by Rev. Young Hwi Kim
February 3, 1985
Good morning. In the first part of our pledge this morning we stated that God's ideal is to fulfill the purpose of creation and that our responsibility is to perfect ourselves. When we speak about perfection, we usually mean spiritual perfection because man's essence is spirit. This is our ultimate goal. One thing we often overlook in our daily lives is that spiritual perfection also means that our spirit should be subject over our body; we must learn to control our body and maintain our physical health. If we don't know how to care for our physical body we are far from perfect. When Father was imprisoned in North Korea, he was sentenced to hard labor and wasn't given sufficient food. He was able to maintain his health despite the difficult circumstances because he knew how man's body operated. He could survive in the worst circumstances imaginable. This is good evidence that perfect man must know how to maintain his health. If man hadn't fallen he would have learned the secrets of the physical body by inheriting God's wisdom and truth. Many people study medicine and become doctors, but we should know how to maintain our health without studying medicine.
We know that increasing numbers of people suffer from cancer, ulcers and high blood pressure. There are different reasons for this. One of the main causes though is the increasing amount of stress in our daily lives. Modern society is hectic and full of negative influences that prevent us from leading a calm, stable life. These sources of stress multiply and ultimately cause problems. Actually, if man was able to control his body, he would be able to relieve stress before it built up to dangerous levels. This is an important aspect of maintaining our physical health. Another is good blood circulation; we need good circulation to ensure the removal of toxins from the body. This is a vital body function and should also be controlled by our spirit. Our spirit should be able to control our circulation, thus producing good give and take in our body. All our organs should work together.
We breathe continuously, even in our sleep, inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Oxygen is needed for digestion and to transport nutrients to our whole body. So breathing well oxygenated air is another way to maintain physical health. Our body is composed of 2/3 water, so we also need good water, preferably clean natural water. We also recognize the importance of good food. I don't mean we need expensive food. Father managed to maintain his health even when he received bad food. Our digestion corresponds to our determination. When you are determined, you can usually maintain your health, small things cannot hinder you. But when your spirit is weak you will get sick even if you eat good food. Of course it's better to eat good food, by this I mean natural food. Nevertheless our spirit should be strong and stable so we can digest our food properly and distribute the nutrients to our body.
Posture is important as well. If you have bad posture it will impair your health. It is important to keep good posture, God created man to live in this way. Some people's backs become curved when they become old. This comes from bad posture or sleeping in a bad position. So we must keep good posture in order to maintain good health as God intended. Exercise is another important point. Even if you don't do any special exercises if you walk enough, you can maintain your health. God created man to walk, but nowadays we ride rather than walk. If we walk, as God originally intended us to, we can stay healthy. Actually walking is the best exercise. We can do other exercises to improve our circulation and train our muscles, but simply walking and maintaining a good posture can keep us healthy.
Our state of mind is very important. Of course we need good posture and exercise and the quality of our nutrition is also important, but foremost is our state of mind. We should try to keep a healthy state of mind and not be affected by our circumstances. Most people go to a doctor when they have trouble, but they don't alter their lifestyle. Of course it's good to visit a doctor when you have a problem, but even more important is to correct any bad habits that might be causing problems. We usually aren't aware of our spiritual control over our body, so when we have some complaint we want to see a doctor or take medicine. I once received a revelation from spirit world telling me not to go to the doctor or rely on medicine too much. Bad health is a sign of man's imperfection; when man is perfect he will know how to care for his health. We should be able to maintain our health through our state of mind and discover ways to cure diseases and correct physical problems. Through this experience I came to understand that perfection is not just spiritual, but that we should also be able to control our physical body; this is true perfection.
Father has shown us a good example of this. He had to endure severe conditions, but was always able to maintain his health. Compared to Father's life, we have lived in the Kingdom of Heaven, nevertheless we often get sick. What does this indicate? If we lived under harsher conditions than those Father experienced in Hungnam, we might be able to say we got sick as a result of our hard work and difficult circumstances. But that is not the case; we are simply ignorant of the needs of our physical body. If we knew how to control our physical body we wouldn't have such bad health. We should take more care about maintaining our health. This is one aspect of self-perfection. We can't blame anyone else for our state of health. Whenever we have some physical problem we should think: "This came about as a result of my own ignorance" and try to correct our mistakes. As a result of the fall man became ignorant of all aspects of life. Thus restoration of knowledge is a part of reaching perfection as well.
