The Healing of the World - June 4, 2009
The twentieth century has been the most intense period humankind has ever known. Our century has witnessed the first footsteps on the moon, the birth of the robot and the development of nuclear power. Computers enable us to access a wealth of data and the mass media disseminates information on worldwide events almost instantaneously.
We can now produce a vast array of consumer goods and services, yet millions of people still live in abject poverty, struggling each day to find the basic necessities of life. In addition, mismanaged industrial expansion during this century has caused immeasurable damage to our environment, and the devastation brought about by two world wars and the many other regional and international conflicts has been unprecedented.
The question we have to ask ourselves as we enter the new millennium is: Have we as individuals become better and happier people? Have we become more loving, caring and responsible individuals? The answer, unfortunately, is no. Technology has not improved the well-being of our families and communities. Even though our knowledge of the physical world has increased, our understanding of life's spiritual dimension has changed little. The hatred that separates people, nations and races is the same as it has always been.
Where can we look for hope? Government institutions certainly do not have the answers. Should we expect them to? Nor will the ultimate solution be found in a scientific research institute or laboratory. The established religious institutions, for all their vigor and long-standing dedication, have been unable to prevent this crisis from developing. They will be hard-pressed to reverse it.
A deeper analysis of the problems in our society reveals that they are not new. In fact, the failures of our modern civilization have a fundamental cause, which can be traced back to the beginnings of humankind.
There is a contradiction in human beings that is as old as history. We all strive for joy and happiness in life, yet continue to indulge in attitudes and behaviors that lead to unhappiness or utter misery for ourselves and others. Why is it that human beings always long for peace and yet engage in so much conflict? Are love and hatred, good and evil destined to coexist, as some believe, so that lasting peace and harmony can never be achieved?
These and many other difficult questions touch on the very origin of our existence. We need a deeper understanding of the most fundamental questions of life. We also need a true and absolute standard of love and goodness to overcome the scourge of evil and selfishness which has plagued humanity throughout history.
Such answers can come only from God, yet God always works through chosen individuals on earth. This booklet explores the ways God has worked through one individual, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, to bring humanity back to our original home, a world of peace, happiness and freedom.
Nearly everyone has read or heard something about the founder of the Unification Church, Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Some media reports have portrayed Reverend Moon as a businessman or politician. Others have recognized him to be an extraordinarily dedicated religious leader. Who is Reverend Moon? Our answer begins with an account of his upbringing, and an encounter he had with Jesus on a Korean mountainside.
Sun Myung Moon was born on January 6, 1920, into a family of farmers that had tilled the land for centuries. As a boy he studied at a Confucian school and was a keen observer of the natural world.
Around 1930, his parents became fervent Christians -- Presbyterians, and the young Sun Myung Moon became a Sunday school teacher. At that time, Japan ruled Korea and only permitted practice of the Shinto religion. The religious intolerance of the militant Japanese was only a small part of the contempt they held for the Koreans, a race they believed to be inferior. The Korean people were subjected to forty years of humiliation and cruelty as part of Japan's Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. As a member of an oppressed race, Sun Myung Moon learned to hate injustice, whether among his own people or at the hands of the Japanese rulers.
Korea is a land of fervent Christian faith. Today it is well known that Korea is home to the largest Protestant churches in the world. When Reverend Billy Graham visited Korea, he was so impressed by the spiritual vitality of her churches that he predicted one day Korea would send missionaries to revive the West. Before World War II, the center of Christian activity was Pyongyang, which was called the "Jerusalem of the East." Among the spirit-filled churches were many with strong messianic expectations. These churches had received revelations that the Messiah would be born in Korea, and they were directed in various ways to prepare to receive him.
At Easter time in 1935, Jesus appeared to the young Sun Myung Moon as he was praying in the Korean mountains. In that vision, Jesus asked him to continue the work which he had begun on earth nearly 2,000 years before. Jesus asked him to complete the task of establishing God's kingdom on earth and bringing His peace to humankind.
The young Korean was stunned by this encounter, and especially by the request that had been made of him, and at first he refused. However, after deep reflection, meditation and prayer, he pledged his life to that overwhelming mission. After personally accepting Jesus' call, the young man set out to discover its very meaning. If Jesus called him to complete his mission, it meant that Jesus' mission was incomplete. Was not salvation through the cross all that man needs? What was it that Jesus had left undone on earth? If sin is not completely solved, then what is the actual root of sin?
Sun Myung Moon studied the Bible and many other religious teachings in order to unravel these mysteries of life and human history. During this time, he went into ever deeper communion with God and entered the vast battlefield of the spirit and flesh. Through denying his personal desires he overcame temptations of knowledge, wealth and physical pleasure. He came to understand God's own suffering and His longing to be reunited with His children. He learned the difficult steps that humankind would have to take in order to return to God and establish true peace on earth.
By 1945, he had organized the teachings which came to be known as the Divine Principle, and he began his public ministry. The Divine Principle, the fundamental teaching of Reverend Moon and the Unification Church, is outlined in the following pages.