Founder’s Address – The Path to World Peace in View of God’s Will
Sun Myung Moon
October 21, 2001
This is the Opening Address given at Assembly 2001 held October 21, 2001 in New York, NY.
Today, at this transitional point in human history, leaders from the world over who are concerned about the future of humanity have gathered here in mutual consideration of how to resolve the crisis facing the Earth. The tragedies that took place in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania on September 11 truly shocked the entire world. Along with the concern over peace and safety, we came to reflect upon fundamental and serious questions of modern civilization and future of humankind.
Throughout history, human beings have continuously aspired for world peace. However, that dream has never been realized. We can look back at the end of the Cold War, at which time fierce political and military conflicts and struggles concluded. Many people expected that the long-awaited era of peace and stability would arrive based on the foundation of highly developed science.
Nonetheless, we came to realize that conflict, hatred and selfish desire are imbedded deeply within each of us and are still active. These are creating ever more serious disasters in new shapes and forms. Violence wreaked upon innocents is certainly an inhumane criminal act, and it must be stopped. However, what can eradicate those inner conflicts and struggles, and resolve the fundamental human problems at their root? Where was the seed of hatred, conflict, and struggle sown, and how did it come to be rooted deeply within us?
The seed was planted in the family of the first human ancestors, Adam and Eve. The conflicts and struggles that resulted have continued from generation to generation until the present time.
Then, where is the path to resolve those conflicts and realize peace on Earth? Historically, human beings have been attempting to overcome conflict and pursue peace through economic, political, diplomatic and military means. However, such methods obviously do not provide fundamental solutions, as we are still struggling with many unresolved problems.
There is but one fundamental way and it is simple. It is to restore the family that the first human ancestors lost; that is, the ideal family of God. That is the family with God at its center, the family that has achieved perfection in true love both vertically and horizontally.
God exists as the Original Being of true love and the invisible True Parent of humankind. However, love cannot exist alone. It exists in relationships and it can bear fruit only through relationships. That is why we were created as God’s children, through whom He sought to realize His true love.
The Three Blessings of God
The First Blessing of God to human beings, “be fruitful” (Genesis 1:28), called God’s children to become the object partners of His true love by becoming true persons. When we love someone, we want our object partner to be better than ourselves. Thus, in love, God, as the Father, wants His children to be better than Him. That is why God repeatedly invests Himself in human beings, the object partners of His love, and nevertheless constantly forgets about what He has already given and desires infinitely to give love more and more. This is so because love has its origin in the desire to live for the sake of others for eternity.
God then bestowed the Second Blessing, “multiply,” (Genesis 1:28). The first human ancestors were to have grown to maturity as the children of God. After having reached perfection, as one with God in heart, they were to have become True Husband and Wife. Then, they were to have become substantial True Parents to their children, inheriting and passing on true love, true life and true lineage from God.
As such, God’s ideal of creation was to perfect true love both vertically and horizontally, beginning in the first family of our common ancestors. Since God’s love is absolute, unique, un-changing and eternal, that family also was to have become the absolute, unique, unchanging and eternal family, centered on true love. Human beings would have become substantial embodiments of love, totally united with God in heart. They would have enjoyed perfect freedom, happiness and the realization of all ideals.
Then they would have become the Lords of true love whom all beings in the universe would have loved and welcomed. This was God’s Third Blessing (Genesis 1:28). This is the Blessing to create a living environment in which we can experience joy and happiness, having dominion over the creation. This includes the care for and preservation of the world’s ecological balance as true masters of the creation.
Not Power or Knowledge, but True Love
Tragically, our human ancestors could not inherit the Three Blessings of God and establish the family of true love. That means they failed to become true persons, true spouses, true parents, and true Lords centered on true love. Instead, they disobeyed God, and He expelled them from the Garden of Eden. As the fallen human ancestors, they became false spouses to each other, with false love that has nothing to do with God’s Blessings. They gave birth to children and those children multiplied to populate the world of today.
Since the fall at the beginning of human history, human beings have not been born on the foundation of true love, in the attendance of God. Instead, we have lived in conflict and struggle between our own mind and body. This conflict manifested as a tragedy of hatred and murder between two brothers, Cain and Abel, in the first family. That was the miserable reality of a family that left God.
A family built upon the basis of human relationships alone cannot become a family of the original ideal of creation. An ideal family must connect to God vertically and have a true person as its pivot. Under the true love of true parents, among siblings who own and share a common vertical pivot, the family finally can establish the relationships of ultimate harmony and peace. We can experience true love within an ideal family that bears good fruit. The family is the original and best school of love. Power or knowledge can never create true love.
