Sun Myung Moon’s Life In His Own Words
For seven years from 1957 to 1964, I didn't sleep for even two hours a night. I usually slept for an hour. I did not know how to be tired; I trained myself so that I would not feel tired. During those seven years, I seldom took off my clothes to sleep. I wore clothes like these. I prepared and trained myself for seven years, so that when I set out for a new world in the 1960s, I was able to succeed in a twenty-year-course that I have no reason to feel ashamed of in front of Heaven. For seven years, I was doing work until three or four in the morning, hunched over in a chair.
I told myself, "Give your whole heart. Pour out your whole heart until you get tired. Pour it out even though you may feel hungry. Pour it out even in sleepiness, until Heaven accepts it!"
Since I planted seeds in that way, those seeds will go all over the world through the heart of God, even though members of the Unification Church today cannot accept what was planted.
I thought that they would certainly be harvested one day, if not in Korea, elsewhere in the world.
In our pioneer stage, it was not unusual for me to stay up all night. I would even be dozing in the bathroom. I was so exhausted. Sometimes when I sat down, I would lean against something and begin snoring.
Until the 1960s had passed, I ate squatting down because I was so busy. My meals didn't include more than three side dishes. I did that for three years. I didn't eat at a table. I ate with the plates on the floor, on a small board, because I was working to save everybody and everything. If I had not been able to do that, I would have been a sinner.
For seven years, I fasted on my birthday. How brazenly arrogant I would have felt if I had eaten well and celebrated my birthday with my responsibility still uncompleted and heavenly law not yet established.
This was a serious problem. Though I lived in a nation, the nation was not mine. The world was not my world and no matter what I had, I could not assert that it was.
When I started this church, the wooden floor in my room, wet from tears, wouldn't dry out. I didn't sleep. I prayed even when I had a nosebleed....
In about 1957, I was praying for about four hundred members every day. Once I prayed, I could sense their spiritual situation. That kind of thing does happen. God is the supreme being. God is the trunk and church member are connected to Him as branches. So, if you act together with this subject, don't you know He will teach you about other members? Of course He does. Just offer your Jeong Seong. If you pour out your heart for church members, God will show you in various ways if there's something wrong with their spiritual state.
I prayed while calling out the name of each member. Even before I called a name, the person's face appeared. Just to say the names took about forty minutes. Some were smiling; others appeared worried. I instantly knew how a person was doing. Prayer showed me who was sick, so I called those members and said what prayer had revealed. I asked them whether it was true, and without fail, it was. Then the person would go to a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.
Only in this way could I fulfill my duties. As I did, people could align themselves and follow me without going astray. You shouldn't forget that.
Also, when looking at the names, I might think, This lady should come today. Without fail, she would come. One lady was actually on her way to a market and ended up coming to the church without even realizing it. She asked, "Oh, did I come to the church?" When this kind of thing occurs, can you say that God doesn't exist? Can you deny that the spirit world is helping us?
In 1957, I did one-to-one witnessing. I would give a lecture to a person as if I were speaking to a hundred or a thousand people. I took the viewpoint that several thousand people depended on that person. In order to transform a person into someone who could follow whatever instruction I might give, I should exert effort equal to the extent of the transformation so that the person could develop strong enough motivation to make the necessary changes.
I felt upset that church members were unable to love Korea the way they should, so I would sometimes speak all night. Isn't it right that at some point I be involved in raising you? You can send a child to elementary school only after you have devoted yourself to bringing up the child to about the age of six, isn't that so? That's a basic principle, which is why I've told you that you must go through a seven-year course. It takes seven years to educate a person in Cain's position.
Even if the church had not existed, I had to train people by myself. That's why I've been doing this work for fifty years, forgetting to eat, sleep and rest. You don't understand the reality. You think, "Oh, he freely does whatever he wants. He has no backbone." But that is by no means the case. I do have a backbone. Despite that, I still began my work holding people and crying over them. Holding that person, I would weep while trying to work out the nation's misfortune through them and the bitter feeling of the nation's people through their family.
