The Best Thing
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
January 4, 1981
Belvedere International Training Center,
Tarrytown, New York
Translator – Sang Kil Han
What is the best thing? That is what we keep asking, and we could make an endless list. For a factory worker, the best thing is a hammer to work with. If you are going to bore holes, the best thing is a drill. On a cold day like today, woolens are the best thing. When you are starving, food is the best thing. It doesn’t have to be steak, but even some food that you don’t ordinarily like will do. Usually you like sweet things, but when you get sick, the medicine you need is usually bitter. All these examples show that at some time anything can be the best thing.
All these things that we have cited are best relative to oneself; in other words, when they meet a need, then they are the best. They are good in an external way. When we hear “outside,” we immediately start thinking about “inside,” which is closer to “me.” Centering on the self, on the inside, what is the best thing? Even things like love are relative in that they require two people, but what do you have just as an individual?
Which is more valuable-having your own eyes, or having food when you are hungry? When you are hungry would you trade your eyes for a house full of steak? You say no because your eyes are more valuable. Your nose gets in your way when you wash your face, so you wash up and down instead of sideways. If you were going to trade your nose for something, what would it be? Not for anything.
There are all kinds of shapes of noses-long, short, pointed, round. Which is longer-the white, black or Oriental nose? Usually white people have small air passages and a long nose. That long nose is an adaptation to the cold weather, having extra length so that the air can be warmed a little more before entering the body. Black people who live in warm climates don’t need the air warmed up, so they have short noses; their nostrils are wide so that more air can pass through at one time. Oriental noses are in between-that’s ideal!
When someone says noses of one race are not so good, while noses of another race are better, they don’t know what they are talking about. If a nose serves its purpose, it doesn’t matter how it looks. Do white people like their own noses, but not Oriental noses? I’m sure that some of you who were just matched are not satisfied with your fiancé’s nose. But for any individual, the nose he has is the best for him. The nose I have is the best for me, for example.
The same is true of the eyes. You might say that my eyes are not big enough, but imagine big eyes in my face! No matter what other people say, what you have is the best for you. Your mouth is only necessary when you eat and speak, but it is still valuable, isn’t it? Why? Imagine what you would look like without lips, with just an opening in your face! I have always been amazed at how American women can speak so fast for so long, with no sign of fatigue! The cells of their lips must differ from other parts of the body.
Would you trade your own ears for anything? Then what is the most valuable part of your body? Everything is valuable, but especially everything about the head. When you read literature, which part of the body is most talked about? Most often it is the face, but especially the eyes. An elaborate description of the face makes more sense than a description of the hands, for instance.
Then what is the best thing in your body? When two lovers kiss, do their eyes touch each other? Wouldn’t kissing with the nose be more convenient than kissing with the mouth, especially for Westerners? Orientals can’t help laughing at how Westerners have to tilt their heads to kiss. Why do you kiss with your mouth instead of something else? Is it because it is the worst part of your body? The mouth is the organ through which love and life can be connected.
Food is not valuable in itself, but has value in that it keeps us alive. The mouth is the organ which has the most to do with our life; it also has much to do with our love. When a man touches a woman’s lips with his finger, she blushes. If he just touches her face, she doesn’t respond so quickly or strongly, but she does respond when he touches her lips. That shows it is a sensitive spot of love.
Hands touching hands can express love, but the lips are the most sensitive spot for expressing love. The mouth is the connection of life because it takes food in, and the connection of love because it is sensitive to the touch. Also, it conveys your personality by what you speak. Considering all this, is your mouth or your nose or your eyes most important?
You can see something which is living, but you cannot see life, or love either. You can see an expression of love, though. Can we see personality or character? Though we cannot see life, still we feel vitality coming to us. Also, we cannot see love, but it is very much there. When you are alone, you don’t know if you have love or not.
There are some things we can see and some things we cannot see. Love, life, ideals or thoughts, conscience and mind are things we cannot see. Do you really have a mind? Would more people say their visible and invisible aspects are the same, or would more people say they are different? Actually they are different.
Everyone has his own notion of what is beautiful. If you felt you were not as beautiful in your mind as other people, you would feel bad inside. But even if you and others all think you are ugly, if you think your mind is beautiful then you would not feel ugly. Can we say that everyone in prison is ugly, that only ugly people go to prison? It is possible for a beautiful woman to be the worst person. On the other hand, a woman who is ugly and doesn’t have beautiful clothing may be the best person. Are we talking about her outside appearance, or her inner person?
