Truth Is My Sword Volume I - Collected Speeches in the Public Arena

by Bo Hi Pak

True and Eternal Art

August 21, 1987

Reverend Moon has never neglected the arts in his crusade for eternal values, and Dr. Pak has always been at the forefront of promoting artistic endeavors, in particular as president of the Little Angels dance troupe and the New York City Symphony Orchestra in New York City. In this speech he expounds on the responsibility of art to promote that which is good in humankind. The following opening remarks by Dr. Pak were made at the First Annual International Conference of the Arts in Paris, France, on August 21, 1987.

Honorable chairpersons, members of the executive advisory board, conference participants, and distinguished guests. On behalf of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the founder of Artists Association International, please accept a most heartfelt and sincere welcome to Paris and the first International Conference of the Arts. Paris, the City of Lights, is the birthplace of yet another artistic endeavor and, as is the case with many artistic endeavors, this International Conference of the Arts is very special to its creator.

Art is inherently passionate, informative, and provocative. The early cavemen never could have known to what extent their drawings would yield insight into the lives of early men. From prehistoric times to the present, art has offered mankind a vehicle through which to express his passions-from his sacred ideals to his greatest apprehensions and fears. Art is powerful and visionary, possessing within itself the ability to calm the soul one moment and instigate riots in another.

In the 20th century, art continues to mirror man and his quest for ideals, recording our path as it has done for centuries. Art reveals that mankind asks more questions than provides answers, as artists often challenge the existing norms of society. Since art is able to expose with brutal honesty the hopelessness, confusion, and division pervading a society, one wonders whether artists have a responsibility to offer solutions. We intend in this conference to foster a sense of responsibility among artists to use their unique capacities as an influence for the good, and we recognize the power of the arts as a constructive force.

Please allow me a moment to share a few personal observations on the arts. Many great works of art deal with themes that express human ideals, especially the ideal of love. I believe that a plan exists for mankind and the creation, and it exists to establish an ideal of love, and that artists, as creators, share a unique opportunity and responsibility to convey this ideal through their art.

In the ideal world of love no barriers would exist to divide, diminish, or discourage any man's happiness. Rather, the world would become an extended family and we would be brothers and sisters. To hurt someone would be like hurting oneself. As John Donne wrote: "No man is an island entire of itself. Each one is a part of the main .... Therefore, never ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

Ideal of the Arts

The arts flourishing in such a society would express man's joy and love instead of his pain and confusion. People would share a common desire to create such wonderful works of art, and thus everyone could realize his or her deepest aspirations and God-given potential. However, we are painfully aware that such a world does not now exist. Barriers exist between individuals, families, societies, and nations because these fundamental family-like relationships of love have been broken. Different languages further this separation and impede communication.

While cultures and forms of art reflect this breakdown, artists continue their desperate search for what is true and eternal. The discrepancy between man's spiritual and physical nature continues to wreak havoc in our lives, causing wars, poverty, famine, plagues, drug addiction, family abuse, senseless killing, and countless other tragedies. We live in a technologically sophisticated world, and we harness the great forces of the creation to serve us, but we remain separated from one another, unable to understand ourselves, and desperately in need of love.

The arts and all artists are affected by this tremendous dichotomy. Our original nature longs for healing and true love. The time has come to unite our hearts, minds, and deeds and move closer to realizing this ideal of love. The relationship we seek between spirit and flesh, between God and man, is coming closer to being fulfilled. Technology and the sciences have come a long way toward actualizing an ideal physical environment. In a similar manner, our spiritual values should be cultivated and manifested in beautiful works of art, just as man is God's greatest creation in the universe.

We must infuse and integrate our lives and our art with these eternal values. Artists are blessed by God with the seeds of sensitivity and talent. Therefore, it is our responsibility to use these gifts for the benefit of humanity and the advancement of our common dream of true love.

The creative process is very deep and very personal. Lasting and true love, lasting and true art should spring from our desire to glorify what is true, beautiful, and good, that is, that which comes from God. We must use our talent to promote true love and lasting peace on earth, and in this way we shall stand as noble people who did their best to contribute to the ideal of love, to heal the heart of God and humanity, and give birth to a world where true love is the norm, not the exception.

Artists Association International and the International Conference of the Arts intend to foster an environment where artists from every discipline can share creative experiences and their understanding of the role of art in shaping society.

In 1883, in this very hotel, at a banquet honoring his life's work, the famous author Victor Hugo said, "More powerful than an invading army is an idea whose time has come." Ladies and gentlemen, it is the sincere belief of our founder that Artists Association International and the International Conference of the Arts are ideas whose time has come. May you have a most successful and rewarding experience at this conference. Thank you very much.

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