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12 December 1998: To know Reality

Even with the same water, the water changes differently depending on who drinks it. When a viper drinks water, it makes poison, and when a deer drinks water, it makes antler. It would be futile to expect that a viper would make antlers.


The thing I fear the most while learning and watching things of the world is karma. It is because karma is what causes destiny to exist in the world. All the things that we have accepted creates karma, and karma creates destiny that rules over ourselves.

Asking a person of great karma to do good is like wishing the impossible to happen. This is because human consciousness is affected by the karma that exists within themselves.

Everything that exists in the world has karma. Even a single piece of iron has karma. Its karma sets it apart from other pieces of iron.


There is a story about Shakyamuni. Sakyamuni attained supreme enlightenment and came to see the reality of his homeland. The people forgot about the needs of themselves and their country and were living in pursuit of pleasure or only things that were in their ideals. For that reason, they did not have the strength to defend against aggression from outside. He came forward on his own and prevented several external invasions. But seeing the same thing happen over and over again made him realize that the situation was unavoidable. That was the fate of that country and its people. He couldn't help but watch his country crumble.


The same situation that Sakyamuni experienced is now happening in this land. I have been thinking about how I can help the fate of this country and its people. However, it is almost impossible to find a person with the mindset or desire to accept a good fate on this land.

Consciousness is created by what exists. What has come into existence within oneself does not disappear and continues to function. Wrong things make people with wrong thinking, and those people repeat wrong activities because of the wrong thinking. For that reason, no enlightened being or any person with outstanding abilities is of any help in this age.


Those who see nothing live in their ideals. If you live your life caught up in thoughts that you do not know, you will have hope that the impossible is possible. But it is impossible for the impossible to happen. Why is it impossible? The world and all phenomena in it exist by one law. There must be a problem to get an answer. The existence of a problem is indispensable in finding an answer. It is very dangerous to possess only answers without problems.


If you create good problems, you will get good answers. However, in today's world, there are few people who want to make good problems, but there are too many people who only have solutions that do not have problems. This phenomenon will bring great suffering to people in the future, and furthermore, make their lives exist in darkness.


Destiny is made by what exists in the causality. Destiny controls the lives of individuals in small ways, and in large ways controls the world. When a person with a bad fate goes through life, he makes himself difficult. When people with bad destiny become the main agents of society, the society faces difficult things. If people with bad fate run the country, the country will collapse. This is an eternal and immutable truth.


Accepting a wrong fate is hopeless. But do we have to live hopelessly just because we were born with the wrong fate? Not necessarily.


Just as you can create countless problems using numbers and formulas in mathematics, you can create countless problems using things that exist in the world.

There is a problem of ‘5 + 5’ and an answer of ‘10’. If left as is, the problem and the solution do not change. However, if you change ‘5’ to ‘12’ or ‘+’ to ‘x’, you can get a new answer, ‘17’ or ‘25’. In the same way, new results can be created by changing the things (problems) that exist in reality.


How can you change your destiny? As we saw above, you must first be able to create problems. To do this, in mathematics, you need to know what numbers are and understand what formulas are. In the same way, you must know things that exist in reality and things in your consciousness that become to exist in you by the things in reality.


No matter how bad our fate is, when we understand what exists, we can work not by relying on our own thoughts, but by relying on what exists. Of course, we must have sufficient understanding of our own destiny. If we have enough understanding, we can avoid doing things that you normally take for granted but which are not right. In this way, we can get out of our own bad luck. In other words, to change our destiny is to know exactly what exists and to gain realization about it.


Through this, we can understand why we should live. The purpose of our living is to make ourselves exist. Living is the fundamental cause which makes it possible to make ourselves to exist. Through living, we can do things that make ourselves in the future exist. Realizing the importance of living, we can lay the foundation for a destiny that will have an impact not only in this life, but also in the endless life to come. The foundation is created by one's own actions, judgment, and effort.


I went to Seoul a few days ago. I met a leader of a certain religion. That person is a person whose ability is recognized to some extent in that religion. I had a conversation with him.

Tathagata: “It is very unfortunate to live the rest of your life in lies just to solve things like three meals and a bed. I had expected that there would be some teachings that would be helpful in human life when it comes to religion. But my expectations on this matter are gradually turning to disappointment. It is because there are no exact explanations about problems among your teachings. In other words, you are only giving people answers that do not have problems, and you are not telling people about the process by which problems can be solved.”


