The Words of the Choi Family

Good Man

Sang Ik Choi
April 1971
Sacramento, CA USA

A good man begins with good thinking and an evil man begins with evil thinking. People often think that man like Jesus or Buddha is distinct from other men and that to be like them is impossible. Such a person will wait to be saved by God's grace or pity and by forgiveness without a rebirth of himself. But salvation is in the subjugation of sin by a person's own mind, will and spirit based on a rebirth. Many people cry and confess their sins but still they have sin within them. This is an undeniable fact rather than a feeling or concept. This is hell. Truth is the power which can give us victory over sin and make us free. This is the essence of the Heavenly Kingdom. Religions today have gone in a different way from this basic understanding. But we must know what we are originally.

Apostle Paul spoke on this in today's Bible verse. He was a great man in the history of the Christian Church. Though he was not directly connected to Jesus, he accomplished much more than the other apostles and some thought that he was almost supernatural. But even Paul said that he wanted to do good things came up. He had struggle within himself. So basically, there is no essential difference between him and ourselves. But he tried to overcome his ego and had faith in God and Christ. Because of this he could overcome.

As far as we are men, we are basically the same. Sometimes some of you have seen me dress in a white gown and white gloves after I have cleaned myself. Then you are really impressed and think I am a great man. Sometimes, I have been very dirty after working in the print shop and my hands are covered with ink. People who see me then think that I am not anything special. But, basically, I am the same. The good image is to give hope and give the possibility of change. We must know the original state and position of man in order to restore ourselves as the image of God.

A good man begins with good thinking. If I think good things, evil things never happen. The spiritual realm and the realm of idea is the cause and action is the effect. The conscience gives man his direction for good and we should grow by it. We have good thinking and evil thinking in contrast to one another, but the conscience show the way of life.

Evil is the result of not following the conscience and preferring the satisfaction of the instinct. The conscience tells us to seek goodness and prefer the happiness of all. The instinct tells us to preserve ourselves. There is nothing wrong with either of them, but the conscience is subject and the instinct is object in an original man, or true man. Man is instinctive but he should follow the conscience.

A plant or animal is just instinctive and should follow instinct. But if a man thinks good things and does selfish things based on his instinctive feeling, his conscience will bother him. Your conscience should be stronger than your instinct. If you go against conscience, you will feel shame. This is not just a concept. My little two year old girl is so joyful when she is recognized as a "good girl" and is so angry and frustrated if she is recognized as a "bad girl". She wants to be known as good because this is true human original nature. Even Al Capone would not like to be known as a bad person. He had to make self-justification for his sale of alcohol. Even if by his own standard he liked to think he was a good man. Who wants to do negative, destructive thing?

What is deviated man? A deviated, evil man prefers the instinctive way of life and the good man prefers way of life which is the preference of good for others rather than one's own self. Animals just follow instinct and have no conscience, morals, religion or philosophy. The difference between a great saint and common man is just the difference of preferring the conscience to the instinct. We are all men.

A person is greatly influenced by his parents. By a person's actions you can know the parents. I really appreciate the parents of a righteous man. Whether a person is good or bad depends on the education they receive from their parents and teachers. Parents must give children instructive words by which they can grow their spirit.

If people do not receive a conscientious education, they are like animals. Look at the people on any impoverished city street. They sleep, eat, drink, beg and fight. They are like animals because they are not characteristically educated, and live just instinctive existences. If you think we are just animals, you can justify free sex. Why not do it? If you believe we are men based on our conscience, you cannot. Men are men. This knowledge of the conscience can only come from spiritual teachings. When I see a good man and woman I can feel some hope. One light can light up others.

Instinct is necessary to survive but the conscience makes us worthwhile men. The conscience always tells us to help others. We can become good by knowing that the conscience is subject and the instinct is object. Goodness always has proper order. There is nothing wrong with the ego if it is objective to the happiness of all. Instinct is good but there is an order.

To avoid evil these are three steps.

Firstly, we must recognize evil and not rationalize. Do not have your own standard, but use common sense which is a universal standard. Be ashamed of evil and you have no will power to do evil. If you justify, then you can do it.

Secondly, the conscience must be subject and the instinct object. The power of the conscience must grow and meaningful words provide the nourishment for this growth. I like to hear meaningful words. If you hear filthy words, your instinct will grow. The conscience should control the instinct. D always struggle but my conscientious power is stronger than my instinct, and so I become victorious and free from evil.

Thirdly, you must do it. Otherwise you are a hypocrite. The concept of good is not good. We must actually have goodness and joy. We must be brave enough to act right away. If you wait, power declines. People say they will give up smoking the next month, but if they cannot stop smoking now, it is impossible to stop later. The power leaves in time. If our thoughts and action correspond, we have freedom. If evil people are brave enough to do evil, we should be brave enough to do good. 

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