The Core Values of Mongolian Civilization and their Relevance to World Peace
Rev. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, UPF Chairman and MPFWP International President|
April 9, 2006
Distinguished world leaders. It is my privilege to address you this evening, on behalf of the Founders of the Universal Peace Federation and the Mongolian Peoples? Federation for World Peace, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. As you may know, they have been traveling throughout the world, already to 120 nations, taking their message of peace to all people. It was they who asked that the Universal Peace Federation convene, here in Korea, this third Assembly of the MPFWP. They will speak to us tomorrow morning, but wanted me to extend their personal welcome and best wishes.
Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, UPF Chairman and MPFWP International President
Many of you are participating for the first time in a World Assembly of the MPFWP. Therefore, I would like to share a few key points about this important federation.
First of all, when we speak of the Mongolian peoples, we are not speaking only of people from the nation of Mongolia. Rather, we are speaking of people whose ancestry may be traced back to Mongolia, even over thousands of years. Moreover, as we learned at the previous Assemblies, persons with Mongolian ancestry are dispersed all over the world and, in fact, more than two thirds of the world?s population has some link to the Mongolian lineage. One significant indicator of this linkage is the so-called ?Mongolian spot? or birthmark that appears on the back-side of infants.
Today, people of Mongolian descent can be found literally in every corner of the earth, on every continent and in every nation. People of Mongolian descent can be found in every race, religion and culture around the world. In this sense, the Mongolian peoples represent the universality and common origins of humanity. Truly we are all one family, linked together like brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles, both distant and near. This awareness contributes to our sense of solidarity.
In addition to what we may call the common biological characteristics of Mongolian peoples, there is also a spiritual aspect. According to Dr. Moon, the origins of the Mongolian people may be traced back to a family described in the sacred writings of the Bible; that is, Noah?s family. More specifically, the Mongolian peoples are the descendants of Shem, the eldest son of Noah, a great man of faith who lived according to the will of God.
Historically, the descendants of Shem multiplied widely throughout the entire world, including the far reaches of Northeast Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Americas and Eurasia, even as far as Africa and Oceania. The core tradition of Noah?s eldest son, Shem, was that of filial piety toward his father and mother, and compassionate concern and care for his younger brothers and sisters. More than anything else, this moral or spiritual trait is what is most basic or fundamental about the Mongolian peoples wherever they are.
In connection with this moral and spiritual aspect of Mongolian peoples, we may begin to speak about the core values of Mongolian civilization. What are some of these core values?
The most important, as stated already, is that of filial piety; the proper love, respect and attendance of a son or daughter toward their parents, grandparents and elders, and ultimately toward God. A second core value, which derives from the first, is to love and care for the younger brothers and sisters in the family.
You may recall another biblical story, that of Cain and Abel. In this story we learn that the elder son, Cain, consumed by resentment and jealousy, killed his younger brother, Abel. This brought incredible grief not only to the parents, Adam and Eve, but to God, the invisible True Parents of humanity. Noah?s family was to restore this failure in Adam?s family, and Shem was to restore the failure of Cain who refused ?to be his brother?s keeper.? Cain had not adopted the same attitude as God and his parents toward his younger brother, Abel. Shem, reversing the behavior of Cain, was to love and serve his siblings, representing all of humanity.
In many respects, Noah?s family was called by God to restore Adam?s family and, in particular the position of elder sonship. God called Noah to a mission requiring absolute faith. He then brought about the flood which was to cleanse the world of the legacy of the sins of Adam?s family; first, the sins of the parents, Adam and Eve, who failed to embody God?s ideal of true love as husband and wife and as parents; and second, the sins of the siblings, Cain and Abel. Shem, in particular as the elder son, was called to a life of filial piety and attendance.
This practice of attendance to the parents and service to one?s siblings is rooted in the principle of living for the sake of others. It is the opposite of selfishness. Most importantly, this is the key teaching of all great religions. Of course, that is because this principle is an essential characteristic of God.
While this teaching was violated in the family of Adam, it was to be restored in the family of Noah. Through Shem, this practice, as a spiritual and moral ideal, was spread throughout the world. In fact, the world?s religions have their roots in this principle and this family, and in this sense the world?s religions are directly linked to the history of the peoples of Mongolian descent.
