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Sermon Notes, August 7, 2011
In Jin Moon
1. In Jin Nim greeted everyone. (The applause was especially enthusiastic – with all the middle school camp kids in the audience). She just got back from Las Vegas at two o'clock this morning. True Parents (True Parents) send us their greetings!
True Parents at Hoon Dok Hae in Las Vegas, August 6, 2011
2. In Jin Nim reported to True Parents about the WFWP 19th annual conference -- they were delighted to hear about it. Congratulations to the WFWP. In Jin Nim recognized Angelika Selle (President) and the team that did such a phenomenal job. The conference highlighted the beauty of women from all around the world who came to discuss how to unlock the power and beauty of relationships. In Jin Nim had the honor of being the keynote speaker at one of the morning plenary sessions. To come together in the spirit of the feminine and in the celebration of the feminine and discuss amongst themselves how they can be the agent of change to usher in the new millennium. It was an incredibly powerful and profoundly moving experience for In Jin Nim. In Jin Nim could not attend the gala in the evening which she heard was a great success (she had to fly out to Las Vegas to report to True Parents) – with lovely dancers and a comedian who brought down the roof. True Parents and (especially) True Mother were delighted to hear that the WFWP had completed its 19th conference
3. Whenever In Jin Nim visits True Parents she always is so grateful – realizing what an incredible time we are living in. She likes to say that this is the time of the breaking news. Jesus Christ brought the good news – truly helping all of humanity to understand the meaning of what it is to truly love one another and encouraging women to live an inspired and true life. But now is the time of the breaking news because now we are not only talking about understanding and substantiating and applying true love and true life in our lives but really coming to substantiate the true lineage of God – grafting on to the heavenly lineage and becoming one family under God. So – it is an incredibly exciting time for all of us here working in the Ministry
4. As we think about each Sunday and what topics and issues will be discussed – they (Lovin' Life team) are always tickled pink when they realize that so much of the inspiration comes from the enthusiasm of the young people which they show to the Lovin' Life Ministry every Sunday – and enthusiasm that is shared all around the country in 100 different satellite locations across America. "We know that when we can see and experience the inspired youth, truly encouraged in the spirit of true love – wanting to build that ideal family, society, nation, and world, we know that it is not just a dream that we are dealing with, when we think or ponder or ruminate on the topic on this beautiful world of peace, but it is something tangible, something that we are working towards each and every day, something that we can build upon starting with you and me."
5. As In Jin Nim was taking the trip to Las Vegas, on the way back going through LA they had to wait for a plane to come and replace the plane they were supposed to be on. And so they had some delay time. People started gathering in small groups and talking with each other. And In Jin Nim noticed in one corner three young teenage girls. They were beautiful girls huddled together looking at fashion magazines. Glamour, Elle, Cosmopolitan, People, Us, (and others). They were pointing at different people and things exclaiming, "I want to be like her, I want to have that, she has legs 6 miles long, her body is perfect, 36-24-32." In Jin Nim listened to their conversation – "you know, these people they have it all, they're beautiful, they have their cars, mansions, iPods and iPad's, fabulous girlfriends and boyfriends, all the designer clothes (In Jin Nim named the brands and designers – "they knew their stuff" – designer bags and shoes). When I become rich and successful these are the things that I want!"
6. These ladies were between 15 and 17. They were infused with this incredible desire – wanting the latest designer clothing and bags (In Jin Nim gave several designer names). It is interesting how, it doesn't matter where we come from, what culture we are born into, what race we belong to – in the journey through life, on the road of life where we come to understand what we are all about and who we are and what we need to do and what kind of people we need to be – there is this word that we come face-to-face with from time to time – the word 'desire.'
7. Many times we say to ourselves that we desire things. We desire all these things that we want to acquire – we desire. In Jin Nim often thinks, yes we desire all these things, we desire X – (fill in the box). But many times in life there are other things at play, not just we as individuals, but there are also supernatural things at play, there are things in the spiritual world at play, there are forces at play in our lives and in our environments. Just as much as we desire, there are things that are not positive – negative things that we might even call evil or Satan. There are these satanic, evil, negative things that conspire to make sure that we never get there, that we never become the people we were meant to be.
8. While these forces, satanic or evil or negative forces, conspire to hold us back, to make us fall short of our goals, to prevent us from filling our divine destinies – we also know that at the same time there is a God, our Heavenly Parent in heaven, and there are things that are positive in our lives that inspire us to fulfill our destiny, to complete the reason why we are here, to be the inspired kind of people that we were meant to be.
9. When we look at Webster's dictionary and look at three words – desire, conspire, and inspire – and we look at the root of the word, it comes from the Latin desiderare which means – we understand desire as something that we long for, we covet, we crave, and wish for – but the root in Latin means to "await from the stars." In Jin Nim found this definition to be quite interesting.
10. The root of the word, that makes up the word desire, means to await from the stars. It's almost as if – when we desire something we are constantly in a state of longing or waiting, and where are we waiting from? Many times we are waiting from the very thing we desire. We look at the heavens and see the glorious constellations of stars in the sky, many times we said to ourselves, "I wish I could be that star. I wish I could touch that star. I wish I could be that moon, or, I want to be the star, that celebrity that shines my luminous light on the world and gets to wear (designer) shoes, suits, or vests. Many times we are hoping we can be these things. But the word desire means to await from the stars – meaning that we are already on the star. We are the very thing that we so long for. And we long for it so desperately – we don't realize what we have now. We long for something so desperately, we are not reveling in the moment, we are not appreciating what has already been given or what has already been entrusted in our care – which is the divinity that has touched all of us, the gift that our Heavenly Parent placed in our care as his eternal sons and daughters.
11. When you look at the word 'conspire' Webster's defines it as something – to breathe together, to unite, to agree. But usually the word conspire has a negative tint to it in that you breathe together, you unite and you agree – to plan or plot a crime or something that is not so positive. This concept of breathing – In Jin Nim thought was incredibly interesting.
