Opportunity For Happiness Or Unhappiness
Sun Myung Moon
March 2, 1975
Belvedere, Tarrytown, NY
Translated by Mrs. Won Pok Choi
My topic this morning is, “Opportunity for Happiness or Unhappiness.” You are all now members of the Unification Church. As you know, the road of faith and the path of life are not always smooth. When you are 20, you are in the prime of life, but then you reach 30, 50 years; your life is nearing its end.
When you are under 20, you live with your parents, brothers and sisters. But as you grow older, your brothers and sisters separate from you because they marry, and you yourself marry and separate from your parents. When you are married, your friends fade away as you grow older.
Your feelings and emotions, affected by the environment and people around you, will shift to your own family. Other things either fade away or come to have little value for you. As you grow still older, your parents may pass away, and your relatives, friends, and people you have loved will separate from you. Even in your own home life, everything is not necessarily smooth and happy. You may be at odds with your husband or wife, or with your children. In a word, your path of life is bumpy.
If you have had the experience of fishing along a seacoast or riverbank, you may have noticed that during the night, the tide and the surface of the water change many times. We may want to be enveloped or embraced by nature at such a time of deep solitude and peace in the night. But in the next moment, when the wind comes up, everything changes; the water will be angry at you, surging onto the shoreline. Sometimes we think that nature is wondrous, stormy, and beautiful as it changes from peaceful to violent.
When we are deeply indebted for life, we want to mature. We don’t want to get older until we have to die, but it is a fact that we cannot stay in the prime of life. When you are young, you don’t know the blessedness of being youthful. If you are given nourishing rich food all the time, you can’t appreciate its value and goodness after a while. We can distinguish among foods that are sour, bitter, sweet, salty, and hot.
There are changes of season from spring to summer to autumn, and winter. And we can see the beauty of nature in those changes. Just imagine, if we had daylight for 24 hours, what would happen? In the North Arctic, there are longer days. Then you would long for the darkness of night to come. Again, I must say that the beauty and wonder of nature come about when these kinds of changes occur.
When you first join the Unification movement, you think it’s wonderful and thrilling. I don’t doubt that you have all experienced that. What is wonderful here? What do we have that is wonderful? Are the things you hear in this movement wonderful? Do you find it wonderful to find the people so active? Do you find it wonderful to live in the movement?
There are so many things. The ideology of the Unification Church is wonderful, but it is hard to put it into practice. Sometimes you may say “I don’t want to live this way.” Then what makes you think that it is wonderful to join this movement? When everything is not necessarily good, it doesn’t mean that you are happy here.
We must shift our philosophy so that we may feel happy when there are changes all around us. Before joining this movement, you were headed in one direction, but now you are headed in an opposite direction. In the outside world, when you have an argument with some acquaintances that’s the end; you separate from those persons. But now, you have to be mingled together to become one in harmony. However hard it may be, you must succeed in that.
The more you learn the Divine Principle, the more you know you have to pay the price of indemnity. In order for you to be able to pay the required indemnity, you must search for your enemy rather than your friends, in order to pay off the debt. How can you call this happiness? Then we are asked the question, “Where is there any happiness at all?”
You hear many things, but there’s no ultimate happiness here. You want to put what you learn into practice, but there’s not necessarily happiness in doing that either. Only after winning victory in the Divine Principle can you feel real happiness. When you first join our movement, you feel you are very happy. But there’s no guarantee that you are going to be happy all the way through. Unless you actualize what you learn in daily life, you cannot feel happy.
When you attain your goal, you feel real happiness and find yourself a victor. You must overcome all the difficulties which you encounter on the way, and when you attain your goal, when you look back to your past, you feel real happiness. Then our conclusion is that our happiness can be felt only after winning the victory.
Then what is unhappiness? What must the definition of unhappiness be? It is when you are a failure. Where is the boundary between happiness and unhappiness? There is no ready-made place of happiness or unhappiness; your actions are the sole determinants of your happiness or lack of it. Thus, you are always placed on the boundary line between happiness and unhappiness.
Every moment you are there. Step to your right and you become happy, but the moment you step to the left, just one step, you will fall into unhappiness. Step by step, you walk on the path of life. So, to step one step forward is very important. When you want to step forward, it is always your mind that controls.
