REVEREND SUN MYUNG MOON
THE BEST THING
January 4, 1981
Belvedere International Training Center,
Tarrytown, New York
Translator - Sang Kil Han
Copyright © 1981 by Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity
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
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
houseful 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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.