Religious leader: So, what should we do?

Tathagata: “Now that you are surrounded by a lot of people and playing around with them, if you come by my side and listen to what I say for a year, you will know that you don’t know anything. This phenomenon can be made to happen in situations where the karma in you doesn't have a big impact on you. When karma is not influential on you, you can get out of your thoughts and see things. The difference between you and me is that you see things with your thoughts and I try to see things through what exists.”

Then he said that he wanted to leave his house. When I was about to leave, he even paid for a taxi. Have you ever seen a monk pay a person a ride? Right? I've never seen such a thing from other monks.


I visited Jogye Temple several days ago. There were many gatherings that hadn’t been there. There were ‘Reform Meeting’, ‘Purification Meeting', ‘Meeting for Politics and Economics’, etc. I was very much dumbfounded so I asked a monk there.


Tathagata: “Do you have any teachings here?”


Monk: “Do you have a religion?”


Tathagata: “I don’t have a religion right now, but I want to go to religion, but I can’t do it yet because I don’t know what religion does.”


Then he told me to listen to what he would say.


Monk: “Religion exists to live happily without doing bad things.”


I wondered how on earth a monk in a large temple like Jogyesa could say such a thing, so I asked.


Tathagata: “A word like ‘don’t do bad things’ is also used in Daesoon Jinri Hoe, is it similar to Daesoon Jin Ri Hoe?”


Monk: “Ah! It’s a little different than that.”


Tathagata: “Is that so? Ah! Christianity also has many teachings like 'not doing bad things', 'not killing', etc.”


Monk: “It is similar.”


Tathagata: “Is that the Buddha’s teaching? In order to teach it, did the Buddha go through the trouble of wandering the road for 45 years after his enlightenment?”


Then he said so.


Monk: “Will you listen to me or not?”


If I said I wouldn't listen, it seemed obvious that he would tell me to leave, so I said this.


Tathagata: “As I was listening to you, I got curious about some things… ”


Monk: “What the …?”


Tathagata: “What I want to know is whether you are also learning the Buddha’s teachings here, and if you have learned anything, I have come to hear it. But you are trying to teach the wrong thing.”


Then he said things for a long time that I couldn’t understand. So I said,

Tathagata: “Please tell me one thing clearly. What is the most precious teaching that the Buddha has shown us through his life?”

Then he said, ‘Heh, I can’t talk to this person,’ and he left. He was the head of the training center.


The incident was a good example of the reality that wherever people congregate today, they are not trying to enlighten people, but rather making them ignorant and pushing them into darkness.


For this reason, I would like to explain fate in particular today. What exists within us, whether or not we were deceived to get it, is the fundamental cause of our consciousness. The fundamental cause of this consciousness will affect you through your endless life.


If you have any questions about how events in the past can affect the present, you can confirm it here. My parents died early, so I had to live alone as an orphan. I didn't get help from others and I didn't lie. If I had to tell you about my strengths, it would be that I didn't lie to people and didn't harm them. As a human being, I also have a physical body, so I have to live with food, clothing, and shelter, just like you. However, the loneliness, sadness, and frustration caused by not being able to receive approval from anyone and to help anyone will be tens of thousands of times greater than yours.


The last time I visited MIT, the dean of that university said in a meeting with me.


Dean: “I want to attain enlightenment.”


Tathagata: “Actually, enlightenment is the greatest goal in human life, but once you actually attain enlightenment, you will never see such a good thing.”


Dean: “Why is that so?”


I say that I has been enlightened, but after attaining enlightenment, my wife only sighed for five years. And then she would defy me, as she said that she thought she couldn't just sigh. In other words, it is the reality an enlightened being has to go through, who cannot properly control even his own wife. Didn't Socrates also suffer the humiliation of being drenched with dirty water by his own wife? What the Buddha meant, by saying that he exists over the sky and under the sky alone when he came to the world, is that he had become an orphan who no one in the world took care of. Even his father, who was practically King of a country, forgot about Sakyamuni after enlightenment. Before Sakyamuni attained enlightenment, when he was wandering as he suffered asceticism, his father did show worries for Sakyamuni, ordering soldiers to bring food to him or asking questions about where his son was and how he was. However, when Shakyamuni burned down his karma and attained enlightenment and became a true man, his father and the people of the country all turned away from him. In other words, he has become a person no one can come near in the world. Eventually, he became an orphan in the world. In fact, I visited this university here because I have no place to treat me with respect or no place to tell what I see. The important thing is that once you attain enlightenment, you will have no choice but to face various difficult things, but because your karma will disappear, you will not harm yourself as well as others.”


