The Words Of Hyung Jin Moon
Training In Life An Interview with Julian Gray
Hyung Jin Moon
Julian Gray: Hyung-Jin Nim, how did you come to begin these seminars?
Hyung Jin Nim: Initially I was not intending to stay in Korea. My plan was to go back to Harvard to register in the Ph.D. program.
Whatever religion you are studying at Harvard, whatever tradition, it receives a strong critical analysis. It is a liberal atmosphere. They are always attacking religions that hold conservative values. I did not find it so enriching in that respect. I talked with Father. He was very empathetic. It is not as though I am going to be an academic, teaching at Harvard for the rest of my life! I want to be closer to the members. I want to not just deal with books; I see myself as an Unificationist practitioner -- Unificationism not as something to know, but as something to live.
You cannot just know something and that's the end of it. We have to change society; we have to help the diseased and the poor. We are very practical in terms of our theology. We have tried to be engaged socially. We have done big activities, but how focused are we on the central tasks we have to fulfill within the movement -- creating strong and true blessed families, examples to the world?
We have to substantiate the four great realms of heart and three kingships, creating the four-position foundation on the individual and family levels... the three blessings. How are we supposed to start?
My older brother [Young-jin nimj emphasized method. I felt we have to provide our members with more than the big goals; a great mission statement contains both the goals and the means to achieve them.
How do we help people substantiate their ideals in a very real way? With children, life is very real; it is not ethereal. It is also not always some kind of mystical experience. It's visceral, very emotional, psychologically challenging, physically challenging, spiritually challenging.
How do we begin to acknowledge that these are the levels we have to start addressing, and where we have to begin succeeding in a practical way?
JG:Father has done so much, but we have a lot to implement personally.
If you study religion, Father is the most successful religious leader that we have seen in the last two hundred years, in all of religious history, even. He's impacted millions of people around the world. We've become so mainstream in his lifetime.
I give the example of Mormonism; their founder was imprisoned and killed. Father and our movement have done it together. We have accomplished a tremendous amount. The question is how to go forward. A religion has to be concerned not only about recruiting people; it has to consider retaining them as well.
We need to be able to become more consistent with our words while developing the skills to start viewing whether our actions are consistent or not. That's why I emphasize practice.
When we practice, we can learn a lot. Those thirty minutes of meditation are totally packed with experience. They are packed with emotion, with sights, thoughts, feelings -- all sorts of things. In that very short time, we can see a lot about ourselves.
We talk about the "I" that I think I am and the "I" that I really am. Why that is important is that our spouse has to live with who we really are, our children have to deal with who we really are!
My main impetus for starting these workshops was to see how we could begin to train our mind and body. At UTS, that is what we primarily focused on. At that time, we did not get so much into the spouse or family side, at least not in depth. It was a good chance to exercise the will aspect of our being...
We have always trained our intellectual side, our emotional side. That can be a great tool to create peace in the home. 1 am very interested in realization; in how we can utilize mind-body practice to help us become better husbands and better daddies, better brothers, etc.
That connection is crucial. Even in my own life, although I exercise mind-body practices, I also have a family, which is so intimately connected. If I don't have the ability to review myself in a systematic fashion and to purge myself of intrusions or anger (when I am angry at the kids, or whatever), I often fail.
As you experienced, the meditation time is a very chaotic period -- very similar to our lives -- because in that thirty minutes, so many things are thrown at us and we have to learn how to deal with them in a manner that is not going to stress us out or tire us out.
We learn how to take the subject role, but also how to become a better object, so that we can become more grateful for the smaller things that God has given us. That skill is also important in our families because when the husband is trying (although it may seem like a small thing) it requires so much effort on his part.
If the wife can catch that and say thank you, the husband feels acknowledged. You know, (laughing) maybe it infuriates her when he moves the toothpaste from here and puts it there -- but this day he didn't do that, and it took a lot of effort. When we start sensing when people are trying and appreciate their efforts, we can start acknowledging the fact that we are all trying.
