The Words of Sun Myung Moon's Family
Can you say something about what you talked about with True Parents during this visit?
I was able to express to True Parents that from this time on I will be able to support the True Family much more fully and closely. Of course, True Parents were very happy to hear it. They have asked that all the girls (as well as boys) in the True Family support God's work to bring unity in the family centering on God, and as the oldest daughter I would have a great deal to offer Parents and the Heavenly Parent.
I also had a private conversation with Mother. The initial reason was in connection with Hyo Jin nim's ascension. Having been spiritually sensitive during my life, I have dreams and a close understanding of God's heart.
I have had dreams of Hyo Jin ever since his ascension, and also of Heung Jin and Young Jin. Hyo Jin wants to connect with the True Family as a whole and with his own family as well. He is very devoted to his wife and children. During his life in the physical world, he tried his hardest to fulfill his first son position. His name in Chinese characters means "filial piety"; he still wants to keep that devotion as a son of filial piety. Since his ascension, he has also gone through his own course of maturity, and he has developed a very deep and loving heart. While in the physical world, as he tried to help other siblings whenever they had difficulties, he wants to continue such a tradition of heartistic offering.
Hyo Jin is just a year or so different from me in age. As the first daughter and first son, we share much in terms of our experiences in Korea, growing up during the early stages of the movement. We have a much deeper relationship, though we all struggled in our own way. I always felt his deep heart and a close connection to him. I have been praying a lot for him since his ascension, for his well-being. I want to continue with the heart that Hyo Jin has for the True Family.
Because I had the experiences I have mentioned, as I had found the occasion to come here, I wanted to share my heart with Mother. She really appreciated that.
At that time also, Mother expressed that she wanted me to carry the same heart, and to work with my sisters – Hae Jin (in the spirit world), In Jin, Un Jin, Sun Jin, Yeon Jin and Jeong Jin. There should be female children's support for the True Family just as there should be support from the boys in the family. It was really a heartfelt opportunity for me, and I think it was likewise for Mother, to have this sort of conversation. I was deeply grateful for it.
Can you say something about Mother's life?
I understand Mother's course deeply because I was growing up in Cheongpa-dong. My life was inextricably interwoven with Mother's. I shared a lot with her as I was a close witness of what she was going through. I also struggled tremendously. The beginning of the movement was very challenging and chaotic. Everyone was coming from different directions with their own struggles, and Cheongpa-dong was a very challenging place. Moreover, as we were not just any kind of movement, we also had challenging connections with various levels of the spirit world. So, in the beginning of the movement there were a lot of spiritual phenomena, some that were not always positive. As I was a very sensitive and mature child for my age, and since I was internalizing all alone what was going on in the spiritual as well as physical worlds around Cheongpa-dong and the movement at large, my existence growing up was overwhelming.
Having now grown up myself and had children, I can understand Mother's heart more deeply. Because of the providential requirement, she had to have many children, yet, how much she would have wanted to invest her maternal heart in each child. Oftentimes she could not because of the position she held and because of Father's emphasis on loving the "Cain" position children first. The Cain position children were the priority. But how much Mother, who had carried all those children in her womb, would have wanted to express her love to each child had she been in a regular family situation. As a woman who has borne and nurtured children, I can empathize with Mother's maternal, suffering heart.
At the beginning of the movement, even though people had heart, since a lot of them had a Christian background, they only had a limited, Christian understanding of messiahship centering solely on a male figure. So, they did not have a proper understanding of the Bride and her critical role on behalf of womankind in particular and humankind in general. I wish there had been more support for Mother's position. People may have had good intentions, but there was no precedent with which to compare her providential role. It was a daunting reality.
I know that she was oftentimes very lonely. I would see her crying, and I often cried in private too. But, Mother has been able to triumph over various circumstances and kept her big heart. She has shown what perseverance is.