The secrets of good health are quite simple. Stress is detrimental to our health. Not only do our external circumstances produce tension, our state of mind is a key factor as well. Whenever we get angry, tension causes our muscles to strain. This shows that our state of mind affects our body. We have a saying in Korea that when you get angry you start to age. If you get angry once, you move one step closer towards old age. So if you are often angry you will age quickly, but if you smile and have a peaceful heart, you will remain young. Then how can we overcome our anger? Of course in certain situations we get angry; then how can we overcome this? This is another form of developing our mind. Especially older people and religious people should try to keep a strong healthy spirit. This is an important goal in life. How can we keep our spirit calm, sound and healthy? It depends on the degree to which our spirit is developed. If our heart and mind are well developed, we can easily overcome disturbances, otherwise we are easily influenced by the events of our lives. We should be able to control our circumstances, not be controlled by them. When we lose control over our circumstances we get angry and our health is impaired.
Perfection means being able to control our environment. God created us to be lords of creation. This doesn't just mean nature, but our lives and our relationships as well. We should be able to overcome all negative influences. When our spirit is mature, we will be able to overcome all difficulties so they cannot affect our health. Being a lord of creation requires being able to control ourselves. Confucius said that at the age of forty, he could control his physical desires. We should be able to do the same. Actually we should be able to achieve this even earlier than Confucius. Once we accomplish this, we can say we have reached perfection. If not, we are still below that standard. We know we still have a long way to go. We can see what level we have reached when we consider how well we can control our desire for food, for example. When you have some delicious food before you, you should be able to keep yourself from overindulging. Even though you'd like to take more, you should be able to refrain from doing so. It's the same with sexual desire. We know that the fall was a result of uncontrolled desire, therefore we should learn how to control this, how to stop at a certain point. If we cannot do this, we are not yet perfect. There are many ways to check our maturity.
What do you imagine is the best way to control all things? We need a loving mind, then we can observe and digest everything. Even our health can benefit from being a loving person. So from the spiritual as well as the physical viewpoint we can clearly see that love is the essential element in man's life. When we have a loving heart we won't get angry, but can control our emotions. Now we understand that maintaining good health is one aspect of reaching self-perfection and that we can keep healthy by having a peaceful mind and heart and maintaining good relationships with the people around us. The creation should be our friend, not our enemy. When we have a loving heart the creation will want to be our friend. When we reach this state we can be healthy both physically and spiritually and this world will truly be the Kingdom of Heaven. If you lose your health, however, you cannot be truly happy even in the Kingdom of Heaven; both aspects must be perfect in order to build the Kingdom of Heaven.
Let us pray:
Our loving Heavenly Father, you created us as your physical body. You do not have a physical body, so you created man on this earth. We must become your true representatives. Your physical body shouldn't be ill, but should be sound and healthy because you are Almighty God. Since you are a God of goodness and love, we, as your representatives, should have a similar nature. Father, we cannot do much for you nor can we realize your ideal on earth unless we are in good health. Maintaining our spiritual and physical health is the key to becoming your true sons and daughters. Father, we usually consider perfection solely from the aspect of spiritual growth. But actually, spiritual growth includes having dominion over our physical body as well; we must learn how to care for our physical body. Since we lost your truth and your words we became ignorant of many things, Father. There are so many things we must restore. We ask you to give us your wisdom, that we may know all the secrets you want to share with us.
Father, we have many things to do. We have to bring all people and all things back to you. To do your work more effectively we need your heart and a healthy physical body. We want to expedite your providence of restoration as much as possible. We want to remember our True Parents at this time. We'd like to pray for the rapid release of our True Father from Danbury. We want to work together with him to achieve more for you. He is our source of inspiration and we can learn more about you from him. We need our True Father and you need him. We also pray for True Mother and the True Children, who are good examples for us. Satan hates them though, so they need our support and protection . We ask you to protect them. We want to support them and each other, so everyone can reach their goal of becoming a true child of God and a part of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
We pray all this in the name of our True Parents. Amen.