Many Want to Avoid the Thorny Path that Lies Along the Way

Cheon Seong Gyeong 2156

Today I would like to gratefully take this opportunity and talk about a fundamental solution to the problem of the unification of the Korean peninsula – the unification that is our nation’s most cherished desire as well as the last matter of the Cold War that awaits settlement. I would like to entitle this talk “The Course of Life for the Princes and Princesses of God.”

Cheon Seong Gyeong 1383

    What will happen once we have conducted this ceremony? Families in the world today are breaking down, and resolving this issue remains a problem. With the world struggling to solve this problem of family breakdown, the Unification Church will bring together 360,000 young couples to form new families to live in an ideal manner, and this will lead all disordered families in the world to automatically take great interest in them. This will become a global issue.
    Once I bless these 360,000 couples and rumors spread worldwide that it was the best thing that happened to the world, and as a result 36,000 couples from each nation were brought to participate in the Blessing, how many couples would that add up to? There are some countries that want to send 50,000 couples. Think about it. (269-300, 1995.5.1).5.1)

Beyond Ritual

WHEN RITUAL IS OVERLY RELIED UPON, it may imbue an aura of sanctity not matched by deeds or wisdom. Ritual is no substitute for authentic piety, love of one’s neighbor and personal realization of God. Nearly every religion has its own internal critique of ritualism. Even when the founder of one religion is apparently criticizing the ritualism of another religion, the passage was originally a prophetic word to his own people.
Father Moon concurs in these critiques, and adds two more: First, ritual can create a barrier between different denominations and faiths, which runs contrary to the will of God for religious unity. In this time of coming together, the barriers of ritual should be transcended. Second, acts of pious devotion to God and Jesus do not often grant the inner knowledge to know their heart and will. For example, many Christians revere the cross as the sign of salvation, when for Jesus it was the accursed instrument of his death and the source of millennia of grief and frustration that he could not have lived to complete his mission to build God’s Kingdom on earth.
Chief among the religious rituals in ancient times was animal sacrifice, yet, with a few exceptions, animal sacrifice is rare in religion today. Religions have come to regard acts of devotion, study, and charity the essence of the ancient ritual sacrifices that are required by scripture but no longer practiced. Thus, the Talmud regards charity to one’s neighbor as the equivalent of sacrificing a lamb as a sin offering. In a similar vein, the Buddha criticizes animal sacrifice as creating evil karma by killing life, and instead teaches a spiritual meaning of sacrifice as fulfilled in honoring parents, caring for family, and giving charity to monks.

  1. Better than Ritual Is a Loving Heart and Righteous Deeds

With what shall I come before the Lord?
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has showed you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
    Micah 6.6-8

Even three times a day to offer
Three hundred cooking pots of food
Does not match a portion of the merit
Acquired in one instant of love.
    Nagarjuna, Precious Garland 283 (Buddhism)One sabbath [Jesus] was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.”
    Mark 2.23-28

Of old, one of the ancestral gods was roaming through the land of his descendant gods, and he came to Mount Fuji in the province of Suruga, just as it was becoming evening, so he went to the home of the gods of Mount Fuji and begged to be provided with a place to stay for the night. The god of Mount Fuji, however, replied, “Unfortunately, today is the day that the first fruits are being offered to the gods, and all of my family are under taboos of purification and abstinence. As a result, it would not be fitting for us to put up an unknown stranger. On this day of all days, please excuse me from being more courteous to you.”
    With this, the other deity was filled with resentment, and said, “I am your ancestor! Even so, will you not put me up? For this I will make it snow both winter and summer on this very mountain in which you live, cover it with mist and cold the year long, so that no person may climb it to give you offerings!”
    And with these words, he ascended instead Mount Tsukuba in the province of Hitachi, and begged there for a place to stay the night. The god of Tsukuba replied, “Tonight we are keeping the abstinence of the first fruits, but we cannot refuse your request.” And so he respectfully provided the visiting deity with food and a place to stay.
    Thereupon, the ancestor deity was filled with joy, and said, “How dear, my child, you are to me, and how majestic your shrine. Here, may you prosper forever with the heavens and earth, with the sun and moon, and may people gather here forever to present you with food offerings, so that your generations continue in ease without end.”
    As a result, Mount Fuji became covered with snow year-round so that it could not be climbed. Mount Tsukuba, on the other hand, is a gathering place for many people, who enjoy themselves with singing and dancing to this day.
    Hitachi Fudoki (Shinto)

The Master said: A man who is not humane, what can he have to do with ritual?
    Analects 3.3 (Confucianism)

Not by sacred water is one pure, although many folk bathe in it.
In whom is truth and dhamma, he is pure; he is a brahmin.
    Udana 6 (Buddhism)

The evildoers who pursue Devotion held sacred by thine initiate,
because they have no part in the Good Mind, O Lord,
from them she shrinks back, with Righteousness, as far as the wild beasts of prey shrink back from us!
    Avesta, Yasna 34.9 (Zoroastrianism)

People under delusion accumulate tainted merits but do not tread the Path. They are under the impression that to accumulate merits and to tread the Path are one and the same thing. Though their merits from alms-giving and offerings are infinite, they do not realize that the ultimate source of sin lies in the three poisons within their own mind.
    Sutra of Hui Neng 6 (Buddhism)

Undiscerning men, theologians
preoccupied with scriptural lore,
Who claim there is nothing else,
utter words with ephemeral results.
Their words promise better births through cultic acts,
dwell at length on various rites,
And aim at pleasure and power.
These men are full of desire, zealous for heaven.
They cling to pleasures and power
and are fooled by their own discourses.
They have no knowledge consisting in commitment,fixed in concentration.
    Bhagavad-Gita 2.42-44 (Hinduism)

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

The living God wants to relate with us not merely in the context of scriptures and rituals, but rather dwelling in the hearts of people who keep God’s will in their minds and live it in daily life. (135:222, November 16, 1985)

You may gaze adoringly at Jesus’ face and even touch it. You may walk with Jesus and live with Jesus, as you think he would want you to live. But unless your heart is connected with Jesus’ heart, it is of no use. You have to touch Jesus through the connection of heart, and live with Jesus through the heart. (10:200, October 2, 1960)

Many people worship Heaven,
but few say they will take responsibility for Heaven’s sake.
Many people know that the way of Heaven is good,
but want to avoid the thorny path that lies along the way.
Father, you have toiled for our sake through countless ages,
but humankind wants to avoid the path of toil
which must be traversed along the true way, the way of Heaven.
They even think to entrust the sorrow and suffering of humanity to Thee—
Please pardon them. (16:15, December 26, 1965)

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