Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak
Three Kinds of Parents and Three Worlds
Chung Hwan Kwak
September 20, 1992 Headquarters Church Seoul, Korea
Today I would like to speak to you on the subject of "Three Kinds of Parents and Three Worlds."
The political situation in Korea is going through changes that no one could have imagined. We are entering a period unparalleled in our country's history, and it is impossible to predict what will happen next.
The situation in society and the guidance of God
It is often said that this second half of the twentieth century is a period characterized by uncertainty. If we look specifically at the situation in Korea, we see that just within the current year there have been a number of developments that would have been difficult to predict in advance. For example, we have a situation in which the president of the country does not belong to any political party. No politician, or anyone else for that matter, could have predicted such a development.
I am sure you feel the same way, but it is my conviction that the external political situation of Korea is a visible and direct manifestation of Heaven's providence to proclaim the True Parents on earth. Heavenly fortune is pushing the Korean people and Korea to somehow begin attending True Parents centering on God.
There is an old saying about a lonely and desolate mountain that has no master. Outward appearances notwithstanding, our country is now without a master. Because President Roh Tae-woo cut his ties with the Democratic Liberal Party, no party can claim to be the "government party." This development is part of the process of our country losing its master.
What all such circumstances eventually add up to is that God is shaking this country around, because it refuses to come to its senses and refuses to understand the true intention of God's heavenly governance. He is shaking the country into a state where no one can claim to be superior to another, and no one can claim to be the master of the country.
The spiritual conditions are important
The problems we face today should not be taken lightly. Everyone is wondering how to deal with these issues. The political parties and all politicians are busily running around, trying to decide what they should do next. But we need to look at the situation on a deeper level, and ask ourselves what it is that heavenly fortune is trying to have the people of this country realize. I think that we are in a situation where the Korean people must realize that no human master possesses authority over our nation, and certainly not any politician on the external level. It is, instead, Heaven. Father often says that people--and this applies particularly to Unification Church members--too often react joyfully or sadly based only on external events. We base our judgment of events on the external result. That is not truly important, however. The motivation and origin of all things lies in the spiritual realm, and it is the spiritual conditions that are important.
We need to take advantage of recent events to understand that what is important is how these events are received in the spirit world, and how conditions laid on earth bear fruit in the spirit world. These are the factors that determine the process here on earth in which further problems will arise in the future, only to be resolved again.
What does it mean to be a Unification Church member? We are people who live with a greater certainty than any other people in the world concerning the spiritual reality. Whenever we are considering the significance of certain external events, we need to think deeply into the spiritual realm to determine the cause and motivation. This depth of thinking will enable us to live our lives in a different manner from those who consider only the external phenomena. I have prefaced my sermon this morning with these remarks, because I think they are reason for us to renew our pride as members of the Unification Church and to give thanks to our True Parents for bringing us into such awareness.
The earth--the First Parents
Today's topic is "Three Kinds of Parents." Father has said: "Human beings have the earth as their first father and mother, and then they have their physical parents. After that, they live in attendance of their Father and Mother in Heaven as their third set of parents."
Our physical bodies are composed of the essence of the earth, that is, of the essence of the visible substantial world. Where would we be if it should ever happen that the earth, that is, the physical universe, were to turn to us and say, "All right, you! Give me back what is mine," and took everything back? We would have nothing left. Our cells, our bones and everything else that goes into making up our body come from and are nurtured by the elements of the earth, that is to say by the elements and essence of the visible world. From the time a baby comes to exist in its mother's womb, all of its essence is from the earth. This is the reason that Father has said that people must show humility towards the earth. Not only that. What is the reason that the universe and the earth have provided us human beings with the elements of life? Father says, "These elements are only lent to us." He says the earth only lends these elements to us.
That is right. The earth and this universe have lent us their essential elements, the very sap of their life. We humans live in a state of being indebted to the earth. In the end, we need to repay our debt to the earth, and we do this when our physical bodies die and we give everything back to the earth. That is the path we take in our life on earth.
In this context, Father has said: "The fact that we humans try our best to prolong our lives on earth is contrary to the ethos of Heaven and is an act of disobedience toward the First Parents."
He has also said: "As we live our lives on earth, we must always have the attitude that for as long as we live in our physical bodies we are indebted to our First Parents for the essential elements of life, and that we will return everything without hesitation at the time of our death."
What is the reason that the universe allows us to borrow from it in this way? When the earth, the air and all the other essential elements of the visible substantial world approach us humans and make themselves available to us, it is not with a heart of wanting to hold something back, or with a grudging attitude. They lend to us, and they try to give with a joyful heart. They enjoy the act of giving. The reason for this is that all things in the universe are created with a heart that wants to give to, and live for, the benefit of an existence whose level of love is greater than their own.
