The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009
Following is the Keynote Address given by Rev. In Jin Moon at Hyo Jin Nim's One-Year Memorial Service in Westchester, New York on March 22, 2009.
Good morning, brothers and sisters. I’m delighted to see you, and I’m sure that my brother is delighted to see you gathered here in remembrance of all the wonderful things that he did and all the wonderful things that he was about. I’m somewhat contemplative today. I was thinking about a lot of things as I was driving here from New York, especially what I could share with you to show you how wonderful an older brother he was. So I prepared a video tribute in his memory to showcase how truly brilliant he was as an artist and how he strove to accomplish things in his lifetime with great passion, conviction, and dedication.
As a member of the True Family, I must say, in all honesty, that life is not easy when you’re a True Child. Think of his being the eldest son, being born into the world with so many expectations put upon him. When I say expectations, I mean that your expectations and the expectations of people sitting next to you might be very different. But such expectations weighed very heavily on my brother’s heart, and he really tried his best. And, in my estimation of things, he was truly an ideal son.
What I mean by ideal is that, as I’ve been going around the country talking about our desire in wanting to create ideal families, I’ve often joked, saying, “When we all joined the movement and we wanted ideal families, guess what? Heavenly Father gave us those I-deal families, and it means that we have to deal with our daily lives, with our spouses, with our children, with our family, with our in-laws.” This is how God is giving us an opportunity to become mature and wise human beings.
Hyo Jin oppa was no different. He was an ideal son in that he dealt with a lot of the issues that we all deal with in our lives -- happiness and elation, as well as sorrows and heartbreak. These are the things that make us who we are, brothers and sisters. No matter who we are, we are bound together in this tapestry of what I call human experience. And it’s the emotional jewels that are born out of suffering, out of happiness, out of tears of joy and loneliness that make us who we are.
My brother in his daily life strove each and every day to deal with all these things. Just as my father never wavered from the age of 16 in committing his life to God and for the sake of the providence, my brother was no different in that he wanted to commit his life for God and for the providence. But in my mind, more importantly, he wanted to live his life as an ideal son, a son that encompasses the meaning of loyalty, filial piety, and humility.
As an artist myself, when I listen to my brother’s songs, I hear so much passion, so much heart. Maybe his method of conveying his artistry might not be your cup of tea, but in the medium and vocabulary that he chose, he is giving me something real, expressing his heart through the guitar, the big love of his life.. He is allowing me to feel his love and his passion. And, for me, that is probably the greatest gift. Here I am in my forties, and we have a great mixture of ages here. We go on our merry way; we have our jobs, we have our schools, we have our congregations, we have our duties as a mom or a dad. But if we forget to feel, then our lives become meaningless and worthless.
For me, in Hyo Jin oppa's passionate desire to want to literally bowl you over with his music, he was provoking all of us to feel -- to feel the passion, to feel the gratitude of being alive, to feel the pain of loneliness and suffering -- but still having the strength to overcome it and thrive to be an ideal child. It breaks my heart that my brother’s life was cut short, and it breaks my heart that many of us didn’t fully realize the true value of what he imparted to us and into our community while he was alive. So I feel that as his sister and as somebody who loves him deeply and wants him to be remembered in the proper and correct way, it’s my duty to share with you the preciousness of this man’s life, the preciousness of his desire to provoke us to feel, to love, to really become human again.
We have become so good as a movement at becoming functionaries, and my brother was one person who hated that so much. He said to me, I don’t know how many times, in the moments that we shared together deep at night over a pot of coffee or when he invited me to the art studio to listen to his music, “I don’t want to be a cardboard cutout for someone to point to and say, ‘That’s Hyo Jin Nim, Father’s first son.’ I don’t want to be a functionary, somebody who’s just carrying out the duties that a son does in order to be considered a good son. I want to feel my life, I want to be passionate about my life.”
