The Words of the Kaufmann Family
It happened. June 13, 2006. A dual ceremony of Cosmic proportions, the Cheon Jeong Gong Entrance ceremony, and the Coronation of True Parents, the King and Queen of Peace in Heaven and Earth.
There is much that one should write about our time on the palace grounds, but to start I choose two things I feel should be reported most quickly:
1. Events went well. This is important. We should not take this for granted
2. The felt difference between those who could "attend" and those who "missed going" should be dissolved and dismissed. That felt difference is a chimera and a deception. The real difference among members vis a vis these important event lies elsewhere.
What was June 13 all about anyway?
In a matter of speaking it is fair to say that only one thing happened. Father and the True Family invited God to live among us and begin His reign over a unified cosmos.
Thus to assess the success or failure of things, we must look at this. The event matters for us, only by association. If we pause to ponder what it must mean to bear so great a burden, our only concern should be for the True Family, and to keep a constant check to see if there is anything we can do to support or help the True Family in any way.
This simple decency, conduct, and propriety is also the very reason why "attending" or "not going" is the wrong distinction, an "artificial distinction." The real distinction among members on this occasion (in my opinion) is between those who recognized WHO the event is really about (i.e., it's not about me!), and those who met this day with any of all kinds of other reasons and varieties of self absorption uncaring about the massive burden faced by True Parents and the True Family.
In such matters, it is simple to see that being physically present or not is completely unrelated to how one met this day and these wonderful moments.
Because of my mission, I have been on hand at just about every "great" moment along Father's laborious path. I try to prepare properly for these things, and try to be helpful while I am on site. When I return, I do my best to communicate to all what was special and what was delightful about this milestone or that.
In all cases friends and brothers and sisters are happy and eager welcome me home, and to hear news of events and the providence. This time however, upon my return, I experienced something I have never experienced in my 25 years of public, international life. Brothers and sisters who greeted and welcomed me showed some struggle lurking beneath the surface. They seemed to struggle at being "happy for me." To really, really feel "Oh it is so wonderful that you could go." It seemed, to my surprise, that this time I was simply too lucky to be there, and they were simply too unlucky for not having the same opportunity. Others spoke more plainly, "Frank, I saw the pictures, but it is difficult for me to get a sense of what went on there."
This reaction was unprecedented in my experience. It set me to thinking. What about this event causes such a struggle? Just what do my friends and brothers and sisters think they missed?
I concluded that these reactions were connected to the promise of change associated with these ceremonies. We all set such strong conditions, and sought to prepare ourselves for this moment so seriously. We were told (or perhaps discovered on our own) that this event heralds the realization of the finest and most alluring of all Biblical prophesy, (Rev 21) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away... the ultimate and most and anticipated of all prophesy, the time when the Dwelling of God [would be] with men (sic).
A transition of this magnitude, a transition this fundamental cannot be something we simply observe "happening to someone else," especially if we ourselves have collaborated along the way some of us for 30 or 40 years of misery, suffering, and confusion, supporting event after event until we could come to this day. No. A transition THIS grand must be felt, not observed.
I believe it is for this reason that members treated me differently this time upon my return. Too many of us didn't feel anything. "I saw the pictures, Frank but I didn't feel anything … I fasted, I broke the bank, I sold my kid's winter coat to liberate Uncle Charlie the drunk, I believed in and did all sorts of crazy, unverifiable things, and I didn't feel anything … Frank, you were there. The ones who were there felt something right? What did you feel Frank?"
I felt this: What a beautiful place to build a palace. Way up in the mountains. I felt, what right do I have to ride in this bus past my elders and brothers and sisters laboring up the mountain? I felt wow this place is huge, it must have cost really a lot. I felt, wow a Rolls! I felt, good old Father and Mother … what they go through. And as I watched Father and Mother devote all their sincerity, and their desperate longing to make everyone included, I felt, I wish they had a higher mountain, a gigantier palace, a Rollsier Rolls.
Amidst enough pomp to choke an Oxford Dean, and circumstance enough to make the heart stand still, Father faced Mother, took both her hands and prayed to God. He said, I'm sorry it has taken me so long to give you this … I'm sorry.
For a long moment during the ceremony I found myself adrift. I lost my moorings. I couldn't see into the Rolls. I couldn't see beneath the crowns nor through the robes. I couldn't see around the thick, imperial and imposing pillars. I was lost. A child in a mall, lost. I couldn't find my parents.
In that moment Father took off his crown. He took off his robes. He began to speak. I listened to every word, I fell into every gesture, still searching for my parents.
Father said, "In the name of all humanity in the spiritual world and physical world, numbering more than 300 billion, I offer boundless gratitude and glory to God, the Creator of all things." He taught us in simple words what a citizen of Cheon Il Guk should be like. And then he called us by a name for which we are unworthy. But now we are so named, "Beloved people of Cheon Il Guk." "Beloved citizens, I hope you truly will celebrate and enjoy this precious and holy day. Brush off all your cares and worries and celebrate this day in joy." It was my Father who was speaking.
What did I feel? I felt a lot. Did everything change? Thankfully not.