Birthday

Hyo Jin Moon January 21, 2007 7:00 am Belvedere


Here are my notes from Hyo Jin nim’s speech Sunday 14 January 2007. My ability to convey what was actually said is limited. These, at most, convey some sense of what Hyo Jin nim said and are not a verbatim record. Hyo Jin nim’s website is: http://www.canaanstation.com/ To see two of the projects that Hyo Jin nim is working on log on to: http://definingmoment.tv/ and http://definingmoment.eu/

Joe Kinney


(Today is Hyo Jin nim’s birthday by lunar calendar. Also Hyo Jin nim’s wife gave birth to a son Shin Jin nim last Friday 19 Jan evening. Two cakes were prepared on a table next to the stage.

Rev. Andrew Compton is the MC. All welcome Hyo Jin nim and offer a bow.

Hyo Jin nim bows to the audience as he approaches the stage. He places a small notebook on the podium; Hyo Jin nim cuts the cakes and receives flowers and a present from National Interfaith Leadership Training Program, whose members attend every Sunday, and a card signed by most of those attending before he speaks. We all sang Happy Birthday twice.


Thank you.


Please sit down.


Thank you for the cake and the present and for the flowers.


This was unexpected. He came out a month early. I guess he wanted to come out.


He’ll be coming home today. He is healthy and my wife is OK.


So thank you.


So today ... I see some faces that I haven’t seen for a while. (One of Hyo Jin nim’s former band members and their family attended the speech today.)


Living in New York City is rather interesting.


Do you like big cities? When you see the people living in big cities they kind of have an attitude don’t they? I guess could say that it is kind of confident or to get right to the point, they’re a little cocky. This attitude is almost a prerequisite for survival in a dog-eat-dog world. You have to be arrogant; you have to have that kind of presence; you have to have that kind of pride and also project a strong sense of self importance just to get recognized.


It’s almost like the big city environment provokes you whether you want it or not to have and present that kind of attitude and personification. You have to ask yourself if that is healthy. What happens to people when they actually live in that kind of mode? What kind of transformation will happen because you will be transformed based on what you are, what you think, what you want to think, what you want to be whether you like it or not. You will process the growth and you will change into that whether you like it or not. So you have to ask your self: Is that good? If that’s not good, if that’s the only way I guess you can’t stop and we have to live with the consequences. But if it is not good then how do you stop it? That’s the question. If we don’t address that kind of question and focus on the solution that we can all agree on, it’s very difficult.


The challenge in ourselves in challenges that lie ahead in what we need to do, in our mission, dealing with those areas and that kind of arrogance will be a problem area and it’s growing faster than any other time in history. Every big city will have that problem. It will start itself with some idealism, but it will change because of the nature of what you have to be to survive in that competitive setting.


It will change you. That modern big city life will change you. The problem, especially in China, is that the big cities are growing up, popping out, every few years. It will become the number one import and exporting country in the world in a few years. Germany is number one; America is second and China is third right now and it will overtake America and Germany.


That’s the problem, and how do we address even the problems that we have now. Think about it.

To me, arrogance is stupidity. Stupid people are people who are in a state of stupor, right? Their senses are dulled. They feel numb to all sorts of stuff. You live in today’s world and are sensitized with things in life. Sometimes you have to question whether that is right or wrong. Many times when you start to think morally and ethically you question pretty much everything that is stimulating your senses, that is titillating out there. That’s what you’re bombarded with on a daily basis. It is overwhelming and you are getting desensitized to that reality.


We’re being stupefied every single way with things that are supposed to educate you, and stimulate you, to be a better person, but it’s actually doing the opposite. Why? The great excuse is that Corporations have to make money. This is the land of the free and the land of capitalism. In this society you have the right to pursue opportunity. Opportunity means wealth and whatever, personal gratification.


When that aspect, especially personal gratification, is not defined properly it becomes very dangerous. We do have a problem with religion in itself because the values that religion should uphold as sacred and absolute... Regardless of what religion it is, there has to be some absolutes that are equal to the primary absolutes, the laws of God PHYSICS! But even that is unstable. There is no clarification in some religions. That’s the problem.


There are many issues that need to be solved. We still have the basic problem. And how do you go about changing that when the world is becoming more stupefied?


