Articles From the July 1994 Unification News


Think About God In All That You Do

by N. Chiaia Berkeley, CA

This is an excerpt from a sermon given April 24, 1994 at the Northern California Church HQ in Berkeley. It is reprinted from American Neighborhood.

Who is in control of our mind? What are you thinking right now? Are you thinking about God? Am I thinking about God? Are you here in this room, or are you having a conversation with some invisible friends? It's possible. It's very important to ask ourselves where our mind is. Are we thinking about food? Maybe you are thinking, "As soon as Sunday service is over, I am getting one of those great croissants down the street."

I have been through a service and I have thought, "An espresso on Euclid!" And here is the pastor-"And you should repent..."-and I am thinking, "I can just see the white foam on that espresso drink." Where your treasures lie so shall your heart be-in an espresso drink. Scalding in a hot coffee for all eternity.

I've been particularly sensitive about the spiritual world recently. I've been reading a book called "A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands." There is also a book by Anthony Borgia. It is not so much that the book is so special, but for me it has been an awakening to how grossly unspiritual I am. Who is controlling my mind? What am I thinking about most of the time? Here I find myself and I just can't get it out of my mind, some thought, whether it is getting something, or getting back at someone, or anger, or positive things. The way we think has great impact about what's going on with us. I like to read a passage from this book. This was one person in the spirit world talking to another person in the spirit world. He said:

"All are free in the spirit world. All must follow only where their own wishes and desires lead them. If you study to cultivate the higher desires, means will be given you to attain them. And you will be strengthened with such help and strength as you may need. You are one who has never learned the power of prayer. You will learn it now. For all things come by earnest prayer. Whether you are conscious that you pray or not, for good or for evil, your desires are your prayers and call around you good or evil powers to answer them for you."

This question of desire is so critical for our spiritual lives. I assume everyone here has heard the Divine Principle at least once. There have been different diagrams like this one up here [points to the blackboard drawing]-this one is from the '70s, maybe in the green study guide there's a different diagram. But the diagram indicates that we exist in two worlds. Our physical body is in this physical world, our spiritual body exists with us in this physical world, but at the same time is engaged, consciously or not, with the spiritual realm.

What we desire is our prayer. What do we desire? I don't ask that question out of judgment. But to really examine myself, I find that I had to ask myself that question constantly.

Sometimes I am in the midst of prayer, praying what I think is passionate prayer, and then all of a sudden I find myself thinking about this house I want to buy someday. It has nothing to do with my prayer. "Heavenly Father, I really pray that we can bring spiritual children...success for the Women's Federation for World Peace...and if I only could have that house.... What? Where did that come from? What am I thinking?"

The desire itself-or whatever we want-is not bad. God gave that desire to us. But we must realize that when we form a reciprocal base on the foundation of our desire, we create a certain spiritual atmosphere around ourselves.

Even now as I speak to you, each one of you, including myself, we all have our own group with us. It's amazing how many people can sit on one chair. Some more than others, but we are not alone. We are in control of our own environment and our destiny. What is my inner world like? What is you inner world like? What do you feel most of the time? What do you think most of the time? We are living in this world, too.

How many people here have read some kind of spiritual account, like somebody speaking through someone and their description of the spiritual world? And how many of you-because you have read that-find that you really think, "I live for eternity and absolutely I think of eternity all the time"? Anyone? It's really hard. It's very difficult to do. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's difficult to do. Yet, we must do it.

Do I like the spiritual environment around me? Sometimes I don't like it at all. Sometimes it is horrible, it's hell, and I hate it. But we have to do something about that to change it.

With that awareness-this book that I have been reading is very interesting. First of all, I want to read a couple of passages to you which describe some of the spiritual environments different people are living in for eternity, based upon the way they live their lives. One thing I learned from the Borgia book, and it's reinforced in this book: if I feel cold and loveless, then my eternity (unless I change myself) will be cold and loveless. If I feel bitter, then my eternity will be bitter. The inspirational part I am finding in this book that was not in the Borgia book is that the only way you get out of this is by witnessing. You go down to bring someone up. And when you bring them up you go higher.

