The Words of the Lausberg Family

The Meaning Of Han

Andy Lausberg
July 21, 2007

When we look at Unification terminology based in Korean language, there are a few things to mindful of: One, Father will often use a Korean word and give it a different twist, making it a different word in a sense. Second, many words that come out in Korean are very hard to translate adequately into English, because the cultural/historical/psychological contexts are so different.

It is true that han is a word used in common language, and that the experience is not so rare as perhaps we might imagine; the Korean-ness of the language I guess does have a certain mystique for a lot of Unificationists.

Here's my take: (please bear with me...) even a mention of the word 'han' touches the Korean heart deeply. Over years, over decades, over ages of tribulation, rooted in a most intense and unrelenting desire to be right and correct and true, like the bamboo or the pine, the Koreans learnt about han; it touches everything they know.

Han is part of the reason God could connect so deeply with the Koreans and find a son there.

Disclaimer: While I write this, I need to acknowledge that what I write is not true for each and everyone of the Korean peoples, and also that the Korea of today is not really the same Korea of 1945. But I tend to think, just as each person can show unique dimensions of God's character, so also peoples can exhibit unique and different aspects of God's heart. There is much to learn from the 'Korean story'.

[Resentment], as a translation, falls so short - its really quite inadequate. For example, think of the French revolution, when intolerable sufferings were inflicted callously upon the common folk, which in turn resulted in such a hideous and monstrous uprising of destructive madness that blood flowed and flowed, both innocent and guilty. This is more resentment than han.

What does it mean when we say that God has han? Have you ever heard this said: "True Parents, their mission is to resolve God's han; our mission, as Blessed Families, is to resolve True Parents' han".

What is han anyway?

When you long so for your beloved, when you give everything you have, when you have worked and worn out your strength, when your energy reserves are depleted, when you have offered and sought and reached out again and again, when you have given everything you can, but still... the earth does not listen to you, the universe does not respond, your beloved still refuses to listen, to hear, when he or she walks away, indifferent to the tears flooding down your cheeks...this leads to han.

When love is burning in your heart, so hot and fierce and undeniable, but when that love is not received, when the one to whom you would give everything simply fails to understand, or to respond, when all that love turns into a pain and anguish that cannot and will not be ignored, when the nature of your love and all the hope and joy and wonder that it promises instead becomes a sorrow and anguish that will not go away, and when it breaks you down, and blocks your heart, when even then, you simply cannot turn away, but live on, one day, two days, one year, two years, with a hope buried deep inside you, but a reality pounding against you, challenging that hope, decrying its potency, that's han.

Han, sorrow and anguish, born of desire, love unrequited. A longing that will not go away, but which turns into a wall of pain and sorrow, continuing on each day, and which can only be resolved by the return of the one you love. That's han.


As I see it, God's han is simply this: the incredible anguish and sorrow of unrequited love. If the heart remains true, this is han. But if the heart does not remain true, this sours, decays, and becomes resentment.

In a sense, han has these two dimensions, the good or true han, and the resentful, destructive han. God's heart remains true; his original hope and love does not change. However, everything that this love promised, all of that promise was transformed into pain and sorrow, and anguish, creating a wall. It blocks up the heart, becoming a barrier in itself to the free flow of love outwards. God cannot love freely, where that han blocks the way. First, this han must be cleared, then the heart can express itself again, in the giving and flow of love.

In fallen people, in Lucifer, that love decayed into resentment, becoming a force unto itself, to seek destruction and pain upon its partner. Resentment is not han, at least, not God's han, not the han of a true heart.

Actually, I tend to think, we Europeans (I mean myself here, I suppose) are not as... strong (?) as the Koreans, that is, our temperament is more short-timed. We more quickly fall into resentment, when wronged. It is hard for us to keep our true heart, longing for the one who wronged us to turn around, to repent, to come back. (I mean this in the most general sense, and I say it for good reason, although I'll readily admit, it's a big statement and cannot be satisfactorily supported in email format, that's for sure. So please feel free to disagree, but just allow that perhaps I have my reasons for saying so - it does not speak anyway, in any way, to value: we are all valuable to God, some of us for our quickness to respond!)

Historically, Koreans have, on the whole, and as a people, striven and striven to be true, to be correct, to be righteous. Persevering against tribulation and misfortune, over thousands of years. Simple and yet as strong as tempered steel. There is an interesting continuity and depth to the Korean heart.

When I left Korea (South) after seven years, and went to live in Japan, I really was very prejudiced against Japanese. I saw Japan probably as many Koreans did. Enemies, people who had inflicted so much wrong on (our) people. It actually took me another seven years before I was able to say, with an honest heart, "I love Japan".

Many Japanese simply cannot understand why Koreans want them to apologize for the occupation and war (1905 - 45). "Why do they still want an apology, after all this time? What is WITH them???? Why do Koreans hate us?" Many Japanese simply couldn't understand.

I found myself explaining it like this: "Its not that the Koreans hate you. They don't. In fact, they want to accept you, to be reunited with you. But it cannot happen just so easily. Koreans have a very strong streak of righteousness. They cannot simply forget the past. They need you to acknowledge what went on between you and them, to acknowledge and understand how they felt when you inflicted so much on them. If you can acknowledge that, what they went through, and accept it, and care about it, they will be very forgiving, and the past can be left behind."

This is kind of like han; a strong sense of righteousness that will not simply forget the past, and which will not simply give up and say "they are bastards anyway..." It seeks the object of love to come back, to consummate that desire to join together in a relationship of giving and receiving love, friendship, trust, loyalty.

True han reverberates with God's han. Even after thousands of years, can God change his heart towards his children? Can he abandon them, throw them away? He can't, because it would mean the same as throwing himself away, his very core, his very pith. But the sorrow and the anguish have formed a wall of ice so thick, so blasted thick. How can we melt it? How can we dissolve it, thaw his heart out, and bring it to life again?

When we go through the same, for his sake, for his sake, it sets trans-molecular chain reactions in place. It sets earth shaking events in motion. It starts to sake the very world. Oh, sure, it takes time for the move from cause to effect, but the potency of a love that undergoes the same for, the same for him... its miraculous and powerful and pervasive.

When people are overcome by resentment, all of the consequences become a barrier and a wall for them against their returning to their original position, that original and true heart within them that seeks only to give and receive love. There is a lot of work to be done.

But God never left his true position, not really. And when he did, he did it to put himself lower than his children, to work on their behalf, to open up a way.

I guess Father's method is something like this. Liberate God; then God can do anything. God can then do whatever it takes. Because in the end, to liberate and restore God's children, all of them need to receive God's love.

Don't you think that's true? Only true love will fix everything in the end.

Andy Lausberg

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