We can see that what is outside cannot be changed, but what is inside can be changed at your will. Your mind can be big like an ocean; but it can also be so narrow that nothing can pass through freely, and such a person cannot be called good. Sometimes a beautiful woman or a handsome man may be the first to doze off here in the morning. Does the mind or the body doze off first? The body dozes off when the mind is not very interested.
My point is that people tend to say that the best thing is something they can see outside. Imagine a husband who brings his wife some beautiful gift every day, even a diamond ring. His wife may thank him a thousand times, but if his mind is not given with the present, she doesn’t feel the value of the gift. Then is the mind less valuable than the diamond? How big would the mind be? The mind is so big that no matter how you toss and turn in your sleep, you would never touch the edge of that world. But at the same time how small can the mind be? It can be so small that an ant walking through would be a major irritation. The body is not bothered by something as small as an ant, however.
Does a man or a woman have a bigger mind? Does a man or woman think more about him or herself? If I say a man’s mind is bigger, American women might think I am bothering them again. Man’s mind is bigger! What’s so good about having a big mind? What purpose does it serve? Not all big things are good. When we say the mind is big, we mean it has a capacity for tolerating things it doesn’t like until the situation changes. Also, with such a mind you try to be generous and understanding about things that are foolish or even bad, and try to make something good of them.
Nowhere in religion is it taught that you must have a broad mind. Jesus never taught that one must always broaden his mind, for example. But in religion we hear terms like meek, humble and sacrificial. What do they mean? These things were not taught for God’s sake; we can even express their value in pragmatic terms for Americans: if one is meek and humble and sacrificial, his mind will become bigger.
Then what is so good about a big mind? Even though God has a big mind, as long as He is alone it makes no difference whether His mind is big or small. If you have a big mind, it can contain many things. It can hold nice clothing or rags, nice things or not-so-nice things, but everything can be comfortable in a big mind.
God would like to live in some person’s mind, so would He choose to live in the small mind of a woman, or the bigger mind of a man? Would you prefer a small apartment, or a palace? Would you prefer something bigger than a palace? God lives in the biggest palace there is, the king of palaces.
Would God prefer to visit the mind which is small and dirty, or a big and beautiful mind? Does religious teaching direct a person in a way that will develop a big, beautiful mind? Would you rather marry a man with a broad mind, or would you place more importance on how attractive he is?
When millions of people come against me, how can I tolerate it and embrace them all in my mind? If I were a woman, after just a fraction of that opposition I wouldn’t be able to stand it. Did Jesus really know what he was talking about when he said “Love thy enemy”? What will be achieved by doing that? When one is able to do that then one has a big and beautiful mind.
What can happen when that is achieved? If God lives in the best palace but there is no one with a big enough mind for Him to live in, one wants very badly to have such a mind so that God can be invited there. I have told you many times to persevere and sacrifice; I would like very much to see what you have become by doing that, but there is no opening in your mind for me to enter. Once I crawled in a small mind, how would I get out? Why would I look for such a mind? Simply so that you and I can live together.
Your mind can be so big that a car could drive through with room to spare. Some minds are only big enough for one or two people to fit into, but others could contain a car. Which is better? Would it be better for a mind to be able to contain a car just barely moving, or going 100 miles an hour?
Looking back over my life, why did God send me into situations which were very difficult to tolerate, like prison, and allow me to be hated and persecuted? I know it was so that my mind would be broadened. When God sets foot in your mind but it is so small that His foot gets stuck, He kicks with His other leg to make the opening bigger. That’s how He gets into your small mind. Your mind can expand without limit.
If a woman’s womb can start out small but expand enough to accommodate even a ten pound baby, plus all the amniotic fluid and placenta, and then contract again after birth, how much more can the mind expand? Has there ever been a woman whose womb wouldn’t expand and allow her to have a baby? The womb never thinks about whether it will expand. When God’s seed is planted in your mind and you let it grow, like a baby in the womb, it gets to be as big as God Himself. If the womb doesn’t expand then the baby will die because it cannot grow.
Do you think God knows what kind of environment your mind is before He sends His seed? If He knows that a person’s mind will not expand, He will not plant the seed in the first place. How big is your mind, and how long will it continue growing? If your mind is very specific and limited in what it likes and dislikes, would God like to get in there? You may think this sounds like nonsense, but this is actually a very religious outlook. This is not just a concept, but an explanation of something invisible.
