To some extent, what I have written in the Home Page encapsulates most of what I want to say. In this heading, I will be writing various thoughts on the time we are living in and its importance in providential history. It will also include content I originally had up on the Home Page as well as articles that expand on some of the points raised in the Home Page, such as the nature of ‘parentalism’. Inevitably, there will be some repetition of points made in the Home Page but I would caution against speed-reading through it as I may be putting a different slant on a point. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep revisiting this website, every now and again, as I am sure it will be constantly changing i.e. getting bigger, I’m afraid!
Father Moon passed away into the spirit world, aged 92 – the mantle of Messiahship now falls on each one of us!
On the 15th of September 2012, Father Moon’s body was finally laid to rest in his native Korean homeland, a country which has been split in two between North and South and between two vast extremes of wealth (SK) and poverty (NK). He passed away peacefully after a bout of pneumonia into the spirit world, aged 92, nearly two weeks earlier on the 3rd of September 2012. Both his death and his funeral became world-wide news stories no matter which country you lived in, with many of them being indistinguishable in their content, almost as a copy and paste exercise from one newspaper to another.
At least the news coverage, even if it was ‘copy-cat’ reporting, of Father Moon’s passing was fairly factually correct and objective and not the kind of sensationalist headlines borne out from lazy journalism of the 1970s and 1980s. The readers’ comments sections in these newspapers’ online website brought out the usual derisory comments like ‘good riddance’, and ‘I’ll be dancing on his grave’ which, I suppose, is unfortunately to be expected given how Moon has been unfairly presented as a megalomaniacal charlatan (the only noteworthy piece of humour was when someone took the line from the film ‘Life of Brian’ by writing ‘He is not the Messiah … he’s a very naughty boy’!).
(His funeral today also coincided with two other major news stories which may have serious repercussions on world peace, which Moon has spent his whole life trying to achieve, namely, the unrest in the Middle East over the low-budget anti-Islam film and the growing tensions between China and Japan over a few uninhabited islands between the two countries. Both seem fairly ‘much ado about nothing’ issues but highlight how fragile our world is that such differences and over-reactions could blow up to this scale of unrest).
Be that as it may, most of the world will have now forgotten about this news event little recognising that a man has just died whose significance to world providential history may well be as important as Jesus’ was 2000 years ago. In fact, I do not distinguish between human history and God’s providential history – both are inextricably linked.
All the great religious leaders of the past, not just Christian but from other world faiths, have had to endure a period of immense persecution borne out of a misunderstanding by those who were too spiritually poor not to recognise their worth. It is no different now to how spiritually blind some of those in positions of power (be they political, religious or media leaders) have been towards Father Moon where he has been vilified, hated and distrusted in equal measure by many of those he most wished to influence.
Why the need to influence such leaders? Most of us are so caught up in the daily pressures of life that we inevitably take our cue from those who have put themselves forward as our moral, political and social guardians, none more so than our faith leaders. After all, if the Pope decreed (thankfully he hasn’t) that Father Moon was some sort of anti-Christ then who among our secular leadership is going to contradict that? However, Moon’s teachings are not confined to the religious experience alone – they inform and guide on so much more including our economic, social and personal lives. There should be no contradiction between how we think and how we go about our daily lives and Moon provides us with a simple but powerful teaching, called the ‘Divine Principle’, to reconnect us with our original selves.
His writings, sermons and speeches have been attributed as the largest ever produced by one person (Guinness Book of Records) but the core message is a simple one along the lines of:
We are all the spiritual sons and daughters of God and as spiritual brothers and sisters to each other then it behoves us to work together to secure a final and lasting world order of peace, love and fellowship.
Most world religions have a similar sentiment except that many of us don’t take it that seriously when we feel so wronged by others around us or we witness daily news stories of people’s inhumanity to each other or to nature. This is a direct result of us being, effectively, spiritual orphans because of our disconnect with the Source of our life. That source is commonly referred to as God, Yahweh, Allah, Supreme Being or other such title. I have come up with an alternative word – MaPa, where Ma is for mother and Pa is for father. It is a word that can be spoken in any language and helps get us away from the secular, non-religious person’s aversion to the word ‘God’ and all the negative connotations they have of the religious experience.
In time, religion itself will be a thing of the past and we will all instead connect with God in a more natural way, both through our families and in seeing the Face of God in others around us. The last thing God wants is for us to be divided up into all these different faiths and then only meeting with him for maybe only one hour every Sunday – what parent would wish for their children to behave in this way, so is it any different with God?
No one can deny the impact of their parents’ role in their upbringing and in how it has shaped them, whether for good or for bad. If we therefore refer to God’s parental spiritual love as ‘MaPa Love’ then we can develop a connection between how we would wish God to behave towards us and how we would wish our parents to behave towards us.
This is not a one-way compact though and we cannot just wait for God to love us first before loving Him (or Her) back. It is the quality of our reciprocation that lies at the heart of how we move forward on this and each of us will respond differently to loving God back, just as parents will be loved differently by their children. That is the beauty of how love manifests itself and why God is so intoxicated with developing a unique loving relationship with each of us, knowing that each of us will respond differently according to our spiritual growth. After all, isn’t that what parents often say to each other about each of their children – some are easier to parent while others are more challenging, but none are treated any differently. That’s the power of unconditional parental love and is no different to God’s level of love to us, His Children!
A true or good parent will not judge each child differently but wait patiently for each to gain their own particular understanding – that is what parents enjoy most in seeing their children responding in different ways. Our spiritual growth will continue into the next world after we die but that growth can take a lot longer than if we were to quickly grow spiritually here and now while we are still breathing.
At the heart of Moon’s teaching is that we are, in the biblical sense, ‘made in the image of God’ and that God is our parent, in both male and female form, no different to the living example we have of our own parents’ love for us. Some of us were lucky enough to experience the unconditional love of parents who self-sacrificed themselves in so many ways to ensure we were loved, protected and guided even into our adulthood.
Growing up in such a loving environment, we looked on them effectively as the ‘Face of God’. Empirical evidence would suggest, though of course not conclusively, that the products of such a loving family structure would themselves behave similarly as unconditionally loving parents to their own children. In the wider context they would often be seen as well-adjusted, positive members of society who are characterised more as ‘givers’ rather than as ‘takers’.
However, many, if not most, of us were not so lucky in our family upbringing. Varying between mildly dysfunctional to downright abusive, we may carry many of these repercussions into our adulthood and in our relations with our spouse and children or with others around us. Some of us may resolve not to commit to a long-term relationship, much less become a parent, because of these inherited insecurities from a sense that we did not have the kind of family upbringing that we would have wished for.
Is it any wonder then that, over the years, many of us have developed a thick skin of resistance to any kind of concept of an unconditionally loving and forgiving God? Father Moon has constantly spoken of the suffering heart of God, so long disconnected from his children, and of His/Her longing to embrace us as true sons and daughters again.
For now, all I can say is that for those who have suffered both from difficult upbringings, heartbreaks, poverty, war and the many different kinds of troubling situations we find ourselves in – God will be all the more compassionate towards you because these things can all affect your spiritual growth. After your physical body has gone, it is your spiritual body that matters more to God and therefore whatever efforts you can make to develop and grow your spiritual senses of love, compassion and kindness towards others will be greatly rewarded in the next life.
The essence of Unification theology is that each of us is an individual truth body of God with no one person being any greater or lesser than the other. Each of us is a unique expression of a divine, parental force that represents much more than that depicted by Michelangelo in his Sistine Chapel painting of an old man with white hair and beard (aesthetically beautiful as such paintings are).
Each of us has a potential and capacity for God to walk the earth through us and uniquely express a wonderful, parental love towards not just our own offspring but to all others as well. Now that Father Moon has passed away, there will be many who think that his followers will now all come back to their senses and that his teachings will just fizzle out. Such people, of course, miss the point of what Moon was trying to achieve.
A blueprint for lasting world peace?
At time of writing, our world is slowly imploding in on itself. In areas of conflict involving Russia, China and the Middle East and the West’s divided response to them, we may see any or all of these conflicts quickly escalate into a World War III scenario unless all parties draw back and take seriously the processes for conflict resolution*. In the meantime, it would seem that everywhere and everything around us now seems engulfed in variations of uncertainty and insecurity. This applies not just to institutions but to us as humans. The certainties I grew up with now seem less tangible and I genuinely worry for the kind of future that my, at present, 14 year old son is facing in terms not just of work prospects but in securing a safe and civilized environment in which to live.
(* Unfortunately, history does often repeat itself when lessons are not learned. We may wonder how the nightmare of the first two World Wars in the last century could so easily have escalated out of control. The parallels with our present are no different – if peace talks break down because one side still feels aggrieved then that lays a foundation for the devil, that lies within all of us, to wreak havoc.)
For those lucky few with the financial means, self-indulgence in material possessions and ephemeral pleasures has taken hold as a substitute for a deep spiritual hunger. To throw in another couple of clichés, the extremes of wealth and poverty are becoming more pronounced in this ‘dog eat dog’/’survival of the fittest’ world. Is it any wonder that so many of us are just thinking about physical survival that we lose sight of the bigger, spiritual dimension to our life? Why sleepwalk through life with some sort of nihilistic numbness when there is so much potential within us to achieve greatness?
(We are more than just random atoms and molecules and this IDN (inherent directive nature) that makes us who we are comes from a higher source, an Intelligent Being or God. The fact that we are surrounded by the certainty and security of nature (unlike the affairs of mankind) suggests a relationship of unconditional love from our parent God to us as His/Her children. Such love, however, has been unrequited by us – that now needs to change.)
Do we worship before the God of Evil or the God of Love? We know, from watching news stories, what a Kingdom of Evil is like (with North Korea as perhaps a current extreme and bizarre example) – is there a country out there that we can point to as a Kingdom of Love, even a small country or tiny island, that can point the way to other states of what an ideal society can be? No, I thought not. However, it is not politics that will get us out of the mess we are in – it is a re-awakening of our spirituality and an understanding of the laws of cause and effect that will move us forward. Time is now running out before we can avert more disasters so don’t wait for others to get involved.
(As an aside, I can’t help thinking that a country like the UK is one of the best countries in the world to live in. Having lived here since 1978 - far longer than my upbringing in Ireland – I owe a very strong loyalty and allegiance to ensuring it becomes better and a beacon to other countries. It is by no means ideal, especially if you are poor or marginalized, but there are a lot more positives than negatives to living here.
It is a country that has taken centuries to get to its present level of advancements in areas such as liberal democracy, civil liberties, rule of law, social justice and free market principles. We should owe a debt of gratitude to the sacrifices made in the past by those inspired by their humanity to others to make Britain what it is today. We should also acknowledge that just as there were those inspired by their religious belief in doing charitable deeds, there were many others inspired by no belief except in their wish to serve others in need. That is why humanism is an equally important contributor to our advancement, something that the religious minded should acknowledge.)
Father Moon’s Unification Movement brings together the best of world religious thinking and scientific understanding to offer us a blueprint for lasting world peace. As things stand, world religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism etc.) provide only a partial understanding to our purpose in life and therefore often bitterly divide nations and communities, with each side claiming some sort of divine authority and/or moral high ground. There are elements of truth in each world faith but no collective will to bridge each other’s gaps and unify the world into one common belief system which is a necessary first step to world peace.
Nor can world peace ever be achieved through man-made ideologies, whether from the Left or Right. Liberal democracy, socialism, free market capitalism, communism etc. may try to address the external challenges of how we cope with living among each other in relative harmony but they do not address the internal affairs of our human condition that religious belief may purport (but too often fail) to do.
(If pressed on my politics, it is as a Centrist because I see merits in both Left and Right-wing persuasions and, I suppose, a happy medium needs to be achieved between both.)
Social justice and a fair redistribution of wealth is essential but it also needs a strong rule of law and a wealth creation mechanism that can only come from free and fair, rather than over-regulated or planned, market principles. The internal spiritual dimension to our lives should then ensure that economic and social equality is achieved for all. God would not want it any other way because each of us is His/Her child and deserving of equal opportunity and treatment – no different to what any parent would wish for each of their children.
(I am realistic enough to know that some readers may dismiss this all as perhaps simplistic and idealistic nonsense but I am also confident that, in about 50 years from now, we will look back at this time and wonder how we got ourselves into the fragile mess that’s around us at present. That is why, when reading this content, you may need to take yourself away from any distractions around you in the hope that you see this bigger picture and reflect on what it may mean to you.)
What is certain is that there is greater uncertainty among many people in the established order of things. This is perhaps understandable because those in control of such institutions have often been found wanting. People are now very insecure about the future, none more so than our youth today. The certainties that those of my generation had when growing up (such as job security) are just not present now and is it any wonder that, beneath the surface, a form of chaos is brewing such that no one knows what to believe in anymore or even what kind of future lies ahead.
Many in power seem driven by self-interest and either unwilling or unable to engage with the bigger picture of what we are all here on this earth for. Without a collective will that comes from tapping into the source of life then, at best, we will continue to muddle along hoping for things to sort themselves out. Left to our own devices, the ‘selfish gene’ within us will predominate, causing us to behave in selfish rather than selfless ways. The blind leading the blind is another cliché that comes to mind when it comes to how we are being led or governed, and therefore little wonder that the rest of us just focus on the materialist world around us and that which we can see and touch. However, deep inside each of us is this massive potential to reach for greater meaning to life and for that which connects us to a past that we came from and a future we are heading to, even after we have shed off this ‘mortal coil’ of physical life.
The impact of world population growth has trebled in the past 60 years and is set to rise from its current 7 billion to about 10 billion by 2050, chasing ever-scarcer energy and food resources. Localised conflicts could so easily escalate into regional and even global conflicts unless right-thinking nations, albeit through the auspices of a currently ‘toothless’ United Nations, act to curb the excesses of wrong-thinking nations. Despite the best efforts of the international community, no long-term solutions seem possible from either current mainstream belief systems or from political ideology, whether from the Left or from the Right.
Father Moon’s teachings now need serious consideration when so many established wisdoms are found so wanting in properly addressing some of the chaos we see around us. News stories are awash with sometimes extreme examples of man’s inhumanity to man. Without a collective will then how else can we address current extremes in wealth and poverty – both of which conditions can seriously hamper spiritual growth.
Are we just a ‘dangerous cult’?