In many instances he didn’t care what anybody thought, as long as he felt he was making a difference. And, boy, did he make a difference! Before he came along, I like to remind the Second Generation that jeans were not allowed. I had to wear skirts every day. And as much as I love being a girl and being feminine, wearing skirts every day is not something I like to do. Every time I put on a pair of blue jeans, the first thing that goes through my mind is, “Thank you, older brother, for making it okay to express ourselves in a fun way and to be comfortable in what we’re wearing.”
When I look around and see the young people trying out different music, forming bands, and playing around with art, I think about my brother. Thank God that years and years ago, before the Christians realized how important rock music was in their ministry, we had an older brother who literally dragged it in, whether people liked it or not, and said, “This is okay. This is powerful stuff. This is an incredibly influential medium for reaching out to the young people, and we have to use this for God.” He brought rock and roll in.
I remember when I was a little girl some of the elder Asian leaders who did not grow up here and experience the power of rock music would listen when my brother was performing and sit with their hands over their ears, saying to themselves, “Is it over?” I thought, “Wow, that’s interesting. Maybe if they took their fingers out of their ears, they might experience something that they’d never felt before, something new, something exciting, something that’s worth your living your life for.” So when I think about how I want my brother to be remembered, for me he’s an ideal son who just wanted to express himself through music, the universal language that touches us all.
I was watching an interesting show on PBS the other day with my two boys, who are very keen on becoming scientists. We were watching a show called An Elegant Universe. It’s talking about physicists who are on the cutting edge of the great thinking that’s going on nowadays. They were saying, “First we thought the atom was the smallest particle in our universe; then we discovered electrons, neutrons, protons. But guess what? There are things much smaller than that.” These physicists are talking about 11 different dimensions. What we take to be reality may very well not be reality.
The concept of string theory is saying that the smallest subatomic particle that makes the universe what it is might actually be composed of these wonderful things called vibrations, these things that are circular and constantly moving, constantly vibrating, and constantly rotating. I’m thinking, this means that they’re constantly feeling. It’s these vibrations that make the universe what it is. This is just one explanation for how the universe might work. It’s a cutting-edge theory, and one of the hardest things about this theory is it’s very difficult to prove. How do you capture one of these vibrations to say that it exists? This will be the challenge for a great many physicists to come. But the idea in and of itself is an interesting one.
I’ve often wondered why my brother was so filled with a need to reach people with music, with the universal language. But when I saw this show with my two boys, I thought, isn’t music all about vibrations? When you see a sad movie, your heart is vibrating because you are understanding the suffering or the difficulties that the protagonist had to overcome. So you’re feeling. Something in your heart is literally vibrating and telling you, “This is sadness, this is happiness, this is joy, this is suffering.”
When I think about my brother and the life that he led, I see a great hero. I know that he was many times misunderstood because he was so passionate and because he challenged our framework of what was proper and what was not. Everyone has his or her own definitions of what is proper and what is not, what a True Child should be like: “Maybe they need to be a little bit more like this, maybe they need to look a little bit more like this.” I know that a lot of people had their own expectations of who they wanted Hyo Jin oppa to be.
But I’m here to tell you that his life was a model life in that he was absolutely devoted and loyal to True Parents. I don’t know how many times he used to say to me, “In Jin, if I go bonkers one of these days and I tell you to follow me, standing against True Parents, shoot me. Shoot me the day I tell you to follow me over and above True Parents.” As an elder brother, he educated all the True Children very well in this regard by clearly emphasizing the vertical relationship that we must honor and be obedient to. Yet at the same time he stressed that we need to be creative, we need to reach out and love each other horizontally and therefore build a beautiful family.
So especially in these confusing times, when our True Father is getting older and there are a lot of question marks in our minds about what our future is going to be, the wonderful thing is that because of Hyo Jin oppa’s sacrifice, we got to have True Parents a little longer. Thank goodness they survived the helicopter crash. I firmly believe that they survived because my brothers in spirit world were watching out for them. They wanted us to have True Parents a little longer, and thank God for that.
A lot of changes happened in the year of 2008; it was a watershed year for our community. A lot of confusion was cleared up. Father introduced that concept that during the Pacific Rim era women are important. During years and years of being belittled and being treated as second-class citizens because of what our ancestor Eve went through, we suffered a lot. I’d be the first one to say so. I don’t know how many speeches I sat through where -- God bless my brothers, I love them now and they’re my greatest supporters -- but they literally would make fun of us because we were women. “You’re nothing, you’re unimportant, you’re garbage.” Imagine growing up hearing things like that.
But then my brothers matured and grew, and you know the biggest gift? They started having daughters. And then they realized, “I love this daughter. I want my daughter to be great. Maybe I was a bit hard on my sister. Maybe if I support my sister, that’s going to inspire my daughters to be great women of God.” God works in such loving and mysterious ways.
My husband, who’s been with me and the True Family, never thought he’d see the day when my brothers would support a sister. But he would be the first one to testify that they’re my most ardent supporters, and they want to see great leadership come from our sisters, daughters, and granddaughters. So Father introduced the concept that women can be leaders, too. They might approach an issue in a different way, but you know what? Different doesn’t mean that it’s not good. Different means it just takes a new perspective, and maybe an open mind, to realize that God can work in mysterious ways.
Father did something that was incredibly important, something that needed to be done. As we’re looking toward the Second and Third Generation, many of us are asking ourselves who’s going to be the spiritual head of the movement. On January 15th in Korea, and again on his birthday, starting in Korea and ending in the Manhattan Center, Father clearly designated the youngest son as the spiritual head of our movement. As a proud elder sister who has watched all my siblings grow and my family grow into a wonderful, loving family that it has become, I must truly say that our True Father and our Heavenly Parent are truly wise.
“Lovey” is what we call the youngest son, Hyung Jin. He’s always been the darling of the family. I’m sure many of you remember that when he was a child, he was just so pretty, just too pretty to be a boy. I remember my mom being so overwhelmed with pride when she was strolling in the shopping mall pushing the stroller with Lovey sitting there. Even when he was a very young age, his beautiful round Asian face attracted a great deal of admiration. I remember many grandmothers and many teenagers would come up and say, “Oh, he’s so cute!” Mother heard this over and over again. He grew up in a family where everyone just saw him as Lovey.
What an appropriate name for somebody who encompasses what love is all about! There’s something special in a boy who gets up at 2 or 3 in the morning every day to do his meditation, to do his 1,000 bows for the sake of brothers and sisters and for the sake of our future. There is something wonderful about a young man who chooses a life of faith, who wants to dedicate his life to ministry. Father feels it, and our Heavenly Parent knows it. Therefore, we are so blessed that our True Father and Mother have made the leadership so clear. The only thing we need to do as a family is absolutely unite around it, absolutely live our lives with loyalty and devotion, just as our elder brother has.
I still remember many instances when my older brother was overcome with rage and would come screeching into my room to vent. But I don’t know how many times he ended that conversation with, “But this is what Father wants me to do, and I will do it.” Many times we went through that, almost like a recurring nightmare, but, at the end, he would always say, “This is what Father wants me to do, so I’ll do it.” As a younger sister, watching a brother take his emotional journey to come to the important realization that he has to be absolutely obedient to his father was a great reminder for me that whatever I might feel as an individual, I have to be absolutely obedient to what my father and mother want. In that way we can become an ideal son or daughter, well on our way toward the ideal family that we are working and struggling to build.
Part of the reason why I decided on the Manhattan Center as the place to launch my new ministry is not only its location and the centrality that it holds in midtown New York but the special meaning of the Manhattan Center to my older brother. He is the eldest son, and America is representing the eldest son nation. So how appropriate it is that in memory of my brother’s passion and in memory of how much he loved that building and everything that it was about, we can honor him by being great Unificationists ourselves. By becoming great men and women of God, we honor our true brother, just as he has honored our True Parents with the absolute loyalty and absolute devotion that they deserve.
Every time I see my mom and dad, True Parents, I want them to feel our love for them. I was so happy when Father came here for his 90th birthday. My father is a very sensitive person. He’s a Pisces, for any of you who know astrology. He senses things. Immediately he felt your love. He felt the energy of the Second Generation. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from the people around them that our True Parents had never been this happy for this long. For the whole week they were so thrilled because they could feel all of your love, and they could feel the love from the Second Generation.
I’m inviting all of you to take a moment to reflect about what an incredible older brother we have in Hyo Jin oppa. Maybe he could be an impetus for the First Generation to remind ourselves of the importance of loving True Children while they are alive. How many of us could really claim that we knew Hyo Jin oppa? Each life is a precious one. So please get to know my family and me while we’re here. Just as we step up to the plate to love our children, how wonderful a give-and-take action would it be if we start living what Father has been asking us to do for a very long time! Father said, “I am casting my children aside because I want you to love my children more than me.” He was hoping that you would love my brothers and sisters just as much as he did.
When you have children and you see great talent in them, or maybe you might see your son or daughter pick up a guitar and you realize he or she might become an incredible musician, or maybe if you hear your children in a band performing on Sunday or at some kind of school performance, and you realize how much pride you have at the accomplishment that your child has made, please ask yourself, “Do I ever feel this kind of pride and this feeling of joy because a True Child did something wonderful?” And if not, then maybe it might be something to think about.
As a mom, one of the things that I do with my children all the time is give them a hypothetical: “If I were in your situation and if I did this, how would you feel?” So if you love your children and you’re so proud of them, but then Father has given you a mission to love his children more than your own, then how wonderful would it be if you can have that kind of feeling of love and pride for the True Children as well? And then as a consequence the True Children can take great pride in what your children are doing. And then we get the true love cycle, the true love momentum going. Then we realize the True Children are not that bad. (Laughter) Maybe we can learn a thing or two from them, just as we can learn a thing or two from you.
Just as my brother screamed out to Gorbachev, “Break down this wall,” and very shortly after the Berlin Wall did come down, I’m hoping that any walls that exist between you and me, between True Family and the members, between the First Generation and the Second Generation, between the Second Generation and the Third, between the Second Generation and the Jacob children can come down.
This is the dawn of a new era. Our elder brother has given us a great gift, and he has truly led this country of America to the best of his abilities. I want all of us to remember him as the ideal son that he was and as the extremely gifted artist and musician that he was. I’m hoping that going forward, instead of looking at each other as somebody that we need to compete against or wondering whose position is higher or how many titles do I have -- do titles really matter that much, brothers and sisters? In the realm of heart, the only thing that matters is our capacity to love. I’m hoping that that’s what we can concentrate on and that we can be a community where we feel once again, where we’re excited about life once again and we’re excited to be given an opportunity at an incredibly important time to be a part of something that is absolutely phenomenal.
I am here to remind you that, in the history of religion, we are a very successful religion, if you think in terms of a founder’s lifetime. We still have the founder, and for our movement to be as big and thriving as it is, it’s a miracle in and of itself. So it’s only going to get better, and it’s only going to be more phenomenal and more powerful. There’s a whole lot of work that we can do in helping people realize how important each human life is and the wonderful opportunity that God has given us to go on this journey of creating ideal families, working toward one family under God.
Today is a beautiful Sunday morning; knowing my brother, I know that he’s not going to want us to be crying over his picture, he’s not going to want us to be miserable because we miss him so much. I know that my brother wants us to be happy, to be successful, to be prosperous, and to find strength in each other and in our communities. So I’m hoping that we can reevaluate who we are and reflect upon where we need to go. With our True Parents making it clear for us who our center is, let us be absolutely obedient and devoted to our Heavenly Parent’s wishes, come together as a family, and do incredible work.
So, brothers and sisters, have a wonderful Sunday!