12. When you look at the word 'inspire' it also comes from Latin and the root word, inspirare, also means to breathe. Webster defines it – to inhale or to impel the creative effort or to take in the divine influence so that we are inspired to do great things. Again there is this concept of breathing of somehow being united. In Jin Nim always found it interesting how when we say someone is an inspired individual, "this woman is truly inspired," or "this woman is filled with the Spirit" – it is almost as if she has inhaled this incredible spirit and therefore she is infused with the spirit – illuminated by this glorious light of the divine and she is inspired, she is an inspired agent of change ready to do good work upon this earth.
13. When we look at these words you realize, wow! We always want things that are kind of not there – things that are outside of us. Many times we want what we are not, we want what is not within us, but what is outside, something we have to strive for, something we have to be in pursuit of. And many times being in pursuit literally means following the purse – in the pursuit, meaning you are constantly chasing after money or the superficial things in life or things that seemingly might bring you great joy.
14. Many times when we desire things we are not just thinking about what we are not, and not only thinking about trying to get something that is not within – but is without, but at the same time we are constantly consumed with this need for acquisition – not in the future, but acquisition now.
15. When we look at our modern world and this great country America that we call a superpower, we realize that many times in the lives of many young men and woman the importance of having a relationship with God has been replaced with the cult of celebrity. The cult of celebrity teaches young people certain things. It teaches them that you have to be superficial to be loved by people. You cannot be loved for who you are but you have to have the right shoes, be the right person, and have the right clothes. You have to look right. You have to be thin or you will not be loved. You cannot be unique – you have to fit in or you will not be loved.
16. Many of the young people that are consumed with the cult of celebrity or consumerism can easily be misled to think that the most important things in life are things that are superficial. And sometimes, perhaps when the senior pastor is talking about the need to develop the generation of peace that will be a paradigm, and exemplification of a young man and a woman who is not just internally excellent but also externally excellent – some people might think, "what does the senior pastor mean when she says externally excellent? Does that mean that we have to wear the right kind of shoes or we have to wear the right kind of clothing or we have to carry the right kind of bag? Or we have to look a certain way? Can a big person be considered externally excellent or do we have to all be thin and lean, a lean mean machine, in order to be excellent?"
17. When In Jin Nim talks about internal excellence, being the kind of good people who understand who we are – that we are God's eternal sons and daughters, divine beings who have been anointed and touched by God – to be living at this incredible time with our True Parents, the time of the breaking news when we can share with the world the good news that the Messiah is here!
18. And the Messiah comes in better form, in the completed picture together with a spouse – so the world can finally understand the need for womankind or mothers and sisters – to reclaim her divine divinity as that equal partner to her husband, to her brothers, so they can stand strong and proud as God's daughter – and not be in bondage to sin or to the fall of man – as the one who led Adam astray. But, through the restoration and the indemnification process that our True Father has gone through to perfect himself as that perfected Adam and then finding this woman that could stand in the position of the perfected Eve – and together stand as the True Parents of humankind and therefore provide a platform and foundation through which all the world, men and women and children of the world, can be invited to graft on to this holy lineage of God – to become part of that one family under God, is an incredible blessing and an incredible time.
19. In a way, all of us have been prepared by God. Every one of us is that beautiful handiwork. Thank God we don't all look the same! Thank God some of us are tall, some of us are short. Thank goodness some of us are wide – as wide as the ocean. Thank goodness some of us are as thin as the reed. But these differences that we see all around us is what gives us this great diversity – all the different colors of the rainbow, all the different types of thread and textures that goes into weaving the tapestry of humanity – that is incredibly beautiful.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
20. Can you imagine if we go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and they are holding an exhibition on all the beautiful tapestry that have existed throughout the centuries and the only thing we saw on the walls were white tapestries, or just black, with no design work, no picture, no form or texture or depth, no meaning. It would be a very boring exhibition. What makes the different tapestries beautiful is the way the years have worn the threads in such a way that gives it the depth, that it has been around and has seen life and yet still holds the different colors and textures that make that tapestry what it is. That is what gives it value and meaning and inspires the onlookers to want to perhaps create a beautiful tapestry of our own. It's the differences, the uniqueness of every individual that make our world a beautiful place.
21. The reason why, in this superficial world, there is this need and there is a reason why we have to have a relationship with God, our Heavenly Parent up in heaven, and an understanding of who we are through the teachings of our True Parents, is that we have to realize that it's not what we are not, it's not what is on the outside, it is not those fast woman and men, the mansions and beautiful sports cars that are going to ultimately reward us with happiness and love, but it is really in realizing what we are – what we are as God's eternal sons and daughters. Not looking out, not longing and waiting for something that we need to find outside of ourselves, but it is in realizing that we need to look within. Because we are that reservoir of true love that God prepared when he created each and every one of us.
22. Instead of thinking, "we have to acquire all these things, now, in order to be happy," it's in realizing that this life is truly a gift, an opportunity for us to fulfill, or complete the picture that Jesus originally came to perfect – so that he can teach what the paradigm of love is all about.
23. Jesus was not meant to die on the cross. He was supposed to have met a beautiful wife he could call his own and come together in holy matrimony, holy blessing. And, had Jesus Christ lived, he would have done the very thing that our True Parents are famous for and continue to do to this day – they would have blessed many different faiths, all the different races and peoples of different cultural backgrounds, to come together in matrimony and to think of ourselves as one family – to encourage all of us to love above and beyond our differences and different barriers and obstacles that stand in our way and truly love each other so that we don't just talk and dream about this world of peace, but actually take part in substantiating it and in building it.
24. This is why, when In Jin Nim thinks about the importance of understanding this need, to not just continually be tempted by what is outside, but in realizing that we have everything, that we have been blessed with everything that we really need.
J. K. Rowling
25. In Jin Nim thought that it was interesting how just recently the end of the Harry Potter movie saga came out. Harry Potter and gave a great deal of entertainment to a lot of children and also adults. In Jin Nim has five children so she of course read about it, went to the movies, went through the experience of being entertained by J. K. Rowling.
