New Hope - Twelve Talks of Reverend Sun Myung Moon

The Basis of Good and Evil

Each of us is either on the side of good or on the side of evil. Any individual, any family, tribe, or nation - as well as the world itself - is on the side of evil or on the side of good. There are many countries in the world, and each nation thinks that it is on the side of goodness. This is because any nation is a group of individuals. Individuals have the tendency to think of themselves as being good, so the nation also has the tendency to think it is on the side of good. But what is the basis to define good and evil absolutely? We all know that all nations or individuals cannot be on the side of good. There must be a way to discriminate between what is good and what is evil.

Young people are apt to say, "If we are inclined to evil, it is because the society and the people around us are evil." They want to shift the responsibility to the outer world. Whatever we say about the world, or nation, they are the aggregate form of individuals, and in the end everything about them depends on the condition of the individual. It is always a question of whether the individual is on the side of good or evil because society consists of individuals. However good the whole world may be, if you as an individual are evil, then society has a great problem. However evil the surrounding circumstances may be, if you are on the. side of good absolutely, you will not be influenced. The conclusion is that only if individuals are on the side of good can the society become good.

Any individual has his own view of value, his own view of life - his own view of everything. Anyone who thinks that he is influenced by his society complains about what the society is. It is the intrinsic nature of human beings to be receptive to things they take delight in and to be repulsed by things they do not like. If you are on the side of good and insist on being good, that is all right. But if you are on the side of evil and insist that you are good, that is bad. Since families, societies, communities, nations and the world consist of individuals, one can discriminate among their characteristics just as one can find differences among individuals. There are endless varieties.

Also, as an individual, you are changing every moment. You are not what you were in the morning this afternoon or evening. Likewise, you are different from what you were in your childhood, and you are going to be still different from what you are now. If so, we cannot definitely call ourselves good or evil at any one point, because we continue to change. If we find ourselves ever varying according to the environment and circumstances, then we must doubt our own selves. We have to be skeptical about the individual's basis to define good and evil.

If we as human beings are to define what is good and evil, also since we tend to be self-centered we cannot rely on our own definition.

You have probably never experienced being imprisoned. In prison, every criminal thinks that the society is bad and that he has not done any thing to be condemned for. He concludes that he has done such and such a thing in order to make society better - or at least for some honorable purpose. This can happen because we accept no common standard of whether a thing is good or bad. Nevertheless, any human definition cannot hold for long; it cannot be an eternal one. Even though you may think that something you have done is wrong, when other people point out the wrong you have done, you don't like it. You are pleased, on the other hand, when people say you have done a good thing even though you inwardly think that you have done wrong. We cannot give the ultimate definition of good and evil ourselves because of our self-centeredness.

People in general base their definitions of good and evil on human conscience. But, although every person has a conscience, the standard varies from one person to another. If there are one thousand people, there are one thousand varieties of conscience. According to your standard of conscience, you can feel something is good or bad. But can human conscience be the absolute standard of defining good and evil?

Also, you can see law functioning in any nation. By obedience or disobedience to the law, one is thought to be either good or evil. In America there is a constitution. In any unit of community there is some kind of law, including the unwritten law in one's family. But the purpose of setting up laws in Communist nations, for example, and the purpose of setting up laws in the democracies are entirely different from one another. In carrying out national purpose according to Communist ideology, they wouldn't mind using any means at all. But in the democratic world we cannot exercise cruel laws to govern people at their own accord. Since those two powers aim for purposes in opposite directions, we cannot expect either of them to be the final ideology which can include the other. We can finally say that we cannot rely on either of them to provide the final goal which all human beings are headed for.

There are progressive changes taking place in the world. So we can imagine something of higher dimension [than either democracy or Communism] must emerge to express universal purpose. Anything vacillating, fluctuating, or changing cannot be thought of as our ultimate goal. The ultimate standard of good must be set up as the goal for all human beings to attain. However, since we are living apart from such ultimate good, it is difficult to adjust ourselves toward the real and ultimate goal. Any individual must first be able to have a solid foundation of goodness in order for him to go straight forward to the goal of goodness. Therefore, in order for the individual to progress, the ground of goodness must be set up on the individual level. This is not an easy task.

