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July 26, 1998: How Can We Attain Happiness And Peace?

 July 26, 1998.


 How can we attain happiness and peace?


 When asked if people have what they desire in life, many respond that they seek happiness and peace. However, very few know how to achieve happiness and peace."


 Throughout history, many teachings have been passed down. Among them is the word of the law of truth. In the world, there are words that carry the same meaning to the law of truth. For instance, words like Way (道, Tao), 'law (法則), and 'promise' (約束) bear the same meaning to the law of truth(眞理).


 The law of truth can be explained as 'the path that brings the world into existence.' The Way and Virtue (道德) means that proper conduct builds great virtue. The path of practicing righteous actions or the path of a righteous life, that is the Way (道). 'The law of truth' is a path, 'Way' is a path, and 'law(法則)' is also a path that brings about certain phenomena. 'Promise' (約束) implies the same meaning.


 If we do not uphold what we should, happiness and peace cannot exist. Happiness and peace come into being when specific conditions are met. These conditions refer to the act of establishing one's conscience rightly in a just world. When we live with a bright mind in a bright world, true peace comes to exist within our hearts. Peace in life can exist when unfortunate things do not happen or there is a guarantee that they will not occur to oneself.


 Peace has simply become an ideal within people's aspirations because there has never been a proper education on such matters in human society. People express a desire for peace because they find their lives difficult and uncertain. However, they are unaware that peace is obtained through their own efforts.

Because human society has never properly taught these things, peace has become something that exists in people's ideals. People say they want peace because their lives are difficult and unstable. However, they do not know that peace is achieved through their own efforts.


 The conditions for happiness involve not being hungry, not feeling lonely, and having a bright mind. How can we create such conditions? To prevent experiencing hunger due to poverty, we should work hard and live frugally. If I am diligent while not deceiving others, I can gain trust from people, right? In that case, I can acquire true companions (道伴), and avoid loneliness. By relying on and sharing blessings with these companions, we can attain a life free from loneliness.


 Diligence, frugality, and honesty are the paths to happiness. However, there are societies in which happiness cannot be achieved no matter how hard-working, frugal, and honest one is. In societies where truth and justice are ignored, there are times when no meaning (法則, 約束, 眞理) prevails, regardless of one's efforts. Even if I have a bright mind, I cannot do anything when the world is dark. No matter how good your eyesight is, it is useless when trapped in complete darkness. In other words, no matter how bright your mind is, if you live in a dark world, you will be like a blind person.


 Generally, happiness can be attained through diligence, frugality, and honesty. Now, peace and happiness are no longer mere words existing in ideals. Peace and happiness can be created by yourselves. No one else can bring peace or happiness to you. To make these realities in your life, enlightenment is required.


 At this point, we can once again see that the most important thing in human life is enlightenment. Many people have engaged in various foolish activities in the pursuit of enlightenment. However, if you do not open your eyes to the law of truth, you cannot know where the path to enlightenment lies. you don't know what exists on what path. I explain that if you do not know what causes what to exist, it is difficult to achieve the goal you desire.


 You should reflect on the significance of life and the things within the law of truth. Knowing what exists within the law of truth allows people to create the life they desire for themselves. This fact is important.


 Last Saturday evening, there was a debate on a TV talk show with the title "How to Address Issues Like Layoffs." People who were economics professors came out and talked for a while, but they kept saying things they didn't know. They were bickering with each other, saying things like ‘we should or shouldn’t restructure’.


 The important thing is not layoffs, but creating a social environment where people who want to work can work. It is important to foster a social environment where anyone who is healthy can readily engage in work, but the system or idea that all citizens should live under a company run by a conglomerate is wrong. The state cannot solve problems in every individual's life. A ruler cannot solve the problems in the lives of every individual, and the survival of more than 40 million people cannot be entrusted to a ruler. However, because people believe that their happiness is maintained by the hands of rulers, there are no happy people on this land.


 People often feel momentary happiness when they experience temporary comfort, acquire material possessions, or achieve the ideals they have longed for. However, that is not true happiness. Let's consider an example: giving 5,000 won to a person begging on the street. What is it? Is it love or sympathy? It is sympathy. However, people often mistake such actions for love. This is incorrect. Love refers to actions that can be a blessing. Treating a financially struggling person with 5,000 won is not an act of love; it is an expression of sympathy. Sympathy or compassion should be distinguished from love.


 As mentioned earlier, obtaining momentary satisfaction cannot be considered happiness. For instance, a soccer player returning home after a stellar performance in the World Cup, receiving an enthusiastic welcome, may temporarily uplift their spirits, but that doesn't equate to true happiness. Can a good performance in a soccer match brighten a dark mind? If that were possible, one could simply learn to play soccer. Would winning first place in a golf tournament bring happiness? Absolutely not. They cannot be frugal because they lack diligence. They cannot live with a bright mind because they do not know the law of truth.