Father Moon’s apparently unorthodox method of operations, principally his officiating with his wife over countless mass weddings among his followers, was bound to capture the public imagination, as well as derision, as to what kind of people could subject themselves to this kind of ‘mind control’ such that they would allow an elderly man from a remote faraway country (Korea) choose their spouse for them. The media images of many thousands of couples dressed in similar marriage costumes at some large sports stadium may understandably arouse suspicion that these must surely be ‘brainwashed fanatics’ belonging to a dangerous cult.
(It also might not entirely be lost on people that North Korea is probably the most outlandish and bizarre of countries to ever exist, since the communists took control of it, with its population institutionally brainwashed by three generations of the Kim IL Sung dynasty holding absolute power and control. Even by Maoist or Stalinist standards, what is happening there is beyond any level of human understanding and some may be tempted to think that Father Moon has exercised similar examples of brainwashing control over his members.
One could counter this by pointing to the opposite spectrum of wealth and freedom that exists in South Korea. These two divided countries could not be further distant to each other and reflect the economic consequences of their ideologies. In fact, the lessons from these two countries should not be ignored by the rest of the world i.e. choose communism and/or totalitarianism and you get North Korea; choose liberal democracy and pluralism and you get South Korea. As a Korean, I have no doubt that Father Moon subscribes to the latter rather than to the former. I should also add that Moon has been very active in seeking a reunification of the two Koreas, with substantial amounts spent on food aid, industries and conferences in these endeavours.)
With the founder’s passing, there is less prevalence of the mass wedding phenomenon, although the idea has recently been catching on in the outside with many couples in poorer countries deciding to marry at the same ceremony – perhaps a smart way to cut down on wedding costs! Nowadays, it is more common for UM followers to seek out marriage partners for themselves or for their parents to suggest suitable partners, leaving of course the final decision with their children.
(It should also be noted that while Father Moon suggested marriage partners, the choice was still left to each follower to accept or reject the proposed. In our early 20s, many saw it as a tremendous test of faith in accepting a partner, often from a different country that were previously at war with each other, such as a Briton being matched to a German or an American being matched to a Japanese.
Of course, this can raise not just language but also cultural barriers. I believe it can go further because we are often dominated by the mindset of our ancestors with unresolved grievances that they have carried with them into the next life. Countries that were previously at war with each other do impact on present perceptions and I believe that Moon, in matching such couples together, was doing so as a symbolic reconciliation to overcome any possible historical resentment that still lingers, both on earth and in the spirit world.)
Anyway, this ‘brain-washing’ narrative played into the hands of a sensationalist media, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, in portraying Father Moon as a Rev Jim Jones-type charismatic figure who would eventually lead his followers into some sort of mass suicide scenario, similar to what happened at Jonestown, Guyana, in 1979. The fact that no such event has happened, that noted theologians have praised the orthodox quality of our beliefs (which we refer to as the ‘Divine Principle’), that political leaders from around the world have welcomed our strategy for achieving lasting world peace, have all helped in recent years to elevate us into being described more as a ‘sect’ that now needs serious consideration rather than as the more negative-sounding ‘cult’. What has also transpired in these intervening years is that divorce rates among Moonie marriages are very low when compared with any country’s national average. Any divorces that took place did so mostly before there were any children (or even sexual consummation for that matter) resulting from their union, where one or both parties agreed not to go ahead.
(This happened in my case when I was matched and blessed by Father Moon back in July 1982 at the famous 2000 couple Madison Square Garden ceremony in New York. At the time, my emotions were all over the place and I was just not mature enough or, I suppose, strong enough in my faith at the time. I subsequently chose not to go ahead with starting a family life and we divorced in 1986 without having consummated our marriage.
As a postscript, I recently heard that this person, an Englishwoman named Elisabeth, passed away into the spirit world back in 2007 from an illness she had while in Japan with her new family. There is now not a day that goes by without my thinking of her kindness, deep faith and love and in some ways this website is also dedicated to her.)
What I can say is that the offspring from such marriages have now developed into well-rounded, focused and life-affirming young people that any nation would be proud to count as among its citizens. Many Unificationists are actively engaged in public service roles and responsibilities and live modest, frugal lifestyles in order to devote their time and energy to helping others. If we were a dangerous cult then none of this would have happened and such detractors now have to eat their words on this point.
(The Mormons were similarly vilified for many decades until it was noticed that many of its followers were engaged in positive acts of service for their communities, such that one of them, Mitt Romney, ran as the Republican candidate in the 2012 US elections, narrowly losing out to Barack Obama by roughly 4% overall. No one batted much of an eyelid as to his suitability because of his Mormon beliefs and I predict that similarly public acceptance of Unificationists, as sometimes followers of Moon are called, will only be a matter of time.)
I would hope that the reader, who has got this far in reading through to this stage, has already formed a more objective view that the UM is neither a ‘cult’ nor ‘dangerous’. One common allegation is the amount of money the UM has made, not just from members fundraising but also from the various industries and businesses connected to us. Firstly, a great deal of the fundraising was largely to support members with their living conditions, as well as contributing towards the costs of local UM events. Secondly, a great deal of the businesses have ended up being a mixture of profit and non-profit making. Newspapers have tended to exaggerate the extent of our income and this needs to be factored in.
Those successful businesses need also to be balanced against those businesses which have performed poorly, not least The Washington Times, which is estimated to have haemorrhaged as much as $1 Billion of UM funds in order to keep the newspaper going as the only alternative to The Washington Post. The UM worldwide conferences for politicians, academics and religious figures to attend have been extremely expensive to run and much of our profits went into paying for these.
It might seem that Father Moon and his family have lived well in large mansions around the world but these properties were not owned personally by Moon or by his family. Over a number of years, since the 1970s especially, he has been a target for assassination by a number of state bodies and clearly needed to be housed in properties that could safeguard him. I honestly believe he lived a modest, humble lifestyle.
What now for the Moonies after the death of its founder?
OK, so what now for the Unification Church or the Unification Movement (UM) as I prefer to call it? Calling himself the Messiah was always going to get him into trouble with the established religions and this also fitted conveniently into a media construct of him as no more than a Jim Jones or David Koresh type of cult leader. Two thousand years ago, Jesus was also seen in a similar light, which is why the mob was easily incited by the religious leaders into calling for him to be crucified. In fact, look back at any significant religious leader in the past and you will see a similar pattern of hostility being played out before posterity recognises their achievement, unfortunately usually after they have died and we can’t take back what we said of them at the time they were alive.
Now that he has gone to the spirit world, many may be hoping that his followers will realise that he was just mortal and that the whole thing was just a bad dream and they would then come back into the orthodoxy of mainstream faith. Certainly, that is the viewpoint being given by the Christian press, again with some of its readers’ comments expressing, fairly un-Christianly, that he should now ‘burn/rot in hell’ and that his followers should now seek redemption through the ‘blood of Christ’ before we too suffer a similar fate.
The Unification Church, composed of active supporters, may be small in numbers – perhaps around the 200,000 mark – but the Unification Movement, in its outreach across religious, social and political fields, numbers at least 10 times that number. I personally am not too keen on attaching myself solely to the Unification Church – I much prefer that this is a movement of unification of nations and beliefs – hence my greater allegiance to the UM. I am not particularly religious although on the occasions that I have attended their Sunday service, I have come away with a buzz or euphoria from being around like-minded people. I guess that is one of the attractions of any kind of religious service whenever people meet collectively with shared beliefs.
(But then, the same could be said for going along to a music festival or a football match.)
In any case, the word ‘church’ restricts us to being seen as just another Christian grouping. I don’t believe Moon himself intended to create just another Christian church, among the many hundreds of religious groupings out there with the name ‘church’ within its name. His hand was forced because of the rejection that he suffered when trying to reach out to the established religious groups in his early ministry in Korea. He was left with little option but to form his own movement, both in order to distinguish his teachings from others and to set out a blueprint of conduct for his followers to follow. I guess, because he was brought up a Presbyterian Christian, that he wished to align himself with the Christian traditions and values. However, his teachings go wider and echo the core beliefs to be found within other world faiths and even within the core principles of humanism as well.
I am convinced that the UM theology and ideology will be the future prevailing belief system in the years to come. That is why Unificationism will not die out with the passing of Father Moon – in fact, this is just the start as each one of us stand on our own two feet and carry on the mantle of messiahship that he has bestowed on us. Yes, we are all potential messiahs in what we do from this point on with our lives.
Whether it happens in 10, 20 or 100 years from now, posterity will eventually recognise the great legacy that Father Moon has left behind. Yes, the media may have latched on to a few lines from the countless sermons he has given (mostly which were about how God’s love manifests itself in the world around us and how we can reflect that in our daily lives) and portrayed him as an extreme right-wing demagogue who castigates Jews for killing Jesus or homosexuality and pornography for being an aberration of the human condition. In the days and weeks ahead, I will try to address these and other criticisms levelled at Father Moon. In the meantime, I would ask you to read further the earlier writings below.
I first met Father Moon in 1978 and last met him in 2011, both in London. The overriding sense that I have now of his passing is numbness. Yes, it is the same kind of numbness I felt when first my father and then my mother passed away. In fact, there is not a day that goes by when I do not think of either or both my physical parents. When we lose our parents, we are left very vulnerable in having to stand up on our own two feet and face the world without that protective veil that only our parents can surround us with.
Father Moon and his wife represent my ‘spiritual’ parents. Yes, we refer to them as ‘True Parents’ but that is not intended to supplant or usurp the position of our biological parents in our lives. Critics may have used this to portray Moon as some sort of divisive influence on people’s family lives but they are missing the point of why we see them as our spiritual parents. Our spiritual life is what we will take with us into the spiritual world after we die and therefore our spiritual growth is in fact more important than our physical growth. In the next world, I will still sit among my biological parents again and look forward to that relationship being taken to a higher level.
Since 1976, Father Moon has been my spiritual parent in that he has given birth, raised and nurtured my soul and internal world. You may be surprised that otherwise sane and rational people such as myself would hold this view but frankly it is not much different to how Jesus’ disciples must have felt in that period after the crucifixion when their spiritual leader died in such a violent way. This all happened so quickly when only five days earlier (Palm Sunday) Jesus had been welcomed into Jerusalem like an uncrowned king.
It is over eight years since my mother passed away but I still find it hard to look at all the photos, videos and recordings I made of her – it is still very raw and I’m not sure when I will be ready to share them with my son. I suppose it is to do with a sense of disappointment and regret that I could not have done more for her, or for my father, while they were still alive. I think we all have something of that in us.
In Father Moon’s case, I guess I have a similar sense of failure of not doing more for him and his cause while he was alive. This doesn’t mean I am going to beat myself up over it – what’s done is done and it is what I do with my remaining time on the earth in his honour that will help in that healing process. In 1995, I also reconnected with my Catholic faith and attended mass because I saw no essential contradiction between my UM beliefs and the Catholic doctrines, especially as both extol the virtues of family life as the cornerstone of a successful life and society. The Catholic teaching may not be particularly empowering to me as an individual in knowing or understanding God – I get this from UM theology – but it does provide a warm connection to my spiritual roots as a child.
To some extent I have been a bit of a ‘black sheep’ in some of my past Moonie years and the common media perception is that such a person would be ostracised by his followers. This could not be further from the truth and is testament to the high levels of spirituality and faith that such followers have in their dealings with me and others like me. In accommodating many different levels of belief and association, the Unification Movement has shown itself to be a very broad and open ‘church’ with a warm heart.
In closing, I will say that though Father Moon has passed away, his legacy will live on. Please therefore come on board and help us in bringing about a Kingdom of Heaven on this earth – your ancestors in the spirit world are waiting to help in your task.
On the criticism that we are anti-Jewish
In this spiritually fallen world that we live in, the odds of Jesus being accepted by the ‘chosen people of Israel’ (Jews) was going to be slim 2000 years ago. Any race of people, no matter how prepared they were by God, would have dealt a similar outcome because Jesus was seen as just too radical and dangerous with his views that seemed to go against the religious norms and values of that time. Therefore, Jewish people should not over-react to any reactionary statements made by a small number of right-wing Christians that ‘Jews killed Jesus’ because that is just simplistic nonsense.
No matter what era or group of people that Jesus came among, he would have most likely met with the same fate so we should all just move on from these unnecessary divisions and unite around those things where we have much more common ground. Evil will always prevail where potentially good people turn on each other over petty differences.
In fact, Father Moon has on many occasions mentioned Jewish people as being a tremendous asset to the human race and to have been a virtual backbone to the prosperity and enlightenment of especially the Western world. If you look also at Mormonism, Sufism, Sikhism and Quakerism you will find similar legacies of prosperity and enlightenment than proportionally some of the larger faith systems have achieved. All are spin-offs of a larger faith and largely came about because of the inadequacies and hypocrisies they saw with those larger faiths.
I have no doubt that Unificationist followers of Father Moon will also play a similarly positive force for good in the years to come. That is why journalists need to stop being so lazy in their professional code of behaviour and write throw-away lines attributed to Father Moon without looking to understand the wider context with which they were written.
On the criticism that we are anti-gay
In respect to Moon’s views on homosexuality, it is not enough for me to say that, well, that’s not controversial since most mainstream faiths and religious people tend to hold similar views. Throw in the fact that most non-ethnically white controlled societies, including Korea, have a fairly regressive and even hostile approach to homosexuality and you have also a racial divide in opinion. Since our core mission statement is on extolling the virtues of ideal family structures as the foundation for a better world, then it is inevitable that we would refer to such a family as comprising of a man and a woman and their biological offspring.
A great many of us come from fairly dysfunctional family backgrounds and Father Moon’s family is probably no exception to that, as has also been noted in the media. When love breaks down and parents go their separate ways, we also have a great deal of single parent families and second and third marriages and families. Father Moon would have no hesitation in saying that all such variations to the norm should be equally loved and supported, principally because it is so spiritually important for such children not to feel they are any lesser human beings because the lottery of life has dealt them a poorer deck hand.
This is not a case either of my saying we should ‘love the sinner and not the sin’ – none of us should make judgements of what constitutes a sin or who is a sinner and it is little wonder that such judgements have given religion a bad name. Frankly, the sooner that organised religion itself is done away the better, especially for the bad publicity it can sometimes bring to God!
With same-sex relationships, and the campaign by gay lobby groups for the conversion of their civil partnerships into the same legal status of marriage as pertains to heterosexual couples, then Father Moon’s views are more harder to resolve in terms of bridging relations between the gay community and Unification theology. However, the fault for this intransigence lies also with both sides and not just with the religious Right. Moon comes from a traditionally conservative part of the world and his views will run counter to the secular and liberal mindset that prevails in the West where a very strong gay rights lobby has, almost militantly, tried to impose its agenda in having us treat same-sex relationships as just as ‘normal’ and valid as heterosexual ones.
