True Knowledge, True Family and World Peace
International Cultural Foundation
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
The twentieth century has seen tremendous improvement in the conditions for human life, made possible through remarkable advances in science. However, it has also been the century of worldwide conflict and moral confusion. The development of scientific knowledge and civilization has, on the one hand, allowed people to enjoy an abundant life. On the other hand, it has resulted in such global problems as the destruction of nature and the environment, global warming and the diminishing of the ozone layer. Serious problems have also arisen in relation to the human condition. In the process of industrialization and modernization, the family is being destroyed, and serious problems such as drugs and AIDS, violence and crime warn us that humankind is facing a crisis.
People have continued to pursue peace and happiness in many ways. However, they have not found satisfaction.
World peace has not come even through the worldwide efforts of the League of Nations and the United Nations, established to prevent further conflict following the First and Second World Wars. Nor has a world of happiness been realized through the efforts of religious organizations. The ideals of international communism and the dreams of fascism have likewise failed to bring about an ideal world. Even the highest levels of technical skill and political effort have not been able to bring peace and happiness to humankind.
Even now, tragic conflicts rage in many areas of the globe. Recent examples include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chechnya, Somalia and Laos, to name a few.
Peace and human happiness depend on the moral and spiritual development of people. This is because world peace, or a peaceful nation, is comprised of individuals and families. Science and technical skills can be used for good-for the improvement of human life-when they are utilized by good people.
Throughout history, the saints and great teachers have devoted themselves to guiding families, societies and nations toward a peaceful and happy world. To take on the challenges of the twenty- first century, we need true parents of humankind, true teachers and true owners, who can raise impeccable leaders on the basis of morality and spirituality.
True love is the source of happiness
It is my absolute belief that, since God exists as the original embodiment of true love, He created this world and humankind to be the substantial objects of His love and joy. God is the Parent of humankind. Human beings are God’s children. God, as the Parent, shares their joy and their suffering. God wants human beings to inherit true love.
God’s true love is the source of happiness and joy for humankind. Human beings are meant to become perfect through experiencing this true love. Love must be understood through the experience of life. The growth period for human beings is thus a precious time of experiencing this love stage by stage.
Human beings come to know God’s love through stages of growth. First, they know the heart of children; second, the heart of siblings; third, the heart of husband and wife; and fourth, the heart of parents.
The smallest unit in which God’s love can be realized is the family. Accordingly, the family becomes the foundation for human happiness, ideals and life. Throughout my life, therefore, I have taught the importance of the family and held blessing ceremonies around the world for the sake of ideal families.
Today the world needs a model for an ideal society where people can peacefully co-exist, and which embraces all nations, cultures and religions. In March and April of this year I made the “Sao Paulo Declaration” and the “New Hope Farm Declaration.” I have initiated the establishment of a model society in Brazil in South America, and will work toward its gradual expansion to other nations.
Representatives from forty nations have-begun the task of establishing such a society. In a harmonious society, there should be a balance in the quality of life among its citizens. Such co-prosperity should develop naturally through love on the basis of mutual responsibility. There can be no crime, discrimination or corruption in an ideal family. The realization of this comes about only on the basis of the practice of true love. This is a historic movement of people with different nationalities, skin colors and traditions, with the goal of establishing a community of true love.
Our world today is facing a serious environmental crisis. The destruction of the natural environment is the desecration of the beautiful and holy world God created. People who lack true love simply regard the natural world as something to be used for their own selfish purposes. Another serious result of the human fall is that Adam and Eve could not inherit God’s true love, and people could therefore not love each other-or the animals, plants and the earth-properly. All things of creation are longing for the true love of human beings. I would like to establish the model of an ideal society in South America, and a model demonstrating the right relationship of love between human beings and nature.
I am working toward the realization of a world with no starvation. In these days of scientific advancement, we cannot just be observers or remain indifferent when we see something so terrible as millions of people falling victim to hunger. In the past twenty years, I have allocated tens of millions of dollars for the development of ocean- related enterprises, through which we have developed a high-protein fish powder. Through the International Relief Friendship Foundation (IRFF), we are helping countries in areas of Africa and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, the earnings generated from foodstuffs produced by our farms in Brazil and Argentina will be invested into solving the problem of worldwide starvation.
