Creating a World of Peace - The Thought and Works of Sun Myung Moon by Joon Ho Seuk
For Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the concepts and principles presented here are not just an intellectual exercise, but a way of life.
Confronted with conflict situations in his own life, he has practiced the principle of indemnity and in the process made countless people, who were once his enemies, into friends.
From "God's Homeland and the Peace Kingdom Are Built on the Foundation of the Realm of His Liberation and Release," Seoul, South Korea, May 1, 2004.
I left my parents and homeland behind to follow the straight and narrow path to human salvation, that is, the path of true love that lives for the sake of others. No torture or punishment could make me compromise the heavenly path. My life of never compromising and never acting in a cowardly manner may seem incredibly pitiful and bleak from a worldly point of view. It has been a sacrificial course of practicing a love that loves the enemy more than my own children and of offering everything to teach all six billion people in the world.
Throughout his life, Reverend Moon has been known as a fervent anti-communist. His opposition to communism did not arise out of political or economic grounds, but was due to its denial of God and its consequent belittling of the value of human life. Human beings were not God's children but simply material beings whose value derived from the amount of work they performed. Reverend Moon experienced the consequences of such an ideology firsthand at the hands of the communist authorities in North Korea before and during the Korean War. He spent nearly three years in a slave labor camp where prisoners were literally worked to death.
Reverend Moon always made a distinction between the communist ideology and the communist, between the action and the person. Despite cruel mistreatment, he always sought to practice loving his enemy. In reality he became an exemplary prisoner, earning the respect of the prison authorities, despite never once recanting his belief in God.
Forty years later Reverend Moon made an extraordinary visit to North Korea during which he clearly refuted the communist ideology of the government yet still was received and embraced by President Kim Il Sung, the very person who had ruled North Korea with an iron hand since the days when Reverend Moon had been imprisoned under his regime. For his part Reverend Moon bore him no grudge but warmly embraced him as a long-lost brother. To the astonishment of Kim Il Sung's attendants as well as Reverend Moon's own entourage, they could be seen walking hand-in-hand and engaged in an animated and warm conversation throughout their meeting together.
From Statement by Reverend Sun Myung Moon upon Arriving in Beijing, Beijing, China, December 7, 1991.
If there is anyone who might be justified in feeling a grudge against North Korea, then it is I. Because of my role as a religious leader, as well as my thorough and consistent anti-communist convictions, I have been on the receiving end of an incredible amount of persecution from the current ruling government of North Korea. I was the victim of unspeakable torture. During my almost three years in the Hungnam concentration camp, I watched many innocent prisoners die miserable deaths, one after the other. It is a rather amazing miracle that I am actually alive and well, thanks only to the special protection and grace of God.
A recent initiative involves the establishment of the Inter-religious and International Peace Council, which involves leaders from the various world religions, people of conscience as well as leaders from other fields of human endeavor. It seeks to involve itself in many of the world's most difficult trouble spots and to address issues on a more fundamental basis than the usual political and diplomatic levels. In 2003 and 2004 peace marches took place in Israel and Palestine, in which Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders walked side-by-side at the risk of their lives, calling upon all sides to end the escalating cycle of senseless violence. Examples like this create an environment to melt people's hearts and bring ancient rivalries to an end.
The principles of reconciliation that will ultimately lead to world peace and the ending of apparently intransigent antagonisms are the same that can help us to resolve conflict situations in our own daily personal lives: in our marriages, with friends, or at our place of work.
Indeed, historical and global conflicts have their root in the seemingly mundane relationships of everyday life. It is these relationships, especially those in the family, which shape our personalities and plant the seeds for either harmonious or dysfunctional social and political relationships.
Thus, Reverend Moon calls the family "the school of love."
This is why Reverend Moon has emphasized the establishment of God-centered families as the true foundation for lasting peace in our world. When, in our formative years, God's loving presence can be established within us through loving parents and families, we cannot help but become loving individuals who will multiply goodness to those around us. It is incumbent upon husbands and wives, by seeking for God's viewpoint in their relationship with each other, to resolve their own conflicts and establish an atmosphere of love in their family.
From "Let Us Perfect the Peace Kingdom through the Peace United Nations," New York, NY, October 15, 2003.
We have such longing for our homeland because that is the place where love is shared with others. The love of our mother and father, of our older brother and sister and of our younger siblings, the love of our wife and children and of our relatives can be found everywhere in the homeland. In the homeland, all these relationships and bonds are connected in altruistic love; we want to embrace them all at once. The traveler who yearns for his homeland longs to return home as a proud liberated person, so that he can embrace the mountains, rivers, grass, and trees, give love to his family and relatives, and sing joyous songs. Since being vanquished and expelled from the homeland, and having lost the connection of heart rooted in their homeland, people have been unable to return and have instead been doomed to wander a lonely path through eternity until finally arriving in hell. Now, however, we can be liberated, and the path to the homeland that we can never forget, even in our dreams, has been cleared. This is surely the day of greatest blessing for humanity.
In the end, learning to prevent and reconcile conflicts is a matter of our personal maturity, rooted in our relationship with God. The more we can bring God's loving presence into our familial, social and professional relationships, the more hope we will have for creating a new world culture of peace and mutual prosperity.
Indeed, in Reverend Moon's view, it is our destiny to realize God's ideal on earth -- what he calls our "original homeland."