Gay activists may have a legitimate grievance over how they were treated prior to the last 40 or so years and that is why, almost with religious zealousness, they have continuously tried to push back the boundaries in order to redress the grievances done to their forebears. However, I am not alone in thinking that some have done a disservice to their cause by also seeking to undermine the nuclear family structure as some sort of public expression of religious orthodoxy.
Turning back to the issue of perceptions that we are anti-gay, I am not going to cheapen this debate by saying ‘some of my best friends are gay’ or some such trite remark. What I will say is that those I have met and continue to be friends with are some of the most entertaining, enlightened and sensitive people I have met. I would be happy to be attributed with having any one of these characteristics, let alone all three. The words ‘kind and caring’ also come to mind, which is why many gay people play such a valuable role working in the caring professions. This world would be a far more brutish place if we only had your average ‘heterosexual Joe Public’ for company.
At my place of work, there are posters put up by the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) committee with the words ‘Release the Inner Lesbian in You’. Many straight people, such as myself, may not wish to acknowledge that there have been times or situations in the past where we felt some kind of intimate tendency towards someone from our own sex. However, intimacy towards someone who we feel a kindred spirit with does not mean we wish to have sex with them. Without wishing to be overly graphic about it, perhaps it is the nature of the sexual act between homosexual couples that recoils many people.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s we may recall situations like two elderly gentlemen living together down the road from where we lived. Often, they lived in quiet dignity and discretely kept their lives private – not for them to half-nakedly flaunt their sexuality in a Gay Pride march. Public opinion would have the same reaction if it was a Straight Pride march i.e. some things are best kept in private.
In this fallen world, we are all striving to be loved and understood for who we are, no matter what shape or form it comes from. Most of us will know of gay relationships that are far more loving and committed than some of their heterosexual counterparts can achieve. In terms of gay adoption, I am equally convinced that many long-term homosexual couples can play a very valuable service in providing a loving environment that such children may not otherwise get from care homes, orphanages, hostels or even foster homes.
As a minority group, gay people have suffered incredibly from not just public recognition, acceptance and understanding but also from being hardest on themselves over their sexuality. That is why the gay pride marches and celebrations are also a valid form of affirmation for themselves. This is no different to what we, as Moonies, have had to go through as well which is why I do feel a greater kindred spirit with those in a minority social group who have to struggle hardest for recognition of their value to society.
Anyway, I believe any remarks made by Father Moon on homosexuality to have been unfortunate asides that he may have made quite rarely and did not labour at length on. As a religious minister and coming from a very conservative country, it was perhaps inevitable that they would be said at some point in time. But that should not detract from the mountain of sermons he has made on love in all its manifestations.
Actually, I believe these were more likely said in the early 1980s when a small number of our members came out as gay and said they could not go through with the wedding/blessing that he had arranged for them. Some of these members then left the UM, disillusioned with its apparent anti-gay stance, and perhaps this was then leaked to the media which has had a snowball effect since. I remember feeling incredibly sad when meeting with two particular gay brothers in New York because they were some of the most dynamic members we had at the time. For them, their sexuality was a non-negotiable issue even though they embraced so much else of what Father Moon was offering.
I don’t think their issue was with Moon himself, it was more to do with some within the church hierarchy who took it on themselves to be more heavy-handed and insensitive in their own remarks to them at the time. (Yes, we do have such leaders in our hierarchy, just as with any other religious organisation, who have not been particularly spiritual in their observance but that should not be attributed back to the founder). But that was then and this is now and I think the UM has grown up a lot more over these past 30 years in accommodating the different paths we all have to make.
On the criticism that we are anti-Christian
While a less commonly made criticism nowadays, there is strand of thinking from some within the mainstream Christian faiths that we are not just Christian but that we are anti-Christian. Needless to say, many such views are formed from not actually knowing what our beliefs are. Instead, they have latched on to a narrative that we believe Jesus ‘failed’ in his mission and that Moon, in self-styling himself as the Second Coming i.e. Jesus reincarnated, had fulfilled his messianic mission and, therefore, was greater than Jesus.
If such a view were the case of what we believe, then yes, Christians would have a justifiable case for saying we are anti-Christian. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Father Moon claims to have directly received an apparition from Jesus when only 15, who instructed him to carry on his messianic mission that Jesus could not achieve because he was rejected and crucified. Had Jesus lived longer then his life would have taken on a similar path to what Moon had achieved. It is not a case of Jesus failing but of Jesus being failed by those who rejected him.
His death on the cross allowed for spiritual salvation to those who followed in his mission by not just believing in him but in living a selfless Christian life. However, physical salvation (i.e. a kingdom of heaven on earth) could not be achieved in allowing us to separate from the evil that lies within all of us. Even the greatest followers of Jesus, who we deem to be saints, are wracked with guilt that they could not live with a totally ‘sinless’ mind or body.
Father Moon’s messianic role has, in this respect, been more successful because Jesus’ life was cut short before he could establish what he wanted to achieve. Father Moon had close to 60 extra years of living in his favour and therefore could symbolically cut his followers from the bonds of our Godless lineage through the sacrament of marriage, or the Blessing as we refer to it. This does not mean that his followers suddenly become sinless, only that symbolically they are now attached to God’s lineage.
Far from being anti-Jesus, UM followers have, I would contend as a result of listening to Father Moon’s teachings, a far deeper love and understanding of Jesus than most Christians. I’m afraid I do believe that the Christian message of salvation through belief alone in the sacrificial death of Jesus is a flawed one because it, frankly, does not get what Jesus was trying to do. Yes, it may provide partial salvation to the individual in the hereafter, in its spiritual sense, but not full salvation in creating a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth (KHE).
Christianity, as the largest religious belief system in the world, has not brought about significant change despite its 2000 years of existence. Father Moon’s teachings, based on both Judeo-Christian and Buddhist-Confucian ideals and traditions, have now set the foundation for this utopian KHE but it will probably be decades, if not hundreds of years, before we see a markedly changed world unless we see more people embracing the Divine Principle into their hearts.
I also believe that Jesus did not set out to create a new religion. It happened by default after his death as followers sought to organise themselves as an entity with a different set of beliefs to others around them. As God’s anointed successor to Jesus, I do not believe that Father Moon wanted to create a ‘Unification Church’, as if it were just one among hundreds of other churches with their separate beliefs. The word ‘church’ is divisive and far too religious in connotation from my perspective – that is why ‘movement’ is a better choice of word to me because it can still promote a set of beliefs without alienating either religious or non-religious people.
In his early ministry in Korea, Moon was rejected by the established Christian churches for his ‘heretical’ beliefs. Setting up a new religion is perhaps an inevitable consequence of wishing to identify one’s beliefs as different from others. However, this then sets you apart and therefore open to hostility and derision by more established faiths who may be apprehensive that you will draw followers away from them. It’s not much different to a new political party trying to increase its membership and following by taking voters away from the established parties. Those who are used to power are not willing to let go of it and they will seek to undermine any attempt to challenge their belief or ideology.
Jesus went to the synagogues because he was raised a Jew. In providential and biblical history, the Jews were the so-called ‘chosen people’ led by Moses out of captivity in order to prepare the way for the messiah to come among them. From the Christian perspective, he was such an ‘anointed one’ but was rejected and killed by the leaders of the Jewish faith at the time because of his alleged heretical beliefs. Christianity was created because of this rejection and not in spite of it.
(There is more to write on this under the ‘Spiritual Writings heading – please go there)
Of course, it is not just mainstream faiths that have sought to discredit Moon’s teachings, practices as well as his supposed lifestyle. The ‘brainwashed followers’ narrative has also played into the hands of the anti-religious cognoscenti, who see any form of religious belief as superstitious nonsense to keep the non-thinking, semi-literate and impressionable masses under the thumb of the ruling class. To some extent, there is substance to this view even when it grates to hear it sometimes expressed in arrogance.
There are some Catholic countries where church and state are seemingly propping each other up with a compliant and unquestioning citizenry. None of this is healthy and, unless addressed, usually ends up with violent revolution.
(I only have to think of South American countries, as well as the Philippines and some African countries, to see that the Catholic Church is in need of serious reform. The South European countries, including Ireland, are a bit more advanced but I think that is largely down to two things. The first is they have an older history of Christianity and the second, more controversial I know but it has to be said, is their proximity to North European Protestant neighbours who have a more enlightened understanding of human rights, individual responsibility and the work ethic.)
One of the tactics of militant atheism in seeking to convert people away from the religious experience is that they point the finger of blame at the various institutions that seek to protect such beliefs. If they succeed, especially with the impressionable young, you are then left with a nihilistic void where only the individual and their informed choice matters and to hell with any collectivist understanding of how society should function.
This relentless chipping away at our collective responsibilities opens up a void for eventual chaos and anarchy to prevail. While not sure how they arrived at that particular number, a well-known scientific research came out with the contention that humans are seven times more likely to behave in a selfish way than in an unselfish way. Left to our own devices, and spurred on by a mantra of “if it feels right, and you’re not ‘harming’ anyone then do it”, then we may inevitably behave selfishly in protecting our own interests and that is not good for establishing collective responsibility.
Of course, militant atheism used communist ideology throughout much of the 20th Century (in places such as the former Soviet Union and China especially) to enforce collectivism in countries where individualism was suppressed. Tens, if not hundreds of millions, of lives were needlessly lost in that experiment, to say nothing of the great economic and social failures that also resulted.
On the flip-side, the West (representing countries that extol liberal democracy) is also in no great shakes, with its potential for protecting individual greed over collective responsibility. It is in no position to play the superior ‘West Is Best’ card. Nevertheless, what the West has going for it is in its constitutional protection for (and, crucially, enforcement of) a citizen’s civil liberties, not least freedom of speech and of association, and all other individual rights and freedoms.
These allow us to not only fulfil our individual physical lifestyle potential but to think beyond the mundane and seek out spiritual dimensions to our existence, such as the meaning of life and what happens after this life. When we have good standards of food in our stomachs and shelter over our heads then we can be freed up to think of higher order needs. That is why the God of Love is so desperate for a more just and equal society but why the God of Evil is currently prevailing because of the current injustices and inequalities we see around us.
Some final thoughts
I believe eventually there will no longer be a need for religion once we have returned back to our original selves. We will instinctively know how to live our lives having tapped into our original mind and while benefitting from the advice and guidance of others, especially our parents and elders, then we will no longer need to be a part of any formalised religion. This is called the ‘Original Self’ and represents a harmonious interaction of the temporal and spiritual selves
Don’t wait for the next life to create your Kingdom of Heaven up in the clouds – its rightful place is here on this earth, and it will come to pass. How soon, depends on how long people take to embrace Sun Myung Moon’s message and teachings. Hopefully, it won’t take the same time (close to 300 years) of unbelievable persecution and hardship that the early Christians endured before they became formally recognised. The message could not be more simpler than ‘Come back home to your spiritual parents’ i.e. God – there is nothing to be apprehensive or afraid about, even if as spiritual orphans we will inevitably feel that way.
The Kingdom of Heaven is no more than reconnecting with each other as spiritual children of God, and as brothers and sisters to each other, then the material wealth we can generate can be used productively to not only ‘feed the world’ but also heal the wounds of division and hatred. The various religious tracts from world faiths already carry that message – it is SMM’s teachings that now bring all of that together and provide us with a blueprint for action. With half the world going hungry and thinking where their next meal is going to come from, and the other half with such massive surpluses, then a great opportunity is with us now to really make a difference to not only our lives but also to those around us.
Anyway, please do some independent research and reading of your own and decide for yourself. Suspend, also, any cynicism you may have about Moon from what you have read and let the spirit world guide you in your prayers, dreams and visions.
Please note: Under ‘Reflections’ heading, I have moved the previous content of this home page, as it was written in August 2010 – it is still worth a read in conjunction to the above content. Again, God bless you for reading this far because it can’t have been easy. Hopefully, there are some points raised that will cause you to reflect on your life and your place in history. Let’s now focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us!
Main Content (written in 2010)
I initially set up this website in August 2010, and every couple of months or so I go through its content as I add and subtract material, re-arrange things etc, so may I suggest you add my site address to your ‘Favourites’ and revisit it every once in a while. Admittedly, it is a fairly basic website because I don’t have the necessary IT skills (any help you can provide on web design would be much appreciated).
It is really just a whole load of content to read through with the hope that you may come away with a more positive understanding of why normally rational people like me have attached themselves to the message and teachings of Father Moon. Finally, those who know me will know that I don't talk religion, unless asked to, so you can rest assured that my thoughts and views will only be restricted to what is written on this website.
At the outset, also, I wish to state that I have absolutely no wish to convert anyone to my beliefs. What you do is entirely your call to make, and if you wish to explore further then I have posted up web links to official UM sites and its affiliates. We all have personal choice and responsibility in determining how we live our lives and that is too sacrosanct for me to try and interfere with. You can, of course, contact me to discuss any points or issues made but I would rather you take the first step yourself in attending a UM workshop or going online to view the lecture content from the privacy of your own home.
This website is merely a vehicle to provide people with my own personal viewpoints, inspired by the message and teachings of Father Moon. It is intended as a follow-up to people perhaps receiving my UM Leaflet on the street and to provide a sort of window to this inner world surrounding my beliefs. So if someone asks me ‘What’s it like to be a Moonie and what do you believe in?’ then I can point them to this website - not that I believe I can do justice to answering either part of that question.
I should also stress, in anticipation of queries about such, that, in my capacity as a teacher to perhaps impressionable and mainly young students, I have never abused my position and everything I have said to them is entirely in line with the requirements of their course syllabus. Many would now be surprised that I had any religious views at all such has been my approach to teaching. Even with friends and work colleagues, I don’t believe I have ever discussed my religion or even political beliefs.
I don’t mind trying to reach out to strangers on the street but I do mind making my views known to those who know me in a different capacity, be they friends, family, students or work colleagues. Only those in my immediate family know about this long-term association of mine, and generally I prefer to keep it that way. However, because of my present outreach campaign to those who occupy religious and media circles of influence, then I am mindful of having to explain myself to some extent rather than you hearing about all of this through a third party.