26. In one sense, if you think about the simple plot that Harry Potter is all about it is really a story about a boy coming to understand who he is all about. Here is this orphaned boy growing up under the stairway of his aunt and uncle's home – being treated so badly by his relatives, knowing that he has a special purpose in life. Along the way he realizes that he has this special mission and destiny to fulfill. He goes through different relationships with different characters and it goes through many adventures that have carried us throughout the different books coming to the end of the saga – and now we go to see the last chapter of the book. One of the most moving things about the book for In Jin Nim was in the end when there is the great culmination, the battle between good and evil, and he overcomes Voldemort and he ends up destroying Voldemort and he ends up fulfilling a destiny that he was born for – to overcome and conquer this evil force that was going to take over the world.
Actor Ralph Fiennes as Valdemort
27. But at the end of the movie what was truly inspiring was when he held in his hands the most powerful wand in the world, the wand that Voldemort was wielding to dominate the world, to enslave all of humanity under his evil powers for his own selfish pleasures – but now that he has defeated, conquered, and killed Voldemort – now he becomes the owner of the most powerful wand in the universe. And the most moving part of the movie is when Harry Potter realizes that he is holding the world's greatest power within his hands – but then he decides to do what? He decides to break the most powerful wand in the universe and he throws it away.
28. For In Jin Nim that was an incredibly important moment – because this is what we are talking about. The Harry Potter movie is really a movie about desire. This is the desire of an orphaned boy and his desire to understand his meaning or purpose in life, to want his parents back. In the last movie there is a part where there is the resurrection stone and he gets to see his parents again and all the desires and temptations of the world are constantly with him throughout the story. He wants them so badly that many times he cannot truly experience or enjoy what he has now – but throughout the whole process he comes to realize his own mission in life, his purpose in life, and he fulfills this purpose of conquering and defeating evil and freeing everyone from Voldemort – and fulfilling the destiny of becoming the owner of the most powerful wand in the universe – but he decides to break it.
29. This reminds In Jin Nim of a passage in the Bible, the good book, Hebrews 10:36 that says, "for you will have need of endurance. After you have done the will of God you may receive the promise." Hebrews promises that you may have need for endurance, and when you read through the chapters and different books of Harry Potter you realize that this boy had the need for endurance. He had to endure, he had to overcome hardships, obstacles, and he had to fight demons and forces of evil – he had to endure and persist on his God-given mission.
30. And Hebrews says, "after you have done the will of God." You have done the will of God, meaning, the will of God is something that God has for each and every one of us. God has a destiny for each of us. God had a destiny for Harry Potter – to defeat the evil forces and become the owner of the most powerful wand in the universe. And Harry Potter did just that, he did what he was supposed to do. And it says, after he has done the will of God you may receive the promise.
31. Why does he use the word 'may'? Why does it not say, after you have done the will of God you will receive the promise, you will have the promise. Why does the Bible say, you may receive the promise?
32. In Jin Nim believes the story of Harry Potter is a good one to juxtapose on the Bible passage because that moment when Harry Potter looks at the wand and sees all the powerful glories laid out before him, but decides to break the wand, this is what the Bible is talking about. You may have done the will of God, you may have fulfilled your destiny, you may have conquered evil and your demons and temptations, but in that final hour when all has been presented to you, it is still conditioned on something. It says you "may receive"
33. What the Bible is really saying is – you can do all the good things, you can fulfill all these things, but what is most important is where your heart is at, at that moment in the final hour of your victory. Where is your heart? Are you really victorious in really thinking and living for the sake of others or are you thinking only about yourself.
34. So, when Harry Potter decides to give up the world's riches, the world's most powerful wand, because he knows how dangerous it can be – what he is doing is he is, in a way, owning up to it. It is not something that the wand gives him that is the most important thing. It is not something that is outside of me that now I have a chance to hold, like a designer handbag and shoes. It is not something outside the gives me the power of what and who I was meant to be, but it is in realizing – it's not what we are on the outside, but who we are.
35. It's not that we become the incredible human beings we are because we are constantly desiring or awaiting from the star, but it is really about now, it is really about seizing the moment to realize. Stop thinking, stop floating on the sea being lost, continually wandering – when will I have what I am not?, when will I be what I am not?, but in realizing that we really are, we already are and we have been given the ultimate gift.
36. The most important thing is in realizing, all of us, we are… who are we? We are the children of God's love. We are love. All of us are manifestations and personifications of God's love. Therefore, when we realize that we are God's love, when Harry Potter realized that it is not what he is going to wield outside of himself that will give him the greatest power, but it is in throwing away those things and realizing what he is, what he has the capability to become by tapping in to his rich reservoir of true love, this divinity, channeling the power of the universe, applying the principle of living for the sake of others and thereby becoming an incredible man and a woman. This is what Harry Potter realized.
37. And so what does the movie do? It fast forwards 19 years and we see Harry Potter with his family. Harry Potter with the redhead who stole his heart and now with two beautiful children. This, we realize, is what he gave away the most powerful wand in the universe for. He gave away the most powerful wand in the universe for what? For love and for family and in realizing that it is the things that are within us that give us our divinity and our immortality. We live through our children and our grandchildren and so on and so forth.
38. So instead of seeking that great power of the universe or wanting to chase after that incredible holy chalice in Indiana Jones that would give immortality. It is not something outside of us in a cup that is going to give us immortality. It is something within us, something within that is created through the miracle and power of love – by channeling the universal force that our Heavenly Father wants to give to all of us, together in beautiful matrimony, committing ourselves to God and humanity, building beautiful families that is going to give us immortality to our children.
39. A long time ago the great writer Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Money often costs too much." Meaning, money often costs too much, because many times when we are in pursuit of the great purse, riches, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – it cost us our lives, our family, and the very thing that makes us who we are, our souls. That is what Emerson meant.
