Understanding Life and Death
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
International Religious Foundation for World Peace
Realizing the Interfaith Ideal: Action Beyond Dialogue
December 18, 1998
We live in the physical world, but we know that this is not the only world that exists. There is also the spirit world. The spirit world is a definite reality. We also know that these two worlds—the physical world and spirit world—are not meant to be disconnected from each other. They should be linked together as one single world.
We human beings, who were born from the spirit world, eventually return to that world. In Korea, we commonly use an interesting idiom in reference to death. When someone dies, we say, “he has returned.” To where does he return? It is not to a cemetery. We mean that we return to the point of life’s origin. We return across the vast expanses of history. In the process, we shed our nationality. We return to the world that brought forth the human ancestors. If a Creator exists, then we are returning to the world of the Creator. That is where we originated, so it is there that we finally return.
The universe is engaged in circular motion everywhere. For example, when the snow melts on the mountain, it forms a small stream. As it flows down, its volume increases until it becomes a river. Eventually it reaches the ocean. From the ocean it evaporates, completing the circle by returning into the atmosphere.
The School Of Life
All beings desire to reach a higher ground, a better place, through circular motion. Where, then, is the better place we go to live eternally? While in the physical world, we live in our physical body. Our mind, though, is headed toward the eternal world. We are born into this world, and we pass through our teenage years, our twenties, thirties, middle age, and we eventually reach old age. Ultimately, we come to the end of our lives, just as the sun finally sets on the horizon. Those who know that the spirit world exists, however, know very well that the time spent in our physical body is relatively short, and that the world we face after we die is eternal. They know that our life on earth is a period of preparation for the eternal world.
We are like students who must earn credits in all our classes so that we can fulfill our school’s requirements. The school determines the extent to which its students meet its standard and decides whether it can recognize them. The further a student’s credits fall short of the standard, the more removed that student is from the school’s standard of value. In a similar way, the value of all beings is measured against a standard. Our life in the physical world is a period of preparation comparable to the time a student spends trying to earn good marks at school. In other words, we spend our entire life on earth preparing and striving to make good marks. We live each day of our life centering on a measurement. That measurement is in accord with a particular standard. We are accountable to that standard for our entire life on earth.
The Unity of the Spirit World
Most people in society do not know with certainty about the original world where we go after life in this world. They do not know whether there is life after death, or even whether God exists. Eventually, everyone goes to the spirit world. It turns out that the spirit world is a single realm. It is not divided into many countries, as is the physical world. Then, what is it like in the spirit world? We can compare it with the water that serves as the environment for fish. Water is an absolute condition for the fish to live. That doesn’t mean, however, that a fish will spend its entire life in one place. A fish that lives in fresh water cannot spawn if it remains in its river. It has to leave the fresh water and come into contact with salt water in order to lay its eggs. It thus passes through two worlds. In the same way, our mind, part of spirit world, and body, part of the physical world, must be interconnected.
At the beginning of human history, a realm of global unity should have formed in honor of Adam’s birthday, the anniversary of his holy marriage and the anniversary of his death. Then humanity could have united as one people by our sharing in the commemoration of those days. Instead of dividing, humanity could have lived in a single realm. If this had happened, then Adam and Eve’s way of life would have passed down through human history. The culture formed would have endured as long as human beings continued to exist.
The Value of Hope
Each of us goes through life ignorant of when we will die. We do not know that we won’t die in a traffic accident. I think some people will die saying, “Oh, Reverend Moon was right!” expressing regret only at that moment. We need to know that we are travelling a very serious path in life. We need to use every second of our life to prepare ourselves for the eternal world. We should be aware that we are standing on such a fateful path.
When people go to spirit world, they can be divided into two general types. The first comprises those who live out their natural life in this world, and the second comprises those who experience an untimely death. Among the latter, some die as a result of punishment and others die in order to pay indemnity for the nation or the world. Suppose God established one person in a central position with the value of a thousand people. What if God made that one person go the way of death in the place of those thousand people?
In such an instance, the grace and virtue of the one who died in their place would move the hearts of the thousand people. They would determine to live for the benefit of that person, model their lives after that person and live as he lived. If they did this, the thousand people would enter the same realm of grace as the one who died for them. The reason we try to follow the philosophy of patriots and model our lives after wise men is that we desire to enter the same realm of grace as these people.