(As a postscript to the above paragraph, I should mention now that quite a few of such friends and colleagues have been invited to visit this website. Some have written or said to me subsequently that it is well written and to some extent an interesting read - but not their ‘cup of tea’ – a wholly acceptable view and one I would not wish to dissuade them from. I am also heartened that those I have had to contact on other business have treated me no differently than when they knew me before I ‘came out’ as a Moonie. In some other countries that might be different but the Great British public’s renown for their tolerance and accommodation of non-traditional views and opinions is wholly justified and why it will always be one of the best countries in the world to live in).
(The following is my A5 Witnessing Leaflet given out on the streets of London in early 2012 – pictures taken out)
‘Simplify Your Life!’
Perhaps on first seeing the word ‘God’ you will feel inclined to throw away this leaflet. That may be an entirely understandable reaction, given that so many have misused the religious experience to cause so much pain and suffering, even if unintended, to others in both the past and present. But that should not detract from the tremendous advancements in our society made by those who have been enlightened by their beliefs and nor should it mean we shut down our spiritual senses as if only what we see and touch is what we believe in. We are so much more than just random atoms and particles and yet how much of our potential is being wasted on the narrow focus that we give to our lives. The spirit world of our ancestors are waiting to work with us and we have only a short time left to get our house in order, both individually and collectively, before all hell breaks loose. Sorry to be so alarmist but time is running out, I’m afraid.
I am not religious in any shape or form because I don’t believe God is that way inclined either. In fact, with all my vices, I may be a walking contradiction to what I am writing here. Religion may have served some useful purpose in the past but those days will soon be over. As it is, many mainstream faiths speak, but fall short in teaching us, of a parental love of God – without recognising that fact, then we are ‘wandering in this wilderness’ like spiritual orphans. Now is the time to reconnect with our spiritual selves because God is our spiritual parent, in both male and female form. The Face of God lies within each one of us, none more so than in the unconditional love expressed by parents towards their children, even if the reality is often far from the ideal. You now have the capacity to express parental love towards others and for God to walk the earth through you – how exciting is that?!
The central message of ‘One World Family under God’ lies at the heart of the teachings of Sun Myung Moon, a controversial yet much misunderstood man of God. Born in early 1920, Father Moon is now elderly but leaving behind a great legacy of tirelessly spreading the same message from Jesus that he received when only 16 years old back in his native North Korea. Tortured to near death and imprisoned in a communist labour camp, during the Korean War in 1950, his Unification Movement began. From the humble beginnings of a cardboard mud hut, his teachings have spread to a large worldwide following, with many religious and political leaders now testifying to the importance of his teachings. Many followers are engaged in positive active citizenship roles that are a credit to any nation. His teachings have inspired many with a positive mandate of ‘service first to others’.
Before he passes away into the spirit world, 2012-2016 are the years when we must all ‘do our bit’ to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on the Earth. It involves recognising that we are all children of the one living and loving God and as brothers and sisters to each other then this behoves us to unite as one collective body in standing up to and banishing tyranny, injustice, poverty and suffering, wherever it exists. Beyond that, it is a time when we can have real fun in our lives as God walks the earth with us, not just as our spiritual parent but also as our closest friend, just as our 12 year old son looks on my wife and I as his closest friends.
Think also the concept that we are all unique and individual expressions of God and you get a sense of how potentially beautiful life can be if only we could get rid of this distorted image that many of us have about ‘God’. Religion may have given God a bad name at times but those days will soon be over because of the great successes of Father Moon, his wife and his loyal followers in laying the foundation for God and the good spirit world to come down among us. You can now enjoy the fruits of their labours!
The only real solution to lasting world peace and order is Father Moon’s call for a world government, under the auspices of the United Nations, where both spiritual and political leaders of the world can unite in bringing lasting world peace and order. Unfortunately, the UN has always been weak because of national self-interests and a kind of moral relativism that has diluted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which were its founding principles. If Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Buddhists cannot now unite under this new teaching from God (Father Moon’s Divine Principle) then there’s not much immediate hope for the world. It will happen eventually but why wait for more unnecessary suffering before we wake up to how God is communicating with us today.
This world is slowly imploding in on itself. Unprecedented levels of world economic problems, international conflicts, civil unrest, natural disasters, unending famine and squalor have all compounded to make me fearful of what kind of future lies ahead for my son. The world population has nearly trebled in the past 60 years, having reached 7 billion by the end of October 2011, and only divine intervention will prevent man’s inhumanity to man manifesting itself as we chase ever more scarcer food and energy resources, job opportunities, adequate housing etc. – whatever it is we need for something more than just a basic standard of living.
Why divine intervention? It is because we cannot reason our way out of this global crisis by looking for man-made political, economic or social solutions – left to our own devices, our capacity for selfish action far outweighs any pro-active desire to act for the benefit of others. Only a collective understanding of our purpose in life will get us out of the mess we are in – that purpose comes from the spiritual parental force that we refer to as God. As a follower of Father Moon over the past 36 years (since June 1976), I am convinced that posterity will recognise him as the divinely-ordained Lord of the Second Advent and Returning Christ. While this is a very strong statement on my part to make, I cannot but do so in order to draw attention to what may be a greatly missed opportunity for others to pay homage to Father Moon before he departs from this world.
Finally, please keep this leaflet with you wherever you go – it will provide great spiritual protection. Thank you for reading this to the end.
In exposition of the term ‘True Parents’ to describe the spiritual status of Father Moon and his wife, Mother Moon (Hak Ja Han), I wish to put the following. I believe that the New Testament era must now give way to the Completed Testament era, which has been revealed by God to Sun Myung Moon, after he made a foundation of faith in his early life, suffering incredible hardship and torture, and following revelations from Jesus when he was a very young man.
Father Moon is the inheritor of Jesus’ mission and Jesus is working directly through him to bring ultimate salvation to the world. This is not just another religious movement that comes and goes within a lifetime of its founder or charismatic leader. A study of numerology and revelations point to such a man coming 2000 years after Jesus as a ‘messiah’ or ‘anointed one’ – Father Moon comes as a ‘first among equals’ because that mantle of messiah-ship falls also on each one of us to act in bringing salvation to those around us. So while I believe him to be the Returning Christ, the Lord of the Second Advent, the Second Coming of Jesus, or whatever other title we might wish to confer on him, what matters now is our own personal calling at this crossroads of human history.
Born in 1920, Father Moon is now over 90 years old. He may not be around much longer and many of the responsibilities have been passed to his youngest son. Nevertheless, he continues to travel the world in speaking to followers and to the wider public. In May 2011, he came to London and he looked remarkably well-preserved in both mind and body. His writings, sermons and speeches have been attributed as the largest ever produced by one person (Guinness Book of Records) but the core message is a simple one along the lines of:
We are all the spiritual sons and daughters of God and as spiritual brothers and sisters to each other then it behoves us to work together to secure a final and lasting world order of peace, love and fellowship.
The UM, by necessity, is becoming more and more of a broad church as it reaches out to people carrying with them a vast range of life experiences and persuasions. In accommodating my own particular brand of Unificationism, I would never wish to dilute the central message of how God is working at this time, nor deviate from the core teachings of SMM.
Rumours of my religious associations are spreading as a result of my handing out my 'UM Leaflet' (the content of this is given in the ‘Reflections’ heading) at Hyde Park’s Speakers Corner (the home of ‘free speech’?) as well as standing outside certain TV and newspaper media centres, and I suppose, to counter this escalating into a ‘Chinese Whispers’ type distortion of the truth, then I had better go public with this, set up this website … and explain myself. However, I feel less inclined now to ‘explain myself’ because, over the past few weeks of setting up and adding content, this website has taken on a different life of its own. Now, I just prefer to see this site as a vehicle for my spiritual writings.
In making this ‘Big Statement’, I did ask myself whether it was entirely necessary to go public. It is perfectly plausible that most will have never heard of my present witnessing campaign and be none the wiser. After all, using my alter ego of ‘Terence Malley’ (from my mother’s maiden name) does afford me some sort of ‘nom de plume’ privacy.
I realise I am dropping a bit of a bombshell here, especially for friends and acquaintances who come across this site and I may anticipate a fair amount of flak for doing so, from whatever quarter it may come. Most of them know me as not being a particularly religious man, nor as one who perhaps fits some distorted media stereotype of what a Moonie should look and behave like. I have my vices and am entirely comfortable with that.
I appreciate that my religious references will recoil some of you because quite a lot of my friends and acquaintances are in the secularist, agnostic and atheist camp and I apologise in advance on that count. I suspect it is also not a particularly British ‘thing to do’ either i.e. to make known ones religious and political views in such an open way, which I can appreciate after having lived here for the past 30 years or so. For some days, I have gone backwards and forwards on whether to set up this website but I am afraid a higher force, than perhaps my own common sense, is prevailing here and pushing me to throw caution to the wind.
I also appreciate that most of us have 101 other things to do with our time than trawl through such a lot of content so may I respectfully suggest that you pace your reading of it to times when you are more free from distractions that may affect your concentration. Some of the content will be quite challenging to read through with concepts and references that you may not have encountered before. I sincerely hope your time will be rewarded though and that you will resist the temptation to say ‘What a lot of loaded nonsense!’ or some such words. Some of you may like the points I’m about to make and some of you may not have got this far anyway in reading and already switched off. Yes, I suspect I have made a ‘rod for my own back’ by coming out, so to speak, and will expect a certain amount of flak for doing so, but if so then so be it.
This is actually a wonderful time in history to be living in, despite the numerous bad news stories around us that might suggest otherwise, and I hope your reading through this content will confirm this for you, just as it has for me in writing it. I suppose every generation since time immemorial will say this same thing, but this time is in many ways different to any other time before now. I believe we are living at a crossroads of human history where old certainties are withering – nothing around seems to be taking their place and we are left with a tremendous sense of foreboding about the kind of world our children are going to inherit from us.
I make no apologies for wishing to set up this website, not as a defence to my beliefs, but rather as an opportunity to share with a wider public what it means to be a Unificationist i.e. a follower of a man who has been so grossly and unfairly vilified and castigated, especially in the past, for trying to do no more than communicate a divinely-inspired teaching and message to the world.
I say this because I believe that Jesus and all the founders and great saints and holy men of the various world religions in the spirit world are now working directly through Father Moon towards the goal of worldwide unification under one common belief. After so many years as a follower, and despite my own ‘wanderings in the wilderness’ going through various stages of self-doubt, I am now convinced of the greatness of his message and teachings.
(By the way, while I appreciate that Sun Myung Moon is more often referred to as ‘Reverend Moon’ I much prefer the title ‘Father Moon’. This is not just because of my Catholic upbringing but also because I believe him to me my spiritual parent, just as I refer to his wife, Hak Ja Han, as ‘Mother Moon’. Incidentally, she is a major central figure in God’s providence at this time, because of the equal role she has undertaken in public speaking and public ministry. Very few other religious organisations give such equal status to women in a similar capacity where many women in our movement occupy high levels of public ministry and service).
As to my recognising the value of his teachings, I have no one to thank more than the experience of my own family life and of watching my young son grow up and interact so lovingly with me and my wife. This, to me, has been Moon’s Principle of Creation in action and brought home to me the beauty and simplicity of his message. In many ways, this website was created for my son so he can read my words long after I am gone, and share them with his children. For a 10 year old, I know I am his best friend (at the moment at least!) but I also know that I may never get to communicate with him these thoughts and reflections of this inner world of mine unless they are written down now, so he can read them when he is old enough to understand them.
These are indeed both ominous and wonderful times to live in. We can sense that this is not just another time in history when things happen and then we move on. We are now at a global crossroads and time is running out in choosing which path we take. Sun Myung Moon is now over 90 years old and is still working tirelessly to get his message across, and after spending so many years observing the man and his followers then I feel duly bound to do something in his honour, such as set up this website that testifies to his great teachings and message, before he passes away.
As is written in the Bible, a tree is judged by the fruit it bears and I defy anyone who can say that having met with any of Moon’s followers that they are not thoughtful, kind, generous and public-spirited. These are people who would go out of their way to help you should you need it. Even if you did not ask for it, many are so spiritually attuned to others around them that they will often sense that something is not quite right in that person’s life and give you that look that says ‘if you need help, I am here for you’.
Even though I have ‘fallen down’ in my faith, so to speak, and hurt or disappointed quite a few of UM followers along the way, I have never felt ostracised or unwelcomed by any. It is actually that spirit of forgiveness and genuine warmth and compassion that they have shown to me that has helped in my own healing process back to these spiritual roots of my faith.
As a successful lecturer in law, teaching union activist (and local union leader for the past six years), Chair of my son’s school Board of Governors and noted singer/songwriter, Moon's teachings have also inspired me with a positive mandate of ‘service first to others’. Many first and second generation followers are equally engaged in a number of public service activities and exemplify great models of active citizenship behaviour that any society would be proud to have as its citizens.
Many of the first generation followers now have grown up second generation children who are extremely talented, hard-working and very spiritually advanced – I am convinced many will be destined for great things ahead. I should also say that this website is equally dedicated to the followers of Father Moon because these are the great ‘unsong heroes’ of our age, who are just quietly going about God’s business in an unassuming and unpretentious way. These ‘brothers and sisters’ of the Unification Movement are like an extended family to me and I feel very privileged and fortunate to have gone through so much with them.
However, as I’m sure some of you are aware already, there are some websites out there with what seems an unbelievable visceral hatred of Sun Myung Moon and what he stands for. Most of it is rehashed from old media reports that no longer stack up, so instead they have tried to portray him as running conferences for leading political, religious, academic and media figures to attend with a so-called ‘hidden agenda’ to build up some sort of power base. The point they are missing of course is that Father Moon is a man with a mission from God and who better to influence than those in such positions of influence!
(I guess that unless such detractors get their own ‘Road to Demascus’ type of experience like St Paul did, when on his way to persecute more of those early Christians, then nothing will convince them otherwise.)
Nevertheless, please suspend any prejudices and cosy assumptions you may have that I am mixed up in some kind of sinister cult. That is just tired old tat from the 1970s and 1980s when the media were really on our backs. Thankfully, the media have grown up and treated us a lot more objectively than with the hysteria and sensationalism we had to endure before from them. I suppose they expected us to fold up a long time ago whereas, instead, we have continued to gather momentum as a world-wide movement and they have become more aware of the recognition and warmth of support being given to Moon from leading religious, political and academic figures.