40. And In Jin Nim's addendum to that quote would be, "money often costs too much, knowledge often boasts too much, and power often corrupts too much."
41. When we realize that all the things that we want outside of us, yes they may give us the power and knowledge and the wealth that we are looking for, but if the inside of who we are does not reflect our capacity to hold these things, then sooner or later the very thing that we long for, that we are awaiting from the stars, might be the thing that will destroy our lives and our souls and the divinity within.
42. We are the eternal sons and daughters, divine beings who have been given the inspiration to dream the dream, but not just dream the dream, but actually turn it into reality and substantiated in our lives. And as we walk this road that we call our journey, we need to think and ruminate on this word 'desire' and how we should have a healthy understanding of what the word means. And we need to realize that the most important thing in understanding this word 'desire' is not to go after something that we are not, something that is outside of us, after acquisition now, thinking that is going to bring us happiness, but it is really in the profundity of looking inward, in realizing who we are that the most important gift is within, and that we have this incredible life – to fulfill our destiny and to unleash the power and passions that our Heavenly Father has blessed all of us with.
43. Then we will realize that we have an incredible gift in each other. This really should be a life in which we celebrate our differences, our different beauties, are different sizes – thank goodness not everyone is the same. And, instead of always waiting for our Heavenly Father to "light my way" to "light our way" we have to be the agents of change. We have to realize that we, as the agent of change, lighting our way starts with us.
44. If we can decide today that we are not going to be desirous, awaiting, from the star, but we are actually going to be the light – starting with ourselves lighting the way, being that beautiful star, that luminous light that we can share with the rest of the world, that luminous light that is grateful that we have been given this great gift of our True Parents, are Heavenly Parent, and also each other – then we can do incredible things and we can affect a whole lot of change that needs to be done in our lifetime – to make the world what it needs to be if we truly want to build a world of peace.
45. "Brothers and sisters be inspired because we have a glorious future ahead of us. Please thank our Heavenly Parents and our True Parents and once again – I want to thank and congratulate the graduates of the middle school Lovin' Life Camp. Go back home and inspire and let your parents know how much you love them. Give them a kiss. Come on, you can do it. Give them a hug. And treat them in the Oriental style because Lovin Life is really about uniting the West and East – so give your parents a full bow of appreciation that you are alive at this incredible time with our True Parents. God bless and have an incredible Sunday! Thank you!
Hebrews, chapter 10
1: For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near.
2: Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? If the worshipers had once been cleansed, they would no longer have any consciousness of sin.
3: But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year.
4: For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.
5: Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired,
but a body hast thou prepared for me;
6: in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure.
7: Then I said, `Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,'
as it is written of me in the roll of the book."
8: When he said above, "Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law),
9: then he added, "Lo, I have come to do thy will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.
10: And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11: And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
12: But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
13: then to wait until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet.
14: For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
15: And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
16: "This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,"
17: then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more."
18: Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
19: Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus,
20: by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,
21: and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22: let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful;
24: and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
25: not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
26: For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27: but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.
28: A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29: How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?
30: For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people."
31: It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32: But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,
33: sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.
34: For you had compassion on the prisoners, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
35: Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
36: For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.
37: "For yet a little while,
and the coming one shall come and shall not tarry;
38: but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him."
39: But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and keep their souls.
Conduct of Life
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Part 3. Wealth
… As soon as a stranger is introduced into any compations which all wish to have answered, is, How does that man get his living? And with reason. He is no whole man until he knows how to earn a blameless livelihood. Society is barbarous, until every industrious man can get his living without dishonest customs.
Every man is a consumer, and ought to be a producer. He fails to make his place good in the world, unless he not only pays his debt, but also adds something to the common wealth. Nor can he do justice to his genius, without making some larger demand on the world than a bare subsistence. He is by constitution expensive, and needs to be rich.
Wealth has its source in applications of the mind to nature, from the rudest strokes of spade and axe, up to the last secrets of art. Intimate ties subsist between thought and all production; because a better order is equivalent to vast amounts of brute labor. The forces and the resistances are Nature’s, but the mind acts in bringing things from where they abound to where they are wanted; in wise combining; in directing the practice of the useful arts, and in the creation of finer values, by fine art, by eloquence, by song, or the reproductions of memory. Wealth is in applications of mind to nature; and the art of getting rich consists not in industry, much less in saving, but in a better order, in timeliness, in being at the right spot. One man has stronger arms, or longer legs; another sees by the course of streams, and growth of markets, where land will be wanted, makes a clearing to the river, goes to sleep, wakes up rich. Steam is no stronger now, than it was a hundred years ago; but is put to better use. A clever fellow was acquainted with the expansive force of steam; he also saw the wealth of wheat and grass rotting in Michigan. Then he cunningly screws on the steam–pipe to the wheat–crop. Puff now, O Steam! The steam puffs and expands as before, but this time it is dragging all Michigan at its back to hungry New York and hungry England. Coal lay in ledges under the ground since the Flood, until a laborer with pick and windlass brings it to the surface. We may well call it black diamonds. Every basket is power and civilization. For coal is a portable climate. It carries the heat of the tropics to Labrador and the polar circle: and it is the means of transporting itself whithersoever it is wanted. Watt and Stephenson whispered in the ear of mankind their secret, that a half–ounce of coal will draw two tons a mile, and coal carries coal, by rail and by boat, to make Canada as warm as Calcutta, and with its comfort brings its industrial power.
When the farmer’s peaches are taken from under the tree, and carried into town, they have a new look, and a hundredfold value over the fruit which grew on the same bough, and lies fulsomely on the ground. The craft of the merchant is this bringing a thing from where it abounds, to where it is costly.
Wealth begins in a tight roof that keeps the rain and wind out; in a good pump that yields you plenty of sweet water; in two suits of clothes, so to change your dress when you are wet; in dry sticks to burn; in a good double–wick lamp; and three meals; in a horse, or a locomotive, to cross the land; in a boat to cross the sea; in tools to work with; in books to read; and so, in giving, on all sides, by tools and auxiliaries, the greatest possible extension to our powers, as if it added feet, and hands, and eyes, and blood, length to the day, and knowledge, and good–will.
