It Only Takes a Spark to Start a Forest Fire!

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James 3

It takes only a spark to start a forest fire! The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person’s entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures can be tamed and have been tamed. But our tongues get out of control. They are restless and evil, and always spreading deadly poison.

Ecclesiastes 1

10 I got whatever I wanted and did whatever made me happy. But most of all, I enjoyed my work. 11 Then I thought about everything I had done, including the hard work, and it was simply chasing the wind. Nothing on earth is worth the trouble.


4. Preparation for Christ’s Advent and the Responsibility of John the Baptist

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

If the Messiah were sent to this fallen world without any preparations or foundation, the enemy Satan would definitely capture him and kill him. Therefore, to prepare for his coming, God worked throughout history to establish religions. God erected the major religions and separated good from evil to find the people on His side. God’s plan was to raise an individual, family, tribe, people and nation that could be victorious over Satan. It would be the prepared foundation, ready to unite totally with the Messiah when he came. That foundation was the nation called Israel, which means victory. (74:59-60, November 12, 1974)
Through many prophets, God sent messages promising that He would send the Messiah to Israel. Thus God built a foundation of messianic expectation in the Jewish people. At the proper time, God fulfilled His promise by sending His Son, the Messiah. He was Jesus. (73:218, September 18, 1974)
When Jesus was born, God proclaimed his advent. He sent the three wise men from the East as well as Simon, Anna, John the Baptist and others to testify widely.
    Concerning John the Baptist in particular, many people knew that an angel had appeared and testified to his conception. (Luke 1.13) The miracles surrounding his birth stirred all of Judea in expectation. (Luke 1.63-66) Furthermore, John’s ascetic life in the wilderness was so impressive that many people questioned in their hearts whether perhaps he was the Christ. (Luke 3.15) God’s purpose behind sending such a great personality as John the Baptist to bear witness to Jesus as the Messiah was to encourage the Jewish people to believe in Jesus. (Exposition of the Divine Principle,Messiah 1.3)I
f the Jewish believers who respected John the Baptist as a prophet had united with Jesus, what would have happened? Jesus’ disciples would have been the leading citizens of Israel, not poor fishermen. With that level of support, who would have dared arrested and killed Jesus? Was it originally God’s will that Jesus’ chief followers should be tax collectors and prostitutes? (74:153, November 28, 1974)
When the mind of John the Baptist was focused on God, he recognized Jesus as the Messiah and testified to him. Later, when the inspiration left him and he returned to a mundane state, his ignorance returned and exacerbated his faithlessness. Unable to acknowledge that he was the return of Elijah, John began to regard Jesus in the same disbelieving way as other Jews viewed him, particularly after he was imprisoned. Jesus’ every word and deed seemed to him only strange and perplexing. At one point, John tried to resolve his doubts by sending his disciples to Jesus and asking, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Matt. 11.3)…
    John the Baptist had been chosen while still inside the womb for the mission of attending Jesus. He led an arduous, ascetic life in the wilderness, building his ministry in order to prepare the way for the coming Messiah. When Jesus began his public ministry, God revealed the identity of Jesus to John before anyone else and inspired John to bear witness to him as the Son of God. Yet John did not properly receive the grace that Heaven had bestowed on him. Therefore, when confronted with John’s doubting question, Jesus did not answer explicitly that he was the Messiah; he instead answered in this circuitous way. (Exposition of the Divine Principle, Messiah 2.3)
Jesus said, “Among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.” (Matt. 11.11) What did he mean by this? The mission of prophets through the ages was mainly to testify to the Messiah. Prophets in the past testified from a distance of time, but John the Baptist was the prophet contemporary with the Messiah, the prophet who could bear witness, in person, to the living Christ. Therefore he was the greatest among prophets. However, John failed to love and serve the Messiah. Even the least of the prophets then living in the spirit world knew that Jesus was the Son of God and served him. That is why John, who was given the greatest mission and failed, became less than the least.
    From his birth, John should have lived and died in the service of Christ, but instead he died over involvement in a trivial matter, the affair of Herodias. Was that the path God intended for John the Baptist?
    Jesus said, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven has advanced forcefully, and forceful men lay hold of it.” (Matt. 11:12) In other words, Jesus said that during days of John the Baptist just prior to the appearance of Jesus, there was the possibility that the Kingdom of Heaven could be taken and claimed by forceful men.
    If John the Baptist had believed in Jesus, he certainly would have become Jesus’ chief disciple. Jesus’ 12 disciples and 70 disciples would have been the leaders of John the Baptist’s group. As Jews of good reputation, they could have won over the scribes and priests to Jesus’ side.
    One day John’s followers came to him and asked, “Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you bore witness, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” (John 3.26) They carried concern in their question: Look at all the people going to Jesus. What about you? John replied, “He must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3.30) Usually this passage is interpreted as evidence of John’s humility. But what it really means is that John and Jesus were not united in heart and action. If Jesus and John had been united, their destiny would be to rise or fall together. Know, then, that the reason Jesus died on the cross was due to the failure of John the Baptist. (69:139, October 23, 1973)