In this world, any individual, any family, any nation may be in the position of an enemy to the others. We are at constant odds with each other, inwardly and outwardly. So we cannot take any basis previously set up as the ultimate basis for the definition of goodness. It cannot be defined in that way. Suppose there exists what seems to be a definition of goodness. People who are on one side may take delight in that explanation, but the people on the other side may oppose it. We are in need of a standard which both sides can recognize. The basic criteria for the definition of good must not be the kind that can be opposed by anyone. It must be of the nature which neither of two parties can deny, but which both can recognize and agree with. Then we can safely come to the conclusion that any definition of goodness must be able to gain equal or overall recognition by all the people of the world. What is the nature of such a definition, then? Any definition which has been made out of self-centeredness and out of self-interest or that is based on a partisan view can never be accepted as the final one.

The Definition Of Goodness

Then we can say that it is goodness to pour out your efforts to win something or to do something for the sake of the public, for the sake of something bigger or better than the individual. That is a safe definition. If that is true, then everyone in the world will come to have the same opinion. Even if Japan and America, for example, were in the position of enemies to each other, they could not oppose this definition. In that case, the Japanese people could say that it is for the sake of the United States that they were acting. And the United States could say that they were doing such and such a thing for the sake of Japan. From human ethics we can say that when you do good things for the sake of other people, that is goodness. Finally, we can say that goodness is acting for the benefit of other people and not for oneself.

From this definition we can determine whether we as individuals, families, groups and nations, are either good or evil. We can say that something being done for the sake of other people is always good. If anyone denies that, then there can be no such word as "goodness." When you say that someone is good, then without exception, that person is doing something that benefits other people. On the other hand, if that person is doing something for his own good at the expense of other people, you can immediately say that that person is evil. The motive of any good individual, good family, or good unit of society is to do things for the sake of others.

Then what is the basis for defining good and evil? Where does it lie? It does not exist in the outside world, but within the individual, in yourself. In case someone is doing something for you, that person stands in the position of good, not you. In order for you to be good, you must be the motivation or origin of carrying out good things. No matter how good your environment may be, this does not mean that you yourself are necessarily good.

The basis of the definition of good and evil lies in yourself. Everything starts from you as an individual. If you are doing things for the sake of others, you may be called good. I have used many words, but the definition is very simple, and the people of the world have still not quite realized that. You may freely say things and do things, but if you do those things for yourself, you are not good. However beautiful a song you may sing for someone, if you are doing that out of greed for their praise or out of jealousy of others, you are not good. If you do things out of arrogance, out of pride in yourself, you are not quite doing things right. Arrogance has nothing to do with goodness.

Even when you sleep, if you do that for your own sake and you think, "I have worked more than other people and I deserve to rest," then in that case, you are not good. Everybody may think that freedom is more than life, but if you enjoy freedom out of greed and for your own sake, you are doing wrong. So it is important that we be able to understand what is good and what is evil.

Let us give an example in the case, of Japan [speaking to the Japanese members present]. If Japan goes on being economically abundant, if the Japanese go on developing their economic life for the sake of your own Japan, you deserve the title of "economic animal." At the end you are going to be the enemy of the other people of the world. If the Japanese people made their wealth for the sake of the whole world, even though all the people of Japan would have to perish in doing so, their spirit would endure and last long. They would never perish if they were living that way. Even if they fell into poverty again by going this way, people from other nations would help them because they had been working for the sake of other nations.

In this world when you want to marry, you look for someone who is going to be good to you. That person is in the position of good because he is going to do something for you. No one wants a self- centered person. You know very well that if you do things for the sake of your spouse, you are a good person. And if he or she serves you and does things for you, you are ready to do good things in return. If you want to serve other people, and if both of you have that attitude, then your family will be receiving. Therefore, when you want to serve your spouse and do things for the sake of your counterpart, you will gain something in return. However, if you are both greedy, then neither will receive the affection of the other. Everything will, break apart. So we reach the conclusion that good will prosper and increase while evil will diminish and die.

Then are you ready to be good or bad? Every person in the world would want to be good. There is not a single person who would dream of being ruined. If we really knew that when we do things for others we will ourselves prosper, there would be no one who would not follow the way of goodness. Good will last forever.

