Farewell Address at the 17th ICUS and Perspectives on ICUS and Its Founder

Farewell Address at the 17th ICUS and Perspectives on ICUS and Its Founder

Sun Myung Moon and Tamara Grapek
November 27, 1988

Farewell Address
Mr. Chairman, distinguished professors, ladies and gentlemen: Once again we have come to the conclusion of another excellent ICUS conference. This is the second time we have come to Los Angeles. I am pleased that the City of Angels has honored our conference by issuing a proclamation.

Usually people come to California to have fun. There is sunshine, Hollywood, Disneyland, and the ocean. But we brought you here just to work. Many of you did not even have time to leave the hotel. That is not all. I did not even let you sleep. We are so close to the airport, the noise of the jets kept you awake all night. That way I could get 24 hours of work out of you!

But I am sorry to make you work so hard. Mrs. Moon suggested to me, “Why don’t you be the founder of another conference called ‘The Disneyland Conference?’ The theme could be ‘Absolute Fun and Absolute Relaxation.'” Would you like that idea?

I Cherish This Opportunity
Each year the conference has developed greater insight into the unity of the sciences and absolute values, for which I am deeply grateful. At the same time, we have become closer, and we have overcome national and cultural barriers in creating an ICUS family. I truly cherish this opportunity to meet with you and work together. Making a model of peaceful international cooperation is one of the most important accomplishments of ICUS.

Now, I would like to express my deepest thanks and appreciation to our conference chairman, Dr. Alvin Weinberg, for his outstanding leadership both this year and last year. Dr. Weinberg, thank you for doing such a wonderful job. Could you please join with me in expressing our thanks to Dr. and Mrs. Weinberg?

I would also like to recognize one of our outstanding past chairmen, Sir John Eccles, who served as a plenary speaker at this conference. I understand that in the plenary session, Sir John was asked, “How does God speak to man?” He boldly answered, “I believe God is speaking through me.” I really admire a scholar who speaks with such conviction. Let us give Sir John and Lady Helena Eccles our applause.

I also want to thank the two vice-chairmen, Dr. Higatsberger and Dr. Cappelletti, as well as all the committee chairmen, for a job very well done. Please join me in giving them all a great round of applause.

And I wish to thank each of you, participants, for your efforts toward the success of the conference. I respect each of you and I appreciate your commitment to the unity of sciences and the search for absolute values.

Seventeen years ago, when I brought up the theme of absolute values, honestly, no one took it seriously. Some even ridiculed it. Seventeen years later, however, the same theme of absolute values has become a natural part of our thinking process.

Investing Our Entire Heart
Today’s world can be described in one word — a world of confusion, especially confusion in value systems. The communist world has its problems. Likewise, the free world has its own problems. Where can we find hope? Unless an unchanging and eternal standard of absolute value based on God becomes the central point of human life, we will not have hope of fulfilling the human dream. That is why I have been steadfast in insisting on the search for absolute values as the theme of ICUS.

In my own searching, I came to feel that there must be a rallying point in order to solve the chaos of the world; if there were no God, man must even create an imaginary God. But then, I came to know absolutely in my deepest heart that there is a living God. We do not have to create one. All we have to do is recognize the true God and rally around His will and purpose.

The mission of ICUS is to search for truth. Let us not become discouraged even though our search for truth may be long and difficult, because truth is worth investing our entire heart and soul and mind.

I always respect you scientists and scholars as the hope of humanity, because if truth is to be made known, it must be through you. For that reason, I can say your mission is no less than the salvation of humankind.

The International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, after 17 years, has come to a new level. I do feel that from the 18th ICUS on, we are going to open up a new chapter of history. This ICUS movement shall become the launching pad for a true cultural revolution, and ICUS shall become an action- packed movement that will impact our world and change it, and move forward to fulfill the ideal world.

This exciting new chapter of ICUS will begin in 1990 in Seoul, Korea, in conjunction with the World Festival of Culture. I look forward to seeing you all there.

May God bless you and your families and your work. See you in Seoul. Thank you very much.