Thus, if humans had not committed the fall in the beginning, the animals would come to us so as to be caught and eaten by us. The same is true of the fish. All the trees and other plants would want to show us their elements and life essence. That is the heart of the earth. This is also true of the parental heart. The heart of parents who love their children is such that they want to give endlessly and limitlessly. The earth that has become First Parents wants to do the same, although on a much lower level than human parents, of course.
That is why whenever we humans look at the earth, or the mountains, rivers and forests, we should do so with a loving heart. We should live our lives with a heart that is constantly thankful to nature for making it possible for us to have physical bodies and for nurturing the growth of our bodies. Even when Father looks at a flower, he looks upon it as an extension of his physical body. He thinks of the flower as his brother, and as an extension of his own limbs. He says he thinks of the flower as a distant cousin of the cells in his own physical body. So, when he goes hiking in the hills, he converses with nature, and he teaches us that humans should always look upon nature in that way and be able to converse with nature.
When we go to the hills, I think we should never be bored but, instead, be able to have a series of sincere and interesting conversations.
Father's teaching is that we Unification Church members should be different in our thinking from other people, and that we should have a heart that can talk with nature, saying, "Hello, Cousin! I have not seen you for a long time. Hello, Uncle! How have you been?"
So, aside from the human parents who gave birth to us, we have our First Parents, and we receive blessings beyond measure from our First Parents.
The Second Parents and their mission
Our Second Parents are our physical human parents. It is a matter of common knowledge that physical parents, even if they should live in the midst of sin and evil, have a boundless love for their children.
Actually, the First Parents are also about love. They give us everything they have. On the external level, they give us their nurturing elements, their air to breathe and everything else, but the most important thing that is being communicated here is love. Love is what brings everything together to make up our physical bodies, isn't it? On a lower level, that is true, but it is through love that the earth and air, even the sunlight and electricity that are all our First Parents, give to us. This means that each of us is a mass of love, doesn't it?
Now, the family living environment is the place where we are educated so that various forms of love--that is, the love parents feel toward their children as they are raising them, the parental love that children feel from their parents, the love of husbands and wives for each other and the love of children for their parents--successively come into being and eventually bear fruit. The love of parents for their children is, in fact, unconditional. And these internal relationships of love involving parents and children make up the process by which we conform ourselves to the discipline of love, become knowledgeable about the laws of love and learn the content of love through our own experience. That is the course of our lives.
Why is this the case? In the end, it is so that we can meet the Third Parents, come to a self-realization as to the identity of our Third Parents and establish a relationship with them. Our relationships with the First and Second Parents are preparation for this. The earth and the atmosphere, in the end, play the role of bringing us together with our Second Parents. The Second Parents are in the middle position. What is it, then, that the Second Parents in the middle position need to teach their children? They should teach the love that enables their children to come into contact with the Third Parents. The earth, the atmosphere, the sunlight and all of nature that are the First Parents cannot teach people about the spiritual world. They cannot teach us about our Heavenly Parents, who are our Third Parents. The First Parents cannot be involved in teaching about the Third Parents, especially when it comes to their high standard of love. It was never meant to be. The Second Parents, that is, our physical parents, are in an intermediary role, connecting the Third Parents (our Parents in Heaven) and the First Parents.
Many parents in today's world, unfortunately, hold generally accepted fallen concepts, and thus fail in their mission to introduce Heaven to their children as their Third Parents.
What education would have been given to the children if the human fall had not occurred? Adam and Eve would have grown up as the substantial representation of this world. As God's true son and true daughter they would have experienced God's love, been educated by the angels and then by God Himself. From the beginning, Adam and Eve would have experienced and felt God's heart and been filled with God's love. Then, when Adam would have educated and given guidance, he would have been talking about the Parents in Heaven every time he opened his mouth to speak. Every time he spoke, it would have been about the principles of God's creation, about how all the phenomena of nature came into being, about the harmony between God and the universe and about how much love God had given Adam and Eve.
That is the way that parents were originally intended to be. We committed the fall, however, and so we are not able to educate our children about the Third Parents.
A new standard for writing wills
In other words of Father's, he teaches us about wills. What kind of a will should a person leave before he dies? The general practice of society is to refer to a person's "Last Will and Testament" as that person's will, and this deals primarily with the disposition of property. "I have fields at such and such locations, and I leave this one to my oldest son, and my second and third sons are to be dealt with in such and such a way." Then, if the person is wealthy, he may also say that such and such a company should be left to a certain person, corporate stock shares may be left to another person. This is what most people consider to constitute a will. But that is not the way it was originally meant to be.
Father has said: "What is the most important will that a parent can leave? How should parents of the future make out their wills? A parent's will should be something that the children can look at, and that the grandchildren and the successive generations can turn to for inspirations of love."
