FFWPU Europe: President An’s Sermon
Gießen, Germany, 8. February 2015
Good morning. It’s so nice to see you. I also want to congratulate those from the 1800 couples blessing.
Basically, I think that we’re all living in a very difficult time. The world has become so confused, not only the outside world, but even in our movement there is so much confusion and so many difficulties. The main reason why we have this confusion is because we don’t know what is right. Even if we could know what is right based on the Principle, we still need to ask: ‘what is the priority?’ Everyone wants peace, but when we come to the point of how to make peace, many are saying, “I am right and you are wrong”. But, on the other hand, if we see that both sides are right in some ways, and judge without any absolute or vertical perspective, things can become even more confused.
So how can we solve these problem? I think one of the person who struggled most to solve this problem was Immanuel Kant an 18th Century German philosopher. Dissatisfied with the popular moral philosophy of the day, he proposed evaluating the motivation for any action or ethical behavior by considering that there are 2 categories of moral imperatives or “command of reason” placed on us as human beings. The first is the hypothetical imperative and the other one is the categorical imperative. The hypothetical imperative means that there are “if’s”, there are conditions that might influence a different evaluation and action in different circumstances and also we will be influenced by our desired outcome.
There is a famous story in Korea about a very important person at the founding of the Joseon dynasty (조선) whose name was Hwang Hui (황희), he was prime minister under King Sejong. He had two servants who were always coming to him, each to accuse the other. Hwang Hui would tell each of them separately that they were right and that the other one was wrong! And his wife, who overheard all this, asked him, “how can you say both are right!?” And he answered to her, “Oh, you are right!” He answered this way because he recognized that from the information they had and their motives, the situation appeared different. This is the hypothetical imperative.
What is the categorical imperative? There is no “if”; there is no condition required. It is to align or to act by an absolute or categorical “maxim” or verticality- that can be applied in all circumstances, as a universal law. There is no external ulterior motive. So, if we understand the categorical imperative, we shouldn’t be confused, right?
So, let’s read again these very fundamental words of True Father. These are the most fundamental words, which imply a categorical imperative.
“What is the root of the universe? The beginning is love, the result is father and son. God created the universe in order to have a relationship of love between parents and children. The root of the universe is therefore the parent child relationship. Since you are connected to the root of the universe, you need to become a parent and also a son or daughter”.
What is the categorical imperative? It’s the parent child relationship. If you want to say it in one word, it is “parents”. Let’s think about this in terms of 3 stages. The beginning is when God created all things before Adam and Eve were born. The next step is after Adam and Eve were born. Then, the third stage is the process of Adam and Eve becoming Parents.
Since we know that God created all beings and human beings in his symbol and image, God’s character is in the universe and human beings. Since Father says that God is a parent, then the parental heart must be found in nature and in human beings.
Let us think about God at the time before Adam and Eve were born.
First, let’s think about the animals. We know that Father was so interested in nature. He talked about many things, such as birds, salmon and penguins: all of the animals. I want to take an example from chickens. Did you ever raise chickens? We had chickens throughout my childhood, so I know exactly what they do. When the hen lays eggs, it has to brood or incubate them for 21 days. However, one day for a hen is like one month for a human being, because human beings have one egg in a month, whereas hens have eggs every day. People live a long time compared to chickens, right? So, 21 days for humans is like 21 month for hens.
You have to know that for these 21 days the hen does not sleep. She has to keep rolling and replacing the eggs to keep them at the same temperature. So, she does not sleep for 21 days. She does not eat for 21 days. The hen has a kind of crown on its head, which at the beginning is red, but after 21 days it becomes almost black because she didn’t eat. Not only that, but also she does not urinate or produce droppings during these 21 days. But if you separate the hen from the eggs, she will produce droppings right away, which shows that the hen is just tolerating the situation. It is something absolute. When they are to be a mother, hens become absolutely sacrificial, incredibly sacrificial.
Let’s talk about human beings. It takes 10 months for the woman while she gets bigger and bigger and it is difficult to walk, right? And very hard to sleep! My wife was vomiting all the time. Whatever she ate she would right away vomit. The mother also has to prepare many things when expecting a baby. That’s the situation of human beings.
