In the Presence of God [Part 1]
Sun Myung Moon
April 11, 1982
Translator – Sang Kil Han
Nobody was born by his own choice; none of us planned to be born. This is true not only for us but also for people of the past and future. A great mixture of people are born. Some boast of their superiority, others lament their inferiority. Some are good, others we bad. History will continue with such a mixture of people.
Do people know their destiny or fate? People’s lives take many different courses; there is no single pattern. Each of us is born as a man or woman with our own life to live. What direction are men and women going in? Where is our nation going? Where is the world going? The most important question for each person to ask is, “Where am I going?”
Those of you who are engaged may answer that you are going toward your fiancée. But is your fiancee going forward or backward? Is he or she moving with confidence? Is he or she about to go up, or down? You may say that you never thought about the question and frankly don’t care. You may suppose that when you are with your fiancee you will be satisfied. But what good does it do for two uncertain people to meet? If one confused person joins another, what will result? They will become even more puzzled.
Two confused people will collide with each other. Your eyes will clash, your ears, mouths and minds will clash. Them is a good chance that all aspects of you will conflict. You might reason that since everyone else lives that way, you should, too. Perhaps you think that you have no other choice. But what about your family? Once you are living together, children will be born to you-that’s virtually automatic! But will your baby be able to see straight, hear straight, think straight? Perhaps your baby’s eyes will be crossed or only able to look in a certain direction. If you truly realize the position you are standing in, you feel some awe or dread. Once you are aware of it, you cannot just casually enjoy life.
Let’s look at how we were born biologically. Out of millions of sperm, only one reaches the egg cell. Still, each sperm has to head in the proper general direction in order for at least one to reach the goal. If their direction is off, will they ever reach their destination? So even before you were conceived, something must have been heading in the right direction. After fertilization, the egg travels down to the baby’s home, the mother’s womb. There it settles and starts growing. But what if the egg doesn’t find its proper lodging to settle down? In such a case, could you have grown to become the person you are? If the fertilized egg settles outside the womb, the embryo cannot continue growing there.
Suppose while the baby is in the mother’s womb he refuses to get oxygen from her. He has a nose, so he wants to breathe air through it. He has a mouth, so he wants to use it to cat. If an unborn baby tried to do that, it would choke with the first drink of fluid, The unborn baby has perfectly formed mouth, ears and nose, but every opening is closed. Where does it get its oxygen and nourishment from? Through the navel, of course. However, after birth that nourishment ceases.
The umbilical cord needs to be protected because it is the baby’s lifeline and source of nourishment. Inside the mother, the baby does not have unlimited freedom of activity; to a certain extent it can move around, but it has to stay within bounds and maintain order.
The environment of the mother’s womb is liquid, not air. Does the baby feel good in there? How can you say that the baby likes being in water? During that stage of life, water is the most comfortable environment. Does the baby remain there by its own choice? What keeps it there? Natural law. When we live within natural law, we are protected. Even the time of birth is not the baby’s own choice.
You sisters, was it your choice to become a woman? Did you plan to be a woman and have a big bosom and shapely hips so people would admire you for your physical beauty? Did any of you think like that? Who decided you would be a woman? You may say that your father and mother determined it, but actually no one knows how such a decision is made. It is definitely decided, even though we cannot comprehend it or explain how.
At the time of birth, is the baby aware that it is about to come out of the protected, watery environment and down the narrow birth canal? Does it know what it has to do? Does it realize that somehow it has to dilate the cervix and expand the mother’s bones enough to pass through the birth canal? Its head is larger than the passages it has to go through . If the baby were aware of all that, it would probably conclude that it couldn’t make it, and give up.
Were any of you aware of your situation at birth? Still, when the time was at hand, you came out. Do you think that a baby can be born without making effort of its own? The baby has to put forth all its energy. Of course, the mother in labor gives all her strength to deliver, but the baby has to cooperate with her for a safe delivery, too. Something kicks the baby on the bottom and tells it, “Go out now, or else!” It tries really hard to get out.
People don’t understand why the baby cries at birth. It had such a difficult time coming out that it bursts into tears. If the baby started crying while in the womb, it would be in trouble. But don’t you think the baby wants to cry out even before birth? Certainly it does, but it cannot; it has to wait. To cry inside the womb is against the law of nature. When the baby is born, the change in pressure in its lungs makes it start breathing and it cries.