In other words, the parent's will should say something like: "I tried to love you with true love, but as I look back on my life I can see now that my love was lacking in such and such aspects." That should be a parent's will. Yet, what do the children feel as they face the last moments of their parent's life? They may say, "We were inadequate in our filial love; we were not able to do enough for you. I did not do a good job in attending my father. I was not a loving son." Such emotions can well up within the heart of the child of even the worst villain at the hour of his father's death. That is normal. So thus, the parent should respond to the child with such a heart by expressing the heart of Heaven, the heart of God. The parent's will should instruct the children by saying: "I thought I was giving you all the love I could. Now I realize I could have given you much more, and these are what those things were."
Going a step further, the person making the will may say, "I tried my best to give more love to your mother (or your father). During my life, I thought I was giving him (or her) all the love that I possibly could. But now that I look back and take an account of my life, I see that my love was insufficient. I could have loved your father (or mother) more." This would be a valuable will for a father or mother to leave their children. The parent could then tell his children about his experiences of love, and express regret for not having been able to pursue the heavenly course of love in his relationships with all things of nature, his neighbors and the will of God. When the children read this will, they will be filled with emotions that they did not have enough filial piety toward their parents. At the same time, they will receive a strong impetus in the deepest foundation of their love and their heart to strive for a higher standard of love in their own lives. After their parents have passed away, the children will feel an explosive inspiration and strong exhilaration. The most valuable last will that parents can leave is one that inspires their children to strive ever harder to become incarnations of love.
As we read Father's words on this subject, we can realize that this is really true. A will contains the final words that a parent leaves on this earth. What are the words that a person should choose as his last? One's final words on earth should be words concerning love, words about the most precious kind of love. All other words will eventually fade away. This is what Father has said privately.
The Third Parents--precious beyond words
So--in the context also of what Father has said on the subject of wills--what is it that we who have become physical parents, that is, Second Parents, must do? We must see that the Third Parents become connected with the Second Parents, that their love is connected so that a concentrated flow of love is given to our sons and daughter and that they are educated by this love. That is the task of the Second Parents.
I said the Third Parents are the Heavenly Parents, and it in is the realm of the Third Parents where our lives reach fruition. During the time that we live in our physical body, our spirit self receives vitality elements from the physical body. The spirit self also receives living spirit elements, and these elements come from our Parents in Heaven.
If we just look at ourselves in terms of our physical body, we are born from our parents and then, just as with our First Parents, all the aspects of nature, we live by means of the air in the atmosphere and the sunlight; but that is not all.
What permits the growth of that fundamental essence of the inner person that is the original form of the true person? What is it that will allow us to achieve perfection? The answer is that we grow to achieve perfection through the power of the Third Parent that is given to us in the living spirit elements. When we consider that the essence of these elements is true love, we can understand how important and precious our Third Parents are to us.
We need to understand that we humans achieve perfection in the context of a life of attending the three parents. We receive the blessings of the three parents, and grow in our heartistic ties with the Second and Third Parents.
We should think of how indebted we humans are. We live deeply indebted to the earth, universe and the entire visible substantial world that are our First Parents. And that debt is not just any debt. We are living with the debt of love. The food we eat every day and the air we breathe from one second to another come looking for human mouths and noses. They come looking for a being that represents a higher level of love. But, when food enters our mouth, it says, "Hey. This is not fair. Why should I have to go into the mouth of someone like this? I want to be eaten by someone who is a little bit more loved by God. I want to become the life fluids in the cells of a person who is more loved by God than this person." That is the feeling that is shared by all of nature, and this is why we owe a debt to our First Parents. We must repay it.
We owe a great debt to our Third Parents, too, from the living spirit elements and through all the many spiritual blessings we have received. With our heartistic ties to our three parents and the debt we owe them, we are a great mass of debt. So, what must we do? The only thing we can do is to go the path of perfecting our love. The only possible answer to the question is that we must perform deeds of love and grow our love to perfection here on earth.
The three worlds
My topic today includes the phrase, "three worlds." First, when we are in our mother's womb, we are in the world of the womb. I previously referred to the "period in the water." As a fetus, we are in our mother's womb, and this the "womb period." The womb period is sometimes referred to as the period in the water. During this period, we do not have a spirit self. It is the period in which we have only the physical mind and physical body, which are the foundation for our human existence.
The fetus grows in the womb during its womb period until it is ready to be born. But from the point of view of the fetus, birth does not represent a new beginning. Rather, it is an act of forfeiture, or death. The severing of the umbilical cord seems like a life-threatening act to the fetus. Just at that moment, however, as if someone had thrown a switch, the child is born into the world and begins to breathe. The fetus steps over the line of death and begins breathing so as to adjust itself to life in the earth's atmosphere. Thus, when we come to the end of the First Period, or the "Womb Period" that is our First World, we enter into the womb of the universe.
In this context, Father has said: "What does it mean for us to be born? When we leave the womb to begin our lives, we are actually coming into the womb of the universe."
