You Must First Have Dominion Over Yourself

Listen to the Richard Urban Show #78:

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1950

As an island nation, England was always at the mercy of attacks from the Vikings of Norway, Denmark and Sweden. That is why the English people took an interest in the ocean and trained themselves in sea defense. England was in a position where she could not survive unless she maintained her control over the oceans. Consequently, England strengthened its policy of mastery over the seas in Queen Elizabeth’s time. This was all in accordance with God’s providence. Britain took control of North America. Britain employed a policy of pretending to be outwardly civil towards Spain, but resorted to deception internally. Don’t we know this through studying history? Spain conquered South America. Consequently, in order to prevent Spain from conquering all of North America, Great Britain strengthened many of her maritime policies. (80-292, 1975.11.2)

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1192

Why are things such as indemnity or the restoration of the right of parents, the right of the eldest son, and the right of kingship necessary? Satan’s love, life and lineage are the key problems. What originally should have started from God has actually begun from the devil. The devil made a start centered on something incredible called love. The universe was created because of love. The process of creation took place centering on love, which is the source of all beings. Satan overturned this origin. That is why the original source that was twisted must now be twisted back. (206-236, 1990.10.14)



Self-control is the basis of all virtues. Unruly thoughts, attractions of the senses, lustful desires, anger, covetousness, and avarice constantly arise in the mind of the person who has no mental discipline; and these impel him to do evil deeds. If a person cannot even direct his own thoughts, desires, and actions, how can he possibly have integrity in his relations with others? How can he keep his life on the path of truth? the philosopher John Locke said, “the discipline of desire is the background of character.”
The passages in this section feature two nearly universal metaphors employed to describe self-control: military conquest and the horse and rider. The conquest of self is the most difficult of all conquests, yet the most important. Father Moon teaches that regardless of one’s high-minded motives to change the world, all efforts are futile without the foundation of having mastered oneself. The task of gaining self-control is also likened to a rider on a wild horse. The higher mind or conscience, like an experienced rider, must gain control over the beast within. He may have to employ the bit and bridle of self-denial and asceticism, yet at all costs he must tame and subdue the lower self with its wanton desires.

1. Victory over the Self

Though one should conquer a million men on the battlefield, yet he, indeed, is the noblest victor who has conquered himself.
    Dhammapada 103 (Buddhism)
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
Proverbs 16.32
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self.
Who is strong? He who controls his passions.
    Mishnah, Avot 4.1 (Judaism)
He who conquers others has physical strength;He who conquers himself is strong.
    Tao Te Ching 33 (Taoism)
The Prophet declared, “We have returned from the lesser holy war (al jihad al-asghar) to the greater holy war (al jihad al-akbar).” They asked, “O Prophet of God, which is the greater war?” He replied, “Struggle against the lower self.”
    Hadith (Islam)
Though a man should conquer thousands and thousands of valiant foes, greater will be his victory if he conquers nobody but himself.
Fight with yourself; why fight with external foes? He who conquers himself through himself will obtain happiness….
Difficult to conquer is oneself; but when that is conquered, everything is conquered.
    Uttaradhyayana Sutra 9.34-36 (Jainism)
In the human soul there is a better and also a worse principle; and when the better has the worse under control, then a man is said to be master of himself; and this is a term of praise: but when, owing to evil education or association, the better principle, which is also the smaller, is overwhelmed by the greater mass of the worse—in this case he is blamed and is called the slave of self and unprincipled.
    Plato, The Republic 9 (Hellenism)
Superior nature can be taught and inferior nature can be controlled.
    Han Yu (Confucianism)
Man should discover his own reality
and not thwart himself.
For he has the self as his only friend,
or as his only enemy.
A person has the self as a friend
when he has conquered himself,
But if he rejects his own reality,
the self will war against him.
Bhagavad-Gita 6.5-6 (Hinduism)
Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon
“Before you desire to have dominion over the universe, you must first have dominion over yourself”: That is my motto. God’s love, life and truth can be developed on the basis of self-mastery. (Way of God’s Will 2.2)
Who is your enemy? The devil out there is not your enemy; you are your own enemy. Are your mind and body united as one in serving God? How difficult is it? Which is easier, to unite the world or to unite your own self? If you are united as an individual, then by extending that unity you can certainly unify the world. Then who is your enemy? Your own eyes are your enemy. Your own ears are your enemy. Your own nose is your enemy. Your own mouth is your enemy. Your own thoughts are your enemy. (91:285-86, February 27, 1977)
Because we are fallen, we have some elements to overcome. Therefore, I put forward the motto, “Before you desire to have dominion over the universe, you must first have dominion over yourself.” The issue is not gaining worldly dominion. To have dominion over the self—this is the absolute goal of training. It is the purpose that religious people have pursued throughout history, and the important responsibility assigned to each of us today. Yet, we neglect this task. (82:281, February 1, 1976)
Stopping the mind and the body from fighting is more difficult than signing a truce to end a world war. (320:249, April 16, 2000)

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