The Basis Of Good And Evil
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
February 19, 1973
Second International Training Session
February 19, 1973
All of us are either on the side of good or on the side of evil. Any individual, family, tribe and nation, as well as the people of the world, are on the side of evil or on the side of good. There are so many countries in the whole world, but each nation thinks that theirs is on the side of good. This is because any nation is a group consisting of individuals. So, since individuals have the tendency to think of themselves as good, the nation itself has the tendency to think it is on the side of good. Then, what is the basis on which to define good and evil? We all know that all the nations or individuals are not on the side of good. We know that there is a discrimination between what is good and what is evil.
Young people are apt to say, “We are inclined to be evil because the society is evil and the people around us are evil. ” Young people are more or less inclined to say that they are this way, and that is because the world they are living in is that way and the sovereignty of the world they are living in is that way. They want to shift the responsibility to the outer world. We say things about the world, nation and tribe, and things of each level. But, since those are the accumulated form of individuals, in the end everything relies on the individual. It’s up to the individual to determine which is evil and which is good. It all depends on the individual whether or not he is on the side of good or evil, because the society is consisting of those individuals. However good the whole world may be, if you as an individual, are evil, that is a great problem. However bad or evil the surrounding circumstances may be, if you are on the side of good you won’t be influenced. The conclusion is that only if individuals are on the side of good, can the society be good.
Any individual has a view of value, of life, a view of everything. Any individual who thinks that he is influenced by the society complains against 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 okay; but if you are on the side of evil and insist that you are good, that is awful. Any family, society, community, nation or world consists of individuals. jus as there are discriminations between individual characteristics, there are differences between characteristics of families, tribes and nations. On the individual basis, too, you change every moment. You are not what you had been in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. Likewise, you are different from what you were in your childhood and you are going to be different from what you are now. If so, we cannot safely define ourselves to be good or evil, because we are changing. If we find ourselves ever changing according to the environment and circumstances, then what are we? With this knowledge, we cannot say we are on the side of good or evil. We can even be skeptical of ourselves – doubt our own selves. If this is the case with ourselves, what is the basis on which to define good and evil?
If we as human beings have to define what is good and evil, since we are evil and greedy and self-centered, we cannot rely on our definition. You have probably never experienced being imprisoned. In prison, every criminal thinks that the society is bad and that he has not done anything to be condemned for. He concludes that he has done such and such thing in order to make society good – or for some good purpose at least. This can happen because we as human beings cannot define whether a thing is good or bad. In that case, the definition cannot last long – it cannot be an eternal one. Even though you may think that what you have done is wrong, when other people point out the wrong you have done, you don’t like the fact. You are pleased when people say you have done a good thing even though you think that you have done wrong. It is a great problem to be able to define what is really good and what is really bad. But we cannot give the real definition because of our self-centeredness. Then, what is the real ground to define good and evil?
People in general base the ground for defining good and evil on human conscience. There is no single person who has no conscience. The standard of human conscience differs from one person to another. If there are one thousand people, the re are one thousand varieties of the standard of good and evil. According to human conscience you can tell one is good or bad. But is human conscience the standard of defining good and evil?
Next, you can see the law function in any nation. According to the law, one is thought to be either good or evil. In your nation there is a constitution. In any unit of community there is some kind of law, including the unwritten law in one’s family or any law controlling the people. But the purpose of their setting up law in the communist world and the purpose of setting up law in the democratic world are entirely different from one another. In the communist world, in carrying out their purpose, they wouldn’t mind if they use any type of measure. But in the democratic world they are peace loving people and they cannot exercise cruel laws to govern the people at their own accord. Since those two powers have their purposes different from each other, we cannot rely on one of them to be the final or leading ideology. We can finally say that we cannot rely on either of them to be the final goal which human beings are headed for.