This means that we leave the water period and enter the air period, a period in which we live in the atmosphere that surrounds the earth. Another way to express it would be to say that we enter the womb of the universe. A fetus that is in the womb does not know about its mother. In a similar manner, the limited scope of our experience means that there is a great deal about the universe that we do not know. Yet, just as the fetus breathes and receives nutrients through the umbilical cord while in its mother's womb, so also we live with the umbilical cord of the universe connected to our noses. That's right, to our noses!
The fetus has only one umbilical cord. Those of us who live in our physical bodies in the atmosphere that surrounds this world are going through the second period, in which we breathe, eat and feel by means of our umbilical cord, our lifeline to the universe.
The time that the fetus spends in the womb allows us to prepare for the time that we move into the womb of the universe and adjust ourselves to life in the universe. Regardless of whether the fetus is aware of this, it is busily preparing itself for life in a world that is completely different from the world of water in which it exists. Why is that? The fetus does not open its eyes to look around; it always has its eyes closed, doesn't it? --but it has eyes in preparation for the time when it will enter the womb of the universe and visually experience the universe. Ears are also being prepared; a mouth is being prepared; a nose is being prepared; all the sensory organs are prepared. When everything has been fully prepared, the fetus is ready to enter the womb of the universe, that is, to enter the period of living in the atmosphere.
The third period--life in the spirit world
Our life in the womb of the universe--the period of our life in the atmosphere, our life on earth--is the period of preparation for entry into the Third Period. The Third Period, as you are aware, is the spirit world. Isn't that what the Principle teaches? Father has said in his sermons: "What is that world? The world into which the spirit person enters can be termed the Divine Womb Period--a period in a womb which we call divine."
If we think about it, it is a period in the womb, isn't it? We say a fetus exists in the womb, but the fetus itself is not aware of this fact. It is only when we look at the world in which we live in terms of a higher dimension that we can realize that we currently exist in a womb-like environment, like a fetus in the womb of its mother. Each of us is living in this world in our own way. But if we look at our life on this earth from a higher dimension, we can see that we are actually living in the womb of the universe. In the same way, a spirit person living in the spirit world actually exists in the "Divine Womb Period". It is a holy period of life in the Divine Womb. In the womb of God, the spirit person exists within God. Isn't that right? In my sermon on the Sunday before last, I posed some questions about life in the spirit world. I asked whether we would be able to see God face to face when we were in the spirit world. And I answered that question by saying that in fact we cannot see God even in the spirit world.
Even in the spirit world, our spirit person is not capable of seeing God directly. In the spirit world, God takes on a bodily form and sits in the place reserved for him. This is so that we can have a strong impression of his imminent presence. The bodily form that He chooses and the place where He resides is, in the end, the True Parents. The True Parents in the spirit world are the manifestation of God that is visible to the human spirit person. This is not a total manifestation of God, however. Father has said that the spirit persons of all of us can be contained within God. Contained within God, he said. Everybody can enter God. The fetus cannot comprehend everything about its mother. Just as the fetus is happy just to have its umbilical cord, so also in the spirit world we live on God's umbilical cord of love.
Just as He does in the womb period and then the "Universe Womb Period"--that is, the period in which we live in this atmosphere--God envelops us in His love during our life in the "Divine Womb Period." In the Divine Womb Period, we are immersed in His love and live in a state of intoxication with God's love.
So, who is the wisest person? Who is the person who lives his life in the closest possible alignment with God's will? It is the person who lives his life in and, adapts himself to, the realm of true love, lives his life in accordance with that realm and prepares himself to harmonize with that realm. That is the person who lives the best possible life. He is the person who best keeps to the heavenly way.
Our True Parents are the standard
You may remember that Father has said: "Who are you going to look for when you get to the spirit world? Aren't you going to look for the True Parents? You may look for the True Parents, but not everyone will be able to meet the True Parents directly."
We may not be able to meet them directly, he said. In other words, we have to think of how we are going to meet the True Parents. We have no idea how much God has suffered--how much He has worked hard and shed tears--in order to restore fallen humankind. This state of affairs has continued for six thousand years, even if only calculated biblically. If we are to be qualified to meet God directly, we must become a person who can relate with God completely. For that we need to indemnify all those six thousand years, while at the same time practicing true love in God's place. In other words, if we live in relationship with True Parents, we will grieve as much as the True Parents, feel as much sorrow as the True Parents, be treated as unfairly as the True Parents and make as much effort as the True Parents in order to give to others. The more we come to resemble the True Parents in these ways, the better we relate with them. That is easy enough to say, but I cannot help but think of how inadequate we are, of how huge the task is that we must accomplish on earth, and of how urgent this task is even among all the other urgent tasks that we have.
