Religion and the Ideal World
The Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace
The Third IRFWP Congress “Realizing the Ideal Religion and the Ideal World, The Responsibility of the World’s Religions”
Rev. Sun Myung Moon
August 21, 1995
Hilton Hotel, Seoul, Korea
The theme of this third International Congress of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace (IRFWP) is “Realizing the Ideal: The Responsibility of the World’s Religions.” This topic, “the ideal world,” is at the very heart of each of the world’s religious traditions. Although each religion recognizes the reality of evil, all religions teach of an alternative to the world of evil and ignorance. This alternative world is the ideal world.
The pursuit of the ideal is not unique to religion, for all human beings, religious or not, aspire to the ideal. However, determined efforts and good intentions which are out of step with Heaven’s way will bear no fruit and will cause more harm than good. Therefore, to achieve the ideal we to clearly understand about God, and we have to know about God’s ideal of creation and God’s will.
This century, in the disaster spawned by atheistic communism, all of us have clearly observed the tragic results of the pursuit of false ideals. Communism was a vain social movement that denies God and tried to create an ideal human society without God. Democratic society is superior to communism, but it will also continue to degenerate and ultimately destroy itself, if it ignores the providence of God. The way of goodness and the way of God are one. Human goodness and ideals can neither be achieved nor sustained without a direct connection to the Divine Reality. For this reason, we can say that anyone who seeks the ideal should understand God’s will and the importance of religion.
Since my childhood I have tried desperately to discover answers to the fundamental questions of life and the universe. I was certain that God would never create a world in which the ideal could not be realized, and where evil, suffering and disharmony would always prevail. I could not understand why the world I experienced was so full of evil. I do not have time to speak in detail about the experiences of my youth.
Suffice it to say that my youth was filled with a longing for the truth. The teaching–known as the Principle–that I have revealed was not easily acquired. Needless to say, the essence of the Principle was received through deep, fervent and prayerful communion with God and the holy spirits of the spiritual world. It is a victory that was gained through a desperate fight with Satan.
I am devoting every moment of my life to the teaching and practice of this Principle. The Principle has been disseminated throughout the world and is transforming people’s lives by bringing them into a new relationship with the living God.
As human beings created by God, we were born with the hope of attaining the ideal world. When we say “ideal world,” we should know that the concept of the ideal originates from God. God did not create the world of power, glory or wealth. God has no desire for these. However, it would not be right to say that God has no desires at all. God exists as the embodiment of true love. The motivation for God’s
creation is true love, and God’s desired object is a true person. Even God has to have a relationship in order to experience love. True love can be experienced only through a relationship between “a subject and an object.” No isolated being can experience love. Only beings capable of freely giving and receiving are able to engage in loving relationships. God created human beings to become the perfect object of His love, as beings who would freely give and receive love in relationship with God. Human beings are God’s sons and daughters, created with a natural inclination toward true love. God is the True Parent of humankind. He created us as beings who could participate in and inherit His true love. In addition, He created the natural world as a protective environment for humankind. Through the relationship of true love, both God and man would experience the highest form of joy.
God wanted Adam and Eve to grow in purity centered on true love and become true people. God had carefully provided the environment for their biological development and their nourishment. God’s central concern, however, was with their internal character.
Human beings realize the ideal by coming to reflect God’s true love. God had created the power of love to be the most powerful of all internal forces. When, on the heavenly path, human beings experience the power of God’s love, they come to resemble God, becoming one with God and perfecting themselves. For this reason, we may say God’s love is the essence of human happiness, life and ideals.
Adam and Eve were supposed to grow in God’s love to become true human beings, then true husband and wife, and true parents. Men and women become true parents when they become beings of perfected character, inheriting God’s unselfish, unconditional, parental love.
People experience God’s true love in stages through life’s periods of growth. Through their life course, each individual is meant to come to know the love of children, the love of brothers and sisters, the love of husband and wife, and the love of parents. The foundation upon which these four kinds of love and heart can stand is the family. The family is the basis for human love, happiness, life and blood lineage. Similarly, the family of true love is the hope of humankind and the essence of God’s purpose of creation.