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Matthew 6

22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Ecclesiastes 11

11 Be generous, and someday
    you will be rewarded.
Share what you have
    with seven or eight others,
because you never know
    when disaster may strike.
Rain clouds always bring rain;
trees always stay
    wherever they fall.
If you worry about the weather
and don’t plant seeds,
    you won’t harvest a crop.


1. The Buddha Rejects the World in Search of the Path to Truth

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

Shakyamuni entered the religious life in search of the true path. Leaving the palace behind, he journeyed as a solitary monk, overcoming many obstacles. He searched for the way for human beings to live according to the Way of Heaven, the Universal Law, which God sought to establish in the world. Yet when he set out on his journey a sea of tears blocked his way—tears from individuals, tears from his family, and tears from his countrymen. Surely the saintly Shakyamuni, who had to overcome all this, walked a most miserable path.34 (101:151, October 29, 1978)

The passing joys of those who delight in the pleasures of the flesh are nothing compared to the bliss experienced by those on the path of enlightenment, who find joy in the midst of simple poverty. Gautama Buddha, who abandoned the luxuries of the royal palace and became enraptured in the pursuit of the Way, was not the only one who wandered about homeless while searching for his heart’s resting place, though he knew not where it was. (Exposition of the Divine Principle, Introduction)

Buddha was persecuted by members of the royal family because he gave up his position as the crown prince. People persecuted him in a country where royalty was worshipped. (258:87, March 17, 1994)

Shakyamuni of India was born as a prince of his country, but when he came to understand that life was a “sea of bitterness,” he gave up his position as a prince to search for the path of truth. Buddhism originated in India, but today there are not many Buddhists in India. There has never been a religious founder who was received well in his own country. No nation has treated its saints well during their lifetime. (39:255-56, January 15, 1971)

2. The Buddha’s Enlightenment

Having mastered perfectly all the methods of trance, the prince recalled, in the first watch of the night, the sequence of his former births.
    Next the Rightly-illumined One perceived, and thus was decisively awakened: When birth is destroyed, old age, and death ceases; when becoming is destroyed, then birth ceases; when attachment is destroyed, becoming ceases; when craving is destroyed, attachment ceases…35\\
    Reflecting his right understanding, the great hermit arose before the world as Buddha, the Enlightened One. He found self nowhere, as the fire whose fuel has been exhausted. Then he conceived the Eightfold Path, the straightest and safest path for the attainment of this end.
    For seven days, the Buddha with serene mind contemplated the Truth that he had attained and gazed at the Bodhi tree without blinking: “Here on this spot I have fulfilled my cherished goal; I now rest at ease in the Dharma of selflessness.”
    Ashvaghosha, Buddhacarita 14

Through many a birth I wandered in samsara, seeking but not finding the builder of this house. Sorrowful is it to be born again and again.
O house-builder! You are seen. You shall build no house again. All your rafters are broken. Your ridgepole is shattered. My mind has attained the unconditioned. Achieved is the end of craving.
    Dhammapada 153-54