 Phenomena that arise from the movements of things within oneself, such as emotions, can never bring about peace. Instead, they tend to escalate into increasing unease. Thoughts like 'What if my popularity declines? Now that I'm at the very top, what if I fall from here?' always accompany a life pursued by worries and fears. Such conditions cannot lead to happiness.


 There are so many things lacking in our society. That's because there are no teachings. Due to the absence of education, people pursue their own ideals and hope that they will come true. Most individuals I engage in conversation with desire my agreement with their ideals.  However, one of the reasons I am not receiving a warm welcome from our society today is because I do not agree with the distorted ideals of people.


 The wisdom I possess is welcomed anywhere, be it a church or temple. I can be called a teacher anywhere. However, the sole reason I face rejection from them is because I do not agree with what they are doing.


 Put yourselves in a similar position as mine. Let's say you are proficient in mathematics. However, an ignorant person comes forward and claims that the answer to 5 plus 5 is 100. Can you agree with that? It's something I absolutely cannot agree with. This is precisely the issue at hand. If I don't know, I can agree. In a state of ignorance, if I hear someone say that the answer to 5 plus 5 is 100, I might acknowledge it as correct, saying, "I learned something good today." However, from the perspective of someone who clearly understands mathematics, I cannot affirm an incorrect answer. If I correct and say that the answer is not correct, the ignorant person may become visibly upset and start breathing heavily. They don't consider what their opponent says and acts; they simply think of themselves as the one who has been insulted. There is a prevailing mindset in today's society that goes something like, 'If I agree with what you said, shouldn't you also agree with what I say?'


 Creating a social environment can contribute to members achieving happiness and peace. Only when a large number of jobs created by the social environment are provided, can people who are not particularly talented be able to lead a stable life through such jobs. In some cases, they may be able to accumulate value in life by accepting good teachings and living a frugal life. In the end, they will be able to achieve the happiness they desire.


 While watching TV, I heard strange things from university professors, and it left me utterly dumbfounded and disheartened. Are all professors like that? They went on senseless prattling. If you go to farmers and ask them how they farm, what they say makes sense.


 "If you place these seeds in a freezer and lower the temperature, they will be fooled into thinking it's winter and go into dormancy. However, if you plant these seeds in the ground, despite the actual winter season, they will be deceived into believing it's spring and start sprouting."


 That is correct. However, the remarks made by professors lacked coherence. Why is this phenomenon occurring? It can be attributed to the societal environment. When addressing a problem, we should first examine the elements related to the issue and understand why they went awry. Only then can we achieve positive outcomes. Administering medication without conducting a patient examination is a risky practice for a doctor. Similarly, when approaching any task, the proper sequence involves diagnosing first and then prescribing.


 In our society today, diagnosis of problems is not performed. The professors featured on TV did not demonstrate any efforts to diagnose the problems; instead, they were just making strange remarks. One professor was denouncing another participant who spoke correctly. If all kinds of nonsense are pieced together, the right person can be denounced as a bad person overnight and eventually become a bad person. This is dangerous. It's like just telling a seriously ill patient, 'You will soon recover. Be courageous. Stand up,' without taking any meaningful action. What I'm trying to say is that to solve any problem you need a diagnosis. Conducting a proper diagnosis in order to understand why a certain incident occurred is the most important thing.


 The true purpose of education is to enable individuals to properly understand what exists and inform them of it. There is always right and wrong in what exists. There are things that are good and things that are wrong. Enlightenment is opening your eyes to what exists. If education fails to enable people to open their eyes of consciousness to what exists, it is a failed education. The challenges faced by our society today, particularly under the conglomerate-driven economic structure, can be attributed significantly to a flawed education.


 People who have not graduated from elementary school work well in factories even with low wages. People who only have a middle school diploma are willing to deliver black bean noodles, sell vegetables, and farm. The problem is highly educated people. Highly educated people don't try to do much other than use their brains. This phenomenon reflects the current state of society. Most highly educated people lead a life focused only on conglomerate companies.


 Why should you depend on others? If all members are able to take care of themselves and take responsibility, the country only needs to ensure fairness within society. This has not yet taken root in our society. This is a truly sad reality.


Many people in our society today believe that happiness and peace exist only in ideals.  The practical path to attaining happiness and peace remains unknown to everyone. I talked about this earlier.


 “Everything comes into existence by a single will. That will is law, the law of truth, promise. and Way. We must never ignore this will. It is right to teach through education that we must live dependent on this will.”


 It is true that generals like Admiral Yi Sun-sin or General Eulji Mundeok made significant contributions to saving the country when it faced external threats. The important thing is that we don't spend our days endlessly worshiping people like them. We must ourselves become that kind of person. All citizens themselves must become people like Eulji Mundeok or Yi Sun-sin.


‘Carnegie in the United States overcame difficult circumstances and eventually became the Steel King of the world and gained great wealth.’ This is a good story. It is important that through his biographies, we should not only admire him, but also strive to become individuals like Carnegie ourselves. Education should mold all the youth of this nation into people like Carnegie. Turning people with dreams and courage into leaders like Eulji Mundeok should be the most important goal for our society. But that hasn't happened for decades.