We say, nebulously, that we go to the spirit world. We have a vague feeling that because we, as members of the Unification Church, believed in the True Parents and knew the Principle, we would go to a good place. That is certain, isn't it? Nobody can go to a better place than a Unification Church member. Think of what our position is even on earth, according to the Principle. Unification Church members are born in the love of the True Parents and are standing now on the foundation of their victory.
Where Unification Church members will go
As I have already mentioned, if we say that it is not the conditions on earth that are the issue but, rather, the conditions in heaven, in the spirit world, then the most important and fundamental fact is that the True Parents have established their victorious foundation before God and Satan and set the basis for the perfection of love.
Father has also said: "Paradise does not even compare to the place where Unification Church members go. In fact, if you look at the spirit people who are in paradise now, not one of them led a normal life. All the spirit people in paradise led the holiest lives while they were on earth. These people became covered with wounds, dragged around in the dirt and even martyred, as they tried to be faithful to God, to keep the word of God, to maintain God's law, to do the work of God on earth, do the work of the Lord on earth. The people in paradise are worthy of infinite respect, because they have endured every difficulty and a path of thorns."
Seen from this standpoint, the people who have gone to paradise are the most representative of all those who have believed in the Lord. Do you think that, as Unification Church members, we could compare favorably, in terms of the conditions and content of our lives of faith, with these people who have gone to paradise? Are we confident that we deserve to go to a place higher than they? There have been many martyrs during the two thousand year history of Christianity. There have been many people who taught in the world in order to testify to the love of Christ and lived their lives only for the will of Heaven and for the Lord. Many people have worked with sincerity in order to live in a suitable manner before the Lord. Even among those people, only those without any blemishes are in paradise now.
The reason we are made to suffer
The Unification Church has received so many benefits. That being the case, we should be grateful to True Parents; we should at least have a grateful heart towards the saints who have gone before us in history. Instead, though, many members of our church have become arrogant. They have too much confidence. Their life of faith has become too bold. It should not be that way. Such people will be ashamed when they go to the spirit world.
To get back now to what I was saying, the place we will go to in the spirit world is said to be far better than paradise. Father, though, is not satisfied with that. What does he want us to do with his foundation of love and his victorious foundation? He wants us to practice the way of true love that he has taught us so that we may move ever closer toward the perfection of God's love. He wants us to achieve a position that we can be proud of for eternity. That is why, whenever he gives guidance to young people or instructions to those involved in pastoral work, he says: "Know this: it is out of love that I make you suffer. Some day, you will see why it is that I have always pushed you out onto the more difficult path; why it is that I always establish a seven-year course and a three-year course in order to push you on. It is out of love that I do that. It is so that indemnity conditions can be established within a certain indemnity period, so that when you go to the spirit world this will give you something to be proud of, something that will be a blessing for you, something that will be a valuable condition for you."
We have heard him say this many times, haven't we?
This is why we as human beings must make use of our time on earth to prepare for ourselves a position before the Third Parents in the eternal Third World, which is the third period of our existence that we will experience with our spirit selves.
God's method of creation is quite profound, if we look at it beginning from the womb period. What is the desire that we have while we live here on earth? There is no way of knowing what a fetus desires, but if we were to imagine the desire of a fetus what would it be? The fetus's desire must be to receive all the essence of life from its mother through the umbilical cord so that it can be born into the world with a healthy mind and healthy body.
Worldly blessings, spiritual blessings
In the same way, all people on earth have a common desire. What is it? Everyone is trying to achieve happiness. Everyone is trying to receive blessing, to receive the most valuable blessing. Everyone is trying to possess God's blessing. Unfortunately, however, we humans committed the fall, and so we do not know about the greatest blessing, the most fundamental blessing of all. In general, people talk about the "four blessings" or the "five blessings," and say that it is a blessing to be able to live a long life, or to have enough wealth to live a luxurious life, or to have power and enjoy a life of glory. That is what most people mean when they talk about blessings.
In the Gospel of St. Matthew in the Bible, there is a reference to eight blessings. Jesus speaks about the existence of eight different blessings. Jesus refers to "the poor in spirit," "those who mourn," "the meek," "those who hunger and thirst for righteousness," "the merciful," "the pure in heart," "the peacemakers" and "those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake." He says that those who meet these conditions are blessed. What are these eight blessings? Two among the eight have a direct relationship with God. He says: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," and "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Two others have to do with Heaven. He says: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven," and, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." So, four of the eight refer either to God or Heaven. The others talk about inheriting the earth, being comforted and being satisfied.
If that is the case, then the blessings that people talk about when they refer to the "four blessings" or the "five blessings" are completely different from those Jesus was speaking about. The term "blessing" has a different meaning in the context of the providence.