Wealth begins with these articles of necessity. And here we must recite the iron law which Nature thunders in these northern climates. First, she requires that each man should feed himself. If, happily, his fathers have left him no inheritance, he must go to work, and by making his wants less, or his gains more, he must draw himself out of that state of pain and insult in which she forces the beggar to lie. She gives him no rest until this is done: she starves, taunts, and torments him, takes away warmth, laughter, sleep, friends, and daylight, until he has fought his way to his own loaf. Then, less peremptorily, but still with sting enough, she urges him to the acquisition of such things as belong to him. Every warehouse and shop–window, every fruit–tree, every thought of every hour, opens a new want to him, which it concerns his power and dignity to gratify. It is of no use to argue the wants down: the philosophers have laid the greatness of man in making his wants few; but will a man content himself with a hut and a handful of dried pease? He is born to be rich. He is thoroughly related; and is tempted out by his appetites and fancies to the conquest of this and that piece of nature, until he finds his well–being in the use of his planet, and of more planets than his own. Wealth requires, besides the crust of bread and the roof, — the freedom of the city, the freedom of the earth, travelling, machinery, the benefits of science, music, and fine arts, the best culture, and the best company. He is the rich man who can avail himself of all men’s faculties. He is the richest man who knows how to draw a benefit from the labors of the greatest number of men, of men in distant countries, and in past times. The same correspondence that is between thirst in the stomach, and water in the spring, exists between the whole of man and the whole of nature. The elements offer their service to him. The sea, washing the equator and the poles, offers its perilous aid, and the power and empire that follow it, — day by day to his craft and audacity. “Beware of me,” it says, “but if you can hold me, I am the key to all the lands.” Fire offers, on its side, an equal power. Fire, steam, lightning, gravity, ledges of rock, mines of iron, lead, quicksilver, tin, and gold; forests of all woods; fruits of all climates; animals of all habits; the powers of tillage; the fabrics of his chemic laboratory; the webs of his loom; the masculine draught of his locomotive, the talismans of the machine–shop; all grand and subtile things, minerals, gases, ethers, passions, war, trade, government, are his natural playmates, and, according to the excellence of the machinery in each human being, is his attraction for the instruments he is to employ. The world is his tool–chest, and he is successful, or his education is carried on just so far, as is the marriage of his faculties with nature, or, the degree in which he takes up things into himself.
The strong race is strong on these terms. The Saxons are the merchants of the world; now, for a thousand years, the leading race, and by nothing more than their quality of personal independence, and, in its special modification, pecuniary independence. No reliance for bread and games on the government, no clanship, no patriarchal style of living by the revenues of a chief, no marrying–on, — no system of clientship suits them; but every man must pay his scot. The English are prosperous and peaceable, with their habit of considering that every man must take care of himself, and has himself to thank, if he do not maintain and improve his position in society.
The subject of economy mixes itself with morals, inasmuch as it is a peremptory point of virtue that a man’s independence be secured. Poverty demoralizes. A man in debt is so far a slave; and Wall–street thinks it easy for a millionaire to be a man of his word, a man of honor, but, that, in failing circumstances, no man can be relied on to keep his integrity. And when one observes in the hotels and palaces of our Atlantic capitals, the habit of expense, the riot of the senses, the absence of bonds, clanship, fellow–feeling of any kind, he feels, that, when a man or a woman is driven to the wall, the chances of integrity are frightfully diminished, as if virtue were coming to be a luxury which few could afford, or, as Burke said, “at a market almost too high for humanity.” He may fix his inventory of necessities and of enjoyments on what scale he pleases, but if he wishes the power and privilege of thought, the chalking out his own career, and having society on his own terms, he must bring his wants within his proper power to satisfy.
The manly part is to do with might and main what you can do. The world is full of fops who never did anything, and who have persuaded beauties and men of genius to wear their fop livery, and these will deliver the fop opinion, that it is not respectable to be seen earning a living; that it is much more respectable to spend without earning; and this doctrine of the snake will come also from the elect sons of light; for wise men are not wise at all hours, and will speak five times from their taste or their humor, to once from their reason. The brave workman, who might betray his feeling of it in his manners, if he do not succumb in his practice, must replace the grace or elegance forfeited, by the merit of the work done. No matter whether he make shoes, or statues, or laws. It is the privilege of any human work which is well done to invest the doer with a certain haughtiness. He can well afford not to conciliate, whose faithful work will answer for him. The mechanic at his bench carries a quiet heart and assured manners, and deals on even terms with men of any condition. The artist has made his picture so true, that it disconcerts criticism. The statue is so beautiful, that it contracts no stain from the market, but makes the market a silent gallery for itself. The case of the young lawyer was pitiful to disgust, — a paltry matter of buttons or tweezer–cases; but the determined youth saw in it an aperture to insert his dangerous wedges, made the insignificance of the thing forgotten, and gave fame by his sense and energy to the name and affairs of the Tittleton snuffbox factory.
Society in large towns is babyish, and wealth is made a toy. The life of pleasure is so ostentatious, that a shallow observer must believe that this is the agreed best use of wealth, and, whatever is pretended, it ends in cosseting. But, if this were the main use of surplus capital, it would bring us to barricades, burned towns, and tomahawks, presently. Men of sense esteem wealth to be the assimilation of nature to themselves, the converting of the sap and juices of the planet to the incarnation and nutriment of their design. Power is what they want, — not candy; — power to execute their design, power to give legs and feet, form and actuality to their thought, which, to a clear–sighted man, appears the end for which the Universe exists, and all its resources might be well applied. Columbus thinks that the sphere is a problem for practical navigation, as well as for closet geometry, and looks on all kings and peoples as cowardly landsmen, until they dare fit him out. Few men on the planet have more truly belonged to it. But he was forced to leave much of his map blank. His successors inherited his map, and inherited his fury to complete it.
