The Way of True Parents: A Review of the just-published Chambumogyeong
By Michael Balcomb: There was great rejoicing today in Cheongpyeong, Korea with the successful publication in Korean, English and Japanese of Chambumogyeong, a new and first-hand account of the life and works of True Parents. Two earlier volumes, Cheonseonggyeong and Pyeonghwagyeong were published in 2013.
During his lifetime, the published sermons of Rev. Sun Myung Moon filled more than 700 thick volumes; most of them not yet translated from the original Korean. If all the books were piled on top of each other, the collection would form a wall over 90 feet high – a daunting task for even the most devoted scholar or disciple who would try to read them all.
Rev. Moon himself pointed to a preferred selection of those readings which Unificationists informally refer to as the “Eight Great Textbooks.” These include many important speeches and teachings of the Rev. Moon, as well as the Divine Principle, the central theological premise of the Unification movement, and the World Scriptures, an anthology of the teachings of other faiths, including Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, and more. Still, that 90-foot tower of sermons remained in the background.
Realizing this, True Mother, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, commissioned a series of three volumes of teachings compiled from these sermons, hoping to capture the essence of her husband’s unique understanding of the heart of God and adding a few significant insights of her own. She directed that the work be completed during the traditional three-year period of mourning for Rev. Moon, who passed on September 3rd, 2012.
The latest addition the Chambumogyeong is my clear favorite among the three volumes. Permit me to share a glimpse inside the covers:
When he was a young man of just 16, Sun Myung Moon had a powerful spiritual encounter with Jesus. He learned the astonishing and sorrowful truth that God, our Heavenly Parent, is not sitting on the throne of glory in heaven but is instead suffering in silent agony because of the miserable state of His children. Humanity may be one family under God, but as yet we are sadly dysfunctional family. God is determined to save us.
This discovery transformed Sun Myung Moon’s life and from that day forward he began the long quest to try to comfort God and if possible to even liberate him from his suffering by freeing all people from the consequences of sin and separation.
After many trials including multiple imprisonments, torture, the division of his country during the Cold War, the breakdown of his family and the death of his closest friends and relatives, Rev. Moon found his life partner, True Mother. They married in 1960 and from that day on they worked side-by-side for over 50 years as the True Parents, called by God to teach all humanity the heart of our heavenly parent.
The early chapters of this book give us a rare insight into an almost-vanished Korean culture and history. At the beginning of the 20th century the former hermit kingdom, then a suffering colony of Japan, was in turmoil. Fervent Christian revivals were sweeping the nation, but Christianity and the older Korean traditions of Buddhism, Confucianism and shamanism were all brutally repressed. Searching for freedom, the Korean people also looked to the legends and heroes of their long history, hoping for an emancipator, a patriot, the true man, and even, for some, a Messiah.
The text takes us through the early years including the birth of True Father, and later True Mother, and recounts the stories of their separate lives before God brought them together in holy marriage. Later chapters describe in some detail the many projects and initiatives that True Father and True Mother together created, first in Korea and later, from 1971, in United States where they were to spend 40 long years in service to the world. Not all of these projects survive until today, but their main ministry, the Marriage Blessing of men and women to create true, Godly families continues as strong as ever.
In many places, the book reads as a love letter from True Parents to God. It candidly expresses their trials and tribulations as well as celebrating their victories, and does it in an engaging and human way that encourages the reader to strive to do the same. There are such poignant passages as True Father describing himself as a true lighthouse keeper trying to gain the attention of a humanity deceived by the false glare of the devil’s lies into thinking it is already daytime. The reader meets True Mother when she was an innocent teenage girl, remarkably filled with confidence and inspiration from God that she could indeed be the true companion of the Messiah.
As today’s celebrations concluded songs and dances of celebration, True Mother shared the hope and conviction that the essence of True Parents’ teaching has been safely preserved for future generations. She wished all readers many blessings as they read and study these words, and I firmly believe that we will find in them inspiration to further study and above all practice the Divine Principle and the many other teachings of True Parents.