The providential view of blessing
Through their profound teachings, our True Parents have revealed to humanity a truly precious principle of blessing. The principle is particularly precious to us, because we are required to live our lives centering on the Third Period and the Third Parents. What is it that our True Parents teach us? Among the countless words they have spoken, the message they emphasize again and again is that any blessing or happiness possessed by people is not a true blessing or happiness as long as there is the possibility that it can be lost or taken away. The True Parents teach us that the first thing we must do is make certain that the conditions for blessing are not taken away from us. Once we take hold of a blessing, it should last for eternity. The blessings that people generally talk about are illusory. Why? Even if a person makes enough money to become a billionaire, he still dies empty-handed. It is taken away from him. In the same way, even if a person accumulates power, it is eventually taken away from him. A person can have glory, but that, too, is taken away. All such people eventually become empty-handed. There are more people who have possessed these things only to have had them taken away than there are people who have failed to possess them in the first place. When we think about it, the blessings that people in the secular world speak of are not really blessings at all. People can never possess enough of these things to satisfy themselves, and no matter how much they finally do manage to possess, it is certain that it will eventually all be taken away. These are not blessings in the fundamental sense.
So, has Father taught us that power, or wealth, or fame are blessings? In fact, he says they are not blessings. People do not need to possess a lot of the things that general society refers to as blessings. Why? Because the more we accumulate of these, the more we must suffer the pain of losing them eventually. The True Parents do not teach us directly about which blessings to receive. Instead, they first tell us how to become people who will not lose the blessings we receive.
That is the reason that when people enter the Unification Church and come to know the Principle, they are made to cross the river of death and go through the misfortune of death. There is no relation to death. Death is subjugated. That is one aspect of the bliss and joy that arises from the faith of the Unification Church. There are many members of established denominations in the world and so many people of other religious faiths, yet why is the world so evil? It is because they have never been able to give a fundamental explanation of death, and because they do not know the spirit world.
If all the Christians and Buddhists, if all the religious people in the world could have a full understanding of death, and if they all knew about the spirit world with a certainty, it would not be possible for the world to be as evil as it is today. They talk about the spirit world and about Heaven, but they do not have true conviction about the world beyond death. They talk about "that world over there," but they themselves do not have an intimate understanding of it. Because they are not certain about the spirit world, they cannot overcome death. So, they try to be satisfied with what is on earth. Because they are satisfied with earthly comforts, the world becomes confused with evil and pain.
Unification Church members know the existence of the spirit self, and they know about the spirit world. We know about these both logically and through our own experiences. For these reasons, we of the Unification Church have transcended misfortune in death. There is no misfortune in death.
As I have mentioned already, there are three periods in our human existence and we have the three sets of parents. This understanding of our existence in stages is both quite logical and rational. Our eternal destiny is to enter the womb of God. The human course is to enter the Holy Womb Period and there to find our Heavenly Parents. That being the case, what reason do we have to fear death? Why should we feel dissatisfied in death? Why should there be misfortune in death? We have none of that now. That is what is necessary first. After that, we can start to receive blessing.
What can I look forward to in the Third Period? What can I be proud of before the Third Parents? What is it that I must take with me?
True love is the root of blessing
Every time Father speaks these days, he emphasizes true love, true love, true love. This true love is the root of blessing. When Father is speaking, and he begins to talk about true love, I think most members think to themselves, "There he goes again with `true love.'" Some people may listen, but think that they already know what it is Father wants to say. I think this is something we need to repent of deeply. If we really knew about true love, Father would not repeat himself so much. It is because we do not yet know that he continues to speak about it so earnestly and with such great care. It is for our sake that he does so. Every time we hear his words on this subject, we should renew our determination and be ever more grateful. Why does he do this? Why do you think? It is because true love is the essence of humankind.
If a person were to gain the kind of power that people in secular society speak of, then with whom would he enjoy that power? Anybody would want to enjoy it with his loving wife and children, wouldn't he? If he does that, then the most fundamental aspect of that blessing will not be able to shine out. If we have money or other valuable items, where does the joy come from. What is the fundamental thing that is good? Looking at the fourth verse of My Pledge, it says, "God is the source of peace, happiness, freedom and all ideals." The reason that He is the source of peace, happiness, freedom and all ideals is that He is the embodiment of true love. It is from within true love that genuine happiness emerges. Only when we possess true love can we experience happiness, freedom and ideals. If we cannot possess true love within our families, our love becomes diseased. When we cannot have an ideal family, we run into trouble wherever we go. No matter what we do, as long as this relationship is not properly established, something will eventually go wrong.
What is the blessing that is within peace, happiness, freedom and ideals? If we possess true love, then we can subjectively feel peace, happiness, freedom and all ideals. That is the pinnacle of this world. It is important that we always think of blessing from two points of view. Objectively speaking, there is something out there that all humanity is trying to attain. Everyone--western people, oriental people, people who lived in the past, people alive today--everyone has been searching for it, but no one could find it. Everyone is out there, though, looking for "that valuable thing." This is because there is something in our essential being which God placed in us when He created man. If this were not the case, why would all humanity of all periods in history be looking for this?