Heaven was present, and a strong "electricity" was flowing. You feel strength as if hundreds of millions of volts are moving through you, as if the world is at your command. How exciting! At a time like that, your eyes won't close even though you may try to close them. Even when you are asleep, your eyes open all of a sudden.
What kind of person was I in 1957 or 1958? I was a teacher who listened better than anyone else did to what others said, no matter who they were. Elderly ladies would come and talk about their lives from the day of their marriage. They would tell me everything about how much they loved their husbands. They would say everything they had wanted to say until that moment. Everyone who had visited me said, He really listened to what I had to say.
I sincerely listened to them all night, and I spoke from my heart. This is the key. In listening and speaking to others, be genuine. Keep sweating and pouring out your entire heart.
You might think, He is now at a certain stage, I need to spend one or two more hours with him, even if it means I have to stay up until midnight, or one or two in the morning. If I talk with him for two more hours he can overcome this barrier.
When you understand this, don't hesitate. Continue talking and explaining, even if you have to speak until three or four o'clock. We should see each person's life as precious.
I am a person who is afraid of praying in a public place. In other words, I am in a position of having to move people into the realm of life while still attending to a father who is mourning the loss of His children. It is a serious matter. Judgment, showdowns, and decisions on matters of life or death arise. One draws the final line in the sand there. Coming here and taking responsibility for that is like coming to a place where executions are carried out. I began to have the heart of a person at a place of execution.
One has to pray, therefore, for Gods' sympathy and God's compassion. Also, a person can have more abundant life when he prays for Gods' sympathy, and God's compassion and God's mercy surrounds him.
If possible, I don't think about the title of a sermon in advance when I appear in public. Thinking about the title just leads to a private result. It may become a yardstick by which I boast of my knowledge, my organized plan or my brain, but it fails to express my heart. Instead, I offer Jeong Seong for more than ten hours before giving a sermon. Let me have deep, sturdy roots before emerging through the surface. Sprouts don't matter. I wouldn't care if something eats the sprouts [if the root is solidly put down]. I mean it's okay not to speak in polished sentences. The question of how you connect your genuine heart is what decides life or death.
I have lectured and delivered many sermons here. Since the 1950s, I have preached in tears. Was there a time when I didn't? Tears should fill your cup and run over. They should overflow. Heaven consoles you and works for you only when you exert all your energy, when you bleed and sweat and say that the place you collapse and die will be your starting point.
In the early days, I delivered sermons even in the midst of ruthless persecution, with my sweat turning to blood. You have to make an impression by delivering a sermon at the top of your lungs. You may be more weary from today's persecution than yesterday's, but a way forward does exist. So invest your strength and driving force in your sermon and wear down the opposition.
Accordingly, I poured out all my energy and led members in this way. When I gave sermons, sweat flowed down my back. My shirts and underwear were drenched and drops of sweat fell from my head as I spoke. A sincere heart is offered with sweat....
When our church was just starting, for three years and eight months, President Eu Hyo-won lectured eighteen hours a day at Cheongpa-dong even though his health was very poor. I'm telling you that I had a sickly man continue to lecture for forty-four months, eighteen hours a day. It set a tradition and that's why we lectured for two days, finishing both parts [of the Divine Principle] in two days.
It must have been very hard. As the lecturer, he may have felt pain in his lungs and in other parts of his body, but when he was not lecturing Divine Principle, I would say, "Hey! You are a trumpeter of Heaven's will; you have to lecture if asked, even for eighteen hours. The spirit world is preparing to speak now. How can you possibly be like this? Get to work!" We did things in that way for all those months. It's a record.
Do you think I slept while he lectured? I was sitting upstairs listening to him teach, and I had been fully informed as to who had come to listen. If no one came, I sat and listened to him attentively. Then, it was my turn to ask him questions. I raised him in that way. I just sat down, observed and supervised him. I corrected any mistakes. That's how I created a substitute for myself in three years and eight months.
