Unification News for January 1995
The Healing Circle and the Completed Testament Age
by Christine Martin-Lothian, MD
The weekend before Thanksgiving, I attended a Healing Circle Seminar in the Washington DC area. I had heard many inspiring reports about the seminar from close friends who had attended previously. However, when Yoshi and Fran Ichijo, the hosts of the November seminar, called to invite me to attend, I hesitated. I was not convinced that the Healing Circle could offer me any new insights into my spiritual course. After several years of concerted effort toward spiritual growth, I felt that I understood my course and the direction I must go to gain victory in my life. However, unable to find peace in my initial leanings not to attend, I made the decision to go. I would like to share with you now some of my thoughts about the Healing Circle experience.
When I think of Father, the picture that often comes to my mind is the well-known photograph of Father carrying an early follower on his back across a river during his return to the south after the Korean war. For me, this picture captures the heart of True Abel. Father has said that living a sacrificial life for the sake of others is the key to our own fulfillment and success. The Healing Circle Seminar is designed not only to make living such a life possible, but to make doing so the source of our own individual fulfillment as well. As the Principle explains, the purpose of the whole and the purpose of the individual are fulfilled simultaneously.
On the first day of the seminar, in her introductory presentation, Beatriz Steeghs offers Father's "formula for a life of faith." Father's formula has three steps. The first step is repentance, enabling me to separate from Satan. After successfully repenting I am able then to take the second step-entering into the realm of God's love. And, finally, knowing the heart of God, I can begin living my life for the sake of others.
After the introduction, the remainder of the first day is spent sharing with the group our life's goals. Difficulties encountered in our efforts to reach our goals are also expressed. Then, in attempting to determine the best course of action to bring victory in our lives, each of us creates an affirmation. In essence, this positive affirmation is a pledge before God, True Parents and our brothers and sisters to fulfill our portion of responsibility in the re-creation of ourselves, our families, our nation and our world.
Five years ago, after my husband and I relocated to southern Maryland from New York City, my frustration in my inability to live a personally meaningful and fulfilling life led me to dedicate myself to deepening my relationship with God and True Parents. Through meditation, prayer and personal writing, I worked hard to build a strong spiritual foundation. It was a deeply fulfilling time. I came to know God and myself in new ways. For the first time in my Church life, I began to see my original self consistently reflected in the heart of unconditionally loving Parents. My heavy burden of inadequacy and failure began to be lifted. Through this experience of resurrection I became hopeful not just for myself but for others as well. By the beginning of this year, I felt God was asking me to begin making an effort to expand my spiritual foundation outward. The time to bring substantial results in my life had finally arrived.
However, as I made this effort, the old "heaviness" surrounding me continued to prevail. I was dismayed. After my dedicated work to break through on the spiritual level, I could not understand why I continued to struggle. I knew that my course was heading in a new direction. The guidance I had been receiving through my meditation and writing was no longer there for me. I also knew that my growth would continue as I substantiated my spiritual foundation in the "real" world. But I could not understand why the way still continued to be blocked. I began to understand on the second day of the Seminar.
On the second day, Beatriz teaches two lectures, "The Principles and Process of Spiritual Growth" and "The Spiritual Causes of Illness." Using Father's words and her own experiences in healing work, Beatriz maps out the path we must go to grow toward oneness with God. She explains clearly how this path embodies Father's formula for a life of faith mentioned above. During these lectures, it became clear to me that the spiritual "heaviness" surrounding me is a direct result of unresolved problems in my ancestry. I am blocked from advancing in part because of ancestral sin. In order to resolve this sin, the first step is repentance.
The Healing Circle prayer, on the evening of the second day, provides the opportunity for repentance. With a clear understanding of the consequences of sin, repentance can be deeply heartfelt and effective.
The Healing Circle, itself, is a large circle defined by stones. On the rim of the circle are four positions: God's position, Father's position, Mother's position and Child's position. True Parents' position is in the center of the circle. Beatriz explains that the inspiration for the Healing Circle came to her from the Native American medicine wheel. In the Native American tradition, the medicine man of a particular tribe consecrates the ground chosen for the medicine wheel. The medicine wheel then becomes a place of physical as well as spiritual healing for the members of the tribe.
