Sun Myung Moon's Philosophy of Education
Preface - A Life of Teaching by Example
Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon's aim in life, as I understand it, is the liberation of God and the salvation of humankind. This is highly evident from the spirit and life emanating from his sermons (350 volumes of Sermons of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon) and prayers (Twelve volumes of Reverend Sun Myung Moon: Prayers - A Lifetime of Conversation with our Heavenly Father).
Conventional theology assumes that it is the absolute and infinite God who liberates man, who is relative and finite. In contrast, Reverend Moon has been teaching that it is we who must liberate God, and lead a life of putting this conviction into practice. This arises from a diametrically opposed view of the relationship between God and man.
Reverend Moon explains that the relationship between God and man is that of parent and child. God created us in His image, that is, as His children, and wanted to fulfill His ideal of creation through us.
However, after man fell into the realm of death, God's situation was that of a grieving parent who had lost His children. God is the origin of parental love, which motivates parents to go so far as to sacrifice their own lives in order to save a child in danger. With such a heart, God has arduously pursued His providence of restoring man to his original state. God's anguished quest in search of His lost children has been filled with dashed hopes and renewed heartbreak.
The biblical record is replete with examples of people who in one way or another failed to rise to the occasion in keeping with the demands of divine providence. God's unstinting efforts in exercising His parental love have constantly met with rejection and even betrayal. Yet God never gives up, continuing to pour out His infinite true love, by virtue of His being our eternal parent. Now, Reverend Moon teaches that mature children must liberate their disconsolate parent thereby demonstrating both loyalty and filial piety.
At this point, I offer one of his prayers, which crystallizes his life and spirit: We long for the day when we can live together with You.
Please let us become sons and daughters who long for You, and run towards You, and who can bring all the things of creation into harmony by offering greetings of joy and gratitude to You, having arrived at the day of glory when we can live together with You.
Since our minds and bodies were created resembling the external form of our Father, we earnestly hope and desire, Father, that You will allow us to become sons and daughters who resemble You completely.
Humankind does not know that Your sorrowful mind has permeated the earth, and does not know that the footprints of human history are soaked with the lonely tears of heaven.
We have not known that the endless lamentations of heaven are encircling our minds and bodies.
Now we cannot help but admit that we are the descendants of rebellious humankind and that we cannot establish our dignity before heaven or be trusted by heaven.
There is no one on earth who can stop Your tears, and there is no one to hold and comfort You in Your sorrow, and there is no one to guard the path You are going.
Therefore, if there is grief on this earth, that grief is heaven's grief which has permeated the earth; if there is sorrow, that sorrow is heaven's sorrow which has permeated the earth, and if there is enmity, that enmity is heaven's enmity which has permeated the earth.
Therefore, humankind who are living on this earth are facing a destiny of not being able to help but be sacrifices of sorrow whether they want to be or not, and are facing a destiny of not being able to help but overcome their grief-filled selves whether they want to do so or not. (Reverend Sun Myung Moon: Prayers - A Lifetime of Conversation with our Heavenly Father; "Please let us be close to the Wellspring of Your Heart" 24 May 1959)
While it would be foolhardy to attempt to characterize Reverend Moon's life in an aphorism, I would venture to testify that he has taught us by the power of his own example of living a life entirely for the sake of the liberation of God and the salvation of humankind.
Throughout his life, Reverend Moon has been single-mindedly walking the path of untiring devotion to God. As God's representative, he has experienced God's pain and sorrow with all his heart and with all his strength, exerting his utmost to plant love with a heavenly heart amid a sinful world, forsaking all personal and familial concerns.
In teaching us, he would speak from one dawn to the next without stopping to rest. With ever benevolent warmth and engaging geniality, often with words so profound that one would not exchange even for the world, at times persevering through stifling heat with sweat pouring down his body and soaking his clothes, his face drenched in tears as he strove to share the precious gems of truth won by dint of grim struggle to the point of shedding blood - sometimes with raised voice, at other times pausing meaningfully - he fully reflects the all-encompassing dynamism of God, the origin of all existence. All his recorded words to date have been published in no less than 450 books, which include some 350 volumes of the on-going compilation of the Sermons of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, of which seven have been translated into English.
This thematic work, Sun Myung Moon's Philosophy of Education, is an assemblage of pronouncements made by him within that context. Words fail me in expressing sufficient gratitude and appreciation to the True Parents for their untiring toil and lifelong labor in seeking to bring God peace and rest and lead the way for humankind in becoming true original children of Heaven.
It is my sincere and earnest hope that this book can inspire its readers to profit from Reverend Moon's noble life and teachings, first by tracing his footsteps and then by walking in them.
Sun Jo Hwang
International President, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification
This book is a compilation and translation of excerpts selected from the 350-volume anthology of speeches given by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
Each excerpt is followed by a reference to where the speech can be found in the original Korean, and when it was given. The first hyphenated set of numbers refer to the volume and page number. This is followed by the date on which the words were spoken, written in the form year, month, date.
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