We usually just think, "Well, I'm trying." but when you look around and you watch your children, they are tying! We want to develop those skills, become better objects to God, and to find those great gifts -- at the same time learning how to keep the subject role when we are being intruded upon by fallen nature, secular values or temptations. To be strong in mind and body-- that's really what I feel is the center of it. Because as Father says, if that's not happening, you're not going to heaven (laughs).
That's why we have to address it as a movement; we have to start practicing. Let's begin a systematic approach that is consistent with our teaching. There are so many gems -- what I am trying to tell people is that the Principle has so many systems, that whole mind-body dialectic -- that's a system.
But how do you use it? That's the problem! Again, the system we talked about in the seminar; the five levels of sharing love with one's spouse, the sharing that has to be on all levels of the human being... That's a system within the Principle. But how do you use it in your marriage life?
Once we see that the Principle is systematic, we can start using those tools as Unificationists; we can start actualizing the teachings. I hope that was being communicated. I feel that is wonderful, because it brings life to the theory.
It is not as if we are just wishing one day to be in that ideal world. No, we can use these systems; we can start building it now. That's what I find exciting; that's why I wanted to do the workshops.
JG:What plans do you have for the workshops in the future?
What I really want to do is start investing my energy in working on the manuals and then hopefully develop it so it can be very accessible to people. To make accessible the wisdom of the Principle to people regardless of religion, race or nation -- that's essentially what we are supposed to be doing. For me it's a question of how are we going to help improve people's lives.
I had the experience of visiting the home of my son's friend. I met his parents. They are not members, but they know who I am. They asked me, "What do you believe?" Of course, when asked that question, we are itching to say something about the messiah -- Rev. Moon is the Messiah! But I just said, "What my father teaches is that we have to create peace between mind and body. We participate in a marriage blessing sacrament. We see marriage as a holy institution where true peace can be realized. He teaches us to create what we call true families, that is, to have healthy strong families that contribute to our world."
When you think about our theology in terms of what we must actually do, it is those things. When I told them that, they said, "Oh, that's great!" They were interested too. They are interested in those aspects as well. What I found is that it doesn't matter whether they have been in the movement a long time, or don't even know the movement; they want to have better control over their mind-body relationship; they want to learn how to create stronger marriages, and they also want to have better relationships with their children.
These wants, these desires are because each of the dimensions -- emotion intellect and will -- is searching. The emotional realm is searching for the reciprocation of beauty; the intellectual side is searching for the reciprocation of truth; and the will is searching for the reciprocation of goodness. We start understanding and utilizing our entire being, we can start making our life more beautiful, more true, more good.
I think that is quite basic for all people. It's a practical way for people to start approaching their families, their relationships and themselves in a different way. I think it can be beneficial for people that are not necessarily Unificationists, because in the end we are supposed to he helping the whole world.
I hope that the program can develop over time, which is why we ask members to offer their thoughts on it. We really want to build this together.
For example, Stephen Covey took the real principles of Mormonism and applied them in a manner that is accessible. We should have been doing that, in terms of leadership, family... whatever. And I believe we can.
When we look from a systematic perspective at the many systems that are there, they are very useful. They have been there, but we just haven't known how to use them. How do we bring them to life and start applying them in a way that is creating more beauty, truth and goodness? If we can do that, it will be wonderful -- not just for our members but for the rest of the world.
So I am hoping that we can develop this in a way that can be more accessible for people and that can help them succeed in all the dimensions of being happy, being well, being healthy.
We've held workshops and now hope to do retreats. The retreats will focus much more on practice. We will practice, but we will also learn such things as a very simple Korean ceremony for sharing tea, which uses a very principled system.
There is a father, a mother and children in the tea set. We can practice that, learn how to share tea and give something healthful to each other, enjoy that gift from nature and learn how to give each other foot massages, for example. I learned this from my wife. Whenever one of my kids feels emotionally needy, she gives them a foot massage, at night. They feel so adored!