In heaven and on earth, I alone am the honored one.Digha Nikaya 2.15

Know then, that from time to time a Tathagata is born into the world, a fully Enlightened One, blessed and worthy, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy with the knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to erring mortals, a teacher of gods and men, a blessed Buddha. He thoroughly understands this universe, as though he saw it face to face… The Truth does he proclaim both in its letter and in its spirit, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation. A higher life does he make known in all its purity and in all its perfection.
    Digha Nikaya 13, Tevigga Sutta

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon
If you establish yourself at a true perpendicular angle [to Heaven] and resonate with the true love of the universe, you will become one with God’s love both internally and externally. Then the universe will belong to you, you will become a great person, and everything will be under your dominion. Shakyamuni experienced this state, and said, “In heaven and on earth, I alone am the honored one.” (178:299, June 12, 1988)

Shakyamuni Buddha said, “In heaven and earth, I alone am the Honored One.” In what state did he teach this? If you were to enter that state of resonance, you would become one with God. In that state, you would be able to see thousands of years of human history unfold before your eyes. You would experience yourself as having that incredible value.
    How can we humans escape from the painful cycle of suffering, life after life? How can we escape from our miserable life’s destiny that ends in the cemetery? This is the homework given to each of us. In order to solve this, we have to receive training to enter the realm of resonance. (38:270-73, January 8, 1971)

God Does Not Decide Whether a Person’s Spirit Enters Heaven or Hell

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1 Samuel 25

24 Then she said:

Sir, please let me explain! 25 Don’t pay any attention to that good-for-nothing Nabal. His name means “fool,” and it really fits him!

I didn’t see the men you sent, 26-27 but please take this gift of food that I’ve brought and share it with your followers. The Lord has kept you from taking revenge and from killing innocent people. But I hope your enemies and anyone else who wants to harm you will end up like Nabal. I swear this by the living Lord and by your life.

28 Please forgive me if I say a little more. The Lord will always protect you and your family, because you fight for him. I pray that you won’t ever do anything evil as long as you live. 29 The Lord your God will keep you safe when your enemies try to kill you. But he will snatch away their lives quicker than you can throw a rock from a sling.

Ecclesiastes 8

16 Day and night I went without sleep, trying to understand what goes on in this world. 17 I saw everything God does, and I realized that no one can really understand what happens. We may be very wise, but no matter how much we try or how much we claim to know, we cannot understand it all.

Richard: Amen to that! Sometimes we cannot understand exactly how God is working, although we try our best.


4. You Are Your Own Judge

The self is the maker and non-maker, and itself
makes happiness and misery, is its own friend
and its own foe, decides its own condition good
or evil, and is its own river Veyarana [the river
in which hell-beings are tormented].
     Madaghishloka (Jainism)

The sacrificers and the sorcerer princes
Have subdued mankind to the yoke of their
To destroy existence through evil deeds:
They shall be tortured by their own soul and
    their own conscience,
When they come to the Bridge of the
Forever to be inmates of the House of Evil.
     Avesta, Yasna 46.11 (Zoroastrianism)