The standard of good must be something really eternal and unique. I want you to have a clear understanding of what is good You must be seeing things for the sake of others, not for your own sake. 1 You must lend your attentive ears and listen to everything for the sake of other people, not for the sake of yourself) You should be talking, acting out things and using all your five senses for the sake of others and not for yourself. If you found anyone living like that, you would long to be with that person, even to see him - all of him, his eyes, his nose, his mouth, his whole being. You would feel great affection towards that person. The fruit of good deeds will be affection from others and good accomplishments. If you find a person doing things for h is own sake, saying things and thinking things all for his own benefit, there will be no such thing as love functioning or arising around him. If you at all love that kind of person, eventually you will regret it.

The definition of goodness we have given must be in accordance with history and present world situations, as well as with the life of future generations. It will continue to be true. I must repeatedly say that your eyes are not created for yourself. Eyes are for the sake of seeing something objective. You talk because you have someone to talk to. You cannot say you are happy without anyone around you. When I speak, if you in the object position are happy to hear me, I become more and more elevated in spirit. When I am eagerly talking to you and you don't listen to me attentively, I lose my spirit and don't want to talk any longer. Even when you touch something, would you take more delight in touching your own hand or touching the hand of your love r? You would rather want to touch the skin of your lover than your own. So it is wrong to think that you have your five senses for your own sake. They exist for the sake of others.

Why is it that anything good must take place for the sake of other people? You probably think at first, "I don't like the idea of having to work for the sake of other people in order to be called good. If I could do things for myself and be thought good , how wonderful it would be." We are born that way, so it cannot be helped.

We are created for the sake of other people. For instance, any masculine being is not created for himself, but for the sake of the opposite sex. Man was created for the sake of woman. Suppose there is a beautiful girl. Would she want to live forever with another beautiful girl? No, she would look for a handsome man, and she would think that her beauty is for the sake of that man. If there are two beautiful girls living together, rather than being attracted to each other, they would repulse each other. Suppose there is just one man for the two beautiful girls, and that man is an unattractive person. Both women would want that man for her husband, nevertheless. Our conclusion is that men and women are born for the sake of each other.

The very motivation of God in creating man is for the sake of woman, and woman for the sake of man. That being the truth, we can safely say that when we do things for other people, that is absolutely defined as good. When we call a family a happy one, t hat home is the place where the couple is living in good harmony with each other, not fighting. When they give birth to their children, their children would think that their parents are the best ones in the whole world. If a couple would live in perfect harmony with each other, their family would be thought of as the best family in the whole neighborhood, the whole community, and the whole nation.

The Origin Of Goodness

God made man out of His love, out of goodness. Goodness is something which was there before our birth. So after our birth too, the motivation of our doing things for others is repeatedly always to do good. Then why is good defined as things to be done for the sake of other people? Who made things that way?

When man was created, did he spring into being as he is all by himself, with that law of goodness within him? The motivation did not come from himself. Some Reality, some Being of higher dimension defined him. That Something, that Reality said, "Let there be a man, let there be a woman," and that Being made those two for the sake of goodness. No result can come about without cause. When we think that ultimate Being set up the basis of goodness in the beginning, then we can safely say that the first Cause or Reality was good. Whatever we may call Him, that Being must be the ultimate Good. Man began to call him "God." What is God? What is He like?

Since God created man for the sake of other people, then God must be doing things for the sake of man. Because He is the Cause and we are the result of His creation, then the Cause must be something like the result. If God exists, He must be living for the sake of something or someone other than Himself. In human society, too, the more you do things for the sake of others, the more good you become. If you keep doing that, doing things for other people, you will come closer and closer to the central point - God. In a community, if you do things for the sake of the public, in the long run you will become the leader in that community. Even though you may be reluctant, unwilling to be there, some force will drive you to the central point. When you elect your president, senators and congressmen, you want to choose someone who will do something for the people of the nation. If he is the type of person who is not acting to serve others, he would be a dictator, and you wouldn't want him to have such a position.

If there is a person who is going to do things for the sake of other people through eternity, never changing, then he is going to be the central personage to lead the people with him through eternity. If there is any Being, any Reality, who is going to d o things for the sake of the universe, he is going to be the central point through eternity, and this is God. We can call this kind of God the true God and the Standard of real and everlasting goodness. God created man in His likeness and image, so we, originally, are supposed to serve others. If we go on doing this through eternity, we can say that we are temples of God, resembling Him.