When you look for happiness, you must always study carefully in your own mind, because your mind is the subject, which must decide where to go. Everybody knows when they themselves are happy. You know the direction you must follow in order to gain that happiness. It is not that you don’t know, not that you cannot carry it out.
There’s no single person in the world who doesn’t know what unhappiness is, and in what way we should act to avoid unhappiness. Isn’t it true? (Yes!) Then with the knowledge of what is happiness and what is unhappiness, why do you still follow the path of unhappiness? In a word, when we separate from God, we are unhappy. When we have God in our heart, we are always happy, in all of our actions. Now your path is clear.
Your happiness or unhappiness: when do they come, and when do you have a clear picture of where you are? From what point would happiness or unhappiness begin? You can never be sure. Throughout the 24 hours in a day, every moment, you will decide whether you are going to be happy or unhappy. Most of you may say that while you are asleep, you don’t decide whether you are going to be happy. Who knows?
You may die while you sleep, because your house may burn up. You may be dashing forward in search of a certain person who will promise you happiness, but-who knows what will happen? You can die on the way. Also, your hope of that person’s being able to give you happiness can be shattered in a moment-misplaced by one word he utters. Who can be sure? It is as though something as sharp as the blade of a sword or a knife is working, which divides happiness and unhappiness. We are on that kind of path in our lives.
For a while you feel happy after joining the movement, but later you may look back and say to yourself,” Well, I had been happy in the world before I joined the movement, but what am I now? I have to witness all the time on the street, I look miserable, and I often have to do what I don’t want to do!” So, you may say to yourself, “It would be better if I left this movement.” My experience tells me that there are many people who are apt to fall away. I have seen many people who once had been loyal to me but then left me.
So many types of people have passed through the movement. Some young people who had once been so enthusiastic, quite zealous even, they went away. Some middle-aged persons who took vows before me that they were going to be loyal to Heaven and the Unification Church left. Some elderly people whom I thought would endure to the end of their lives, left, not physically, but all the same left our movement. In the thirty years of the history of our movement, I’ve seen many such people, who after they had left felt that they had to come back, but could not face coming back.
What is strange here is that you go through so many difficulties and hardships without a moment of relaxation and yet, to the eyes of outsiders, we stay young, being always energetic, always powerful. It is because however difficult a situation you may be placed in, you have hope, you are always eager to go ahead, and in our movement the word “indemnity” becomes a blessed word.
You know that you are going through indemnity, in times of difficulty. But you do so because you are sure that after the indemnity has been paid there will come grace and blessedness. There’s no doubt about that. You are excited in expecting blessedness ahead for you, so you have to climb up the peak to pass the tollgate of indemnity.
Among those who have fallen away, I saw many who miss me even after they fell away, and they say that now they miss me even more. I’ve seen quite a few young female members who fell away and married successful men. In the worldly sense they are happy, having gifted children who are healthy and bright. But they still miss me and they even see me in visions and dreams.
When they hear that I am coming to Korea from abroad, they stand in the small lane beside our church, and when they look at me, tears just pour down their faces. Tears of deep feeling and regret. They come to repent, regretting that they fell away, not having overcome that one moment of difficulty.
They have good children, but deep in their hearts, they feel that these children are not products of blessedness. The thought that, “I’m not blessed in holy matrimony,” always pierces their hearts. When they look at their husbands, they say in their minds. “My husband is a non-Principle husband,” Or. “These children of mine are born of satanic lineage. They cannot escape from that notion lingering in their minds. Whenever their children are seriously sick, they immediately think, “This is indemnity, this is indemnity!” When they quarrel with their husbands, they immediately think, “This is the indemnity I have to go through!”
That person may visit a strange village, and there will be a fierce dog coming at her, barking, and immediately she thinks, “It knows who I am! It knows I am a betrayer, and it barks at me more fiercely than it would at other people.” Whenever such people are faced with difficulties or unhappiness, they immediately think that they are being punished by God, and that they are going through bitter indemnity. They immediately think. “Oh, if only I could return to the Unification movement, even if I were to play the role of a dog there. If I’m the dog of God there, I can see Master coming and going.” But they cannot do that.