Some people live with hope while others live without hope. We can divide people’s hope and aspiration into two general types: that centered on human beings and that centered on Heaven. A newborn infant thinks that his mother’s bosom is the most wonderful place in the world. At a certain point in its development, however, the child leaves its mother’s bosom. As the child grows, he or she forms friendships, thinking himself happiest when he is with his friends. Eventually, though, the young person will leave his friends behind. During our life course, we come to discover that neither loving parents, nor a loving spouse nor even loving children can completely satisfy our hopes.
People have many kinds of hopes. Eventually, all these hopes pass away. We have hopes for our family, hopes for our country and hopes for the world. But the reality is that as we grow older, our hope grows weaker. Some people boast that their hope represents the hope of all humankind, but find they lack the conviction to pursue it at the sacrifice their life. People fervently entertain many hopes during the course of their life. But when they face death, they abandon all their hopes. They desire to stay alive one more day. Day after day they wander in search of something new in which to place their hope. When they finally face death, though, all their hope fades away and they fall into despair as they set out on their final path. We know all too well that this is true.
Viewed as an individual, it may appear that a person possesses worthy aspirations. But no individual hopes live beyond death. In my view, it is important for all people on earth today to give serious consideration to one question. How can we find hope that will not collapse in front of death, but will transcend it? All things of this world will pass away. Our families, nations, and even the world itself will pass away. Ideologies and philosophies will pass away. What is it that remains? Whatever remains, that is the hope that can defeat death.
We can consider a person who does not possess such a hope or aspiration to be defeated in life. There are people who, from the time they are born, reject all the hopes and aspirations of the secular world. These people embrace aspirations not of the human world but of Heaven, hopes that are eternal. Heaven helps these people. A life of faith does not embrace any aspiration that exists on earth. Instead, it embraces the hopes that surpass even the gates of death. It dreams of the world of eternal hope.
Overcoming the Fear of Death
Someday I, too, will die. When we are young, we don’t think much about death. But we become increasingly serious about death as we grow older. This is because death is a gate through which we are inevitably destined to pass. But what happens to us after we die? Do you know why I am talking about death? I talk about death in order to teach the meaning of life. Who really knows the value of life? It is not the person who is going all out to preserve his life. The only person who really knows about life is the one who goes into the valley of death. He confirms the meaning of life as he desperately cries out to Heaven at the crossroads of life and death.
Why do people fear death? It is because they do not know the purpose for which we are born. Those who do not know why we are born do not know why we die. Therefore the first questions philosophers ask are “What is life? Why are we born?” If we think about it, we realize that when we die we are reborn into the midst of God’s love. But in the human world, people cry out, “Oh no, I’m going to die! What am I to do?” They make a big fuss. Do you think that God laughs, “Ho ho ho!” when we die? Or do you think God cries out, “Oh no!” and is overwhelmed with sorrow? The truth is, He is happy. This is because the moment of the physical body’s death is the moment we experience the joy of leaving the finite realm of love in order enter the infinite realm of love. It is the moment of our second birth.
Then is God happier on the day we are born into the physical world, or at that moment we leave our physical body behind? At that moment, we are born a second time into the realm of the infinite expansion of love. We become His new children through death. Of course, God is happier at the second birth. I am telling you this because you need to know that you cannot have a relationship with God unless you are released from the fear of death.
Our Two Births
It makes God happy to watch and directly take part in our life. Consider how a baby is born and wets its diapers as it begins the process of growth. God is happy because as the child grows, the pulse of love that is in God’s heart also grows. When God makes a face, babies imitate Him and make the same face. When God smiles, babies also smile, and when He is sad they also are sad. This is how babies gradually grow to resemble God. As babies grow, they also begin to resemble their parents. From their parents, they learn language and the rules for daily life. Of course, all these things have their origin in God.
So, after God has lived with us on earth and goes whoosh over to the other side, what are we supposed to do? If we say, “Wait, God, I want to go with You,” will He reply, “Who are you? I don’t know you”? Is He likely to leave us behind like that? Or will He want to take us with Him? Of course, He will want to take us with Him. But when God says, “I can’t take you with me now. I’ll take you with me after you have grown a little more. I want you to work a bit more on your perfection,” we can reply, “Well, we can’t go now, but we are certain that there will come a time when we are able to go.” Then we can wait for that day.