The Good Spirit, who was born simultaneously
with you, will come now and count out your
good deeds with white pebbles, and the Evil
Spirit, who was born simultaneously with you,
will come and count out your evil deeds with
black pebbles. Thereupon you will be greatly
frightened, awed, and terrified, and will tremble;
and you will attempt to tell lies, saying, “I have
not committed any evil deed.”
     Then the Lord of Death will say, “I will
consult the Mirror of karma.” He will look in
the Mirror, wherein every good and evil act is
vividly reflected. Lying will be of no avail.
     Then one of the executive furies of the Lord
of Death will place a rope around your neck and
drag you along; he will cut off your head, extract
your heart, pull out your intestines, lick up your
brain, drink your blood, eat your flesh, and gnaw
your bones; but you will be incapable of dying.
Although your body be hacked to pieces, it will
revive again. The repeated hacking [symbolizing
the pangs of the deceased’s conscience] will
cause intense pain and torture.
     Even at the time that the pebbles are being
counted out, be not frightened; tell no lies; and
fear not the Lord of Death.
     Your body being a mental body is incapable
of dying even though beheaded and quartered.
In reality, your body is of the nature of voidness;
you need not be afraid. The Lords of Death
are your own hallucinations. Your desire-body
is a body of propensities, and void. Voidness
cannot injure voidness; the qualityless cannot
injure the qualityless. Apart from one’s own
hallucinations, in reality there are no such
things existing outside oneself as Lord of Death,
or god, or demon. Act so as to recognize this.
     Tibetan Book of the Dead (Buddhism)

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

God does not decide whether a person’s spirit enters heaven or hell upon his death; the spirit himself decides it. Humans are created so that once they reach perfection they will fully breathe the love of God. Those who committed sinful deeds while on earth become crippled spirits who are incapable of fully breathing in the love of God. They find it agonizing to stand before God, the center of true love. Of their own will, they choose to dwell in hell, far removed from the love of God. (Exposition of the Divine Principle, Creation 6.3.2)
Running through each of you is the boundary line dividing heaven and hell. One step to the right and you go to heaven, one step to the left is hell. Heaven is not so far away, and neither is hell. You are the deciding factor.
     In spirit world there is no policeman directing traffic. We each find our own place. Since you go there of your own free will, you cannot complain. In hell, you cannot protest, “God, why did you send me here?” because you decided your own dwelling place. Even at this moment, each of you knows whether you should go to heaven or hell. (201:225-26, April 22, 1990)
How is it decided whether my journey will end at heaven or hell? I decide it. If I feel guilt-stricken in my conscience for having lived only to enjoy the pleasures of the senses, I will be in hell. However, if I lived according to my conscience, preferring a life of integrity of heart, I will dwell in the heavenly spheres. For this reason, people should abandon the aspiration for material things and deny their evil desires. The correct way is to live by one’s conscience and strive to uphold the ethics of heaven. (7:238, September 20, 1959)
People bound for heaven do not need to be taught the way. Having lived according to their con-science, they will arrive there automatically. When the sun rises, don’t all the buds of the trees turn to face the sun? Even plants know instinctively what direction to take. Then, as the lord of all cre-ation, how could you not know where to go? You will experience this after you enter the spirit world. (75:42, January 1, 1975) 

All that the Holy One Created in the World He Created in Man

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Luke 11

39 So the Lord said to him:

You Pharisees clean the outside of cups and dishes, but on the inside you are greedy and evil. 40 You fools! Didn’t God make both the outside and the inside?[g] 41 If you would only give what you have to the poor, everything you do would please God.

42 You Pharisees are in for trouble! You give God a tenth of the spices from your gardens, such as mint and rue. But you cheat people, and you don’t love God. You should be fair and kind to others and still give a tenth to God.

43 You Pharisees are in for trouble! You love the front seats in the meeting places, and you like to be greeted with honor in the market. 44 But you are in for trouble! You are like unmarked graves[h] that people walk on without even knowing it.

Ecclesiastes 11

No one can explain how a baby breathes before it is born.[b] So how can anyone explain what God does? After all, he created everything.

Plant your seeds early in the morning and keep working in the field until dark. Who knows? Your work might pay off, and your seeds might produce.

World Scripture and the Teachings of
Sun Myung Moon

Chapter 4

God’s Creation and Human Creativity

Microcosm and Macrocosm

A human being is a of the universe, encapsulating in him or herself the essences of all things. conversely, the entire universe resembles a human being in macrocosm. the world’s scriptures express this insight in both mythological and philosophical language.
As a microcosm, linked to all space and time, a human being has the foundation to know, use, and enjoy all things. of all creatures, humans have the widest scope of thought and action, encompassing all things, knowing and appreciating all things, guiding and prospering all things, and transcending all things. nevertheless, as Father Moon teaches, being a microcosm also brings with it the responsibility to love the universe and uphold the universe.