There are progressive changes taking place in the world. So, we are imagining something of higher dimension to be set forth as our purpose. Anything vacillating, swaying, and changing cannot be thought of as our final goal. The ultimate standard of good must be set on something which is unchangeable, unique and eternal. The ultimate good may be set up as our goal for human beings. However, being apart from what used to be the ultimate good, it is difficult to adjust themselves to be headed for the real and ultimate goal. Any individual must first be able to have the solid ground of good, 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 base. This is not an easy job.
In this world, any individual, any family, any nation are in the position of an enemy to the others. They are inconstant war with each other inwardly and outwardly. So, we cannot take any basis which they have set up as the basis for the definition of the ultimate good. It cannot be defined that way. Suppose there is a seemingly ultimate definition of good here, the people who are on this side may take delight in that definition, but the people on the other side may oppose it. So, there is still a difference. Then, we are in need of an ultimate definition which both sides can recognize. The basic ground for the definition of good must not be the kind to be opposed by the other party. It must be of the kind which neither of the two parties can deny, but can recognize and take delight in. Then we can safely come to the conclusion that any definition of goodness must have equal or overall recognition by all the people of the world. What is the nature of that definition, then? Any definition which has been made out of self-centeredness and out of inclined favor on one side cannot be defined as the ultimate one.
If you say that goodness is something to pour out your efforts to win something for, to do something for the sake of the public, for the sake of something bigger and better than the individual, that is a safe and good definition. If that is true, then everybody, everyone in the world will come to the same opinion. Even if Japan and America are in the position of enemy to each other, they cannot oppose this definition. In that cage the Japanese people can say that it is for the sake of the U. S. that they are doing that. And the U. S. can gay that they are doing such and such thing for the sake of Japan. From human ethics we can define that when you do good things for the sake of other people, that is the ultimate good. Finally, we can gay that the definition of goodness is an action that is for the sake of other people and not for the sake of one’s self.
From this definition we can safely define that we, as an individual, family, tribe, nation, are either good or had, or the other way around. In the outer world, apart from our group, they have not set up such a concrete definition which all people can recognize. We can ultimately 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 good for the sake of other people. On the contrary, if that person is doing something for his own good at the cost of other people, you can immediately define that that person is evil, bad. The motive of any individual, family and unit of society doing good, is doing things for the sake of other people, and it is safe to define that way. Then, where is the basic ground in defining what is good and evil? Where does it lie? It does not lie in the world, but in the individual, in yourself. In case someone is doing something for your sake, that person is good, not you. In order for you to be good, you must be the motivating origin to carry out good things for the sake of other people. No matter how good your environment may be, this does not mean you yourself are good.
Ultimately, 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 other people, you are defined as good. I have said a lot, but the definition is very simple and the people of the world have still not quite realized that. You may think you can say things and act out things, but if you do those things for your own sake, you are not good. When you are going to put something into practice, if you are going to do that for your own sake, you are not good. However beautiful a song you may sing for the people, if you are doing that out of greed, out of jealousy of other people, you are not good. If you do things out of arrogance, out of pride in yourself, you are not quite doing things right. Arrogant people have nothing to do with goodness. What do you think? Is it true? (Yes. )
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 more, ” then in that case, you are not good. Everybody may think that freedom is more than life and that we have to enjoy it. 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 give a correct definition of what is good and what is evil. After all, individuals are the basis of the society, so if you as individuals are good, the society will have to be good. If you, as individuals are evil, the society has to be evil. Let us give an example in the case of Japan. If Japan goes on being economically abundant, if the Japanese go on doing this for the sake of their 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 make the wealth for the sake of the whole world, even though all the people of Japan may have to perish, their spirit will remain and last long. They will never perish if they are doing that. If you have to fall into poverty again, people from other nations will help you because you had been doing things for the sake of those people.
In this world, when you are going to marry your spouse, you look for someone who is going to do good things for you, because in that case you are not in the position of good. That person is in the position of good, because he is going to do something for you. You don’t want a self-centered person. But you know too well that if you do things for the sake of your spouse, you are a good person. If he or she is a good person to serve you and to do things for your sake, you are ready to do good things in return. If you want to serve other people and if both have that attitude, then you both will be receiving. Therefore, when you want to serve your spouse and do things for the sake of your opposite, then you will receive something from the other. But if you are both greedy, then neither will be receiving and the affection will be nullified and everything will be broken down. So, we reach the conclusion that something good will prosper while evil things will diminish and perish.
