless, or complete human beings, what I’m asking them to do is to take ownership of their lives, to apply time, discipline, and practice in their daily lives to help them on their journey to become something as great as my father and mother are.

My children say with great flattery to me, “Mom, your Sunday pot roast is excellent.” Whenever I make it for them, they’re just so happy because they can feel my love, especially a certain sense of comfort and being taken care of. I say to them, “You know why the Sunday pot roast is so good? Because after you sear the beef to make sure that the juices remain inside, what do you do? You put it in a Dutch oven on very low heat and let it cook for 8, 10 hours. It’s the slow-cooking process that makes a pot roast incredibly tender, succulent, and satisfying.

It’s no different from looking at something that’s flawless in clarity, like a diamond beautifully set on a ring. Where did that flawlessness come from? The diamond was originally coal, deep in the earth, but through many years of pressure and of God working His mysterious magic, we have an incredible thing called a diamond, which is later cut, polished, and finished by a jeweler so that we can truly experience its flawless quality. A diamond is something that takes time and a great deal of effort in order to truly be brilliant.

I love to bake. Making the primary ingredients into the final product means having to go through many different steps with care and dedication, and making sure that it’s cooked to the right time so that it comes out finished -- wonderful and satisfying. Again, this whole process takes an incredible amount of time and dedication.

When talking to my children, I encourage them by saying, “Everything wonderful in life, everything truly satisfying in life, takes time.” My father says that individual perfection results from the give-and-take action between the mind and body based upon the foundation of love. When someone has this give-and-take action between the mind and body, it’s this give-and-take action that allows the person to grow into the perfected being that all of us are striving to be.

When we’re talking about mind-body unity and we’re honest about it with ourselves, we have to admit that we deal with it every day, right? Our body wants immediate satisfaction. But the mind is thinking about something loftier, something grander that we can achieve only with time.

I’ve seen that many times my children want to do good, but at the same time because they have so many temptations in their lives, they experience a struggle. “I have to prepare for an exam tomorrow. I have to outline many chapters and memorize certain sections, so maybe I cannot go out to a movie and be with my friends. But I really want to be with my friends, so what should I do?” I can see this struggle in the eyes of my children.

When we practice putting mind over body by setting schedules, by promising each other to overcome bodily desires for immediate gratification and listen to our minds, we can go on to become great people. I say to my children, “When you overcome your mind-body struggle, then we can do something wonderful. We can celebrate your victory each and every day. In so doing, you will develop a wonderful habit, something that will become a part of you when you become an adult.”

When we push our children toward perfection, we as parents are encouraging them with our love and care to just hold on and substantiate mind-body unity so that step by step, day by day we can help our children have these little victories become a habit so that they can feel a sense of accomplishment. “I really was able to overcome my mind and body struggle. Because I studied, I got a good grade.” Then they can set the next goal, and so on.

We can see this mind-body struggle in many facets of a young person’s life. When a child reaches adolescence, the hormones start raging, and they want to be independent and do things on their own apart from the family, with their own friends, trying out different things. Without parental supervision, this mind-body unity can go off in its own direction, and that’s when trouble starts.

Young people here in the audience, when your parents are encouraging you to strive for mind-body unity, it’s not just because your parents are weird. Society expects this of you. There are certain responsibilities put upon you as citizens of America and of your county, town, or district that you have to uphold. As much as my 16-year-old boy here, Truston (whose Korean name is Shin Yul, meaning faith and heavenly patriot), wants to drive a car, and as much as he wants to disappear with his friends, there’s a certain protocol we must adhere to as American citizens and as part of a community. He cannot drive a car without a license. It’s as simple as that. You have to go through classes, learning about the car and how to be responsible behind the wheel. If you’re irresponsible, not only can a car harm you, it can also be a deadly weapon that can harm another human being.