What about God? Think about it. Children, indeed, we ourselves, need air, sun and water. Who prepared all these things? God prepared them, but we think: Oh God prepared all these things, as it says in the Bible: “let there be light and there was light”. Do you think God created it just like that? No. You have to know that all these things were created by God with absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience. Father said that it required more than 100% investment. It was not ‘just like that’. It required an incredible sacrifice. We need to know about this absolute sacrifice of God to become a parent.
Now let’s think about God after Adam and Eve were born.
Let’s talk about after chicks are born. When they are born, the hen does many things to enable the chicks to eat, but she herself does not eat. Do you know why she doesn’t eat so much? On the one hand, it is so she can feed her chicks, right, but also so that she does not have eggs. If she has eggs, she will have to brood or incubate them for 21 days, but then who would take care of the chicks? It’s amazing, right? Remember it is right after she already did a 21 day fast. Where does this absoluteness come from?
Also, if you go near hens, normally they will run away, but when they have chicks, if you go near them, they will attack you fearlessly at the risk of their life. Why do they suddenly change, so that they are ready to sacrifice their life? It is only when they become parents. Where does this come from? It comes from God; God’s nature is there. However, when they reach the 50 day point, the hen, who was so embracing toward the chicks until then, suddenly becomes so aggressive, pecking at and attacking them. This lasts for about 2 days and then she doesn’t care anymore.
What about human beings? When chicks are born, they can walk and eat. What about you? When you were born could you walk and eat? No, you just cry! Children are the offspring that are absolutely dependent on their parents: for at least 3 years, right? That’s why [in the Confucian tradition], when the parents die, you have to take care of them as if they were living. So we give them food every morning and serve dinner in the evening. That’s why we have a 3 year mourning period. We also do a Seonghwa ceremony for Father until this year, right? For 3 years.
In America, the age of maturity is 17 years old. So after 17 years, you could say, “it’s finished, so get out of here! I don’t worry about you anymore”. Are we like that or not? You can never do that. That’s the difference between animals and human beings. Is that correct? [Yes.] A ninety year old mother will tell her seventy year old son, “Watch out when you cross the road”. That’s the parental heart. If you understand the sacrifice of parents, it’s an incredible sacrifice. Even people, who do all kinds of bad things, when they have their own children, they behave completely differently towards their own children. Is that correct? When they have the position of parents, they become totally different. We never keep an account of the things we do for our children. That’s really true love. But we have a limitation; what is that? We love our own children, but not other children in that same way. Do we have a parental heart toward other’s children? No, not enough. That’s the problem, right? We don’t have an understanding of the truth and therefore we don’t have a parental heart toward all humankind. That’s why we cannot say that we are true parents.
However, even fallen parents have an incredible mind or heart to sacrifice. Can you think of any animal that takes care of their parents when they are old? Their parents sacrificed so much for them, right? Is there any animal taking care of their parents? Do you think they would give some food to their parents? Did you find any? What about human beings? Human beings have to do that, because they are supposed to be different from animals, because they can think. That is the way of human beings. The ‘Way’, which is ‘Tao’ in Chinese. Did we learn about this ‘Tao’? My brothers learned so much about this, but I didn’t learn that, because I went to a school with an all- western curriculum. I know Shakespeare and Immanuel Kant, but I don’t know Confucianism. People came to my house to study Confucianism and I went out to school to study the Western curriculum. Korea has been studying so much about the Western world and it caught up now, right? And now we need to switch, we can all learn very much from the Orient.
However, we were talking about the ‘Way’, you have to know what is the right way [to treat] those who sacrificed so much for you. That is “Hyo (효)”. We refer to this [in English] as filial piety, but it is not quite the same thing. [In the dictionary,] a chair in Korean is “Uija (의자)”. But [even though it says so in the dictionary,] “Hyo (효)” is not ‘filial piety’. It’s totally different, but in English we do not have even one word for that. Hyo starts from understanding the sacrifice of our parents. Otherwise, it would be a law or mandate. ‘If you do not act like this, you are going to hell!’ But it is not like that. If you don’t take care of your parents, you are not a human being, but rather an animal; because taking care of parents is the way of human beings. Once someone asked Confucius about hyo that is about how to attend parents. He answered unexpectedly: “Parents are always worrying about children”.