In our physical body, we are unable to follow God wherever He goes. It is only natural that we would aspire to resemble God. On His part, God also would want His sons and daughters to resemble Him. We must conclude, then, that God designed us to be born again into a body that enables us to resemble Him. God and human beings long for that eternal day when we can soar through the heavens together. The day we are born as beings who can take wing with God, the day we are born into that body, that is the day of our physical death. On that day we cast off the physical body like an old coat. Then, should we welcome death or fear death? The answer, of course, is that we should welcome death.
For what purpose, then, should we die? We should die for the sake of God’s true love. That is the love whereby we seek to sacrifice ourselves for the benefit of others. We can conclude that the reason we cast off our physical body is so that we can participate in the realm of God’s work of love. We die for the sake of the world of God’s love.
Wouldn’t you like to be born as God’s real sons and daughters, who can receive and practice true love? If we could measure God’s wealth, how rich do you think He would be? Have you ever thought about that? With all those stars in the universe, isn’t it likely that there is one star that is a solid diamond? How about a star of pure gold? God is truly omniscient and omnipotent. Wouldn’t He want His children to have everything? What do you think? God can go from one end of the vast universe to the other in an instant. Is this something that you would find interesting to do?
To gain that ability, what do we need to do? We must keep the laws that God has established for us. Only when we do so is it possible for us to be with Him. It is impossible if we just behave anyway we want. Are you confident that you can refrain from doing what God tells you not to do? Human beings have a dual structure. The mind is the subject partner and the body is the object partner. It is necessary that the two become one, with the body subordinating itself to the mind.
Three Stages of Life
We go through three realms that correspond to the stages of formation, growth and completion. We go through the realm of water in our mother’s womb, then the realm of the planet earth, and finally the heavenly realm of floating in air. We go through the period in the water of the womb and are born into the world. We live in our physical body in this world for about a hundred years, until we enter the world in which we fly through the air. We pass through these three realms.
When a fetus is in the womb, it resists leaving the womb for the outside world. It fights as hard as it can to stay in the womb. The reason is that when the fetus leaves the womb, its home is destroyed. All its nourishment and everything else it had in the womb breaks apart and flows away. Also, its head and the body increase in size during the birth process. Who would want to go through something like that? Every fetus cries, “No!” right up to the moment of birth. Eventually the water breaks and the infant follows soon after.
As you watch a woman give birth to a child, you really have to feel sorry for her. Women who have given birth know what I am talking about. When the mother is pushing, it makes no difference how beautiful she may be. Her face contorts into all sorts of strange shapes. She makes such terrible faces that even her husband can’t stand to watch and leaves the room. She makes just about every possible face. So, the mother, too, goes through tremendous pain up to the last moment in order for the baby to be born.
After birth, is it necessary to leave the umbilical cord connected to the baby’s navel? Or is the umbilical cord chopped off without a second thought? Maybe someone should object, saying, “That cord is someone’s lifeline. How can you cut a lifeline that connects one human being to another?” The newborn infant, too, cries at the top of its lungs because it thinks it is about to die. As God looks on, though, He can’t help but break into a happy smile. From the viewpoint of the new life that has just been born, one world has just disappeared completely. Now it must breathe the air of its new world.
A child is conceived in the depth of water. The period in the womb is a period of existence in water. As long as the fetus is in its mother’s womb, it is floating in water. At first thought, you might think the time in the womb would be difficult because the fetus cannot breathe. You would think that it would need a process of taking in and sending out water. This function is fulfilled by something like a hose attached to the baby’s belly. How does a fetus in the womb receive nourishment? It receives nourishment through its navel.
For the child in the womb, the navel functions as a mouth. So, we should not be disdainful of our belly buttons. Give your belly button a little rub and say, “Hey, belly button. Thanks for working so hard back then.” If you pat your belly button often, it is good for your health. No, seriously. It’s a good way to exercise. It’s good for your health to exercise your belly button. For example, a person sleeping in a cold room can avoid coming down with diarrhea as long as he keeps his belly button well covered.
