The Way For Students

by Rev. Sun Myung Moon

Section 1. Reverend Moon's Childhood

1. Reverend Moon's Birth

I was born in 1920. In those days, the situation in Korea was miserable. Korea was under Japanese rule. It was a miserable period, a period of historic change. Thus, I was born into and have been living in an age of tribulation (age of uncertainties and difficulties). Korea as a nation was suffering under Japanese rule. The year 1920 was just one year after the Sam-Il Independence Movement of 1919, and it was also a year with a bad harvest.

While I was in my mother's womb, people allegedly ate pine tree bark to avoid starvation. When I think of all those things, I ask why God, who seems to love Reverend Moon today, had to put me through such historical difficulties and make me suffer in the deepest valleys of tribulation? And when I was born my tribe also suffered difficulties. All this was the work of God. Since I know the law of indemnity, I can understand these things, otherwise I would say they are all lies. (41-30)

2. Growing In Faith

I was born into an affluent Confucian family in the countryside of North Korea. When I was about 15 years old, my whole family converted to Christianity. I was deeply inspired at that time. I liked my new faith, and I loved Jesus more than I had ever loved anyone else before.

When I was 16, I had a special experience on Easter morning while praying deeply from my heart for many hours. Jesus Christ appeared to me and gave me revelations and instructions. Jesus told me many very deep and remarkable things. He said that he thought a lot about suffering humankind and that God was sorrowful. He asked me to play a very special role in the history of God here on earth. (134-144)

3. Search For Nature

1) Learning from Nature

I spent my childhood in a rural district. When the seasons changed, various migrating birds came and also various different kinds of flowers blossomed. I was raised under those conditions. When I was young wherever you went in Korea the seasons were clearly distinguished, and as they changed we could see the beauty of nature. Today, unfortunately, if we walk around Seoul, we don't come across nature. Every area has been urbanized here, and all we can see is artificial nature. When I think of people who grow up under these urban circumstances I feel sad because they lack emotional feelings. Since there is no opportunity for them to feel the mystery and beauty of nature, there is a tendency for people to become violent or individualistic. You must know these things. People learn many things and realize many things through encounters with nature.

I learned and experienced many things through nature. Through it I learned on my own what true love and happiness are. What we learn through the natural world is more fundamental than what we learn through school education.

When a new season came, beautiful birds flew around. When I saw those beautiful birds I ran after them and observed how they laid their eggs and hatched their chicks.

Sometimes I spent one whole week looking for a bird nest. I once spent more than 10 days watching a bird lay its eggs and hatch its chicks. I looked at how the beautiful chicks resembled their parents, and it confirmed the deep mystery and love of God. (1986 Jan. 3)

In those days I was living in a rural district. What I hated most was to feed the cows. Although in the beginning I felt disgusted, I later learned to love the cows from the bottom of my heart. One day the following happened. Cows know when lunch time comes around. However, in my case, when I was playing, I hated having to feed them before having finished playing, so I said to myself, "Wait another 10 minutes or 30 minutes" and then played for another hour or two. The cows waited for me wondering, "Where is our master, the one who was supposed to pick us up? Where has our master gone? If I had been a cow whose master had come very late I would have gotten angry and become violent. However, the cows just looked at me without saying a word. So when I saw them I said in my mind, "Oh how great! You are great. I'm sorry." That happened many times.

I then realized that "Cows are greater than I am." And I said to them, "Now that I know that you have an aspect greater than I do, I will feed you a great deal, and I will indemnify my short comings." I kept feeding them until after sunset and it was dark. The cows continued to eat because their master was feeding them.

They could eat throughout the whole night because they have big stomachs, and they can put a lot of food into their stomachs, like a savings account.

Like this, there were many things I learned from the cows. Cows sometimes look great and kingly as they lie in the burning sunlight on a midsummer's day shedding sweat and looking over the remote mountains meditating calmly. So people all over the world like to eat their meat. People don't like to eat dogs, tigers, etc. Cats meow, dogs bark, etc. So I said to myself "That's why everybody likes cow meat." In those days tooth brushes were made of cow bone. So every part of the cows was utilized. There was nothing to discard, even their manure was used as fertilizer. Therefore everything about a cow is good. Do you under, stand? (109-40)

2) I Built My Character Through Nature

In my yard there was a garden with a big chestnut tree about 200 years old. It was very beautiful, and being born in the year of the monkey I often climbed that tree and climbed from one branch to another. Since I was fat, sometimes I almost fell down because the branch would bend too much. So I prepared to hang from the branch in such a way that if I fell I would get caught on another branch rather then fall to the ground. I even tried to go to the tip of the branch and see if I could reach the ground from it.