Destiny means that the things that happened to you accumulate in you and the accumulated become your karma and control you.


When two different substances combine, a new substance with different properties is created. If we accept something into ourselves through a certain causality, then whenever we engage in the same activity as the accepted one, the quality we have acquired will be revealed. Furthermore, the quality creates all kinds of new things.


When two people do the same thing, why does one succeed while the other fails? It is because the two persons’ destiny is different. Why are their destinies different? This is because, as explained above, the things that have happened to them and the things that have come to exist within them are different. In the end, each person's judgment, thoughts, and choices are made differently.


If our karma is large, our judgments are not accurate, our actions are lukewarm, and we do not care about our decision so we fail in what we do. Conversely, if our karma is small, we value what exists so we do well in everything we do.


Some of you here have worked with me. While I was working, those people would have noticed that I exceptionally cared about problems that existed. Because I have done things in that way so far, I was able to lead a life without great difficulties. There have been no failures in what I do. I don't put as much effort as others in my life, but I was always able to make a profit without losing money even in small things. It was because my karma was small, so I was trying to see and have in mind problems that were there, and I tried not to go wrong with them. All the answers in the world are in problems.


I recently visited an office.


Office Employee: “What are you here for?”


Tathagata: “I came here to be a little help.”


Office Employee: “Oh! A lot of people like you come here.”


Tathagata: “Then I feel relieved now. There are many talented people in this country, so now there is hope for this country.”


But as I said so and came out of the office, I felt bitter. It was because I knew that for a country or society, there had to be problems that could be helpful to that country or society. However, so-called those who are said to work for a country or society did not have any problems. They only have answers. They do not have problems but only have answers. When I mention problems, they say,


“We are already aware of them.”


So people who don't have problems can't be helped even if I want to help them. It is that they have no problems so they do not need problems. No need for problems. Then what results would answers without problems make? If answers possess no problems, the answers are of no use. It means we end up doing nothing but useless things. You could say, 'What people who possess answers without problems do is useless work'.


When things don't work out in your life, it is of the utmost importance to find out the problems which make things not work well. Knowing problems is a priority. But people are ignorant about this. In other words, people are living their lives without thinking of problems as important.


People's thoughts and physical bodies are the same. People around the world do not think very differently because they learn almost the same things through education. Westerners or Japanese people are not particularly handsome, talkative, or physically superior to the people of this country. In the marathon that took place this morning, Lee Bong-joo took first place.

It's not that we're particularly lagging behind. If I try to pick a weak point as an example, it is that there has never been a correct teaching in our society until now. Because of that, the thoughts of people living in this society have developed in a very dark way. And in particular, Confucianism has contributed to this kind of reality. There are no problems in the teachings of Confucianism, only answers. ‘Get along well with your brothers, be filial to your parents, be loyal to your king, love your country, etc.’ Of course, we all need those words. The important thing is that there are no problems. In other words, the matter of how to teach people to become or create such people is missing. These Confucian answers made people do nothing but useless things. Looking at the events in history from this perspective is dizzying. A person with such a Confucian education thinks that all the commands will be done. When a command, ‘get these things from somewhere,’ is given to a person the person has no way to carry out the command. The person doesn't know where to go and how to get it. If anyone who had been given such an order knew about what exists, he would say:


“It’s impossible to get it in a few days.”


Then, the person who gave the order would either drive that person as a bad person or kill the person because the person had been rebellious. The weak who witnessed such things were afraid and could not protest and had no choice but to panic. They did not rebel. It was because they didn't know and were afraid. That was how they survived. But it's truly horrifying to think about how dark the society has been made by having killed the right people in those ways. The influence of such Confucian way of thinking still exists today.

If we need a campaign for work necessary for the development of a society, there must be a purpose first. Second, we need to come up with a measure to achieve the purpose. Third, there should be guidelines for implementing the measure. Fourth, a person must be chosen. If you do a campaign without these four things in place, it is highly likely to be useless.

There was a national movement called ‘New Village Campaign’ a few years ago, but that campaign failed to fulfill the above four requirements. Because the purpose was not clear, the matter of what to teach people about the purpose was not presented. For that reason, there was no need for a measure. That is, there was no blueprint. Guidelines are instructions for implementing a plan, or blueprint. Since there were no blueprints, of course there were no teachings. And people who can teach and run the purpose, measure, and guidelines of the campaign have not been chosen.