God, in creating the universe, did that for man. Likewise, when we create anything, we must be doing it for others. However beautiful a voice you may have, if you sing all by yourself with no one around to hear you, you are not really happy. The same is true when you dance. You want to dance for the sake of other people, for them to see you and join you when you dance. So the word "happiness" itself can assume any meaning when there is someone else to appreciate it.

Peace is also that way. Peace, equality, anything of virtue cannot come about all by itself. Freedom too is not something you can enjoy by yourself. When you are all alone, there is nothing which you can call valuable or happy. There must be purpose t o be free, to be equal, to be ideally happy. So you must have an object to be really happy. If you have your object and there is ,reciprocal action, then here is circular movement, if the action of give and take is there making circular motion, if it circles intensely enough, it will result in three-dimensional action. There is no real front or back, right or left; it is like the axial rotation of a plane when it revolves around so fast as to make entire oneness.

Unification also cannot come about all by itself. There must be some thing in the object position to be unified. If those in the object and subject positions work alone, the action cannot come about. Now we clearly know that God created man to think, t o speak and to act for the sake of other people. We know that everything belongs to God. God wants someone to whom He can give out all He has. Anything in God's possession is for the whole world. If God found someone who was ready to do things for the sake of the whole world, God would be ready to give out all He had to that person. In giving things to that person, God is most willing. He is not reluctant.

The very beginning of man's relationship to God was like this. God was willing to give all He had to man, and man was willing to return all he had to God. If that kind of relationship were permanently established by all individuals in the world, the who le world would be in beautiful harmony. God, as the core of such harmony, would take delight in living in human society.

However unassuming a man may be, he would want to be the center of the whole world if he had such a possibility. When man finds God or ultimate Being, he wants to possess that Reality or that Being all for himself. We are so greedy as not to want to share that Being with each other. But we are in the position of minus. That is, we are something like a vessel to contain what is coming from God. So, if you are a big vessel, a round and perfect one, God will fill your cup. There must be perfect individuals, perfect families, perfect nations and a perfect world. On the broader level, the perfect man becomes the central personage. God would want to give all He had to that person. God has to find that kind of person. If such a person cannot be found, God will recreate him and send him to the world, because He is seeking to give out all He has to humanity through that channel.

Out of the greed of man and the Archangel, the human fall came about. Not only the Archangel, but Eve and Adam wanted to have things for themselves. This caused the fall. The intrinsic nature of God was unselfishness about doing things for the sake of others. But instead of multiplying God's -nature, human beings after the fall began to do things in the opposite manner - for their own sakes. We are the very descendants of the fallen ancestors. So we are the other way around from what God intended us to be.

Though our intrinsic nature is something good, we are more inclined to do evil things. There is a voice from our conscience telling us to do things for the good of others. But in some people, even the conscience is accelerating their doing things for themselves. In general, our consciences are closer to God than our fleshly demands or desires. If you know that there is a boundary between good and evil, then do you find yourself having gone beyond the boundary to join the side of good? You, yourself, know the answer very well. You don't have to apply constitutional law or any other kind of law to decide that. You can immediately and accurately determine whether you are on the side of good or of bad. Inwardly, you know how to distinguish good from evil. So you must remove the evil and cultivate the good within yourself. Selfishness, self-centeredness - those are your greatest enemies. You must be able to resist those powers and you must be ready to do things for the sake of other people. Make your all-out effort to do good things and you will come to resemble God. Then you will take delight in what you are doing, and God will be pleased with you.

The Role Of Religion

God established many religions in the world because He wanted to drive the people to the side of good through religious teachings. If you recognize the fact that there are many such religions leading people to the side of goodness, you cannot deny that God is working behind the scenes of history. There is no doubt of that. God exists. Since God is absolute and omniscient and omnipotent, it must be possible to restore the original position.

There was a purpose for God's creating man. Then in order for us to fulfill that original purpose, God will help us. Without our being able to do that, God's entire purpose of creation will be nullified. Without working through man, God cannot establish His kingdom on earth. God Himself created the world and whatever things are good for the sake of man. So man must be able to establish His kingdom on earth. Then God's hope is to find a man with the personality of ultimate good, who can establish for Him the kingdom of God on earth.