So the men of the mine, telegraph, mill, map, and survey,— the monomaniacs, who talk up their project in marts, and offices, and entreat men to subscribe: — how did our factories get built? how did North America get netted with iron rails, except by the importunity of these orators, who dragged all the prudent men in? Is party the madness of many for the gain of a few? This speculative genius is the madness of few for the gain of the world. The projectors are sacrificed, but the public is the gainer. Each of these idealists, working after his thought, would make it tyrannical, if he could. He is met and antagonized by other speculators, as hot as he. The equilibrium is preserved by these counteractions, as one tree keeps down another in the forest, that it may not absorb all the sap in the ground. And the supply in nature of railroad presidents, copper–miners, grand–junctioners, smoke–burners, fire–annihilators, &c., is limited by the same law which keeps the proportion in the supply of carbon, of alum, and of hydrogen.
To be rich is to have a ticket of admission to the master–works and chief men of each race. It is to have the sea, by voyaging; to visit the mountains, Niagara, the Nile, the desert, Rome, Paris, Constantinople; to see galleries, libraries, arsenals, manufactories. The reader of Humboldt’s “Cosmos” follows the marches of a man whose eyes, ears, and mind are armed by all the science, arts, and implements which mankind have anywhere accumulated, and who is using these to add to the stock. So is it with Denon, Beckford, Belzoni, Wilkinson, Layard, Kane, Lepsius, and Livingston. “The rich man,” says Saadi, “is everywhere expected and at home.” The rich take up something more of the world into man’s life. They include the country as well as the town, the ocean–side, the White Hills, the Far West, and the old European homesteads of man, in their notion of available material. The world is his, who has money to go over it. He arrives at the sea–shore, and a sumptuous ship has floored and carpeted for him the stormy Atlantic, and made it a luxurious hotel, amid the horrors of tempests. The Persians say, “’Tis the same to him who wears a shoe, as if the whole earth were covered with leather.”
Kings are said to have long arms, but every man should have long arms, and should pluck his living, his instruments, his power, and his knowing, from the sun, moon, and stars. Is not then the demand to be rich legitimate? Yet, I have never seen a rich man. I have never seen a man as rich as all men ought to be, or, with an adequate command of nature. The pulpit and the press have many commonplaces denouncing the thirst for wealth; but if men should take these moralists at their word, and leave off aiming to be rich, the moralists would rush to rekindle at all hazards this love of power in the people, lest civilization should be undone. Men are urged by their ideas to acquire the command over nature. Ages derive a culture from the wealth of Roman Caesars, Leo Tenths, magnificent Kings of France, Grand Dukes of Tuscany, Dukes of Devonshire, Townleys, Vernons, and Peels, in England; or whatever great proprietors. It is the interest of all men, that there should be Vaticans and Louvres full of noble works of art; British Museums, and French Gardens of Plants, Philadelphia Academies of Natural History, Bodleian, Ambrosian, Royal, Congressional Libraries. It is the interest of all that there should be Exploring Expeditions; Captain Cooks to voyage round the world, Rosses, Franklins, Richardsons, and Kanes, to find the magnetic and the geographic poles. We are all richer for the measurement of a degree of latitude on the earth’s surface. Our navigation is safer for the chart. How intimately our knowledge of the system of the Universe rests on that! — and a true economy in a state or an individual will forget its frugality in behalf of claims like these.
Whilst it is each man’s interest, that, not only ease and convenience of living, but also wealth or surplus product should exist somewhere, it need not be in his hands. Often it is very undesirable to him. Goethe said well, “nobody should be rich but those who understand it.” Some men are born to own, and can animate all their possessions. Others cannot: their owning is not graceful; seems to be a compromise of their character: they seem to steal their own dividends. They should own who can administer; not they who hoard and conceal; not they who, the greater proprietors they are, are only the greater beggars, but they whose work carves out work for more, opens a path for all. For he is the rich man in whom the people are rich, and he is the poor man in whom the people are poor: and how to give all access to the masterpieces of art and nature, is the problem of civilization. The socialism of our day has done good service in setting men on thinking how certain civilizing benefits, now only enjoyed by the opulent, can be enjoyed by all. For example, the providing to each man the means and apparatus of science, and of the arts. There are many articles good for occasional use, which few men are able to own. Every man wishes to see the ring of Saturn, the satellites and belts of Jupiter and Mars; the mountains and craters in the moon: yet how few can buy a telescope! and of those, scarcely one would like the trouble of keeping it in order, and exhibiting it. So of electrical and chemical apparatus, and many the like things. Every man may have occasion to consult books which he does not care to possess, such as cyclopaedias, dictionaries, tables, charts, maps, and public documents: pictures also of birds, beasts, fishes, shells, trees, flowers, whose names he desires to know.
There is a refining influence from the arts of Design on a prepared mind, which is as positive as that of music, and not to be supplied from any other source. But pictures, engravings, statues, and casts, beside their first cost, entail expenses, as of galleries and keepers for the exhibition; and the use which any man can make of them is rare, and their value, too, is much enhanced by the numbers of men who can share their enjoyment. In the Greek cities, it was reckoned profane, that any person should pretend a property in a work of art, which belonged to all who could behold it. I think sometimes, — could I only have music on my own terms; — could I live in a great city, and know where I could go whenever I wished the ablution and inundation of musical waves, — that were a bath and a medicine.
If properties of this kind were owned by states, towns, and lyceums, they would draw the bonds of neighborhood closer. A town would exist to an intellectual purpose. In Europe, where the feudal forms secure the permanence of wealth in certain families, those families buy and preserve these things, and lay them open to the public. But in America, where democratic institutions divide every estate into small portions, after a few years, the public should step into the place of these proprietors, and provide this culture and inspiration for the citizen.