(On that point, in the near future, I intend writing up comments from such people under the heading ‘Father Moon’s Words’)
Mention the word ‘Moonie’ to people of a certain generation (i.e. those ‘informed’ by the media of the 1970s and 1980s) and they will mention words like ‘mass weddings’, ‘brain-washed’, ‘self-styled messiah’, ‘anti-Christ’, ‘charlatan and super-rich megalomaniac’ – the list is possibly endless. I hope this website will serve to address these kinds of fears and apprehensions that people have. On the one hand, I can see why there are these perceptions – I would probably have formed the same views had I not met the UM way back in June 1976. On the other hand, the fact that I have spent these past 36 years closely observing Father Moon and his followers, makes these allegations both groundless and without substance.
(By the way, UK's Channel 4 recently ran a fairly balanced one hour TV documentary called 'Married to the Moonies' in May 2012 - try and have a look at it on their archives or via You Tube).
I do not wish this Home Page to be over-long as it is intended to just give you my views of why we need to get to a realistic understanding of what God should mean to us. It is not the faith of current mainstream faiths – it goes far beyond that. Dealing with each of these false allegations about Moon and his followers will necessitate a lengthy response. I intend dealing with these throughout the other website headings as they come up. I believe mistakes have been made in the past – that is often inevitable with any new religious movement starting out and with a perhaps over-zealous and young group of followers eager to spread the word. However, it has not been helped by a sensationalist media machine being fed misinformation by others intent on our early demise during that time.
Any new social or religious movement like ours will always engender initial fear, suspicion and misunderstanding as to its motives. With his revolutionary new message and teachings, even though I and others see them as highly orthodox and much more plausible than what we are being asked to believe from mainstream faiths, then Father Moon’s claims to be representing God’s voice at this time was bound to come up with vociferous opposition and hostility from those who stood most to lose from his teachings gaining a foothold. Perhaps I am being a little over-critical of our detractors, whether from the religious, media, academic or political sectors. In the 1970s and 1980s they had little to go on and this was perhaps an understandable ‘knee-jerk’ reaction on their part.
Time has healed a lot of those wounds from the past and Father Moon and UM followers have been very forgiving of those who were once our ‘enemies’ and this has been borne out by how many such detractors have now changed their position on us and become more vocally supportive of what we are trying to achieve.
Perhaps, I should also acknowledge that many recent and younger Unificationists have had little or no exposure to the hostility we faced in the past. Some UM followers themselves will wonder now what all the fuss is about and to some extent they may be right in saying that I also should just move on and not dredge up all this negative stuff from the past. On the one hand, I agree with this view, which is why I also intend putting out as much positive information about Father Moon and his teachings as I can.
On the other hand, I am mindful that one of the purposes of this website is to reach out to those who may hold entrenched cynical and negative views of Moon and to at least persuade them that there may be a completely plausible and opposite side to their argument. I cannot do that without first tackling head-on what they are likely to throw back at me. There is no value in me wishing to just gloss over the past as if it has no relevance anymore. To our detractors it does and no matter what positive ‘spin’ they may think I am trying to put across here, there will always be the hecklers at the back of the hall who ask ‘What about this ...?’ or ‘What about that …?’
(By the way, I intend leaving this website address – www.terencemalley.com – as a sort of ‘calling card’ on negative websites and blogs that criticise Father Moon so that readers of these sites can be presented with this alternative view. If you yourself feel so inclined then you are invited to do the same. You are also welcome to give this website address to anyone in your circle of friends and acquaintances who you might think would be interested in its contents. It might even be an interesting discussion topic to compare your reactions with other people’s reactions to its contents – who knows.)
However, if detractors don’t wish to engage with my responses to these allegations then that, to some extent, is their problem and not mine. There will, unfortunately, always be those who have formed fixed and intransigent views about Moon and what he stands for, and nothing short of a miracle will convince them otherwise. Nevertheless, I hope they will engage because I know from my own recent discussions with anti-Moon friends, who have seen this website, that there is a lot we can learn from what they have to say. If we take the case of St Paul, he was one of the biggest persecutors of the early Christian followers until his ‘Road to Damascus’ conversion. He then became one of its most vocal supporters and his writings and leadership have been pivotal to the growth of Christianity right up to present day.
Yes, there have been religious sects and cults in the past, where things have gone seriously wrong. One only has to think of the Jim Jones mass suicides/killings in ‘Jonestown’ and the David Koresh sect, where so many of his followers ended their lives at the ‘Siege of Waco’. New religious movements have been a phenomenon of the past 40-50 years. It has been tempting therefore to label them all as transient sects, with no spirituality about them than to prop up the financial and power-crazed gain of its charismatic leader. This is a period of 2000 years since the time of Jesus and even mainstream religions speak of the Second Coming or the Returning Messiah. Whether that manifests itself in a purely spiritual context or in the physical re-appearance of Jesus, or of someone through whom Jesus is manifesting himself, then all of that remains to be seen.
These are the ‘end days’ (or the biblical ‘Last Days’) of the old world order and I suppose there will be many who feel enlightened enough to believe they are the new messiah. In my own case, I really don’t much care to say if SMM is the Messiah or if Joe Bloggs from next door is. That is something for posterity to judge. How I view his spiritual status is a deeply personal one to me, just as it was to the beggar woman who recognised Jesus’ messianic status when even his close disciples were doubting him. Whether that is a yes, no or maybe, I have no wish to say as if it were the be-all and end-all of what I am trying to get across here. You can draw your own conclusions from reading these spiritual writings and reflections of where I stand but I will not directly voice them.
To do so would be no different to us both being on a street in Jerusalem 2000 years ago – would you or I give the time of day to a man walking towards us, leading a small rag-bag of followers, if I pointed him out to you and said this man, who is merely a son of a carpenter from a backwater small town of Nazareth, calls himself the ‘Son of God’ and that we should follow him? Unless we were fortunate enough to be so spiritually sensitive or touched in some way by the power of the Holy Spirit, then how likely are we to respond positively to his message and teachings, controversial and even blasphemous as they came across to the mainstream Jewish faith at the time?
The fact is that Jesus did not walk around with a halo around his head, as depicted in Renaissance art, nor would he have had a band of angels or cherubs hovering over his head singing celestial choruses. He may have given off a certain aura that drew people to him but most did not have the spiritual eyesight to see that. In fact, I don’t even think that happened either – if it did, then his closest disciples and apostles wouldn’t have given him such a hard time of believing in him right up to and immediately after his death, as depicted in all of the New Testament writings.
Anyway, the battle-lines are now drawing close between the forces of good and evil that lie not just around us, but also within us as a result of the struggle between the selfish and the unselfish instincts that we inherited from the Fall of Man. The path to salvation need not be onerous or unachievable and don’t let mainstream religion tell you otherwise. You know the potential is there in you to take this message to an even higher level than what Father Moon has done, and he will be the first to congratulate you. He has been the messenger but the mantle of how that message is handled from this point on, rests with each one of us.
All that God yearns for is to connect with you as your spiritual parent, in both male and female form, in much the same way as I now yearn to connect with my physical parents, who have both passed away. Our longing to connect with God should be no different to that connection we have to our parents, no matter how flawed they might have been in their dealings with us when alive. Actually, because I have problems connecting to the religious connotations of the word ‘God’, then I have come up with a new word for Him/Her. It is MaPa and I personally really like it although it may not be to everyone’s taste. I say it a lot in my head when I’m doing things and it gives me a lot of calmness inside and connects me to my spiritual self – try it. Even when I’m walking along a street and just quietly saying this word over and over again, I get a certain spring in my step – Ma is for mother and Pa is for father.
Our ancestors in the spirit world are waiting for us to tap into their support and guidance. This is a time of great dreams and visions that are coming to us from the spirit world – open yourself up to that which is intangible and unseen. We have five spiritual senses that correspond with our five physical senses – too often they lie dormant within us – now is the time to waken them up.
This is the time of the Lord of the Second Advent or the Second Coming that Christians have waited for over 2000 years. It is also the time of various anti-Christs who will try to lead people away from discovering their original selves, and who feed us wonderful hopes built on empty vessels. With our spiritual eyesight, we can see who the false gods are - and yet still we get fooled again because of our spiritual blindness. Spiritual battles are now taking place on an Armageddon scale, not just on the physical earth but also within the spiritual realms, in areas such as ethics, morality and belief.
Forces of good and evil are both real and visible, and will come to a head early in the year 2020. That is why there is a great sense of urgency about this time. World leaders, both spiritual and temporal, need to get their act together through a renewed United Nations programme, as called for by SMM in a great speech he gave about 12 years ago at the United Nations building (see UM Links & News heading).
Without wishing to be alarmist, satanic forces have always tried to dull our spiritual senses, none more so than today. Since the biblical Fall of Man, Satan has always had the upper hand in the affairs of man and has worked, sometimes in very subtle ways, through people in keeping it that way - mostly without them realising it. God can only watch helplessly as He cannot interfere in the free-will and free choices that people make.
Why a so-called ‘Almighty’ and ‘all-powerful’ God cannot interfere in the affairs of man is not easy to explain and it’s not enough to say that He is bound by His own laws of creation. An understanding of the story of the ‘prodigal son’ parable in the bible may go some way to explain it as perhaps would the scenario of any parent who sees their child caught up in a different world to what was expected of them. It is not a case of foolish pride for the parent to stubbornly resist going into that place and pulling the son or daughter away – that child must want to come home having realised that life could be so much better ‘back home’.
Anyway, if your average Joe Public is too busy trying to make ends meet, and maybe just wants to be entertained rather than informed by the mass media, then perhaps it is left to our spiritual and temporal leaders to be expected to point the way forward at this global crossroads in our history. I know I have already played you the Doomsday scenario card by saying we have not much time to act (by early 2020) and, in a sense, I don’t want to overdo this kind of ‘doom and gloom’ merchandising about our future prospects for world peace but we can sense a kind of biblical ‘Last Days’ reckoning imminent with constant news stories of international conflicts heightening, climate change catastrophes and global economic meltdown on the horizon.
What I am trying to say here is that if these global political and religious leaders don’t tap into how God is trying to communicate with us today, through Father Moon, then that may leave a void for Satan to lead us all into a merry dance down the road to perdition, with some pretty awful consequences ensuing. I am not talking about ‘Satan’ as some entity with a tail and horns – many of us have now grown up with some greater spiritual depth and understanding, than our forebears were able to do, for us to dump that bit of folklore. (I will write more on this at some later date under the heading ‘Spiritual Writings’).
Behind the physical and material wealth of nations has been its spiritual wealth which goes beyond any rigid adherence to human rights and tolerance for the beliefs of others. It is no coincidence that the post-war wealth of the West (as well as some Far East countries) has been closely linked with its embrace of liberal democratic principles that grew out of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, none of this would have been possible without Europe and countries like Japan and South Korea grabbing on to the coat-tails of the economic and cultural powerhouse of America – a country that God had blessed with heavenly fortune because of its God-centred stance where its founding fathers created a ‘New World’ with God as its central point of reference over 200 years ago. Despite its over-zealousness during the McCarthyism era in the early 1950s, the US has stood as a bulwark against the pernicious influence of godless communism and I believe God has blessed America from the 1940s through to the present.
Some of this may make for uncomfortable reading but that should not preclude it being uttered i.e. that God can only continue to bless those people or nations that stand loyal to His Message and Teachings, as passed down to us through His Prophets and ultimately through His Son, Jesus. Where Christianity has been practiced in its higher form (America and north European Protestant countries) then that wealth has been more acutely bestowed.
While it might pain me as a Catholic to acknowledge it, it has been the more developed spirituality of Protestantism, with its strong work ethic and emphasis on individual responsibility to both God and his fellow man, as well as adherence to the principles of liberal democracy, that have helped such nations flourish. These are issues that Catholic-dominated nations have not encouraged in the same degree which is why they are often the poorer relation, when we look at south European (including my own country of Ireland) and South American examples.
However, just as God can bless those countries who have made a foundation of indemnity through their history and who have ‘broken through’ spiritually for Him to reach out to them, if such countries regress in their spiritual responsibilities then that leaves an opening for Satan to invade. At this present time, this has been done through the unregulated and self-serving selfishness of the banking system. For now, what I want to say is that there have been enough good people, from all religions and non-religions alike, who have paid various sacrifices and indemnities in their actions, thoughts and prayers, to keep Satan at bay. That still continues, which is why I am more hopeful that we will avoid major catastrophes in the future. But the fine balance between good and evil action is still there – what we cannot do is let others do all the hard work.
I can see I may have opened up a bit of ‘hornet’s nest’ here with this talk about God blessing some countries more than others – in truth, God would wish to bless all countries equally. It just cannot be done – Satan has the upper hand in the affairs of mankind and it is only by nations fulfilling both foundations of faith and indemnity that God can intervene. Father Moon has a blueprint for all nations to be finally free from the yolk of selfish action, which is what Satan represents at the end of the day.
(I will write more on this ‘blueprint for redemption’ at a later time – it is a big subject and needs careful thought.)
Setting up this website has also been a cathartic experience for another reason. I guess within all of us lies this dichotomy between the functioning self and the ‘Other’. How do we maintain a peaceful coexistence between the sometimes conflicting needs of the temporal self and the needs of the spiritual self?
Mostly, with families to run and bills to pay, it is the temporal self that predominates and often the spiritual self is what we keep closely guarded, and far away from what we may perceive as uncaring and unsympathetic eyes who might think we’re going slightly mad. The temporal self is the ‘what you see is what you get’ persona we present to the outside world. It is conformist, safe for us to use and non-threatening to others. We may even throw in a touch of individual personality so as to mark us out from the crowd. On the other hand, the spiritual self can be confrontational, judgemental and get us into all kinds of hot water. I guess we all have our various coping mechanisms to keep this tension between these two conflicting forces within us at bay.
This is the world of the spiritual senses that often lie dormant within us. It is also the world of the conscious self Vs the subconscious self, and the tensions between the two. After several months of suffering ‘black dog day’ depressions in reconciling the two, I have allowed Terence Malley to be my pseudonym and alter ego to take on the role of this spiritual self. Therefore, unto him have I dumped all my wild imaginings and visions that I keep getting from the spirit world, in order to keep sane my functioning temporal self – which is the Jekyl and which is the Hyde is anyone’s guess!
In setting up this website, I know there will be friends and acquaintances of mine who will recoil in horror at discovering this religious side of me – I prefer the term ‘spiritual’ - so be it, but I will not let that spoil our friendship, which I hold dearly. What I do respectfully ask is that you don't give into your, perhaps, initial reaction to bin this website as some hocus-pocus trite without looking through its contents. Just as it my spiritual self kicking in here in writing this, so also I would not expect your temporal self to be all that receptive to reading it.