God is giving us an incredible opportunity. Young people might not want to think about it, but responsibility is inherent in every opportunity that is presented to us. It’s not just a car. My 16-year-old son wants love, wants a beautiful woman by his side, and wants to have romantic, candle-lit dinners. I’m thinking, whoever marries this boy is really lucky because Shin Yul is a fantastic cook. The care that he puts into a special dinner we have as a family is amazing. It extends to not just the preparation but also the placement of the food. Even more importantly, he creates the ambience that women so desire in our lives. We wish our husbands would give us some ambience, a romantic, candle-lit dinner. That’s what he wants now.

I said to him, “This is an incredible time for you to work on yourself. All these wonderful things that you’re doing in the hope of pleasing this beautiful person that will one day be your wife are wonderful. But just as you need a license to drive, you can be an effective medium to help your family operate better if you can drive a car by taking your children to piano lessons, art lessons, and so on, but when you are behind the wheel you have to be responsible for a deadly weapon that could harm other people and might actually take another person’s life.”

I also said to him, “It’s no different in the art of love. God has to give you the license to love. Look at that incredible Sunday pot roast that you love that takes dedication, care, and exactly the right amount of heat over a long period of time to produce something truly satisfying and succulent. Love is something like that. You have to work on yourself, perfect yourself as a wonderful son of God so that God can give you the license to love.”

Why do you need God’s license to love? Because being able to love somebody is a responsibility and blessing in that in loving somebody you can truly understand and experience God in what He felt when He created all of us, His children. We become parents ourselves so we can come to understand in the process of creating our own children how much God loves us. But at the same time, love, if it’s premature, ill-prepared, and not properly understood, can become like a deadly weapon. It can cause incredible harm, not just to you but to other people as well.

Just as a car cannot only harm but kill, love abused or used in a wrong way can also harm and also kill a person. Think about how many young people are taking their own lives today, brothers and sisters, because their boyfriend or girlfriend dumped them. They’re going through the throes of suffering and deep pain when they don’t even realize who they are. This uncertainty of not knowing who you are and then having someone totally destroy your self-confidence and self-esteem causes young people to not know what to do.

Here are these young people, so eager to enter into a game of love, not realizing that it can be an incredible blessing or an incredible responsibility. Young people are pressuring my son to date if he wants to be cool, asking how come he doesn’t have a girlfriend. At sports camp, some of his coaches say, who’s your girlfriend? When he says, “I don’t have a girlfriend,” they want to know why not.

Why do we ask our children to wait when it’s so difficult to wait and when society is pushing them to want to date, to have sex, to have relationships with many different people? It’s because we want our children to grow up to become perfect men and women of God, to work on themselves by practicing the give-and-take action between their mind and body, developing good habits along the way. By the time they are mature human beings and they live in that state of perfection embodying a quality of love, then they can have a license to love. Truly we see the ultimate blessing, which is the license to build an ideal family with a spouse.

So the things that your parents are asking you to do might sound kind of silly: Wait, delay gratification, take small steps, set goals, have a schedule, set aside time to discipline yourself, to practice this thing we call true love. I think that love is like creating a masterpiece. It takes a great deal of time, sacrifice, and discipline to truly call yourself an artist, and much more to be on a level with someone like Picasso. When we strive to actualize true love in our lives, we can’t do it immediately. We can do it only by practicing day in and day out.

What Father and Mother teach is so right on. I hope all of you are reminding your children that the reason why it’s such a difficult process but so worthwhile is because when we can think the right way, we can live our lives the right way. It’s what we think that determines what we do; it’s what we do that shapes the kind of person we are, the character that we have.

Whether the person will be a man or woman of integrity, of character, depends on what he or she does each and every day -- like practicing mind-body unity and overcoming obstacles. What we do is determined by what we think, who we understand ourselves to be, knowing that we’re not just a grain of dust floating around. We are precious vessels of God, with a touch of the divine in all of us. It’s our life’s purpose to really, truly make our divinity shine. That’s what we are doing when we’re striving to become perfect man and perfect woman.

When I look at my father and mother, that’s what I see. These two people have successfully substantiated mind-body unity, practicing day in and day out the give-and-take action of living for the sake of others. In so doing, after each day, week, month, and year they find themselves well on their way to becoming the perfected man and woman that we see, the two people we call our True Parents.