If those women lead their whole lives that way, they will end up unhappy. For all those people, it is not Master who was the obstacle, but one of the members or some event. They always are regretful, saying, “If such a thing hadn’t happened, if there hadn’t been a certain person playing the role of obstacle I would not have fallen away!” That piercing regret and repentance is always there.
Therefore, a single moment in your life, one event or one person can mean a great deal. The one time you say a wrong word, the one time you look at things in a wrong way — that can cause you untold misery and unhappiness. The one time you hear things in a wrong way, misery arises from that occasion. That one time matters forever.
In order for you to avoid unhappiness and misery what frame of mind should you have, and in what way do you have to walk the path of life? In order to be victorious, what word must you be given? Patience. Patience is the most important virtue to embody. At one bitter utterance from another person, you can get angry. But be patient. If someone shouts at you and you shout back, then there will be a quarrel. When there’s a quarrel, both of you will be defeated and shattered.
Even though you may not be defeated, some power beats at you, so you are shattered. The moment you frown at someone or stare at him your happiness will leave you. When you are angry at someone, you will frown, even at the notion that the person is around. Even in the physiological sense, you are poisoned inside when you are very angry.
So, be patient and never be angry with anyone. It is poisonous for you to get angry. When you are furious and mad at someone, don’t you feel that inside? But train yourself. Just become nonchalant, neglecting the person when he is angry at you. If you want to find out the secret of how to win people over, patience is the utmost knack.
Those who can be patient are many-sided, being able to look in every direction. If you feel yourself becoming impatient, think immediately of your past and say, “I had once been like that when I was in the prime of my life, and when I was in the outside world, I was always getting mad at someone.”
Perhaps your children were not loyal to you. When you think of that, you can tolerate that person. The next moment you can say, “I must be patient in this instance. In that case, you fight first against your own self on the spiritual level; then you have already won the fight. But without thinking that way when other people shout at you, you may immediately shout back, and you will be already defeated.
Let me say a few more things about patience. You might be out in the street selling flowers, but sometimes you get reluctant, you frown, and you are not willing to do the job. What do you have to do then? You must think it over and be patient. There are many inconveniences here. You have to get up at 4:30 and have the pledge ceremony!
“The first of March was just yesterday, and this is Sunday and I have to get up and go at 4:30 again this morning. Oh! What a bother! Why do we have to do this? I’m so tired, so will you please. Master, forgive me if I doze off this morning? I feel like dozing off.” Is there any such person here who might think: “Why? Why does Master set up only God’s Day and several other days, and only Sundays to have the pledge ceremony? Why don’t we have it every morning at 5 o’clock?” Is there any such person here? If there are such people, would you praise them?
Something is wrong with humanity. If you are ill, wouldn’t you take a dosage of bitter medicine? It’s something like that. Then you must say, “Let come what may,” and receive it, not with bitterness, but with open arms. With patience you can be the victor, not the loser.
Why do you think only of difficult things? “I have to get up early. It’s a difficult job.” Why do you think it is difficult? You can accept the same thing in different ways. When you get up early in the morning, you may go out into the garden and then look at the sky and the stars may still be visible.
So you can start the day with sparkling views of stars above your head. You are wrapped in the mystery and wonder of nature. At that moment, a breeze could come and caress your cheek. If in the village a dog should bark, that would provide you with rhythm and music. In the distance you might hear a rooster.
You rarely hear a rooster in the city. But if you do, it’s somehow not the same as in the country. If it is a little late in the morning, and at rush hour, you are going to have to tailgate. But early in the morning, at 5 o’ clock or even earlier, you can drive freely with no one in front of you.
So, your way of thinking determines whether you are happy or miserable. There are many ways to think of yourself as being happy. If we know that every moment of our life is that singular opportunity to separate happiness from unhappiness, we must change our philosophy. We must always think of that one moment.
So, we are always at a point where we can easily fall into unhappiness, while we can also steer our way to the side of happiness. So, be patient. Don’t allow yourself to be made unhappy by another person. Be determined not to think of things in that way. Always think of yourself as being the cause, not other people. Another thing: even though you may have come into a situation which other people would define as unhappy, you make yourself happy and feel the value of being in that position so that you can be trained to create joy.
It is ideal, of course, to go straight on the road to the goal of happiness. But it is very difficult for us to go the straight and narrow way. For example, even God has not been able to go the straight way to straighten people out. Even God has come zigzag in the course of restoration. So it is natural that human beings go the same way or even a more zigzag way.