What I suggest is that you keep this website aside until such time as your spiritual self is ready to read it. With present content, it takes up to an hour to get through this Home page alone, let alone read through the other headings. However, for those who may get more involved, then it will take many more hours to re-read it over and over again as new insights reveal themselves to you.
I’m not sure how much of this content is my own or how much is coming via inspiration from higher forces within the spirit world. Maybe I am attributing it to the spirit world as a ‘cop-out’ so I can deny all responsibility for writing it! What I do know is that when I re-read some of it, especially the Reflections heading on ‘parentalism’, then I am taken by the depth of thought behind one or two lines that suddenly jump out at me and I think ‘wow, did I write that?’ After all, I am not some monastic hermit living up in Iona or Lindisfarne, self-flagellating myself and fasting for days on end in order to write such weighty material. It has come from tapping into my spiritual self, just as you can do as well.
If truth be told, I am a bit of a heathen and often a walking contradiction to my beliefs, but I guess this constant battle between our dual personalities (the temporal Vs the spiritual) is what can sometimes make for creative writing. What I am also aware of, on second reading, is that quite a lot of it may come across to some as egotistical, self-absorbed nonsense and do I really think anyone is attracted or interested to read it.
I did think to take out chunks and chunks of the stuff on grounds of its relevance and whether it detracts from the core message I am trying to communicate here. Maybe I will revisit this site and do that, but for the moment I will leave it in as it provides a sort of window to this inner world of the spiritual self. I am also conscious that it is my son I am writing to, as someone who would be wishing to know a little more about me than what I have shared with him so far, and perhaps even into the future.
Many of us are understandably cynical of religion, and perhaps more so new religious movements like Moon’s UM, and that will always be a challenge to penetrate that deep layer of mistrust that people have. As someone who has a foot in both camps, as not only a follower of Father Moon but also as one who has surrounded himself with valued friends for whom religion is anathema to them and something they are either indifferent to or downright hostile to, then I have recently felt some kind of ‘calling’ from God to reach out to the secularist, the agnostic and the atheist among us - those people who would rather walk to the other side of the road rather than meet with someone like me giving out my UM leaflet to them. By ‘calling’ I am not talking about celestial choirs with the Angel Gabriel appearing to me – it has just been an opening up of this spiritual self within that I am referring to.
God is desperately trying to reach out to those who have totally shut down from wanting any connection with Him, whether through personal bitter experience of having religion forced down their throats in the past or because of a conviction that it’s all superstitious nonsense, full of contradiction, corruption, paedophiles and whatever else you want to throw at it. I guess it also boils down to a fairly natural wish to spend your Sunday doing things you like to do rather than be cooped up in a creepy-looking building, singing musically-challenging hymns interminably and listening to some boring sermon from a dodgy-looking character with a beard. (Oh dear, maybe I have over-stepped the mark here and will have to do some penance soon for writing this – so be it!)
The above negative description of the religious experience is not one that I would necessarily concur with because it does a gross disservice to the selfless sacrifices of committed religious professionals and their congregation. Without religion, we would be in a far worse state than we are now, and one only has to reflect on the legacy of those countries where religion was banned, as with Godless communism, to see that where the spiritual needs of men are not met then, potentially, all hell can break loose.
In those countries where communism was practiced in the past, countless millions of lives have been lost whether from gulags and prison camps or through starvation – how God must have suffered looking down at Satan doing his worst. Right-wing and/or religious totalitarian regimes have been equally as harmful though perhaps not on the same scale. There is no moral compass here – we’re all in a bit of a mess with the blind leading the blind – but at least I am so thankful to have been born lucky in a more benign country like Ireland and living in the UK to have the opportunity to write and reflect as I do now. Many others had no such opportunity.
Without wishing to discount the great contribution of humanists and non-believers in helping to improve the material conditions of mankind, especially over the past century, we should also remind ourselves of how the West has benefitted immensely from the Judeo-Christian teachings that have inspired countless people to similar acts of great public service. Humanism is close to ‘Godism’ in its ideals – it is a great shame the two cannot be reconciled. Understandably, religion has given God a bad name – Father Moon is trying to undo that bad or distorted image some people have of what God is all about. They will find that secularist and humanist ideals are close to God’s ideals – the impetus for making those ideals a reality comes from recognising that we are a one world family with God as our parental source of life.
Behind many great philosophers, inventors, entrepreneurs, politicians, scientists and thinkers of our era, lie a deep-rooted belief in the religious experience and a wish to improve on the raw materials which God has provided us with, such as energy, heat, light and the natural mineral wealth of the world. Much of our ethical and legal codes of behaviour also emanate from the religious texts of the past or at least inspired people to improve their lot and the lot of others. So, while it may be quite common to hear disparaging comments about religion and the religious experience, especially now from militant atheism, we should not forget its central importance without which Britain would not be one of the best countries to live in the world.
Anyway, whoever said the road back to God was going to be an easy one – it isn’t, because there are some sacrifices we have to make in order to subjugate some of the selfish instincts and cynicisms we have of life.
It has been at Catholic Mass and it has been at UM events where I have met with God, because these were often at times when I wasn’t so keen on going in the first place. That reluctance still continues sometimes today because at heart I prefer my own company and am suspicious of crowd events, no matter how benign they appear to be. Perhaps I’m battling against this need to be religiously inclined even though I know that God’s spirit will come ‘where two or more are gathered in My Name’, as the bible tells. Maybe also it is the fact that so many people reject the religious experience that I am trying to understand how that can be rectified.
It is taking its time with me but bit by bit I hope I am chipping away at these comfort zones within my temporal self, perhaps spurred on by the thought that maybe eventually I will reach the ‘promised land’ where my temporal and spiritual selves will merge into this one Original Self – where there is no contradiction between the mind and the body. If I don’t reach it, then maybe my son will take on this mantle and take it further, which is primarily why this website has been written for him.
It is one thing to preach to the converted – they have no need of me. I could also try and preach to the religious professionals – the priests, ministers, Imans and monks of other faiths – however, they also have no need of me, but for different reasons, since I am not equipped with a sufficient depth of religious or theological knowledge to do effective ‘battle’ with them. Besides, there are far more able UM members than I, both in their religious observance and also with many years of studying theology at our church seminaries, who are better placed to fulfil that important role.
Instead, it is to the people on the street as well as to the ‘great unwashed’, such as myself, that I wish to reach out to. Even setting up this website and writing, in a sense, to myself is a kind of cathartic experience for me to understand where I have come from and where I am going to. By doing so, I hope to bring others with me on this spiritual journey – not sure where we are heading to but I hope we can at least enjoy the ride!
Nevertheless, I can see that some of the content I will be writing in this website will come across as heavily loaded with religious references used throughout and that will present a major challenge to people not to switch off at the first mention of God and religion etc. However, I’m afraid I cannot do otherwise – the religious experience has been the only way that God can communicate with us and I do not wish to cheapen that with ‘street cred’ language and phony euphemisms. I will try to make it a bit more palatable but those who genuinely wish to know will need to make that extra effort to stay with me on this - and park their cynicism somewhere else.
Then again, I’m not fooling myself by thinking that this website will be a transformational experience for everyone who has given themselves the time and head-space to read the website contents from cover to cover. It may be defeatist of me to say it, but I’ll be lucky if more than a handful even get this far on my Home page to read this, let alone look through the other Headings.
So why do I do this then and potentially risk so much in the process? I have no idea what answer to give here. Those who know me and trust my motives to some extent may read further. All I know is that I have to just go ahead and hope something good will come of it, even if it is only for my son’s benefit when he is old enough to appreciate it. I could, on the other hand, be trite and say it is all worth it if only one solitary person has been positively moved towards some form of reconciliation with God in their personal life. Fine, I suppose, if we take that parable in the bible about the shepherd who goes out in inclement weather to find that one lost sheep to bring back to the 99 other sheep who are safe in his compound - but that analogy soon breaks down in my case when I have only one sheep in the compound and the other 99 are scattered to the four winds!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this ride that we’re both travelling on – take care and may God bless you for reading this far into my content.
1. MaPa Love and Parentalism
MaPa is a new name for God that does not need a religion
MaPa is about a child’s love that can give us new vision
God has had a lot of ‘bad press’ in recent years. Modern Western societies see no need for superstitious belief and for what some see as judgemental beliefs that pit believers against non-believers. With the plethora of different religions, believers themselves are pitted against each other in their claim that only they have a monopoly on God. Just think of how Christianity has broken up into so many different faiths (at least 400), with them all claiming to have the best route to God and you will get an idea of how much of a mess we are in. No doubt future generations will view this period in the same way that we viewed past generations as ‘Dark Ages’.
A parent’s love for its child is the only expression of unconditional love. The various types of love between people, whether young or old, is conditional on many factors and variables, but that between a parent and its child is the highest expression of love. Lovers fall in and out of love, sometimes to the extreme, but that between parents and children never changes or wavers, even when tested and even when the parent is old and the child is middle-aged.
‘MaPa’ is about a child’s love that can give us new vision and energy to face our demons both within ourselves and with each other. It is the same for‘Parentalism’, which is a new force for good that is as old as time. The word‘MaPa’ derives from the shortened terms of endearment for mother and father and is a beautiful word in itself, which can be easily spoken in any world language.
An understanding of Parentalism, the love that parents have for their children, and MaPa Love, the love of children for their parents, is the most precious thing we can take to our graves. We are all measured really by how much we loved and received love. Like the concept of ‘God’, the concept of ‘love’ is a much misplaced and misunderstood word but few can deny that when we are both giving and receiving love, then we are at our happiest.
Parents are used to giving unconditional love to their children, with no strings attached and nothing expected in return. Slowly, children learn to reciprocate and give back love, and few parents would not delight in receiving an unexpected hug from their child and words such as ‘Mummy/Daddy, I love you’. Great when it comes from an eight year old - a bit more alarming (but no less welcome) when it comes from a rebellious teenager! As children grow up, they learn to give back love to their parents in a less demonstrative way, but it is still MaPa love.
However, no family exists solely on an island with little or no interaction with other people. To what extent are we prepared or able to love others in the same way as we love our own children? Even the cruellest of people, such as dictators or serial killers, will be able to demonstrate how much they loved both their children and their own parents. This, therefore, is the nub and crux of the challenge facing us.
No matter how much wealth and fame we achieve, we will stand judged by how we loved others unconditionally, not just our own children but other people’s children. But then ‘loving others unconditionally’ is really just an empty phrase that we may like to think we can do but fall down at the first hurdle. If we live in a nice cosy and comfortable bubble then we often do feel a sense of well-being with ourselves and others, but what if we were tested and all our comforts were taken away from us – how much of us would be feeling goodwill to all men then?
The key to finding happiness is to connect to the source of life i.e. God. Without recognising God as our spiritual parent then we are like orphans, wandering aimlessly in our world. Now imagine your parents as being the Face of God – the physical manifestation of unconditional love. God is both a Heavenly Father and a Mother Earth and this Kingdom of Heaven on Earth that Christians talk about is really nothing more than a God-centred family living a life of unconditional love with each other. At least, that is the theory because in practice we often have memories where we felt both our parents and we as their children fell far short of this ideal.
Both my parents have passed away now and I do sometimes feel like an orphan without them. Now I have a 10 year old son and perhaps sometime soon I may leave him an orphan. It made me think about the purpose of our life here, far from the daily cares and woes of making ends meet, bills to pay and commitments to keep up with. Soon, I will be an old man and preparing for my own death. I know I will leave behind some great memories for my son and I know he will deeply miss me when I am no longer here, in the same way that I now deeply miss my own parents.
Lie down in a dark room with no distractions and face those demons of your past. Retrace some memories of your childhood and examine them now in your adulthood. Sometimes this happens in our sleep at night but we often wake up not really remembering those images we saw or what they meant. Much of our upbringing has helped shape what we are today. If we let those demons remain in our subconscious then it can be difficult to move forward in a positive way with our lives.
If we were lucky growing up, we may only remember those images from the past of parental love and warmth, but if not so lucky then it may be one of parental indifference, exasperation and neglect. Expressions of parentalism came also from various elders such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, step-parents, neighbours, carers, teachers – whoever treated us with various acts of kindness in the past. All have helped shape our understanding of a benign humanity and have been fundamental to our spiritual growth and sense of well-being.
However, the ideal remains the unconditional love that children need from their biological parents. Some of us have been more fortunate than others in getting our fair share of this experience. Others grew up in orphanages, care homes, adoption homes, foster homes where elders acted in loco parentis. With increasing numbers of marital break-ups, others grew up with a single parent, usually the mother and often through no fault of her own.
The single parent would have valiantly tried to support their children, playing both the mother and father roles. Both financially and emotionally, this would have been an uphill task and invariably the parent may be tempted to undertake a second, third and even fourth marriage to help share this task with someone else. Further children may then arrive into these ‘extended’ families, which can further complicate matters and either results in a positive or negative experience for the original children.
This is the modern-day structure of family life for some, whether we agree with it or not. In a post-religious, secular age, none of us want to appear to be judgemental even though statistics that analyse the family backgrounds of those with anti-social or criminal tendencies tend to uphold the ‘elephant in the room’ truism that the prison population is disproportionately made up of people whose family history was, at best, disjointed and dysfunctional, and at worst downright abusive bordering on criminal parental neglect.
How far have we moved from the ideal of the nuclear family, of couples that stayed together through thick and thin? Would that marriages could last longer and beyond the initial euphoria of expressing undying love to each other!
In present times, with pressures coming from all kinds of areas that perhaps our parents and grandparents did not have to face, then it can be an uphill battle to keep a marriage going. That is not to excuse couples deciding rashly that they have fallen out of love with each other and that the availability of a quick and ‘painless’ divorce is always close at hand. It is hard to say to such a couple ‘oh stay together for the sake of the children’. Women tend to be more faithful in trying to keep a family together, even if it means sharing a home with an unfaithful or an unloving husband. Some men, unfortunately, tend to act on impulses they later learn to regret. As a man, I have my fair share of regrets in life, but hopefully as we get older then we get a little more wiser about ‘cause and effect’.
Certainly, in an abusive relationship, it may be better for the abused spouse (sometimes the father, but usually the mother) to take their children away from that escalating into worse violence, in the hope that such separation from their children will make the abuser see the error of their ways, if the wounds he/she has caused are not too deep to heal. The children will learn to accept this course of action. It is much harder if one of the parents has just abandoned the family in order to fulfil some selfish short-term pleasure, without regard to the hurt they have left behind.