Man was born to be rich, or, inevitably grows rich by the use of his faculties; by the union of thought with nature. Property is an intellectual production. The game requires coolness, right reasoning, promptness, and patience in the players. Cultivated labor drives out brute labor. An infinite number of shrewd men, in infinite years, have arrived at certain best and shortest ways of doing, and this accumulated skill in arts, cultures, harvestings, curings, manufactures, navigations, exchanges, constitutes the worth of our world to–day.
Commerce is a game of skill, which every man cannot play, which few men can play well. The right merchant is one who has the just average of faculties we call common sense; a man of a strong affinity for facts, who makes up his decision on what he has seen. He is thoroughly persuaded of the truths of arithmetic. There is always a reason, in the man, for his good or bad fortune, and so, in making money. Men talk as if there were some magic about this, and believe in magic, in all parts of life. He knows, that all goes on the old road, pound for pound, cent for cent, — for every effect a perfect cause, — and that good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose. He insures himself in every transaction, and likes small and sure gains. Probity and closeness to the facts are the basis, but the masters of the art add a certain long arithmetic. The problem is, to combine many and remote operations, with the accuracy and adherence to the facts, which is easy in near and small transactions; so to arrive at gigantic results, without any compromise of safety. Napoleon was fond of telling the story of the Marseilles banker, who said to his visitor, surprised at the contrast between the splendor of the banker’s chateau and hospitality, and the meanness of the counting–room in which he had seen him, — “Young man, you are too young to understand how masses are formed, — the true and only power, — whether composed of money, water, or men, it is all alike, — a mass is an immense centre of motion, but it must be begun, it must be kept up:” — and he might have added, that the way in which it must be begun and kept up, is, by obedience to the law of particles.
Success consists in close appliance to the laws of the world, and, since those laws are intellectual and moral, an intellectual and moral obedience. Political Economy is as good a book wherein to read the life of man, and the ascendency of laws over all private and hostile influences, as any Bible which has come down to us.
Money is representative, and follows the nature and fortunes of the owner. The coin is a delicate meter of civil, social, and moral changes. The farmer is covetous of his dollar, and with reason. It is no waif to him. He knows how many strokes of labor it represents. His bones ache with the day’s work that earned it. He knows how much land it represents; — how much rain, frost, and sunshine. He knows that, in the dollar, he gives you so much discretion and patience so much hoeing, and threshing. Try to lift his dollar; you must lift all that weight. In the city, where money follows the skit of a pen, or a lucky rise in exchange, it comes to be looked on as light. I wish the farmer held it dearer, and would spend it only for real bread; force for force.
The farmer’s dollar is heavy, and the clerk’s is light and nimble; leaps out of his pocket; jumps on to cards and faro–tables: but still more curious is its susceptibility to metaphysical changes. It is the finest barometer of social storms, and announces revolutions.
Every step of civil advancement makes every man’s dollar worth more. In California, the country where it grew, — what would it buy? A few years since, it would buy a shanty, dysentery, hunger, bad company, and crime. There are wide countries, like Siberia, where it would buy little else to–day, than some petty mitigation of suffering. In Rome, it will buy beauty and magnificence. Forty years ago, a dollar would not buy much in Boston. Now it will buy a great deal more in our old town, thanks to railroads, telegraphs, steamers, and the contemporaneous growth of New York, and the whole country. Yet there are many goods appertaining to a capital city, which are not yet purchasable here, no, not with a mountain of dollars. A dollar in Florida is not worth a dollar in Massachusetts. A dollar is not value, but representative of value, and, at last, of moral values. A dollar is rated for the corn it will buy, or to speak strictly, not for the corn or house–room, but for Athenian corn, and Roman house–room, — for the wit, probity, and power, which we eat bread and dwell in houses to share and exert. Wealth is mental; wealth is moral. The value of a dollar is, to buy just things: a dollar goes on increasing in value with all the genius, and all the virtue of the world. A dollar in a university, is worth more than a dollar in a jail; in a temperate, schooled, law–abiding community, than in some sink of crime, where dice, knives, and arsenic, are in constant play.
The “Bank–Note Detector” is a useful publication. But the current dollar, silver or paper, is itself the detector of the right and wrong where it circulates. Is it not instantly enhanced by the increase of equity? If a trader refuses to sell his vote, or adheres to some odious right, he makes so much more equity in Massachusetts; and every acre in the State is more worth, in the hour of his action. If you take out of State–street the ten honestest merchants, and put in ten roguish persons, controlling the same amount of capital, — the rates of insurance will indicate it; the soundness of banks will show it: the highways will be less secure: the schools will feel it; the children will bring home their little dose of the poison: the judge will sit less firmly on the bench, and his decisions be less upright; he has lost so much support and constraint, — which all need; and the pulpit will betray it, in a laxer rule of life. An apple–tree, if you take out every day for a number of days, a load of loam, and put in a load of sand about its roots, — will find it out. An apple–tree is a stupid kind of creature, but if this treatment be pursued for a short time, I think it would begin to mistrust something. And if you should take out of the powerful class engaged in trade a hundred good men, and put in a hundred bad, or, what is just the same thing, introduce a demoralizing institution, would not the dollar, which is not much stupider than an apple–tree, presently find it out? The value of a dollar is social, as it is created by society. Every man who removes into this city, with any purchasable talent or skill in him, gives to every man’s labor in the city, a new worth. If a talent is anywhere born into the world, the community of nations is enriched; and, much more, with a new degree of probity. The expense of crime, one of the principal charges of every nation, is so far stopped. In Europe, crime is observed to increase or abate with the price of bread. If the Rothschilds at Paris do not accept bills, the people at Manchester, at Paisley, at Birmingham, are forced into the highway, and landlords are shot down in Ireland. The police records attest it. The vibrations are presently felt in New York, New Orleans, and Chicago. Not much otherwise, the economical power touches the masses through the political lords. Rothschild refuses the Russian loan, and there is peace, and the harvests are saved. He takes it, and there is war, and an agitation through a large portion of mankind, with every hideous result, ending in revolution, and a new order.