Now let’s think about what God wanted to Adam and Eve to be.
This is the fundamental concept: the parent child relationship. Think about when God had Adam and Eve, do you think God and His children, Adam and Eve, could become one or not? They cannot. Why? Because there is no common base. If you want to become one, you have to have a common base and, centred on that common base, you have to have give and take action. God is the parent and Adam and Eve are the children: they are not parents yet. Where is the common base? Therefore, God cannot explain to them how much he sacrificed; He cannot share His heart.
Father said that the beginning is love, before the creation, but there are many kinds of love. Which kind of love did God have at that time? Conjugal love, children’s love or brother and sister love? No, it was parent’s love, right? Even before the creation of Adam and Eve, the love was parental love. And when Adam and Eve were born, God became the substantial parent. He had an object and became a parent, but He could not share His heart, so He just said “don’t eat”, and He couldn’t share His heart and explain.
In America, I’m sorry to refer to America, but I lived there for a long time, they have a prom party when they graduate from high school. All classmates gather, they are now over 17 years old. Many students bring alcohol and take drugs. It’s a time to celebrate having finished high school together with friends and our second generation want to go. Maybe also, because if they don’t, they may become an outsider. Parents say, “Please, please don’t go”. And the child replies, “don’t worry, I know what I’m doing. I’m independent, I’m over 17 years old.” What can you do? If they do go, the parents can’t sleep all night. Some second generation have encountered problems at that time.
They start by giving a glass of wine and it’s very difficult to refuse. Then, “oh, you drank alcohol before, so why not now?” We have similar things in Korea after our young adults go to college. So when the child is trying to go, what can the parents say? “You cannot understand until you have your own children”, that’s what we say, right? That’s what we ourselves heard from our parents, because we didn’t understand their desperate heart. Do you think Adam and Eve knew the desperate heart of God? No, God could not tell them, because they could not understand the heart of God. That’s the growing period. They have to have absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience towards God, who sacrificed with absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience.
But when Adam and Eve become parents, they can come to know God’s heart. That’s why Father said that we need to become a parent. When they become parents, they come to know the heart of God, how much sacrifice God has made. That’s when they can become parents, have the same parental heart and there is give and take action, so that Adam and Eve can become absolutely united with God centred on love, understanding the heart. That’s the time at which Adam and Eve become God, absolutely. That’s why Adam and Eve are supposed to become parents. Unfortunately, even though God told them not to eat, they ate, so they could not become true parents. That’s why Jesus came to be a true parent. Jesus came as the Messiah. The Messiah is a step on the way to becoming the True Parent. To become a parent, Jesus had to marry, but did he?
When I gave a sermon to brothers and sisters at Christmas time in the Netherlands, I spoke about why Jesus could not marry. So, True Father came here on the earth, as the second coming, as the Messiah, to be what? To be True Parents. And he had to follow such an indemnity course to become True Parents. And True Mother was the object partner of True Father and went all the way to the point where True Mother and True Father absolutely became one. As you know, there are different stages in the providence. There was a point when we clearly saw that True Father bowed down in front of God and then remained seated while True Mother bowed in front of True Father and they both remained seated while True Children bowed down and we bowed down to True Parents. And at a certain point, True Parents bowed to God and then sat together, after which True Mother did not bow down to True Father anymore. Then, later on, they didn’t bow down to God anymore because they became one with God; God is within them, in the unity of True Father and True Mother. That’s why they didn’t bow down anymore. You can clearly see that they accomplished the task of becoming True Parents and became one with God.
You need to know why True Father is the Messiah; what is the essence of True Father. Why is he the Messiah? Of course, we can give many answers, but True Father is the Messiah because he had a parental heart toward the whole of humanity, just like God. He inherited the heart of God. That’s why he is the Messiah. What’s the difference between normal people and a saint? We see so many people suffering, people become sick, old and die and we just see that, but when Buddha saw that he was so desperate that he said goodbye to his family and rushed off to the real world, in order to find the solution. Why? Because from his birth he had a parental heart. That’s the fundamental difference. True Father had that Heavenly Parent’s heart from the beginning.
When we see a handicapped person begging on a cold winter’s day, you feel sympathetic, give some money, and pass by. But if you were the father or mother of that person, what would you do? Could you just give some money and pass by? Parents would suffer more than their children. True Parents are suffering more than anyone else to see the suffering of the people of the world, their children.