Sometimes I stretched my hand out and picked a chestnut. Sometimes the chestnut cases had their mouths open. I tried to pick them before they fell to the ground. But sometimes I couldn't catch them, and they fell to the ground anyway. It was very interesting to try to pick chestnuts without letting them fall to the ground. I still remember how interesting it was. Only those who were raised in rural areas would understand this. There were many trees, 10 or maybe several dozens. The chestnut trees were very big.

There were also some large acacia. In these trees there were several magpie nests. The magpies always sang throughout all the seasons. In the large trees there were always several bird's nests. In Korea the magpies are regarded as birds of fortune. It is said that when the birds sing, "Ka, ka, ka," good news will come. In those days when I entered through the gate, they sang "ka, ka, ka" in the morning and in the evening.

I climbed the tree in which there were magpie nests in an instant. I kept climbing up and down until finally I was able to climb the tree in an instant. Observing these magpies was very interesting. By looking at their nests you can know, "This year the wind will blow from this direction to that direction." When it is likely that the wind will blow from the east then they make nests in that direction. I don't know who teaches them, but they produce magnificent works of art for their nests by gathering twigs.

Since their nests are made of small pieces of wood, they get wet when it rains. So what do they do next? They get mud and put it into the nest thus preventing the wind from getting in. And amazingly, when it rains they put small branches above the nest so that the rain can not get into the nest. Do you understand what I mean? So in that way, by collecting small twigs, they make their nests rain proof. I wonder who teaches them that? It indeed is a great skill. If we human beings were to make such a house, we would have to learn for several years.

But the birds make their nest in quite a short time by bringing twigs. Then what happens after a while? After several days the nests are completed, and then we wait until the eggs are laid and hatched.

When I looked at these birds eggs, I saw that they have light blue stripes. They are mysterious and very beautiful. The size of the eggs is about that of a chicken egg.

Before they laid their eggs, they didn't chirp even when I climbed the trees. But after they laid their eggs, interesting things happened, When I climbed up to their nest which had eggs in it, the magpies made such a big noise that it was heard all around the neighborhood. Then all the magpies in the neighborhood demonstrated. It was very interesting. This is why I became quite familiar with them.

They usually lay from one, two, or three eggs up to 12 or 13. But no matter how many times I climbed the tree and went to their nests, they didn't harm me. They got accustomed to me, and when I got closer to them they looked at me and made a kind of quacking noise. They didn't do me any harm, and I didn't do them any harm. I just went up and watched them, and then came down. That's all.

When it rained I didn't climb the trees, and they sent me a signal by saying "kwa-kwa-kwa," meaning why don't you come? I wondered why they were so friendly. This is not a lie. You didn't know that I had such a hobby. Now that I am old I cannot keep it up.

Then what do the magpies do after the chicks hatch? They keep the little chicks in the small twig nests and bring food to them. When I observed how the parent birds fed their babies I learned many things about how humans should love their children.

Even as the baby birds grow old enough to fly the parents don't leave them alone yet, but continue to feed them. I let a baby bird fly alone once saying, "I will do what is best for you today." I bound a rubber band on the leg and let it fly. I was a bad boy. The baby magpie looked very happy. It tried to fly but couldn't. Then its parent came and tried to take it away, but since the chick was attached or bound by a rubber band, what happened? I did that, but after a while I let it go, and then its parent took it to another big tree in the forest.

When I saw those things I came to realize that the whole creation is based on emotion. Also, the heart of the parent bird when it loses its baby is the same as the heart of a human parent. Or rather the human parents nowadays must be ashamed of themselves in comparison to the parent birds.

So seen from these points of view where is the origin of all those feelings and love? What do you think? Where do they come from? Parent birds know how to love all their babies. Did human beings teach them? Who did they learn those things from? Is it not strange if birds fight instead of love each other? Or catch and eat other bird's chicks? Yet all parent birds love and protect their baby birds. It is a wonder.