One other point, the movement began from the Korean culture, which is deeply rooted in the Confucian culture, under which people are not equals in relationships. Relationships are hierarchical. Men are in a superior position, with women in the object position, required to be demure, not expressing much. To a degree, decorum and a certain reservation may be virtues for anyone -- regardless of sex. But at the same time, there has to be encouragement for external expression and a genuine sense of assertiveness. With proper education and guidance all women can blossom and do things as well as any man.
Having grown up in the Korean culture during my formative years, I can attest that even just a few decades ago, Korea was still a very traditional environment. Females were the "second sex." Women were not encouraged to study hard intellectual courses in science or mathematics, or engage in higher intellectual pursuits. They were more encouraged to study home economics (the domestic sphere). Certainly if you were not properly educated, you just accepted a subservient role. In the long run, that is not good for the male side either. For mothers have to bear and raise not only girls but boys as well, and if they are not provided adequate support to develop their human potentials, all children, regardless of sex, will suffer as a consequence. It is only very recently, due to Western influence, that Korea is engaging in public discourse regarding gender equality. Though we still have a lot to accomplish in the area of the equality of the sexes, avenues and opportunities for women are opening up. As a woman, this issue is truly dear to my heart.
As human beings, we have multiple responsibilities (three blessings or responsibilities) and an equally great range of potentials, and it is only a matter of proper education and support that allows us -- both male and female -- to all achieve our human potentials in God's complete image. Fundamentally, we have equal value as human beings, as is attested by the attainment of the First Blessing or the individual perfection of our spiritual and physical selves in Principled true love unity in God's complete image. The Principle is very clear, but we are all dealing with the fallen cultures we grew up in, so we bring that baggage. Sometimes we need to distinguish how much something is from the Principle (which should be the ideal) and what is from what we have learned from a fallen culture.
In Jin nim has been investing herself in the United States, where you are currently living. Can you say something about your sister's work?
I am so proud of In Jin and what she has been able to accomplish. She has really invested her heart and soul and all her energy, wanting to take responsibility for the American movement. I know she has a lot to offer. She is a great mother; she has a natural presence in public, and she is a wonderful speaker. She has been going to different cities in the U.S., paying individual attention to each family, personally meeting with second-generation members. It is really a motherly role. She is doing a wonderful job. In other countries, in Korea and Japan, there should be more understanding of her work.
Oftentimes we focus on how wonderful the brothers are and who is taking charge of this and that, but the sisters have equal heart and determination. Of course, women have to carry children, give birth to them and raise them. In that sense, we do have a greater family responsibility. So we have double the duty, double the responsibility! It's always challenging.
After In Jin took time to raise her family so well, her children are beautiful and have so much to offer, with great talent. Now that they are pretty much grown up, In Jin wants to invest in the movement, help other families and support the second generation. I am very hopeful, and I really want to support her. My youngest child will be going to college soon, so now I will be able to devote more time, devote myself more fully to the movement, supporting the woman's role, a more embracing and internal role.
There is a providential schedule and there are expectations, so we need to do a lot of external work. At the same time, we need to pay attention to our children because they will shoulder the responsibility to carry the movement forward. We will need to empower and educate them. We will have to educate them about their collective identity -- what it means to have been born in the movement, what it means for their parents to have joined, and for the first generation to have put their lives in the background and invested in the providence. We appreciate this, but there are still challenges we face and work to be done. After all, we are the movement that has to save all humankind. So until the last human being can understand God's heart and return to God, there is still a lot of work to do, a lot of educating. I think this is the maternal, embracing, nurturing and healing role that women are instinctively capable of and that we can contribute to the providence.
I have one daughter. She has been one with me on this issue and has been very active in supporting second-generation activities in the East Garden area. She has been in CARP and on STF. She also is a committed leader in youth ministry.
I am very hopeful. Even though there are many struggles for those in the second generation, many second-generation members are committed and understand their collective identity. They understand what it means to have been born in this movement and that we have the responsibility to carry on, so that it does not regress but only moves forward, and that we can bring all of humankind closer to God -- the sooner the better. We still have a lot of work to do, and we really have to encourage future generations and let them have a clear purpose and sense of who they are and what we need to accomplish collectively.