When I’m sitting with my husband discussing the events of the day and planning for the next day, sometimes I have a habit of drifting off. Even though I’m listening, I’m also thinking. My mind runs off, and I think about my father and mother, wondering what they must be doing. Or now that I’m a mother, I’m always concerned about what my children are doing. I know that my mother is always thinking about what I’m doing. I’m always trying to consider what I should be thinking or doing, or how I can be a better person, better wife, and better mother.

Sometimes my husband says, “Yobo (honey), hello in there.” He redirects me to the seat in front of him. I say to him, “That was a nice little journey that I took with my parents.” So he’s used to this by now. It’s this constant longing and desire to be connected with my parents that makes me feel so special regarding who I am as a person. I’m hoping that if I do my job in raising my children now, one day when they have children with that special someone that they waited so long for and that God gave them a license to love, that they will sometimes think about me, no matter where they are, and want to be connected to my thoughts, my heart, thinking, and caring.

No matter where we are in this universe, we always feel part of the whole. When I’m thinking how I want to live my life, not only do I peruse the Divine Principle from time to time, but I like to read a lot of books. There’s a wonderful gem of a book called The Alchemist. I’m sure many of you have read it; it was written 20 years ago by a Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho. It’s a phenomenal story about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who leaves his homeland of Spain and goes to Egypt in search of the treasures hidden beneath the pyramids.

He embarks on a great adventure, encountering many mystical things along the way, including people -- a gypsy woman, a mystical king, an alchemist, and an Englishman. Along the way he learns about himself. This is a story of the process of self-discovery. Here is a boy who leaves his homeland, looking outward to find a hidden treasure that is going to revolutionize his life and give him fulfillment and satisfaction. But at the end of his journey he is surprised to discover the treasure in the very spot that he left. He comes to know that this treasure is not something without but something within. In fact, that treasure comes in his realizing his own destiny, or following the path of what Coelho calls personal legend, something that he’s had all along.

It’s very much like all of us sitting here. Many times we want something far away, hoping that we’re going to find that treasure or win that jackpot that’s going to change our lives and bring us satisfaction. But as we live our lives, we realize that just as the mystical king and the gypsy woman said to Santiago, it’s to realize one’s destiny that is our obligation. In realizing the destiny, Santiago comes to realize the divinity within himself.

Many times we’re looking for something other than ourselves, thinking the grass is greener on the other side. We want to find something that’s going to change us. But Santiago recognizes that the agent of change really is within his grasp, and he’s been holding it all along. That’s the power of love. It’s the divinity within that can transform us into the true treasure that we seek to find.

Every man’s and woman’s purpose is to fulfill our destiny in the life that God has given us. My father explains that this destiny is to become perfect men and women of God, in preparation for the ideal family that we need to establish as the building block, the cornerstone, of the community and society. This is something that Santiago finally learns at the end of his trip. But it’s something that we are all involved in. Coelho goes on further to say that when someone wants something very much, the universe conspires to help make it happen.

How many of us have dreamt of that ultimate love, that special someone whom we will live our eternity with, whom we will build our ideal family with? Brothers and sisters, look no further if you who have gone through the blessing. We have our ideal person; we have our ideal family. And it’s in working through building this family that we’re going to realize the true treasure within, our divinity within, the gift that God has given us, asking us to become those agents of change who are going to help create ideal families.

I wanted to share with you a poem by the Sufi mystic Rumi. It’s a wonderful poem. The meaning that it highlights is that one can become a collective, how one represents a multitude. In the poem the minister says to the king, ignore the singularity, ignore the fact that any person that he sees is just one man. See him with your wisdom, and when you see him with your wisdom, you realize that he is not just one man but he is a multitude of stars. He is all the things in the universe that are represented in this one man. He represents the universe. The universe is within him. The one is the collective; the collective is one.