We have to go to the very essence of who we are, starting as a child, we want to learn. We have to bring that back. And how do you go about doing that? It’s extremely challenging and it's extremely difficult. You have to really create a creative environment that is so overwhelmingly rich, productive, creative that it provokes you enough that you’re enraptured by it to the point where you want to learn; you want to start to learn again.


Other wise it will never change. It will only decay further. How do you provoke the arrogant culture into wanting to learn again? How do you restart the need for growth? How do you stimulate that? That’s the question that we need to ask. We must find the solution there.

You can’t force people to change. You can’t force people to learn something when they don’t want to learn. How do you go about doing that? Can you create some kind of art or entertainment that is so rich, so high in standard and quality, that you know that people will change just by being part of it, just by being in the presence of it? Can that be done? I will be extremely challenging.

Can you find a truth where it is so evident just by hearing it that you can clarify many, many things that you might be questioning about life itself, and the purpose you are in terms of your existence?


If we can find something like that it would be very provocative, wouldn’t it? Even in the minds of arrogant people I’ve seen it all. I’ve been there. I’ve done that, jaded to the hilt. I’m sure that you can open the door again of wanting to learn more. Because once…


No matter how arrogant you are. No matter how confident you are to put it nicely, if you can see a greater quality. If something is presented to you and you can see the quality. This is something. The quality of it is better than what I’ve got. That’s a stimulation, no matter how arrogant you are.

Being able to present that case, that moment of one who is arrogant making that change is difficult because you need to present it. It has to be real to that person. It has to tough them in a real way physically, mentally. I don’t know if that person will understand spirit yet, but at least that is a challenge. We must do that and it will take a collective effort, not just one man’s genius, because everything in the world stands on the shoulder of something, ultimately God, right?

How can you be arrogant to begin with because you can never be satisfied if you live a creative life, even a religious life, because contentment is a killer? Even in the world of art you are only as good as the last one that you did and you have to keep it coming. You can never be content. You can never be satisfied because it is suicide. It is a suicide position. It is a suicide action actually if that is the chosen path that you are taking. You can’t survive. You can’t compete. You’re dead by your own self admission.


You can never be satisfied. You have to want more, more, more. That’s reality. Why, because God is like that. Don’t you want to emulate him? Do you want to imitate Him or do you want to emulate Him? I don’t know. (Laughter) Or do you want to be Him? Oh Boy! I don’t know about that. (Laughter)


And when Father says up to twelve, up to 35 years, you have to symbolically rebuild creation. The number six he owns and the number seven. The other five days. He does think numerically five times seven is thirty five years. Maybe perhaps then you’ll reestablish his name around the world substantially, not symbolically. I believe it will take ten generations or more. It can’t happen that…

Look. People come. A lot of people come and they put their hands out for all sorts of reasons. You can’t trust politicians, period. Right? How can you trust those guys? Some religious people, I question them. It is very difficult. I know that a lot of people come, especially when you present it in a certain way, they do come expecting something. That’s not good. That’s not how you transform people. That’s not how you change the world.


It might have some symbolic sense. It might have some temporary applicational effect to galvanize people to do something more. But eventually what is that? Members fundraise and you spend it on what?


Having that kind of leverage that we need for a twenty-first century church, because multimedia is the way of twenty-first century ecumenism, its going to take time to develop that stuff.


More importantly we need to develop our own people. You can’t just use hired guns. It will never work. It will never work in any case, in any situation, in any organization. In any system it will not work. Money is never a solution, nor power, never.


The only way to motivate people, like I said last week, is either you do it with money or sacrifice. That’s the only way. Money is always a temporary measure. The long-term thing is always sacrifice. I’ll sacrifice more than you. That’s the only way. I’ll do better than you. I’ll show you a greater product. That’s the only way to motivate. If you motivate the person that way it lasts MUCH longer than money! Trust me, that’s the only way to do it.


We need our people who... There are so many ways in which you can become valuable, if you’re good at research or even art or whatever. Even if you don’t have an outgoing personality there are many, many ways that you can be invaluable in that system, because we need to compete that way to survive. That’s the only way. I sincerely believe this.


I’ve been saying it for a long time and I believe it with all my heart and this is how I’m going to go out. There is no other way.


Please if you want to put anything into stupor, put your arrogance into it.


Take care of your self.


I’ll see you next week.

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