I'd like to read a couple of passages to you:

"One place was a great valley of gray stones. Dim, cold, gray hills shutting in on every side and this twilight sky overhead. Here again not a blade of grass. Not one poor stunted shrub was to be seen. Not one touch of color or brightness anywhere. Only this dull desolation of gray stones. Those who dwelt in this valley had centered their lives and their affections in themselves and had shut up their hearts against all the warmth and beauty of unselfish love. They had lived only for themselves. Their own gratification, their own ambitions. And now they saw nothing but themselves and the gray desolation of their hard selfish lives around them. There were great many beings flitting uneasily about this valley. But strange to say, they had been so centered in themselves that they had lost the power to see anyone else. These unhappy beings were invisible to each other until such time as the thought of another and the desire to do something for someone besides themselves should awaken. When they would become conscious of those near to them. And through their efforts to lighten another's lot, they would improve their own. 'Til at last their stunted affections would expand in the hazy valley and selfishness would hold them in its chains no more."

There's another passage here. It's particularly noteworthy because it addresses the issue of living a religious life without really being aware of our internal condition:

"There were men here who had been prominent members of every religious faith and every nationality on earth. Roman Catholic cardinals and priests of austere and pious but cold and selfish lives. Puritan preachers, Methodist ministers, Presbyterian divines, Church of England bishops and clergymen, missionaries, Brahman priests, Egyptians, Mohammedans. In short, all sorts and all nationalities were to be found in the frozen land. Yet in scarcely one was there enough warmth of feeling to thaw the ice around themselves even in a small degree. When there is even a little, tiny drop of warmth such as one tear of sorrow, then the ice began to melt and there was hope for that poor soul."

Now does this stuff sound entirely foreign to your experience? It's not foreign to my experience. I've been in frozen tundra spiritually, where I can't pray. When I hear the words, "God is our Father, and God is suffering," I can't move myself. Certainly, you might have been there. I'm not pointing this out so we beat ourselves. Because that's not going to necessarily change it. But we have to own it and take responsibility for it and change it. So whatever price has to be paid so that we can move ourselves out of this realm, so we can move up, we pay it.

There's a great push right now for witnessing. Sometimes when I hear the "great push for witnessing," I'd like to push Mata out the window. [Laughter.] It's like, "Oh, I'm so overwhelmed. And now you're putting another stone on my back. And the weight of it is soooo heavy." Did you ever feel like that? I guess it's just me. I publicly confess.

But what am I burdened by? A lot of times I'm burdened by this world here. Indeed, it may be for a larger level or my family, for my children. But what's more important for my children? Certainly we have to care for our families physically. But if we can't even squeeze out a tear to melt the frozenness around our hearts and minds, then what are we passing on to our children? And if we're so self-centered that we're blind, then we can't feel or see or hear the cries of someone else. All this busy-ness in the physical world, if that's the reality, is a waste of time. It's a waste of time. Our physical life is temporary.

Maybe some of us have spiritual friends whom we don't even know about. One thing that's clear from this book, is that people in spirit world are really suffering. They're suffering so much. We hear so much in the Unification Church about saving others, repenting for our ancestors. It's so serious and important that we do so. We have an opportunity and a chance now. We have a chance here and it's critical that we do so.

When we hear about witnessing and numbers-personally, I hate numbers, I hate goals-but we need numbers and we need goals to grow spiritually. The numbers and goals don't mean anything if we don't give it some internal context, internal substance-if we don't attach it to the fact that there are people in the spiritual world who are in hell, agonizing desperately, and connect it to what's going on in the physical world. I am so frequently tricked into thinking that people out there don't really need the Principle. Am I tricked consciously? No. If you asked me: "Do you think people out there really need the Principle?"-Absolutely!!!