We had a welcoming party for people at night when the lecture had ended. When there was a party, I took charge of it. People found themselves in a party mood.
We did this while just eating boiled barley as a meal twice a day. The side dishes were not good, either. President Eu had his favorite dish, which was tiny shrimp preserved in brine.... Its smell was more offensive than that of excrement, but there he was dipping his finger in it, saying it was delicious. I still have a vivid memory of that.
How hard must it must have been for him! Even now when I visit Paju to pay my respects at the graves, I think, I could I have given you that musty, salted shrimp.... I would roast a whole cow and give it to you.
There are times when I think that it would be very nice if President Eu were alive now. After all, the increasing rate of membership is in proportion to the number of Divine Principle lectures.
Establishing a national foundation From 1954 to 1960, we had to go over the nation-level persecution and advance. Do you know how hard we worked during that time? Originally, I started working, based on the course of Jesus' public life, to pay indemnity within three years. Therefore, after I became thirty-seven years old, I established a solid foundation for the Unification Church and began to expand the history of restoration through indemnity to the national level. Everything proceeded in accordance with the Principle.
In those days, everyone, especially those in the Korean Christian churches, was against us. Consequently, I was imprisoned in 1955, wasn't I? Therefore, from 1957, we established an all-inclusive fasting condition and held a proclamation ceremony. We began preparing a nationwide foundation. We began to take the offensive. We witnessed and expanded across the nation. It was a new stage in the Unification Church's development.
At Cheongpa-dong, like a wounded lion, we had to wait for the right time, making preparations. I trained young members and created an elite group. I traveled all across Korea to prepare the foundation upon which we could stay alive. I made the foundation myself while the entire nation opposed us.
In this way, I experienced every kind of persecution a man could endure.
Everyone who was a member of the church in 1957 underwent change. They all fasted for a week. All the members in Korea started the fast on the same day. We made a new beginning as a church through this fast. I fasted with them.
If you join the Unification Church, you must fast for a week. I did this, so you must do it too. I am not trying to make you go through hardship. I am just making you strike your body as a condition, fulfilled in the presence of God. One method to strengthen the power of your love is to strengthen your spiritual power. Another method is to hit your body. You cannot become a Unification Church member unless you do a week-long fast. How long did Jesus fast? He fasted for forty days.
What is convenient about fasting for a week? You don't have to worry about eating, and you will stop complaining about your fate. Those thoughts would cease. I gave the order to do a week-long fast so that you can attain the ability to confidently move forward, ignoring material things. Those who responded to my instruction by actually doing a seven-day fast will transcend the anxieties of daily life. You have to exhibit the truth based on this standard.
Once you start a seven day fast, a day or two will pass while you think, I'm hungry! But I must endure. I must carry on.
After the third or fourth day it becomes more difficult. You really want to eat so many things. Everything you see looks edible! You will go so far as to reminisce about the barley rice cake you ate in the past. Gluttonous evil spirits are all mobilized!
After a week, there is no happier sound than hearing the clock chime on the wall. When five or ten minutes remain before the end of the fast, how desperate your heart is! When you can transcend that, you will be able to meet God. Your desperation for love should exceed your desperation for food. We cannot come into relationship with God through focusing on the necessities of life in the fallen realm.
Our first special witnessing campaign was in 1957. Through this, history moved toward a turning point. That is, Heaven came to have all the power needed to control history. However, God does not act blindly. He keeps pace with what is happening on earth.
We started our forty days of special activities on July 20. It's the usual date we begin on each year. It's the hottest season, and it's during the school vacation. We must work hard in the hottest weather, sweating to fulfill God's will. I chose that time of year because the heat is useful in setting strong indemnity conditions.
In 1957, I chose a hundred and twenty witnessing places. When I sent the members, I told them, "Think of yourselves as people doing your three-year military duty. Have the mind-set that you have been sold to the villages you've been assigned to and work as hard as you would if that were true. Go, and devote yourselves to the villages. What will you teach people? Teach them loyalty. You should not only teach but also practice it yourselves and demonstrate it to them. Then, even if you do not tell them what to do, they will definitely take up what you are doing. When many people come out, saying 'me too,' you will be able to completely settle in that village."