As he traveled the world over the past six months, Father Moon delivered the address we will hear tomorrow. In that address, he speaks of the significance of the Mongolian peoples, indicating that they form the basis of a worldwide realm that restores the legacy of Cain, the elder son who killed his younger brother. Through Shem, the sin of Cain was restored, and this is the trademark of the Mongolian peoples.
On behalf of all Mongolian peoples, the MPFWP represents a restored Cain realm on the world level that is to serve and embrace the nations and religions of the world, representing a restored Abel realm on the world level.
In many respects, the unity between the MPFWP and the Universal Peace Federation signifies or establishes the restoration of Cain and Abel on a world level. In a speech he present in 2004 to the delegates of the second World Assembly, Father Moon stated, using biblical images, that the MPFWP and the UPF, together, serve as a ?pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire guiding humanity? to a world of lasting peace and co-prosperity; and a ?special vanguard of heaven, risking their lives for the work of God.? He said, ?I urge you to put on the helmets and armor of true love and to become brave warriors chasing away the forces of evil from this world.? It is fitting, therefore, that we are gathered here today as representatives of both the MPFWP and the UPF, committed to building a world of lasting peace.
Several core values, each an expression of ?living for the sake of others,? are essential in this process: 1. filial piety toward parents, elders, and, ultimately, God; 2. true love and fidelity in marriage and parenthood; 3. loving service to all humanity standing in the position of younger siblings; and 4. respect and care for all things in nature and in the universe.
As we each apply these core values, we will contribute to the realization of a world of lasting peace.
Truly our world is in need of a movement such as this. Poverty, terrorism, corruption, and conflict are rampant. Some speak of an impending clash of civilizations. Meanwhile, governments, religions, and even the United Nations are looking for solutions and feel unable to meet the challenge. Too often the search for peace is pursued at the external level alone, relying on economic, political or even military solutions. But such efforts do not bring lasting solutions.
For lasting solutions, we must address the root causes, which are more internal in nature. Here is where the root values of Mongolian peoples apply, with their emphasis on harmony, balance, filial piety, respect for nature, respect for elders and ancestors, including recognition of the spiritual world, as well as a heavenly fortune or divine providence at work in human history.
Ultimately, lasting peace is rooted in the practice of true love between love partners. True love has its ultimate root in God. However, God alone cannot experience the fullness of true love, and so God created Adam and Eve in order to substantiate true love. Without human beings as His love partner, God cannot experience true love.
With the Fall of Adam and Eve, due to the misuse of love, their marriage and family were outside the realm of God?s direct dominion. Human history, beginning with Cain and Abel, became a history of selfishness, corruption and conflict. God?s providence, on the other hand, has been carried out centering on the history of religion and the establishment of the foundation for a person standing in the restored or perfected Adam position, the messiah and savior. Ultimately God, as the invisible True Parents, has sought to manifest Himself as the visible True Parents. Father and Mother Moon stand in that position before God and humanity. It is the destiny of each of us to manifest the ideal, true love of God, as True Parents have done. This is the hope of all ages, and the hope of all religions and nations.
We live in an age that calls us to seek harmony and unification by going beyond all boundaries that historically brought division and confrontation among the people, nations, races, religions, and ideologies of our world. We are all brothers and sisters who originate from a single truth, one Creator and common ancestor. This is the core vision that the Mongolian Peoples? Federation for World Peace affirms. Any system of thought, culture, religion, nation, group or individual that promotes confrontation and struggle will no longer remain in the mainstream and will not be able to prevail.
Then what will lead the way to harmony, peace and unification? It is the way of true love. This will be achieved by an unwavering commitment and dedicated, unselfish practice from those who correctly understand God and providential history, and who are owners of true love.
How can we be liberated from the fallen nature dominated by selfishness and greed. How can we recover the absolute value of true love that is the foundation of true freedom, equality, peace and unification?
This is absolutely impossible with just the individual efforts of fallen man. It is only possible if we cooperate with God?s will and divine providence. Mankind to this day does not understand exactly why such concepts as savior, messiah, second coming and the return of the founders of world religions have persisted throughout history. It is because only in this way can we restore the absolute value system of true love, and restore mankind as the children of God?s true love, true life, and true lineage. This is the fundamental principle and providential outlook that can change human history.
Before I conclude I want to say a few words about the Universal Peace Federation.