If there is any ideology, any doctrine, any "ism" or any religion that is going to accomplish that mission to establish God's kingdom on earth, God will rely upon the group surrounding such a way of thinking. God is in the position of the ultimate or cosmic Subject, so He would want a person of that value, of His dimension, to work through; a person of that quality would be what God would have to have. From God's side there are no national boundaries. There is no discrimination among individuals. Any and every individual has equal right to claim God and to have equal value. There must come into being an individual or a group of people with God's way of thinking. They will resemble God and must restore themselves back into the original position. The re are many countries in the world, but none of them is completely in accord with God's will. There are many religious groups existing in the world, but none of them is up to His standard. Therefore there must appear a group of people under a religious view or ideology that will be in conformity with God's will. God is most anxious to find such a people, such a nation.

We must recognize that we ourselves are here to carry out the mission for the sake of all mankind, for the sake of God's will. With that confidence fused in our minds we must be brave and bold enough to go through any difficulty. If we go on like this, all the heavenly destiny will be on our side and will push us ahead. Sooner or later we will attain our goal, and then we will be one with God Himself. If we are in the object position to the ultimate Subject, God, then we are placed in the central point of the universe. And all the universe is destined to come close to us and be united with us.

If you are in that position, you are the center of yourself as an individual, of your family, of your tribe, of your nation, and of the world. God's essence, or the core of goodness inherent in God, will come through you as an axis to turn the whole world. Since you are doing all things for the sake of other people, you are in the central point, and since you are in the central point, you are the basis of goodness. God will work through you to move the world. You will have nothing to do with the basis of evil. In that case you are doing things in accordance with the purpose of the principle of creation. You are the instrument carrying out God's will, and you are doing things which God would want you to do. In that case, you are enjoying the value o f the man that God originally created. By taking that responsibility on yourself, you become indispensable to God, and you are naturally placed in the central position. You are going to be the basis of good; you have nothing to do with evil. That kind of person is what God would want to have. So if you are resolved to eat and sleep and do all things for the sake of mankind, then you can never be invaded by evil power. For some it may take a lifetime to become a man of such personality, but if we know the Principle, we will want to be that kin d of person. We want to build that kind of personality in ourselves within seven years, or if possible, in one year or less. Even though we have to pay a tremendous toll of indemnity, we want to go that way. If you want to be that kind of person, you w ill have to suffer a great deal. We must be ready to go through as much as necessary.

There is selfishness and individual-centeredness in the United States and the world today. In the midst of all problems we must become the core of this society, cleaning up everything ugly. There is a great challenge ahead of us. We are going to attack everything evil and drive it out of this country and the world. From the definition we have just given, we are sure that we can win over the evil forces in this country. if we work strenuously, we will succeed. We want to carry out the tradition of our heavenly Father. God has been working all through the 6000 biblical years of providential history, day and night without rest, for the sake of all mankind. If we have inherited His will, can we not do that? Has God been complaining that He has had to work so hard? He knows that however great the difficulty He has had to go through, it is nothing compared with what will have been achieved at last. So we have to resemble Him and struggle hard to attain the goal.

Since God is omnipotent and we resemble God, if we leave anything undone, it is because we have not struggled enough. If we have struggled in wholehearted effort to attain the goal, nothing Re despair, distress or complaint are possible. Instead of those, we will pour out all our energy, all our beings into this cause, and we will be successful. There is nothing like evil existing on God's side. There is only progress possible, only victory possible on God's side. If you really know that you have inherited that kind of tradition from God as the children of God, then you can't complain to Him about what you have to do. That's impossible. We must be indignant about the existence of evil and want to eradicate its last remnants. On the solid foundation of good which God has set for us, we want to eliminate all evil from the individual, from the family, from the whole society. After removing evil elements from ourselves, we must purify the whole world.

You must be resolved to be one who is to shoulder the responsibility to purify the world, promoting goodness, having nothing to do with evil. I want you to be like that, and I am confident that you are going to fulfill your mission.

In such an awareness that you are on the side of good, inheriting God's tradition, I want you to do things for the great cause of God, purifying all mankind. This being the leading nation of the world, you are going to work here. I want you to be victor s for this cause.

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