The Breath of Love
We can refer to our belly button as our former mouth. Someone might say, “How foolish. Whoever heard of a former mouth?” There’s no denying the fact, though, that your belly button once functioned as your mouth. The belly button also acted as a breathing apparatus. Your present mouth fulfills that function here on earth. The function has moved up on your body. The same function is as necessary for the spirit self as it is for the fetus in the womb.
The spirit self is attached to the physical body that lives on earth by breathing air. It lives off the physical body until the body grows old. Then the spirit self kicks the body away and tries to separate. If at that moment, the body cries out, “No, I don’t want to die! I won’t die!” how will God react? Will He feel sorry for the physical body, because of the pain it is enduring? Or will He quietly smile?
The child who experiences pain in order to emerge from its mother’s womb grows to become the object of its parents’ love. In the same way, our spirit self must leave behind our crying physical body in order to be born anew as the eternal object of the God who is a spiritual being. This is a conclusion based on Principle. On earth, too, the baby can become the friend of its father and mother after it is born. This is because it is born into the physical world where it can share love with its father and mother. In the same way that the fetus swims around the mother’s womb, life on earth is breathing and living in the swaddling clothes of air. Only when the baby shares love with its mother and father as it breathes air can we say it is alive. In the same way, we can share love with God our Parent, who exists as an eternal spiritual being, after we are born again into the spirit world.
What kind of place is the spirit world? When we enter spirit world, we begin to breathe through a hole on the top of our head and through our cells. The air in spirit world is not the air we have on earth. Instead, it is love. When a spirit person breathes, he or she inhales and exhales the nourishing elements of love. On earth, eating alone does not sustain our life. When we eat and drink, all we are doing is filling our sack with food and water. Eventually, we will die. The form we take during life on earth is our second existence. While on earth, we need to develop our character of love. Therefore on earth, the thing we need most is love. What is an orphan? Why do we call a child who cannot receive love from a father or mother an orphan? It is because such a child lacks the love by which he or she can connect eternally with spirit world. Absent love, we are lonely. That is why we feel sorry for a person who lives without a spouse.
Death destroys our ability to breathe in the second stage, and connects us with the nourishment of love. We eventually have no choice but to leave the physical body behind. We cannot see love, but our internal structure develops centering on the love of parents, of husband and wife, and of children. Just as there is a normal development for a child in its mother’s womb, there is a normal course of development on earth. We follow it by living in accordance with the laws of God. We cannot do it by living just any way we want.
If we examine the world of nature, we see that insignificant insects, seeds of trees and even baby birds can fly. Does it make sense that human beings, the greatest of all creations, cannot fly? Look at the dandelion. It is made so that its seeds will fly away when the wind blows. Birds fly, insects fly and the seeds of plants fly. Surely, human beings also must have been created with a way to fly. Someone might be tempted to complain, “God, why did you create us without the ability to fly when everything else in creation can fly?” God’s reply probably would be, “Wait a few decades until you reach completion and then I will let you fly.”
So, what should we be doing until then? We need to train ourselves to be able to adapt to the spirit world. We need to train ourselves by loving our parents, loving our spouse and loving our children. Then, when the time comes, we will enter the eternal world and live in attendance to God. For that to take place, we must put aside this physical body and die.
Look at the life cycle of the cicada. Before a cicada can fly, it goes through a larval stage. What would happen if the cicada said, “I want to go on living as a larva. I don’t want to shed my skin. I don’t care about land and air”? Even if it were resisting its transformation, once it shed its skin it would fly away.
A similar situation obtains with the dragonfly. First it exists as a larva, swimming around in water. Then it crawls on land for a time. After that, it sheds its skin and flies away. It begins to eat insects that it never would have thought of eating while it was living on land. As it flies around, the entire world becomes its home. Many insects pass through three stages like this. That is why insects have wings. They develop wings through their life in the water, on land and finally in the air.
Human beings are the highest beings in creation, but do we have wings? Does living only on the earth satisfy us? Human beings have wings, but they are wings of a higher order. You may say you don’t want to put aside your physical body and die. But once we die and leave our physical body behind, our spirit self passes through the blessed gates of our second birth and whoosh, we fly away.
