The Preface to Father’s Memoirs
Sun Myung Moon
March 1, 2009
Chung Pyung, South Korea
Father’s memoirs have been selling well in Korea. On June 1 True Parents are hosting a dinner in Seoul to commemorate the book’s launching. For the benefit of invited foreign dignitaries, a small portion of the book, including the preface below, has been translated into English. It is expected that translations of the entire book will be produced in various languages. This would help blessed families introduce True Parents to book lovers.
A steady spring rain fell all last night, ending a winter drought. It was so nice to have had the rain that I spent all this morning walking about in the garden. The ground had that fragrant aroma of moist earth I had missed all through the winter, and the weeping willow and cherry trees were showing signs of new spring buds. I felt I could hear the popping sounds of new life sprouting here and there around the garden. Before I knew it, my wife, who had followed me out, was picking young mugwort shoots that had managed to poke their heads up through the dry lawn. The night’s rain had turned the whole world into a fragrant spring garden.
No matter how much commotion there may be in the world, when the calendar turns to March, spring is on its way. The older I become, the more it means to me that in nature spring follows winter and brings with it flowers in full bloom. What am I, that God, in season, allows the flowers to bloom and the snow to fall so I might know the joy of being alive? Love wells up from within the deepest recesses of my heart, and I am overcome with emotion. I am moved to tears to think that everything of real value has been given to me freely. In my life, I have circled the globe many times over in my efforts to bring about a world of peace, and yet it is here in this garden in spring that I am able to taste real peace. Peace, too, was given to us by God, but we lost it somewhere and now spend our lives looking for it in all the wrong places.
To bring a world of peace, I’ve spent my life going to the lowliest and most secluded places. I met mothers in Africa who could only watch helplessly as their children died of hunger, and I met fathers in South America who lived by a river full of fish but couldn’t feed their children because they didn’t know how to fish. All I did was give them a small amount of food, but they granted me their love in return. Intoxicated with the power of love, I cultivated forests and planted seeds. I cut down trees to build a school, and I caught fish to feed hungry children. I was happy even as mosquitoes bit me all over while I fished all through the night. Even when my feet were sinking knee-deep into mud, I was happy because I could see the shadows of loneliness disappear from the faces of my neighbors.
Seeking the shortest path to a world of peace, I devoted myself to inspiring change in the political process and to changing people’s ways of thinking. I met then President Gorbachev of the Soviet Union as part of my effort to bring reconciliation between communism and democracy. I met then President Kim Il Sung of North Korea for a serious discussion on how to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula. As if I were a fireman responding to an emergency, I went to a morally declining United States, where I worked to reawaken the Puritan spirit. I’ve dedicated myself to resolving various conflicts in the world. For the sake of reconciliation between Muslims and Jews, I did not hesitate to go to Palestine at a time when terror was rampant. I’ve brought together thousands of Jews, Muslims and Christians in forums for reconciliation, and I’ve organized peace marches. But conflict continues.
I see hope, though, that an age of peace is about to be inaugurated in Korea. The Korean people have been trained through endless suffering and the tragedy of division, and I can feel in every cell of my body that a powerful energy has been stored here and is ready to burst out. In the same way that no one can stop spring from coming, no human power can stop heavenly fortune from coming to the Korean peninsula. The people of Korea need to prepare themselves so that they may rise with the tide of heavenly fortune when it arrives. I am a controversial person. The mere mention of my name causes trouble in the world. I have never sought money or fame but have spent my life speaking of peace. The world, though, has associated many different phrases with my name, rejected me and thrown stones at me. Many are not interested in knowing what I say or what I do. They only oppose me.
I have been unjustly imprisoned six times — by imperial Japan, in Kim II Sung’s North Korea, by South Korea’s Syngman Rhee government, and even in the United States. At times in my life, I have been beaten so hard that flesh was torn from my body. Today, though, not even the slightest wound remains in my heart. Wounds easily disappear in the presence of true love. Even enemies melt away without a trace in the presence of true love. True love flows from a heart that gives and gives, and wants to continuing giving. It flows from one who loves, forgets having loved, and loves again. I have lived my entire life intoxicated in such love. I wanted nothing aside from love, and I threw my entire being into the effort to share love with my impoverished neighbors. At times, following the path of love was so difficult that my knees buckled under me, but even then I felt happy in my heart, which is dedicated to loving humanity.
Even now, I am filled with love that I have not yet been able to give. It is with a prayer that this love will become a river of peace saturating the drought-stricken land and flowing to the ends of the earth that I now place this book before the world. Recently, a growing number of people have been seeking to know more about me; interest apparently increased around the world following the near-tragic helicopter accident last year. For the sake of those who are curious, I have looked back on my life and recorded my candid recollections in this book. As for the stories that could not be included in this volume, I hope there will be other opportunities for me to convey them.
I send boundless love to all those who have put their faith in me, remained by my side, and lived their lives with me; and to my wife, Hak Ja Han Moon, to whom I am deeply grateful for struggling alongside me to scale the most difficult peaks.
Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Park Eun-ju, president of Gimm-Young Publishers, Inc., who poured out much sincerity and dedication in the process of bringing this book to publication, and to all those in the publishing company who invested their sweat in editing the content into something that could be easily understood by readers.