Young people like to see themselves as islands in that they want to do their own thing, not caring what Mom and Dad want or what Grandpa or Grandma might want. But the universe is flowing with us and through us each and every day. We represent the multitude of stars and the multitude of generations and ancestors. It’s not just us, brothers and sisters. We are the focal point of a full universe behind us.

What we do with our lives affects our universe, our multitude of stars. What we decide to do in terms of whether we’re going to choose wisely or not is going to affect the collective, and not just one. For young people who want to do their own thing, do their partying or rebelling and not listen to their parents, that’s something to think about. We need to realize that we are all children of God and we all belong to this incredible tapestry called humanity. What one thread does affects another; what we do with our lives today affects another.

When God gives us an incredible blessing, like this five-percent responsibility, and says, “Daughter, now you have a choice; son, now you have a choice,” how should we approach this choice? Be mindful of the fact that we are one, but we are also a collective. And, yes, we represent the collective in the body of who we are. There’s a whole universe behind us. There are many ancestors, and there are future children to come. We have to listen to our inner voice, our conscience, or, in my case, my mother’s voice. It’s the voice that’s constantly urging us to love, to serve, to be a daughter or a son of character and integrity, to be that excellent human being, to be that complete human being, to be that flawless human being that is truly awesome and brilliant.

Psalm 127, which I shared with you this morning, talks about how blessed a man is when his quiver is full of arrows. Now is the first time that arrows are understood as a gift representing God’s gift of children. Children are a gift of God. It’s a wonderful point to think about. The boys in the audience, maybe you want to become an incredible martial artist or an incredible warrior, like a gladiator. What needs to take place before you can call yourself a gladiator, put on that sword, and go into the arena to fight? You need to go through a process of intense, arduous training, mind over body, each and every day. It’s not just the physical. It’s also what you take in as nourishment. Strict diet, strict schedule, strict practice, strict conditioning. It’s this arduous process that turns you into a true warrior, or a perfect man or woman.

What’s the purpose of becoming a great warrior or martial artist? It’s in preparing to defend your country, to fight for something awesome. When warriors go to the fight, what are they thinking? They’re fighting for their country. They’re fighting to preserve their country against an enemy and in so doing safeguarding their country so that they in the future can have families and children of their own.

The arrows in a full quiver are a metaphor for everything that God wants to give to us. These arrows represent the potential of what the warrior will do in confronting the battlefield. If we strive each day to become strong and perfect men and women of God, what we are preparing ourselves to do is not wield swords but to become incredible parents who can enjoy a whole quiver of arrows, who can enjoy a vibrant family of children whom we in return will educate, nurture, take care of, and love, so they can grow up to be incredible men and women of God who can one day enjoy a quiver of arrows themselves, and so on to posterity.

Brothers and sisters, we have an incredible blessed thing called life. It’s really a gift, but this gift comes with a significant responsibility. If we can truly accept this responsibility with a grateful heart and understand it as God’s gift to us so that we can experience what He as a parent experienced when He had us as children, then it’s really something very profound and beautiful.

It would be my wish and desire that every day when we wake up, men and women seated here in this congregation, we realize that we have something precious given to us. The gift is to enjoy and celebrate our lives but at the same time recognize that whatever we go through in terms of difficulty, adversity, and suffering is just a way of getting us to realize the full potential of our destiny.

Brothers and sisters, thank you very much on this beautiful Sunday morning. I hope that we can truly glorify our Heavenly Parent, amplifying and magnifying the love that He so generously has shared with us. I hope that we can go forward as His proud children and realize that we are our own agent of change. Changing the world starts by changing ourselves.

I say to my staff and to my children, in order to become big, we’ve got to think small. We’ve got to specialize. We’ve got to do what we’re really good at, and in so doing we will become magnificent beings. So concentrate on the small things, the little things. Practice with time and discipline, and work on your mind and body unity. Practice your give-and-take action with your parents, your siblings, your friends, and your relatives. In so doing, become the magnificent, incredible human beings that you and I and all of us are meant to be. So God bless. 

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