When I push you hard and you go out to fund raise and witness, you don’t know how you are growing. But the person who tries hard will change greatly over the course of ten years, and people who know him will be amazed. In the past you might have reacted negatively to anything your parents told you, and argued with your brothers and sisters, but after ten years you will be totally different. No matter what they say to you, you can accept it. Brainwashing is the only explanation they can think of for this.
Certainly we have expanded our minds to be able to handle any situation. A white girl who is persecuted by white people will go later to Africa and be persecuted by Africans. If someone feels he has gone through everything in white America and black Africa, wouldn’t God like to check to find out what his mind is like? Do you think this supposition is true?
We have about 100 people here. Would I choose to enter a big mind from among you, or a small mind? No one’s mind is big enough, so I have to expand them all by getting in and kicking around. I have to be careful not to rupture them, however, because then they will give off smelly matter like pus from an infection.
You usually remember the person who has done the best to you, and the person who has done the worst to you. I have done the worst, right? I only pound on you instead of giving praise. If a preacher says gentle, pious things in his sermon then in twenty minutes the congregation likes him, so what am I trying to accomplish by pounding on you instead? People see that you are working hard but that you are happy and never complaining. That makes them very uncomfortable.
Yesterday the leaders of our Japanese church visited me and I spoke with them for many hours. They work incredibly hard, but I did not praise them. I scolded them instead and said they must do twice as much. They were not hurt, but understood that is the way we ought to do. Just forty years ago Japan was the enemy of America, but the money the Japanese work so hard to raise is not spent for Japan, but for America and other countries. I didn’t even acknowledge that the Japanese church had done much, but said we must expand their financial effort for another four years. To you that is inconceivable.
No other Japanese could receive such a direction from me, only our older staff members. They take it in and understand and try to be thankful. They can remain when others would run away, simply because their minds have become big, even though they don’t realize it themselves. Now I am also ornamenting their already big minds with other jewels by telling them to love others.
Even when a man with a big mind tells God not to come, God would insist on visiting anyway. If you tell God you will set a sentry to prevent Him from coming in, God will sneak in while you are asleep! Then when you wake up you will find a note left behind in the form of a dream or revelation. When I pound on a person so hard that he feels he cannot take any more, I appear in his dreams and make a tour to see how he has grown.
You may say, “Father, I really take all this very seriously, but why didn’t you tell me this ten years ago? I could have grown so much faster!” But the door of your mind wasn’t open then. Now can you receive what I am saying?
From 1981 on we have to have the best thing in the world. You might say that we have exhausted ourselves, so the best thing would be having a long sleep. No? I would like that!
You can tell by my eyes that I have a very sensitive and perceptive mind. I can be aware of the most minute things, yet can tolerate great difficulty, almost as though I didn’t have any nerves at all. I can stretch to both extremes. How could anyone be bigger than that? I still remember the name of one Japanese detective years ago who was pounding on me, and I was almost ready to retaliate, even though it might have cost me my life. But I thought of how Jesus said to love our enemies, so I tried to see if I could overcome that situation. Without knowing that principle I couldn’t have overcome.
Whatever your friends and relatives may be like, what they will like most about you is your mind, if it is big and beautiful. How beautiful it is when you stop to cover a person whom you dislike as he sleeps, to make sure he isn’t cold. Is that a good or bad mind? A beautiful or ugly mind? Don’t you want to have that kind of mind?
When your nation sends you to the front line, it is expecting you to be a patriot, but a patriot is only born on the front line, not in the non-combat areas. The mind of a patriot can encompass a country. A saint’s mind can encompass the whole world. Even though you may not understand all this precisely, don’t you think it is correct? Will your mind change in value next year, just as money changes in value?
Usually a white woman will never marry someone she doesn’t care for. But because in the past I gave you directions and you did unbearable things, now you white women will marry black men. My whole purpose is to broaden your minds so that God can come in. Your minds have become bigger. You think you are ordinary people, but I am determined to make you better than the saints, and even better than Jesus. To do that you have to stretch yourself to the maximum, and even that is not enough.
Just think of all the years you spent obtaining your education, and now where do you end up? Now you sell flowers on the street! And even when people buy from you they give you a hard time. Here you receive only difficulty.
