Proceedings of the Virgin Islands' Seminar on Unification Theology -- Darrol Bryant, General Editor - April 1, 1980
I want to thank each one of you for your cooperation during this seminar.
During this past week, you have been introduced to the ideas of Sun Myung Moon. However, I think another type of introduction is also appropriate. I want to introduce you to part of his spiritual life.
For several days you have heard lectures on the Divine Principle. I am sure you have been able to absorb some of Rev. Moon's ideas, and I am sure you have come to understand many of the activities which he has begun. Nevertheless, I wonder whether you have any feeling at all about the spiritual life of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. I want you to know that his deep spiritual connection with God is the most important aspect of his life.
You know enough about his past to realize that he did not graduate from a dignified theological seminary. You know, too, that he did not major in philosophy. Yet through these days of lectures on the Divine Principle, Unification thought and the counterproposal to Marxism, you can begin to realize that the ideal system which is being expressed throughout the worldwide work of our church could not originate simply from one man unaided by God.
Since he first received a revelation from God at the age of 16, Rev. Moon has centered his life around developing his spiritual communication with God. I know the intensity of his spiritual communication with God and his spiritual power. And I know him as a man who has an insatiable appetite for a daily life of prayer with our heavenly Father.
He himself has many times emphasized that the Unification Church is not established by Rev. Moon, but by God. Actually, without God's support it would have been impossible for the Unification Church to even survive, because it has undergone such serious persecution. There have been many, many misunderstandings about our church. It is only in the midst of the most severe difficulties that the Unification Church has developed.
Even now, Rev. Moon sleeps less than three hours a day. He spends several hours in prayer as well as several hours in meditation. This is an important part of his daily schedule. Usually, he begins his public schedule with a 7:00 a.m. breakfast meeting with his disciples and department leaders. He doesn't even allow himself the pleasure of dining alone with his own family. He always stays on the front line. He often goes out to meet the members of various departments and the leaders of local church centers and he preaches to members every Sunday morning. This is typical of how hard he works. Please examine his spiritual life. I hope that you can understand him more deeply through your findings and prayer.
I understand that some scholars here have some questions or doubts about the revelation in Divine Principle. I would like to respond to this. In our viewpoint, revelation is not poured over someone all at one time. Even to God's chosen people or to saints, revelation did not come at one time, but step by step. This is because, for revelation to come, man's portion of responsibility is needed. In other words, a foundation is needed. For example, Rev. Moon has told us that he prayed ten years, reading the Bible, fighting with Satan, to understand the content of the Fall of Man, the meaning of original sin and the identity of Satan.
In a testimony Rev. Moon's first disciple, Won Pil Kim, mentioned that in the early days of our movement, it happened several times that early in the morning or in the evening, Rev. Moon would call him: "Won Pil! Won Pil! Quickly prepare paper and pencil." Then in a prayer position or with closed eyes, he would start to speak Principle and Won Pil Kim would write down his words.
Through this kind of revelation, the main points of the Unification Principle were revealed. The details were later added by Rev. Moon through meditation, prayer and research. Through this process, the original content was completed. I understand that was before 1951. Rev. Moon then directly lectured this content to the early church leaders and members.
Some scholars here suggested the term "inspired interpretation" to describe the Divine Principle. This is partially true, because Rev. Moon is inspired by God and has offered a re-interpretation of the Bible. However, the most fundamental essence of the Divine Principle came by direct revelation.
The first published Principle book in the Korean language was entitled, Explanation of Principle. The second published book was entitled Discourse on the Principle. These books were written by H. W. Eu, former president of the church in Korea, from what he had learned from Rev. Moon. In my understanding, the title we use today, Divine Principle, is not an accurate translation of this original title. Principle itself only Rev. Moon can write; others can write an Explanation of Principle. Therefore, the book, the Divine Principle, which was not written by Rev. Moon, should not be called Divine Principle but Explanation of the Principle.
Rev. Moon has asked me to write a new textbook, on the Principle, and I am working on it now.1 Even though I have researched, studied and lectured the Principle for over 20 years, my feeling is that my explanation and understanding of it are still not good enough.
Also, because of different circumstances, some parts of the original Principle were not included in the published book. Rev. Moon mentioned to me that he would like to write another edition of the Principle book in the future.
Americans hold many opinions of Rev. Moon. All forms of mass media have attacked him and attacked our church. On countless occasions they have misrepresented him, implying that their own distorted opinions were facts. Even though America has imagined many things about Rev. Moon, the image most deeply engraved in my heart, from my own experience, is the image of Rev. Moon in a prayer position, with tears flowing from his eyes. This is the image that comes to my mind when I think of him. I have witnessed his spiritual life for many years.
History has one serious lesson to teach us. There have been many saints and sages and righteous people, including the Messiah. But none of them within their lifetimes could gain the peoples' respect. Instead, each of them received persecution. Each was a sacrificial person, but during their lifetime no one attended them. It was only after death that any of them received recognition and respect.
I want to impress upon you that at minimum Sun Myung Moon is a righteous person. Don't look at him wondering whether the title "messiah" describes him or not. It simply doesn't matter. Instead, look at him as the righteous man he is. Can anyone point out what wrongs he has committed? What inaccuracies he teaches? What is wrong with the Unification Church or the members of the Unification Church? The important thing for each of us to realize is that this age and this world actually needs Rev. Moon's ideas and teachings. This world needs the activities of faithful young people like the members of the Unification Church.
All the members of the Unification Church work very hard and try to be diligent in everything they do. Their purpose is not a self-centered one. The scope of their vision is too broad to allow for self-centeredness. No one actually wants to work hard. No one really wants to sacrifice. But Sun Myung Moon has taught the worldwide membership of the Unification Church the value of sacrificing oneself for the purpose of something much greater than the individual. He has educated them in this way, and he has taught them to hold such concepts. The world needs them. Also Rev. Moon himself stands on the front line.
Some people worry about what will happen to the Unification Church after Sun Myung Moon dies. Please don't concern yourselves over this matter. Think about Jesus. At the time of the crucifixion, he was entirely alone; not one of his disciples stayed with him in the end. But after the resurrection, he built his church. Many people can see that the Christian church stands on the foundation of the early disciples' sacrifice and hard work, but actually it was Jesus himself who built the Christian church after his resurrection, through the support and advice he gave to his disciples.
During your stay here, you heard an introductory lecture on the spiritual world and how we relate to it. The leaders of our church in many nations have dreams and visions of Rev. Moon. He leads and guides them with his advice. After Sun Myung Moon goes to the spiritual world, we believe that he will continue to advise and assist our work.
There is no question but that, as members of the Unification Church, we respect Sun Myung Moon. We also respect and admire his wife and family. Rev. Moon's family knows him intimately. There is also no question but that they will be able to guide and help in the work of our church after Rev. Moon dies. Also, the members of our church working in many nations will, as representatives, continue the work which Rev. Moon began at God's own urging -- the work of restoring this world.
Because of his profound ideal and comprehensive teaching, he is actually a lonely person, even though he has many followers across the world. Yes, many young people enthusiastically respond to him, but his ideals still need the support of such distinguished scholars and authors as yourselves. Rev. Moon and the Unification Church are not an enemy. We are doing God's providential work and we experience God helping us. But we also need your understanding support or, at minimum, your objective evaluation.
1 Outline of the Principle Level 4, New York, NY: Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, 1980, is the most recently published short version of the Principle.