Finally, on the third day of the seminar, each of us shares our testimony about our Healing Circle experience and reaffirms our commitment to bring victory in our lives. My experience would have been incomplete without the insights I gained on this final day.
Satan uses my personal struggles as a base for accusation. Because my understanding of my personal course of restoration through indemnity is limited, I am receptive to these accusations. As a result of my constant negative thinking about my difficulties, I developed a defeatist mind-set. Without a clear understanding of my situation, a complete solution is impossible.
The Healing Circle Seminar provided both a clear "diagnosis" and an effective "remedy". The Healing Circle itself is a powerful "medicine". My goal is to get well and to grow spiritually. In order to grow, it is important that I understand my present spiritual condition. Certainly, if I died today, I would go to the spiritual world knowing without a doubt my current level of spiritual growth. This knowledge would enable me to make meaningful choices necessary for my growth. Furthermore, growth requires openness and honesty. I must stand before God and True Parents naked as I am. I cannot run and hide. With an attitude of humility and repentance, I can receive the guidance needed for my growth. It is my responsibility to turn away from Satan, and toward God and True Parents. Only after I have made this 180-degree turn can I begin to live a life of daily attendance. Again, repentance is always the first step in moving away from Satan and toward God.
Since my Healing Circle experience, many doors are opening. I know the years of frustration in my inability to bring substantial result are coming to an end. I realize now that our Church's lack of result is in fact my lack of result. It is a new age. True Parents and True Children are trying to convey this message to us. Last year when Jin Sung Hyung Nim came to the Washington DC area to speak, he pleaded with us to leave our old thinking behind and to help herald in the Completed Testament Age. He told us it is the time of the fulfillment of human history, the time to bring substantial result on all levels.
In his recent speech, "The Time of Liberation in the Providence and Our Safe Settlement" (Feb. 27, 1994), Father explains our position to us:
"Because Satan created the misery we now face, we have to leave Satan and follow True Parents. This is the only way. You were born as children of the first ancestor, second ancestor and third ancestor because Father restored all of them. You should understand this clearly and have the conviction that you have within you the completion of Adam, the completion of Jesus Christ and the completion of True Father. Do you understand?"
The Healing Circle Seminar has provided a bridge or a gateway to facilitate my crossing into the Completed Testament Age. By crossing this bridge, I am truly liberated from the Satanic world. Father explains it this way:
"Just as it says in the Divine Principle lecture on the Last Days, this is the crossing point. Father won all the victories, received God and came back to this original point so that we can live with God together and prosper. This crossing point is the time of the proclamation of True Parents and the Completed Testament Age. It doesn't have anything to do with Satan whatsoever. Therefore, the more aggressively we move to do God's work, the more severely the satanic world will be damaged and go down.
"At such a time when True Parents can do as explained here to the world, we are already beyond this time of liberation, and are actually at the time of settlement of our own selves. In this liberation place there is no Satan, no hell. Do you understand? True Parents have already won a victorious foundation throughout the cosmic world."
-The Time of Liberation in the Providence and Our Safe Settlement, 2/27/94
Like that early follower who made it across the river on Father's back, I am here today only because of the love of True Parents. I am grateful beyond words for the countless sacrifices they have made for me. 6,000 years of providential history was necessary for this day to arrive. When I think of those years, I know without a doubt that I am the most fortunate woman ever born on earth. Today I am being given the opportunity to inherit our True Parents' victorious foundation, and to expand that foundation horizontally through the providence of Tribal Messiahship. True Parents are showing me the way. By becoming a daughter of filial piety, attending True Parents daily, I have complete confidence in my victory.
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my elder sister Beatriz Steeghs for sharing with me and others her insights from her work and from her own life of faith. Her sacrificial way of life and her dedication to God and True Parents have been an inspiration for me.
If you have any questions regarding the Healing Circle Seminar, I will be happy to speak with you further about my own experience. I can be reached at (410)741-1415. You can also get additional information by contacting:
The Healing Circle
PO Box 15588
San Antonio, TX 78212
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents