Opening Plenary, Keynote Address
Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Chairman IIFWP and IIPC|
Hotel Lotte World
August 19, 2004
Distinguished world leaders; Current and former heads of state; Eminent religious leaders; Delegates from around the world; Ladies and Gentlemen:
Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Chairman IIFWP and IIPC
I am honored to have the opportunity to deliver the keynote address for this IIFWP Convocation on ?Ambassadors for Peace in the 21st Century: Establishing a World Culture of Heart and Providing Leadership for a World in Need.?
Thank you for being here for this most historic and significant gathering.
Just a few weeks ago, here in Korea, IIFWP convened the 10th World Culture and Sports Festival. In the context of WCSF 2004, 2000 athletes and coaches, representing 11 different religious traditions, gathered for the second Interreligious Peace Sports Festival. In addition, nearly 300 delegates from more than 120 nations came together for IIFWP?s Assembly 2004.
In the IIFWP Assembly we considered the theme of ?Establishing a World Culture of Heart: Innovative Approaches to Peace in a Changing World.? As we discussed issues as far ranging as peace in the Middle East, Unification of North and South Korea, the HIVAIDS pandemic, and United Nations renewal, we came to recognize that true and lasting solutions can only be built on a foundation of heart, that is, the bonds of love, trust, respect and warm-heartedness that are necessary for good relations in any social setting.
Please understand, however, that the understanding that emerged went beyond the level of platitude or clich?; for we came to a deep awareness of the essential and radical truthfulness of this thesis. A revolution of heart is necessary for peace. It is not all that is necessary, but it is essential. History, and all people who suffer, needs us to understand this point.
Our world is in a crisis. We can say there is a proliferation of crises worldwide. The word crisis, however, is at times overused, and overuse can cover up the deep and painful experience of billions of people who suffer from disease, poverty, injustice, oppression, abuse, mental illness and moral confusion. Our world is in crisis; what this really means, to put it plainly and simply, is that people are suffering.
Of course, great and noble efforts are continually being made to resolve our critical global problems. Yet the problems persist. Political, economic, military, and social scientific efforts alone are not sufficient to get to the ?heart? of the matter. At the root of our human problems are problems within the human heart itself. That is, problems have their root in an inner world of spirit and mind, and they then take on myriad manifestations in the external world we observe and experience. Therefore, if we are serious about peace, it is imperative that we find a way to establish a world culture of heart. We need to get to the ?heart of the matter.?
It was precisely this kind of urgent heart that led to the sudden convening of this Convocation.
In the Korean language we have a word, shimjung, which we translate into English as ?heart.? The term ?heart? in English--and here I am not talking about the organ which pumps blood throughout the body--can be defined as a psychological and spiritual emotion that is related to love and warm feeling for someone or something. The word shimjung in Korean, however, refers to something even deeper within the human being, that can be defined as the root and foundation of love and our deepest emotions. This root, if it is not correctly developed, can give rise to anger or even hate. It is the most fundamental characteristic of the human being, even deeper than the mind, reason, and biological instincts or desires. Thus, the development of shimjung is very important.
Generally speaking we tend to think of love as a private emotion relevant mostly in spheres of close personal relations, and not applicable to wider public spheres or social relations. We know, for example, that love or heart is essential in a good marriage, and that when love or heart breaks down between husband and wife, the marriage suffers, leading often to conflict, tension, distrust, and even abuse and infidelity.
While heart is undoubtedly a key component of personal relations, such as in a marriage or in a friendship, it is also an essential component of all human relationships, even those that are distant. That is, while factors of law, custom, and contract are essential in pluralistic contexts that bring persons and strangers of diverse backgrounds together, there is still a heart factor that is essential.
How do we create a ?heart? for others that goes beyond close personal, face-to-face relations, and functions beyond the context of close relationships, beyond the home, the tribe, the community of the like-minded? How do we create this heart of universal empathy and fellow-feeling? Of course, religious leaders have taught us to cultivate precisely such a heart, so that we love not only our neighbor, but the stranger, and even--at the most radical level--our enemy. In fact, most religious leaders indicate that this kind of heart is more essential than affirmation of a set of specific doctrines or performance of rituals.