Co-existence, mutual prosperity and common good
I have taught the establishment of a society of co-existence, mutual prosperity and the common good. An ideal world means co-existing economically, prospering together politically, and, from an ethical viewpoint, creating a society of goodness.
Co-ownership based on God’s true love is the essence of the ideology of co-existence. The basic unit of a society of co-existence is the family. By “co-ownership” I do not mean ownership merely in relation to material possessions, but based on God’s love. Even though all property would be legally held in the parents’ names, in practice, it would be jointly owned by the whole family-parents and children alike. At the same time, each family member might have his or her own room, clothes and personal money. In this way, joint ownership among family members would be based on the family, but individuals would still have their own property. Thus, the purposes of the whole and the individual would be harmonized. This ideal pattern of ownership in a family based on love would expand to the society, nation and world. This is the type of ownership in an ideal society.
The original relationship between God and humankind is centered on true love. There are many instances of co-ownership between God and the individual, between the whole and the individual, and between the neighborhood and the individual. When it is centered on God’s true love, therefore, co-ownership is something for which we should feel gratitude.
In an ideal world realized by humankind having perfected God’s love, the purposes of the whole and the individual are naturally harmonized. As human beings have desire, and a natural inclination towards love, they are permitted individual ownership and individual purpose. Even so, they would not seek to have unlimited personal belongings or to fulfill an individual purpose that detracted from the whole purpose. Perfected human beings are meant to own an amount of property commensurate with their conscience and original nature.
In particular, economic activity by ideal human beings who have become the true owners of all things based on true love would manifest love and gratitude. There could be no greed or corruption. Similarly, there could be no emphasis on national or regional interests inconsistent with the purpose of the whole. The aim of economic activity is overall welfare, rather than the mere pursuit of gain.
The ideology of mutual prosperity is based on God’s true love. Through mutual participation, it pursues a politics wherein the ideals of freedom, equality and happiness are realized.
Participating in public politics is for the purpose of electing representatives. However, when we understand that the political model is an extended form of a family based on love, then antagonistic relationships will not exist between candidates for public office. Their candidacy would be rooted in a calling to serve others. Candidates would be supported by neighbors, relating with each other as brothers and sisters, attending one God and Parent.
After a due process, then the final decision would be made according to the will of God. Improper considerations would not hold sway. The method of choosing a representative would be through prayer and a solemn process. As a representative would be chosen according to the will of God and heavenly fortune, everybody would come to accept the decision with gratitude and joy. Important organizations and ministries within a nation of the ideal world would harmonize through reciprocal give-and-take action centered on a common purpose. This is similar to the organs of the human body which work together for a common purpose according to the commands of the brain.
The ideal of common good means one through which people, under the absolute values of God’s true love, would observe universal ethics and morality centered on true love, and all members of society would pursue a life of goodness and righteousness. An ideal world would exist on the basis of ideal families and perfected human beings. The harmony of ideal parents, ideal husband and wife, and ideal sons and daughters in true love is the indispensable condition for an ideal family. Furthermore, a perfected person is one whose mind and body are harmonized through true love.
When perfected people realize a world of supreme love where goodness and righteousness are voluntarily practiced within the family-the foundation of true love-and also in a society, the world of the heavenly way and of righteousness is realized. That is, an ideal world.
However sophisticated our knowledge might be, when compared with true love, it is found wanting. We need to know what makes human beings happy. This is the will of our omniscient and all-powerful God. True knowledge is knowing God’s will. We must understand and see world history and humankind in the way that God understands and sees them. It is not right for a scholar to be arrogant, or to behave as if he were God and take control over others by means of his partial knowledge of the world God has created.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen: your goal is not just to discuss the latest discoveries in physics, biology and chemistry. You must understand and discuss how such discoveries and academic achievements can benefit each individual and society as a whole, and how harmonious relationships among humankind, the world and the creation can be realized.