A lot of the second-generation members have very pure hearts, but there has been a lot of confusion because they have seen the first-generation members suffer a great deal and because often their own parents were devoted to the mission, the children felt they did not have enough time with their parents. At the same time, the children have been dealing with local cultural influences and social pressures.
We all need to heal, regain our strength, reconnect to God and to the fundamental purpose for which God raised this movement with the ideal of the True Parents. We all want to be a part of helping each other.
During your time in Korea you not only met True Parents but also some of your brothers who are working here. Can you share your impressions?
They have a lot to offer. The boys have been able to show their capabilities in various ways. All of them have their own and charisma. Hyun Jin and Kook Jin have great leadership and business acumen. We certainly need economic support to be able to do the providential work. Kwon Jin has great people-skills and will prove to be a wonderful leader as well. Hyung Jin's way of relating to members is very refreshing. Since he has been educated mostly in the West, I hope that his ministry in Korea will be able to embrace and transcend the differences between people.
Is there anything you could share about being True Parents' first child?
By nature, and by circumstance, I am a very internal person. I have been searching all my life to understand what it means to be a True Child. In light of God's Principle, which is absolute, eternal and unchanging, as opposed to the fallen reality (which we still have to deal with) it has always been my quest to gain greater understanding of the Principle standard and to understand God's deeper heart. Maybe at some other time I will be able to share more deeply about my personal experiences. It has not been an easy journey for me.
As I mentioned earlier in our discussion about our early movement in Korea, a lot of members had come from Christian backgrounds, and their understanding of the Messiah was very idealized, as if he were God incarnate. They never had experience of the Messiah's child. I was the first, so I suffered through a lot of trial and error. They did not realize that a child is born with human potentials, but nonetheless must pass through a growth period. Ideally, parents and those around them must educate the child in the Principle and nurture the child in true love. However, because their understanding of messiahship, they expected the first child to be a perfect little god.
The movement was very chaotic, especially if seen from a child's perspective. Oftentimes members wanted blessings from this very small child, who herself still needed education, nurturing and love. Instead of offering those things, it was the other way around -- when (as I was still a child) I had nothing to offer. It was a great struggle, and there were expectations, but no one seemed to understand that there needed to be a growth stage and that there had to be involvement. In an ideal situation, a child's parents and those around them giving proper nurturing is their 95 percent responsibility, and then there is the child's 5 percent responsibility. That give and take has to continue for the twenty-one years of the growth period. Yet, when the child does not have proper nurturing and support but only unrealistic expectations, the child will suffer even to the point of death.
I lived through persecution at the beginning of the movement. Beside the external, outside persecutions, there were a lot of spiritual phenomena of various kinds happening in Cheongpa-dong. People did not lucidly comprehend that the spirit world is divided in numerous ways and that if you open yourself to be influenced at certain level, you will be swayed by it either in positive and or negative ways. There were not proper checks and balances of what was going on. It was a very challenging environment for a small child to be growing up in.
At school, I had no friends, because parents of other children at school would not let their children associate with me, because Father was viewed as a cult leader. Also, people in the movement at the time were much more protective; I was not even allowed to go out of Cheongpa-dong Church freely. So, I had no friends among my peers in school, around the Church, or even with blessed children, because I was asked to be their caregiver.
No one took the responsibility and taught me the Principle.
Members surmised that I was born already knowing the Principle and expected me to be a little evangelist. There was a great gap between the expectations and reality.
When I was twelve years old, True Parents were away in their mission to America for a year.