The Loss of God’s Blessings
Honorable world leaders! What do you feel when you look at the reality of human society and at the youth of the contemporary world? Do you feel hope for a bright future? I believe that you experience agony over the increasing rates of crime, violence, drug abuse, immorality, corruption, teen pregnancy and so forth. These arise out of a confusion of values and foretell darkness enveloping our youth.
How did we arrive at this point? Better school systems and social improvements would have delayed the onset of these problems, but these endeavors do not address the fundamental cause of these problems, which is the breakdown and loss of families. This breakdown is a product of the time we are in, a time when humankind is harvesting the fruit sown by the loss of the first family of true love.
The destruction of the foremost school of true love leads to the phenomena of family breakdown, with enormously destructive side effects. This breakdown not only causes personal anxiety but also leads to manifold problems on the national and worldwide levels. Of particular concern is the emotional instability of youth, which leads to changing life goals, spiritual wandering, and even deviation from healthy lifestyles.
World leaders who are concerned over the future must take very seriously the real problems of youth avoiding marriage, rampant divorce, and so forth, which destroy the fundamental foundation for families.
Having lost the First and Second Blessings, humankind does not understand how important it is to perfect one’s individuality. As a true individual we can experience sacred and eternal conjugal love. Most of today’s youth are not educated in a thoroughgoing way about the importance of keeping purity before marriage and reaching individual maturity through true love. Thus they do not understand the value of true love, which is the fundamental root of joy, happiness and all ideals.
The tendency to make light of trust and fidelity between husband and wife, and to ignore the sacredness of marriage, is an internal cause of indescribable disasters and tragedies for humankind. True love has no place in the so-called free sex culture, in which people seek only the physical love between a man and a woman as the cardinal but momentary pleasure. The rapid spread of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases threatens the very existence of the human race. It is said that there is no safety zone against the HIV virus. A greater terrorism than that over which the entire world is now trembling is before our eyes, allowing us no safety zone. Once contracted, its victims must give up their dreams for happiness, ideals, and life itself. Unless we resolve this catastrophe plaguing our planet, how can we claim that we are world leaders?
Nor have we taken responsibility for the Third Blessing endowed by God, to “have dominion over the creation.” This requires that we take care of all creatures with true love. What would happen if the natural world were to rebel against the abuse and misuse it suffers at the hands of human beings who lord over it? Are not those symptoms beginning to appear? Before the natural world punishes our intolerable arrogance, we should stand before nature in true love as people of restored integrity.
Steps to World Peace
Respected world leaders! Now is the time for humanity to voluntarily repudiate pride, ignorance, selfishness and hatred. Let us follow the laws of Heaven and humble ourselves before God.
Ever since God called me at the tender age of 16, I have committed myself totally to the realization of world peace, which has been God’s deepest wish. And at this time, I would like to set forth several crucial steps that are necessary for us to take in order to bring peace to the world.
First, we must live for the sake of others. A self-centered life not only causes discomfort to others, but also violates the laws of Heaven. Living for the sake of others, on the other hand, is the way we can resemble God. Loving our family, our community, our nation and the world is the way to inherit God’s true love. It is the way to live in accord with the fundamental order of the universe. Only through practicing true love can we become true individuals, true parents, true teachers and true Lords. Only then can we finally become the leaders who can bring about peace on Earth. A life of living for the sake of others is the first gate to peace.
The path to peace ultimately must be based on “Godism” or “Head-Wing Ideology,” the teaching that can reconcile and embrace all sides in a conflict, from the thought to the fruit, by dealing with the starting-point of conflict in the relationship between Cain and Abel. How can we break the chain of hatred and violence we perpetrate against one another? Returning hatred in response to hatred only leads to more hatred, terror and destruction. This is certainly not the path to peace. We can touch, embrace and educate conflicting parties only by true love.
True love that places God in the center disregards national boundaries; therefore it is international. True love transcends the high walls dividing religions and races; therefore it is inter-religious and inter-racial. True love centered on God’s ideal of living for the sake of others can generate the power to touch a person’s heart and spirit. By true love alone can the various reasons and causes of conflicts on Earth be overcome, whether the confrontation is between right and left, front and rear, above and below, or inner and outer. By true love alone can we establish a world of eternal peace.