Even at this stage, the baby doesn’t have much awareness. Before, it couldn’t survive five minutes without the umbilical cord, but now the cord is severed, and the baby’s existence no longer depends completely upon the mother. It is more or less independent. Now the baby has a choice in eating. What doesn’t taste good gets spit out, what tastes good gets swallowed. What is the best tasting food for a baby? It is mother’s milk, of course.
When you really think about it, isn’t it mysterious and miraculous how the mother’s body produces such perfectly nutritious milk? Why does the nipple protrude rather than indent? Who designed the nipple to protrude for nursing? Will the breast answer that it designed its own nipple? No, a higher order designed it.
We have observed that until birth, the baby’s life is very orderly; it can do nothing other than fellow the steps planned for it. A sperm projected itself toward an egg; that fertilized egg developed as a male or a female destined to walk on this earth as a living, growing being.
Each person on earth needs a direction in life. The general direction in life is for men to go toward women, and women toward men. That is the truth. There is no woman who can claim she doesn’t need a man; no woman can expect to remain just as she is and be perfectly well. Just as we observed order in each stage of prenatal development, there is order in our lives now: men must head toward women, and women toward men. There is no exception. This is an unchangeable, irreversible order.
Once a man and a woman become one, they need direction as a couple. When husband and wife meet, they go to a home. When the sperm and egg unite, they go to a home: the womb. Life before birth is a microcosm, or concentrated form of life in this world. This is the second stage of life, and the equivalent to our mother’s body here is parental love. We need parental love to make a home; this is what parents provide for their children.
Before birth, the baby relies on the umbilical cord as a source of life. In this world, parental love is the umbilical cord for growth and nourishment. Can you imagine a baby denying his need for parental love? What about people who claim that they are totally independent and that they don’t need any parental support either?
The parental heart yearns to give full and eternal support to the children. Parents love their children, even when those children become grandparents and beyond. While the unborn baby is growing bigger and bigger, will the mother ever tell it to stop? The baby kicks inside its mother, giving her jolts and sometimes even pain. It bothers the mother, but she feels more joy than annoyance because it shows that the baby is healthy. That is her primary thought.
People should be aware that in our life on earth, we receive perpetual nourishment from the universe; without that, we could not survive.
To go to the next stage of life in the spiritual world is the same kind of transition as emerging from our mother’s womb into this world. The only difference is the duration of that stage. This life on earth, during which we breathe air and eat food, lasts perhaps a hundred years. Our physical parents’ protection extends perhaps 50 or 60 years. But once we are born again into the other world, we will live with our eternal Parent for millions and billions of years.
Dwelling in the eternal love of that world, we will become the very incarnations of love. There the invisible, but still very real, umbilical cord win be attached not to our belly but to our head, and we will keep growing and improving, becoming the image of God Himself. We will become the incarnations of love to become subjects of love, like our own invisible Parent.
There we will be freer than ever before, enjoying the greatest conceivable liberty. Nothing will limit or fetter us. In that world we won’t have to walk with our head up and feet down; we could reverse it and still move freely in any position. We can walk any way we wish and it will be perfectly normal. Whatever we want to do, we can.
But until that time, we have to go step by step, according to proper order. When we die, our body will be buried. People regard death with tremendous uncertainty, and even fear, wondering where they will go afterwards. But you don’t have to worry about such things. What you should be concerned about is how to live better on earth until the time comes to move on. You need to gain the proper nourishment while on earth-not just physical food, but spiritual elements as well. That is what you should focus on.
So what are the other types of nourishment we need while on earth? Simply stated, it is the ability to harmonize with the order of the universe. It is obedience. A child may not want to eat something, but when his mother serves it and tells him to eat it, he will eat it. When the child follows that order, he gets a nod of approval from his parents as well as from the universe, which is the greater parent.
On the other hand, if the child tells his parents, “I don’t want to eat what you ask me to,” he is not justified because it goes against the order of the universe. With such a rebellious attitude, even the food he eats will disagree with him once it reaches the stomach; it won’t even be digested. If he keeps eating that way, his muscles and cells will become rebellious, and the order of the universe will exclude him instead of loving him.