The roots of global conflict lie within human beings, and not merely in anonymous systems or structures of power. Human problems arise because individual hearts have been broken and are deformed. Injustice and suffering violate not only the mind and the body, but the heart, that core of the human being which is the basis for our most fundamental attitudes toward others and the world around us.
On a global level we are aware of the problems of ozone depletion, of nuclear proliferation, of economic poverty. We are, however, inadequately aware of the factor which is most decisive in determining the quality of human relationships. There is so much waste, so much loss, so much inefficiency, so much suffering linked to the breakdown of trust and heart among people. When we look at the economics of war and conflict, or even the economics of divorce, we see unbelievable levels of waste and inefficiency, not to mention suffering.
I must say that theologians and people of spiritual insight have had a deeper and richer understanding of this reality than many political and social scientists. Hence, the universal appeal and interest in understanding the ?Fall of Man.? Somehow, human beings are aware that we have not been able to live up to our ideals. In essence, our mind?s ideals are in conflict with our body?s desires. Why is this the case?
What aspect of human experience is the most profound and fundamental in shaping human attitudes and outlook? Is it power? Is it knowledge? Is it wealth? Don?t we all know of people who, despite incredible power, wealth or knowledge, are fundamentally unhappy? The reason for this is that love is clearly the most highly desired and prized human experience. Our entire being is oriented toward love, and we remain unsatisfied so long as love is unfulfilled.
This is the key to understanding the Fall of Man. For, the Fall of the first human ancestors is precisely linked to the disordering of love, making efforts to fulfill the need for love frustrating, painful, even futile. Adam and Eve fell not only because of freedom, but because they failed to fulfill their responsibility by obeying God?s Will. Through the Fall of Adam and Eve, we lost our connection to God.
God is the source and origin of true love. Thus, in effect, we lost love. Only in relation to God and God?s principle can we establish the true order of love, and in that way perfect and be fulfilled in our experience of love.
All human beings desire liberation and freedom. We do not want to be constrained or oppressed. One significant aspect of freedom is the freedom from political oppression. The modern movement of democracy, culminating in 18th century revolutions, was aimed at ending the history of tyranny and oppression whereby the many were often ruled by the selfish few.
Humanity has also sought freedom from want, that is, liberation from poverty and economic injustice. Both the advocates of free market systems and socialist systems ground their advocacy in the claim that these systems yield a higher degree of freedom from want and injustice. Also, humanity has sought freedom and liberation through law, and legal systems.
However, we are aware that even in societies where the population enjoys high economic prosperity, political freedoms, and rule or law, there can be very high rates of divorce, drug abuse, suicide and crime, indicating that even with certain basic conditions of liberation and freedom, there is a deeper hunger that we long to satisfy. That is the longing for love, and the longing of the heart.
How do we achieve complete freedom, true release and liberation?
The wisdom and genius of Rev. Moon is his understanding of not only God, but human beings. In reality, to deeply understand one is to also have a profound understanding of the other. The object of any creator reflects the character of the creator. This is true of all men and women who have been lovingly created by God.
God?s most essential characteristic is not power, knowledge, or glory. It is love, true love, a love that exists for the sake of others. There is no individualism in God. God is fundamentally relational. God does not seek or create distance, but he creates for the sake of unity. True love seeks not distance but union. True love, moreover, seeks not simply a physical union, but, more importantly a union on the level of heart.
In many respects women understand this point better than men. Women, in general, have a deeper understanding of the emotional and heartistic aspect of human relationships. That is, relationships are not merely functional or external, but internal. At their core, they have to do with the heart.
This is true especially within the family. The highest quality of a marriage is found in the level of heart and the bond of love between the husband and wife. Even when a marriage yields great productivity, wealth, fame, knowledge and accomplishment, but it lacks love, then that marriage is not joyful or fulfilling.
How do we create a culture of heart in a family, in a nation, and in the world?
There are two very core principles that we should understand, rooted in God?s principles of creation. The first is the principle of give and take action, and the second is the principle of origin, division, union.
The principle of give and take action, simply put, indicates that God created the world as a vast network of relationships. Every individual entity is distinct, but does not exist outside of a network of relationships. Furthermore, even each distinct, individual entity is itself a set of relationships that make existence and multiplication possible. Each entity has both an internal and external characteristics.