In this way, I learned the heart of God and the situations of history. I am familiar with all the situations of the world. Father can predict how human beings will act, how a situation will develop in the future.

I have such vision. That is how I am different from others. In other respects there is nothing different. So you cannot be proud of yourself even if you have a good education. Also, you can not be proud of your self even if you are rich. The important thing is how big or how large the emotional personality within your heart is. (141-33)

3) Father's Curiosity About Nature.

I have a special character in many various aspects. There is nothing I cannot do, no matter what it is. I have been making things, doing whatever human beings do. Whether it is gymnastics or whatever. I have a lot of talent. I have extreme characteristics. Once I have something in my hand I never let it go even if I have my head broken or I have my neck twisted. The same thing can be said of my children. This small Kook Jin is the same. He is like that. When I took him to Chung Pyung lake he tried to go up and up, all the way to the top. He resembles me. In my case, too, I always climbed the highest tree in the village, even at midnight without going to sleep. One night I slipped on a tree and was dangling in mid air. But I was protected by God; He would never let me die.

Also, there was a pond in the neighborhood. I went there and tried to catch all the fish to find out what kinds there were. Once I determined to catch the biggest fish there. I continued fishing no matter how long it took. I was willing to continue even throughout the 12 months of the year. I have such a nature.

Therefore, once I decide to deal with something, I never stop until it is completed. One day it snowed. Without sleeping I went hunting for weasels that night. I ran around hundreds of miles to catch a weasel and didn't even eat.

My mother was very worried about me. I was a terrible boy. So when I became a teenager I grasped the heart of my parents and controlled them. Since I was a boy, I was able to do all these things. Isn't that right? If I see someone who does something thoughtless or stupid I never keep silent. Therefore even my parents had to surrender to me. I never yielded even if I my legs were broken. I never yielded.

Also at my home there were many honey bees. Honey, especially the honey from acacia trees, is really very delicious. The bees land on the acacia flowers and gather the nectar. Near my house there were many bees. When the bees put their heads inside the flower and suck the nectar, they stand firmly like this. With their tails they support themselves and suck the nectar. Once I tried to grasp the tail of one of the bees with a pair of tweezers, but even so the bee would not let go of the flower.

Even if the bee's tail is cut off it, it has such a deep attachment that it does not let go of the flower, Of course a boy who pulls a bee's tail to the extent that the tail comes off is a terrible boy, but a bee who never gives up sucking the nectar is also very tough, so I thought, "Wow, I learned a lesson. I will become like this." Also in those days there was no frog, nor bird which I did not try to catch. When I saw a bird for the first time I could not help wanting to catch it. I couldn't sleep until I caught it. One day when a migrating bird came and disappeared into the mountains I looked for it all day. I also looked for bird nests. It was very interesting. I saw two pairs of birds working very hard making their nests with branches and twigs.

I found a place where the birds drank water. Then by placing a branch over it I was able to catch birds easily. I never missed because birds tend to perch on a branch or tree rather than stand on the ground or on a stone. So by making use of that habit I was able to catch the birds by putting a branch where they drank water. I was always successful at catching birds. I made a trap using horse hair so that birds the birds were caught by their necks. It was very interesting.

The reason that I am saying all these things is that it isn't at all good if in your young days you do everything that you want, or play all you want or see anything you think is interesting. It's no good. If you spend time just playing around, you are likely to fall, and you are not likely to reach your goal. Do you understand? (51-270,136-132,186-303).

4) New Attitude Toward Nature

When I was young I was deeply interested when I found a beautiful bird. I was interested in knowing what the bird ate and where it made its nest for hatching its baby birds, etc. So no matter how many days it took I never stopped until I found the answers. Also, I was interested in collecting herbs. I collected hundreds of different kinds of herbs. I wanted to know which were medicinal, which were poisonous, and how they were structured. I studied them very eagerly.

Every time I looked at nature I deeply thought about how God created all those things. Looking at the oak trees and their acorns and various leaves I used to think about how they were created. As I thought about these things it all seemed very mysterious. Can you create even one stone? I also tried to catch an uncountable number of snakes.

We have to take interest in all things. By knowing deeply about them we can take dominion over them for the first time. If we know the value of nature we can receive an indescribably great fortune. Through those experiences we come to understand that nature has been created centering upon "me." People don't know that because they don't know the art of looking at nature.