Someone who opposes the order of the universe will feel fear. His conscience will bother him and he can never be comfortable. Even if no one else is afraid, he will still feel fear creeping up on him. There is a reason why people experience this. If you rob somebody’s food, wear nice clothes that you stole, or hurt other people, your conscience will bother you, won’t it? What makes you feel that way? You may try to justify your actions, but you cannot steal without feeling something painful. What is that something? It is the universal force at work.
Everything fits into a pattern. We know that people live in three orderly stages: first, inside the mother’s womb; second, on earth; and third, in the spirit world. Compare life in your mother’s womb to life on this earth. There is a very clear con-elation between the two. Now consider that even your present existence is like living in a womb and one more step awaits you.
You had very little range of movement inside your mother’s womb, and even now you are not completely free; a freer state is still to come. In your mother’s womb you wiggled a little and you thought it was a lot. Here we can move around and travel pretty fast in airplanes. But in the spirit world, you can move a hundred times faster than here, just by thinking! Should people follow the rays of the sun, or should the sun rays follow us? It must be possible to travel faster than light. Don’t you want to become that kind of person and go into such a realm?
You are limited in what you can hear now. But wouldn’t you like to hear things whispered hundreds of thousands, or even millions of miles away?
You always want the best. If the order of the universe had been ideal, we could experience such things without having to learn about them. But even in the present state of confusion and conflict, people want to go up rather than come down. It is natural to want to go up. How high can we go? The ideal realm is one of freedom through love. You could ride around on God, like children riding on a horse, or riding piggyback on their parents.
Have you thought about how life’s transitions always involve weeping? When a baby is born, it cries, not laughs. When people die, those around them weep, not laugh. But in the final stage, we can be reborn laughing, not crying like a newborn baby.
We live in dim stages: as a baby in the mother’s womb, then here in this world, and ultimately in the spirit world. After we become the incarnation of love and experience the fullest dimension of life on earth, then we can feel really joyful about being born into the spiritual world.
People always seek freedom. Actually, people are so limited; people’s thinking is so narrow. One direction is bad but another is good. Where is true freedom? Where am human rights? Human life exists within the realm of the order of the universe. If a person does not live in accordance with the universal force, he doesn’t have true human rights.
What is the banner or standard of human life? What kind of flag best symbolizes human life? Love. Love is life. People may seek power, freedom or some other value, but the basis of all life is love.
Freedom which is not based on love is not freedom at all. If it denies, destroys or rebels, it is not freedom. Ultimate freedom means to follow the course best suited to us under the protection of universal law. Only then can we make the right choices and exercise true freedom. We should realize that our liberty is guaranteed only as long as we are protected by universal law, only as long as we develop in the direction of our original state. Anything that does not contribute to this is not freedom.
Just because you do something doesn’t mean you are exercising your freedom. Here is one brother constantly dozing off. He thinks he is free to listen or not, but that is not true. Not listening denies freedom for the brother, the others in the audience, and the teacher himself. It drags down the atmosphere. He knows that, more or less, so when he becomes aware, he wakes up in surprise. Why should he jump in surprise? Do you understand?
American young people need to clearly understand this concept. Does anyone disagree? Does anyone have a better idea? “It’s my life,” people in this country claim. “I’m free to marry whomever I wish.” Is that true or not? You ask why you should care about your parents, why you should listen to True Parents, why you should pay attention to those who teach you. “It’s my life; it’s my freedom,” you assert.
Some Moonies are engaged for five years before they marry. Many of you think it is wonderful, but other people call it crazy. What do you think? Is this truly wonderful? You say yes, but not very convincingly. Something is holding you back. But when you analyze it further, it really is wonderful. Why? Because this is the only way the universe can have hope. This is the proper way for you to go. It is not just these few years that matter, but hundreds of thousands of generations to come will learn solid lessons from the patterns we establish right now. So think about how wonderful this is. You are laughing now and proclaiming with confidence how wonderful it is; but when you are not so sure, it is like clouds being drawn across a clear blue sky.
Perhaps you say you wish you could wait five mom years so you could do something more meaningful for the world and for history. Would you choose to wait ten years rather than five? When you think how wonderful it is, are you ready to wait that long? Some of you laugh, but I would like to find out why you laugh. Is it because you think it is wonderful or for some other mason?