How much do you witness? "Oh, I'm really busy." My own behavior shows where my level of belief is. It shows you my level of faith. It shows you where my level and sensibility for the spiritual is.

I'd like to share with you what Nan Sook Nim shared in her recent visit. And when she shared-talking about spiritual realities-whenever she talked about God and that God is suffering, she cried. She just naturally cried. God's suffering was very real to her. Talking about being in a certain spiritual environment versus being with other people, it was such a clear sense of the presence of God, a clear sense of the presence of high and holy spirits. And it wasn't something supernatural-it was just warm and natural. Everyone knew who they were, knew where they had to go. What did she say? Nan Sook Nim said, "Think about God in all that you do. Don't complain." Then she would say, "I know, I complain. And I shouldn't complain. But this is the truth, this is the Principle. Don't complain."

She said, "We will struggle until we die. This is not a perfect world. We must struggle to be perfect. How do we serve God? How do we know what God's Will is?" She said even she herself sometimes struggles. One day, this is God's Will, the next day, she's not sure what God's Will is.

"We have Divine Principle and the Bible. Even though we have this truth in a book, we must struggle to know what is right-and it's difficult to do. Think about God. Heavenly Father is always with us as long as we obey him. When we're happy, God is with us. When we're struggling, God is with us. We are chosen by God. We have no choice. We have to accomplish what God wants us to do. Hold onto God, our time will come. There will be judgment. We don't have to impress anyone else. Impress God."

Then Nan Sook Nim said, "Some people say, `You're a good person, you're a part of the True Family.' Sometimes I feel like I'm in a dark, dark place. I can't see and I have to go to a certain place and I don't know where it is. Sometimes you go and you have to come back, then get up and go again."

She shared her struggle. It's not that these words themselves are important. But I hope you can feel her heart from what she shared. She shared that struggle, and then she said, "Some day we will be together in the arms of God. We have to accomplish our mission and keep going. Give everything you've got. Even though our mission may be difficult, it's given by God."

"I have a long way to go myself. When God says, `You are my child,' that's when you are a True Child. I wish everybody could all be in one place later on and be happy. Satan is all over the place. And we don't know if it's Satan or not. With suffering comes blessing. From suffering pain and anguish we grow closer to God. God is a suffering God. Without suffering, we can't know God. God is greatly mysterious. We have to finish our mission. Our children have to finish their mission. If we don't finish our mission, our children will have to finish their mission and our mission, too. This will go on and on until we get there.

"I want to complain, too. But when I think about God, I can't complain. I educate my children that God is their center. Now they can't know God's voice."

And then she laughed and said, "But I tell them, `You have to listen to your parents, so you can practice. So then when God calls you and asks you to do something, because you practiced doing the things that I tell you to do even though you don't want to do it, you'll do it'."

"I always have the feeling that I'm unworthy to stand before God. There's nothing that we can do to pay God back. Keep God at the center. Then we can be together in the same place. Sometimes God might put you in struggles so that you can overcome for a blessing. It's so important that we feel a sense of immediacy. At the time of the early Christians they thought Jesus was coming any day. So they worked desperately.

"So we really have to nurture in ourselves the sense of immediacy. Something will happen straight away. Something will bring victory. Be true, honest and sincere. God is not going to forget you. "So many people have no idea who God is. We know who God is. Be grateful for all you have and give. We all need to be awakened to feel God. Wisdom comes when we experience God. We must feel God in everyday life."

Again these words are so precious to hear. But we still have to acknowledge our own reality. Where are we? Where am I? Do I feel God? Have I given up on feeling God? Have I just accepted that it's okay?

I can see as I grow older that I have to be really careful not to accept as reality the things that are evil. It's a constant battle to just say, "This is the environment, this is the way it is, this is who I am, this is how life will be." Otherwise we may end up as a chapter in a book like this. We may end up as one of those people who can't see anyone else. Because all we can see is our own preoccupation with our own pain. Or because we can't feel God, we can't feel warmth. We may end up in an icy tundra. It's very, very serious.