The true perfection of the individual, family, society or environment has its root in the realization of true love within a family. People who have become the embodiment of God’s true love cannot disobey God’s will, violate other people, or misuse creation.
The fall and restoration
What is the reality of our world today? Disorder and sickness or every kind–including war, violence and drugs–have infected humankind. More importantly, the rapid collapse of sexual morality among the young, the increasing divorce rate, the problem of young unmarried mothers and the breakdown of the family are all destroying the foundation of human society. All these things originate from the fall. This is because Adam and Eve defiled the ideal of true love during the growth period. Eve’s eating of the fruit offered by Satan, symbolized Eve’s engagement in love outside the Principle.
Adam and Eve’s lack of faith in God, their loving parent, and their ultimate submission to Satan–whereby they became a false husband and wife, and false parents– was the beginning of human history. Humankind’s inheritance from Adam’s family includes crime, falsehood, illicit love and violence. During this time of the last days, we can see that the fruit of the seed planted by Adam and Eve has filled the world. How sad God’s heart must be!
God has to restore His original ideal of true love by all possible
means. God’s providence of salvation is the providence of restoration. For the sake of the providence of restoration, He has established religions and expanded the sphere of goodness. The Messiah sent by God is the person who comes with the overall responsibility for completing the providence of restoration. Accordingly, the Messiah must come as the True Parents. The mission of the True Parents is to restore true human beings through true love, and to raise them up as true husband and wife and true parents.
The responsibility of religions
Who should solve the problems of the world that contradict the will of God? Religious leaders should assume the responsibility to change the reality of wrongdoing, sin and suffering. Since the day I received my mission from God, I have devoted myself to this responsibility. While absolutely keeping to the path of the Principle and the providence, I have fought against the evil that, transcendent of time and space, has penetrated deeply into the very lives of human beings. With all my heart, and utilizing all my foundation, I have always done my best to seek the cooperation of the world’s religions and religious leaders. In going in that way, I have never deserted the responsibility that I vowed to accomplish before God.
At the Assembly of the World’s Religions in San Francisco in 1990, when I announced the establishment of the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace, I explained God’s purpose of creation, the essence of true love, and the role of true parents. I strongly exhorted the participants to work to establish an ethical human society, to eradicate decadent culture, and to practice true love and the ideology of “true parentism.” The work to regain ideal families through true love and to establish an ethical human society is a precious responsibility given to the religious leaders of this era.
Moreover, religious leaders should take the lead in ending world’s corruption and wrongdoing. While religions remain indifferent to widespread lawlessness, inequality and injustice, religion can neither find its way out of the swamp of present reality nor move toward the ideal. It is clear that religious practices based merely upon formalities should give way to a living faith. Religious leaders should set an example that leads others out of spiritual desolation to regain their original nature of goodness.
Next, I believe that religious leaders have the responsibility to lead unconditional and sacrificial lives for the sake of others, and to teach this way of life to others. Still today, there is a great deal of poverty and widespread starvation. Inequality has deeply pervaded this world. The responsibility of religious people for this problem is very great.
During the past twenty years I have made a considerable investment in marine ventures, keeping in the forefront of the developments by going out to sea myself.
I am channeling my determination into this plan to rid the world of the misery of starvation. I think that through the development of agriculture and ocean-related enterprises, religious organizations should use all their strength and work together to produce food and support under developed nations.
If it were not for the investment of God’s true love, the universe would never have been born. According to the laws of the existence of the universe, the subject takes care of its object as parents care for their children, or teachers for their students. However, instead of subjects taking care of their objects, people in the fallen world try to use others in self-centered ways. That is why they perish. I believe that religion should practice and educate others in the heavenly principle of seeking the happiness of others before our own.
Respected religious leaders! I believe that IRFWP should work constructively for the sake of inter-religious harmony and world peace. IRFWP should function as the conscience of the world. It should not only advise and guide leaders at every level in the world, including those in politics, economics and education, but also set an example itself. Since the great religions were nurtured in the soil of persecution and martyrdom, and stand on the foundation of each founder’s great tradition, none of us should avoid sacrifice by should re-establish the original integrity of religion.