Crossing the Finish Line
As I have already said, we cannot avoid death. We have to be prepared to suffer in order to establish the good that is in us as our second self in the eternal world. A fetus in its mother’s womb must receive proper prenatal care if it is to be born healthy and strong. In the same way, we need to prepare ourselves properly while on earth. We need to grow by modeling ourselves on the image of God, the heart of God and the divinity of God.
Once we are grown, we need to invest our lives to pass over the line of life and death. We must pass over even if we have to brave the fiercest storm. It is not enough if we do well most of the way and then fall just short of the finish line. What must we do when we find ourselves approaching life’s finish line? Even if we run with our mind focused totally on the goal, we can’t be confident we will make it all the way. If we wander aimlessly at the end, we will be ruined. We win victory only as we dash across the finish line.
It is an effort worth making for everyone born as a human being. No matter how much opposition there may be from behind, no matter how much persecution comes from the side, you just have to push forward one step at a time. There is no time to get entangled with the opposition. You have to keep going as quickly as you can, even one step at a time, in order to traverse your path of destiny to its end and finally cross the finish line. We all must go this way.
The Value of Righteousness
We often say that a person’s heart is upright. What does this mean? When a heart is firmly vertical, we say it is upright. If a tree is lying on the ground, we don’t say it is upright. The same is true when we refer to a heart as upright. The expression means that the heart is standing vertically. That is why human beings walk upright. An object must be vertical in order to be upright. We must set our hearts in a completely vertical position. Then the body will be horizontal in relation to this. When the vertical and horizontal are set within us, the pulling power of the vertical and the pushing power of the horizontal will be in balance. There will arise centripetal and centrifugal forces. So, we need to find ourselves. When we assert ourselves, we should say that God and true parents are also this way. On this foundation, we can expand our sphere of life through relatives, one clan and one nation.
Doctors quarantine patients who have dangerous communicable diseases. For the same reason, the time is not far off when we will send people who know the Will of God but continue to sin despite this knowledge into isolation near the North Pole or other arctic area. People thrown into such a place might not have a place to sleep or food to eat. They may go through immense suffering until they can genuinely repent.
There is one thing that makes me sad. God gave me responsibility to accomplish His will, so during my lifetime I need to accomplish His will to a level He finds acceptable. Until I have done that, I cannot die. For that reason, when I am in the valley of the shadow of death, God leads me out of danger. Whether I am eating or fasting, whether I am asleep or awake, I am always praying for the world and humankind. My suffering is not for the sake of a particular country or people. My objective is the salvation of the world. I have worked to this day and I am ready to die if necessary. I have sacrificed my life so that this objective might be achieved. You, also, should live and die for the sake of the world. If it is for the sake of world salvation, you even must be prepared to die with your wife, your family, your clan and even your entire people.
Face to Face With Death
Some day in the future, you will die. When you stand face to face with death, you will look back upon your life. You need to think what final words you will leave behind at that moment. On the path of death, your friends will not be with you. Your loving parents will not be there, nor will your loving brothers and sisters. Your spouse and children whom you love so much will not be with you. It is a path that you will take alone.
No one can go down that path twice. Once you have gone, there is no coming back. Once you take that path, you cannot return in all eternity. The heart that you have as you walk that path is important. When that moment arrives, face to face with death, if you do not possess the hope that can transcend death, that will be the end of you.
In history there have been many people who upheld and established God’s will. They did not retreat when they faced death. Instead, they laughed in the face of death and valiantly transcended death. We know well that these people paved our way to Heaven. What kind of person is it who is joyful even when passing over the hill of death, the moment that drives most of us into heartfelt sorrow? This is the kind of person who has heartfelt hope and aspirations for Heaven. For this reason, we must not reproach the world and lament when we face death. Instead, we should feel joy as we stand before heaven with pride in the value of our death.
What happens to us when we die? Up to the moment we die, we belong to ourselves. But as soon as we die, we belong to God. This is because we are born of a fallen lineage. Until our death, we lack the ability to cut our ties with Satan. After death, though, we establish ties with God. There is no resurrection without death. It is impossible to enter into the next period without first passing through the preceding one.