I say this to you not out of judgment. I apply every word to my own life as best I can. But I really am imparting this to you because I feel deeply that this is very serious for all of us. It doesn't matter what church you're in. It doesn't matter what kind of ring you wear. What really matters is what kind of reality I am creating. What kind of environment am I creating around me, spiritually and physically? What am I thinking right now? Am I thinking about God? It's really serious.

And we can say in the organization of our movement, that the responsibility we keep running away from just follows us wherever we go. Whether it's 360 home church houses that we restore, the tribal messiahship goals, 40 blessed spiritual children. All those goals are not arbitrary. They're not pulled out of thin air-or rather, they actually are pulled out of very, very thin air. Very fine, fine, fine, thin air. Right from God. If we want to climb out of the hole we're in-face it: every one of us is in some kind of hole-then we have to acknowledge where we are and begin to restore others. Restoring others is our ticket.

God is an unselfish God. The whole creation celebrates self-sacrifice and love to restore others, to give life to others. Witnessing is a term now as a result of the fall of man. We have to really be serious about it.

I imagine that everyone here is organized into some kind of trinity. We can say, "I'm in a trinity and we're going to bring this number of people." But we've got to pray. We have to create a spiritual environment to give life. Our way up is to go down and help others. And spirit world's way up is to go down and help others.

Some spirits are in such a horrible place that they can't even begin to help us. And maybe not. Maybe we're down there with them.

The topic of the sermon is "Think about God in All that You Do." This is something that every single one of us is in control of. Does my mind belong to God? Or does my mind belong to Satan? There are times when my mind absolutely belongs to Satan. He owns every square inch of it and he fills it up with his thoughts. But I also know that I can change that in a second. In just one second.

How do I change it? Repent. Satan has nothing to do with repentance. Nothing at all. He can't relate to it. He has no common base with it. And any kind of spirits in this realm who have unfortunately given themselves up to evil, they can't have anything to do with repentance. So what happens when we repent? They go. Because they can't relate. So we decide what we're going to give the spirit world to relate to all the time. We can change everything. Those numbers can really become reality. I personally and honestly believe it. The failure to reach those goals is just a reflection of our own individual-level, personal, spiritual failures. It's just an indication of how much God is participating in our lives. Individually, and as a community. It's an indication of the extent that we can really make God a part of our life, individually, as a family, as a trinity.

Regarding those trinities that were created: if you're not in a trinity where you feel you will really do that with the other families, get out of the trinity and get with another trinity where you will do it. And do it 100%. It's our choice.

We can run away, but responsibility follows us wherever we go. Whether you're standing up here, whether you're sitting at East Garden, whether you're sitting there, whether you're on the street and you're a beggar, whatever the situation is, the Principle is the same for all of us. The Principle of growth and the Principle of indemnity apply to everyone. We can't escape the law of indemnity. No one can. It's with us all the time.

It's not that we should be hopeless. Actually we have a great, great hope. I think we can repent for not being with God as much as we need to be. Because at least we know. We can do something. So I hope for all of us. I believe that if we can really have a spirit of earnest repentance for whatever it is we need to repent for, then we can see a real revival and a change.

We cannot accept evil. Evil is not part of God's reality. And we really have to be serious to check ourselves when we just accept "This is my life, this is the way things are." Own it if that's the situation. But repent for it. If I know I'm in the icy tundra, I'm not going to stand up here and lie. I am in the icy tundra. But I am repenting for being in the icy tundra. However, if I say I'm in the icy tundra and [sticks his tongue out]-then that's the kind of spirit world that around us. Just like a little kid [sticking his tongue out]: "Icy tundra!" But that icy tundra is a horrible place. And we have the ticket. But it just sits in our pocket and gets moldy. And when we sweat, it's sticking to our pants. And it's been through the laundry fifty times and you have to peel it out to see if the writing is still on it. But we have the ticket. So let's use it.


Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents
Copyright Information