I was at the bottom, in a pit of despair, struggling for the meaning of my existence. In my bruised heart, I truly believed that it would serve everyone's interest for me to exit from this world. Since there was no support but only expectations and ensuing judgments, I was conditioned to blame myself for all that was wrong. I determined to extinguish my life, but I wanted to exit slowly. I opted for a starvation diet of extreme rationing, in order that I would die slowly. I wanted people to see with their own eyes that I was not a spoiled little princess, but a truly suffering child. Thus, after a period of one year, I had literally wasted into a skeleton. My growth was stunted, my health thereafter never recovered properly. It was only the beginning point of physical problems all through my life.
My personal journey has been extraordinary in many ways. I do feel I have much compassion and empathy for people who are struggling in various ways. This is because I had to struggle through an existential search, in the sense of seeking the meaning of life and death. Oftentimes, as it was the question I was grappling with, I do feel I have a deeper understanding of human suffering.
At the same time, I want to testify that I am grateful that no matter how difficult it was, no matter how deep the pit I felt I was in, I never blamed God. I knew in my deepest heart that God truly understood, and I felt His / Her parental heart in great agony for the suffering of His / Her children. In the beginning of the movement, Father also had many tearful prayers and sermons, grappling to understand God's suffering heart. Each person needs to have such experiences. In hindsight, I am very grateful. [Ye Jin nim is in tears.]
We are approaching the first anniversary of Hyo Jin nim's ascension. Can you express some of your feelings for him?
I touched upon this before, but I can add something. We grew up in similar circumstances. I think I do understand him very deeply. He talked about his struggles in public, so members are aware of those. But even in light of the life we led in Cheongpa-dong, I can relate to the impact it would have had on Hyo Jin as well. If he had been offered more support and proper guidance, he would have blossomed without the unnecessary suffering that he endured.
Even though, externally, he appeared to have a very strong character, he truly had a deep heart. I know he would have had a lot more to share. I want to testify that as he matured, he was a very loving husband and a father who was deeply devoted to his children. I can feel from my dreams that he really wants to convey his heart and support for the True Family as well as for his own family that they should be good examples for the rest of the blessed children. He sincerely wants to carry on his tradition of heart. I am very grateful and deeply moved in appreciation. [Ye Jin nim weeps.]
In his later sermons, Hyo Jin nim expressed that life was short. Looking back some thought this was prophetic. Ideally, God does not want us to die prematurely, but wants us to live the full extent of our physical lives in the physical world, fulfill the three blessings (responsibilities) and ascend as perfect spirits. However, even though this is the ideal, in our True Family, since the burden of our course is not just our own by individual choice, but bears the weight of providential history, our family has had to establish uncalled-for indemnity conditions. As our family represents all of human history beginning from Adam / Eve, within Father and Mother's family there have been tragic, premature deaths, not because these were predetermined by God, but owing to unfortunate indemnity circumstances.
I believe there is only one way we can pay tribute to Heung Jin, Young Jin, and Hyo Jin, so that their premature deaths are not in vain. It rests upon all of us here to complete the restoration of this physical reality and completely liberate the spiritual realm. Of course, Father sets the conditions, but all of us have to contribute in completing the leg work. We still have a lot to work to do. We have to accept that we cannot undo the past; nevertheless, we should feel repentance that we were not able to build a foundation that could have prevented any of these unnecessary and tragic offerings, and we must endeavor our hardest to bring victory to God and the True Parents. We all owe it to Hyo Jin, Heung Jin, and Young Jin to dedicate our lives to complete what they could not fulfill here.
Father speaks about this being the women's era, and you have already spoken about women's potential. Can you share a little more about your view on the role of women? Foremost, we must begin from the fundamental understanding of human value, individual perfection or fulfillment of the first blessing, which applies to all people whether male or female. We need to clearly grasp what it means for each person, regardless of sex, to be the sum total of the whole creation, both the spiritual and physical realities.
One consequence of the Fall is that we lost our spiritual senses. Ideally for human beings, if we are perfect as the sum total of both the spiritual and physical realities, our spiritual senses should be open, in the same way that we have our physical senses. There should be harmony and unity, with full cognizance through both sets of senses, right? But, after the Fall, the need had arisen to separate what was God's original desire for human value as opposed to our fallen status after the Fall. In fact, because of the Fall, we lost our spiritual senses and became like the animals, which only have physical senses. However, since we have the original human value God initiated, we have the desire to regain our spiritual senses. That has to happen for both men and women.
