Mother of Peace: Episode 36
Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes A Memoir by
Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 5: The Emblem of the Kingdom of Heaven, pg 169-175
Giving creates prosperity
As a little girl, I never had money and hardly knew what it was. When I got a bit older, in the maelstrom of the division of Korea, we had to flee our hometown empty-handed to preserve our lives. We remained penniless for a long time. Moreover, my maternal grandmother and my mother were devoted to God’s will and our lives had little to do with money.
After I married, tithes and offerings came in and went out just as fast for public purposes. I did not have any concern about making a fashion statement. Sometimes, when I saw an expensive purse, I wondered, “What might the money in that purse be used for?” More important than how much money is in a wallet is the question of how it is spent. The path of one’s money shapes one’s fate. According to God’s word, our responsibility is to have dominion of love over all things and to share our prosperity. As explained in Genesis, God made Adam and Eve and told them to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and have dominion over all things.”
Our movement’s economic activities began humbly in Father Moon’s mud-walled hut in Beomil-dong, Busan, during the last months of the Korean War. Father Moon and one disciple, Won Pil Kim, would create and sell simple portraits for American soldiers. When the church moved to Seoul, members collected stamps and sold them, and they colored in black-and-white photos and sold them along the roadside. Through these and other small businesses, we supported our missionary activities.
Our first step on the path to a real business venture was in 1960 when we set up Tongil Industries. Korea now exports all kinds of merchandise throughout the world, but in the 1960s, no one would ever have imagined that Korea’s machine industry would develop as robustly as it has. We began Tongil Industries with a Japanese lathe that was destined for the trash bin. Our prayer was that God would bless our new company and that it would one day become the world’s foremost manufacturer of machine parts. By developing our expertise, Tongil Industries grew from manufacturing the Yehwa Air Rifle to making parts for equipment used in our country’s defense. As a leading machinery enterprise in Korea, we not only acquired technologies to help Korea, we went on to share our technology with people around the world.
Next, we established the Ilhwa Company Ltd., which pioneered the export of high-quality ginseng products. Ginseng was unknown in the West at the time but now it is a household item. Ilhwa is recognized both for its excellent products and as a leader in ginseng science.
Inspired by our vision, our members have started many businesses. While this supports the economic development of our country and the world, our purpose goes beyond that. Our goal is for all people in the world to enjoy mutual prosperity. We believe in sharing the tools of technology among all peoples. With true family values and technology in harmony with the natural world, we all can live and work together in a pleasant social environment.
Our philosophy of living for the sake of others is the driving force behind all of this. It is a fundamental truth that we should take care of those who are less fortunate than ourselves. A wealthy person who is grateful to others and helps others will create a wealthy community, nation and world.
The creation is a gift God has given each of us. Every human being should be able to enjoy this gift fully. It is contrary to God’s will for one individual to gain possession of everything, or for one country not to share its scientific developments, technologies and resources in times of need, or use such things to dominate other nations. Yes, some person or group in some country develops each new technology. The next step is to enable others to benefit, so that all can enjoy health, well-being and comfort. This is the way of mutual prosperity.
We should not take pride in having crisp bills inside fancy purses. Instead, we should focus on how our assets can benefit others. True pride comes when we spend our money for purposes larger than ourselves.
Science is a stepping-stone
Once in a while, you hear religious people devalue science as having nothing to do with God, and secular people devalue religion as having no practical use. Both sides separate God and science. Both are in error. God wants us to develop science and technology as tools with which we can exercise the dominion of love over all things. And that is God’s great blessing. We must love nature with the same heart as God, and cultivate it for the benefit of humanity. This is God-centered science and technology.
In 1972, my husband and I convened the first International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS). As with any new project, we endured many obstacles and birth pangs to bring it into the world. And then, after ICUS was launched, many scholars accused us of using scientists to legitimate ourselves. In many cases, the development of ICUS went like this: A scholar would be approached with a personal invitation saying, “Professor, I sincerely invite you to attend this upcoming Science Conference.”
He or she would send a response that said, “I have heard that the founders of this forum are Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, and I am opposed to them.”
Several years later, this same scholar would accept our invitation and present his or her work at the conference. This was because he or she had realized the true motivation of ICUS. As the years passed, we received enthusiastic responses from distinguished scholars worldwide who were wary at first, then participated and became loyal supporters. This was because through ICUS they discovered a larger purpose for their work.
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We always considered ICUS themes with care. The first ICUS, which convened in New York City, was on the topic, “The Moral Orientation of the Sciences.” My husband and I, as the founders, wanted to raise the question of what science could do for the sake of humanity.
“The purpose and goal of science are to realize humanity’s dreams,” my husband said in his opening address. “Scientific civilization, by its very nature, must be shared by humankind as a whole.”
We convened the second ICUS in Tokyo in 1973 under the theme, “Contemporary Science and Ethical Values.” Thanks to the participation of five Nobel Prize laureates, the conference attracted much attention. While the first conference assembled just 20 scientists from seven nations, the second ICUS drew 60 participants from 18 nations. In just one year, it had become a global forum.
By 1981, when we held the 10th ICUS in Seoul with 808 scholars attending from approximately 100 nations, ICUS had become the leading global forum of its kind. During that event, we proposed the free and generous exchange of technology among nations, something that had never been imagined in history. Our view is that because science and technology are revealed and given by God, they are the common wealth of all humanity. We emphasized that no country should monopolize these common assets. My husband and I sponsored the ICUS forums to promote the free exchange of science and technology.
Our intention especially was to see science and technology shared with the developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Put another way, we wanted developed countries to globalize the cutting-edge standards of science and technology by sharing their tools and methods with developing nations. To set an example, when we saw food shortages in some parts of Africa, we donated machinery for a German missionary to build a sausage factory in Zambia. We arranged for education in advanced methods of crop cultivation and livestock breeding. In South America, we raised cattle. Also, we planted trees and took other measures to keep nature green and pristine.
In Kona, on Hawaii’s Big Island, we started a coffee plantation. Harvesting coffee beans is strenuous work and cultivating the plants requires great skill. Initially, we suffered serious losses because we did not spray pesticides, which damage human health. In time, we found a way to repel insects without using harmful chemicals, and now we’re producing premium coffee that is pesticide-free.
We purchased automobile assembly lines in Germany and established automobile factories in China and North Korea. When we saw farmers doing the back-breaking work of sowing rice by hand, we acquired an agricultural machinery factory and supplied them with the equipment they lacked. Looking upward into the sky, we established Korea Times Aviation to support state-of-the-art aviation technology and space engineering. These efforts and more naturally go through ups and downs, but our vision is unchanging. We learn as we go and our investment will continue.
For years, the ICUS forums led to countless scientific collaborations and new friendships. In 2000, we entered a new phase of the providence and put ICUS on hold. I renewed the annual International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences in 2017. The 24th ICUS, held in 2018, gathered hundreds of participants devoted to pioneering new paradigms for scientific research. In my opening remarks to that conference, I cast the vision:
“To solve the many problems facing our world, whether they are religious or scientific, first you must know correctly about God, who is the origin of the universe, and about True Parents. Then you will be able to find the solutions.”
ICUS is gathering scientists, engineers and inventors to harmonize the technologies and tools in our hands with the ecology of the natural world as well as our original human nature created by God, for the purpose of realizing authentic human happiness and lasting peace.