Too often new scientific knowledge has been misused for the gain of one individual, for one nation’s conquest of another of efforts to secure its own prosperity. Academic knowledge and innovation are great blessings that God has bestowed on humankind. God has given these blessings for the sake of the entire human race and the world. If the academic achievements resulting from such blessings are used only for such selfish purposes, a potential good becomes evil.
Professor Gerholm! I would like to thank you sincerely for the efforts you have devoted to the 20th International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences. You have worked together with ICUS since its founding days and have come to represent the highest level of the ICUS vision.
For this conference we have assembled experts from around the world to discuss the latest research in genetics, the biological sciences, and the problem of human aging. These areas of research have opened new possibilities, but I think they are accompanied by new moral and social challenges for their proper use. I will be praying that the ICUS conference discussions will be fruitful and have a positive impact on our world.
Professors World Peace Academy
The Professors World Peace Academy was established in 1973 to serve the academic community in the quest for world peace. In particular, PWPA has tried to create opportunities for active research and concrete activities for the sake of world peace on university campuses. The accumulated problems of the world are waiting for the guidance of conscientious scholars.
Professors not only teach theory, but also instill students with character and values. As they have an important influence on the character formation and development of their students, they should guide and help them onto the path of goodness.
Through PWPA, my wife and I have established the World University Network for the purpose of educating the young people of the world to become excellent leaders of a future society that reconciles nation to nation and religion to religion. I believe that this vision can be realized centered on Sun Moon University in Korea and the University of Bridgeport in the United States, under the discerning guidance of President Se-Won Yoon and President Richard L. Rubenstein.
Through the activities of the World University Network, students from around the globe will have access to the teachings of the world’s pre- eminent scholars, and professors will be able to guide many students- transcendent of national boundaries-to make a greater contribution to the future of humanity.
True family and education
Professors have a great deal of influence on young people. However, students are influenced even more by their parents. It is the family that exerts the most influence on the formation of an individual’s character.
In life, the family is the most important school of love. Through education in love and sensibility, which only parents can accomplish, a child develops his capacity of heart. This is the cornerstone of the formation of the child’s personality. Moreover, the family is the school for the education of children in virtue and norm. The heavenly way is for people to receive academic education, physical education and technical education on the foundation of having received education in heart and norm. Even though parents may not be aware that they are true teachers, children naturally learn from and resemble their parents. The role of parents is that important. Children’s loving personalities and spirituality develop as they emulate the true love and loving lifestyle of their parents.
Today, throughout the world, the family is changing. The traditional family is being challenged from all sides. With the acceleration of industrialization and modernization, the value perspective of humankind is being eroded and standards of ethics and morality are being shaken. Furthermore, individualism, hedonism and materialism are destroying human character. Free sex and immorality are being promoted and the family is being corrupted.
Respected scholars! What a miserable trend this is. If this situation is left as it is, humankind can have no hope for the future. To whatever degree social conditions may change, the importance of the parent-child relationship, and of the family, must not waver. I will say again that love is the source of human happiness and joy, and the family is the foundation for that happiness and peace.
World peace through ideal families
The historical blessing ceremony of 360,000 couples, at which I will officiate in a few days, is one result of my lifetime of educating about the ideal family. Those who attend the blessing ceremony are people who have already vowed to God that they will realize an ideal family, and through the blessing they receive the grace of unchanging love. They are people who will become true husband and wife and true parents centered on God’s true love, and who will realize ideal families.
The blessing ceremony is not merely the marriage rite of a particular religious organization. It is the ceremony to give new life to a sick humanity, restoring the order of love and saving families from crisis. That is why the Unification Church chose “World Peace through Ideal Families” as the motto of this blessing ceremony.
I am grateful for Professor Morton A. Kaplan’s leadership and hard work for the holding of this Sixth International Congress of the Professors World Peace Academy, that will examine the future of the family. Scholars participating from 120 countries must establish the image of a true family and challenge this modern era of corruption and immorality.
You must not analyze and understand the problems, but also take responsibility to create and guide ideal families. It is my expectation that you will guide society toward ideal families and realize a glorious future.