We need to clearly perceive that though God created Adam and Eve, the first and last human models God Him / Herself created, and gave them equal human value on the individual level, God necessarily had to create both sexes for the purpose of multiplication. According to the Principled formula for multiplication based on division into two, though the value of the dual positions must be equal at the point of division in "origin-division-union action," the entities filling those positions must differ from each other. This is because the purpose of God's Creation was not cloning, but the multiplication of individual entities having commonality (equal human value) with God as their origin. At the same time, they had to be different and unique (two sexes). In other words, on the level of individual perfection -- that is, the spiritual / physical selves in Principled true love unity with God -- people have equal value whether they are male or female. However, both men and women, who are of equal value but of different sexes, have to stand on the level of collective multiplication (for which the family is the fundamental basis) in order for there to be Principled true love multiplication of the highest level of creation, a human child.
Ideally, Adam and Eve should have perfected themselves individually and raised perfected human beings through education and their parental examples. However, after the Fall, as we have lost the Principled human value, we all must relearn what we lost through the Fall. Only when we are clear in Principle about the fundamental, equal human value that applies to each person, whether a man or a woman, can we begin to respect what the different sexes may be able to offer for the greater good of all humankind.
Once we are clear about equal human value then we may be able to address the issue of women's nurturing role, since we women biologically carry children in the womb during our reproductive period in our physical life cycle. At the same time, however, this does not mean that just because women physically carry children, it is solely women's responsibility to care for children. Just as God is the harmonious, unified being of male and female aspects, of rational / emotional or nurturing dual aspects, each person -- whether a man or a woman -- has both qualities and has the responsibility to fulfill their potential in both. So, though women may biologically carry the children, both parents must be equally involved in raising true children and creating the environment of a true family.
Given the above, at this time of human understanding in the Completed Testament Era, the role of women cannot simply be restricted to the domestic sphere. As human beings, women should be encouraged to fulfill their human potentials to the fullest in whatever endeavors they may choose to pursue.
You have clearly striven to rise above the difficulties you've faced in life. Could you say something more about this?
Everyone has one's own life course, including the way each person was called for the mission. At the same time, however, we are not just individuals, we are collectively the extension of our ancestors. So, though we all have our stories of individual struggles, we also carry the burden of our collective tradition, based upon our ancestors. Due to the Fall and un-Principled human conditions existing thus far, we all have suffered to some degree or another. For my part, I only hope that members can come to share an understanding of my course, since, standing in the position of the first daughter, I had the experience of living at the time of the beginning of the movement.
I do believe that from my life course, and whatever understanding, compassion, or wisdom I have gained through it, I have something to offer. The purpose of that offering is not personal catharsis, but for the greater purpose of being helpful to whomever may be struggling, whether of the second or future generations, going through his or her own course. It can be a point of reflection so that we can have common understanding. The purpose of our existence (and our endeavors, whatever they may be) has to be relevant to our collective calling. Through the Fall, God lost His / Her connection to humankind, and according to Principle, the role of the True Parents and their children is to bring humankind back to God by being examples of Principled true love.
The Principle understanding is that all human beings have equal value. True Parents may have shown us the way, but each of us needs to clearly perceive that God is not looking for just one person to reach perfection! We each have to become a perfect individual and establish our own relationship with God as a true child. We all have to become embodiments and temples of God. To reach that goal, as we educate ourselves to understand human value through God's Creation much more deeply, we have to support each other to attain original human value. We all have to support each other in gaining confidence and gratitude before God for our very existence, because we are the sum total of the entire creation with the sole right to be God's true children! Truly thank God, the Heavenly Parent, for the opportunity and the life that we are given. [Ye Jin nim smiles joyfully.]