When we started this campaign for the first time in 1957, I gave members only enough money to take a train or bus to their mission places. They left any other money they had behind when they went. I also gave them two sets of clothes to wear before I sent them off. I told them to work hard and to eat just powdered grain for forty days. Start out by doing physical labor, I told them, or beg for food.
Because people opposed them, they did cleaning campaigns and helped with housework without telling anyone that they were from the Unification Church. They woke up early in the morning and cleaned the entire neighborhood for several hours every morning. We did this kind of thing. People in the villages did not know who was doing it and only realized several months later.
I also told the members to push themselves to the point of experiencing misery that causes them to sweat and to cry. I told them to overcome that wretchedness. They ate only cups of powdered wheat mixed with water. Going out witnessing for forty days is the same as fasting for forty days.
When the members returned afterward, I made them eat good meals. When I saw them eating like crazy people, I asked myself, Am I not a sinner?
I often felt guilty. I thought I must create a group that would continue on even if Korea were to go to ruin in the future.
They were eating boiled barley. Boiled barley is nothing. They were all starving and ate what a dog might. But they all went out and came back after having overcome their difficulties. They said in whispers, I was so hungry that I took dog scraps and ate them.
They began from the very lowest point that a human could be at. When the members were witnessing in their assigned pioneering areas, it was difficult to raise enough money to survive for a day. Even after working all day long, it was difficult to eat one meal. Some of the young members would stumble because of hunger.
During that pioneering period, our witnessing members worked in this way and became leaders. When they went pioneering to a village, they did not have anything to eat. Although they were able to work, when they tried, rumors went around the village that the purpose for which they had come was to work, and for that they were persecuted.
Leaders at the church headquarters didn't send them any money. In that situation, they pioneered and witnessed. However, they never complained about their miserable circumstances to their leaders at the headquarters. When, after six months or a year, leaders came to realized what each pioneer's situation had been, they hugged each one and cried.
Members had precious experiences in the witnessing campaigns, such as the joy of meeting each other and separating in tears with the hope of meeting again. You couldn't buy experiences like that for a hundred million dollars. In the early days, members felt that getting acquainted with another member was of eternal value....
In those days we all walked because cars were still rare. Our members helped one another and parted in tears in the evening by moonlight or early in the morning, pledging to do their best for Korea's sake, for God and for the future. There were many unforgettable instances of this kind. In that type of situation, a patriotic spirit arises.
Those members will always miss the days when they worked in a high, elevated atmosphere, like that which surrounds a person who has fallen in love for the first time. It is up to the people who are guiding the church to work out how to stimulate that spirit within members. You have to establish goals for your activities. Your efforts should connect you to that time honored tradition.
After you join the church, you become fonder of it than of your home. You want to come to the church without even going to school. Your heart is always at the church. Why? God's love is there.
In the evening, any food we had, I would save in order to share it with others later. I would bring people together and help them feel at ease. That's why people followed me even though they were persecuted, even though the entire neighborhood was in an uproar, and even though the nation was trying to get rid of us.
In those days, the atmosphere of the church was like that. When a person was converted, he or she very much wanted to be at the church and came every day.
I told the members to witness with that kind of heart. I taught new members that way. Thus, they all felt that the church was better than their homes, or their schools. They did not want to go to school, to work or to their houses. They all met at the church. This became a problem.
Among the early members who followed me, none was praised by spouse, child or relatives. They all faced opposition. Why? In order to join the church, those early members had left family behind. If they had loved and stayed with their families, all of them would have perished. Early church members had to choose between the two. You need to understand that this is why early members have never received praise from their relatives, friends or children.
That's why members who have been in the church for a long time cry profusely when they pray. They have lived where God is directly with them. That is what makes those people different; they survived difficulties together with God. The question is whether the early church members' tradition will become your tradition. We are like a single tree.