Cheon Seong Gyeong 2376
All the things I have taught you are like keys for you to use to enter heaven. Unless the key fits, you cannot open the gate to heaven. You cannot open the gate to heaven unless you hold the keys that I am giving you. No matter how important a person you are in America, you can’t open the gate unless you have the keys from me. My keys are the essential ones. Other keys, whether gold or silver, will not open the gate, no matter how well made they are. But my keys can open it every time, even if they may look like nothing and are made of brass. No one else can make such keys. (260-186, 1999.5.8)
God cannot live with human beings on earth, because people have not realized unity in their families. Once family members unite, God will dwell with them. When we say “true love,” the concepts of unity between mind and body, husband and wife, and children should come to mind. When those three kinds of unity are achieved, the family of true love will be the starting point of the heavenly kingdom on earth and in heaven. When you achieve unity, with God and True Parents as your focus, the heavenly kingdom on earth and in heaven can be built. Where does the Heavenly Kingdom on earth start? It starts from your families, your sons and daughters. (260-185, 1994.5.8)
Cheon Seong Gyeong 1241
God’s Blessing is absolutely public in nature. It is not just for an individual, family, nation, or even the world. God’s Blessing is for the whole universe. (15-67, 1965. 2.13)
THE MOVEMENT FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS and equality of the sexes that began in the last century is a major force for human betterment. Yet amidst the profusion of feminist ideas and trends, can scriptures instruct us to discern what is best and most enduring? This section deals specifically with women’s rights in society. The more fundamental man-woman relationship is marriage, and there the matter of sex roles and equality of the sexes comes up with special force—see Chapter 19: Ethics of Married Life.
Against the persistent mistreatment of women, scriptures affirm the essential equality and dignity of both man and woman before God. Scriptures also affirm the right of women to an education and to seek the highest goal of faith—an outstanding Buddhist passage praises the resolve of a nun who defeats the Devil’s whispering that women are not fit for enlightenment. On the other hand, the scriptures encourage the traditional womanly role of childbearing as the basis of female dignity. Further, there is scriptural warrant for the subordination of women as a consequence of the Fall and the first woman’s sin—a theme to which Father Moon adds a unique twist when he attributes women’s subordination at least in part to the degradation of men to the level of “archangels.”
It is undeniable that men and women are distinctly unequal in their physical stature and abilities. A Buddhist text ridicules the notion that such external differences have any meaning, based on its perspective that Mind is the only reality. That won’t do for Father Moon, who affirms the reality of the created world. Rather, he teaches that love is the basis of the equality of men and women. He supports the traditional value of childbearing, calling it God’s special gift to women, but at the same time he applauds women who aspire to leadership positions in society and he encourages his women followers to take on traditional male roles. In this respect his thought resonates with the dreams of the pioneering American feminist Susan B. Anthony, who is quoted here.
1. The Basis of Equality between Men and Women
God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And their Lord answers them, “I waste not the labor of any that labors among you, be you male or female—the one of you is as the other.”
When women are honored, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honored, no sacred rite yields rewards. When the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers.
Laws of Manu 3.56-57 (Hinduism)
My dear sisters the women, you have had a hard life to live in this world, yet without you this world would not be what it is. Wakan Tanka intends that you should bear much sorrow—comfort others in time of sorrow.29 By your hands the family moves.
Sioux Tradition of the Sacred Pipe (Native American Religion)
The sister Soma… when she was returning from her alms-round, after her meal, entered Dark Wood for noonday rest, and plunging into its depths sat down under a certain tree. Then Mara the Evil One, desirous of arousing fear, wavering and dread in her, desirous of making her desist from concentrated thought, went up to her and addressed her in verse,
That opportunity [for arahantship] the
sages may attain
is hard to win. But with her two-finger wit
that may no woman ever hope to achieve.
Then Soma thought, “Who now is this, human or non-human, that speaks verse? Surely it is Mara the Evil One who speaks verse, desirous of arousing in me fear, wavering and dread…” The sister replied in verses:
What should the woman’s nature signify
when consciousness is tense and firmly set,
when knowledge rolls ever on, when she
by insight rightly comprehends the
To one for whom the question arises:
Am I a woman [in these matters], or
am I a man, or what not am I then?
To such a one is Mara fit to talk.
Then Mara the Evil One thought, “Sister Soma recognizes me!” and sad and sorrowful he vanished.
Samyutta Nikaya 1.128, Suttas of Sisters (Buddhism)
Thou art woman, Thou art man; Thou art youth and maiden… it is Thou alone who, when born, assumes diverse forms. Svetasvatara Upanishad 4.3 (Hinduism)
Shariputra, “Goddess, what prevents you from transforming yourself out of your female state, by nature filthy and an unfit vessel?”
Goddess, “Although I have sought my ‘female state’ for these twelve years, I have not yet found it. Reverend Shariputra, if a magician were to incarnate a woman by magic, would you ask her, ‘What prevents you from transforming yourself out of your female state?’”
Shariputra, “No! Such a woman would not really exist, so what would there be to transform?”
“Just so, Reverend Shariputra, all things do not really exist. Now, would you think, “What prevents one whose nature is that of a magical incarnation from transforming herself out of her female state?” Thereupon, the goddess employed her magical power to cause the elder Shariputra to appear in her form and to cause herself to appear in his form. Then the goddess, transformed into Shariputra, said to Shariputra, transformed into a goddess, “Reverend Shariputra, what prevents you from transforming yourself out of your female state?”
And Shariputra, transformed into a goddess, replied, “I no longer appear in the form of a male! My body has changed into the body of a woman! I do not know what to transform!”
The goddess continued, “If the elder could again change out of the female state, then all women could also change out of their female states. All women appear in the form of women in just the same way as the elder appears in the form of a woman. While they are not women in reality, they appear in the form of women. With this in mind, the Buddha said, ‘In all things, there is neither male nor female.’”
Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 7 (Buddhism)
Footnote: The point of this story is not that in this world there should be equality among the sexes. Rather, Buddhism teaches that sexual differentiation belongs only to the phenomenal sphere, which is transient and illusory. In Reality, beyond all appearances, sexuality is transcended. A similar story is found in chapter 12 of the Lotus Sutra, where the daughter of a dragon king transforms herself into the form of a man to attain Buddhahood, thereby showing Shariputra that he should not regard a woman to be a ‘filthy vessel’ incapable of receiving the Law.