Children are the innocent victims in any marital break-up, more so when they are young and they are not aware of the lead up to the separation and divorce – suddenly, they are told their daddy cannot live with them anymore. This trauma can still occur for teenage or grown up children when their middle-aged or elderly parents decide to separate. In time, they learn to develop a thick skin and many do seem to bounce back eventually. How soon that happens depends on how their separated parents deal with their parental responsibilities with them. If they feel abandoned by their absent parent, who seems indifferent to giving continued parental support, then that can be hard to heal. That cycle of insecure relationships may then continue into the next generation, who in turn find it hard to commit to their partner.
No government can, nor should try to, legislate for secure relationships. It is people’s rights to exercise their free will and choice that is paramount, even if we wonder how we can trust our own judgement about who is a suitable life-long partner for us. And yet, it is the children that suffer from such poor judgements. When I said previously that the road back to God is not an easy one, actually part of the solution is trying to maintain strong and happy family relationships because that is where the heart and soul of God lies.
So when couples break up, then God feels a lot of the pain of that situation, especially when innocent children often suffer the most. God is like the innocent parents who have been kicked out of their family home (by Satan) and who are not allowed access to see their children. Both God is suffering that pain of ‘divorce’ from His/Her children, and we also are suffering the pain of not knowing about who our real family is.
2. In praise of ‘Parentalism’
To some extent, we have all been like orphans and cut off from this parental force that binds us all to each other. As orphans, we have gone off in different directions and taken on some strange beliefs and attitudes. There are two big sayings from Jesus – one is that we are all made in the image of God and the second is that the kingdom of Heaven can only be seen through the eyes of a child. If these don’t point to this whole concept of parentalismand MaPa love then I don’t know what does.
Humans are not the only parents – virtually everything in nature, especially in animal species form, is organised along the same parental role. Nature programmes often show us tremendous examples of such unconditional love for their offspring. For humans, that parental force of love remains no matter at what stage in life we are in and no matter how much our children may regret or disown us or act in a way that can bring great sorrow to us. We cannot begin to understand the depth of sorrow that God, as our heavenly Father, feels in not having this parental connection with us.
Because we do not recognise that as parents we are the human face of God then things get messy. This is why we often fall below the standard we even expect of ourselves in being parents. Sometimes it works well but many times we are just groping in the dark. Children have no idea what life is all about but as parents we do or at least we should.
Parentalism means seeing the face of God in our parents. God is a parent to us in both male and female form. As parents, my wife and I know what makes us happiest in seeing how our son does various things, both to show he is growing up and as a way of reciprocating our love for him. Now just think how much God would love to have the same happiness from us, His/Her children.
Is God a judgemental parent? How can any parent be judgemental? They may not be happy sometimes with what their children do but, similarly, unconditional love is what characterises God’s approach to us. The way I see my relationship with God is no different to the way I am with my own son. I do not see God as a male presence but as both male and female since we are all made in God’s image. The corollary to this is that if we are all His children then that means we are all spiritual brothers and sisters to each other.
Some of us have had a happy upbringing where we have experienced the love of parents. We may also have experienced the love of older and younger brothers and sisters. However, with marriage breakdown so common now then this has not been possible in its fullest sense despite the tremendous efforts sometimes of single parents to hold a family together. Parental love is the highest form of love and that is the mirror image of God’s love for us. God’s love expresses itself through our parents which is why we should not give a solely masculine identity to God. That is why we should look on our parents as the Face of God – both male and female forms of love.
What is the path to self-perfection? Is it a perfect body, a perfect mind? All around us then we see imperfections and contradictions between our thoughts and our deeds. Can we seek to perfect ourselves without seeking to perfect others? Are we not judgmental of others, expecting to see perfection in them? Do we not expect too much from others?
I owe Father Moon a great depth of gratitude for helping me discover that the face of God lies in parental love. Despite my parents’ many faults, they are still the face of God to me. My wife and I have also faults but we are still the face of God to our son. There is nothing complicated about God nor about our relationship with this MaPa force of love. In some ways, religion has given God a bad name by pitching Him as some inaccessible and distant Being. Religious belief has served a purpose in getting us to tap into our spiritual selves but the misinterpretation of what its founders were trying to communicate to us allowed for Satan to step in and steer religion into a man-made construct.
If we all are, in a spiritual sense, God’s children, then what does God hope from us? This question is no different to what I would hope from my son. I would wish for him to do far greater things than I have done. God is starved of the love of His children, who have either turned their back on Him or don’t know where to look for Him. He is like a parent with so much love to give but no one to give it to. Actually, God is suffering deeply from not being able to love His children – us! Only Father Moon’s Divine Principle lectures can adequately explain this whole dynamic that is happening now – please go online to study those lectures or better still please consider attending the UM workshops in your local area – contact me and I’ll send you those details.
Different children will respond to their parents in different ways but no parent will really turn their back on their child no matter how messy their lives have become. A parent will always be there for them just like the ‘prodigal son’, in the Bible story, was welcomed back by his father, when his son went away and lived a messed-up life before realising how much he missed the love of his parents - the love of God was with his family.
That’s why the family is everything if only we could realise that the love of God dwells there. The love of God is the face of parentalism that expresses unconditional love. Some of us may not have had good experiences of parental love when growing up. We may have only experienced a single parent’s love coming from a single parent home. We may even have been orphans and placed in a care home, foster home or placed with adoptive parents.
If we were lucky, we had two good parents and we grew up pretty well adjusted and willing to set a similar example with our own children. Good families are what make for a good society. Good parents will teach us how to care for and share with others who are less fortunate. Temporal leaders running governments know this and are always extolling the virtues for its citizens to maintain a happy marriage and good family values. Family breakdown is the core to so much of the social ills that prevail in our society today.
There’s just no getting away from my saying that this is the ideal we should all strive for. I’m not going to be judgemental about same-sex relationships, single parent families, ‘feckless’ father figures who sleep around leaving children in their wake, or whatever type of alternative relationship that our present-day society throws up. I could just as easily be involved in any one of these if certain cards had not gone my way. We’re all in this Satan-controlled world together and trying to make the best of it, seeking some form of love whichever way we can and whatever way the cards fall to us. God is not judgemental so why should any of us be? God knows, we often give ourselves such a hard time of it that the last thing we need is for others to judge us as well!
(I will come back to this at some later date – it is an important issue that needs addressing because God does not want to alienate those who feel alienated by God’s so-called ‘spokespersons’).
Yes, religion has a place where it brings like-minded people together under one roof. It gives us a momentary warm glow and a certain self-satisfaction that we are doing OK with our lives, that there is some purpose and value to what we believe and that if only everyone else believed what we believed then we really would have a kingdom of heaven on earth.
Thankfully, nowadays there are less of the smug, self-satisfied believers that too often turn others away from them with their self-righteous beliefs and often judgemental attitudes to others. Now there is less certainty for them because often answers have not come in the way they had hoped. The sun still shines on the less righteous even when the rain pours down on the ‘chosen few’. Why are we groping around here in the dark, with the blind leading the blind?
When times are good, we look to the future and forget our past. When times turn bad, we dread the future and turn back to the past, to a time when life was less messy and complicated. The only consolation is that our over-reliance on leaders has become more hollow through bitter experience. We realise that politics and the promises of its dynamic, charismatic leaders do not deliver, and we have also turned our back on formalised religion. Yet, still we seek for answers which is why I deeply believe there is a great spiritual thirst out there.
For many of us, thoughts of where the next meal is going to come from for our family do not exist as they do in some parts of the world. Our physical needs are largely catered for – it is the poverty of the spirit within us that now needs addressing and we are slowly coming around to this now. I believe that in some poorer countries, where food is scarce, that it is there that you can most find the heart and love of God. People rely on each other more and, perhaps, to compensate for the weakness of their physical conditions, that they have also built up tremendous reserves of spiritual energies. It is often remarked by those who visit these countries that they seem to be happier than us, that they always seem to be smiling and willing to share what little food they have with us.
Anyone who wishes to understand the mind and heart of God then need look no further than at themselves. Parentalism is the dynamic force behind what God is and is all we need to understand in our relationship with God. No matter what our belief or non-belief, no matter what our cultural or ethnic background, no matter what our status is within society – all of us have an opportunity to experience the mind and heart of God by becoming a parent ourselves.
There are two forms of parental love. The first is the biological love for your child, something that is easy to do but sometimes hard to maintain as children grow up and seem to disrespect us and go their separate ways. The second is the parental love we have and show to those around us, no matter what their age or circumstance. This is the love that Jesus spoke about when extolling his followers to love others as God loves them, no matter how uncaring and cruel they can be to you. To every person who you meet on the street, they have parents (dead or alive) who loved them intensely. Can you now get into the mind and soul of such a parent and love that person unconditionally?
If they did not experience any substantive love in their upbringing, that may have made them slightly bitter and cynical about life. Can you then now give them that depth of love to release them from these shackles? Can God now walk the earth through you, just as He did through Jesus, and love people with that kind of unconditional, parental love? Can I, in my middle age, look at that little old woman walking down the street, bent over with her shopping bags and stick, and see her as her mother and father once did? She may once have been a beautiful child, developing into a beautiful woman, who then married, had children, growing old with her husband until usually he dies first, and now she is left here alone, with perhaps her own children too busy to visit her that much.
I appreciate that the above example of the old woman may be presumptuous on my part as to her background and living conditions, but too often we walk by the elderly on our streets without a moment’s thought to either give them a second look or consider what kind of life they’re living now or the kind of life they lived up until now. How much can we learn from them before they leave this life for the next in the spirit world? And, with God’s parental love within us, how much can we look to their comforts and living conditions so that, in a sense, they get a good ‘send off’ to the next life when they will be among their loved ones again?
Anyway, the deeper you think about this concept, then the more distant do you start to understand is our present position from the ideal of our original selves. We are so far removed from our potential of greatness as human beings. But also consider the sorrow of God who must look down at us, groping in this darkness, while so desperate to reach out to us through our religious and spiritual experiences, but often unable to do so.
No wonder people found religion too hard to do - but don't give up! Taking small steps away from your selfish instincts and seeking this parental reconciliation with God will unleash those tremendous spiritual energies that lie within you and which also come from the guidance and support that you will receive from your ancestors.
Unlock this great potential that lies within you!
3. The Importance of Korea in God’s Providential History
At present (Summer 2010), there is a great cataclysmic event unfolding in the Korean peninsula between North and South Korea, Sun Myung Moon’s home (and bitterly divided) country. Without over-dramatising the ‘good Vs evil’ scenario taking place there, it is a central country in God’s providential history and should not be viewed as some far-off distant backwater. While most eyes are on the Armageddon-like crisis taking place in the Middle East, of far more significance is that now occurring in the Far East where the reality of a nuclear holocaust is ever-looming.
Sun Myung Moon has spoken recently about the North/South Korean divide and how tensions there need to be de-escalated and defused. He is calling on Western powers, as well as China, Japan and Russia, to intervene with the eventual reunification of the two countries as their ultimate goal. Communist North Korea represents the most extreme example of a hell on earth and while South Korea is not exactly the Garden of Eden, it does represent the norms and values of a free society, which must be protected. The extremes of poverty and wealth could not be more marked than with these two divided countries, and hopefully a Germany-type reunification will happen soon with liberal democracy prevailing.
It is true that recent political and military interference in the affairs of sovereign Middle-Eastern states (Iraq and Afghanistan) have tarnished the reputation of the West in performing a world police-like role, but I do hope that politicians, the media, as well as the general public, will not flinch or be deterred in this particular instance from presenting a united front and stand up against the brutal, bullying dictatorship that exists in North Korea.
5. The Role of Religion
I could have just written a politically-motivated piece about this situation in Korea without revealing my religious affiliations, but I’m afraid that politics alone can never bring about a Utopian world order. Many millions have needlessly died in the last century, whether through communism on the far Left or totalitarian fascism on the far Right. Even Western liberal democracy is flawed if the constant struggle between good and evil that resides in each of us is not resolved.
That has been why all forms of religious belief have been so fundamentally protected in our society because of the recognition that, if properly observed and practiced, it can help overcome the selfish instincts that can so often hamper a developed society. For me, that understanding has come from both my Catholic and Unificationist beliefs over many years of reflection on both. Unfortunately, mention of the words ‘God’ and ‘religion’ in any conversation nowadays brings an inevitable turn-off for all kinds of understandable reasons.
However, the man-made misuse of religion should not detract from its importance as a means to an end i.e. a course of returning to the source of life i.e. God (or ‘MaPa’, as I more personally refer to my Heavenly Father and Mother. The experience should be both a personal and collective one and should be life-affirming and not something we grudgingly feel we have to do. Once that end has been fulfilled, then the role for religion will be no longer needed.
You can still take this course as a deeply personal one without needing to belong to any organised faith. You need some pointers to tap into this Source of Life (such as SMM’s Lecture 1 called The Principle of Creation - see website link), and offer up some form of sacrifice of the self, such as fasting for a day, in order to do this. Take yourself away somewhere from your normal daily distractions, such as a retreat, and let your thoughts, prayers, dreams and reflections guide you.
People do join faiths (or any kind of group situation such as a football ground or music festival) because of the collective euphoria or buzz that can occur from being with like-minded people. They also do so because of the support mechanisms built in when they feel their faith is flagging and they feel a need to turn to others for counselling, advice or guidance. But if you are reluctant to be in any organised faith, then let your ancestors in the spirit world guide you accordingly as to how you can respond to the important times we are living in now.
As I’m sure you know already, there is a lot more out there than what meets the eye and about what we understand about the time that we are living in now. Sometimes, judgements we make about people are not always that accurate on reflection. After all, who in their right mind (even Christians) would give the time of day to an illegitimate son of a carpenter, who calls himself the son of God, if I pointed him out to you walking down the street towards us?
My UM Leaflet – this is the leaflet that I have been distributing in public areas in 2010 & 2011 as well as door-to-door in my ‘Home Church’ area
I have been a ‘Moonie’ since 1976 – ask me why!
Because I believe that Sun Myung Moon is the great spiritual leader of our time. Born in 1920, he is now over 90 years old and I think it’s time that we acknowledge his tireless efforts to unite people from different cultures and creeds before he passes away. He has been an unjustly hated figure, mainly because of nonsensical hysteria trumped up by some within media and religious circles that he brainwashes his followers into blind submission.