Even when you go the zigzag way, you must draw a straight line in your mind. You must know clearly where the goal is. The question is where to go: from right to left, or from left to right? In between? You might sometimes fall into a low atmosphere or come under a lot of pressure. But always take advantage of the bad moments, and through that kind of experience, you can train yourself to be unaffected.
When you feel unhappy, don’t ever think that you are headed for unhappiness. Rather, keep open the possibility for you to shift the direction to one of happiness. If you have had experience steering a ship along a different course, you know that the ship will go very swiftly to the different angle set. So, whenever you are in a difficult situation, you must think deeply about how to get to the right side.
When you are sunk in despair, it means that you have been self-centered. Then it is natural for you to be disappointed. At that moment, you must remind yourself of your parents, who are always praying for your success. And think of the fact that there are friends, relatives, and your own country praying for you to be successful, for the sake of the nation and themselves. And if there be a God at all, God is blessing you with happiness every moment. If you are not apart from God, you will always be successful.
You are not an orphan. You have your parents. You are not nation-less, you have your own nation. You have God. You cannot fail when you think of God, nation, and your parents watching for your success.
In the Unification Church there are things more valuable than your parents, nation, and the world. When your parents opposed you, you had to leave them. When you started in this movement, you would say in your mind, “Oh, my parents! I will come back to you with happiness, and it is for your own happiness that I’m doing this!” You are confident of that. So you say in your mind, “I cannot go back to the world!” Even in face of death, you must be successful and bring back the spoils after the success in the battle here. And you can ease the hearts of your friends and parents.
I’ve experienced many things in my own life. There are so many things, hard to enumerate. My philosophy is that, despite the enemies, I could not fail in this movement. There have been many enemies always praying for my frustration and failure. So, in the face of those enemies, I was always determined not to be defeated in this battle. I must win at all costs.
If I’m defeated, my enemies would laugh at me. I must never fail. Then come what may, and however bitter the difficulty may be, and however bumpy the road may be, I will dash on the road to gain success. Even though I may have to die on the road, I will never be defeated, because I will never surrender to them.
So whenever I am faced with rebuffs, I feel more challenged. In the face of enemies I feel a greater challenge. There is always God and the spirit world cheering me, while there is Satan always wanting me to be a failure.
However bitter a situation you may be placed in, immediately think of God’s heart when He lost His children, who had betrayed Him, and when He had lost all the world with His children. I immediately become sympathetic with God, and I feel the same sadness in my heart.
From God’s part, at that moment, He could have abandoned all men and nature, including Satan. Then what would have become of God? God’s omnipotence could have been nullified. Satan would have been scornful of God saying, “You are not omnipotent. You are not almighty, because you have failed.” But Almighty God could never do that.
Rather, God was firm and intact from Satanic invasion, saying, “However hard you may try to undermine me, I will be firm.” God felt unforgiving toward Satan. But because He is God, He had to forgive, not Satan, but the wrong of the people. He was at the point where He could not be patient, but because He was situated at that point, He had to be patient.
That is what made Him God. He could be patient where other people couldn’t. He could forgive where other people couldn’t. But if God had been angry at that point, erasing all of His creation, what would have happened? Then He would have become a failure, with no creation to praise Him.
So, you realize how important patience is. Patience can be the motivation of recreation and restart. When you are patient, you can forgive your enemy. By forgiving your enemy, you can occupy him. Satan or your enemy will draw a line between you and him. If you keep standing on the other side, there will always be a gap there. But if you step to his side, to embrace him, then he will either retreat or be embraced by you. By your forgiving him and embracing him, you can occupy him.
God is the foremost champion of patience. God was patient when His only son was nailed down on the cross, with all the other people rebellious against Him. At that moment, God did not look omnipotent. But it was His patience that made it possible. When you have done something very ugly against someone, and he pretends that you have not done such a thing, you become low and more humble.
Even in your family life, when your brothers and sisters are all against you, and you become well-poised, cool and collected, then they will surrender before you. That’s the way to occupy their hearts. Then let’s be patient for the sake of ourselves, let’s utter good words for the sake of other people. When other people are under difficulties, let us speak out for their sake.