 No matter how much I contemplate, it is hard to comprehend why this era is forsaking what is right and embracing what is wrong. The way for us to live as human beings is to open our eyes to right and wrong and to distance ourselves from wrongful things. Through this fact we can protect ourselves. Why should we distance ourselves from wrong things? It is to protect ourselves. We must always consider these things important. We must discard the frail thoughts of dependence on others.


 Today, our society is unstable. The reason this issue is not easily solvable is that the social environment has not improved. If there is something wrong, it should be discarded.


 If you happen to sit down at a gambling table by mistake and it doesn't work out after a few attempts, you have to leave the place. You should get out of there whenever you think there is something strange about the gambling table. Even if you went in with ten thousand won and lost nine thousand, do not gamble away that last thousand in an attempt to break even. You have to stand up with that thousand won and think like this. ‘I won 1,000 won at the gambling table today. If I don’t get up now, I will lose this thousand won.’ If you think you are in the wrong place, you should get up from there immediately. If we believe that the structure of society is wrong, we must boldly change that structure. This is not working well in our society today. This is what is keeping our country from achieving happiness and peace, and the happiness and peace of the people living in our society.


 ‘Wisdom is important in life. For whom is wisdom necessary? Wisdom is something you need for yourself. When I open my eyes to what exists, I can free myself from what is wrong. That is the way to brighten society and the nation.


 I am not a very important person in our society today and I am not doing anything important. However, if I properly awaken the spirit of people through my life, future generations will certainly praise me.


 These days, I am publishing “Nature’s Teachings.” But people say,


 “There are only a few pages, so why pay 3,000 won each? “Other books only cost 2,000 won even though they have a lot more pages.”


 Here's what I'm saying.


 “This book is different from those books. There is truthfulness and a way in this book. The value of this book cannot be converted into money. “If they don't sell, store them in the warehouse.”


 In addition to labor costs, we have a loss of approximately 3 million won. But the important thing is that this book is helpful to society. If I don't do this, I will have to live as an incompetent person who knows what exists in the world but can't contribute anything to it. If we publish 10,000 books and one of those 10,000 books gets into the hands of a person looking for a path and shows him a bright path, that can be considered a success.


 The purpose of our lives is first to bless ourselves, and secondly to bless others, that is, to love them. If you ask me why I should love others, I can answer like this.


 “Fertilizing the land is never a bad thing. When I make the land good, the land gives me good fruits. The reason I enlighten and bless the world and other people is because if I improve the social environment in which I live, the blessing will return to me as a greater blessing. So even if I personally suffer losses, I will never back down because of those losses. It doesn't matter whether other people acknowledge it or not. In time, everyone will find out. “What matters is that we are alive and that our goal in life is to bless ourselves.”


 You must always have wise judgment and action for your life. If you become distant from wisdom and lose sight of what exists, you will make a terrible mistake. Even if it's a minor mistake at first, it can turn into a huge mistake over time. I would like to tell you once again that you should always reflect on every single thing that happened here, think about right and wrong as important, learn from them, and enlighten yourselves about them. I'll end by briefly taking your questions about things you don't understand. Ask questions, please.


 Questioner: In a poem titled ‘Blessing’, it is said that blessing means that keeping and performing is like farming. “What does it mean to keep and perform?”


In carrying out tasks in the world, the essence lies in keeping and performing. In the realm of farming, sowing seeds at the right time is fundamental above all else. The same principle applies to tasks of the world. Just as we must sow seeds at the right time, doing what we must do is keeping. Knowing how to take care of a seed after sowing it means performing. When farming, you must sow at the right time, apply pesticide at the right time, weed at the right time, and harvest at the right time to achieve good results. In order to bless yourself, you must be clear about keeping and performing.


When I make a promise, keeping that promise means keeping. Everything that exists in the world exists by promise. Doing what I must do is keeping, and what I do is performing.


Bugun Choi: Earlier, you mentioned that if we do not keep something, we cannot achieve happiness and peace. What is it that we need to keep in that context?


 To attain happiness and peace, it is not necessary to have a lot of wealth. Having a large amount of money can, in fact, darken the mind and make it unstable. To achieve happiness, as mentioned earlier, it is essential to have good friends and a bright mind that does not speak falsehood. Only those who uphold diligence, frugality, and honesty can truly become happy.


 Peace does not come into existence without any cause. To have peace, one must attain a bright mind in a bright society. Peace requires a clear sense of fulfillment in life. Joy exists when one's actions are connected to blessings, providing a sense of fulfillment. What you do can bring happiness to yourself. If you work hard and achieve a good harvest, wouldn't it bring great joy to yourself? Peace and happiness are present when there is keeping and performing.


 Other questions? If not, let’s call it a day.


-End-


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