God gave us these ambitions. If He gave us these ambitions without also giving us any guarantee that they could be fulfilled, humankind would be doomed to eternal unhappiness. What kind of parent would He be then? God would not give us a nature that we were not able to fulfill. He has made it so that it can be fulfilled. The answer lies in true love. When a person possesses true love, when he comes to possess objectively the treasure of love that is our goal and which represents the fundamental basis of blessing, then that person also possesses something subjectively. That is, it no longer matters to him what others say, because he has God.
To objectively possess true love means that a person becomes a son of God, becomes the spouse of another person, becomes the ideal partner of another person, and an ideal parent to his children. When this person comes to stand in the subject position of such an ideal family, then through his daily life he manifests peace, happiness, freedom and ideals.
Unification Church members are fortunate
How fortunate we are to be members of the Unification Church! We have received true love through our True Parents. How much true love have we received? We have received the Blessing, which is the highest expression of true love. In giving us the Blessing, True Parents and God have said, "You are my son; you are my daughter." Our life is conceived in our True Parents, and registered in the family registry of the Third Parents. Isn't that right? We have been conceived. In the Third World, we have become the children of God and the Third Parents, and we have received the basis of true love. Beginning from this moment, we must live our lives in the practice of that love. We must act on it. The content of our lives will change, then, depending on the extent to which we put this love into practice. Isn't that right? We have, therefore, received an invisible grace. Isn't that the real meaning of a blessing? Many people seek one of the blessings that can be sought after and enjoyed in an objective sense, convinced that these are indeed blessings and that they are indeed something good. But no matter how much they achieve, they have the feeling that it is not really as much of a blessing as they had expected. So, they are always driven to try to achieve more. They are always hungry. They are always seeking.
So, what is a blessing? The highest blessing is that blessing which is in its completed and finished form at the time that it is possessed. A blessing must represent the attainment of an objective, and there should be nothing higher. Isn't that right?
The people who are intoxicated with true love
Once one possesses true love, as taught by our Unification Church Principle and by Father, there is nothing greater. Nothing is greater. Recently, there was a workshop for the men who were blessed in the thirty thousand couple blessing, and I began by asking them this question: "For a few days, you were preoccupied with meeting your new brides, but now they have gone back to Japan across the Korean Strait. Do you still remember their faces?" They answered that they could. They said they had all corresponded with their brides by letter and telephone, sharing with each other how they were doing since they had separated. They all were very much in love. That is what is so interesting about the principle of love. They do not even understand each other's language well, yet when true love enters their hearts, they become intoxicated.
A ceremony for inheriting blessing
When we are happy that Father has given us the Principle for happiness and that we are the only ones who have received blessing, other people may say: "Those people are in another world. Let's not associate with them." If they say they will refuse to associate with us forever, we may feel lonely. In the end, though, fundamental blessing is something that all people of all nations will want to possess. It represents a common aspiration of all humanity.
Members of the Unification Church can say with confidence: "Today, your own ignorance may cause you to oppose and persecute us, but eventually you, too, will come around to our side. You, too, will eventually have to meet the True Parents. All of you will eventually have to receive true love." Isn't that what the Principle says? Isn't that what makes us proud to be Unification Church members? This is the blessing that we possess.
The Blessing ceremony is a ceremony in which we inherit blessing and claim it as our own. So, what is the Blessing ceremony? It is a ceremony for receiving the true love, true life and true lineage of the true God. A shorter way to say that is to describe it as a ceremony through which we inherit God's true love.
Once we receive true love, life will follow naturally, and the lineage will also follow naturally. God's sovereignty and His creative nature will also follow naturally. Everyone has received blessing through the Blessing. Most of you here today are blessed families.
From now, you have to protect that blessing that you have received. You have to nurture it. All you have to do is pass it on to your loving sons and daughter, together with life and lineage. How to protect and pass on the blessing you have received, how to pass it on to as many people as you can--that is all that is left now. We should pray from that point of view, and our lives must change to reflect those circumstances.
Our lives are extremely precious, because we are living in the time of the "three kinds of parents" and the three ages. We are fortunate, because we have already received precious blessings. Just one thing remains: that is to avoid losing the blessing of the eternal world that is our third and final goal. Where, then, do we have to go in order that we can possess that blessing forever? We have to go before the Third Parents, our Heavenly Parents, our True Parents who gave us the blessing. That is why we enter the womb of Heaven, the Divine Womb which is eternal Heaven. The more we think about these words, the more courage they give us. We are going into the Divine Womb. We are not going to some wonderful place. We are going to enter into God.
It is a place that transcends time. There is no fear there. True Parents have already laid a bridge there that transcends the misfortune in death. While we are on earth, we must practice true love so that in the final Third World we can substantially embody the eternal life of that eternal world and possess the eternal blessing together with the Heavenly Third Parents. As I said in my introductory remarks, the world does not know the direction of heavenly fortune, and so we are witnessing these political upheavals. We can be certain that Heaven is in full control.