In the natural world, these relationships function effectively and beautifully according to the natural laws which science explains. In the human world, relationships function effectively and beautifully when human beings follow the principle of give and take action centered on unselfish love.
The second core principle is known as origin-division-union or, in Korean, chung-boon-hap. This principle reveals the essential structure and means of moving from division to union. All human productivity, creativity, and the generation of value overall derives from a process whereby divided entities are brought into cooperative and creative unification.
This is the basic philosophy behind all of Rev. Moon?s work, even our Convocation.
Another way of speaking about this principle is through the expression Cheon Il Guk, which according to Chinese characters means, ?two become one.? The principle of ?two become one,? is the core principle of the cosmos. God always seeks that two become one, namely, that which is divided or separated move toward joyful and productive union.
This principle applies to the relationship of man and women, in marriage, as well as to the relationship between parents and children. However, it is applicable to all dimensions of human society: between employees and an employer, between a leader and followers, between a government and the people, between one religion and another, between one race and another, etc.
The history of humanity has been one wherein the achievement of ?two becoming one? is painfully difficult and challenging. We often lack the power to bring that which is divided into oneness.
This is why there is so much conflict, tension and disunity in all relationships, between spouses, between parents and children, between peoples of nations, religions, races and cultures. Two distinct entities fail to become one when neither have embodied and applied the practice of true love, living for the sake of others. When relationships lack love and heart, they become tense and dialectical in nature. Struggle ensues, competition prevails, individualism rises up, and these override human compassion and a heart of giving and a longing for the well being and success of the other.
True love, or the heart of true love, or shimjung, is the foundation for two becoming one, (Cheon Il Guk). Cheon Il Guk, in turn, is the principle of God?s ideal nation and world.
The reason humanity still hopes, sometimes against all hope, for peace, is that we are created by God, and God himself still strives for the full and ultimate release and total freedom of all humanity.
The first step in this process is when God and humanity become one. When God?s love is embodied in a human couple, the release of true love into human history occurs, and spreads. This is Rev. and Mrs. Moon?s mission and their accomplishment. This is the meaning of True Parents.
Ladies and gentlemen, whether you can believe me or not, I want to say that we have come here for this Convocation in alignment with the will and providence of God. We are on the threshold of a completely new era in human history. At this time, we are going to witness, rather participate, in a radical revolution. You are familiar with many revolutions in human history. You know of the American Revolution, or the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, the industrial revolution, even the digital revolution. However, the revolution that is now underway is a revolution of true love. It will be more radical and more totally transforming than any previous revolution. Please fasten your seatbelts and get ready for the ride of your life.
In this revolution of true love, the heart or shimjung of each human being will be transformed, healed and renewed. This is the meaning of total and complete liberation. It is truly the most radical of liberation movements, for it truly reaches the roots in the human heart. It will turn selfishness and greed into unselfishness and generosity; narrowness to broadmindedness; racism to the embrace of all colors and kinds of people; and it will create an awakening that breaks down all barriers.
This may sound utopian. However, this is no utopian ideal. This is real. You are going to witness this revolution and transformation in your own lifetime. The time is at hand.
Tomorrow we will participate in a very significant ceremony which we describe as ?The Revolution of True Heart, for True Liberation and Complete Freedom.? Tomorrow will mark a day of declaration for the full and complete liberation and release of all humanity from a dark, selfish era of injustice, abuse, and sinfulness, and the dawning of a new era of eternal peace. This marks the turning of a great tide in history, which few may notice at first, but none will be able to turn back.
The roots and foundations of spiritual, social and historical transformation are not easily seen. Historians seek to identify causes of the great movements of history long after they have occurred.
The life and achievement of Rev. Sun Myung Moon is unfathomable in its depth. Scholars will study his life and teaching for thousands of years in the future. As human beings are restored, we will more and more come to appreciate and understand his position and his mission.
But, rest assured, he is leading this revolution. Even if we only vaguely and intuitively comprehend, please do not let go of that intuition, for it is 100% accurate. Who could have predicted the significance of Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, or Buddha during their lifetimes. Often they were ignored, rejected, mocked and scorned by the elite, the self-assured and the enlightened ones of their time. However, their detractors were terribly, terribly wrong.
