Mother of Peace: Episode 52
Mother of Peace: And God Shall Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes
A Memoir by Hak Ja Han Moon
Chapter 9: God’s Kingdom In our Midst, pg 257-261
Evil is acting for selfish gain, whereas goodness is to serve others and let go of the memory of having done so. When we give and forget, true love flourishes. We do not run out of love by giving it away. Quite the opposite: True love is a spring that flows in ever greater abundance. When walking the path of love, even when you give something precious, you feel that you did not give enough. Living with true love does not make one prideful; if anything, one feels sorry for not being able to give something even better.
True love moves on a circular path. Where it starts or ends, no one knows. Love within limits is not true love. True love is always new, yet is unchanging. Circumstances and environments change, but true love remains. It does not grow old or stale; it is ever fresh, in spring, in summer, in autumn and winter, in your youth, your adulthood and your old age.
True love is the power that unites a man and a woman eternally. When you love each other completely, your beloved lives within you and you live within your beloved. True love is the only thing people really are seeking. It transforms every sadness and pain into joy. The fallen world programs us to think that when we give something away, it is gone. In true love, however, the more we give, the more we receive. When our mindset changes from wishing to receive love, to wishing to give love, the world of peace will be at hand.
Becoming the light of the world through a filial heart for Heaven
From time to time, I ascend Mount Balwang in Pyeongchang, Gangwondo. At the foot of that nearly 1,500-meter mountain is the well-known Yongpyeong Resort, a property that our members have developed. It is one of the locations where the popular Korean drama Winter Sonata was filmed. At the top of that mountain is a rare tree. I named it “the mother and child tree.”
It is actually two trees of different species that have grown together and become one. A Chinese crabapple tree that is hundreds of years old is the mother, and a rowan tree that has grown up within it is the child. This “mother and child” tree has flourished like that; they depend on each other and thrive together.
Perhaps when the crabapple tree became old and hollow, a bird dropped a rowan tree seed inside it and a new tree grew there. The crabapple tree embraced and nurtured the rowan tree as if it were its child. Over time, the rowan tree’s roots grew deep, until it could support the crabapple tree as if it was taking care of its mother. In the same space, the two trees each blossom and bear fruit.
They are only trees, but they are an example of filial piety. They exhibit what I call hyojeong, the beautiful love, care and deep heart of parent and child.
Most Koreans, when they first encounter the term hyojeong, tilt their head in puzzlement. It might seem like a familiar concept, but it is not easy to define. They wonder, does it refer to a feeling in one’s heart, or does it refer to actual practice? The Korean word hyo also means to be effective, so some even think that is the meaning.
The term hyojeong, which I created, includes giving one’s whole heart, and so “being effective” is not entirely wrong. However, the term hyojeong that I have been using has a much deeper and wider meaning. Hyo is a term that once was prevalent in the Far East. If we had to translate it into English, we might render it “filial duty.” However, the word, “duty” is not enough. Hyo means duty motivated by love, duty that is not compulsory but is happily voluntary, and that provides one’s life its deepest meaning. Of course, that includes sincerely honoring and truly loving your parents. Hyo is a beautiful Korean tradition and also is the foundation of life. It is sad to see that the concept of hyo is slowly disappearing in society.
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When I hear the word hyojeong, I think of my oldest son Hyo-jin and my second son Heung-jin, who hold special places in my heart. Both have passed into the spirit world; Heung-jin passed on first. Despite being a teenager, he courageously stood on the front line to protect his father. Heung-jin would always declare, “I will protect Father.”
At the end of 1983, at the peak of the Cold War, my husband and I were speaking at large Victory Over Communism rallies in South Korea. We knew that communist sympathizers were determined to stop us. The final rally was in Gwangju, the heart of the leftist movement in South Korea. When my husband was about to go on stage to give his speech, I noticed that his tie pin had disappeared. “What happened to it?” I thought, feeling puzzled. “Where did it go?”
A few moments later, while my husband was onstage giving his speech, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, in upstate New York, Heung-jin was involved in a car accident. Heung-jin was driving on a two-lane road when a tractor-trailer coming the other way hit black ice and slid into his lane. He veered the car to the right but could not avoid a head-on collision. He swerved in such a way that he took the direct hit on the driver’s side, saving the life of his friend sitting in the front passenger seat.
We found out later that there had been agents trying to kill my husband in Korea that day. They had entered the auditorium in Gwangju and tried to reach the stage, but they could not get through the packed crowd and so could not carry out their plan. Satan was targeting the father, but when that evil plan was thwarted, Satan took the son as a sacrificial offering. By sacrificing himself in his father’s stead, Heung-jin kept the promise he had made: “I will protect Father.”
When Heung-jin was born, he didn’t open his eyes for three days, and I felt so worried about him. At the end of his short life, he passed away as a son of the greatest filial devotion to his parents. This deep filial piety is engraved in the hearts of our members.
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Our eldest son Hyo-jin loved music. It is not an overstatement to say that Hyo-jin’s influence is a major reason that many young people in the Unification movement today are pursuing music. Being the older brother he was, he would always say, “I am the filial son.” His heart often seemed sad when he looked at me, because I didn’t have as easy a life as some of his friends’ mothers had. He used to comfort me by saying in a loud voice, “Mom! When I grow up, I will do everything for you!”
In the early 1970s, after moving our family to America, we saw that many Americans did not respect Asian people. During that time, my husband and I ignored that attitude, but it truly hurt Hyo-jin’s heart. There were people who laughed at us as well as people who sympathized with us. Hyo-jin saw all of this. He knew that communists threatened his father, and even though he was only 12 years old, he would take off his jacket and say, “I will fight those people to protect my father.”
He gradually came to realize that it takes a lot of time before nations accept new teachings. He would think over and over again, “Isn’t there a way to gather everyone, as if in a whirlwind, and convey the message to them all at once?” Then one day, he slapped his knee emphatically and cried, “This is it!” He had found his answer: rock music. He decided to move young people’s hearts and guide them to the Divine Principle through music.
Along with leading our collegiate activities opposing communism, he created a youth music culture in our church, including a professional recording studio at New York’s Manhattan Center. At one point, he made a religious commitment to compose and record 10,000 songs in three years. No one can write and record, with a band, 10 songs in one day, but he did so, every day, for three years. Hyo-jin forgot about himself and focused on composing songs, day and night. He believed that this expressed the heart of filial piety that made his parents happy, and he believed it was his mission to do this for the sake of the world. Among his many songs, people love Let It Blow the most, with its lyrics, “I must find the person that God wants me to be. My heart is beating like the sound of a train, running for your sake.”
More and more people were moved by Hyo-jin’s songs and the number of members grew. Satan was seething. Hyo-jin immersed himself day and night in writing songs, guiding his musicians, recording and performing, as well as speaking to the members at Belvedere at 6:00 in the morning each Sunday. He held a concert in 2007 at the Seoul Olympic Stadium and then did a concert tour in Japan. These were his last performances. In 2008 he passed away suddenly, due to severe fatigue accumulated through performances and endless songwriting.
Hyo-jin’s music was explosive; through it, he expressed his passionate filial devotion—yes, his hyojeong—for his mother and father. To inherit Hyo-jin’s spirit, every autumn, in conjunction with the Cosmic Seonghwa Festival to commemorate Father Moon, we hold a Hyojeong Festival to pay tribute to Hyo-jin. Our members are always grateful for his heart to guide people to God through music and media.