‘Men, are you ready to be good or bad? (Good!) There is no room for refutation. Any and every person in the whole world would want to be good. There is no single person in the whole world who would be ready to perish or dream of being ruined. If we really know that when we do -things for the sake of other people we will prosper and never perish, there would not be a single person who would not follow the way of good. The way of good will last forever.
The standard of good must be something really eternal and unique. I want you to have the clear definition of what is good. You must be seeing things for the sake of others, not for your own sake. You lend your attentive ears to listen to something for the sake of other people, not for the sake of yourself. You should be talking, acting out things and use all your five senses for the sake of others and not for yourself. When you find anyone doing that, you would want to see him, all of him – his eyes, his nose, his mouth, his whole being. You miss the person – that means that you feel affection towards that person. The fruit of good deeds will result in affection and harvest good crops. If you find any person doing things for his own sake, saying things and thinking things for himself, there is no such thing as love functioning or arising there. If you at all love that kind of person, later on you will regret it.
The definition of goodness we have given must be in accordance with past history, present world situations and the present way of thinking as well as for future generations. It will continue to be true. I must repeatedly say that your eyes are not created for your own sake. Eyes are for the sake of seeing something objective. The functions of your five senses are all for the sake of something or someone objective. You talk because you have someone in the objective position. You cannot say you are happy without anyone around you. When I talk, if you in the objective 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 with attentive ears, I lose my spirit and don’t want to talk any longer Sometimes I may even feel shivering that I have a mouth to speak to you. Even when you touch something, would you take more delight in touching your own hand or touching the hand of your spouse or lover? In touching the skin, you would rather want to touch the skin of your lover rather than your own. So, it is wrong to think that you have your five senses for your own sake, but they exist for the sake of others.
Why is it that anything good must take place for the sake of other people? You must first think that, “I don’t like the idea of having to work for the sake of other people in order to be called good. If I do things for myself and be thought good, how wonderful it would be. ” We are born that way – we are created that way – so it cannot be helped. We are created for the sake of other people. For instance, any male being is not created for himself, but for the sake of the opposite sex. Man was created for the sake of woman. We cannot say of any female, however beautiful she may be that she is born 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, they would repulse each other, in a sense. Rather than loving each other, they would repulse each other. Suppose there is just one man for the two beautiful girls and that man is an ugly being. Both of them want that person – that man. Then, each one of them will want to have that man as her spouse even though he is ugly. Our conclusion is that either male or female are born for the sake of the opposite sex.
The very motivation of God 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 the sake of other people, that is always defined as good. When we call a family a happy one, that 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.
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 the sake of other people is repeatedly always good. Is everything clear to you? Then, why is good to be defined as things to be done for the sake of other people? Who made it that way? When man was created, did he come into being like that all by himself? 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, ” an d that being made those two for the sake of good. No result can come about without motivation of cause. When we think that the ultimate being set up the basis of goodness right in the beginning, then we can safely define that that first cause or reality was good. Whatever we may call him, whatever we started to 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 really 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 there be God at all, God must be one for the sake of something or someone other than Himself. In what situation is He located? In human society, too, the more you do things for the sake of other people, the more you are called good. If you keep doing that – doing things for other people, willing or not, you are coming close to the central point – the central figure – God. In a community, if you do things for the sake of the public, for the sake of other people, in the long run you will be the central figure 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 sake of the people for the whole nation. If he is the type of person who is not doing things for the sake of others, he would be a dictator and you wouldn’t want him to have such 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 be any being, any reality who is going to do things for the sake of the universe, he is going to be the central point through eternity, and this is where God is. We can call this kind of God the true God and the standard of real and everlasting goodness. just think, God created man in His likeness and image, so we, originally, are supposed to do good things for the sake of other people. If we go on doing this through eternity, we can safely say that we are the temple of God – resembling Him. God, in creating all the creation, did that for the sake of man and likewise when we create anything, we must be doing things for the sake of others. When you laugh, do you laugh by yourself, for your own sake? If it’s for yourself, you are crazy. However beautiful the voice you may have, if you sing all by yourself with no one around to hear you, you are not happy at all. The same is true when you dance, you want to dance for the sake of other people, for them to see 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, cannot be something you can enjoy all by yourself. When you are all alone, there is nothing which you can call valuable or happy. There must be purpose to be free, to be equal, to be ideally happy. So, you must have an object when you are really happy. If you have your object and there is an action of give and take, then there is a circular movement. If the action of give and take is there making circular motion, if it circles fast enough, it will result in cubic action. There is no real front or back, right or left – like the axial rotation of a plane when it revolves around so fast as to make entire oneness.