Do I take pleasure in making Americans suffer? Out of all the pain and frustration you go through, I hope to see a new America reborn. I want to see a new standard of marriage in America. Waiting five years is not easy, but we have to conquer it. I have been observing young American men and women for many years now, and I am not at all satisfied. For some odd reason, people think they have the freedom and right to get divorced. But I know that the universe does not work that way. Once you choose love, it should last forever and ever. That is the value of love. All human value rests on that.
This world is not an isolated realm; it is part of the continuous universe. You are trying to isolate it, and I am teaching you that it is a continuous one. What makes this world perpetual? What sustains its physical existence and causes it to endure? It is the consistent flow of love, the love that parents feel toward their children and vice versa. The love of teachers for their students, investing themselves to make sure that they learn; the love a president has for his country, its cities and its people; the love saints feel for mankind, present and future; the love God feels for the human race and all things. In all these, the pattern of love is consistent; love alone endures.
Suppose a husband and wife are both perfectionists and they give birth to a child with a deformity. Can they end its existence and say, “Well, we can try again”? Is that true love? No, of course not. By the same token, once a person chooses to marry another, he or she should try to make up for any shortcomings and compensate for whatever faults may show up in their spouse. That is the proper course here, and such love will endure in the spirit world, where love is more visibly dominant than it is here. Such a person is a true husband or wife. True love means that when it is easy to love, you love, and when it is difficult, you still love. This distinguishes true love from false love.
That criterion also distinguishes the true teacher. When a student listens well, learns easily and shows respect, the teacher can easily love the student. But when a student doesn’t appreciate the teacher and rebels against him, the teacher almost wants to disown him. Yet a true teacher continues to make effort.
In much the same way, when everything goes well in a country, its president can really appreciate the citizens. But when the citizens don’t act properly, the president may feel like cursing them. But a true president still takes responsibility for his country.
The only thing which makes the relationship between God and man eternal is love. God, the king of the whole universe, offers people His love, but His love needs some channel to reach us. When His love is blocked, it is like a bridge being destroyed along that route.
Electricity, for example, needs a conductor. Gold and copper are the best conductors because they offer the least resistance, and the power can flow through them without losing strength. We all want God’s love to flow through us, don’t we? In order to avail ourselves of God’s love, we have to become spiritual gold or copper. It’s very simple and easy to understand.
Which color of skin is the purest? Which race is the best conductor of God’s love? Let’s say this white woman is the most beautiful-not only the most beautiful white women but the most beautiful woman in the entire world. But if she becomes arrogant, God’s love cannot possibly flow through her. Purity is mom important than outward beauty. The things you see in your fiancée are most likely the external things. You notice, first of all, whether he or she is white, black, or yellow. You may not believe that a black person can be gold; only white people qualify. But you could think of your fiancée as black gold.
My title this morning is “In the Presence of God.” Why am I discussing so many things? It is because you have a lot of extraneous matter in your thinking. I wanted to trim you a little bit!
When I state that there is no such thing as freedom in our present world, does it please you or disturb you? What I mean is that to act for a selfish purpose is not freedom. True freedom preserves the order of the universe. In this sense, there is no true freedom on this earth. The universe will protect true freedom, but it will ignore or oppose what is untrue. There is no way to reach the realm of true freedom without following the universal order.
There is order in the mother’s womb and a different order in the spirit world. But we must abide by the order we dwell in. We need parental love throughout our fife on earth, unceasing, undying parental love.
A pregnant woman eats good food in order to nourish her baby. Suppose she orders a $10.00 steak. Will she pay $9.00 and charge her baby the remaining $1.00? That’s not rational.
When you plant vegetables, does nature send you a bill for their growth? Nature is completely free. As long as you do everything with love, you will meet with no resistance from nature. Suppose you cut the most beautiful flower in the world and put it in a vase. As long as you deeply love that flower, it won’t mind. But suppose you give that marvelous flower to some girl in order to entice her and take advantage of her. In that case, the flower will do its utmost to rebel against you. However, if the flower knows it is in good hands and is being carried to your eternal love, it will sing out with every step you take. That’s true! Flowers have feelings about people. Flowers best fulfill their purpose of existence when they am used by the person with the greatest love.
Poetry dealing with themes of love is the most beautiful. The most enduring literature deals with love. The greatest science is also done out of love. When political affairs am conducted out of love, certainly that is marvelous to behold. In a tournament of love, no competitor will ever feel resentment because the winner always raises the degree of love. Any country will welcome an increase in its number of loving citizens. And the president of a country should run the government by love.