Wealth brings with it its own checks and balances. The basis of political economy is non–interference. The only safe rule is found in the self–adjusting meter of demand and supply. Do not legislate. Meddle, and you snap the sinews with your sumptuary laws. Give no bounties: make equal laws: secure life and property, and you need not give alms. Open the doors of opportunity to talent and virtue, and they will do themselves justice, and property will not be in bad hands. In a free and just commonwealth, property rushes from the idle and imbecile, to the industrious, brave, and persevering.
The laws of nature play through trade, as a toy–battery exhibits the effects of electricity. The level of the sea is not more surely kept, than is the equilibrium of value in society, by the demand and supply: and artifice or legislation punishes itself, by reactions, gluts, and bankruptcies. The sublime laws play indifferently through atoms and galaxies. Whoever knows what happens in the getting and spending of a loaf of bread and a pint of beer; that no wishing will change the rigorous limits of pints and penny loaves; that, for all that is consumed, so much less remains in the basket and pot; but what is gone out of these is not wasted, but well spent, if it nourish his body, and enable him to finish his task; — knows all of political economy that the budgets of empires can teach him. The interest of petty economy is this symbolization of the great economy; the way in which a house, and a private man’s methods, tally with the solar system, and the laws of give and take, throughout nature; and, however wary we are of the falsehoods and petty tricks which we suicidally play off on each other, every man has a certain satisfaction, whenever his dealing touches on the inevitable facts; when he sees that things themselves dictate the price, as they always tend to do, and, in large manufactures, are seen to do. Your paper is not fine or coarse enough, — is too heavy, or too thin. The manufacturer says, he will furnish you with just that thickness or thinness you want; the pattern is quite indifferent to him; here is his schedule; — any variety of paper, as cheaper or dearer, with the prices annexed. A pound of paper costs so much, and you may have it made up in any pattern you fancy.
There is in all our dealings a self–regulation that supersedes chaffering. You will rent a house, but must have it cheap. The owner can reduce the rent, but so he incapacitates himself from making proper repairs, and the tenant gets not the house he would have, but a worse one; besides, that a relation a little injurious is established between land–lord and tenant. You dismiss your laborer, saying, “Patrick, I shall send for you as soon as I cannot do without you.” Patrick goes off contented, for he knows that the weeds will grow with the potatoes, the vines must be planted, next week, and, however unwilling you may be, the cantelopes, crook–necks, and cucumbers will send for him. Who but must wish that all labor and value should stand on the same simple and surly market? If it is the best of its kind, it will. We must have joiner, locksmith, planter, priest, poet, doctor, cook, weaver, ostler; each in turn, through the year.
If a St. Michael’s pear sells for a shilling, it costs a shilling to raise it. If, in Boston, the best securities offer twelve per cent. for money, they have just six per cent. of insecurity. You may not see that the fine pear costs you a shilling, but it costs the community so much. The shilling represents the number of enemies the pear has, and the amount of risk in ripening it. The price of coal shows the narrowness of the coal–field, and a compulsory confinement of the miners to a certain district. All salaries are reckoned on contingent, as well as on actual services. “If the wind were always southwest by west,” said the skipper, “women might take ships to sea.” One might say, that all things are of one price; that nothing is cheap or dear; and that the apparent disparities that strike us, are only a shopman’s trick of concealing the damage in your bargain. A youth coming into the city from his native New Hampshire farm, with its hard fare still fresh in his remembrance, boards at a first–class hotel, and believes he must somehow have outwitted Dr. Franklin and Malthus, for luxuries are cheap. But he pays for the one convenience of a better dinner, by the loss of some of the richest social and educational advantages. He has lost what guards! what incentives! He will perhaps find by and by, that he left the Muses at the door of the hotel, and found the Furies inside. Money often costs too much, and power and pleasure are not cheap. The ancient poet said, “the gods sell all things at a fair price.”
There is an example of the compensations in the commercial history of this country. When the European wars threw the carrying–trade of the world, from 1800 to 1812, into American bottoms, a seizure was now and then made of an American ship. Of course, the loss was serious to the owner, but the country was indemnified; for we charged threepence a pound for carrying cotton, sixpence for tobacco, and so on; which paid for the risk and loss, and brought into the country an immense prosperity, early marriages, private wealth, the building of cities, and of states: and, after the war was over, we received compensation over and above, by treaty, for all the seizures. Well, the Americans grew rich and great. But the pay–day comes round. Britain, France, and Germany, which our extraordinary profits had impoverished, send out, attracted by the fame of our advantages, first their thousands, then their millions, of poor people, to share the crop. At first, we employ them, and increase our prosperity: but, in the artificial system of society and of protected labor, which we also have adopted and enlarged, there come presently checks and stoppages. Then we refuse to employ these poor men. But they will not so be answered. They go into the poor rates, and, though we refuse wages, we must now pay the same amount in the form of taxes. Again, it turns out that the largest proportion of crimes are committed by foreigners. The cost of the crime, and the expense of courts, and of prisons, we must bear, and the standing army of preventive police we must pay. The cost of education of the posterity of this great colony, I will not compute. But the gross amount of these costs will begin to pay back what we thought was a net gain from our transatlantic customers of 1800. It is vain to refuse this payment. We cannot get rid of these people, and we cannot get rid of their will to be supported. That has become an inevitable element of our politics; and, for their votes, each of the dominant parties courts and assists them to get it executed. Moreover, we have to pay, not what would have contented them at home, but what they have learned to think necessary here; so that opinion, fancy, and all manner of moral considerations complicate the problem.
There are a few measures of economy which will bear to be named without disgust; for the subject is tender, and we may easily have too much of it; and therein resembles the hideous animalcules of which our bodies are built up, — which, offensive in the particular, yet compose valuable and effective masses. Our nature and genius force us to respect ends, whilst we use means. We must use the means, and yet, in our most accurate using, somehow screen and cloak them, as we can only give them any beauty, by a reflection of the glory of the end. That is the good head, which serves the end, and commands the means. The rabble are corrupted by their means: the means are too strong for them, and they desert their end. ...