Nature is truly mysterious. As we come to know these things, we find even the sound of the wind to be wonderful music. We are greatly helped in our life of faith through those experiences.

It is nature that is closest to our physical body. Therefore we have to make the wishes of nature which is lamenting come true.

Only those who can love the mountains can worship what is high. In that sense Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and all the prophets loved the mountains.

When I visit famous places I always look at them from the point of view of how much value they can have centering upon heavenly fortune.

Thus I try to connect those places with heavenly fortune. Therefore, in the beginning days of the Unification Church, I climbed a lot of mountains.

By looking at the mountains and the land of one nation we can know the characteristics of that nation. The water in Korea is pure. Wherever we drink water in Korea it is pure.

So we have to restore nature first of all, and before we leave our country to visit foreign countries we have to love nature very deeply.

Those who know how to love their hometowns know how to love their physical bodies. Those who know how to love their physical bodies are those who love their own hearts and minds. Those who love their own hearts and minds are those who love God. Therefore those people will not perish. Even heaven cannot strike those people. We must love our hometown more than Niagara Falls. We must know that many people in the process of God's providence were comforted by nature. (14-101)

4. Reverend Moon's Elementary School Days

In my childhood days there was a school to prepare us to enter a national school, just like in Seoul there are schools to prepare one to enter college. In those days it was equivalent to an elementary school.

In other words, it was a place to learn for those who wanted to enter a school recognized by the nation as a prestigious school. We had to go to that school and study and then pass an exam to be enrolled in the national school. In order to enter that elementary school, I encouraged my cousins and revolutionized them.

My parents were opposed, and my grandfather said, "If you go there, you will die," because there had been such a case in the past. But I was determined to go to the school and overcame all those difficulties.

When I entered the school I had to learn Japanese. It seems just like yesterday that I studied the Japanese language and how to write the Japanese characters. I memorized all the Japanese characters in one day.

When I entered that elementary school I found that all the third graders, fourth graders, and fifth graders were able to speak Japanese. We were behind them because we had entered the elementary school late and could not speak a word of Japanese. It was very hard for us. You will never understand how difficult it was because you have never experienced it. Therefore I had to study very hard. I memorized all the contents of all the text books used by the first graders, second graders, third graders, and fourth graders in only 15 days. By doing so I was able to speak Japanese. (171-2-258)

Did I also study or not? When I studied I studied like lightening. In other words, I studied in several days the content which other students studied over several years. My hometown is in North Korea, and I lived in a village 8 km north-east of Chonju. Do you know what a traditional lamp is? Do you know what those lamps look like? In those days we used those oil lamps for light, and I used to sit up till late at night, until one, two, or three o" clock to study. Then while I was studying, my parents would say to me, "Oh come on, go to bed. You will become physically weak." They always said something like that.

At those times, my best friends were the nocturnal insects. In the summer time those nocturnal bugs became my friends. I was studying late at night until two or three o'clock in the quiet night. In the countryside the nights are really quiet.

At night the buzzing sounds of the insects were very mysterious. I felt as if it were just yesterday that I studied and played around like that. Our life, human life is very short. (100-461)

When I was an elementary school pupil I always observed the behavior of the school principal, and I trained myself always by saying: "I must live like that." (25-124)

The elementary school graduation ceremony included a program of one student giving an address in reply to the greetings of the younger students and the principal, so one representative of the graduating students gave a speech. I was chosen to do that. I still remember giving that speech on the stage. In the hall there were various important guests, such as the police chief, county representative, the school principal, etc. I wanted to speak in such a place. Therefore I went up to the stage with dignity. I said that I had something to talk about. In my speech I criticized the education which I had received in my boyhood, and I criticized each and every one of the teachers. My speech was seen as very controversial because nobody thought that a student graduating from elementary school would say anything like that. I was so labeled in those days. (15-182)

I am smart. When I was in the sixth grade of elementary school I set a record of having memorized a 180-page book in one day. I have such a good memory. If I concentrate I can do that. And yet now even though I determine to study English, I am unable to concentrate.

Therefore I have to make you study. So, do I want you to study only in the day time? Is it OK for you to say you have to go to bed at night? No! You have to study day and night.

Then what are you going to do? You have to follow me by doing exactly as I say. And if you begin to follow me, you have to follow me not only in this world but eternally. (66-75)

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