Because of all the spiritual foundation of the past, True Father was born as the begotten son and True Mother was born as the begotten daughter. Do you think the DNA just determines the colour of the hair? DNA is not just the physical DNA, but you also have character or psychological DNA. What about the spiritual DNA? Don’t you think you have spiritual DNA? Jesus had 100% the DNA of God: no satanic DNA. True Father was like that and we understand that True Mother was prepared for her role also. True Mother went all the way to become one with True Father and have parental heart to all humanity. That’s what we need to know.
In this fallen world, what do we have to do now? True Parents blessed us, right? When we were not perfected, when we were children at the top of the growth stage, we were blessed. That’s why we have to go over to reach the completion stage with absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience to True Parents, right? In this stage, we are still children. Even though we have our own children, we are not parents yet: we are not one with God. We received a conditional blessing, so Father said, “don’t eat”. We have to go the children’s course. And our second generation, they are born without original sin, but they also have to go all the way [through the children’s course]. As you know, Adam and Eve had no original sin and there was no sinful environment, but they fell nevertheless. There was no school, no pornography, no internet, or anything else, but they still fell. Everyone has their own portion of responsibility. We have to accomplish our portion of responsibility.
Then, how can we, the second generation and ourselves, solve these problems? We have to change the world. Without changing the environment, it’s very difficult. That’s the essential conclusion: how can we do that? We have to become children of True Parents and we have to become brothers and sisters. How can we become brothers and sisters? I have my children and I have my brother. Peter [Staudinger] was not my brother. But now he is my brother. Why? Because we share the same parents. How can we become brothers and sisters without sharing parents? How can all the people of the world become brothers and sisters? We are limited: we have only one set of parents, so how can we do that? The way to share parents is to have common parents: is that correct? Not physically, but in another dimension.
If there are two brothers, 5 and 15 years old, who are left without parents, what is the relationship between them? Is it vertical, horizontal, front and back, left and right? [Someone answered, “horizontal”.] No, because if it’s a horizontal relationship, the older brothers cannot discipline or protect the younger brother, when he wants to be free to do whatever he wants. The elder brother has to discipline, guide, protect and feed the younger brother. The younger brother has to follow and respect the elder brother. Otherwise, the younger brother will die. The vertical relationship comes first.
But when the parents come back, each of the brothers has a vertical relationship with the parents. Then, what is the relationship between two brothers? Now, it becomes a horizontal relationship, right? The elder brother cannot discipline or scold the younger brother in front of their father and mother. They have two dimensional relations, vertical and horizontal.
Let’s think about the three dimensional structure.
If we have someone else (other than our physical parents) that we also call ‘parent’ and to whom we have a vertical relationship, then that constitutes three dimensions. Since we have True Parents who are parents to all of us including brothers and parents and grandparents…, the relationship to brothers and physical parents becomes like length and width, horizontal relationships. Then there is a third dimension – that is True Parents. If we don’t have True Parents, how can we all become brothers and sisters substantially?
Christians say, “Oh, we are brothers and sisters”. But if they are substantial brothers and sisters, how could they sell their brothers as slaves? (a reference to the slave trade) Could they do that if they felt like brothers and sisters? Absolutely not! Only when we have True Parents can all people of the world become brothers and sisters.
Now. What is the categorical imperative? True Parents, right?
We should never forget how much True Parents have sacrificed for us. That is why we have to do hyo (효) the way of the children. That means: to do what True Parents want us to do and to not do what True Parents do not want us to do. We should not do the things which make True Parents worry and suffer. That is the categorical imperative. Then we don’t have any confusion.
What is the fall of man? The Archangel did not see Adam and Eve with the heart of God. So, we have to be one with the parents. That’s the central point. Now, True Parents came, but the problem is that people don’t know that we have True Parents, so we have to bring the people to become children of True Parents. That’s Tribal Messiahship. That’s the way to restore the world.
When we restore the world, it means that all the people become brothers and sisters under God and True Parents and then there is no fallen environment anymore. That’s the substantial Cheon Il Guk – One world under God and True Parents.
Thank you so much. Kam-sa ham-ni-da (감사합니다).