As a successful lecturer in law, trade union local leader, school governor (Chair) and singer/songwriter, I cannot reconcile such unfounded allegations with the public service activities that I have seen of his followers. If any of the allegations were true, then we would have folded up a long time ago. Instead, we have gone from strength to strength, not only because of the inherent rightness of our cause and beliefs, but also because of the ‘behind the scenes’ support we are getting from political and religious leaders that Father Moon’s teachings are a great force for good in a troubled world.
We call ourselves the Unification Movement that seeks to promote greater understanding and communion among people from different parts of the world, from different cultures, religions and beliefs, or even of no belief. It is based on the concept that we are all God’s Children and destined to share one common belief i.e. ‘One World Family Under God’. In time, the need for religion will be a thing of the past – once we have returned to our true and original state of being.
Yes, we have accrued great wealth in the past but all of this has been used solely to promote world peace and reconciliation with God. Including Father Moon, all followers continue to live very modest lifestyles. One of the many altruistic organisations that he has founded is the Universal Peace Federation (
www.upf.org), which is a “global alliance of religious, academic, political and civic leaders, and organisations, joined together to promote peace and bring about a unified world in which all people can live together in harmony, cooperation, and co-prosperity”.
Many tens of thousands of people have become ‘Ambassadors for Peace’whose lives exemplify the ideal of living for the sake of others – please consider becoming such an ambassador yourself. Forces of good and evil are very real in our world and so no one can afford to sit on the fence any longer. With so much good and evil happening around us, now is the time to do something that will make a difference to not only our own lives but also to those around us.
In both male and female forms, God is our Spiritual Parent. Let us get away from this image of God as some judgemental force that sits idly by while we tear ourselves apart with our divided beliefs and various forms of hatred that we sometimes have for each other. Let us instead embrace God as no different to the most loving parents we could possibly have, but who is now greatly saddened to see their children suffering needlessly from not knowing them. Without understanding God in this way, then we are all ‘wandering in this wilderness’ like spiritual orphans.
Is it not the case that true happiness for us stems from being born into the most loving family relationships that we could imagine, with not just the unconditional love of parents but also the love and support we receive from our brothers and sisters in such a family? So why should it be any different with connecting to God as our spiritual parent and to the concept that we are all spiritual brothers and sisters to each other? Just think of the tremendous fun, warmth and wellbeing that can come from this simple concept – would we really carry on in the way we are now with each other if we embraced this universal truth?
Parental love is the highest form of love that exists. I believe ‘Parentalism’will become the new thinking and ideology to get us out of the mess we are in. We are all made in the image of God and, both in theory and in practice, that love should express itself through our parents as the earthly ‘Face of God’ – even if our own experience has not always been that way.
I personally call this ‘MaPa Love’ and in fact, I would rather refer to God as MaPa – a new name for God (Ma for mother and Pa for father). Try chanting ‘MaPa’quietly to yourself – great spiritual healing from our ancestors will flood down on you because those who have passed away, and who now understand the importance of his teachings, are acting as our guardian angels, if only we would let them communicate with us in our dreams and prayers.
The time to let others do good is over – we all need to get involved in whatever way we see fit. God does not wish to force you to believe in Him/Her. That is entirely your call to make as to whether you dismiss this leaflet as hocus-pocus or as a moment in your life when something deep inside you has been stirred to some form of action.
We are all looking for meaning to our existence – some think they found it and want to ‘share’ that with others but most of us just give up and get on with our day to day life, perhaps hoping that eventually some of life’s jigsaw pieces will start to fit together.
What we cannot do is bury our heads in the sand because this time really is the so-called ‘Last Days’ with the economic downward slide into global recession/depression as well as an unprecedented number of local, national and international conflicts. Old mainstream beliefs and ideologies are no longer holding up to closer scrutiny (as well as practice) and we are already getting jaded by the nihilistic mass consumerism and celebrity culture that is trying to take their place.
As with any parent’s instincts in such a situation, God’s sadness is as nothing compared to his wish to embrace you as returning ‘Prodigal’ sons and daughters. Let us therefore inspire each other with how we want to go forward on this. It is now up to you to decide, at your own pace, how you will go about returning to your spiritual roots. It is a journey we will all eventually have to make - so let’s do it together while we are still alive!
Finally, this leaflet is of my own making, and is not official Unificationist literature. Please go online and do some background reading and research of your own. Thank you!
“Who Would Want To Be An Atheist!”
(Poem written in Jan 2011)
The atheist’s world must be like watching life, mono-chromed and in perpetual black and in white
With just blurred, distant images framed by cynicism and of perhaps not being loved enough as a child
The atheist’s world must be of stubborn resistance, to any concept or existence, of this Intelligent Design
What a miserable world, that must be to their senses, if what they see is just passage of time
The atheist’s world must be pained by bitter experience of what life must have been as a child
Orphaned from love, abandoned by hope, until resentment lingers and then builds up inside
The atheist’s world must be arrogantly superior to what they consider superstition and dogma gone rife
And yet remain dumbfounded and perplexed by a demeanour of believers who seem ‘tanked up’ on life
The atheist’s world must be wracked by indecision, envy and jealousy, of what believers do with their lives
Whose beliefs seem so effortless, secure in their certainty, while they have to live in denial
The atheist’s world must be so cold and so clinical, to not see the patterns of Life from Above
To not see from nature, from all that’s created, that we bear the footprints of God’s Parental Love
And so what are we to do, who see life in colour, so vivid and close to the touch
Do we stand like them in mockery, or engage as Jacob did, and bow down in brotherly love
Yes we are our brothers’ keeper, and we would do well to remember how Abel could have loved Cain from the start
Give love to the atheist, understand all his emptiness, and let God heal those wounds in his heart
(Articles by other writers that I found very inspiring)
The tantalising proof that belief in God makes you happier and healthier
(I came across this article and hope you find it inspiring. It is by Tom Knox, nom de pleume for well-known journalist and author Sean Thomas and featured in the Daily Mail (UK) on 18th of February 2011).
God has had a tough time over the past few years. On TV, in newspapers and on the internet, the debate as to whether faith has any relevance in a sceptical modern world has been as ubiquitous as it has been vigorous. And it has been pretty clear which side is the most splenetic.
From Richard Dawkins’ powerful atheist polemics to Christopher Hitchens’ public derision of the Roman Catholic Tony Blair and Stephen Hawking’s proclamation that the universe ‘has no need for God’, it seems that unbelievers have had the dwindling faithful on the run.
Or have they?
As research for my latest novel, Bible Of The Dead, I have spent months investigating the science of faith versus atheism, and discovered startling and unexpected evidence. It might just change the way you think about the whole debate, as it has changed my view.
I am not a religious zealot. On the contrary, I was a teenage atheist. And although in adulthood I have had a vague and fuzzy feeling that ‘there must be something out there’, I was never a regular church-goer. But what I have discovered, on my voyage through the science of faith, has astonished me.
My journey began a couple of years ago when I was travelling in Utah, the home of Mormonism. During my first week there, I approached this eccentric American religion with a typically European cynicism. I teased Mormons about their taste in ‘spiritual undergarments’; I despaired at being unable to find a decent cappuccino (Mormons are forbidden coffee, as well as alcohol, smoking, tea and premarital sex).
But then I had something of an epiphany. One night, after a long dinner, I was walking back to my hotel in downtown Salt Lake City at 2am and I suddenly realised: I felt safe. As any transatlantic traveller knows, this is a pretty unusual experience in an American city after midnight.
Why did I feel safe? Because I was in a largely Mormon city, and Mormons are never going to mug you. They might bore or annoy you when they come knocking on your door, touting their faith, but they are not going to attack you.
The Mormons’ wholesome religiousness, their endless and charitable kindliness, made their city a better place. And that made me think: Why was I so supercilious about such happy, hospitable people? What gave me the right to sneer at their religion?
From that moment I took a deeper, more rigorous interest in the possible benefits of religious faith. Not one particular creed, but all creeds. And I was startled by what I found.
For a growing yet largely unnoticed body of scientific work, amassed over the past 30 years, shows religious belief is medically, socially and psychologically beneficial.
In 2006, the American Society of Hypertension established that church-goers have lower blood pressure than the non-faithful.
Likewise, in 2004, scholars at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggested that college students involved in religious activities are more likely to have better mental and emotional health than those who do not.
Meanwhile, in 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live.
As they put it: ‘Religious attendance is associated with adult mortality in a graded fashion: there is a seven-year difference in life expectancy between those who never attend church and those who attend weekly.’
Exactly the same outcome was recently reported in the American Journal of Public Health, which studied nearly 2,000 older Californians for five years. Those who attended religious services were 36 per cent less likely to die during this half-decade than those who didn’t.
Even those who attended a place of worship irregularly — implying a less than ardent faith — did better than those who never attended. Pretty impressive. But there’s more; so much more that it’s positively surreal.
In 1990, the American Journal of Psychiatry discovered believers with broken hips were less depressed, had shorter hospital stays and could even walk further when they were discharged compared to their similarly broken-hipped and hospitalised, but comparatively heathen peers.
It’s not just hips. Scientists have revealed that believers recover from breast cancer quicker than non-believers; have better outcomes from coronary disease and rheumatoid arthritis; and are less likely to have children with meningitis.
Intriguing research in 2002 showed that believers have more success with IVF than non-believers.
A 1999 study found that going to a religious service or saying a few prayers actively strengthened your immune system.
These medical benefits accrue even if you adjust for the fact that believers are less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs.
And faith doesn’t just heal the body; it salves the mind, too. In 1998, the American Journal of Public Health found that depressed patients with a strong ‘intrinsic faith’ (a deep personal belief, not just a social inclination to go to a place of worship) recovered 70 per cent faster than those who did not have strong faith.
Another study, in 2002, showed that prayer reduced ‘adverse outcomes in heart patients’.
But perhaps this is just an American thing? After all, those Bible-bashing Yanks are a bit credulous compared to us more sceptical Europeans, aren’t they?
Not so. In 2008, Professor Andrew Clark of the Paris School of Economics and Doctor Orsolya Lelkes of the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research conducted a vast survey of Europeans. They found that religious believers, compared to non-believers, record less stress, are better able to cope with losing jobs and divorce, are less prone to suicide, report higher levels of self-esteem, enjoy greater ‘life purpose’ and report being more happy overall.
What is stunning about this research is that the team didn’t go looking for this effect — it came to them unexpectedly. ‘We originally started the research to work out why some European countries had more generous unemployment benefits than others,’ says Professor Clark.
But as they went on, the pattern of beneficial faith presented itself. ‘Our analysis suggested religious people suffered less psychological harm from unemployment than the non-religious. Believers had higher levels of life satisfaction.’
So what’s going on? How does religion work this apparent magic?
One of the latest surveys to suggest that religious people are happier than the non-religious was conducted by Professors Chaeyoon Lim and Robert Putnam, from Harvard, and published last year.
They discovered that many of the health benefits of religion materialise only if you go to church regularly and have good friends there. In other words, it’s the ‘organised’ part of organised religion that does a lot of the good stuff.
Going to a friendly church, temple or mosque gives you a strong social network and a ready-made support group, which in turn gives you a more positive outlook on life — and offers vital help in times of need. The Harvard scientists were so startled by their findings that they considered altering their own religious behaviour.
As Professor Lim said: ‘I am not a religious person, but . . . I personally began to think about whether I should go to church. It would make my mum happy.’
But if the ‘congregation’ effect is one explanation for the good health of churchgoers, it’s not the only one. Other surveys have found that intrinsic faith is also important.
For instance, a study of nearly 4,000 older adults for the U.S. Journal of Gerontology revealed that atheists had a notably increased chance of dying over a six-year period than the faithful.
Crucially, religious people lived longer than atheists even if they didn’t go regularly to a place of worship. This study clearly suggests there is a benefit in pure faith alone — perhaps this religiousness works by affording a greater sense of inner purpose and solace in grief.
This begs the question: Given all this vast evidence that religion is good for you, how come the atheists seem so set against it?
They pride themselves on their rationality, yet so much of the empirical evidence indicates that God is good for you. Surely, then, it is the atheists, not the devout, who are acting irrationally?
All this will come as no surprise to many students of genetics and evolution, who have long speculated that religious faith might be hard- wired into the human mind.
For instance, twin studies (research on identical siblings who are separated at birth) show that religion is a heritable characteristic: if one twin is religious, the other is likely to be a believer as well, even when raised by different parents.
Neurologists are making exciting progress in locating the areas of the brain, primarily the frontal cortex, ‘responsible’ for religious belief — parts of the brain that seem designed to accommodate faith. This research even has its own name: neurotheology.
Why might we be hard-wired to be religious? Precisely because religion makes us happier and healthier, and thus makes us have more children.
In the purest of Darwinian terms, God isn’t just good for you, He’s good for your genes, too.
All of which means that, contrary to expectation, it is the atheists who are eccentric, flawed and maladaptive, and it’s the devout who are healthy, well-adjusted and normal.
Certainly, in purely evolutionary terms, atheism is a blind alley. Across the world, religious people have more children than non-religious (go forth and multiply!), while atheist societies are the ones with the lowest birth rates.
The Czech Republic is a classic example. It proclaims itself the most atheist country in Europe, if not the world; it also has a puny birthrate of 1.28 per woman, one of the lowest on the planet (so soon there won’t be any godless Czechs to proclaim their atheism).
The existence of atheism is therefore something of an anomaly. But then again, anomalies are not unknown in evolution.
Think of the dodo or the flightless parrot, doomed to extinction. Are atheists similarly blighted? Are Richard Dawkins and his type destined to vanish off the face of the Earth — the victims of their own intellectual arrogance?
That’s not for me to say; it’s for you to ponder. All I do know is that reassessing the research has changed the way I think about faith. These days I go to church quite a lot, especially when I am travelling and researching my books.
For instance, the other day I found myself in Cambridge — the home of Stephen Hawking — and took the opportunity to do some sightseeing of the city’s intellectual landmarks.
I strolled by the labs where Hawking does his brilliant work, popped into the pub where they announced the discovery of DNA and admired the library where Charles Darwin studied. As I did, I was in awe at the greatness of Man’s achievements.
And then I went to Evensong at King’s College Chapel, and it was beautiful, sublime and uplifting. And I felt a very different kind of awe. Sneer at faith all you like. Just don’t assume science is on your side.