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Three Perspectives on ICUS and Its Founder
Excerpts from three interviews at the 17th ICUS conducted by Tamara Grapek

Dr. Michael Higatsberger
Dr. Higatsberger has participated in six past ICUS conferences and was one of the conference vice-chairmen this year. He is currently professor of physics at the Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Vienna, Austria. He is also a prolific inventor.

It is a very, very difficult task to unify the sciences. I’m talking about absolute unification, which is what Rev. Moon apparently has in mind. I do think we are on the right track. I have some hope that it is possible, but I don’t know if we will be able to achieve it. We will perhaps come close.

It is like trying to unify physics. There are four basic laws that describe our physical world. Einstein’s desire was to have one formula that would unify these four laws into one, but he wasn’t able to do it. Right now we see a chance to unify them into two, and there are some experiments in the air suggesting that it may be possible to unify them into one. But if someone comes up with new evidence, then we will have to look for a new level of unification. When things start to spread out you need to put in extra effort toward unification. The task is very worthwhile, but to achieve it is another question!

This is my seventh ICUS. My impression is that every conference is getting better. It is very well done organizationally. Five of the committees conducted themselves brilliantly. There might be some improvements made in choosing the participants. Some participants tried to express a point of view without the instruments that participants from the natural sciences are used to. There are certain rules in scientific reasoning. One must put facts in order and make proper conclusions. It is also important to choose the right committee chairmen. You must have a strong, articulate leader who puts things in the right context, because some participants can just talk and talk and talk. They are being unfair to their colleagues who have to speak after them. This was true for maybe five or ten percent of the participants, not more. If there were enough time, of course, we could accommodate anybody, but not when there is such a shortage of time. These are areas for improvement.

The newspaper that Rev. Moon is bringing into life in Seoul will be in a unique position compared to any other newspaper in the world. Rev. Kwak, as its editor, will be able to create superior cultural and scientific columns by drawing directly from the ICUS committee papers. When a scientific paper is written, it normally takes about three- quarters of a year before it’s published in E. scientific journal and another three- quarters of a year before a major daily newspaper picks it up. But now, of the approximately 5,000 people who have participated in ICUS, a large percentage might be able to submit resumes on scientific breakthroughs as they happen, almost immediately. Can you see what a unique position this newspaper is in to bring these discoveries to its readers right away?

Alternative Competition
Rev. Moon’s idea for the World Festival of Culture is a very interesting idea. It will be difficult for people to ignore it, because there has already been a very successful event in Korea — the Olympic Games, and now an infrastructure exists there to serve such a project.

The Koreans did a beautiful job, but the Olympic Games served the East more than the West. Look how many medals were taken by the Soviets and the East Germans. I personally believe that some Eastern bloc countries scientifically build up the muscles of their Olympic champions at the expense of their overall health. These people are pushed to a level where their biochemistry is actually damaged. Therefore, I think it’s a very good idea to look for an alternative kind of world-level competition, and what would be better than culture? Culture can include everything — sports, science, art.

I have already put in some of my ideas for this Festival. First of all, I suggested that the Republic of Korea could be officially “born” at the time of the Festival because the entire Eastern and Western worlds would be participating. Furthermore, in sports, people above 30 years old cannot be involved in competition because they are physically not up to it. I know of only one event in which young and old are on an equal footing, and this is chess. So I suggested, why not have Olympic Chess? There could also be events for music and art — not with the idea of individuals competing to be number one in the world, but just a variety of participants representing Europe, South America, and other regions. I know this is exactly what Rev. Moon goes for. By calling upon all nations, he wants to create harmony and unification. It will also be very good for the country of Korea. I feel this Festival is a wonderful chance to put forth the principles Rev. Moon espouses.

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Mrs. Jean Mellanby
The Mellanbys have attended almost every ICUS since the conferences began. Dr. Kenneth Mellanby, director emeritus of Monk’s Wood Experimental Station in Huntingdon, England, has chaired three ICUS conferences in the past.