That's skin-ship, the sense of touch that we need as human beings in interacting with each other. Especially within our families, we need to hold each other, embrace, massage each other's feet. Even a father can come down and massage his child's feet.
So I want to develop a system where we can actually practice these things together and have fun together! This is the age of release and liberation, when we can start rejoicing, and start bringing each other health and happiness. We can start practicing, in order to become stronger in all the aspect.
I hope what I am trying to do is helpful. My point is that we have a lot more than we think we have. If we look closely; we can make an impact in the world and be helping people. From the resources of our Principle, we are retrieving these systems that are helpful.
JG:This work will help the future of the movement.
I hope so. I mean I can't promise anything. Only God knows...
JG:Everyone will want to help you...
I always try to tell people, "Don't try to do everything at once; it's too much." We end up giving up because it's too much to do. Try to lake one small step. Do small things. Small things are what build strong relationships, not big things. I think people forget that.
With Father, we do not see every single day of sincerity and devotion that he must invest in, every single moment and hour. We just see the big announcements, but there is so much preparation for that. In fact, that is only one aspect of the entire effort. I really want to acknowledge that. When you look at a man like Father, he's great not because he is doing great things. He is doing many; many small salvific actions that in the end are saving all of us.
As his child, when I interact with him, it's the small things that save me. Here is one example: Usually when we are talking to someone and we talk at the same time, both people stop to let the other one talk. We think of Father as a very dominant speaker -- he speaks a lot, educating his kids, talking all day to them (laughs) -- but this is totally not the case!
When we both try to say something at the same time, he stops, and I am waiting for him to say something, but he lets me speak. That's a different side, you see! It is those small acts of trust -- empathy and listening -- that make me so grateful in our relationship. I cannot do that! I've reflected, and I realize I am not even doing that with my kids.
I'm learning from this. I feel that strong families are built on many small investments. That's where strong families are built; that's where powerful marriages are built and that's where the mind and body unity is built. That is hard to invade. It is built by many small investments, effort and training.
Father is such a humble person. As his child, speaking with him, it is amazing how much he just listens. That has really been the most enriching part of my relationship with Father -- to understand the value of the ability to listen.
This has greatly benefited my own family, my own life, my relationship with my wife and children, and so forth. Just the ability to say yes, as a father, I can stop, catch myself and listen to what my kids are saving. We don't do that usually, because we are dominating the conversation -- we're the Dad! But that's not what I experienced with Father, and I found that so illuminating.
1 wanted to share those aspects of Father's life. In the end, it is not only the words that he speaks, it's his life that is exemplary. We also want to see the other aspects that are even beyond words -- how he lives and practices.
JG:You remind me of Father when he was in his student days. We can catch a glimpse of Father's youth though you...
(Laughing) I am a germ compared to Father! I definitely cannot claim to be anywhere near him. I see him as a real example of living the Principle.
Recently I was present when Father suddenly started tickling Mother's foot. They were just playing around, like two innocent children. I am waiting to see if when I am eighty-seven and all wrinkled, I can still be that free, harmonious and unified. We talk about that in the fourth pledge -- freedom, harmony; unification and happiness!
I found that to be a tremendous teaching because it is not the cerebral Principle, it is the living Principle. I love watching Father and Mother, observing what they do. When I talked about this experience in front of Father, he was overjoyed. As academics, we can sometimes get into our cerebral prowess and lose that freedom to just act with heart, emotion, and will and move freely. We may be stunted by our rationality.
Linguists say that ten percent of communication is verbal, and that 90 percent is non-verbal. If we are only learning through Father's words we are only learning ten percent of what he communicates -- with his family, in his true marriage to Mother, and we are only learning ten percent of how he communicates with God.
We've got to start looking and seeing the other ninety percent. I feel that these teachings, in conjunction with the verbal teachings, will create a much more holistic understanding of how we can become true patents.