In fact, ‘New Village Campaign’ in Korea in the 1970s, which the world evaluated as excellent, did a very insignificant job compared to the enormous cost the country had spent at that time.


If anyone interrogates me about this matter, I will say.


Tathagata: “If there is anything wrong with what I said, show me the evidence.”


Tathagata: If the evidence is the road in the countryside which has been widened and paved, that is not enough. Much more money and effort was spent on maintaining the sign of ‘New Village Campaign’ than on paving the road. In actuality, it did not help at all to solve people's mental problems or social problems.


These very things make society wrong. Confucian teachings of only solutions without problems create this kind of reality.


If you blind people in the state of not being enlightened aren't interested in what exists, it means that you don't care about problems. This is the environment. The reason why people don't think highly of problems is that they possess karma. You must remember that this reality is manifested by the influence of karma.


What is driving our thinking? It is because the things that have come to exist inside you are influential on you by continuing to be active. Thoughts sometimes cause people to value what exists or sometimes cause people not to. In this way destiny is created.


I have been explaining to you all over and over, ‘The cause of Gil-Fyoong-Wha-Bok(吉凶禍福, good things, bad things, bad luck, or good luck) exists in what exists’. In order for our country to escape from the present dangerous reality and create a hopeful country in the future, all we need to do is to reveal an existing problem and solve it. Doing so will change the fate of our country, change the fate of society, and change our destiny. It's simple. All you have to do is put out one existing problem and solve it properly. I want to help this society, but I can't help because everyone ignores and doesn't value what exists.


I am enlightened and have tremendous wisdom. But of what use is wisdom in this country? All kinds of people come to the side of the powerful and wait for them with bags of money. However, people do not come near the enlightened being and even those who have come near the enlightened being hurry to run away.


A few days ago, a man visited this place. He is not present today. He was a weak-willed person. Some of the people who visited here, like him, seemed to have been with some strange religious group for a while. People who do not have a great understanding of the world are seduced by such religious groups and once taken into them, their lives end there. A foolish person is deceived by a lie and drinks poison, thinking it is a tonic. The important thing is that the poisoned person does not want to take tonics. If you give them tonics, they expect something better without knowing how good the tonics are for them, and then they come to drink poison again from their greed.


I'm looking around for scientists. I look at the data they have and talk about it. I point out how they got their materials or which parts are wrong within their materials.

We have to watch what exists and learn from it. What influence does what exists have? I tell people who come to this place.


“This is a very dangerous time. Go to the countryside and be buried quietly. Then you will survive, and if you can survive, there is hope. Hope is something we make ourselves, not something that falls from the sky.”


The most helpful thing I always repeat to you is this.


“An answer without a problem leads to useless work.”


You don't even need to listen to people who don't have a problem within their words. You don't even need to listen. The best teaching is to tell us what problems affect us in what way.

What did the Buddha do during his lifetime? It's the law of cause and effect. The law of cause and effect is the law of how what exists affects us. Throughout his life, his purpose was to inform people of the law of cause and effect. And if you look into what Jesus did, he was trying to make what exists known to people. All the greatest teachers in the human world, including those two, have tried to reveal what exists. However, so-called sentient beings have karma, and they can’t help listening to the great teachers through their own karma so they fought against them to avoid doing things about what exists.


As a country that values ​​diplomas as important, this country has the fiercest competition for entrance exams in the world. However, as in other developed countries, although people succeed in rising to high positions by using their diplomas, if they could not take illegal profits and only had to receive the salaries and then had to get retired, this reality would not have happened. Because obtaining a diploma or degree was the only way to succeed or to lead a prosperous life, parents have exerted themselves to the utmost on educating their children, and their children also tried to study on their own. The fatal problem is the fact that there is no importance about 'problems of what exists' within the education which people in this country receive. As a result, through the present education people who are unaware of problems are produced. Those who do not know problems do not see problems in reality. Those who cannot see problems have to lead a life like the blind.


I always feel this way when I see people. 'Answers exists in what exists. Then in order to find their own answers, why do people not try to see things as they are, but with their own thoughts?' Because they work based on their thoughts, they don't try to get things out of problems, but they want what they want to fall from the sky or to somebody do what they want instead of them. This is what has made our society so dark today.