Kenneth and I have seen a great deal of Rev. and Mrs. Moon. We went on the ACUMI tour to Japan and Korea last year and visited their home in Seoul. I think they are both wonderful people with a great gift for life. As a man of course, Rev. Moon is extraordinary. He’s a man to the 10th degree, you might say! He se ‘Ills to have a lifeline to a great source of spiritual and even physical vigor that sees him through hundreds of projects — any one of which would be too much for an ordinary person! He has tremendous vitality, which he imparts to everyone who comes in contact with him. And I’m always delighted to see Mrs. Moon. Her charm and beauty and great support for her husband’s work are things that all of us ought to emulate.

I feel that ICUS is a unique conference in three ways. For one thing, it’s the only one that brings together scholars of so many different disciplines so that they can discuss their work together. They learn to broaden their own approach. It’s also truly international. Great efforts have been made to bring together people from all over the world, including from behind the Iron Curtain as far as they are willing to play a role. And thirdly, there is total freedom of speech. Rev. Moon has never required or hinted at or expressed the slightest control or influence over what is said. Your views are usually received courteously by others even if they disagree with you. People can come here knowing that there is total freedom of thought and speech.

Bound to Continue
With this conference I feel, in a way, that a chapter is ending and that ICUS may change into something completely different in the future. That’s good; there has to be change. I’m not sure that the conferences have achieved yet what Rev. Moon hoped they would. At the moment I think there’s a lot more work to be done in distinct, specialized fields. This work is bound to continue until we’ve got some more fundamental answers — particularly in the fields of physics and evolution. Then I think there could be the prospect of bringing the sciences together.

When my husband and I first became acquainted with ICUS back in 1973 or 1974, we had no idea then what the Unification movement was and what sort of person Rev. Moon was. The movement was being seriously attacked in Britain at the time, and we had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for. But since then, our impressions have changed greatly, and we’ve never had the slightest regrets. On the contrary, we’ve been delighted to be part of this movement. My husband has given to it as much as he could of his knowledge and his spirit, and I’ve given what I could. We spend a lot of time trying to convert distortions of the Unification movement in Britain and have earned a great deal of criticism for that. But we don’t regret it in the least, and we certainly want to do what we can.

It’s been a joy to meet young members of the church from all over the world. They’re wonderful young people, and we’re full of admiration for their dedication, spirituality, comradeship, and the support they’re giving Rev. Moon. We feel that we’ve gained enormously in friendship, understanding, and affection from many people.

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Dr. David Carlson
David Carlson, who received a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology two years ago, has been teaching for a year and a half at UTS. He has helped to develop courses on “The Life and Thought of Rev. Moon” and “Unificationism and World Religions.” In the last three ICUS conferences, he was an observer in committees on Unification Thought. This time he was a paper writer for Committee V.

In Committee V, “Eco-Philosophy as a New Metaphysical and Cultural Reconstruction,” I felt that the other paper writers were talking about Unification Thought without really realizing it! I discovered that they were dealing with the same ideas, the same thoughts, the same categories as I was — they just weren’t using Unification Thought terminology. For example, terms like “relationality,” “wholistic,” and “eco-cosmic lover” are very applicable to Unification Thought. I had this vision that Unification Thought could tie it all together for them. That’s a very idealistic way of thinking. And it happened a little bit that way. My paper was well received, and there were no real objections. There were a couple of very wonderful comments about it. One woman quoted my paper on a certain topic in her response to another paper, which I thought was nice.

Eco-philosophy is still very much in the process of formation. Each person in the committee was a voice with a distinctive emphasis in the process of defining this new philosophy, and I believe it will come to fruition over time. I think we saw some of that in this conference. Most of the people who participated in Committee V are ecologically sensitive. The participants came from diverse backgrounds. One woman works with Leadership Initiatives International. One gentleman has set up a community where people live as economically and ecologically as possible. He’s a kind of praxis-oriented person. One participant was a Buddhist; one came from another Eastern perspective; and another was a Christian theologian from San Francisco. Several people came from Britain, where the ecological movement is very strong — you’ve heard of the Green Party there. Another paper was by a woman speaking from a “feminist” viewpoint. I consider myself from the Eastern perspective. Although there were more people representing the West, we had both East and West represented. But in terms of our focus at the conference, we were all very similar, and that added a lot to the committee. We had a lot of good discussions and very good papers.