What is the source of the correspondence between macrocosm and microcosm? the Upanishads and other mystical texts describe a primordial person—Purusha, Metatron—a cosmic Man which pre-existed the creation and gave it shape. Father Moon speaks of a pre-existing human “prototype” in the mind of God. From that starting point, it was inevitable that all the elements of nature would recombine in human beings, when they arose. he goes on to describe the spirit world as shaped like a gigantic person.

All that the Holy One created in the world He
created in man.
Talmud, Abot de Rabbi Nathan 31 (Judaism)

The whole of existence arises in me,
In me arises the threefold world,
By me pervaded is this all,
Of naught else does this world consist.
Hevajra Tantra 8.41 (Buddhism)

The human form is built into the world struc-
ture; indeed, even the cosmos.
Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias (Christianity)

One who knows the inner self knows the exter-
nal world as well. One who knows the external
world knows the inner self as well.
Acarangasutra 1.147 (Jainism)

Man is the product of the attributes of Heaven
and Earth, by the interac­tion of the dual forces
of nature, the union of the animal and intelli-
gent souls, and the finest subtle matter of the
five elements…
The five elements in their movements
alternately displace and exhaust one another.
Each one of them, in the revolving course of the
twelve months of the four seasons, comes to be
in its turn the fundamental one for the time.
The five notes of harmony, with their
six upper musical accords and twelve pitch-
tubes, come each, in their revolutions among
themselves, to be the first note of the scale.
The five flavors, with the six condiments
and twelve articles of diet, come each one, in
their revolutions in the course of the year, to
give its character to the food.
The five colors, with the six elegant figures
which they form on the two robes, come each
one, in their revolutions among themselves, to
give the character of the dress that is worn.
Therefore Man is the heart and mind of
Heaven and Earth, and the visible embodiment
of the five elements. He lives in the enjoyment
of all flavors, the discriminating of all notes of
harmony, and the enrobing of all colors.
Book of Ritual 7.3.1-7 (Confucianism)

Consider a man’s body: his head rises up and is
round and resembles the shape of heaven. His
hair resembles the stars and constellations. His
ears and eyes, quick in their senses, resemble the
sun and the moon. The breathing of his nostrils
and mouth resembles the wind. The penetrating
knowledge of his mind resembles the spiritual
intelligence [of Heaven].
Tung Chung-Shu, Luxuriant Gems of the
Spring and Autumn Annals 56 (Confucianism)

In the beginning the Self alone was here—no
other thing that blinks the eye at all. He thought,
“What if I were to emanate worlds?”
He emanated these worlds, water, rays
of light, death, the waters. Water is up there
beyond the sky; the sky supports it. The rays of
light are the atmosphere; death the earth; what
is underneath, the waters.
He thought again, “Here now are these
worlds. What if I were to emanate guardians?”
He raised a Man (Purusha) up from the water
and gave him a form. 7
He brooded over him; when He had finished
brooding over him, a mouth broke open on him
the likeness of an egg. From the mouth came
speech and from speech Fire.
Nostrils broke open, from the nostrils came
breath, from breath the Wind.
Eyes broke open, from the eyes came sight,
from sight the Sun.
Ears broke open, from the ears came hearing,
from hearing the Points of the Compass.
Skin broke out, from skin grew hairs, from
the hairs plants and trees.
A heart broke out, from the heart came
mind, from the mind the Moon.
A navel broke open, from the navel came
the out-breath, from the out-breath Death.
A phallus broke forth, from the phallus
came semen, from semen Water…
Those deities [the macrocosmic beings],
Fire and the rest, after they had been sent forth,
fell into the great ocean. Besieged with hunger
and thirst, they begged, “Allow us a place in
which we may rest and take food.”
He led a cow towards them. They said,
“This is not enough.” He led a horse towards
them. They said, “This is not enough.” He led
man towards them. Then they said, “Well done,
indeed.” Therefore man is well done. He said
to them, “Enter the man, each according to his

