Dialogues

A Talk with Joe Gattis, an American Priest

A discussion of Truth and the Universe between Woo Myung and Joe Gattis

INFORMATION

This talk took place in Atlanta, Georgia, just before Easter in 2003 in order to discuss the Universe and meaning of Truth in depth. Joe Gattis is a Christian priest who fulfilled his pastoral duties in America for over 27 years. He had just started Subtraction Meditation at the time of this talk.


  • Joe Gattis:
  • Why is man’s mind false?
  • Woo Myung :
  • The Universe is already complete and only this complete Universe is real. However, man is false because he began to have a mind that is false. The whole Universe is entirely real so a person who has discarded all of his false mind becomes real.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Why must one discard his good memories along with his bad memories during meditation?
  • Woo Myung :
  • When a person discriminates between things that are good and bad, it takes place within his human false mind. It is only when one sees from the false mind that good and bad exist, which is why we need to discard both.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • What is an original sin?
  • Woo Myung :
  • An original sin began when we began to discriminate between good and evil. Good and evil exist because man believes them to exist. Only man, among all creations, discriminates between good and evil.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Does karma actually exist?
  • Woo Myung :
  • Sin is karma.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Isn’t karma a person’s thoughts?
  • Woo Myung :
  • That’s right. The reason people’s thoughts differ is because their karma is different.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • What is Truth?
  • Woo Myung :
  • The infinite Universe is Truth. The origin of Truth has been called God, Buddha, and Allah, but these all refer to Truth. One’s original mind, or original nature, is Truth.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Where does Truth come from?
  • Woo Myung :
  • Truth was always there. It existed before alpha and it will exist after omega. Truth itself is God. God, or in other words the infinite Universe, was always just there.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Is God ‘love’?
  • Woo Myung :
  • God is the utmost love. Utmost love is becoming oneness.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Is it possible for people to truly love?
  • Woo Myung :
  • The human mind is not true love. Even when one helps others, if he has the mind that he is helping others, it is not true love. Only God can love truly.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Which God do you believe in?
  • Woo Myung :
  • God exists within oneself; God is the entire Universe; there is nothing that is not God and all things that exist are God. God is the infinite Universe – it is the entity before the infinite Universe, the Universe that existed before the conception of the Universe. It was not an entity with a form that brought the sun, stars, Earth, and all creations into being. It was the infinite Universe.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • You teach people about nature’s flow. What does the nature’s flow mean?
  • Woo Myung :
  • Nature’s flow is the heart or mind of nature. The Universe provides us with food to eat, water to drink, with cold and heat, and gives us all the conditions to live but it never expects anything in return. Although it does everything, it does not have the mind that it has done. That mind is the nature’s flow.
    Even when one saves people, doing so without that mind is the mind of nature and great love that we call the nature’s flow. The mind of nature’s flow is one without “self” that does not have blockages and hindrances; it exists and yet it is a big mind that accepts everything. The nature’s flow is the divine mind that accepts all things.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Were all people, including me, born from the infinite Universe?
  • Woo Myung :
  • There is absolutely nothing in the Universe, or the place of the God, and yet at the same time, there is everything. If you do this meditation and you will find the body and mind of that original nature; you are the “you who has become the Universe.” When you discard your body and mind completely, you will find the body and mind of the origin. This happens when you discard yourself, and your consciousness becomes the infinite Universe.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Can that also happen to me?
  • Woo Myung :
  • You can, if you repent fully. If you cleanse away your original and actual sins, you become the Universe.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • How can one do true repentance or penitence?
  • Woo Myung :
  • True repentance or penitence is discarding or giving his whole entity to the Universe. One’s entity, or self, is simply his body and mind. If one throws his body and mind away, he becomes the infinite Universe.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Can you explain to me in a little more detail how I can become the Universe?
  • Woo Myung :
  • Try thinking about it yourself. What remains when everything from the Universe disappears?
  • Joe Gattis:
  • There is nothing.
  • Woo Myung :
  • The infinite Universe itself remains. If this notebook was to burn and disappear, or if you disappeared, what would remain? The infinite Universe remains as it is, does it not?
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Yes, it does.
  • Woo Myung :
  • And who is that Universe?
  • Joe Gattis:
  • I am that Universe.
  • Woo Myung :
  • Does the infinite Universe ever die?
  • Joe Gattis:
  • No, it does not.
  • Woo Myung :
  • That is right. Even when this body dies, the consciousness that is the infinite Universe remains as it is.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • A thought occurs to me that the fact we are born at all has meaning.
  • Woo Myung :
  • Being born in itself has meaning, and cleansing your mind has meaning. When one has cleansed his mind, he is happy but does not dwell in that happiness. One is without thoughts and agonies and instead just exists.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • Many people ask what kind of a place this meditation is.
  • Woo Myung :
  • In this meditation, the only thing we do is discard and eliminate our false selves. When one discards his false minds, the Universe remains and one realizes that is his true self. This is human completion. The meditation is not about believing in something; it is about getting rid of one’s false self and becoming complete Truth that exists within oneself.
  • Joe Gattis:
  • The reason I began practicing Subtraction Meditation was in order to gain peace of mind. I am sure this is possible through the meditation. Thank you.