The Universal Peace Federation is guided by two primary principles. The first is the principle of true love; that is, unselfish love, and living for the sake of others. The second is the principle of unification through give and take practices such as dialogue, service, reconciliation, harmony, and cooperation.
All around us, in many respects, we see a worsening global situation, characterized by the growth of interreligious discord, global tension, conflict, terrorism, and poverty.
This is why the Founder launched the Universal Peace Federation on September 12, 2005, and proceeded to embark on a 120 nation speaking tour to spread the vision of the UPF. He took up the world tour at the risk of his very life, saying he could not sit back and watch as the windows of opportunity for peace were closing one after the other. ?Even if it costs me my life,? he said, ?I will not hold back.?
In the message he carried around the world, he defined his movement as an ?Abel UN,? as ?a United Nations whose efforts for peace are offered to Heaven, investing itself ceaselessly in living for the sake of others.?
As we know, Cain and Abel are the sons of Adam and Eve, born after their parents had fallen away from God and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Of the two sons, Abel?s heart toward heaven was not perfect, but was relatively more sincere, humble and sacrificial. Abel was a filial son who sought to serve the will of heaven. However, as the scriptures tell us, Cain, whose interests were more external, materialistic and self-centered, killed his brother, Abel.
Throughout human history Abel-like persons and institutions have been repeatedly dominated and oppressed by Cain-like persons and institutions. This pattern --- Cain killing Abel --- needs to come to an end at this time; not through violence or by force, but through the power of true love. Ultimately, Cain and Abel are to reconcile and unite as brothers and work together in accordance with the principle of living for the sake of others.
What will distinguish the UPF as an ?Abel UN,? is not its focus on the critical issues facing our world, for it shares this focus with both the UN and other international organizations. What distinguishes the UPF is its internal principles, methodology and best practices, and the fact that these are embodied in our leadership, members and Ambassadors for Peace, who truly are living for the sake of others.
As you work together during this Assembly, please keep in mind several key areas of concern:
Please consider how the principle of true love, living for the sake of others, and the principle of unification, can be applied in the work of the MPFWP, and especially in relation to human development and peacebuilding:
Throughout this year, the UPF will be coordinating a series of peacebuilding programs, in partnership with a wide range of organizations. In his Inaugural Address for UPF, Father Moon called for the formation of a ?Peace Kingdom Corps? or a ?Peace Kingdom Police,? having in mind a mechanism both to prevent or bring an end to conflict, and to build stable societies and nations based on God-centered families. He does not call for the use of military force. The age of violence and war must come to an end. It is a legacy of humanity?s primitive, fallen history and must be overcome. Rather, he calls for the formation of a kind of interreligious and international ?peace corps,? made up of activists and volunteers guided by the principles of true love and unification. They will serve in trouble-spots around the world. Already the UPF has developed several peace initiatives, in the Middle East, in Northeast Asia, and in South Asia. The problems of conflict, however, are not unique to those areas. As such, we will be expanding our peace initiatives in the coming year and beyond, and welcome your recommendations and support.
- strengthening marriage and family
- developing character education programs for all grade levels
- promoting reconciliation among peoples who are divided or hostile to one another
- building harmonious, cooperative relationships among religious groups and ethnic and racial groups
- strengthening the relationships between and among all nations, for the sake of peace, prosperity and human development.
In relation to this peace force initiative, we are also developing a peace education institute. We are developing a peace curriculum that embodies our unique vision, principles, and methodology, so that we can educate and train leaders around the world in the way of reconciliation, cooperation, true love and co-prosperity.
Finally, as we engage in our work we must continually pause to reflect on our core values and guiding principles. Our work will be in vain if we simply carry on according to conventional patterns. Each one of us must be renewed and transformed, so that we might see even more clearly through the eyes of love, compassion, respect, and unselfishness.
Thank you for your support for the work of the Universal Peace Federation and the MPFWP. We have a great opportunity, and we have a great responsibility. Let us support one another, living for the sake of others, and providing vision and leadership for a world of lasting peace.
Never forget that there is a great providence that stands behind our work. We are not alone. Truly the living God is with us. Moreover, our ancestors, the saints and sages, spiritual leaders, righteous men and women stand with us and share our vision and our work. Let us be ever mindful of this as we move forward in the next few days.
May God?s blessings and grace be upon you all during this Assembly. Thank you very much.
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