Then Fire, having become speech, entered
the mouth; the Wind, having become breath,
entered the nostrils; the Sun, having become
sight, entered the eyes; the regions, having
become hearing, entered the ears; the plants
and trees, having become hairs, entered the
skin; the Moon, having become mind, entered
the heart; Death, having become out-breathing,
entered the navel; Water, having become semen,
entered the phallus…

The Self considered, “How could these
guardians exist without Me?… If, without Me,
speech is uttered, breath is drawn, eye sees,
ear hears, skin feels, mind thinks, sex organs
procreate, then what am I?” Whereupon,
opening the center of the skull, He entered. The
door by which He entered is called the door of
bliss. 8
Aitareya Upanishad 1.1-3.12 (Hinduism)

Everything About a Cow is Good

Psalm 119

73 You created me
    and put me together.
Make me wise enough to learn
    what you have commanded.
74 Your worshipers will see me,
    and they will be glad
    that I trust your word.
75 Your decisions are correct,
    and you were right
    to punish me.
76 I serve you, Lord.
Comfort me with your love,
    just as you have promised.

Ecclesiases 9

11 Here is something else I have learned:

The fastest runners
    and the greatest heroes
don’t always win races
    and battles.
Wisdom, intelligence, and skill
don’t always make you healthy,
    rich, or popular.
We each have our share
    of bad luck.

12 None of us know when we might fall victim to a sudden disaster and find ourselves like fish in a net or birds in a trap.

World Scripture and the Teachings of
Sun Myung Moon

Chapter 4

God’s Creation and Human Creativity

Reverence for Life

2. The Sacred Cow

The cows have come and brought us good
may they stay in the stall and be pleased with us;
may they live here, mothers of calves,
and yield milk for Indra on many dawns…

They are not lost, nor do robbers injure them, nor
the unfriendly frighten, nor wish to assail them;
the master of cattle lives together long
with these, and worships the gods and offers
The charger, whirling up dust, does not reach
they never take their way to the slaughtering
the cows of the worshipping man roam about
over the widespread pastures, free from all

To me the cows are Bhaga, they are Indra,
they [their milk] are a portion of the first-
poured Soma.
These that are cows are Indra, O people!
the Indra I long for with heart and spirit.
Ye cows, you fatten the emaciated,
and you make the unlovely look beautiful,
make our house happy, you with pleasant
your power is glorified in our assemblies. 4
Rig Veda 6.28 (Hinduism)

Behold this buffalo, O Grandfather, which You
have given us.
He is the chief of all four-leggeds upon our
Sacred Mother.
From him the people live and with him they
walk the sacred path.
Sioux Prayer (Native American Religion)

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

When I was a boy living in the country, I used to hate to feed the cows. The cows know when it is lunchtime. But I didn’t want to stop playing, so I said to myself, “Cows, wait 30 minutes,” and then continued playing for another hour or two. The cows waited for me, wondering, “Where is our master, the one who was supposed to bring us in?” If I had been a cow whose master came very late, I would have gotten angry and become violent. Yet when I arrived, the cows just looked at me without saying a word. Then I thought, “Oh cows, you are great! I’m sorry.” That happened many times.
I then realized, “Cows are better than me,” and I said to them, “Now that I know that you have an aspect greater than me, I will feed you a great deal and atone for my shortcomings.” I kept feeding them until after sunset. The cows continued to eat because their master was feeding them.
Like this, I learned many things from cows. Cows sometimes appear great and kingly as they lie in the burning sunlight on a midsummer’s day, shedding sweat and looking over the remote mountains, meditating calmly.
This is why people all over the world like to eat cow meat, not the meat of dogs or tigers. In those days toothbrushes were made of cow bone. Every part of the cow was utilized. Nothing was discarded; even their manure was used as fertilizer. Therefore everything about a cow is good.
(109:40-41, October 26, 1980)