The word “unification” also cannot come about all by itself. There must be some thing in the objective position. If those in the objective and subjective positions work alone, the action cannot come about. Now we clearly know that God created man to think, to speak and to act for the sake of other people. We know that everything is in God’s possession. God wants someone to whom He can give out all He has. Anything in God’s possession is for the whole world. If God would find someone who is ready to do things for the sake of the whole world, God would be ready to give out all He has for the sake of that person. In giving things to that person, God is most willing. He is not reluctant.
The very beginning of man’s relation to God wag such. God was willing to give all He had to man and man was willing to return all he had to God. When man would return things to God, he, too, was so willing. If that kind of relationship would be permanently created by all individuals in the world, the whole world will be in beautiful harmony. God, as the core of such beautiful harmony, would want the world to be like that. If the world is being recreated in that way, He will take delight in living in human society. However underprivileged a man may be, anyone would want to be the center of the whole world. If man finds God or ultimate being there, he would want 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 perfect world directors. On the broader level, the man is the central personage. God would want to give all He has to that person. God has to have that kind of person, or else He will recreate that kind of person and send that kind of person to the whole world because He is ready to give out all things He has to the people 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 were so greedy as to have things for the sake of themselves which caused the fall. The intrinsic nature of God was unselfishness about doing things for the sake of others. But instead of carrying out being the duplication of God, men, due to their fall, began to do things on the contrary for their own sake. You 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 sake of other people. But in some people, even the conscience is accelerating them to do things for the sake of themselves. In general, our conscience is closer to God than our fleshly demand 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 on the side of good? You, yourself, know that only too well. You don’t have to apply the constitutional law or any law for that. You can immediately and accurately define whether you are on the side of good or on the side of bad. You know how to separate good from evil; so remove the evil and cultivate the good within yourself. Selfishness, self-centeredness – those are the greatest enemies. You must be able to resist those powers and you must be ready to do things for the sake of other people. You 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.
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, we cannot deny that God is working behind the human scene. There is no doubt of that. God is here. God, being the absolute and omniscient and omnipotent, we can realize that we are able to go back to the original position. There was a purpose for God’s creating man. In order for us to carry out that purpose, God will help us. Without our being able to do that, God’s 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 there to establish His kingdom on earth. Then, God’s hope is to find a man with the ultimate personality of ultimate good, to be able to establish for Him the kingdom of God on earth.
If there is any ideology, any doctrine, any “ism” or any religious group that is going to accomplish that mission to reestablish the Kingdom of God on earth, God will rely on that group. God is in the position of the ultimate or cosmic subject, so He would want a person of that value, of that dimension to work through and a person of that dimension would be what God would want to have. From God’s side there is no national boundary. There is no discrimination between the 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 under that ideology to resemble God and to restore themselves back into the original position to work in the right teaching. There are so many countries in the whole world but none of them are 100% in accord with God’s will. There are many religious groups existing in the world, but not any of them are within the standard. So, there must come out a group of people under a religious doctrine or ideology that will be in conformity with God’s will.