Do you think I’m not smart enough to know the hardship you go through? More than you realize, I know what it is like. If anything, I am smarter than any of you and think more than you do. That’s why you are learning from me now. How wonderful it is to persuade a Harvard-educated person to sell flowers. A small flower is a beacon of the lighthouse for all mankind.
Recently I sent Colonel Pak to meet with presidents of seven South American nations. When he presented himself as the special assistant to Reverend Moon, he was given red carpet treatment, and he told me later that he really felt the greatness of Reverend Moon. When he came back to report to me I was at Morning Garden, sitting on the ground mending nets. Colonel Pak said it gave him great insight, how in life one person could embrace the highest extreme, and the lowest, most humble extreme. Because I have a big mind, it makes no difference to me where I am, whether high or low.
I have often eaten at McDonald’s, and have eaten New York pretzels. No one thinks it could really be Reverend Moon eating at McDonald’s; they think I just look like Reverend Moon! How fantastic it is if you are doing this menial thing for the public way. This is why I never felt ashamed even when I was handcuffed and on my way to prison. There is no reason to feel badly about it. By my doing that, the minds of many people can later be ignited and taught historical lessons. So what is there to be ashamed of?
Whatever I do looks natural, doesn’t it? You saw how after the entertainment on God’s Day I got up on stage and danced. I wasn’t thinking I would show you dancing, but just felt like dancing.
I am the most-loved person at East Garden, but at the same time everyone is afraid of me. I am very particular, and want to raise the standard in even the smallest thing, even though you may not feel good when I point out your errors. But at East Garden I don’t comment on mistakes very often, even though the staff makes errors, like breaking things in the kitchen. Americans think a broken dish can just be replaced, but it is not that simple; such an incident must be realized as a mistake. But I don’t point out these things at East Garden.
The day after God’s Day I went down to the kitchen at 8 a.m., but no one was there because they had gone to bed at 4 a.m. Usually I could not tolerate that, but I thought about it and could understand. The staff might feel it was wrong, but they are fearful because they don’t know what I am really thinking. They all know I am very sensitive. Do you think it’s strange that I don’t speak of these things at home, but will speak of them in public? Do you think I am too particular and fussy? I cannot help being like that.
I say this so that you can broaden your mind. You must grow your mind to be so big that it can surround your body, and also so that everyone will fit in there and follow you, including spirit world. How could a person be better than that?
Religious people have only understood meekness and humility in a conceptual way, but now for us it is very realistic. Would you rather have me send you fund raising here in America, or in Africa, where it would be much harder?
Two nights ago we held an international yute match, and an African team was one of the finalists. One white brother was cheering them on, chanting, “Africa, Africa,” for five hours. Later his voice was gone and he couldn’t speak, but still he was chanting, “Africa, Africa.” I felt that perhaps he loved Africans more than I did. If you go to work in Africa when the world is focused on that continent, how much more real love it shows than just cheering at yute. Your prize for doing that would include God, spirit world, and all mankind. Everything would be included in the reward; certainly it would be more than the prize for winning at yute.
Don’t think that I picked today’s topic at random. I feel that 1981 will be our best year, and since this is the first Sunday of 1981, I wanted to give you the best talk of all. By giving you these words, I feel that all of you can try to be beautiful for the rest of the year and forever.
Even those who really oppose me want to see me. Why? Even the Germans and British want to visit the Louvre in France. Why? Because it is a big and beautiful place. That is unchangeable. If the mind is big and beautiful, everyone would like to see it, whether your enemies or your friends. This is my reasoning.
The obvious conclusion is that suffering broadens one’s mind, and to love others is to further embellish the mind with jewels. Now you know the deep reason why I never leave you alone but push you out to make you suffer and sacrifice-it is to make your minds big and beautiful. What better present could I offer you on the first Sunday of 1981?
The best thing is a big mind, and a beautiful one. What must you do to have one? From now on, if you are sitting comfortably and doing nothing, you must think that your mind is getting narrower. If you hate someone then you should be reminded that your mind is getting ugly.
If you are to have a broader mind, you must seek persecution and suffering. I came to the other extreme of the world here in America to broaden my mind, and as a result I feel that everyone wants to come rest and live in me. To make my mind beautiful as well as big, I will love the people of this country; this is how I have resolved in myself. I will be proud, not of what I have made or accomplished, but of how I broaden my mind. I still have further to go because there are more people to reach out to and embrace.
Will you join me in doing this?