To what kind of death does the Bible refer when it says that those who seek to die will live and those who seek to live will die? (Luke 17:33, John 12:25) This does not mean that we should lose the eternal life given us by Heaven. It means that we should lose the life that is connected to the satanic world, inherited through the fallen lineage. That is why those who seek to die for the sake of God will live. This seems paradoxical. But from the perspective of the fall, this is the only way restoration can come about. This is the standard for discussing the possibility of restoration.
Wisdom and Foolishness
Success or failure in life is not determined over a period of decades. Rather, it is determined in an instant. If you look at the entire course of life, it does not take very long for a baby to be born. Of course, there is a period leading up to the birth, when the fetus is in the womb. Those ten months in the womb are a time of preparation. The birth takes but an instant. The preparation may go well for the entire ten months, but if something goes wrong at the decisive moment of birth, the infant will meet a tragic end.
After living out our life on earth we come face to face with our moment of fate. We will see our entire life flash before our eyes. The one who can say, “There was truth in my life” and “I am leaving behind something more valuable than my life,” is a person who has spent his life in a worthy manner. On the other hand, the person who starts to recall the past, and begins to shake his head over things he would rather not remember, is a tragic person. For some people, the more they remember, the greater the expression of joy on their face. If all their problems can be buried in the ideal, death will actually be a comfort. The moment of recalling the past will not be filled with fear. If they are leaving something behind, then that past record will not die and its reality will not die. Instead, these things will be made manifest. The people whose past allows them to do this are without a doubt people whom the nation can follow. They are the ones whom the people of the world can follow.
We need to consider whether we can stand alone before God. Truth and goodness begin with a particular individual but they do not end with that individual. Once truth and goodness have begun in a particular person, they must bear fruit in another person. Or, they can begin in another person and bear fruit in me.
If a person spends her life giving to others, then she will have no fear on the path of death. She has given everything and sacrificed herself for others. She has led a life that is close to truth; she has shed tears for others and she has invested her life for others. If a man’s aspirations are for others, all the life force coming from his pulse is focused and invested for the sake of others. If this is the case, then this person’s past is one of glory.
The path taken by the wise is different from that taken by the foolish. A wise person tries to live in partnership with history, in partnership with the present world and in partnership with the future. A foolish person lives for the self and tries to make the world exist for his or her own sake. There is a global environment characteristic of the spirit world, and within it are nations, clans, families and individuals. An individual cannot enter Heaven without a self-motivating character by which he or she is absolutely indispensable as an individual. The family or clan cannot enter Heaven unless they can say that they possess a self-motivating character that makes them indispensable on the family or clan level.
How to Go to Heaven
Compared with spirit world, Earth is but a speck of dust. The spirit world is an eternal world, transcending time and space. If a spirit person commands, “The person who lived in such and such an age with such and such a heart, please come forward,” then that person will appear in an instant. It is a world in which feelings and intuition turn into reality. There are no factories there to produce food. There are no automobile factories. There is nothing like that.
To register yourself in spirit world, you need a certificate based upon your life on earth. How are you going to obtain it? I’m talking about a certificate of life that will let you say: “This is what I became. This is what I did.” You cannot just make your own certificate. First, Satan has to write one for you. After you receive that certificate, you have to receive one from Jesus. Finally, you have to receive a certificate from God. You will need these three certificates.
When you go to spirit world, you will find that it is made up of three very large realms. Those who lived for others will go to the highest level. Those who lived for themselves, however, will find themselves on the lowest level. They will find that everyone is opposing them, whereas everyone will welcome those who lived for others.
Once you are in spirit world, your parents and spouse cannot help you. The people in the highest levels are those who lived for the sake of others. In the uppermost tiers are those who traveled throughout the world living for others with a heart that expanded their love for their mother and family. With a saintly heart, they always are looking for ways to save the people of the world from evil.
The one who lives for himself goes to Hell, and the one who lives for others goes to Heaven. People separate into these two worlds at death. So, we must live for the sake of the whole, for the sake of the greater good. Live for the sake of the world, for the sake of God and for the sake of human liberation. Someday competitions will take place to see who can live for the sake of others to a greater degree. In the heavenly world, the person who has lived for the sake of others will go to the higher position. So you can leap to a higher position by living for the person who is higher than you are. Living for that person is the same act as God bringing forth His own object through His creative act. Thus, that person comes to stand as your object partner of love.