Tomorrow we will participate in a special ceremony that has two critical dimensions. The first is the Blessing for Registration in Cheon Il Guk, or as we say, the World Peace Blessing. The significance of the Blessing is that it is the core instrument for healing the wounded heart of humanity.
The disordering of love and the disordering of the human heart began with the Fall of Adam and Eve. This disordering gave rise to all of the human evils. We see this in the effect that Adam and Eve had on their own children, Cain and Abel; one killed the other. When we look to the roots of injustice, resentment and the desire for revenge, poverty, gross inequalities, disregard for the environment, callousness toward others, violations of human rights, infidelity, dishonesty, and misuse of public property, we end up back at the human heart, disordered by the Fall.
Through the Blessing we restore the Fall, and begin the process of restoring the human heart, beginning with a restoration of the most primary human relationship, between man and women, and on that foundation, the relationship between parents and children. Through the Blessing the ?four great realms of heart? of a child, a sibling, a spouse and a parent, may emerge and flourish, and the revolution of heart takes place.
This revolution of heart gives rise, in turn, to a revolution of conscience. For the disordering of love and the ravishing of the human heart, gives rise to a disregard even for the conscience. The conscience is like the voice of God within us. The conscience is our teacher, our compass. However, in a state of alienation and resentment, we disregard the conscience, and we try to escape the conscience. In so doing we harm ourselves, even when we achieve short term gains by taking a moral short cut, or harvesting the fruit that a selfish act may seem to yield.
All the tangle of injustices, hurts, wrongs, violations, abuses, atrocities, and aggression must be restored at this time? and within a short period of time?at the most 8 years. This restoration is not only a matter of exacting justice, compensation, punishment, etc., but requires most essentially the healing of the heart. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of evil.
Permit me an example. In the current tension in the Middle East, the path to peace is very complex. However, one thing is for sure, the solution does not come merely through a threat of violence or overwhelming military superiority. If significant efforts and results are not made to heal and transform hearts, there is little or no chance of success. On the other hand, when a revolution of heart occurs, peace will follow.
This same principle applies in the case of the Korean peninsula.
The true leadership of the IIFPW and the Ambassadors for Peace is shown in the leadership of the heart, by working to establish a world culture of heart; i.e., living for the sake of others, or finding the power to love the unlovable, even the enemy.
This Convocation is a revolutionary gathering. I am sorry to call you revolutionaries. Maybe you don?t want to be a revolutionary. However, whatever the course of events that led to your being here, you are being called at this time to turn the wheel of history 180 degrees. We must lead the way in reversing the wrongs of the past. We must become radicals of true love, radicals of giving, serving, forgiving?and living for the sake of others.
In some ways, the sacrifice of the heart, and decision to turn from our objects of affection and attachment, is painful. But the world, in order to reverse its course requires a group of revolutionary volunteers who rise above race, religion, nationality, culture and act for the sake of peace.
True Father is just such a revolutionary. First and foremost, he is a revolutionary of the heart. He has paid an incredible price, but God has been his constant companion and co-revolutionary. Tomorrow, Rev. and Mrs. Moon will be recognized for their lifelong work for peace. Tomorrow we will acknowledge them with the title not only of True Parents, but King and Queen of True Love and Peace. We have had kings and queens throughout history, and indeed there are royal families in many nations. Rev. and Mrs. Moon, however, are sovereign of a kingdom of true love and lasting peace. Their kingdom of peace may appear to be small, but in fact we are only at the beginning. A true and lasting peace kingdom is coming. I hope that tomorrow you will join me in acknowledging Rev. and Mrs. Moon.
Thank you for being here today. We are changing the world. Believe me. IIFWP is not special because it has an efficient, hard-working staff or a good strategy or structure. IIFWP will only be special as we ourselves create a global community of heart, and as we stand with Rev. Moon in a revolution of the heart, determined to become leaders willing to risk our lives by giving all that we have, our entire hearts and all our effort for peace. We are on the move, and the momentum is building. If true love, unselfish service and living for the sake of others define our character, nothing can stop us. No resistance and no detractor will succeed in obstructing the path. Peace is our human destiny and our birthright. The entire world is waiting for just such a moment. Let us not fail our mission. Let us begin.
Thank you and God bless you.
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