Unity of Heart
The way I envision the unity of the sciences coming about is by people from different disciplines working for the same purpose — sharing their knowledge, experimentation, and research and contributing their own specialized skills to the centralized focus. I think that that’s feasible in the near future. I think it’s already happening at ICUS. I think of it in the same way that I think of the unity of religions: It’s going to be unity of heart and purpose.

Unification Thought focuses more on the heart. A couple of the participants in their papers talked about a “Copernican revolution of the mind.” I’ll explain what Copernican revolution means: Ptolemy put the earth at the center of the universe, but Copernicus discovered that the sun was at the center, which completely changed the way people saw the universe. The theologian John Hick talks about another kind of Copernican revolution. He explains that traditionally, Jesus and Christian doctrine have been considered the center by Christians; he is proposing that God be the center. It’s a nice metaphor for Unificationism to pick up on — “a Copernican revolution of the heart.” Everyone is criticizing the selfishness that brings about ecological disasters. Unificationism says: “Let’s not be selfish. Let’s live for the whole purpose and really love the environment.” That’s what we need!

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Our Standard of Devotion
Sun Myung Moon
Completion of the Providence and Parents’ Day
4/15/80, World Mission Center
Before I undertook any task in this country, I met the major leaders here — such as President Nixon and most of the senators, including Senator Kennedy. I also met former President Eisenhower. Go to the famous and well-known people in your area. You should feel that you can contribute more to your area than they do and love your area more than anyone. You can say proudly to the parents that you love their children more than they do, and to the children that you love their parents more than they do. You love them more because you love them with the unselfish love of God.

The Burden on Our Shoulders
6/11/78, London
You never know whom you will meet when you go witnessing door to door. You might find an important man who later on might save the whole nation. You must be prepared to meet such a person. Even though you are tired, you should visit just one more home at the end of the day because that may be where you meet the person who could save the nation. You may have visited 100 names and not met the man who could save the nation, but he might be in #101. If you live with this conviction, then God will lead you to such a man.

Wherever you go with that heart, the spirit world will prepare for you. Always think that you are going to find someone whose heart you can connect with the heart of God. You are reaching out to heaven, and that door you knock on is your stepping stone. We are always searching for that special, righteous person, and if you are walking with God’s guidance, then all of a sudden, without realizing how it happened, you meet someone and you are sure he is that person. You can experience this not only once but several times while you are witnessing. It should even be a common thing for you.

Eternal Happiness
2/25/79, Belvedere
If you can’t bear to leave your area and you stay awake there all night, then the spirit world will visit your 360 homes for you. The spirit world will show each one of them that you are standing in the neighborhood and not going back to your home because you miss them so much. After having this dream or vision, they will open up their door and you will be standing there. This can actually happen. Just as the spirit world, Adam, Eve, and God must work as one before the Kingdom of Heaven is realized on earth, you also will have to experience this before heaven can be realized in your area.

Everything you do should be centered around your area. If you have to go to the bathroom, go there. When you cry, you must shed the most profound tears in your area. The best things that happen in your life should happen in your area, things that you cannot forget for eternity. If, when you become old, you can look back and say those were your happiest days, you will have the foundation for eternal happiness. That is where God’s love and the ideal will be located. I experienced that while I was in prison, and even now I can feel it everywhere I go. These phenomena did not happen just in the early days of our church; they are happening even now. The standard is the same for you as for me, but it will work only if you are complete in your feeling of love for your area.

The Return to Tears
10/6/77, Belvedere
Let your 360 homes be like your own children’s homes. Go there and stay up all night talking and then watch the rising sun together with them. You must have the conviction in your heart that you are God’s representatives to them. You needn’t think of visiting only during the daytime but also at midnight. If you go out there and wait to meet a certain person, staying up all night and cheerfully praying under those circumstances, then as long as you are there America will never perish.

Things That Are Important to You
2/1/81, Belvedere
Wherever you go, you are standing on the Principle. God has given you the stage — your home church — where you can practice this. Season your life with life power, love power, and ideal power in your home church. If you want to become a Ph.D. you have to write a dissertation. Sometimes people devote many years to preparing their dissertation. To get a degree from home church, you have to work day and night. This cannot be done in your way, but must be done in God’s way.