The Words of Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak
Cleansing the Spiritual Environment
Closing Plenary Address
International Federation for World Peace First International Seminar
Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak
August 1, 1999
Distinguished participants in this International Seminar on "True Families as the Foundation for World Peace in the New Millennium." It seems like a very short time ago that we began our conference. As we come to the closing session, I want to express my appreciation to each of you for participating. I have been inspired by the quality of the plenary sessions and the discussants’ remarks, as well as by your insightful comments and questions from the floor. Clearly you came here with an open and sincere mind, and you have worked hard. I believe you, your families and your nations, will be richly blessed because of your sincere and serious participation in this conference.
We have come together here not for own sake. Each one of you has a profound awareness of the serious situation of our world. There are so many situations of conflict. When we think of the problems in Kosovo, the Middle East, South Asia, parts of Africa and many other regions, we can only be concerned. These are not simple problems, and the root causes run very deep.
Many parts of our world are also experiencing overwhelming social problems that result from family breakdown. When the family unit becomes unstable, the society at large also becomes unstable. Problems linked to drugs, sexually transmitted diseases, divorce, suicide, declining standards of education, youth alienation, etc., can be traced to family breakdown.
For the past several days we have had the opportunity to "read and learn" from the speeches from the speeches and prayers of Rev. Sun Myung Moon. We have been practicing hoon dok hae, or "gathering for reading and learning." This is not some simple religious exercise. Rather, hoon dok hae is the means by which we receive heavenly guidance and direction in relation to the most basic and fundamental issues of our life.
In the past few days I have heard many testimonies from among the participants describing their experience with the words of Rev. Moon. Some are surprised by the broad range of topics and the depth of his insight. I want to say that the depth and insight of his speeches are not derived from his study in school or from research. Rather, they are rooted in his very personal and direct relationship with God. Moreover, this relationship is not only intellectual, but fundamentally heartistic; that is, it is a deep and loving relationship. In other words, these speeches have their source in the very origin of truth itself. They spring forth from that original wellspring, God.
What we have heard in this seminar are a variety of excerpts, taken from among more than 250 volumes of Rev. Moon’s speeches, given over a span of approximately forty years. Ninety-nine per cent of the material in these volumes comes from speeches and sermons for which there was no prepared text. The speeches were presented as sermons or as internal guidance for followers. His only preparation was to pray humbly and deeply to be a direct channel of God’s truth and inspiration. In this sense these words have emerged spontaneously, springing forth at the moment of their delivery. However, despite the extemporaneous nature of his speeches, one finds amazingly clear lines of development and a very coherent and systematic core. An examination of the content of sample speeches taken from the 1950's, the 1970's and the 1990's will reveal absolute consistency in the message. Despite differences in time period and context, the basic truths and fundamental themes of these speeches remain unchanged. This gives further evidence that these words have their origin in a single source or spring, Heavenly Father.
Rev. Moon initiated this hoon dok hae tradition for the sake of transforming this world. By setting aside the time to study God’s word on a daily basis, we can establish a firm foundation for our family life, and in turn, a firm foundation for the creation of stable and peaceful societies and nations. This is why we have practiced hoon dok hae and studied the meaning of True love, True Parents and True Family. Rev. Moon has said, "You have to study, researching God’s deepest level of knowledge, connecting with that high-level of value. The most powerful thing is God’s true love, the core of God’s being. ["The Value of True Parents Words," May 1, 1999]
I think you are aware that Rev. Moon is not only a man of ideas and words. His ideas and words always lead to practical action. Today there is no time to describe the many organizations and institutions established by Rev. and Mrs. Moon as part of a comprehensive plan for world peace. However, I do want to share briefly about the work of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace.