Those are the secrets of success. First patience: positive words or action for other people’s benefit. In the Orient we have a saying that. “The man of patience is the victor.” After patience comes the notion of living for the sake of other people. “I exist ore live for the sake of other people.” That’s the only philosophy we have to entertain. That means to become humble and to place yourself in a lower place than other people.
Suppose there are two or three students living together in a rented room. The landlord, of course, could not give them food; they want to fix their own food. One would get up earlier and cook everything for the other person. What would happen? Would the other person be proud of being served or become humble and thankful?
If the other person should take it for granted and say. “”Oh! The foolish fellow! Well, go ahead and do that. I’m going to be served!” he may have the freedom to be proud of himself, but other people around him would not allow him to do that. Wouldn’t that be true? If the other person takes the service for granted, the prouder he becomes and the more he will be blamed and scolded. Isn’t that true?
When you serve other people, you can win either the other people, or the environment, if not the person you serve. If you sacrifice yourself, so many people can be on your side. If Jesus was crucified due to his own crime, would all humanity be sympathetic with him? Because Jesus was crucified for the sake of the sin of all mankind he won the hearts of all humanity.
There have been many saints and prophets who have gone through difficulties, but we cannot imagine anything more difficult than to be crucified on the cross. When we know that he was crucified on the cross for the sake of mankind, we take him as the highest prophet and saint of all. His patience, in the face of difficulties and rebellion, was valuable, as well as his love for other people at the sacrifice of himself. With those two elements, there will be peace, love, happiness and all ideals.
Men were separated from God in the beginning due to the Fall, but that kind of love, service and sacrifice would restore the link between God and man, and man and Jesus Christ. That is the principle that Jesus taught us with his own action: patience and living for other people. You have inner and outer struggles. You must win the inner struggle. Whenever there are enemies coming against you, you must be able to win over them by being patient and serving them.
Are you thinking: “Why is Master here, stirring up the whole nation of the United States, when we could live peacefully?” Then you think of me being so sacrificial here. If I have bought so many pieces of land, could I take them back to Korea, when I leave this country? I’ve earned so much money here, but would I earn gold out of this country?
That’s not what I planned! Then why am I doing this? Some may say, “Well, you have worked enough, you have experienced difficulties and hardships. Just relax and don’t irritate us!” If I could do that in the sight of God, I would choose to do it.
Then if I relaxed with folded hands, what would happen to this nation? Would America’s fate be a happy one? I know clearly that if I leave America as it is, it will be faced with peril. America is far from the mainstream of Godly ideology. There must be a nation, society, family, and individual on the same vertical line. But are the American young people thinking of the rise of their nation? They claim free sex is the way.
Is that the true way? Everything starts from what you have in your mind. We have to revolutionize their way of thinking, to get them restored to the vertical line. We must lead them into a clear view of what the Godly world must be like, and what a Godly nation, Godly society, Godly home or Godly individual must be like. Unification Church alone knows all these things. We know that God relies on our movement. So we cannot sit still. We cannot but go ahead and do the job.
You may think that Master is the happiest person: he can command people, and they immediately follow him. Would that be easy for me? Being a leader is not an easy job. I must always be patient. At the brink of explosion, I would be patient like this. I …
Two pages of the speech are missing — page 7 and 8.
… you are the cars connected to me. Only if you are connected to me, you will be led to the goal. We are dashing forward to the goal. Can you be separated from me or complain against me? If so, you will become lifeless. Just attain the goal, and you’ll see what it is.
Each moment of our lives will determine if you will lead yourself to misery and unhappiness or happiness and glory. You are either going to the side of God or Satan. You will either go to Heaven or Hell. You cannot relax or you are apt to fall into the dungeon of Hell. So I want you to be always alert, to be watchful for the future.
You are in the satanic world, but with patience and service to others, you can freely go back and forth even when there are many obstacles. Concretely, our road is going through Yankee Stadium and Washington Monument to the ultimate goal. Maybe the last one will be Moscow.
With that in mind, you can imagine many hardships. If you think of each obstacle as another challenge, you can bring victory. And I’m sure that you will win victory at the end if you follow my example. I want you to be really dedicated, brave soldiers in this final battle. By your following my example, you can have the victory which God would enjoy, Jesus would enjoy, and I myself would enjoy. All my victory will be yours.