Suppose you have a handkerchief steeped with the greatest love. It may have cost just a few cents, but you would never exchange it for a million dollars, would you? If you misuse it, the handkerchief would feel sorrowful; but if your heart is filled with love, the handkerchief won’t mind if you are too busy to wash up or too busy to clean and press it. Whatever truly loving eyes behold will always reflect that love.
You may love opera, but if someone sings of love in squeaky tones, it should please your ears more than a highly trained voice. You may have unsightly ears-as long as a rabbit’s-but if those ears can discern the notes of true love, you should be proud of them.
Not all sleeping is bad. If you became tired in the cause of love, an afternoon nap is a beautiful sleep. A good painter would want to portray such sleeping beauty on canvas.
Any activity related to love will be welcomed; people won’t mind it. Suppose someone gets whacked on the head. It’s painful, whether done with love or not. But as long as the motive was love, when the pain subsides you will exclaim, “Oh, I love that!”
With your bag full of true love, you can go anywhere, day or night, and be welcomed by all.
If a stunningly beautiful woman enters a man’s bedroom, and he realizes she has something other than true love on her mind, the man should throw her out in an instant. That is love. In such a case, to kick someone out, rather than to welcome and embrace her, is love. If the woman is an American, she will be hurt because she doesn’t know what love is and what it is not!
The happy person is one who makes his goal to follow love and embrace loving things throughout his lifetime.
I can take care of myself, but I like to lean on Mother and be protected by her; I want to follow her wherever she goes. That’s beautiful. Likewise, Mother always wants to lean on me. Even though she wants to be independent, she says she is better off leaning on me, since I have more security than I need. That is so beautiful.
Children want to be included in the love between their father and mother. They want to lean on them, talking things over with them, and just be in the same neighborhood of love.
A lot of people are pursuing their Ph.D. degree. They may reason that they have reached the pinnacle of life and that there is no one better than they. They consider themselves independent and able to take care of themselves. But without love, what good is all the knowledge in the world? They will be counted among the most miserable of all people. This is even more true of kings or others who exercise earthly sovereignty.
Even God wants to rest in the embrace of love. He wants to lean on the arm of love, just as everyone else. I feel I am such a small part of the entire universe, but God really wants to come and rest on me. In such a position, I want to offer everything to God because I am so awed by the opportunity to protect and comfort Him. No matter how great God is, He wants to make Himself small enough to be completely embraced in the arms of a loving person. He, too, wants to feel protected. That is the pure love of God. Knowing that, I will do anything to fulfill it. Can you imagine any greater value for human beings?
In such a relationship with God, whether your skin is black or white has no bearing whatsoever. The only thing important is to have a responsive nature.
Now you know what kind of life you should be living. You need a banner announcing to the world who you are. What do you want inscribed on that banner? “True Love.” Wouldn’t you like that?
I want to remind you that the world is full of eyes; the eyes of nature and the universe are constantly watching over you, observing everything you do. You must also realize that there are invisible ears, waiting for you to speak words of true love. All the noses of the universe an waiting for you to emit some fragrance of love. The mouths of the universe are speaking to you; they will call out to you over and over, until you hear them. The universe is waiting to feel your touch.
What are these sense organs of the universe concerned about? Are they interested in some of the great studies being done in this world? No? Perhaps money, because people say there is nothing that money cannot buy. No? Authority? Power? What is unanimously cherished by all these sense organs as the greatest value and source of the greatest enjoyment? It is true love.
Have you seen true love? Where? Suppose a parent is carrying a bag with a very yummy and tasty treat for his child. Wherever he goes, he carries it in his pocket and won’t let go of it — even in the bathroom. Now suppose the bathroom isn’t one with toilets, but is like those in the less-developed countries: just a bucket and natural smells — nothing artificial! If he stays long enough among those natural smells, some of them will be absorbed through the bag. Later, the father gives the bag to his child and says, “This is the most delicious thing I have ever eaten; have some.”
If the child is an American, he will probably refuse to taste it. He will protest, “Oh, Father, why do you think this is the best thing in the world?” But the true child will really appreciate it because he knows his father will bring him nothing but the best. There may be finer things, but in his mind they cannot be better than what his father brings him, so he will eat it. How about that!
True love transcends everything. It goes beyond all visible barriers. Where true love exists, nothing else matters. Do you understand?