Things to be proud of
So, what is it we must do? We must work quickly to introduce people to God, True Parents, to the Blessing and to true love. In particular, Father telephoned from overseas recently and directed us to prepare the area of metropolitan Seoul.
From now, we must be proud of God, True Parents and the Blessing. At Headquarters, we have prepared a video of the Blessing, and also photographs.
If we take one of those wonderful photographs somewhere, it will give us enough to talk about for at least two hours. Isn't that right? That Blessing photograph, that wonderful photograph... Next, we can show them the video of the Blessing ceremony, and that will give us another few hours' worth of material to talk about. We have to work quickly.
Our society is amazed by the political situation. We need to realize that this situation, when unexpected events are happening with regularity, is an opportunity given to us so that we can tell people about the will of Heaven. Let us pray:
God, our Father! We thank You that today You have given us this opportunity to gather at this altar, where our True Parents have shed countless tears, so that we may lift our heads to entreat You and the True Parents.
When the tears and sacrifices of our True Parents cleanse our hearts, when our spirit people have their spirit senses opened so that our hearts overflow with tears and we come to feel true love as a result of the sacrifices and tears of our True Parents on that indescribable path of thorns, we can only repent before You for our great debt to You, and for having committed insolent acts toward You and left footsteps of disbelief.
You have prepared for us that wonderful nation, wonderful epoch and wonderful world, and have given us eternal blessing. Just as a fetus is prepared for its eventual birth into the world, You have given us blessing and, through the umbilical cord of true love, You have educated us and guided us. Let us never forget this immeasurable blessing. We sincerely beseech You that in every aspect of our daily lives, whether we are eating or speaking, and in all our actions, we may live lives of love and sacrifice as ones who have inherited the sacrifice and true love of God and True Parents.
In this world without love, this world that is in need of sacrificial love, You watch over us and educate us day after day that we should give love to the world in the position of the Father. Yet, how painful Your heart must be to see how our lives are still far from being able to share love? Please, place us within Your grasp and chastise us with the strap of the Blessing. We beseech You to let us become persons whose lives are filled with moving realizations and are sufficiently able to bestow true love on the world.
Help us to realize our ignorance. Sound the alarm in those hearts that, out of fallen habit and without even realizing it themselves, try to become more and more like the world. By whatever means possible, let our lives become such that we are immersed in testifying to the True Parents, we sincerely beseech You.
Our True Parents have given us abundant love so as to melt our useless and evil hearts and let us enter the path of the Unification Church. In the same way, take the love with which You, dear Father, have nurtured and educated us to make us persons who are sufficiently able to fulfill our responsibility to our neighbors and to this nation.
Father, You have established us, Your unqualified children, and given us responsibility for the Church Headquarters, so as to establish a nation that can be a model to the country and can cry out to the country on how it should live. Knowing that this is Your will, Your fatuous children can only repent deeply. Father, forgive us. We sincerely entreat You that we, together with our beloved brothers and sisters, can become equal to our responsibility to awaken the people of Korea and establish this nation before You.
We sincerely ask that You awaken the people of good conscience, and those prepared leaders of this country in religion, finance, education and all other areas of society. May they receive Your will and Your heart. May they believe in the True Parents and understand that the only way for the people of Korea to live is to cherish and follow the True Parents.
Father, today, again, we cannot but feel how inadequate our lives and actions are in terms of the True Parents' great principle of true love. We implore You to awaken us. We earnestly beseech You to help us utilize our time, our hearts and our bodies to practice true love.
We are certain that we, the children of our Unification Family, can unite as one by means of true love so that they become a great mass of true love and prevail over any plot or evil scheme by the world and Satan. We beseech You, oh God, that we may be melted into the world with this true love.
Father, even today, our True Parents are on the front line, calling for us to come, showing us through their daily life, never turning away from difficulties. We are intensely chastened by the sight of our True Parents standing on the front line and leading the way by example. We beseech You to make us capable of comforting our True Parents.
We ask that You be with the church ministers around the country who are testifying to the true love of the True Parents. May Your love and grace reinforce their calling and make them equal to their task. Let us keenly feel that we are a people of Heaven called by God, that we are the sons and daughters of Heaven. We implore You to make us proud Unification Church members who do not turn our heads to the secular world.
We ask that You be with the missionaries around the world who long for the True Parents and their homeland of Korea. We earnestly beseech You to place within Your grasp those brothers and sisters who are working hard without any recognition or appreciation. Permit us to comprehend even a ten thousandth of the feeling in Your heart as You look down upon us. May we be completely dedicated during the coming week to living our lives for the sake of Your will. We give thanks to You and offer this prayer to You in the Holy Name of our True Parents. Amen.
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