The Value of Living for Others
In the spirit world we live for others, centering on true love. If you encounter a person who has dedicated 100 percent of his life for the sake of others, then you have to say, “Please move past me, go ahead.” It doesn’t matter how great the United States seems. A person who dedicates his life for the people of America to a greater extent than your President does can move past the President and be welcomed.
When a person only cares about his own interests, he is everyone’s enemy. It is the same way in spirit world. When a person says he will live for something greater, then he will naturally move past others. One who lives for the sake of the world does not need worry about living for America, because America is included in the world. All countries are included in the world. The conclusion can only be that true love, by which a person lives for the sake of others, is the only content and direction that everyone can welcome.
When you die, you must take with you three accomplishments. One, that you loved God. Two, that you loved yourself and worked hard to establish your essential self. And three, that you worked hard to expand the love you shared with your spouse and your family to the entire world. This love for humanity and for God will remain forever. It will define your right to ownership in the next world. When you enter spirit world, the number of people you evangelized will determine your right to ownership.
In the spirit world, pride wells up over the extent to which you longed for people with your life. You do not need anything else in the next world. The only thing you need is the record that you loved God more than the world, more than your country, more than your spouse and more than your children. If a wife wants her husband to love her with godly love of a higher order, then she has to say, “Please love God more than you love me, and then love me.”
The Family and Spirit World
I often preach about the realm of the heart. The foundation for the realm of the heart is the love of true parents, the love of true brothers and sisters and the love of true children. The world of the heart is one in which we universalize these types of love. In this original world, a person can live by the standard of husband and wife love, but theirs must be a husband and wife love that gives primacy to heaven and earth and to the cosmos.
So, where do we go in order to establish a foundation to qualify for that world? We must lay this foundation in the physical world. We are not to spend our time here for the sake of all those things valued by this world. We are here to qualify ourselves for the next world.
That is the basis for the principle that we live as families in the spirit world. Why do we need to have children? The vertical love of God and the horizontal love of parents bring descendants into this world. This is a vertical and horizontal mixing of the blood of God and the parents. Thus, people who were unable to have descendants on earth will not be able to harmonize Heaven and earth in the spirit world. They will be unable to keep step with the rhythm of north, south, east and west. A person who has no descendants will have no place to rest or play in the next world.
Religions and Nations in Spirit World
In spirit world, there is no need for religion, much less for denominations. There is no need for entities such as the Presbyterian Church or the Catholic Church. People there are in the realm of life together with God. In that realm are people who loved the world, patriots and loyal subjects, women of virtue and saints. As far as I am aware, however, there is as yet no one who lived his or her life in the original love of God, centering on the tradition of the realm of the heart.
Whenever you begin a task, you should begin it centering on God. Whether you go to Hell, the middle spirit world, Paradise or the Kingdom of Heaven, is determined by the extent to which you harmonize with this principle. The most precious path on earth is that which endures the greatest amount of suffering and sheds the most tears for the sake of Heaven. That is the path that will bestow the freedom to enter the next world.
In the next world, people of different nationalities cannot live together, but true followers of all religions can live together. The religious sphere is one of longing for one world and believing in one God. So people of true piety will be together. The uniqueness of people of faith is in their living their entire life based upon the standard of the spirit world. Religion teaches us how to relate with each other centering on the eternal world, the transcendent world, the dwelling place of the Divine Being—whether we call Him God or by some other name.
God’s Call to World Leaders
There is a reason for my speaking to the participants in this gathering about the value of life in relation to issues having to do with life and death. You represent religions that are active throughout the world. I want to stress that it is religious leaders’ responsibility to teach about life and death correctly.
Today, the political leaders of the world are seeking to realize peace and prosperity through the United Nations. In my judgement, however, the path to world peace will be incomplete if we build it merely upon the political, economic and military functions of the United Nations. Political, economic and military powers can deal only with that which is external, physical and material. We can reach the internal and spiritual aspects of life only through religious teaching and through the unity and united actions of the world’s religions.
I would like to take this opportunity today to supplement the existing United Nations with a structure in which the UN and leaders of the major world religions can work together. I hope that the participants here today, and all the nations of the world, will seriously consider this proposal to establish a structure encompassing the world’s religions and the United Nations.