God is anxious to find such a person, such a nation. If there is supposed to be such a nation, He would take that nation even though He may have to discard all other nations. If there be any individual he would want to choose that individual even though He may have to throw away others. I think I, myself, am in the position of that man who is understanding God’s will and who would want to do things for the sake of God’s will. I am confident that I am the only person. I think that I am in the position of that man who would want to do things for the sake of others, for God and for the great cause. Since I am confident of being one like that, even though there may be a lot of opposing power attacking me from the circumstances, I would not be defeated because God is on my side working for me. I know only too well that if the evil force invades the good, then they have to be punished by God and they have to compensate what they had taken from the good side. Because I know that law exists in the universe, even though I may be persecuted, I am not worrying at all. If I have gone through difficulties and persecution for the sake of other people, then the law of the universe and the good force of the universe will come in protection of me. After going beyond the obstacles by leaps and bounds, I am sure that I will attain the goal in the end. We have attained a certain height, a certain dimension. We have been making progress in the midst of persecution. 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 divine luck will be on our side and will push us ahead to the goal. Sooner or later we will gain the goal, we will occupy God Himself; if we are in the objective position to the ultimate subject, God, then we are placed in the central point of all the universe. And all the universe is destined to come close to us in order to 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 view of value, or the core of goodness inherent in God, will come through you as an axis to turn the whole world. Since you are doing 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, and God will work through you to turn the whole world. In that case you have nothing to do with the basis of evil. In that case you are doing things in accordance with the purpose or the principle of creation; you are the only instrument carrying out God’s will and you are not selfish but unselfish, doing things which God would want you to do. In that case, you are enjoying the value of God’s creating man, taking all those things on yourself, so God cannot do anything without you and you are naturally placed in the central position and 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 do all things for the sake of mankind, then you cannot 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 kind 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 we want to be that kind of person, we have to pay much indemnity. We must be ready to go through this much.
You are now here in the U. S. and you left your own country for this nation. In choosing the people from Japan, the members from the Netherlands to be sent to this country, we have not chosen the fresh ones, but we have chosen the very best ones to be sent to the U. S. It may have caused a loss to your own country, but you are here to work for the sake of the whole world. You are not doing this for the sake of Japan or for the Netherlands, but for the sake of the whole world. With that great mission ahead of you, you must be ready to go through so many times as much persecution or difficulty as you have faced in your own countries.
The U. S. is a country where there is selfishness and individualism today. In the midst of selfishness and individualism we are going to be the core of this society, cleaning out those ugly things. There is a great challenge ahead of us. We are going to attack all those evil powers until they have been drive out of this country. From the definition we have given now, we are sure that we can win over the evil force in this country. By sending out mobile teams, suppose we reach out to the whole population of this country and turn them upside down to the side of good. What will happen? It is the question of the element of time. If we work strenuously, the victory is ours. We want to encourage the tradition of our Holy God, Our Father. God has been working all through 6, 000 years of providential history day and night without rest, for the sake of all mankind. If we had inherited His will, could we not do that? Has God been complaining that He has had to work so hard? He knows too well that what He is going to get in the end is nothing compared with the difficulty he has to go through. So, we have to resemble Him and struggle hard to attain the goal.
Since God is there, and He is omnipotent and we resemble God, if we leave anything undone, it is because we have not struggled enough. If we have struggled enough in all out effort to attain the goal, we will be confident. Nothing like despair, distress or complaint are possible here. 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. With that on our side, we have struggled ahead. 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 or complain about what we have to do. That’s impossible. We must be provoked against the existence of evil power and want to fight against the evil power to be able to eradicate the last of the evil power. On the solid foundation of good which God has set for us, we want to eradicate all evil force from the individual, from the family, from the whole society of the U. S. Since we don’t have evil elements in ourselves we are going to purify the whole world. There is no doubt of that. We are going to be the victors.
You must be resolved as one who is to shoulder the whole responsibility to purify the whole world, carrying out good, having nothing to do with evil force. I want you to be like that and I am confident that you are going to carry out your mission here. 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 whole world, you are going to work here and I want you to be a success – victors for this cause.