Marriage as an Instrument of Peace
Second, the family is the fundamental unit for building peaceful nations and ultimately a peaceful world. As I already mentioned, the root of conflict originated in the first family. Therefore, until the family of the True Parents appears, it is impossible for us to enter the era of world peace.
The international Blessings that I promote worldwide are not the wedding ceremony of a particular religion. They are a movement to save all nations and the world. We teach youth to keep their purity before marriage and, when they reach adulthood, to marry under the Blessing of God. However, as a condition to receive the marriage Blessing, they first must pledge to their spouse that they will maintain absolute trust and fidelity as husband and wife. Thus, the Blessing is a holy movement to build true families and lift up true parents who live centered on true love.
Families built upon such an ideal and such an education have no need to feel threatened by the AIDS virus. For them, preventing AIDS is easier than preventing a cold or flu. If we educate the youth of the world in this vision and practice it, we will completely eliminate the AIDS epidemic. We will eliminate the scourge of family breakdown as well.
Further, these families of true love will serve as the cornerstone for peaceful nations and a peaceful world. In particular, if individuals of enemy nations, who have lived in discord throughout history, come together in true love as in-laws, their reconciliation will bring nations and races together. It is a high wall to overcome. Nevertheless, here is the supreme formula for bringing true peace to the world: bring together children from enemy families and nations for the “Exchange Marriage Blessing.” These inter-religious and international families can build a realm of Blessing, perfecting true families of true love that both Heaven and Earth desire. From that point will begin the world of eternal peace that God and all humankind have desired.
A Challenge to Religious Leaders
Third, inter-religious reconciliation and cooperation is an essential condition for world peace. I have campaigned tirelessly for inter-religious harmony and dialogue. I always have devoted a far greater proportion of my funds for that purpose than for the growth and development of the Unification Church. Do you think that practicing such sacrificial love with an unchanging heart is easy? By no means! But we cannot expect world peace unless religious people reconcile and cooperate.
World peace is the original ideal of God. Therefore, religious leaders and believers should be the guides who lead people to peace. If religions only emphasize narrow-minded denominationalism and fail to teach true love for God and the universe, we will never free humankind from the horrors of war. In the face of this global crisis, religious leaders have to practice true love, humbly following God’s Will, walking hand in hand beyond the boundaries of their own religion.
The inner power of religion touches our hearts and can recreate us as people of peace. It can cultivate our ability to practice self-control from within. It can overcome historical hatreds and resentments among us. This is the root from which arises true peace and stability. If religions demonstrate love for each other, cooperate with each other, and serve each other, putting the higher ideal of peace ahead of particular doctrines, rituals and cultural backgrounds, the world will change dramatically.
Beyond National Self-Interest
Fourth, I once again emphasize the proper role of the United Nations in realizing world peace. As a representative organization for world peace, the United Nations has made many contributions. Last year, I presented my proposals to solve the fundamental problems plaguing the planet Earth, given that the world’s circumstances have changed and the complex situations in which nations find themselves today are unlike those at the time of the United Nations’ founding.
One of these proposals was to establish a special body that would discuss and evaluate the religious, spiritual and moral dimensions of world problems. The United Nations must serve the world and God’s ideal of creation effectively. To do so, it must transcend the power of politics and national diplomacy, which reflect the motives of nations seeking their own self-interest. Only then can it truly protect the human rights of all peoples and nations and build world peace.
This is not limited to the United Nations. Maintaining order in the world and protecting public prosperity and peace will be difficult as long as political sovereignty operates on the principle of national self-interest and ignores or undermines moral and spiritual values.
What is required is that high-level leaders ground themselves spiritually and morally upon God’s ideal and govern according to universal principles. No political power or earthly authority should stand above God and the laws of Heaven.
Moreover, the United Nations should listen to and embrace many of the views of the Non-Governmental Organizations. This is the reason we established WANGO. I encourage all NGOs, while not losing your original founding spirit, to dialogue and cooperate with one another. I request that you continue serving the world, be unselfish and stay free of corruption.
Respected world leaders! A person who only talks about world peace without practicing it is not a true leader. Given the current world situation, we cannot leisurely wait for the arrival of world peace while sitting down. Each of us, the Ambassadors for Peace and everyone else, must create world peace by all means. Let us all take active roles as leaders in the movement for peace.
I wish and hope that, centered on the Peace Embassies, all international organizations including the United Nations will participate actively in the movement for world peace. It is our historical quest.
International organizations: let us be united as one in mind and heart. Let us become pioneers for world peace, by first building ideal families of true love and living for the sake of others.