In newspapers and TV, the prospects that credit ratings are rising and economic conditions will soon recover are being announced. Fools seem to be comforted by the prospects. The important thing is that there are no problems in those prospects. The fact that there are no visible problems is a big deal. Are those prospects which do not contain any problems true or false?


If there are many jobs in this country, but the people do not work hard, what hope is there in this country? The people are the foundation of the state. When the people work hard with sound thinking, the country will be prosperous. We can't see it in this country right now. Even if the exchange rate drops to 1:1, what will it do for our future? Korean money is not used abroad. Even if you want to go abroad and pay for your hotel with Korean currency, that is impossible. No one accepts Korean Won. What is the use of whether the Korean currency appreciates or depreciates due to national policy?


For example, let's say that a man who draws huge foreign debt to build and operate factories has to pay 100 billion won a year in interest. Thanks to the fall in the exchange rate, if his interest becomes 20 billion won, it means that he can see the 80 billion won profit without doing anything. However, if jobs are lost in our society and we have to pay huge costs for the purchase of raw materials, it will not help the country as a whole but only cause huge problems. It is our hope that the exchange rate will fall, but it is a fearful problem because our hope is not caused by any matters, but is occurring without any real matters.

You should always take care of yourself. I always say this. ‘If the dam of a large reservoir breaks, it will be difficult for anyone living under the dam to survive.’ This is a law of nature. The principle of force. The fact is that it is very difficult to survive when a great force is destroyed.


The most important matter is that our destiny does not change without problems. And you should always think highly of the fact that all the answers exist in problems. I think I'm going crazy. Why? I can't stand it. It's because I'm making myself suffer so much that my abilities can't be of any help to that society even though I'm seeing the wrong society.

Of course, my sufferings will also happen to you again and again in the future. That way, you can be enlightened. What is supreme enlightenment? By melting away your own karma, you can change into a true person.


If you don't have your own karma, you can live well if you just work hard. You live well by adapting well to reality. We are meeting and discussing this at this time for this purpose.

In the future, I will work even harder at home and abroad. In about 5 years or so, my activity will be well known in foreign scientific organizations, and I believe that if that happens, we will be able to do the necessary activities in the world. It is a very difficult time now. If you find it difficult to solve your problems with your own wisdom, please come to me and ask me to take care of your problems. Or ask me to create problems. I will give you the problems you need if you want, and I can solve the problems you can't solve. This is what I can do.

Why do you people come here? Don't think about it. You yourself are here to live well. How can we live well? Living well is not deceiving others, not being deceived by others, not hungry, and not lonely. Someday, your inside will burn when you, like me, think for others other than yourself and work hard for other people. You will see the wrong world and burn yourself in it. This is the greatest blessing the world can give you. You are here to obtain the blessings you expect. Don't ever forget this. No matter what environment you live in, you must always remember that what exists within you creates the causality that makes you exist.

Okay, I've been explaining for an hour, so I'll take questions.


Mr. Choi: Chan from Hong Kong asked a question. ‘If I listen to the teachings of the Tathagata, I can understand the contents, but I am not sure how to put them into practice in my life.’


As for how many problems people know about, firstly I guess I'll have to check with people before I can say. It takes effort before people can put what they hear into action. People do not change easily by the words they hear once. If they awaken themselves by hearing those words, that awakening changes you.


Man cannot deny himself. You cannot deny what is happening within you. There is this saying. ‘There is nothing more difficult than conquering yourself. If you can overcome yourself, you can become a person who can conquer the world.

It would be nice if you could answer that question like this. ‘It is always important for us to learn, understand and identify the problems we need to live. There are all sorts of things in this world, some of which help us and some that harm us, so it’s always important to see, understand and know about the problem.’


It's impossible to do anything for society if people just sit back and do nothing while saying, 'If you're good at it, try it yourself!' Power is essential when doing anything in the world. Just like force is needed to move an object. If all members of a society do not work together for a good society, it is impossible to know when a good society will come to that society. We must keep this in mind.


If you invent answers while ignoring problems, are the answers properly made? If we want a specific answer, we have to care about the corresponding problem. You need to combine appropriate problems for the answers you want. You have to make sure that you have to combine problems that fit the social environment and that can be better saved, but this is lacking in the present reality.


Are you done? How many questions do you have?


When we encounter something, we need to find problems to solve it with.


No questions then let’s call it a day.


Thank you


-End-



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