Giving Thanks

Hyo Jin Moon October 8, 2006 7:00 am Belvedere

Here are my notes from Hyo Jin nim's speech Sunday 08 October 2006. 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.

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Joe Kinney

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

(Hyo Jin nim bows to the audience as he approaches the stage; he brings a small notebook to the podium.)

Sorry that I'm a little late.

Based on Korean Tradition, just a few days ago we passed Thanksgiving. (Chu'sok the Korean "Harvest Moon" festival is on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month)

What are we thankful for? When you are first born.. I don't know if a baby can realize the status of their own being at the moment of inception when they emerge from the womb venturing into something that is absolutely foreign to them.

That's a different state. I don't know whether the newborn coming out of the womb can actually feel that stuff or anything for that matter. This is something that I wish that I could understand. Does the infant coming right out of the womb feel anything, and if it feels anything what does it feel? That's pretty much where you have to start.

Anything that is going to be anything; that is the start. Do you see God? And that kind of stuff. Do you know God personally? Do you have His cell phone number? (Laughter) That kind of stuff.

We believe in something because we want ... because of our intellectual capacity to look at the past. And the past doesn't really look pretty in terms of building what we want in the ideal sense.

That's why religion is a powerful force in history. Because we want to know "what did I think when I first came out of the womb?" Think? If I did then what did I think? Was I happy to be here or not happy? We could start with that.

Do you remember what you thought when you were first born? Can you honestly say to somebody else, yourself even, that you know absolutely, for sure, that I know the answer, "I was happy." I was not happy." Or what ever in between, I don't care. Do you have that answer? Pretty much, basically that's where we start from, our individual self. Everything else is influenced. If you are nor sure of your self, if you don't know who you are, if you don't know your limit, pretty much you're the product of influence around you, your reality.

Go back and think about your situation. Think about your reality. How far can I go back? To my beginning, my beginning. Now just put aside somebody else for now OK? Your beginning. How far can I go back and start to fundamentally ask myself and give myself fundamental answers?

What am I thankful for? If you want to change the world you'd better answer that question. As far as you can go back, teenage years, whatever. Middle class parents want to do their best to put their children through school and a good school is all the better, Ivy League even better right? Because they will get preferential treatment and go on to the next level.

You start off with an annual salary of $70,000 or $80,000 up to $120,000 with a law degree from an Ivy League school, an MBA or whatever. The more the better. Actually, just for fun because this information is so easy to get these days I found that from established schools like Harvard Yale etc about 25,000 to 30,000 kids come out every year. Obviously there are more prominent schools out there in America; every state has state universities from grade "A" to whatever and it's like that everywhere in the world.

Then what? Other issues? What is free in America? It's an opportunity sure. You know mind and body stuff to me is sometimes very simple. I look at it sometimes as life and death, life and sense, and life and love. You kind of have to measure people based on that kind of stuff. When you look at civilizations what are they chasing?

Of course even in spirit it can be good and bad. Even in intelligence there is good and bad. Even in body there is good and bad. Right? Just because in comparison to some spiritual dumb ass on a physical level you might be better off than that because you seem opposite it doesn't make it right forever; It is very temporal.

Father has invested in the second generation I know for sure two kids that have gotten a PhD in economics. They're doing well on their own, but that's about it. I could go into detail, but it's not necessary.

There is a lot of stuff that it is not necessary to talk about. You just have to understand the essence of stuff. You have to ask yourself "Why do I want to give thanks to something? Do I mean it?" When you are thankful for something what happens? Most likely you're thankful for some kind of personal reasons, that some kind of personal benefit might happen to you. People who are thankful, what happens to them if you're normal? You make some kind of offering right? You don't make an offering unless you feel something like that. Obviously unless you have something to be grateful for or thankful for it (the desire to make an offering) isn't going to last long. That's reality right?

That's why that I guess in a sense that you have reached some mind of understanding that in spirit there is an end to reality as we understand it. Because of that basic reality our ability to understand stuff, God doesn't want to be alone. God is almighty by Himself He doesn't need law, but because of his counterpart he has to have law. Law exists for the sake of the counterpart, that's it.

When you have that reality obviously there is a give-and-take principle that's the basic law to bring about that happening, to bring about somebody wanting to give something because they are genuinely thankful.