In many regions of the world, the political, religious and academic leaders are not unified and cannot contribute effectively to a lasting peace. Many times political leaders pursue peace, but without fully grasping the spiritual, moral and cultural roots of conflict. Religious leaders, on the other hand, often fail to fully appreciate political realities. Academics, furthermore, frequently distance themselves from both religion and politics. To remedy this situation, Rev. Moon founded the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, dedicated to promoting greater collaboration and cooperation among religious, political and academic leaders so that our efforts for peace are both more comprehensive and effective. This is the reason we have called leaders representing religion, politics and academia to this seminar. The IIFWP’s Inaugural Assembly on February 6, 1999 in Seoul, Korea, was attended by more than 500 participants representing the religions, nationalities, and cultures of the entire world. In his address, Rev. Moon said, "The time has come when cooperative and mutually supportive relationships among the world’s statesmen and religious leaders is desperately needed....Since the root of human problems is not merely political, social and political solutions alone will always be insufficient. While most societies are politically governed, religion lies at the root of most national and cultural identities."
The IIFWP maintains that efforts for world peace on the part of the United Nations and other international organizations needs to be enhanced and complemented by the wisdom and insight of the world’s great religious traditions, as well as by the expertise of persons in the arts, the media, and especially education. Rev. Moon has indicated that the current structure of the United Nations should be improved by including a council of religious leaders who could assist in the efforts for peace, especially since in so many areas of conflict, politics is linked to religion, culture, ethnicity and historical traditions. If we are truly serious about peace we must seek to improve current models of peacemaking.
The IIFWP is already working aggressively to establish a global network of leaders from all faiths, nations and academic fields. Immediately after the inauguration of IIFWP this past February, Rev. and Mrs. Moon began a world tour to establish IIFWP in more than forty nations. Next February in Seoul, Korea, the IIFWP will celebrate its first anniversary with a major conference. In addition, a variety of initiatives are underway, emerging as a response to the input we have received from contacts throughout the world. I invite you to submit suggestions and recommendations for IIFWP programs and activities. Also, please recommend candidates for either individual or institutional membership. You may send these comments directly to the IIFWP Secretariat office in Washington, D.C.
I also want to encourage you to become an active participant in the work of the IIFWP. Actually, I should really say, please become not only a participant, but a leader in the work of the IIFWP . As a graduate of this seminar, I believe you are now uniquely empowered to serve as a great light for your families, your communities, your religions and your nations.
During the discussion of the work of the Pure Love Alliance, I was deeply moved by your sincere support and praise for the work of these young leaders in the PLA movement. They were truly uplifted and encouraged by your support. I could not help but think that, if we all fully supported this kind of movement, then what an incredible change we would see in our world. How much the world would be changed for the better.
The PLA is but one example of how, centering on Rev. Moon’s teachings, individuals are empowered to work in many very practical and effective ways to transform our present world into a world of goodness. Time and again I have witnessed amazing accomplishments blossoming forth from the inspiration that can be found in Rev. Moon’s words.
He is deeply concerned about the well-being of the world’s youth, and their standard of character and morality. Most of all, he wants to guide them to the ideal of true love and true family. This coming year he will offer a Blessing for all the youth of the world. I sincerely hope each of you, as leaders of your respective religions, academic institutions, and nations, will teach your young people about the PLA’s pure love movement and about the year 2000 Youth Blessing for True Families. If each of you do this, how bright our future will be. For if you guide one young person in the way of this movement for true love and true family, you bring blessing not only to one individual, but to an entire family, their children and all their descendants.
We are all aware that our contemporary societies are deeply flawed and provide a very unhealthy moral environment for children and young people. No matter where we turn our senses are bombarded with all kinds of decadence, materialism, impurity and temptation. The spiritual environment of modern life is profoundly polluted. At times the situation looks hopeless, and I have known parents who feel they have no alternative but to watch their children go the way of moral and spiritual decline. The sinister spell of the decadent popular culture sometimes seems invincible .
The hoon dok hae tradition, however, is aimed precisely to allow us to overcome and even transform the spiritually polluted environment of our current world. If we spread this hoon dok hae tradition in all areas of life, we can overcome the evil environment and the moral corruption which surrounds us. Since you are the alumni of this very historic, first international hoon dok hae seminar, you can be proud and confident in guiding others in your family, your universities, your places of prayer and worship, and your nations. As we stand on the threshold of the new millennium, let us work hand in hand, together. Let us, once and for all, end the history of war, of racial and religious conflict, family breakdown, and self-centered living. May the glory of God’s precious True Love spring forth from every corner of the earth.
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